How Design & User Experience Affects a Law Firm Website

What makes a law firm site successful? Most will say it’s optimization, some will say design, and a few will say usability. The answer is all three. Individuals are often shocked to learn that both design and usability play a substantial role in how a website ranks on search engines. When designing a website for your law firm, it is important to keep this in mind and not prioritize one of these aspects at the expense of the others.

Why Design and User Experience Matters

When ranking a website on search engine results pages (SERPs), search engines look at more than just the keywords. They also focus on user experience (UX), the combination of design, usability, and value. The reason why search engines rank sites based on UX is because they want to provide only the best results possible to searchers. They do not want to send users to a website that does not provide the information they’re looking for, is difficult to navigate, has poor content or is unprofessional looking.

How Google Measures User Experience

Search engines measure UX and design through bounce rate and time on site. As defined by Google, a bounce is a single-page session on your site. Bounce rate is the percentage of all sessions on your site in which visitors only viewed a single page and triggered a single request to the analytics server. Bounces have a session duration of 0 since there are no other hits that occur after the initial one that would let the analytics calculate the length of the session. For sites whose success depends on visitors viewing more than one page, a high bounce rate is a negative attribute. Search engines may rank a page with a high bounce rate as having low value.

Time on site is the duration of a user’s visit to your site once they have a click through from the search results. Generally, the more time users spend on your site the better. Google measures time on site through the average time on page. Through Google Analytics, individuals can view the average amount of time that a user spends on a particular page on the site as well as the average amount of time that users spend on any one page of the site. Google calculates the average time on page by dividing the total time page (in seconds) by the number of total page views minus the Number of Exits from the Site). It is important to keep in mind that Google is unable to account for the time on the exit page, as there is no next page after that and therefore records the time spent on the last page as 0.

What Can Be Done to Improve Design and User Experience

Both bounce rate and time on page can be improved with design and UX efforts. A few suggestions are listed below:

Text Format
One means of achieving this is by making sure that your website’s content is legible and readable. Website content and blogs should be formatted in a way that is visually pleasing and not laid out in large chunks of text, as it tends to deter readers. The use of big, bold headlines, subheadings, and bullet points make content easier to read. Blogs should include images and charts related to the text, where appropriate. When selecting a font, make sure to choose one that is web-safe and easily legible on a screen such as Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana, Trebuchet, Garamond, or Bookman.

Mobile Matters
In April 2015, Google updated its algorithm to penalize sites for not being responsive. A responsive website is one whose design can adjust to fit the screen of a user’s device, including desktop, mobile, and tablet views. To be clear, if a website is not mobile-friendly it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be hurt in all aspects of its SERPs. A website’s responsiveness, or lack thereof, will only affect its SERPs for mobile users, the reason being that search engines only want to show sites to mobile users that are mobile optimized. Since many people use smartphones to search for services they need, including legal services, law firms should not miss out on the opportunity to make their site tablet and mobile-friendly.

Include a Search Bar
According to a usability study by Neilsen, more than half of all users are search dominant, meaning they’ll go straight to a search button when they enter a website. These users don’t want to spend time searching around a site for specific content; they are task focused and want to get the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

Neilsen recommends having an easily accessible search button on every page of the website. Many businesses will include a search button in their site’s header. Search buttons’ width should be long enough to fit the terms users are typing in. Neilsen recommends a search bar width of 27 characters. Search buttons should have the ability to global search (searching through all areas on the site) and operate using a simple search.

Although Neilsen’s search button rule of thumb is for sites that have more than 200 pages, law firms with smaller sites may benefit from having a search feature on their site. For example, a user who was the victim of a workplace burn injury will want to search for information related to this matter. When the user types “workplace burn injury” into the search bar, a law firm’s testimonials, blogs, practice areas, and recent verdicts that include this search term will come up in the search results.

