Internet Marketing For Denver Law Firms

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1 Internet Marketing For Denver Law Firms

2 Table of Contents Overview... 3 Google AdWords Paid Search Ads... 6 Google Places... 9 Google Organic Search Other Internet Marketing Options Summary / Next Steps Resources About FlexLeads Page 2 of 22

3 Get Law Firm Clients with Google Search For generating leads, Internet marketing is up to 30 times less expensive than traditional forms of marketing. Internet marketing delivers highly qualified clients searching for legal services that your firm provides. This paper provides law firms with useful Internet marketing information: The 3 main components of Google Search Results and how each can generate clients for your firm How Internet marketing provides high quality leads at much lower cost than traditional marketing Steps your firm can take right now to improve your presence in the search engine results pages Internet Leads Up to 30 Times Less Expensive As shown in Figure 1, the cost per lead for Internet marketing with search engines is up to 30 times less expensive than traditional forms of marketing. Figure 1: Cost Per Lead for Internet Marketing with Search Engines vs. Traditional Forms of Advertising Page 3 of 22

4 Google Search Engine Results The 3 types of search results that attorneys need to be aware of: Google AdWords Google Places Google Organic Search Results (Typically associated with SEO ) Figure 2 illustrates two of the three search result types in a search for Bankruptcy Attorneys Denver Figure 2: Google Search Results for Bankruptcy Attorneys Denver Page 4 of 22

5 Google AdWords: Dominates the listings. 5 of the top 7 results are Google AdWords paid search ads. Google AdWords ads typically appear along the top and right hand side of search results. If you want high visibility for your law practice, participating in Google AdWords is a must. More About Google AdWords Your law firm should participate in Google AdWords and have a strong Google Places: Appears below paid search results along presence in Google Places. the left hand side. Two of the top 7 listings are Google Places results. Google Places results are free and it is important for Denver Law Firms to be well represented within Google Places. More About Google Places Google Organic Search Results: Google organic search results appear so far down the page that they aren t visible in Figure 2. The first organic search result listing is the 11 th overall listing. Searchers have to scroll down to even see the listing. Historically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gets the most attention from Internet marketers. Legitimate as well as questionable SEO techniques are used in an attempt to get search engine listings near the top of the organic search results. The arrival of Google Places has buried Google organic search results. Law Firms would be wise to place more emphasis on Google Places and Google AdWords, and less on SEO. SEO techniques for ranking well in organic search aren t nearly as effective as they once were. Your law firm will be better off focusing on Google AdWords and Google Places. More About Google Organic Search What Should My Denver Law Firm Focus On? If you want to generate local Internet leads, your law firm should participate in Google AdWords and have a strong presence in Google Places. Page 5 of 22

6 Google AdWords Paid Search Ads Google AdWords ads can be purchased to show a relevant ad for your law firm whenever a prospect searches for legal services that you offer. As shown in Figure 3, AdWords Ads appear on the top and right side of Google search results. Figure 3: Google AdWords Paid Search Results Page 6 of 22

7 How Google AdWords Ads Work: 1) A prospective client searches for legal services your firm offers 2) An ad for your law firm appears that matches the services your prospect is searching for 3) The prospect clicks on your ad and is delivered to a page on your website 4) You are charged a small fee when prospects click on your ads Facts About Google AdWords: Very High Visibility For most searches, Google AdWords are at the top and the right side of the search engine results. Google AdWords ads are the first thing that a visitor sees when conducting searches on Google. Quickest Way to Get Traffic Unlike SEO techniques which can take months to achieve results, it is usually possible to get your ad on the first page of search results within a very short timeframe. Prospects Click on AdWords Ads While Google Places and Google organic search results also get many clicks, a comscore study estimated that between 15% and 30% of all clicks on search engine results pages are for paid ads. Better Response Rate than Traditional Marketing With Google AdWords, you reach your target clients at the exact moment they are searching for your law firm s services. When someone clicks on your ad as part of a search, they are a hot prospect. For example, a person in Lakewood has a legal problem that needs solving, they type in a search term, and your advertisement appears. They click on your ad and arrive at your website - ready to be converted into a client. This differs from traditional marketing which is based on interrupting and perhaps annoying - your prospective clients. For example, a prospect is enjoying the Avalanche Red Wings game, and your ad interrupts their enjoyment of the broadcast by bringing legal troubles back into the forefront of their mind. A prospective client is much more likely to act when searching for your services as opposed to when your marketing message interrupts their desired activity. Page 7 of 22

