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Law Firm Newswire
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Your law firm needs social media more than you might think Recent statistics show that a whopping 97 percent of people go online when they want information about a new service or product. And 67 percent of those people use social media to find it. Every law firm needs to utilize social media, no matter its niche of practice. More than 500 million people now have Facebook accounts. Twitter demographics show that 55 to 64-year-old tweeters are its fastest growing age group. Social media has become a part of everyday life for most Americans. When a law firm uses social media, it should prioritize branding, not sales. Market your services, image and reputation to entice new clients. Social media is not the place to conduct a hard-sell campaign. Rather, social sites allow you a place to offer important and valuable information to get a potential client’s attention. Make sure your personal Facebook page is protected and entirely separate from your firm s page and from any professional pages you might have. Separation allows you to express your pr

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Is your law firm going green? Write a press release. Most law firms go through a lot of paper in a year, and many are careful to recycle what they can. But paper is not the only consumable that attorneys deal with in their practices. What happens to their electronic equipment once it needs to be upgraded? Approximately 70 percent of Earth’s toxic waste is technological. Fax machines, older cell phones, dead monitors, laptops, tablets, smartphones and towers all pose serious risks to environmental stability. When a firm updates its technology, not all equipment will be refurbished or recycled. According to the EPA, most of it lands in the dump. EPA research has shown that approximately 92 percent of cell phones are sent to landfills. The mercury, lead and nickel in them (and in other technological devices) hold the potential to harm humans, animals and the environment. The serious ramifications have prompted some states to pass laws banning such machines from regular garbage collection. Your firm may dispose of its older equipment by d

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Where do your press release readers come from? Social networks. Social media has an enormous impact on the way we do business and communicate with others. This is even true for attorneys, who primarily communicate with their potential clients through news releases. The readers we see at LFN arrive from a variety of sources. These include headline publishers (e.g. Topix), news aggregates (e.g. Google News), social networks and other websites that direct readers to Google News. We have discovered that, by a ratio of three to one, social networks delivered more traffic to LFN news releases than Google News in 2013. In addition, publishers who displayed headlines originating from RSS feeds from Google News collectively out-performed social networks and direct Google News connections. Headline publishers display headlines and summaries of news releases through an RSS feed. When a headline is displayed, visitors click to read the full story. Other sources, include social networks, require a user to click to reach the original post on LFN or to navigate 

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News Release Keywords Require Nofollow Tag To follow Google’s most recent article and news release rules (as outlined in their Webmaster Guidelines), keyword-rich anchor text links must include a nofollow tag. However, law firms may still use their business name and a plain URL, like “http://lawexample.com”, without additions. The specific Google rule states that links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases (distributed on other websites) must employ the nofollow tag. To clarify, Google has stated that it is “somewhat okay” to have direct URLs linked in releases that are followed. However, the company strongly suggests that all links be nofollowed, including links that are not part of optimized anchor text. Google views news releases as advertisements, and links with optimized anchor text are therefore regarded as free advertising. In their Link Schemes section of the Webmaster Guidelines, Google states that they prohibit: Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on

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How to Write a Catchy News Release Summary Get it said and get it read in the fewest number of words possible. Read any good news releases lately? No doubt there are some releases you remember and even read to the end. Why was that? Surprisingly often, the answer is that the first sentence was well-written enough to make the release interesting. Opening sentences are not easy to develop, but the skill behind them needs to be cultivated. A well-crafted news release ranks better in search engines and is then shared to rank well again and again. There is no 1-2-3 quick-and-easy template for a good release. However, there are plenty of relevant skills to master. Practice using a succinct lead line, summarizing the news angle and including a straightforward set of facts that tell people what you want them to know immediately. Don’t dance around your topic. This is not the time to get cute. One common mistake is to pen an off-the-wall, exciting lead and opener, and then write a release that has nothing to do with either. Stay on t

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Make Your News About the Readers Your law firm wants to ensure that its marketing dollars are being employed to reach as many people as possible. A lot of money goes into relevant, quality links and intelligent search engine optimization (SEO). Every person who reads an entry on your firm’s website is a potential client. So, how can you best turn those readers into viable clients? The answer isn t fancy. Law firm marketing is as much (if not more) about quality content as it is about the SEO and link structure that surrounds it. The more interesting your writing, the more readers will be drawn to it. Google’s algorithms are changing again, and quality content should be at the forefront of any marketing effort. Even with the slickest links and newest SEO practices, your firm may see poor conversion rates and Google result placement without content that captures a reader s attention. Marketing strategy is always valuable, but it is only truly powerful for site content, blogs, articles and news releases that offer r

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Google+ Authorship is Coming to LFN Many law firms believe that Google+ is just one more social media platform to entertain. But with the current marketing drive behind Google+, the service is becoming virtually inseparable from Google’s search engine. In other words, you need both the search engine and Google+ to make an impact on Google as a whole. Your Google+ profile is your identity as a law firm. Google+ Authorship is your signature. It links your identity (profile) to the content that you or your lawyers publish online. Google+ Authorship has significant potential to drive more traffic to your profile and to increase the visibility of your law firm. Make sure that you prepare a headshot before participating in Authorship. That one personal touch will help you reach more potential clients. Promote your firm by linking your Google+ profile to the content you create. It’s a good marketing tool for busy lawyers. What you need for Google+ Authorship: A Google+ profile A good headshot An understanding of the way co

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Use the Ampersand This week, we take a look at a wild rollercoaster of a character: the ampersand. Many law firms use an ampersand in place of “and” in the firm s business name. However, if your law firm is inconsistent in your usage, you may be missing out on some local SEO benefits. When you submit a press release, it restates your business name, address and phone number on multiple websites. It s one of the greatest benefits of press releases, and it may especially help your local search ranking. But if your law firm s name is Burns & Smithers, your Google+ Local page says Burns & Smithers, your website says Burns & Smithers, but your press release says “Burns and Smithers,” you miss a chance to reinforce the information users could find through that Google+ Local profile. Ampersands in titles of press releases will not cause any formatting issues, nor will they hinder your ability to review reports (concerns cited by some lawyers in the past). Therefore, if your law firm is one of the many 

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Topics of National Interest Improve Local Search Engine Results Many lawyers feel that news releases are only relevant to them if they pertain to their local area or just to their state. While it is true that local topics do help with optimization, national topics can also help improve local search engine results. National news, particularly relating to topics generating substantial interest, captures more attention on a broader scale. Releases on such subjects are picked up widely and distributed on news wires that extend far beyond your community. Such a release offers exposure for your law firm’s name and website, which in turn boosts your local search results. For example, consider the current national news on transvaginal mesh implants. A massive number of women are filing lawsuits for compensation for the defective product that has damaged their bodies and their lives. If your law firm is in Texas, a news release with national statistics and up-to-date information about verdicts increases exposure for your law firm. In addition, it may dra

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Link to Relevant Website Pages It’s rare that a legal marketing team links a news release to any page but its firm’s homepage. Usually, marketing teams assume that homepage links are the most direct, and therefore make the most sense. Indeed, they did make the most sense at one time. But times have changed (and so have Google algorithms). Continuous links to the same page — whether to a home, landing or other page — may now leave you penalized in search engine results. If your law firm wants to keep its rank steady and rising, follow Google’s current guidelines: link directly to the most relevant page on your website. That link must be a plain URL, not one with a keyword buried in it. For instance, your link needs to look like this: http://www.lawexample.com. Keyword linking does not improve your chances of catching search engine attention. With the latest changes, stick to linking a news release to a relevant subpage. In so doing, you’ll make certain your law firm’s website retains and increases its 
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