PR4Lawyers provides a full range of web design, development, optimization, and promotion services to Long Island and New York metro-area law firms. We work with lawyers and law firms to create sites that are visually appealing, user-friendly and have a strong search engine optimization (SEO) presence. To learn more about our comprehensive and customized web solutions, call 1-866-PR4Lawyers or fill out our contact form to request a direct call.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: How to Effectively Deal with Negative Reviews

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. – Aristotle

Client feedback is essential to the growth and sustainability of any business, including law firms. Today, there are more outlets than ever for clients to provide feedback about their experience with a law firm and its attorneys. Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook are some of the most well-known platforms and are very accessible to clients to post reviews. But what happens when a client decides to share their negative experience about the firm or its lawyers on one or more of these public forums? Lawyers who find themselves in that very situation can deal with the negative review effectively by following these tips:

Know the Forum’s Guidelines for Negative Reviews

Facebook, Google My Business and Yelp have similar guidelines when it comes to negative review removal. In order for it to be taken down from the site, the post must be in direct violation of the forum’s review policy. For Google My Business, the review content policies are as follows:

  • Advertising: Reviews cannot be used for advertising, including the addition of links to pages of other websites or listing phone numbers. Reviews should be reflective of a person’s experience and should not be used to manipulate the law firm’s ratings.

  • Spam: There can be no use of spam. The inclusion of promotional or commercial content is prohibited. The same comment cannot be posted multiple times and the person cannot use multiple accounts to write reviews for the same place.

  • Phone numbers, email addresses, or URLs: In accordance with the advertising and spam guidelines, the site does not allow posting phone numbers, email addresses, or links in a review.

  • Off-topic reviews: Reviews cannot be based on another person’s experience, or are not specific to that particular business.

  • Keep it clean: The use of profane, offensive or obscene language is prohibited. Also, reviews that represent a personal attack on others will be removed.

  • Conflict of interest: Reviews should be honest and unbiased. Those who work for the business should not review the organization or its employer. A business owner cannot offer incentives, including money, services, or products, to provide reviews for the organization or to write a negative review about a competitor.

  • Illegal content: Reviews cannot include or link to unlawful content, including the links to purchase, sell or trade prescription drugs, firearms or ammunition.

  • Copyrighted content: Reviews cannot infringe upon another person’s rights, including copyright.

  • Sexually explicit material: Reviews cannot contain sexually explicit material.

  • Impersonation: Reviews cannot be posted on behalf of another person or misrepresent the individual’s identity or connection with the business.

  • Personal and confidential information: Reviews cannot contain personal and confidential information, including credit card numbers, driver’s license information, Social Security number, etc.

  • Hate Speech: Reviews cannot contain content that advocates against a group of people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, veteran status, disability or gender identity.

If the review violates one or more of the site’s content policies, it can be reported to a representative of the site who will review the post, verify or deny that the post violates the site’s policies, and, if the violation is present, take action by removing the post.

Can I Turn Off the Ability to Review My Law Firm on the Site?

The ability to disable ratings and reviews on a business page depends on what forum it is. For Facebook, law firms are able to turn the ratings and review options off by following the steps below:

  • Go to “Settings” at the top of the Facebook business page.

  • Go to the “General” tab on the left-hand side and click “Reviews.”

  • Select “Allow visitors to review this page” or “Disable Reviews.”

  • Click “Save Changes.”

It is important to note that, by disabling the ability to allow visitors to review the page, it will not show the positive or negative reviews and star rating that were there previously. If, at a later time, it is decided that the law firm wishes to turn the review setting back on, all past positive and negative reviews and star rating that were there prior to the setting changes will reappear on the Facebook page.

At this time, there is no way to turn off review capabilities on Yelp and Google My Business. Instead, follow the best practices section of the article.

Best Practices for Effectively Dealing with Negative Reviews

A bad review does not necessarily mean that the law firm itself is bad. A bad review is the result of a problem that happened between a client and the law firm. If handled effectively, not only can the law firm present itself as a professional business that is able to address the concerns of its clients (even the unhappy ones), but it can also help increase the level of client satisfaction for the individual who left the negative review.

Respond to the Review

If a post is not in violation of the site’s review content policies, it is imperative that the law firm handle the situation professionally and effectively. One of the best tactics is to respond to the review. Keep in mind that, on most of these sites, any response to the posted review is publicly shown.