8 Google AdWords Pros and Cons: Pros: You control what search terms trigger your advertisement You have some control over your ad position in the sponsored links area You control what "landing page" your prospective client visits after clicking the ad Quick way to get highly qualified traffic to your website Cons: AdWords can be complex, difficult to learn and to stay current - Google is constantly improving the platform and adding new features You can lose money quickly if you don t know what you re doing Other Paid Search Advertising Opportunities Google search comprises roughly 70% of all searches. You can reach an additional 25% of searchers by using Microsoft AdCenter. AdCenter is AdWords counterpart that shows ads on Bing and Yahoo search results. If you find that your law firm is having success advertising in AdWords, you should strongly consider opening an AdCenter account. Your law firm's ad will show for approximately 33% more searches, and the clicks in Yahoo and Bing are usually less expensive. For More Information The resources section of this document has links to the search engine advertising platforms. From there, you can start advertising your law firm on the major search engines. Page 8 of 22

9 Google Places Google Places is a free local business listing service provided by Google. When someone searches for legal services related to your law practice, your firm s listing in Google Places may appear in the search results. As shown in Figure 4, Google Places results appear directly below AdWords ads for locally based searches. Figure 4: Google Places Search Results Page 9 of 22

10 Google Places Listing There is also a Google Places page for each Google Places result. The likelihood is high that your law firm is already listed and you may even have reviews. To access the Google Places listing for a law firm, you can click on the reviews (if there are any), or the red pin within the Google Places listings. While obviously not a law firm, an example Google Places listing Coors Field - is shown in Figure 5. Figure 5: The Google Places Listing for Coors Field. Note the images and reviews from Google Places Visitors. You'll want to claim your Google Places listing so that you can add important information about your law firm (hours, photos, videos, areas of practice, etc.). Page 10 of 22

11 Google Places Pros and Cons Pros: Cons: Absolutely Free Google Places results appear very high on the page You can upload detailed information about your law firm including an overview, photos, web page link, services offered and more Provides another way for you to interact with prospective clients Participating in Google Places is a must for law firms. It is a free listing, and you will have the opportunity to monitor what is being said about your firm. Google s goal is list all local businesses - including your law firm - whether you want it listed or not You must devote time to monitoring your Google Places page for negative reviews You have no control over whether or not someone posts a negative review (you can however petition Google to have it removed) Other Google Places-like Opportunities The other major search engines - Bing and Yahoo - also have local business listings. Their listings are also free, and it is highly recommended that you get your law firm listed. For More Information The resources section of this white paper has links to the search engine business listings. You can use these links to enter your business or claim your listing. Page 11 of 22

12 Google Organic Search Results When you hear the term "SEO" (Search Engine Optimization), it is generally referring to getting high rankings on the first page of the organic search results. When it comes to local search results for small businesses (and law firms) - the organic search results are often times way down on the page. Searching for "bankruptcy attorney denver", the organic search results don't start until the 11th link down on the left hand side (see Figure 6). It requires a lot of scrolling to even see the organic search results. Figure 6: The First Organic Search Result for bankruptcy attorney Denver. The Effectiveness of SEO to rank well in Organic Search has been greatly hampered by Google Places Listings. Page 12 of 22

