Legal Marketing Questions Answered

Gyi Tsakalakis
September 17, 2013

From time to time, we like to filter our traffic to see what kinds of questions visitors are asking in search engines. Here are answers to some recent questions from visitors to our site.

How do I get rid of negative reviews of my law firm in search results?
If the review isn't genuine, you can try to contact the site directly. Many review sites have a process for appealing fake reviews. However, if the review is genuine, your first course of action should be considering whether and how to respond to it.

You might also be able to push the review out of the top positions in a search result. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Get positive reviews on the same page as the negative review.
  • Get positive reviews on other review sites that appear prominently in results.
  • Claim various social media profiles with your name as the handle (i.e. URL, username, title, etc).
  • Register domains that contain your name and launch basic bio sites.
  • Get published in articles that contain your name (i.e. interviews, etc).

Usually, this is enough. However, if the negative review appears on a highly authoritative page and domain, you may need to take additional steps like building authority to your pages and profiles.

It's also important to keep perspective. Sometimes, even when you're working hard to provide excellent service, some people are going to be unhappy. If an unhappy client leaves a legitimate negative review, spend some time thinking about why it happened and preventing it from happening again. You may even consider responding to the review and discussing what preventative action you've taken.

How do I structure a a legal website with lots of content?

When you're structuring a website, you must put your users first. Obviously, websites can be structured in numerous ways. Think about the nature of your site. What purpose does it serve? Is it a blog? Is it a legal information portal? Is it a marketing brochure for your law firm? Your site's purpose should inform its structure.

If you care about attracting visitors from search engines, you'll want to think about how to make it search engine-friendly. Google provides some helpful information in this area.

The important thing is to think about site structure before launch. Too many people make the mistake of rushing their site to launch only to later make costly structural overhauls later.

What do lawyers spend on SEO?

Some lawyers spend no money at all on SEO. Of course, if they want to earn positions in search, they're undoubtedly spending time. So if time is money... At the other end of the spectrum, many busy lawyers don't have the knowledge or time to invest in comprehensive online marketing initiatives. So, they outsource it. But not all outsourcing is equal. After all, Godaddy sells SEO for $2.99 / month. Others spend tens of thousands of dollars per month.

The issue is less about the actual cost of SEO investments, but rather, their return. And the likely return depends on a variety of factors including the relative competition for the search queries that are likely to generate meaningful traffic and business for your firm.

Before you spend a single dollar or minute on SEO, you should spend some time learning about how search engines work.

What do people look for in an attorney?

People want to know that they are working with someone that they can trust to handle their legal situation. That is why so many people rely on word of mouth referrals from other people they trust.

Trust is complex. It requires competence. It requires a reputation for good work. It requires a reputation for excellent service. It requires investment in relationships.

While this may seem fairly elementary, many lawyers fail at investing in trust-building.

What works for lawyer advertising?

Different advertising methods will work for different lawyers, in different practice areas, in different locations.

I have yet to come across an advertising strategy or medium that works for all lawyers all of the time.

Advertising, in its very nature, is speculative. The key is to measure advertising activities to understand what mediums, ads, etc, are actually working.

Generally speaking, ads that focus on how lawyers assist their clients and distinguish them from their competitors are more effective than those that focus on the attorney and her credentials.

In terms of efficiency, search marketing tends to outperform more traditional interruption-based advertising (i.e. tv, radio, billboards, etc). However, this is not always the case. Again, the key is measurement.

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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