1: What are we talking about in this training session?
In this training session we are going to start learning internet strategies. Specifically, we are going to discuss how to be the first result on a search engine results page. In other words, “how to get found first” in consumer searches on main search engines.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, all of us can benefit from taking a moment to research where we show up on the internet. In this training session, we will start by using the tools to determine where you really do rank. Then we will move into the discussion of why this matters to your practice and the strategies you need to incorporate now into your law firm strategic marketing plan.
Absolutely! In truth, your website and your website search engine rankings matter more than ever before when we are talking about getting new clients to your law firm.
The research and statistics that support this statement are overwhelming. Did you know over 75% of all consumers today will not look for an answer to their searched question beyond the first page of search results? Also, did you know they will leave your website if it does not load in under 3 seconds? What about the fact that there is a new generation of internet users – the Smartphone Dependent Generation – that make up 7% of our population and who will only be able to search for you and find your website through a smart device?
Search engines continue to evolve, to provide a seamless interaction between your searches and the answers the internet can provide to them. There is no sign this trend will slow down or that we will have the luxury of remaining in place for a period of time. You need your website to be visible to search engines so you can be there to answer questions first for your potential clients and referral sources when they ask them.
In this section, you will find our recent webinar on this topic. We have a clean recording for you right here to watch in case you missed the live session, available to you 24 / 7 / 365. Want to look at our calendar of live educational training sessions? Click this link to look at what training sessions are coming up on the education calendar.
4: Highlights from the Practical Technology Webinar!
We have the highlights from the webinar right here! This section has our favorite parts, attendee’s favorite sections, and the take-aways we think you should have on-hand. Check out these excerpts from the transcript:
“Search engines are what we’re going to dive into and getting you found first there. So often, people don’t realize and lawyers don’t realize how important that is for your practice growth and to have an eye on for your practice future. Right off the bat, I thought before we even get into the details of the presentation, we would answer what we’re doing. Really here, we’re talking about search engines. If I slip into jargon a little bit and use the term SE, just know that SE stands for search engine for the purpose of this presentation and overall…
Moving forward, what are we talking about today? What is our goal in what we’re discussing today? We want to know how to be found first on search engines. That’s what’s crucial for us today. We really want to know what’s going to get us found first and what’s going to move us forward. We want to talk about why it matters to your law practice. In everything that we do, from the practical, customizable approach, we want to talk about why it matters for and what our points are for you.
That’s really how this matters, and it doesn’t matter what your neighbor is doing or your friends down the street, but why does this impact your practice because if you decide to use it when you go forward, what really matters for you and where do you want to spend your money and your time and really put your investment in. It’s not always the same for every practice, so we want you to really have a good foundational understanding of how you can raise yourself up to be found first.
Then we want to make that decision per practice and for each of us, that unique customized decision of what are we going to focus on because everyone’s marketing plan is different. The marketing plan that works for your neighbor may not be the one that works for you. We want to decide what is your message and how do we best get that out there. If we are going down the strategic marketing plan approach that integrates with an integrated digital marketing campaign for taking things forward into the digital marketing arena, which is in very much where most law practices are going, we want to make sure you have all the practical tools at your fingertips to know how that’s working…
We really want to know if we’re being found first on search engines. As a marketer and a tech person, one of the things that is one of my pet peeves is that when you don’t truly know how to look at your baseline. With everything that we’re doing here, it is crucial that you know your baseline. Where are we starting from? What is your ground zero? Because we can’t really assess our progress on anything unless we know what our ground zero is. I talk about the marketing plan. I say we need to know what is our historical data for the last three to six months to a year to five years? What do we have for historical data?
When we step into search engine optimization and the marketing there, we need to know what your true baseline is. When someone is searching for an attorney in your practice area, in your community, if they’re searching for your firm name, if they’re searching you by name, for all of these pieces, where do you show up? How many pages in there … How many pages down or how many clicks down are you? Do you show up first? Or do you show up on the 45th page? What page are you on? Page one? Page 45? Page 10? Page three?
