John Turner - Bankrutpcy Attorney - Colorado Springs

Congrats to The Law Office of John Turner on the addition of optimized video to his website. The videos look great and should help in converting more potential clients into actual clients.


Congratulations to Paul Prendergast on his new refresh & Upgrade

If you are struggling with a family law issue, you face many personal and financial challenges today. But hidden in these struggles is the opportunity to pave the way for a better tomorrow. Prendergast & Associates, P.C., can help Colorado families seek a brighter future by offering excellent legal representation for divorce, domestic violence and other critical legal issues.

Contact us today at 866-213-2643 to speak with an experienced family law attorney. They have law offices conveniently located in Littleton and Parker, Colorado.

Their Experience ...
Attorney Paul A. Prendergast has been practicing law for over 26 years and has a long track record of success winning positive results for his clients. In 1984, just a year after starting his private practice, attorney Prendergast argued his first case before the Colorado Supreme Court. In addition to his legal credentials, Mr. Prendergast holds a degree in finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, which helps him serve his clients' interests in complex property division cases.

Furthermore, Mr. Prendergast is well-versed in sensitive legal issues involving domestic violence and sexual abuse that often tear families apart. He and his talented team of lawyers will be here to help you realize your legal protections and find the therapeutic and mental health resources you need.
Paul also practices Criminal Law and you can learn more about that practice at http://www.criminaljusticeco.com/

Keys to Effective ROI Measurement

Value for the money. You expect it when you lease an office, invest in software or hire staff. The money you spend marketing your law firm should be no exception. Is your firm getting good value for its marketing dollar? If not, where are the opportunities for improvement?

Measuring return on investment, or ROI, from your marketing budget can help you gain better answers to those questions.

ROI measurement is an opportunity to review your marketing practices and make smart, informed decisions about the future — which tactics to emphasize, what’s working and what’s not, and whether your message is connecting with prospects or need to be fine-tuned. And you don’t need a marketing degree to do it.

These steps will help you generate ROI information and use it to evaluate and improve your marketing strategy.

1. Measure all marketing programs What strategies — print, broadcast, online and in-person — do you use to connect with prospects and clients? In order to gauge which strategies to leverage and which are falling short, you should define and track each of them.

Start with brochures, Yellow Pages ads, radio spots, web campaigns and other direct marketing expenditures. But don’t forget other programs that may indirectly generate new business and strengthen existing client relationships: sponsorships, client entertainment and professional memberships, for example.

Once you have a handle on all the promotional efforts that generate leads for your firm, you have a good foundation for measuring ROI.

2. Track leads and conversions Firms that market themselves efficiently use documented, common-sense controls to track spending. Hard data goes much further than anecdotes and guesswork in ensuring your money’s well spent.

So once you’ve defined the scope of your marketing effort, put tracking procedures into place for each program — sustainable procedures you can incorporate, long-term, into your practice management. For example, you can:

  • Assign your receptionist to record telephone inquiries.
  • Create a new-client information sheet to track word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Collect business cards from meetings and speaking engagements, then record them and follow up.
  • Place a client intake form on your web site and make it accessible from every page.

Try to capture the same information from prospects no matter how they reach your firm. Your receptionist, for example, should ask prospects the same questions that appear on your online intake form. By being consistent, you can better compare the quality of leads coming from online, print and other marketing efforts.

Documenting inquiries shows you which client-development programs are successful and makes follow-up easier. It also helps identify any disconnect between leads generated and leads converted into actual client cases.

If “hits” to your web site aren’t translating into new business, for example, look critically at your site. Is your intake form clear and simple? Overall, is your site easy to navigate? Timely follow-up is another key factor. Are you responding promptly to inquiries with both a phone call and an e-mail, if possible?

3. Leverage the web A law firm’s web site can be its most powerful ROI measurement tool. That’s why a growing number of firms prefer to route all client leads through their site.

To make the most of your web site, feature your URL on business cards, ads and in other promotional efforts. Consider purchasing exposure on legal directories and search engines. And ensure that once prospects arrive at your site they can easily find key information, then connect with you to follow up.

One advantage of a web-centric approach is that you can use software programs to analyze site traffic. These programs often are included when you sign up with a web site provider. They can help you determine:

  • The most popular areas of your site.
  • Where visitors arrive from — and what sites they visit when they leave.
  • Keywords and key phrases that drive prospects to your site via search engines.

That’s invaluable information for sharpening your marketing strategy. You might choose to purchase ads on your prospects’ favorite sites, for example. Or edit your promotional materials (print, online and broadcast) to stress high-impact, business-generating keywords.

Whatever decisions you make, with ROI measurement tools you can base them on objective, long-term data. The kind of information that chance conversations with clients, or the occasional one-off report, can’t provide.

4. Measure impact. To accurately measure ROI, take both the tangible and intangible benefits of your marketing efforts into account.

