If Your Web Site is Sinking, It’s Time for Deep Linking

When you are working on building a catalog of links pointing to your web site, you need to remember to think deep. Deep linking is the act of linking to sub-pages of a web site, and not just the home page. You need to remember these two rules:

1. You should seek keyword links that point to web pages optimized for those same keywords.

2. You can really only optimize a single web page for a couple of keywords.

So if your web site has different pages optimized for different keywords (and if that is not the case, you need to call me today), then you need different keyword links pointing to each of those pages specifically. Here is an example. Let’s say you have a web site with pages covering the following practice areas: automobile accidents, maritime accidents, and aviation accidents. To help raise the search engine visibility of each of those pages, each one needs keyword links related to the subject of the page. The automobile accident page needs links such as “automobile accident attorney,” the maritime accidents page needs links such as “boating accident lawyer,” and the last page needs links like “airplane accident lawyer.”

What you have to keep in mind is that search engine optimization is a business of specificity. Specific pages are optimized for specific keywords, and those pages need specific keyword links.

You may be wondering how you go about getting links with specific keywords in it. If you rely on other web sites to hopefully link to you, then you are at the mercy of those other sites with regard to what keywords they use in the links, if any. Most of the time those types of links will just contain your web address, which is useful for the fact that it is a link, but not as useful as a link that uses a keyword.

One of my favorite strategies for creating links that contain the keywords I want is article marketing. Write an article related to some keywords, and then place a couple of keyword links in the article resource box to the pages you want to promote. Then distribute the article to lots of article directories. If you want to get more complex (and more effective), you can do something called article spinning, which will result in lots of technically unique articles being distributed rather than duplicate articles. Another way is by posting on others’ blogs with a keyword as your name (but you will need to find blogs that allow “dofollow” links).

I invite you to check out my book, The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book, to learn more about this type of stuff. You can also contact me at Work Media if you would like some more in-depth help.

Multi-Channel Marketing Integration for Law Firms

The process of combining your marketing initiatives into a unified campaign is called multi-channel integration, and it is not just something done by big companies with big budgets. It is also something that you should be doing for your law firm. For clarification, the concept I’m talking about is using email, your web site, social networking, blogging and other relevant channels in an integrated marketing plan, rather than just relying on one or two of them.

To clarify, let’s look at an example. Maybe your web site has an autoresponder form for people to sign up for your newsletter. Autoresponders are high leverage tools because they automatically send a series of pre-programmed messages to those who sign up. The emails you send should be informational and high value, but they can also be used to promote your web site, your Facebook page, or whatever. Your blog RSS stream would be used to update your Facebook page and other web properties. Your blog content will contain references and links to your various other web properties. Basically, everything should link to everything else.

And there is the matter of your offline marketing – print, TV, etc. All of your offline printing should contain at least your main web site URL. There has been a trend in advertising recently to begin a conversation with the viewer with offline advertising that tries to lead him to the advertiser’s online marketing.

For the ultimate example of this type of marketing integration, look no further than everybody’s favorite domain registrar, GoDaddy.com. The TV advertising created by GoDaddy is fun, sexy, and a little bit controversial, and it does a great job of driving the viewers of the commercials to the GoDaddy web site where they can view uncensored versions of their commercials and more Web-only content. If you’ve ever bought anything at GoDaddy.com, you also know that they are the masters of the up-sell (but that’s another story).

The main point to come away with here is that any single online or offline property should not be viewed as a standalone entity; it should instead be looked at as one component of an integrated campaign using properties that all relate and make reference to one another.

I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about this stuff in more detail. Contact Work Media at www.workmedia.net, or check out www.law-firm-internet-marketing.net for more law firm-specific Internet marketing strategies.

A Quick and Dirty 5 Step Law Firm SEO Blueprint

So you’ve got a web site but don’t know how to drive traffic to it? Get in line. You’re not alone. Improving search engine rankings is what I do all day every day, and my company employs many different strategies. We work hard at it, both servicing our clients as well as testing new strategies. The easiest way for you to accomplish getting your site ranked is to hire a company like mine.

However, maybe your resources are limited or you’re just a glutton for punishment. If that is the case, I am going to give you a super quick technique for creating a blueprint you can use for getting your web site ranked for a particular keyword.

Step 1. Do a search in Google for your target keyword. Avoid overly generic or broad keywords like “attorney.” Your keyword should be specific to your target market, such as “St. Louis criminal defense attorney.”

Step 2. Click on the top listings that represent real competitors (i.e., competing law firms in your market, as opposed to law firm directories or portals). Look to see if the keyword is used in the title, how many times it is used in the body copy, and where else it is used.