It is best to post a response that is genuinely human, empathetic, apologetic and demonstrates that the law firm does want to make the upset client happy. Lawyers should request an opportunity to make things right by asking them to contact the law firm to discuss the situation further.

Note: Do not get defensive and start listing off all the reasons why the upset client is wrong. Even if the lawyer feels that he or she didn’t do whatever it was to make the client upset, the attorney can still be genuinely apologetic for how the client feels.

Encourage Positive Reviews

Sometimes, the sting of negative reviews hurts less when there are positive reviews present. Not only do positive reviews decrease the visibility of the negative review, but they may sway the interest of potential clients.

If a potential client visits a firm’s Yelp page and sees 100 positive reviews and only 10 negative reviews, they may be more inclined to think those few bad posts shouldn’t deter them from seeking the law firm’s counsel. As many as 84 percent of people say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, according to BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey 2016.

Do Not Take Legal Action Against the Client

Law firms should not retaliate against clients who post negative reviews through legal action, unless the post is defamatory or libelous in the case of false or fake reviews.

Businesses also cannot include anti-review clauses in general contracts. Under the Consumer Review Fairness Act, businesses cannot incorporate an anti-review clause in their contracts, specifically those which are generic and standardized. These types of contracts do not offer a real opportunity to negotiate these terms. This legislation, which goes into effect on March 14, 2017, protects a consumer’s right to criticize a business and prevents the organization from retaliating against them for posting a negative review.

Navigating the complexities of handling negative online reviews can be difficult and time-consuming. Law firms and solo practitioners should consult the guidance of an experienced New York public relations and marketing firm that specializes in social media and reputation management for legal entities. At PR4Lawyers, our public relations and social media professionals work together to develop comprehensive strategies for law firms to maintain and utilize social media to achieve the goals of the law firm and reach their target clientele most effectively. For more information about our services, contact our New York social media and reputation management office by calling (631) 207-1057 or by filling out our contact form.

Ad Spotlight: March Madness

The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, appropriately named March Madness, gets the ball rolling on March 14-15, 2017. According to the International Business Times, 2016’s championship game between North Carolina and Villanova clocked in around 22.3 million viewers.

This year, Turner Networks will continue to share NCAA Tournament coverage with CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. A total of 43 games will air on cable channels, including exclusive coverage of the Play-In Round and 24 games in the First Round, as well as coverage all the way through the Regional Finals (Elite 8).

Altice USA (formerly Cablevision) advertising packages for the 2017 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament are broken up by zone. Each game airs across TNT, TBS and TruTV. In addition to the 43 spots available, Altice Media Solutions will include 100 added-value spots across applicable networks, excluding News 12, competitive sports networks or top 20 networks.

Altice USA NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament packages and prices are as follows:

Zone Package Price
North Nassau $4,039.00
South Nassau $7,679.00
Huntington $2,169.00
Babylon $2,509.00
Hauppauge $6,619.00
Brookhaven $3,359.00
Riverhead $2,929.00

However, there are zone discount rates available. For instance, if you select two zones, there is a 2% discount; three zones there is a 4% discount; four zones, there is a 6% discount; five zones, there is a 7% discount; six to eight zones, there is an 8% discount.

NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament rounds, dates, and number of games/spots are as follows:

Round Dates # of Spots # of Games
Play-In (First Four) 3/14 – 3/15 4 4
First Round (Round of 64) 3/16 – 3/17 24 24
Second Round (Round of 32) 3/18 – 3/19 9 9
Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen) 3/23 – 3/24 4 4
Finals (Elite 8) 3/25 – 3/26 2 2
Total: 43 43

Contact us for more information about these available packages at 631-207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.

PR4Lawyers is a full-service public relations and marketing organization dedicated to helping law firms and lawyers target and connect with their potential and current clients and colleagues. Our New York advertising professionals specialize in the creation and sustainability of all forms of digital advertising, including social media and search engine advertising. For more information about how you can effectively advertise to grow your law practice, call 1-866-PR4Lawyers or fill out our contact form to request a direct call.