13 Should I Worry About SEO and Organic Search Results? When potential clients are looking for your legal services within Denver metro, they will see a search results page dominated by Google AdWords ads and Google Places. The organic search results will usually be at the bottom of the page and your prospects will have to scroll down to see those results. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should ignore SEO altogether. There are sound SEO principles that you should use on your website. These principles can help your website s ranking with Google Organic search and Google Places. Sound SEO Principles for Your Denver Law Firm to Follow Some of the sound SEO principles that you can utilize on your law firm's website are: SEO isn t as effective as it used to be paying big money in the hopes for high rankings no longer works. Instead, follow sound SEO principles and create good content on your website. The efforts could help your rankings in Google Places. Have relevant, in depth content Be an authority for your practice area - be a reference for other firms Update your website with relevant content frequently Code your website properly so it can be easily indexed by search engines The goal is to have great, relevant content on your website. Your website needs to be linked to by other sites as a resource, and you need to have many website visitors who are interested in the content that you offer. A Few Words About the Much-Maligned SEO Industry Your law firm may end up deciding that they wish to turn to an outside source for help with SEO. While there are many reputable SEO companies out there, there are also quite a few companies that have given the industry a bad reputation with their unethical practices. Page 13 of 22

14 If you're thinking about hiring an SEO company, consider the following: Don't deal with anyone that sends you unsolicited - that is SPAM and it is a favorite tactic of a disreputable SEO company Be wary of outlandish claims like guarantees of being ranked #1 - Google controls its own algorithms, SEO companies can t make guarantees like this for popular search terms Look for symbols of trust with the SEO company - BBB or Chamber of Commerce memberships are a good sign Speak with companies that the SEO firm has worked with before Ask what sort of reporting the SEO company will provide to you so that you have quantifiable methods to measure their effectiveness Ranking Well in Google Organic Search Results - Pros and Cons Pros: It is completely free Optimizing for organic search results through good SEO practices can help your website provide better content to your site visitors and help your law firm website rank well in Google Places Cons: Organic Search Results are Buried Beneath Google Places - Prospective clients looking for your legal services aren't all that likely to even see the organic search results. Organic Search results are usually well below Google AdWords ads and Google Places results. No Easy Way to Be #1 - Despite the claims of some SEO firms, there is no easy way to rank at the top of the search engine results page. Google changes its algorithms constantly and is always working to weed out attempts to manipulate the system. Must Keep Content Fresh - It is hard work, but search engines love fresh, relevant content. The more you keep your website updated with fresh, relevant information, the better off you'll rank. For More Information The resources section of this white paper has links to the best SEO practices for the major search engines. The links provided are actually provided by the search engines themselves (Google, Microsoft Bing). Page 14 of 22

15 Other Internet Marketing Options Advertising using Google AdWords and maintaining a Google Places listing is the best way for law firms to get started with Internet marketing. There are other options for your marketing dollars which will be covered briefly in this section. How to Evaluate Alternative Internet Marketing Options When evaluating alternative Internet Marketing options keep two things in mind: 1) Do a lot of my prospective clients use this website? Everyone uses Google. It is therefore a great place for you to promote your legal services. 2) Can I easily measure return on investment (ROI) on my marketing dollars? With Google AdWords, you can easily measure many variables, including the following: Ad spend Impressions (searchers who see your ad) Clicks (searchers who click your ad) Conversions (searchers who become clients) Make sure there are ways to quantitatively determine the actual effectiveness of all Internet Marketing activities. Social Networks Participating in social networks can be a huge time sink. Measure time spent vs. leads generated to ensure you re getting a positive ROI. Promoting your business on social networks can involve either advertising directly on the social network, or on creating content which you share with users on the network. Three of the most popular social networks are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Facebook - Facebook has targeted demographic options and can be a viable advertising option once you've exhausted search engine advertising opportunities. Page 15 of 22

16 Linked In - A social networking site for professionals. In most cases, this likely isn t the best fit for law firm advertising. Twitter - A site where users send out short messages about their activities. A poor option for law firms to participate in when compared to other marketing options. Social Networks Summary Social networks don't offer the same level of targeted advertising, volume, or quantitative measurement as the search engine advertising platforms. Of the social networks, Facebook would be your law firm's best bet to explore for lead generation after all of your search engine advertising campaigns (like Google AdWords) have matured. Paid Business Directories There are business directories on the Internet that provide listings similar to what is offered in Google Places. These directories typically charge an annual fee. The problem with these directories is that they don't get nearly the same amount of search volume as Google - which is the most popular site in the world. As an example, yellowpages.com is the #136 most popular website in the U.S., and DexKnows is #990. Before paying to be listed in a business directory, make sure that business directory receives a high volume of prospective clients for your law firm. Make sure other law firms have received a positive ROI by advertising in the directory. Paid Business Directories Summary With limited marketing dollars and resources, you need to spend your time and money where your prospects are - and that's at Google. Once your advertising campaign efforts at Google have matured, then you may wish to try your luck with some of these business directories. For More Information The resources section of this white paper has links for getting your law firm started with marketing and advertising on social networks. Page 16 of 22