Step 3. Tweak your front page to match the criteria discussed above. Optimize!

Step 4. Go to search.yahoo.com and do a “link:” search for the top sites for your keyword. Your search query will look something like “link:www.website.com.” This will give you a good idea of the minimum number of links you need pointing to your site.

Step 5. Now get ready to do some work. Build a catalog of links to your web site as large or larger than your competitors.

Certainly, we’ve glossed over a lot of details. Anything you need to know is contained somewhere in print or online. If you are willing to put in the work, you can learn how to run a campaign like the one described here. Of course, you can always take easier route and hire a company like Work Media.

Law Firm Marketing Success: Measurement is the Key

So how do you know what marketing strategies you should be using to promote your law firm? You have many options. You can do paid search and SEO (both of which I highly recommend), TV advertising, radio, newspaper, Yellow Pages, and the list goes on. You might start by finding out what marketing methods are working for other successful firms in your market.

One problem is that the strategies used by your competitors may not be the same that work for you. If you really want to find out what works, the only sure-fire way is to try different strategies and carefully track the results of each. You need to make a direct connection between the leads you generate and the marketing that generated those leads. You can measure performance by using a special URL with different advertising campaigns. For example, a print ad in a newspaper might display a URL like “www.myfirm.com/special”. Then checking your web site stats for traffic to that URL will give you an idea of how effective the ad is.

There is one flaw in this technique. Some viewers of the ad will not use the full URL, instead just typing your root domain name. This is at least a starting point. Displaying a different phone number for each ad is a more accurate way to generate data. Then you can tell which ads are working by how many calls come in for different phone numbers. It’s pretty cheap to do and there are quite a few companies that can provide the service. Just a couple to check out are callsource.com and capturethecall.com. Just search Google for “call tracking” to find more.

Yes, this is a lot of work. But finding the right marketing mix can mean the difference between success and failure for your marketing. And if you’re going to promote, you might as well do it right.

To learn more about online marketing for law firms, check out my book The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book on Amazon.com.

Staggered Distribution of Spun Blog Content

My company uses a strategy that we call “staggered distribution of spun blog content.” Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? At Work Media, one of our specialties is making things sound scientific and complex. Despite the long name, it’s really just a strategy for getting the most value out of your blogging efforts. I believe if you take the time to write something of value, you should get maximum value from it for your law firm promotion efforts. It’s also related to something I blogged about previously, which is using multiple blogs to promote your web site and firm.

In my previous blog post, I stated that you should maintain up to ten blogs focused on your areas of practice. The idea is to use article spinning software to create multiple versions of a core blog post that are technically unique, and use those for updating your blogs. These blogs would be spread out among various blogging platforms and have many different names.

To carry this concept a step further, I also suggest you stagger your blog posts. In other words, rather than updating all of your blog posts on the same day with a similar spun blog post, make the posts over multiple days. Less time is required between updates the more blogs you maintain.

If you are careful, your spun blog posts will each qualify as unique content. However, there is still some risk in releasing many blog posts on the same day that are all very similar. Staggering your blog posts over time closer matches the idea of different humans updating different blogs. It sets off less of a signal.

For more advanced ideas about how to promote your law firm online, check out my book The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book.

Link Swapping Reluctance: Get Over It!

A pet peeve of mine is when someone tells me how to do search engine marketing. I have been doing this for years, have promoted dozens of web sites, have written hundreds of articles and blog posts, and have two books in print on the subject. SEO is what I do.

As an SEO expert, I can tell you right now, unequivocally, that link swapping is a valid link building technique. Until I see that it doesn’t work anymore, my firm will continue doing it.

Here’s what I don’t understand: why do attorneys seem to have such a distaste for link swapping?

We continue to talk to attorneys who question us on the matter; who don’t really want to swap links with other sites. Look, link swapping has nothing to do with having links on your site that you actually want people to follow. It’s strictly for the search engines. Don’t worry about it!

I’m not at all implying that you should rely on link swapping is your only strategy for getting links. Certainly, without a doubt, one way inbound links are better, and you need to use other strategies to get those types of links. But link swapping is one important component of your overall online marketing campaign.

However, to receive maximum benefit, there are a couple of rules you need to follow. For starters, limit the number of links on any particular page to 40 or 50. So you will probably need to have multiple pages. You also need to supply your link partners with very specific verbiage and HTML to use for their links to you. Your links pages do not have to be prominent pages on your site. You don’t need a link to it on your main menu. Place a small text link to your links page at the very bottom of your home page. That will be good enough for search engines to find.

