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Online Advertising For Lawyers

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Overview of online advertising options for lawyers. Presented at the California Bar meeting in September, 2009.

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Online Advertising For Lawyers

  1. 1. The Cyber-Savvy Attorney September, 2009 Steve Lombardi CEO ExpertHub ©2009 ExpertHub
  2. 2. About Steve Lombardi • CEO of ExpertHub – ExpertHub is a network of 60 legal websites • 10 years of Internet Marketing experience – President, Firstlook: portfolio of 700,000 domain names – Chief Marketing Officer, VendareNetblue • Display network • Affiliate network • Lead Generation network • Incentive marketing • Purchased $6MM of Internet media each month – Founded TheMan.com ©2009 ExpertHub
  3. 3. Internet Marketing Overview SEO/SEM Consumers Lawyers Directories Blogs 110 million searches 1.2 million lawyers each month Social Media ©2009 ExpertHub
  4. 4. Golden Rules 1. Choosing one vendor/approach/site to do your online marketing is a mistake – Many are symbiotic, even if they are competitors 2. Use cost and results to prioritize – Remember to value your time 3. Have realistic expectations – “You get what you pay for” applies ©2009 ExpertHub
  5. 5. Anatomy of a Google Search Results Page Paid Results Highest yielding advertisements for keyword (up to 11 per page) Organic Results Most relevant web pages per Google’s algorithm. (10 per page) Local Results Local business results (if appropriate) from Google Maps. Video Results (Not Shown) Video search results News Results (usually youtube) if News results (if appropriate) from appropriate Google News. ©2009 ExpertHub
  6. 6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Generating visitors to your website from organic listings on search results pages • Basic SEO is necessary to be found online • Advanced SEO is cost-prohibitive for most • Although visitors are “free,” consulting/resource costs are high ©2009 ExpertHub
  7. 7. Basic Elements of SEO Page Title Search-friendly URL Internal Links Heading “Tags” ©2009 ExpertHub
  8. 8. Google’s Organic Search Results SEO Tips • Page titles, URL’s, etc that directly match the keyword phrase are more likely to be ranked highly • Google bolds the keywords in the search result listing that match the keyword phrase, affecting the click thru rate • Click thru rate is one measure that Google uses to refine their results # of Web Pages that “match” keyword phrase Page Title Meta-Description Search-friendly URL ©2009 ExpertHub
  9. 9. Inbound Links: How Google Determines Ranking The value of the link is Link-building Tips based on the quality of • Fewer, high quality links will generate the site (PageRank) . . . . better results • Anchor text is very important . . .and the anchor text • Once on your site, internal links to other of the link . . . pages on your site will help build your To determine which search rankings order to display the results ©2009 ExpertHub
  10. 10. Additional Resources • Google’s Webmaster Guide – Published by Google (.pdf document) – Search for “webmaster guide” on google) • SEO blogs ©2009 ExpertHub
  11. 11. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Generating visitors to your website from paid listings on search results pages • Results are fast • Can outsource campaign management • Cost per lead is very high ©2009 ExpertHub
  12. 12. How Paid Search Listings Work • Google charges you every time someone clicks on your ad (CPC) • Your bid is entered into an auction – you pay $0.01 more than the next ad. • Order is based on Google’s yield Yield = Bid Price * Click Thru Rate – Rewards advertisers with higher CTR’s (brands, local advertisers) ©2009 ExpertHub
  13. 13. Managing Paid Search Cost Per Lead = CPC x Lead Conversion Rate Keyword Bid Prices Click Through Rate On Ad Copy Form or Phone Call Submission Rate ©2009 ExpertHub
  14. 14. Additional Resources • Google’s Sandbox for Traffic – Gives you volume and price estimates for keywords – https://adwords.google.com/select/TrafficEstimatorSandbox • Keyword Generation Tools – Wordtracker – $329/year or $59/month • Outsourced Providers – ReachLocal, Yodle, Dex • Blogs on Paid Search – http://searchenginewatch.com/ ©2009 ExpertHub
  15. 15. Directories and other legal websites Websites that list lawyers to help consumers find a local lawyer • Highly trafficked legal websites • Provide legal information and list lawyers • Effectiveness varies widely ©2009 ExpertHub
