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SEO for Lawyers-Google vs Yellow Pages and Fridge Magnets

We’re responsible for the SEO for Lawyers all over America, some are small law firms, some of them bigger ones, and even some of them are considered celebrities as they appear on many of the national cable news stations.

It seems to be an industry that is divided. Old school vs. New school.

Old School Law Firm Marketing

Many of the old school law firms hold on to the marketing that they’ve been doing for decades. Pick up your local Yellow Pages and there’s a good chance that the outside back cover ad has been bought by a law firm. Drive down the highway and many billboards still carry the messages of law firms in your city – often with a serious looking picture and a message of hope should you ever require their services. The refrigerator at my house has a Law firm  magnet on it, it’s been there for about 3 years and for the life of me, I can’t tell you the name of the company that’s on it, even though I look at it every day.

Even older school law firms rely almost entirely on their network of contacts. I don’t think anyone can argue that ‘who you know’ can certainly play a major role in effective marketing for lawyers. However, the term ‘network’ in 1980 has been replaced by a more advanced technological definition of what that word means.

New School Law Firm Marketing

The single biggest difference between Old School vs. New School has to do with TIMING.

If you think about it – getting more business for a law firm has everything to do with timing. In that regard, I suppose one could argue that at a time of need, a potential client could well go to the Yellow Pages, make a note of a phone number on a billboard, or visit their refrigerator.

That’s not the mandate of this new breed of Lawyers turned marketers who have a different understanding and appreciation of timing. They’re learning where to be and how to be there exactly when their prospects need of them.

I want this article to have a bit more value than to simply say – rank well on Google or make sure you have a LinkedIn account. But I will say, there’s a lot more to SEO than what you might think and there is an ocean between good SEO and shockingly bad SEO.

Let me give you a few examples of effective SEO for Lawyers.

The BP Oil Spill

When this catastrophe hit our nation all of us were bombarded with sickening images of the destruction that seemed to have no end in sight. It was the top story on all the news channels for months. All of that news, video and coverages is, from Google’s perspective – content.

Lawyers from all over America were paying attention to the possible law suits that might result. I know we were, we represent a lot of lawyers.

So when one of our clients made a request that they’d like to be #1 for the keyword phrase ‘BP Oil Spill Lawyer’ – our initial thought was – this is going to be a fight, but we’re up to it.  The two variables that we focused on were Timing and Election.

You see, if SEO is based on content and links, and if the links are something of an election (and they are) then it stood to reason that whilst the topic was bombarded, the election for ‘BP Oil Spill Lawyer’, had not yet been run. In fact, there appeared to be no candidates.

16 days later – our client Doyle Raizner, was #1 on Google for ‘BP Oil Spill Lawyer’. 4 months later they are still #1.

All Things Tampa DUI Law

In early 2010 we were hired by a prominent law firm in Tampa, Florida called Finebloom & Haenel. The partners in that firm are the role model of ‘New School’ marketing. When entering David Haenels office, we were first met with his ‘wall of computer screens’ on his desk. When we asked him ‘what’s going on here’ he replies in an excited manner, ‘it’s where we see everything we’re doing’. His 4 screens keep track of real time chat transcripts, Google alerts, analytics and lead tracking – and this is what they were like before we showed up.

We would learn that they had been paying another ‘SEO’ firm (remember what I said about ‘shockingly bad seo’) for 2 years, who barely had them ranking for any keywords on Google, certainly nothing competitive.

10 Months later – there’s hardly a Tampa / Sarasota / Clearwater ‘DUI Lawyer’ related  keyword or phrase you can put into Google that one of their ‘fightyour.com’ sites doesn’t appear in position 1, 2 or 3 for. And you thought his 4 computer screens were busy before!

pic1The Take Away

Habits are hard to break, and new ones require a lot of convincing to adopt. You need proof – so lets give you a bit of proof. Go to the Google Keyword Tool by using this link here http://budurl.com/GoogleKWTool

Do a search for ‘The Name of Your City + The Kind of Lawyer you are’,ie:

  • “New York Property Lawyer”
  • “Denver Divorce Lawyer”
  • “New Orleans DUI Lawyer”

See those numbers coming up – that’s a small snapshot of what the ‘New School of Law Marketers’ look at every day. From a marketing perspective, this kind of real data will beat old school marketing, hands down, all day every day.