This is a great way to begin the process of building a catalog of links to your site if you are just getting started.

Get over it.

Using Mobile Blogging to Do More with Less

Today I’d like to explore another way to better leverage your time, which is making posts to blogs and social networking sites with your mobile device. This is fairly new to me, but it is a concept that can really save you some time.

For example, if you have a Blogger account, you can send a message to Blogger and they will assign you a code for your blog. The code lets you make posts with your phone. This lets you update your blog no matter where you are, even if you are nowhere near a computer.

Tumblr has another very interesting example, which is the ability to call a phone number and leave a message which is instantly converted into an audio post on your blog. This is a great way to instantly add some audio multimedia to your blog, and all you have to do is speak into your cell phone. Audio and video are excellent additions to your blog.

There are just a couple of examples that I have played around with personally, but you have lots of options for mobile blogging opportunities. Just find the directions for doing it on the platform of your choice and practice it a couple of times. Do it on a regular basis and you might even be able to keep all of your blogs updated without using your computer. It does help to have a phone with a qwerty keyboard.

For a complete search engine marketing strategy for your law firm, check out The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book (for sale on Amazon.com):

http://www.amazon.com/Law-Firm-Internet-Marketing-Book/dp/1440485585/

Time to Go Wide

Go wide with your blogging Wide as in managing five blogs, not just one.

Whoowhee… It’s hard enough just to make regular posts to one blog, much less five.

And what would be the point? For one thing, it gives you the opportunity to be more focused on specific areas of practice. And the process creates lots of content for Google to index. The key to managing five blogs is leverage.

Here’ how to do it. At the start of the week (or Wednesday, or Thursday at 3:00 AM…whenever), create five new blog posts, each between 200 and 300 words, using article spinning syntax and many alternate passages and paragraps. In other words, each of the five blog posts should be written in such a way to serve as a seed article for numerous other technically unique posts.

Next, use article spinning software to create five versions of each blog post. You now have unique content for twenty five blog posts, which you can distribute among your five blogs over a couple of weeks.

It would also be useful to do some keyword research before you write the five blog posts so that you can write them to emphasize some specific keywords. Look for specific, niche keywords that you can dominate. Your posts should also contain a liberal amount of links to your other web properties.

Need help with this stuff? Call me. I’m Jerry Work, with Work Media. www.WorkMedia.net. You can also learn more law firm Internet marketing strategies at www.law-firm-internet-marketing.net.

Using Neurolinker to Build Your Link Catalog

We have been trying out a product called Neurolinker, which is an online service that facilitates link sharing among its members. It could make it much easier for you to generate links to your law firm’s sites beyond link swaps with other law firms. There are other similar services but we liked this one because of the positive comments we read regarding the developer’s support and its reasonable price.

Neurolinker basically facilitates trading links with other sites through the use of a script that you place on a page of your web site. The script automatically displays your outbound links to other Neurolinker members. Some other members running the script will in turn display a link back to your site. Shortly after installing the script, you will being seeing links pointing to other web sites.

You can configure the links to be more or less relevant to your web site. You have access to reports that show exactly what sites are linking to you, so you can make the determination if the links are relevant enough.

The system also has a social bookmarking feature. Basically, you bookmark the web sites of other members, earning “brownie points” as you do. The more points you accumulate, the higher your sites will appear on the list of sites to bookmark for other members. So the more you bookmark others’ sites, the more your site will be bookmarked.

If you aggressively use the system, you can create many new links to your site, both from relevant content sites as well as social bookmarking sites.

Law Firm Keyword Research Comes Before Writing

Do you perform keyword research before writing a new blog post or article? If you do, we applaud you. If not, you’re not alone. Most lawyers (and Web content creators in general) probably do not. But starting today, you are going to do things differently. Starting today, here is what you are going to do when writing content for the Web:

1. You are going to use Google’s external keyword research tool to find a keyword related to your practice areas and markets that receives some traffic and mild competition.

2. You are going to use that keyword in your content title and prominently in the main text, and if allowed, in bold and in a header (H1) tag.

If you do this, you will have a tremendous advantage over online authors who write without regard to keywords. Why? Because your writing will have focus. It will be specific, and it will very possibly rank highly for your target keyword, helping drive traffic to your web site.

We confess: we do not always do this ourselves. If there is something you want to write about that just doesn’t match up with any particular keyword, then go ahead and write it. But the more you write with specific keywords in mind, the more of your content will show up in search engine results pages. And that’s always a good thing.