Capturing Clients with Keywords: The Art of Search Engine Optimization

 

We are always on the lookout for valuable content to share on our blog; adding worth beyond case expense financing for our readers.  Today we welcome guest blogger Yvette Valencia.  She is the co-founder and COO of WeDoWebContent.  I hope this is useful to you!

 

Michael J. Swanson,
President and Chief Executive Officer

______________________________________________________________________

 

Capturing Clients with Keywords: The Art of Search Engine Optimization

 

By Yvette Valencia

 

If you’re reading this post, you likely found it in one of two ways: you’re either a subscriber to our blog or you used a search engine, like Google, to find information on “capturing new clients.” If the latter is true, my keyword (or “on-page search engine optimization”) strategy worked. You see, I wrote this article for two reasons: 1) to educate and help you succeed on the Web; and 2) to attract potential clients to my company’s website where they could learn more about our services and eventually hire us to design their law firm’s search marketing strategy.

 

Today I am here to tell you that you can do the same for your law firm. When you research and use the terms your ideal clients are using to find information on the Web within your Web content, you increase your chances of being found. And, when you write truly informative pages, ones that give your readers valuable takeaways, you will earn your stripes with Google and be rewarded with top spots on their search results pages (referred to as “ranking”).

 

During my presentation at the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association’s monthly luncheon, I revealed the biggest mistake most lawyers make with their legal marketing strategy and offered tips on creating a loyal fan base for the purpose of expanding their firms’ reach and increasing referrals. Now I’m ready to discuss one of the most powerful components of search marketing: keywords.

 

If you took the time to identify and develop a niche for your business and are taking the necessary steps to grow your practice, you will have a good idea of how your ideal clients search for information on the Internet. So if you want to continue building your list with similar clients, you should start by looking to your current clients for keyword inspiration.

 

Get Into Your Clients’ Heads

 

Conducting interviews with past clients can help you better understand how they search for legal resources on the Internet. Some questions you could ask are:

 

  • When you were searching for a personal injury attorney, what was more important: 1) their office location; or 2) their specialty or exclusivity in handling cases similar to yours?
  • How did you initiate your search? Did you believe you had a viable legal issue and knew you needed an attorney and therefore started your search there, or did you set out to learn whether or not you had a legal issue?
  • If you received a referral from a friend or family member, did you first research the attorney or firm online or did you contact the attorney without researching?
  • Did you search for lawyers that handled the type of accident in which you were injured or the specific injury you suffered?

 

Conduct Research & Analyze the Data

 

More and more people are using search engines like Google and Bing to find products and services on the Web. By analyzing what your prospective clients are looking for and how they are searching for it online, you will increase the chances of your website appearing on the first page of their search results.

 

You’ll want to start by gathering data from your website’s analytics service, as well as using a couple of independent keyword tools available on the Web. When you work with data that is accurate, you move away from assumptions and the dreaded possibility of wasting a lot of time and money.

 

Keyword tools allow you to evaluate the performance of millions of search terms – an essential step for creating the best keyword list for your business.

 

Google AdWords is a free and pretty robust keyword tool that provides the popularity and competition level of a specific keyword, as well as related keywords. You should be expanding your focus beyond the original keywords you research and open yourself to similar search topics – synonyms are great!

 

When coded properly into your website’s off-page code, Google’s Webmaster Tools and Analytics will track your domain’s performance and offer a treasure trove of information. In other words, from these tools you can gather up-to-date data about your audience, traffic sources, content, and conversions. In some instances you will be able to see the keywords that were responsible for drawing in new and repeat visitors, and which of them also led someone to buy your products or enlist your services. You’ll want to continue to promote these keywords within your Web content so as to not compromise your rankings and the ability to generate leads.

 

SEMRush is a paid keyword tool that’s definitely worth the price. You can track the performance of your chosen keywords over time. And, the reports you can generate will take the guesswork out of determining whether a keyword will be beneficial to your content as far as attracting potential clients.

