In The Art of War, Sun Tzu discusses strategy vs. tactics:
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
I often find myself speaking with attorneys about their online marketing only to become mired in discussions about tactics and logistics. Now don't get me wrong, understanding the tactics someone will use to market your firm is important. However, if you do so while ignoring your overall strategy than your odds for success are minimal.
You Need A Clear Strategy From The Start
You can evolve and change your tactics as you move along, but you need a sound strategy from the start. For example, simply getting your website to rank for a few keywords is a tactic, not a strategy. Unfortunately, I speak with lawyers everyday that treat this as if it's the entire marketing plan. Rankings mean nothing if those rankings don't produce traffic. The traffic means nothing if it isn't targeted and producing leads. The leads mean nothing if they aren't eventually turning into new clients and business for the firm.
Don't make the mistake of looking only at the tactics your competition uses. Think about how those tactics fit into an overall, web marketing strategy. Getting a ranking, starting a blog, creating a Facebook page, producing content, etc. are all tactics. These tactics, when executed with a clear strategy, can mean a lot of new business for your firm. Once a strategy is in place, the tactics you use can shift and adjust. You can figure out what's going on and how to make it better. But without a strategy, you will not have a cohesive effort....just a bunch of profiles online and a top ranking for the name of your firm.
The above comment is right on the money. It used to be if you wanted a lawyer you would sift through the Yellow Pages. Now you can have a blog representing your company that is dynamic. It can be linked to Facebook or Twitter for Real Time Indexing (RTI).
Now you can have a blog that is connected to the world and your geo specific area. It is always changing and providing your clients with current and topical information.
Here is fallacy with all of this and those with websites on the 1st page of Google search ought to beware. A blog can over take an authority website on the 1st page. Using a blog like Blogger with a high PR can push its way to the top 5 searches via Google in a very short time. Google Black Hat World and you will see the competition is about 9,930,000. You will see our Hubpage in either the #2 or #3 position. You may also see our Facebook. In fact, on two pages for the keyword "black hat world" we have 7 positions for that client!
Some of you may think that having a blog on the blog on the 1st page is no big deal. Your wrong! Even if you have a website on the 1st page having a blog to compliment it is a very smart and strategic method of getting your competition "off" the 1st page. And that blog can drive traffic to your main site and give Google juice!
I created a Hubpage for a customer and in 4 months that Hubpage has a PR3 and ranks just below the main "authority" site of my customer! That customer is internet savvy and knows the value of creating blogs to compliment his website. In addition the Face book and Twitter accounts also show up on the 1st page frequently. So often he "dominates" the 1st page with 5 or more positions!
One last thing you have to be cognizant about is Google's new algorithm targeting Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Why? Well Google's new algorithm can blindside a website which is not following that them. And new website owners who pay attention to LSI can have their website catapulted not only to the 1st page, but in the top 5 of the Search Engine Results (SERPs), in a short time.
Do not under estimate the value of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 properties arsenal of Search Engine Optimization tools to dominate your competition and drive massive traffic to your website and business. And do not turn you back on Google's new LSI algorithm