Why Facebook Advertising Is Important for Law Firms and Solo Practitioners

As of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook boasts 1.49 billion monthly active users and, during this time, 1.18 billion active users visited the social media network on a daily basis, according to Statista. Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, which means it should be an integral part of any law firm or solo practitioner’s advertising strategy, as it allows you to connect with clients or prospects in a way not seen with traditional advertising strategies.

Less Competition

Although there are 50 million active small business pages on Facebook, only five percent (2.5 million) of these businesses utilize their pages to actively advertise. Many businesses, including law firms and solo practitioners, have yet to tap into the advertising potential that Facebook has to offer. With less fish in the marketing pond, so to speak, law firms and solo practitioners have a greater potential to be noticed than if they were in the very competitive and concentrated local television advertising market.

Less Time

If you’ve ever run a local television ad, then you know what a time-consuming process it is from start to finish. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to write a script, research TV ad spots, shoot and edit the commercial and schedule the appropriate ad times. Facebook cuts this process down to days and enables your firm or practice to have your ad running within minutes upon approval. Even if a law firm chooses to run a video ad, including a 30- or 60-second commercial, it will still be a quicker process, as opposed to television. Facebook video ads automatically optimize for the device on which it is viewed (i.e. desktop, tablet or mobile phone), and Facebook also provides free closed captioning to your videos so viewers in a noisy or professional environment can watch it with the sound off and still receive your message.

More Control

Target Demographics

Unlike print or television advertising, Facebook allows you greater control of your ad’s target demographics. You can target your ad through the following ways:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Location – includes countries, states, provinces, cities, congressional districts, zip codes, or specific addresses
  • Education – includes education level, fields of study, schools and the years in undergraduate school
  • Interests – includes specific interests (such as elder law, criminal justice, immigration law, etc.)
  • Behaviors – includes purchase behaviors or intents, device usage, etc.
  • Connections – audience based on whether they are connected to your business page. You can target an audience based on a particular type of business page they have liked.

Call to Action

Facebook advertisers can input a call to action button below a video ad. That call to action can include a “learn more,” “sign up,” “download,” “apply now,” or “subscribe” button option. Upon clicking on this call to action, Facebook users can be directed anywhere on or off Facebook, such as your website, where someone can opt to fill in a contact form to request more information.

Set a Budget

Unlike TV ads, advertising on Facebook does not require you to sign any contracts besides accepting their own terms and conditions. Facebook advertisers can exercise more control over their daily, weekly, or monthly budgets by spending as little or as much as they want. Facebook advertisers also have the freedom to shut the ad on and off, or make certain creative adjustments as often as they’d like.

PR4Lawyers is a full-service public relations and marketing organization dedicated to helping law firms and lawyers target and connect with their potential and current clients and colleagues. Our New York advertising professionals specialize in the creation and sustainability of all forms of digital advertising, including social media and search engine advertising. For more information about how you can effectively advertise to grow your law practice, call 1-866-PR4Lawyers or fill out our contact form to request a direct call.

Top 5 Reasons Attorneys Should Blog

1.) Search Engines Love Content

If you want search engines to pay attention to your site, the more quality content, the better. Moz.com — a leading resource on effective search engine optimization (SEO) — consistently found that content quality and quantity are among the highest determinants of search engine rankings.

There’s no real mystery as to why search engines reward more, better and newer content. A search engine thrives by giving its users the best, most relevant information in response to search queries.

2.) More Information on Your Website = More Ways for New Clients to Find You

A related element involves the ways your potential clients find you through search engines. Think of what a potential client might be typing into Google when they have a law-related question or need legal services. Basics include things like “New York Divorce Attorney,” “Best New York Divorce Attorneys,” or “Reviews for New York Divorce Attorneys.” You initially cover this territory with good SEO for your attorney biographies, practice area pages, testimonial pages, etc. But these keywords also make great blog topics, such as “How Do I Choose the Best New York Divorce Attorney for Me?” or “Where to Find Reviews for New York Divorce Attorneys.”