 

You can generate lists with hundreds of keywords using these tools, but the real trick is knowing how to choose and target the right ones.

 

Evaluate Your Keywords

 

 

The keyword lists you generate during the research phase of your Web content strategy are only suggestions of what MAY work. To truly unearth the money-making keywords, you have to evaluate these keywords based on the following three points:

 

#1: Relevancy to your website. Ranking for a keyword that is completely unrelated to your company, your products, or service is completely futile. For example, a personal injury law firm has no business ranking for the keyword “teen pop star” unless it only represents celebrities like Justin Bieber. This will only lead to meaningless website traffic and do nothing for your firm’s bottom line. Instead, focus on the keywords that are closest to the end of your sales cycle so you can increase your chances of generating leads and gaining new clients.

 

Quality over quantity is the name of the game.

 

#2. Popularity in terms of web traffic and conversion potential. While keywords with high search volume can drive traffic to your website, they may not do much in the way of converting visitors to clients. This is why keyword research is critical to the success of any online marketing campaign.

 

A visitor to your website is just another notch on your Web traffic belt. You’re better off paying attention to the keywords that have the best conversion potential. Before you put all of your eggs in the expensive, high-competition-keyword basket, test the effectiveness of your business’s most important phrases with some pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

 

If your chosen keywords are generating Web traffic and new leads, you know you’re on the right track.

 

#3: Competition to rank for the keyword. While it’s great to want the #1 spot on page one of Google for “personal injury lawyer,” it’s highly unlikely that your law firm will gain this position using only organic marketing methods.

 

Your organic marketing efforts will consist mainly of a Web content strategy that ethically infuses both the keywords and synonyms your target audience is using to find the topics that interest them. Unlike paid advertisements, which I will go into shortly, the Web pages you create are indexed by the search engines, which means they will exist on the Web forever and will be served to the searcher every time your page meets their search criteria at no additional cost.

 

Knowing the competition level of a specific keyword will allow you to determine what it will take to rank for it and whether or not you are willing and have the budget to jump through those perpetual hoops.

 

Be Open to Pay-Per-Click Advertising

 

Most times, acquiring and/or maintaining a top position for a highly-competitive term means you will have to engage in a lengthy and expensive pay-per-click campaign.

 

The Beatles said it best in their 1964 chart topper “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” but it can buy you a spot on Google’s search results pages. Through the search engine’s AdWords program, Google allows businesses to buy ad space on page one for the keywords they want to target, but this is a costly option, especially for attorneys whose top search terms typically range from $50 to $80 per click.

 

In highly-competitive geographic areas, like South Florida, Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California, for example, engaging in pay-per-click advertising is necessary for the long-term health of your online presence. However, in other, not-so-competitive areas, you can get away with engaging in a modest and temporary pay-per-click campaign meant to accelerate your website’s exposure and ranking, as well as complement your organic (non-paid advertisements such as landing pages, informative articles, and blog posts) efforts.

 

The one advantage to pay-per-click advertising is that you will find out very quickly whether or not a highly-coveted term is actually a money-making term. If it’s not, you can drop it from your campaign and invest your money in another term that will actually generate qualified leads for your firm.

 

Get Organized!

 

A smart and savvy businessperson is always organized. Microsoft Excel can be your best friend when it comes to organizing and tracking your keyword placement once the research and evaluation phases are complete.

 

You’ll want to develop a keyword matrix that has separate worksheets to group related keywords. For each keyword, keep notes on their popularity and competition, as well as when, where, and how you used them within your pages.

 

Discover How We Do Web Content Can Boost Your Online Presence

 

There’s no doubt that developing a keyword strategy for your website is a daunting task, especially when you have a successful law firm to run! Don’t take up your valuable time researching keywords when We Do Web Content can do the work for you!

 

Get started on one of our SEO plans today. Call 888-594-5442 or complete our online contact form to speak with our sales director about all of the services we offer to grow your practice.

