The hard copy phone book is being used by fewer and fewer Americans to locate goods and services. Instead, they start with a keyword phrase on Google, such as "Boston injury lawyer," and are thus "inbound" to your website.
When more and more law firms embrace the medium, it's time to consider what your firm is doing to promote itself online. The best thing about online marketing is that it has a low entry cost and a relatively short learning curve. Know that by using search engine marketing, you can gain nearly complete coverage for your targeted niches in a very short period of time.
For example, if you want to maximise your exposure on Google for the term "Boston injury lawyer," you'll need to assess how well your current website is configured for this phrase. Check for the targeted term on Google, MSN, and Yahoo.
Is your website included in any of these search engines' top 100 results? If this phrase is important to your company and you aren't ranking in the top 100, it's likely that you haven't tried any on-site optimization of your web properties.
Simple fixes such as title tags, metadata, and internal link anchor text will help your site climb the search engine rankings. Is any one of them tailored for your keywords? If the simple fixes don't work, you might need the assistance of a search engine optimization specialist. They'll be able to inform you about other small improvements you might make to your website to improve its search engine rankings.
You'll also need to start actively creating links to your website. Links are the "fuel" that drives search engine results; at the most basic level, the more popular websites that connect to your site, the higher your site will appear in search results for your targeted keywords. Your site will begin to rise in the search engine rankings as on-page updates and links are implemented, resulting in increased traffic.
Pay per click (PPC) ads from one of the major providers should be another important part of every law firm's internet marketing strategy. Google, Yahoo, and MSN are the current providers.
For example, for any given search, Google shows PPC ads under the "Sponsored Links" headline along the right-hand margin (and sometimes the top) of the search results. Advertisers can bid for placement among these supported links on a keyword-by-keyword basis using the Google AdWords software.
When a browser clicks on one of these links, the advertiser is charged for the click, which is essentially determined by the value of their bid. The Google software gives every advertiser complete control over their daily budget and the geographic area in which their ad will appear.
As a result, the law firm will have complete leverage over the PPC campaign's expense and scope.
Clearly, SEO and PPC will help law firms, sole practitioners, and other legal practices get the most attention. These two strategies, if properly applied, will start to push a steady stream of potential client leads to your website.