There is a second tier of relevant search topics for potential clients which is much broader. Think in terms of what your clients may be thinking about as they face a legal issue in their lives, such as “Is New York a No-Fault Divorce State?”, “New York Child Support Calculator,” or “Is Alimony Tax-Deductible?”  Writing quality articles on these kinds of subjects helps clients come across your firm in a range of different ways. Even if they are not yet looking to hire a lawyer, they have been exposed to your name, your firm website, and the fact that you are generous enough to offer information to the public on your areas of expertise. Your blog topics are indexed by search engines and accessible for years to come.

3.) Your Legal Commentary Displays Expertise and Engagement with Your Field

Besides the search engine value, your articles have another great marketing impact. When referrals or other potential clients check out your website, they see your firm’s expertise, and engagement with, the very areas of law they need assistance with. Attorneys can be displayed as authors, with links to their biographies. This kind of personal connection gives the reader a sense of what it might be like to work with you.

4.) Saves Time and Improves Service

When you write content that answers the frequent and genuine concerns of your clients, you then have a quick and easy resource to point to when those topics come up with prospective clients. These blogs can be used in place of crafting a long email or having lengthy discussions about certain topics. Just share the link to the blog.  Again, this will help reinforce the attorney’s position as a thought leader on the topic.

5.) It’s a Great Way to Announce Firm News, Awards or Cases Won

Just one more advantage of a blog: Firm News, or other prominent, regularly updated sections of your websites, allow you to showcase your firm’s successes. Whether an attorney was appointed to a local community board, won professional accolades, or was cited in the media, posting a little update and sometimes a photo reflects well on your firm and gives your website a dynamic presence.

Trust: The Key to PR’s Success or Failure

Trust in MarketingWhat’s the most important part of public relations? You might think that the answer is in the word “public”—in other words, how wide an audience you can reach with information about your organization. However, an equal amount of attention needs to be focused on the “relations” component of PR. PR is less a set of tried-and-true formulas for communicating with customers, and more a discipline of building trust. The relationships you cultivate with audiences will ultimately determine your company’s success or failure.

This is borne out in recent conversations across cyberspace about the role of “influencers” in social media marketing. According to data from the PR firm Edelman, “customers and prospects want honesty. Ethics. Understanding … It means that in order to convince and convert, you have to get down on the customer’s level and see things from their point of view. It means not being afraid to admit your weaknesses or acknowledge your mistakes.”

As one author describes it, “Influencer marketing is yesterday’s word-of-mouth marketing on steroids.” Interestingly enough, even though 21st-century consumers seem to prefer the “old-fashioned” concept of trust when deciding to make a purchase, the media they trust have shifted significantly. Edelman’s data also revealed that millennials tend to place their trust in search engines and social media more than traditional avenues.

Whether your business uses primarily traditional or online marketing in its approach, it’s safe to say that you’ll see great results only if you use public relations to cultivate trust and build relationships with the clients that matter to you. This will strengthen brand loyalty as people will genuinely enjoy your brand and your product. Some of our most successful clients have already developed relationships with customers who love them and what they do, and it shows.

PR4Lawyers can help your organization develop a comprehensive public relations plan to connect with your audiences. As a full-service public relations, marketing and digital advertising agency, we understand the publics your business is likely to interact with, and we can connect you with influencers who will further help you develop a relationship of trust with consumers. If you have any questions about our social media or other marketing services, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@pr4lawyers.com.

“The Times” Is Changing: Study Shows Increasing Role of Social Media in News Delivery

Social Media Is Shifting News SourcesWhere do you get your news? If this question were asked forty or even twenty years ago, the most common responses would have included radio, television and good old-fashioned newspapers. But the Pew Research Center and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently released a study on news and social media, and the findings reveal a significant demographic shift over the past few years.

Shifting News Sources

The big statistic revealed from this study is that 44% of American adults get their news via Facebook. Yes, 44% of all adult Americans stay informed through the world’s most popular social networking platform. This number represents two-thirds of all adult Facebook users, up from 47% of Facebook users in 2013.

Some other figures from this study are worth mentioning as well. The total percentage of American adults who get their news from any social media network (including Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, and more) is 62%, and almost two-thirds of those usually get it from just one social media network. For journalists and marketers alike, this represents a paradigm shift. While news consumers of a previous generation might have read the day’s headlines in the morning paper, heard additional news on the radio during their commute to work and returned home to catch the six o’clock news on TV, today’s consumers are increasingly likely to get their updates from just one source—most often Facebook. Today, information and advertising are still delivered on a screen, but the screen can be found more and more on consumers’ desks or in their hands rather than in their living rooms.