 

 

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Jim Orr Interview – Part Three – Table Saw Safety

 

Click on the video to watch part three of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Jim Orr of  Heygood, Orr & Pearson in Irving, Texas.

 

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Doubleheader Case Victories for The Brady Law Group

 

Congratulations to Attorney Steve Brady and his firm The Brady Law Group on two (2) recent, fantastic settlements in separate rear end motor vehicle accident cases.

 

(Yost-Torres) In the first case, the plaintiff was stopped in traffic when the defendant driver who was reading a map while driving struck the rear of another vehicle that then struck the plaintiff’s car.  Liability was admitted and the case proceeded to trial on damages and causation of injuries.

 

Within a day of the accident, Plaintiff had symptoms of back pain and inability to void her bladder.  She ultimately had two (2) electrical stimulators implanted in her body.  One for back/leg pain and one for bladder control.  She walks with a cane, is unable to fully void her bladder and must self-catheterize 3 times daily.   At mediation approx. nine (9) months prior to trial, defendants offered $80K to settle the case.  On the eve of trial, a settlement was reached of $1.5M.

 

(Kreitler) In the second case, Mr. Brady’s client was the victim of a violent rear end collision caused by a loaded tractor-trailer traveling in excess of the speed limit which crushed the plaintiff’s vehicle, rolled it down an embankment and left her trapped inside, upside down. Liability was not contested in this case either.  Discovery and proof again proceeded on damages and causation.

 

Plaintiff was initially treated surgically for debridement and closure of her right ankle injury.

 

The plaintiff sustained a number of injuries and was ultimately diagnosed with persistent post-concussive syndrome, vertigo and a very severe case of thoracic outlet syndrome.  She also suffers from significant cognitive impairment and as a result of all her injuries, will not be able to return to her job as a chaplain at Mercy Medical Center.  This case settled during the trial for $1.1M.

 

The citizens of California are lucky to have an attorney like Mr. Brady working every day to see that justice is served for people who are injured due to the negligence of others.  Click here to review a sampling of Mr. Brady’s trial results.

 

CONGRATULATIONS to Steve and his clients for a job well done and justice served!

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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Law Firms Using QuickBooks® – Setting Up & Tracking Case Costs

 

In a recent blog post, Advocate Capital, Inc. President and CEO, Michael J. Swanson shared with readers, “Recent Ruling Confirms That Case Expenses Are Loans, Not Expenses”.    According to the IRS ruling, costs paid on behalf of a client are to be treated as a loan to your client or in accounting terms, an accounts receivable item.   If you’re just now getting on board with the proper accounting of case costs or if your accounting team has been struggling with implementing the proper set up, great news, we have resources to help get you on the right track quickly and easily.

 

If you are like many law firms across the country using QuickBooks as your law firm’s accounting solution, you’re in luck! There’s a wealth of information and resources available to meet the specific accounting needs of law firms who use QuickBooks, including information about how to properly set up and track client case costs.   If tracking this information correctly and efficiently seems overwhelming, here are a few resources to help you get started quickly:

 

QB Seminar Systems, a network of QuickBooks consultants, is one resource and provides the following:

 

How to Setup QuickBooks for Law Firms

 

How to Setup a QuickBooks Chart of Accounts for Law Firms

 

The Sleeter Group, a network of consultants providing software consulting services for hundreds of businesses across the US, many who use QuickBooks as an accounting solution, recently posted the following two articles related to QuickBooks for Law Firms:

 

QuickBooks for Law firms:  Setup

 

This article is a great resource for first time set up using QuickBooks.  It can also help you re-think your existing set up and enhance both quality and efficiency in reporting.

 

QuickBooks for Law Firms: Time, Expenses and Invoicing

 

If you don’t track attorney time, simply skip to the section that discusses step-by-step help for the proper tracking of case costs/client expenses in QuickBooks.