  16. 16. Directory Examples Most directories offer premium advertising Some directories list everyone, some list many and others are more limited. ©2009 ExpertHub
  17. 17. Directories: Calculating ROI • Directories offer different ways to connect you with consumers – Phone number – Links to your website – Contact forms • Evaluating a directories performance requires tracking technologies, including – A directories reporting – Google Analytics (website) – Separate phone numbers ©2009 ExpertHub
  18. 18. Considerations When Buying a Directory Listing Factor What You Should Look For Traffic/Lead Source • Organic search traffic is best • Paid search traffic is ok • Watch out for recycled leads Web Presence • Profile pages help you get found when consumers search • Look for back links where you can control the anchor text Other Features • Content syndication can augment your SEO efforts • Good reporting will help you evaluate performance ROI • Your cost/lead must fit with your practice’s economics • Usually need 3-6 months to evaluate, possibly longer if you are looking for “big” cases ©2009 ExpertHub
  19. 19. Blogs A genre of website where entries are displayed in reverse chronological order • Great way to establish thought leadership or your firm’s brand • Technology is readily available and cheap – Blogger, Wordpress, Movable Type • Biggest challenge is getting readers (and clients) ©2009 ExpertHub
  20. 20. Blog Overview RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Helps Posts are displayed in with generating both reverse chronological readers and back links. order Blog posts can be organized by “tag” User comments make the blog interactive Sharing technology helps readers distribute your blog posts. ©2009 ExpertHub
  21. 21. Questions to Answer Before You Start Question Answer What should I write about? Your blog should have a clear editorial mission • Your expertise (category of law) • A topic that interests you If you have two distinct topics to write about, create 2 blogs! What do I write? • Original posts (500-600 words) – Original posts are best for targeting search traffic • Comment on other posts (50-75 words) – Great way to make other bloggers aware of your blog How much time does it take? • 2-4 hours/week minimum How often should I post? • 1-2 posts/week minimum ©2009 ExpertHub
  22. 22. Additional Resources • Blogger’s Legal Guide – http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal ©2009 ExpertHub
  23. 23. LinkedIn/Facebook Tools to manage your relationships online • Get updates on friends, colleagues, share photos, etc • Businesses can have their own pages and connect with consumers ©2009 ExpertHub
  24. 24. LinkedIn Public View Public View • Online resume (work experience, interests, group memberships, etc) Your View • Shows your connections • Lists recommendations Your View • View updates (keep track of your connections) • Join groups, engage in discussions • Post Questions/ Answer other’s Questions • Add connections, edit your profile, etc. ©2009 ExpertHub
  25. 25. Facebook Business Page • Can create a page for your business that anyone can access (post updates to your wall, upload photos, start discussions • Consumers can become “fans” of your business • Fans receive updates to your business page through their news feed • Major brands create “applications” (like quizzes) that attract fans ©2009 ExpertHub
  26. 26. Twitter A free social messaging utility for staying connected in real time • Answers the question: “What Are You Doing” • Updates are 140 characters or less • Following/Followers – You “follow” the updates of whomever you like – Other twitter users can choose to follow you • Great for networking and promoting, too early to determine effectiveness for client development ©2009 ExpertHub
  27. 27. Twitter Overview “Tweet” history • Status updates • Post links to your blog/website Customize • “Re-tweet” or your profile forward posts • Reply to someone’s tweet View followers ©2009 ExpertHub
  28. 28. Summary Category Costs Time Investment Best For SEO $1,000 - $10,000/month Can outsource Helping existing 2-4 hrs/week if do it clients find you alone SEM $4-25 per click Can outsource Generating new You set monthly budget 1 hr/day if do it alone clients Directories $50 - $10,000 month Minimal Generating new clients Blogs Free - $5,000 set up At least 2-4 hrs/week Building your firm’s brand LinkedIn/Facebook Free Minimal – 2 hrs/day Managing your client base/relationship with other professionals Twitter Free Minimal – 2 hrs/day Tracking news ©2009 ExpertHub