To reach today’s marketplace, you have to immerse yourself in all the new technologies – starting of course, with building a website.
After all, 80% of consumers search online before making any major purchase – that means they’re looking for you and your services on the web, not in the phone book and not in the newspapers.
Unfortunately, this new venue presents its own set of challenges.
Currently, there are over 19 million listings for estate planning attorneys in Google, the most predominately used search engine and second only to Facebook as the most visited place on the web.
It stands to reason then, that if you want to build a strong online presence, you need those search engines to find and promote your website. But just getting listed in Google isn’t good enough – most users won’t search 10 or 20 pages to find you… they’ll just go with the first page of listings they see.
That means you need to be on page one. And when you’re competing with 19 million other firms, that can be a difficult thing to do.
To accomplish such a daunting task, the concept of online marketing was born and as the Internet has changed over the years, the strategies used in online promotion have changed with it.
Today, online marketing includes a wide array of activities, from article marketing and blogging to pay-per-click advertising, online forums and yes, that social media we all keep hearing about.
But these activities are designed to do more than just drive a little traffic to your site – they also help to create “back links,” a crucial component to getting your site on the first page of Google.
Back links are links to your site from other places on the web, be it another business website, an article directory or even as a signature line in a forum post.
These links tell the search engines that your site is a good resource – good enough in fact, that someone gave you a recommendation in the form of a link. Thus, the more back links you have, the better a resource you must be and the higher your search engine ranking will climb.
Of course, to build a large collection of back links, you must do more than just claim your domain name. You have to dominate your market by staying in front of potential clients and giving them engaging ways to interact with your firm online.
To be seen as a resource by the search engines (and by your readers), your site must actually be a resource and that means providing quality content on a regular basis. You then have to get that quality content in front of the people who should be reading it – known more affectionately as your “target market.”
But remember, you’re not the only one trying to catch the eye of your ideal client – quite the contrary, you’re competing with every other online advertiser currently on the web, law firms and otherwise.
That means if you want them to read your brilliant musings, you’re going to have to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
And this is where a good online marketing strategy can really earn its keep.
That quality content you’re creating must be dispersed through a variety of third-party networks such as bookmarking sites and forums. Your potential clients also enjoy having a “connection” with the people they buy from so you’ll need to get involved in all the social media networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
You’ll need to produce videos and press releases on a regular basis as well as new blog posts at least three times a week, and you’ll want to market your content to article directories, video sharing sites and other public venues as well.
And of course, all of these efforts should be built around a strategic set of keywords – words or phrases that identify your services – that you monitor and fine-tune on a regular basis.
And that’s just the first wave of assault. Needless to say, you won’t have much time left to devote to the actual practice of law.
Fortunately, the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys has created a system to manage these strategies for you and we’ll be announcing our new program soon. If you’d like to start maximizing your presence on the web, then keep watching our blog…
Because this is going to be huge!
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.