So often, my pet peeve is I come in to working with law firms and for years, they’ve been told by the marketers they work with that they’re on page one. They’ve never been trained to really figure out if they’re on page one and for which parts of their practice are they not on page one or are they on page one? With their name, their firm name, their location, their address, their brand, they’ve never really been trained how to do that (we are going to show you how here)…
With that training under us, why does it matter? Why are we doing what we’re doing? Why are we having this conversation today? The truth is it’s because it’s about business. More and more and more, and it’s not slowing down, people find businesses through digital marketing. That is where your clients are coming to you from. We really have to have an eye on now and and an eye on the future. The longer that we progress in an electronic age, and there’s no sign that it will slow down, this is becoming more and more important.
You need to be found within a search engine search to get business to your, to get clients to your business. We all know you need a steady stream of clients to be able to keep your doors open, to be able to continue to have the law practice that you love and care about. You want clients who are in need in your services. That’s the trick to all of this. It’s not really a trick but that’s the catch. You not only want a steady stream of clients for your business. You want clients who are in need of your services and what better way to get them is by pre-education…”
We want you to showcase yourself as the expert through your electronic presence, that is at the core of this training session. It may require you to change your thinking on your website. Your website is a validation tool to your audience today and is one of the first things any consumer looks at. We want you to change your thinking to your website as your business card. The “must have” piece that you virtually hand out to everyone who could become your client or send you business.
This is your first impression piece that wears so many hats including, but not limited to, being your business card, your welcome packet, and your frequently asked questions brochure. Your website needs to reflect who you are and what you do, while being easy to navigate. Ease of use is crucial so people aren’t frustrated by it and then do not choose to hire you.
Beyond the content, which is crucial, it also has to the work well with the internet to get you ranked first on search engines like Google. This is where we need you to look at the tech side (often called the back-end) of your website. How is it set up to interact with search engines? Will it be easy for the search engine to find content to answer consumers questions when they search? Have you submitted a site map? Are your pages optimized for SEO?
Do you have analytics set up to know what happens when a visitor comes to your website? Remember, search engines are still the number one driver of traffic to websites. The majority of visitors to your website may be coming from a search engine and analytics can give us this data. You need to be set up from a functionality perspective to capitalize on this strategy you are investing in.
6: How should you build local search engine presence?
You want to know where you rank when it comes to your local search engine optimization. The majority of consumers use professionals who are within thirty miles of their home.
When you perform this search be sure the internet will not recognize you and give you positive, yet often biased, results. When you search yourself in this capacity you want to use your web browser’s private browsing feature. This is typically found in the search or settings features found in your brower’s action panel. Different search engines call private browsing by different terms. For example:
ME (Microsoft Edge) and Internet Explorer (IE) call it InPrivate Browsing
Mozilla Firefox calls it Anonymous Mode
For Google Chrome, it is an Incognito Window descriptor
Remember, a majority of your clients will look for and use an attorney within thirty miles of their home. Knowing this, how are you ranked when it comes to several keys areas, including:
All of your practice areas (search each one for your firm)
Your legal services
Your frequently asked questions
Your name (and the name of any of your associates and/or team members)
Your law practice’s name
If it’s easier, don’t forget we can also run a complimentary audit for you at no charge. Just email us at [email protected] to request one.
7: Five Strategies that Improve Your Ranking When Added to Your Strategic Marketing Plan
In our training session on marketing plans for your law firm, The Strategic Marketing Plan Your Law Practice Needs, we discuss that your digital marketing should be 25% of your overall marketing strategy. How do we take what we learned in that training session and apply to what we just learned here?
The result is five strategies that you can use to improve your rankings for your law firm on search engines. Specifically they are:
Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Each of these strategies has a role in your law firm marketing plan and, often, they overlap together. For example, you may be creating organic content for your law firm website. This could take the form of descriptive text-based content on your website such as your Frequently Asked Questions webpage or on your blog posts each week. From there, you would make sure the content is optimized for search engine optimization for both local and global purposes, and publish it to social media.
8: Additional Resources that accompany this Practice Development section
Whenever we have a training session, we find it gives rise to numerous other topics and resources that can significantly help you in your law practice. Here is our list of additional materials you may want to consider that accompany Strategies that Get Your Found First training section. These resources may have been mentioned during the training directly, plus a few we know can be of assistance based on questions from our clients.