 

Let us know if you find these helpful or if you have other resources you would like to share with our readers.    We’re always looking for solutions to help our friends and clients achieve the best possible results.

 

Lastly, if you are an Advocate Capital, Inc. client and would like further support, I am a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor and am happy to help you free of charge.  Click here to reach me.

 

 

Lisa Wagner

Senior Vice President, Client Services

QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor

 

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Advocate Capital, Inc. is Now Providing QuickBooks® Support for Law Firms

 

As seen on Reuters, Market Watch and  Yahoo Finance

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:

Tina Burns, Vice President
TBurns@AdvocateCapital.com

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is Now Providing QuickBooks® Support for Law Firms

A Free Service to All Advocate Clients

 

(Nashville, Tenn. – May 22, 2013) – Advocate Capital, Inc. has expanded the service that it provides to its customers by launching a QuickBooks® support program for its law firm clients throughout the U.S.  The program is being led by Lisa Wagner, Senior Vice President, Client Services.  Ms. Wagner has been helping law firms with their accounting and financial needs for nearly two decades.  She is a CPA and a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor and has been part of the Advocate team since 2004.  During that time she has spent many hours coaching law firms on their back office operations and assisting them with integration to the Advocate Case Expense Funding product.

 

“We believe in the important work that plaintiff lawyers do and love helping them get even better results for their clients through our Case Expense Funding product.  Helping our clients maximize the benefits of QuickBooks® makes them that much more efficient in their businesses and more effective at achieving justice on their clients’ behalf.” said Ms. Wagner.  “This new QuickBooks® support will be a free service to all Advocate Capital, Inc. clients.  It’s yet another reason why successful law firms should join our happy network of customers!”

 

“Although we are a commercial lender for plaintiff law firms across the U.S., I consider us to be more of a technology leader than a lender.  Anyone can make a loan to a law firm, but only Advocate Capital, Inc. has AdvoTrac® We think that providing QuickBooks® support is a logical next step since it is the accounting software most widely used by our customers.” said President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Swanson.

 

AdvoTrac® is a proprietary software platform that Advocate uses to track its law firm clients’ lines of credit on a case-by-case basis.  It’s this case-by-case tracking that converts borrowing costs into reimbursable case expenses that can be recouped by the law firm.  “The cost of borrowing for our clients is zero for the cases that they win or at least get reimbursed for their expenses.  We know statistically this occurs about 95-97% of the time, resulting on a net average borrowing cost of well under 1%.” said Kelly O’Leary, CPA, Vice President, Finance and Administration.  “We are presently tracking over 26,000 cases in AdvoTrac® and the number grows every day.  These cases represent over 26,000 people that our client law firms are helping.”

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is the premier provider of strategic financial products and accounting services for successful trial law firms nationwide.  They serve the plaintiff bar from their headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. and now enjoy a client base that extends nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.AdvocateCapital.com.  For more information about QuickBooks®, visit http://www.intuit.com/

 

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AdvoTrac® is a registered trademark of Advocate Capital, Inc.  QuickBooks® is registered trademark of Intuit, Inc.

 

Attention, Media: For more information about Advocate Capital, Inc., please contact…Tina Burns, Vice President

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Majed Nachawati – Part Three – “Pelvic Mesh” Mass Torts

 

Click on the video to watch part three of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Majed Nachawati of Fears | Nachawati, PLLC in Dallas, Texas.

 

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American Red Cross Disaster Relief

 

Two days ago, the town of Moore, Oklahoma was forever changed by a two-mile wide tornado that touched down and destroyed everything in its path. This story has been told by numerous news channels and on various websites. It is hard to watch the new clips without your heart breaking.

 

Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. has been deeply sadden and moved by this disaster. It was a unanimous decision to do what we can to help the people of Moore. Here in the office we are gathering supplies to send along to those affected. It is hard to imagine having to put your life back together after experiencing such devastation, which is why ACI has donated to the American Red Cross.  If you would like to donate, you may visit the Red Cross’ website here.