You can crunch the numbers by calculating the dollars earned by an ad or other promotion versus its cost (factoring administrative time and other “hidden” expenses into your total investment):

Amount of $$ Earned - Investment x 100 = ROI (i.e., 400% or 4:1)

Of course, ROI is not an exact science. Some strategies — volunteer efforts, sponsorships, community outreach — may score low in stark financial terms but still deliver for your firm by generating new leads, or rewarding clients for past business. They build name awareness, strengthen relationships and create goodwill, all of which are important factors in ROI-based decision-making.

5. Evaluate options. With ROI data in hand you can make informed comparisons between your client-development activities. One program may drive a high quantity of leads to your firm while another delivers great quality (a higher rate of conversion or larger, high-value cases). Your journal ads may primarily reach the corporate market while individuals find you online.

That information, plus other factors like how easy the program is to administer, will help you set priorities when you write your next marketing plan.

Be sure, however, that you’re making consistent, “apples-to-apples” comparisons. Choose the same 3-month or 6-month time frame, for example, when you run ROI numbers on print vs. web vs. broadcast and beyond.

6. Modify your marketing The final step is implementing change. Use ROI-generated information to adjust your marketing strategy: to invest more where you’re seeing results and trim back or rethink what isn’t working.

Of course your practice goals change and so will the needs of clients. A marketing program or keyword that draws attention today may go cold six months down the road. ROI measurement — track, evaluate, then modify — is an ongoing process.

That takes commitment, but the payoff is there for your firm. In a more efficient lead-development budget, a better understanding of your client base and a bigger return on your marketing dollar.


Andres Guevara - Upgrade to Custom Design

Congratulations to Andres Guevara on the upgrade of his website to a Custom Design.
When Andres started his practice out of his house in Highlands Ranch, he had the knowledge and experience to help those in need and with the right presence online we were able to provide him the clientele.
He has not looked back and has seen his practice grow month after month and year after year. He is now getting referrals from those clients that found him on the Internet and know his level of expertise and his ability to get his clients the possible outcome. If you are looking for a great criminal law attorney or family law attorney don't hesitate to call The Law Office of Andres R. Guevara.
You can also learn more about Andres at his website at www.guevaracoloradolaw.com/


Web Marketing Association Awards Announced

FindLaw's President announced today that FindLaw has been recognized with five WebAwards by the Web Marketing Association for developing legal Web sites. FindLaw has been recognized with 17 WebAwards in the past and now has a total of 22 WebAwards.

The WebAwards is the premier annual Web site award competition that names the best Web sites across 96 industries, setting the standard and encouraging quality in Web site development. Web sites are judged upon seven criteria: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. This year, the WebAwards honored the achievements of the following FindLaw teams:

Best Legal Web Site Award
Law Office of Lisa L. Maki - www.lisamaki.net/
FindLaw Team:
Designer: Clayton Chelmo
Project Manager: Sarah Mickelson
Content Writer: Michael Owen Hill
Attorney Editor: Jeffrey Bodensteiner
Developer: Rani Thao
SEM Consultant: David Fliger

Outstanding Web Site Award

Law Offices of W. Jeff Paradowski - http://www.paradowskilaw.com/
FindLaw Team: Designer: Matt Jewett
Project Manager: Kris Bohrer Content Writer: Michael Klick
Attorney Editor: Jeffrey Bodensteiner
Developer: Phil Knowles SEM Consultant: Lisa Stienkeoway

Legal Standard of Excellence Award

C.E. Borman & Associates - www.ceborman.com/
FindLaw Team:
Designer: Joe Lover
Project Manager: Cheryl Haggerty
Content Writer: Michael Owen Hill
Attorney Editor: Jeffrey Bodensteiner
Developer: Joshua Stephens
Developer: Matt Biersdorf
SEM Consultant: Mark Ness

Swanson Law Firm - www.juliaswansonlaw.com/
FindLaw Team:
Designer: Jordan Linde
Project Manager: Ashley Kockelman
Content Writer: Jason Sarff
Attorney Editor: Greg Bennett
Developer: Matt Meyer
SEM Consultant: Tony Henderson

FindLawDesign.com - www.findlawdesign.com/
FindLaw Team:
Designer: Nathan Weber
Project Manager: Collin Hummel
Content: Collin Hummel

The recognition by the Web Marketing Association differentiates FindLaw as the leader in legal Web site development and reinforces our expertise in legal Internet marketing. Each of the awards signifies our continued commitment to creativity and quality, and showcases the exceptional talent we have at FindLaw.

Converting More "Clicks" Into Qualified Clients

When your office hours end, your law firm’s Web site stays open for business. Faced with a pressing legal problem, most people today turn to the Internet as a 24-hour-a-day tool for researching issues and looking for representation.