Shifting Attitudes

Another important statistic: Among Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube users who get their news online, about 60% report that they merely see the headlines while they’re doing other things online; only 40% specifically search the web for it. The Internet has made it easier than ever before for information and advertising to reach consumers wherever they are, even if they don’t intentionally seek it out.

It is impossible to predict whether social platforms will ever completely crowd out the “traditional” media of newspapers, radio, and TV. But in regard to marketing and public relations, organizations can gain valuable information about consumers’ shifting news sources from last month’s report. A thoughtful, relationship-driven approach to advertising is essential to navigating the complex avenues of social media successfully.

If you have questions about how best to promote your organization across social media, PR4Lawyers is happy to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-866-PR4LAWYERS or at johnzaher@pr4lawyers.com.

Advertising with Facebook: An Excellent Way to Boost Your Reach

People are influenced by what they see online. Statistics show that nearly 900 million people log onto Facebook every day. According to one report, one-fifth of all Internet traffic in the United States occurs on Facebook, making it a very valuable method of communication. Traditional advertising doesn’t have the same impact it once did, and the lawyers and law firms who do not utilize social media advertising may be overlooked in favor of more tech-savvy practitioners.

Advertising on Facebook allows you to create a customized audience based on the unique demographics (age, income, relationship, work, job title), interests (“Liked Pages” or “Mentions” regarding specific topics) and behaviors (business purchases, financial purchases, shopping habits, traveling habits) that you want to target your product or service to. Facebook Ads can help you drive online traffic, promote your app, or raise brand awareness by allowing people to get directions to your store, view your video, download your app, or take an action on your website or Facebook page, such as downloading a guidebook or brochure or requesting a consultation. Facebook Ads have different creative options available. You can run your ad as a video, a “static” photo, or as a “carousel,” which contains multiple images that a user has the option to swipe through.

PR4Lawyers has been running several Facebook advertising campaigns for law firm clients, real estate, elder law and estate planning firms. Below, please find a case study for the Emmanuel Jacques Almosnino (EJA) law firm.

EJA Law Firm:

The agency also recently used Facebook Advertising to increase website traffic to an international law firm.

Using Facebook’s targeting capabilities, we were able to reach users between the ages of 21 – 65+ on Facebook who show an interest in the Caribbean island of St. Barth and also expressed behaviors indicating they are involved in travel, leisure, and real estate investments. PR4Lawyers digital advertising and graphics specialists created a static-photo Facebook Ad. Users were then directed to a landing page, which offers more information about the law firm and its services. Users could download a brochure or fill out a contact form in order to reach a representative.

The Facebook Advertising effort enabled the firm to reach more than 275,000 users and resulted in over 16,000 website clicks at an average cost of $0.09 per click. The ad started running in April 2016. Compared to the prior month, the firm saw a 1,235.61% increase in overall website sessions (205 – 2,738) and a 62,125.00% increase in website sessions via social referral (4 – 2,489). It also saw a 129,300% increase in page engagement (1 – 1,294 actions on page) and a 410,933% increase in total reach (4 – 24,662).

If you are interested in exploring a Facebook advertising campaign for your firm contact John Zaher at johnzaher@pr4lawyers.com or call 1-866-PR4LAWYERS.

What Mobile-First Marketing Means for Your Firm

Last month, Google held its Performance Summit in San Francisco, California, where the search engine giant revealed a number of changes to Google’s AdWords and Analytics tools. Some of the highlights of Google’s summit include the development of “Promoted Pins” in Google Maps, changes in ad bidding and a new appearance for ads in search results. All of these developments reveal that Google is moving forward into the mobile-first era while continuing to handle trillions of searches every year.

Google announced that its Maps service will soon include a new generation of localized ads, as well as “promoted pins” featuring local businesses. They note, “Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location,” revealing that “people’s online and offline worlds are colliding.” Since locally-based mobile searches are growing, this is a tremendous opportunity for organizations to integrate their advertisements into the stream of their followers’ lives and to show them that they are located nearby.