 

Stay strong residents of Moore, help is on the way.

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Attorney Roger Booth Victorious on Behalf of Injured Homeless Man

 

In December, 2011, Stewart Lee Kreinke, 63, was riding his bicycle when he was struck by a tractor-trailer truck making a left turn into a driveway.  The Plaintiff’s theory was that the defendant driver negligently turned into the driveway without stopping or ensuring there was no oncoming traffic.   The Defendants argued that the driver did look for traffic before turning.  With liability seeming certain in favor of the plaintiff, Defendants focused on damages.  In particular, they contested the future medical expenses and attendant care because prior to the accident, Mr. Kreinke lived on the street and most likely suffered from a mental illness.

 

The primary objective for Mr. Booth and his team in this case was to reach a resolution as quickly as possible so that Mr. Kreinke, who had no health insurance and almost no money, could enjoy better quality medical and attendant care in addition to improved quality of life overall.  Defense counsel initially represented the available insurance coverage to be $1 million.  However, given the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, the Booth team conducted their own research which revealed another $4 million in additional insurance coverage for a total of $5 million in coverage.

 

The plaintiff’s case was prepared in thorough detail including a life care plan, day-in-the-life video and medical illustrations.  After defense counsel deposed the life care planner,        Mr. Booth served a statutory settlement demand for the policy limits of $5 million.  As the 30-day deadline approached on the demand, the defense requested mediation.  Since the demand was non-negotiable, mediation was declined.  The defense tendered the $5 million policy limits just before the deadline.

 

Upon resolving a number of settlement issues including a Medicare Set Aside and court approval of the settlement because Mr. Kreinke cannot communicate and is represented by a conservator, the proceeds are ready for distribution less than 18 months following the accident.

 

Our hats are off to Roger Booth for not only resolving the case for full policy limits but doing so in an almost unheard of time frame given the contested catastrophic damages.  To read more about the important cases handled by Mr. Booth, click here.

 

We at Advocate Capital, Inc. hold trial lawyers like Roger Booth in the highest regard for pursuing justice on behalf of those injured due to the negligence of others.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

 

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50 Years of Law Practice & Real Trial Expertise Pays Off for Workers

 

The important work that trial lawyers do cannot be overstated as five former employees of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, (LLNS) found out on May 10, 2013 after an Alameda County jury returned a verdict of $2.7MM in their favor following two months of trial.  These five individuals, all long-time employees, were Wrongfully Terminated in 2008 according to the suit filed on their behalf, Andrews, et. al. v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC., Case No. RG09453596 and confirmed by a jury who returned the $2.7MM verdict in their favor.

 

As reported recently by PR Newswire, Oakland’s law firm Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, led by Gary Gwilliam and his team of expert trial lawyers, Randall E. Strauss and Robert J. Schwartz, championed the cause of the these five wrongfully terminated individuals.  These five individual cases were selected as “test cases” from the 130 Plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleging they were laid off in 2008 by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) in a bad faith violation of their employment contract.   In total, there are 130 Plaintiffs with claims against LLNS for age discrimination, in a later phase of the case.

 

Gary Gwilliam has been practicing law for 50 years and has tried more than 180 cases to verdict.  This team has a depth of trial expertise that helped these five hard-working individuals, wrongfully terminated by a big corporation, get the justice they deserved. The important work that trial lawyers do cannot be overstated.

 

Thank you, Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer for championing the cause of consumers like these 130 Plaintiffs, every day!

 

Lisa Wagner

Advocate Capital, Inc.

Senior Vice President, Client Services

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Phillip Miller Interview – Part Three – Former President of the Tennessee Assoc. for Justice

 

Click on the video to watch part three of Mr.Swanson’s recent interview with Phillip Miller of Phillip Miller & Associates in Nashville, TN.

 

 

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