17 Summary / Next Steps Summary Getting Started Google AdWords and Google Places are the first place law firms should turn when looking to generate leads. Google AdWords Benefits: Reach prospective clients at the exact point in time when they re searching for your services Quantifiable ways to easily measure advertising effectiveness Ads for your firm can show on the first page of search results within a relatively short timeframe Google Places Benefits: Free You may already be listed You can monitor what others are saying about your law firm Longer Term After you ve had success with Google AdWords and Google Places, you ll want to expand into other search engines like Microsoft AdCenter. Proceed with Caution Paid business directories and social network advertising can be experimented with after you ve had success with search engine advertising. If you choose to engage in social network marketing and business directory advertising, be sure that you re able to easily measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Talk to other law firms who have used social networks and paid business directories in order to determine how successful their efforts were. Page 17 of 22

18 Next Steps If you d like to learn more about Internet Marketing for your Denver law firm, you have two options: 1) Visit the resources section of this white paper (for do it yourselfers). 2) Contact FlexLeads. Internet Marketing is complex and constantly changing. Advertiser competition among law firms on the Internet is stiff. To learn how we can help you generate legal clients for your law firm in a cost effective manner, contact us using the information below: FlexLeads 9457 S. University Blvd #143 Highlands Ranch, CO Phone: Page 18 of 22

19 Internet Marketing Resources FlexLeads Small Business Internet Marketing Blog The FlexLeads Small Business Internet Marketing Blog is frequently updated with small business marketing tips for Denver small businesses Google AdWords and Other Search Engine Advertising Platforms Google AdWords Microsoft AdCenter Google Places and Other Search Engine Business Directories Google Places Bing Business Portal Yahoo Local Business Listings Search Engine SEO Guides (published by Search Engines) Google SEO Starter Guide (.pdf document published by Google) Bing New Features for Webmasters Whitepaper (discusses Bing SEO considerations) Page 19 of 22

20 Social Media Marketing Links Facebook for Business LinkedIn Advertising and Marketing Solutions Page 20 of 22

21 About FlexLeads Getting Your Law Firm a Solid ROI On Your Marketing Dollars FlexLeads is a Denver metro company specializing in delivering high quality, highly targeted leads to Denver area businesses and law firms. We work very closely with small business owners to generate leads through search engine advertising campaigns. We collect all measures of campaign performance so that we can continually improve your advertising campaigns. We provide this data to you so that you know how much you are spending on our services. You can compare this data against the actual law firm leads that you are receiving from FlexLeads marketing efforts. We provide you all the data you need to make sure you re getting a good return on your investment with our marketing services. We don t believe in long term contracts all of our contracts are month to month. FlexLeads Internet Marketing Services Daily Online Reporting All lead data in electronic format so you can upload it into your contact management system All cost data Other Services Website - Use of a law firm lead generation website (with your law firm s branding) Monthly Reporting An overview of advertising activities for the most recent month Monthly Meetings We meet with all of our clients each month to review past performance and plan for the future Monthly Promotions Each month we work with you to add a new promotion to the lead generation website in an attempt to expand the pool of prospective leads. For More Information Contact FlexLeads for more information. Page 21 of 22

22 About Frank Salvatore, Founder of FlexLeads Frank Salvatore is the Founder of FlexLeads. Prior to starting FlexLeads in 2002 (then called Database Watchdog) Frank was a database developer and database administrator in the IT industry. He holds a bachelor s degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University, and a master s degree in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech. Page 22 of 22

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