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Infographic Friday: Competition for Legal Marketing Online

Infographic Friday Competitive Environment for Legal Marketing Online -header

Years ago, when people needed services – an accountant, investment advice or an attorney – there was one place to go:  a commercial phone book.  Today, most people still turn to a single source of information, albeit a very different one, to find such services:  search engines

Search engines are not limited by the finite number of pages in a book.  As a result, instead of competing for ad space on a few yellow pages with law firm listings, competition for space (and search rankings) is truly global.

“The practice is also becoming much less local as the internet permits a presence in multiple places easily.”

As one law firm partner noted, among the four ways technology is changing small law, “The practice is also becoming much less local as the internet permits a presence in multiple places easily.”

Attorney is #4, costing up to $47.07 per click, and lawyer is #6, costing up to $42.51 per click.

The result is intense competition in law firm search marketing, which drives up prices in segments including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.  A new infographic by WordStream, illustrates the cost of key words of special interest to law firms.  The infographic, which we first spotted on Lawyerist, is this week’s Friday Share and is presented below.

In a post titled, Attorney and Lawyer Are Two of Google’s Most Expensive Keywords, legal tech blogger Sam Glover distills the essence in a sentence: “Attorney is #4, costing up to $47.07 per click, and lawyer is #6, costing up to $42.51 per click.”

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Dispelling 4 Myths about Legal Online Marketing

Given a competition for online legal marketing, the function has grown a sense of mystique and misunderstanding.  In a subsequent podcast – part of a new series – Mr. Glover and Lawyerist interviewed Gyi Tsakalakis of AttorneySync.  In an hour long episode, Mr. Tsakalakis dispels some of the myths about online marketing, which he defines as “Understanding how to use the web for lawyers.”

Here are our takeaways from the interview:

1. Familiar reference point.  The same principles that apply in offline marketing apply to online marketing. A good way to think about online marketing is consider the web as a “communications tool” to “communicate the value” of services.

2. Online complements offline.  Online marketing should complement, rather than replace, offline marketing.  Mr. Tsakalakis noted online marketing does the same fundamental things as “business cards, handshakes and going out to lunch.”  It’s merely another channel by which to access, interact and build relationships with clients and prospects.

…online marketing does the same fundamental things as “business cards, handshakes and going out to lunch.” 

3. Think long terms.  Some law firms give online marketing a try – say joining an online networking group for example – and then give up after a week.  Online marketing needs time to work, “to develop data” by which to measure whether or not it’s working.  In addition, it’s important to evaluate whether or not a firm is “doing the right things” in order to produce results. It’s equally wrong to say online marketing doesn’t work as it is to “believe it’s a saving grace.

4. SEO in simple terms.  Search engine optimization (SEO) is easily mistaken for “key word stuffing” – the respective overuse of a term like “California Divorce Lawyer” in web content. First, it’s an easy way for search engines to determine a web site is trying to “game” the system.  Second, such content, should it drive visitors, does little to incentive people to “pick up the phone,” according to Mr. Glover.  Gaming techniques can work in the short term, but it’s typically expensive and sooner or later, will be discovered and penalized. Search engines are incentivized to deliver high quality search results, so it’s best to focus on quality content.

Additional reading:

Infographic:  Most Expensive Key Words

(click here or image for higher resolution)

Infographic Competitive Environment for Legal Marketing Online-JPG
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
12 Essential Metrics for Law Firm Rainmakers

Photo credit:  Flickr, pathlost (CC BY 2.0)

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.
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