Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Literally hundreds of variables determine where your firm’s website will rank on a search engine directory. One of the most important of these is the existence of new content. Google, Bing, Yahoo and all the others absolutely love fresh material and reward those who consistently update and enhance their sites.
When you stop to think about it, this makes good sense. Like everyone else, the search engines need revenue to survive. They get a lot of this through advertising dollars. The greater their share of the market, the more they can charge advertisers. How do they gain market share? By providing internet users with the most relevant information possible. And what could be more relevant than content that pertains to the latest happenings – whether they are at the firm itself, in the legal community or in the world at large. Further, constant updating and enhancing of the site indicates that the firm is “alive and well.”
The importance of fresh content should be good news to law practices – particularly given the many marketing restrictions on the legal community. And it is especially good news for those firms that are, perhaps less well-heeled financially and not in a position to promote its services through more traditional means.
There are several areas to which the law practice may look to find fodder for such material:
This can include anything and everything that is happening at the firm: new hires, new clients, new attorney accreditations, cases won or any other type of achievement. It might also highlight anything from the restructuring of a particular department to the opening of a new office to the fact that one of the firm’s attorneys has been asked to sit on the board of a non-profit organization.
Happenings in the Business and Legal Communities
The legislature passes or is considering a new law that will affect your clients and/or prospects… A decision has been handed down on a matter in which your firm is not directly involved, but on which you can provide expert insight and analysis… A business transaction occurs that promises to have major ramifications for the firm’s B2B clients… All of these events are potential gold mines of opportunity for the firm to develop new content, establish credibility, provide a service to its site visitors and most importantly, keep the search engine directories happy.
Specific Areas of Expertise
… And by specific, I do mean very specific. The law practice that focuses on personal injury can make some serious hay by developing content dedicated exclusively to motorcycle accidents, knee implant recalls, accidents involving pedestrians or anything else in which they’ve amassed a great deal of knowledge. Similarly, a family law firm can develop extensive content on divorces involving same sex partners or on pre-nuptial agreements. This is as true for the B2B firm as it is for those that target the general public. The practice that offers services related to business transactions can generate great deals of content on those transactions pertaining specifically to franchisors and franchisees. And by content generation, I am not referring to the prototypical web site practice area page that gives a brief summary of what that area is all about and why the firm is so talented in this field. Rather, I am suggesting that the firm develop detailed (though inherently user-friendly) content which actually shows its understanding of that field. It is amazing all that one actually knows about his or her chosen profession when one takes the time to think about it. It’s also how amazing how foreign it all is to the lay person and how much it’s appreciated when information of value is provided. Smart law firms leverage that fact.
…Then post them on your site. This ties in to that mentioned above, but it’s even better when the material’s been published. It is important to note that so many times the same content can be used in a multiplicity of ways. An article can be posted on the firm website, used as a blog piece, or even used as content for an email blast or e-newsletter and promoted through social media.
Announcements & Offerings
By these, I mean the kinds of announcements that prompt inquiries, telephone calls, leads, etc. These can be the promotion of a seminar, the offer of a free informational booklet or anything else that might sway interest in the firm. In most cases, I wouldn’t suggest inundating the firm site with such content, but at times they do make sense…and once again they can only help your firm’s SEO efforts.
In summary, the excuse that there is nothing to add to the firm website or that no good ideas can be generated just doesn’t hold water. In a world where economic conditions make some promotional activities cost-prohibitive, energies directed towards the firm’s site are a good way to market efficiently.