The changes to AdWords bidding will allow customization based on the platform of choice —desktop, tablet, or mobile. This alteration is driven by Google’s commitment to pursue a “mobile-first” approach to advertising. The increased customization capabilities for AdWords bidding will allow firms to optimize their marketing for whichever platform drives the greatest response and, ultimately, to reach clients more effectively.

Finally, the “mobile-first” approach to advertising has led Google to reformat the way search results appear to favor mobile platforms. This follows Google’s decision earlier this spring to remove right-hand ads from desktop search results. Expanded-text ads and new responsiveness features in mobile displays further contribute to the versatility and appeal of Google’s world-leading ads program.

Google has published some very helpful information about how mobile searches connect customers to physical businesses. Of course, Google’s search and advertising capabilities have revolutionized the face of marketing in the digital age, and its shift toward a “mobile-first” approach means they are continuing to have influence in this area. The call for professionals in this ever-changing media environment is clear: as Google notes, “accounting for mobile and designing for mobile-first are two very different things.” Mobile advertising and search capabilities offer a promising way to bridge the gap between cyberspace and physical space, as the content users see online pushes them to visit physical locations.

PR4Lawyers is a division of The Public Relations and Marketing Group, a Certified Google Partner dedicated to helping organizations and professionals drive clients to their firms through strategies like mobile-first marketing. If you are interested in any of the services we offer, please contact us at info@PR4Lawyers.com or 1-866-PR4Lawyers for a free consultation.

Bringing Traffic to Your Website: On-page, On-site, and Off-site Optimization Strategies

seo for lawyers and attorneys

These days, it’s not enough to have a beautiful, user-friendly website. It’s also important to consider the site’s existence on, and interaction with, search engines. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to initiate and funnel traffic to your website, and a well-performing website utilizes the right combination of on-page, on-site and off-site optimization strategies.

On-page optimization ensures the optimal mix and frequency of well-researched keyword phrases.  This typically consists of measuring relevancy across items such as page title tags, meta descriptions, header (h1, h2) tags, image alt tags, link title attributes and paragraph text on a single web page.  On-page optimization also focuses on including keyword phrases in the right locations of a web page.  Search engines will prioritize the importance of a keyword phrase that’s physically higher up on the page and tagged correctly, and give that particular phrase more weight when categorizing and ranking your website in organic search results.

On-site optimization focuses on the importance of relevancy across many pages of a website, or the entire site.   An example of this would be a website for a law firm where all topics (including practice areas, blog pages, articles etc.) focus on law-related issues, or anything relevant to the business.  Typical on-site optimization strategies include a rich link structure that connects keywords or phrases to other related pages that may more clearly define the specified keyword phrase.  Ensuring that the anchor text used in a hyperlink is rich with keywords that clearly define what the subject of the destination page is about gives a search engine a better idea as to what the overall site’s theme and category is.  A good example of this would be avoiding a phrase like “click here” as a means to link to another page.  Other on-site strategies would include having a current XML sitemap to help search engines crawl and identify the location of all of your website pages without missing any, using schema markup to better translate information about your organization to search engines (location, hours, type of business), identifying and removing duplicate content to avoid penalties, and using DRY (don’t repeat yourself), lean, compressed (minified) code so that your site loads quickly, giving visitors an optimal experience.

Off-site optimization techniques primarily focus on aspects that can increase the visibility of a website in organic search results by way of factors that are external to the website itself.  This would include social media strategies set to drive traffic and inbound links, obtaining backlinks by use of credible online directories, and ensuring that URLs, address listings, and phone numbers are precise and accurate across all locations on the web.  Also, writing compelling, original, quality content like press releases or blogs that authoritative sites like news sites and thought-leading blogs may want to link to, can help increase your organic search rankings.

A healthy combination of on-page, on-site and off-site optimization is the best approach to increasing visibility for your website. PR4Lawyers is both knowledgeable and experienced in creating successful optimization strategies for lawyers’ websites. Call now for a consultation at 631-207-1057 or email us at info@pr4lawyers.com.