Online inquiries can come in anytime, from anywhere, but can be lost just as quickly. Giving prospects the information they’re looking for, and providing it fast, is critical to your success in closing online leads.

To convert more of your Web "clicks" into qualified clients for your firm, start by addressing the key issues.

Understand online prospects
Fast, perfect and free legal services. Realistically, that’s what most online legal consumers want. By understanding those expectations and managing them effectively, you’ve got a better chance to establish a relationship with prospects then move them forward toward signing an engagement letter.

Particularly in areas like criminal law, family law, personal injury and consumer bankruptcy, prospects often are highly motivated but may have limited experience working with attorneys. Fees are always an issue and so is time: Often the prospect has waited to locate an attorney until the need is acute.

Above all, online prospects may have many questions they need answered: about the law, their case, how to hire an attorney. Once they complete your online intake form or request information from a legal site, you have a window of opportunity (albeit often brief) to address those concerns and demonstrate the level of service and expertise you can provide.

Respond First
Online prospects typically are looking for immediate help with a legal issue. In many cases the attorney who responds first, wins.

And in a world of 2 a.m. Web searches and instantly available information, your response time ideally should be measured in terms of hours, not days.

Follow up quickly on incoming e-mails, inquiries left on your voice-mail and phone calls taken by staff. A return phone call typically is the most effective response. If there’s no answer, leave a message indicating your availability, and a direct phone number or e-mail address where you can be reached 24 hours a day. Mail a brochure or other information about your firm to the prospect the same day that you receive an inquiry.

Whatever lead-tracking system you use (a prospect sheet, management software, a simple manila folder), make updating it and following up a part of your daily work routine.

Finally, check the contact information that you provide on your Web site. Is it complete, up-to-date and easy for site visitors to find? From every page on your Web site?

Make it easy for a prospect confronted with a time-sensitive, stressful or unfamiliar legal need. Providing clear contact information — then following up promptly with a personal response —gives you a big advantage in converting that prospect into a client.

Provide a quality response
Invest at least a few non-billable hours per week in following up personally over the phone with prospects who’ve contacted your firm. They’ll value the attention from an attorney. For you, it’s an opportunity to gauge the client and your interest in the case.

A good rule of thumb, when you’re on the phone with a prospect, is to go slightly beyond the standard FAQ information that you likely provide on your law firm’s Web site. You want to establish your expertise, demonstrate interest and overcome any hesitancies the prospect has about hiring a lawyer — without forming an attorney-client relationship or falling prey to unscrupulous Web surfers "phishing" for free legal advice.

The goal: to set up a free office consultation where you can persuade the prospect in person and better evaluate their needs. By then, having already responded swiftly to the initial request for help, and demonstrated your sensitivity to the prospect’s concerns about cost, you’ll be in a strong position to formalize the relationship.

Screen the prospect
Is the prospect a good fit for representation by your firm? Your initial e-mail and telephone interactions are a good chance to not only sell yourself to the prospect, but also to collect the key information you need about their temperament and their goals and expectations, plus of course the specifics of the case.

Take a close look, for example, at the initial e-mail or intake form response you received. Does the prospect have experience with the legal system? Do their answers provide any clues about their ability to pay? Look for other information — such as complaints about previous attorneys, the prospect’s education level, whether they’re "hands-off" or a micro-manager — that’s useful in performing your due diligence before you commit to the case.

To handle this screening process more efficiently, you can also consider attorney-client matching services. They’re online sites that allow consumers to read descriptions of attorneys in their area based on their topic of interest. Some matching services will pre-qualify leads by collecting key data from the prospect. The attorney then can self-select potential cases that are of interest.

Moving forward
Nearly 73% of American adults (and 91% college-educated Americans) are now are online, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project. Research shows that the vast majority use the Internet to do research and make purchasing decisions. As each generation becomes more technically savvy, Web-based leads will become an increasingly key part of your new-business development strategy.

By understanding the needs of online prospects and providing a fast, high-quality response to leads you receive, you’ll have a great opportunity to convert more clicks into clients of your firm.


Glenn Hagen - Business Law Attorney - Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Congratulations to Attorney Glenn Hagen on the publication of his new website at http://www.lawyer4business.com/. Glenn has been a FindLaw client for many years and has tremendous success with his online presence.

Daniel, Thom & Katzman - Colorado Springs Attorneys

Steve Kaztman of Daniel, Thom & Katzman explains what your rights are if pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving.


Jonathan Willett - Denver, Colorado

When your future is jeopardized by criminal charges, divorce or a personal injury, it is important to turn to an experienced lawyer for help navigating the legal system.
Jonathan Willett, Attorney at Law, has more than 20 years of experience protecting his Colorado clients' rights in negotiation and in the courtroom. Having tried more than 60 cases and represented clients in more than 125 appeals, he will help you achieve your legal goals. Call 303-952-0705 or contact Mr. Willett online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Criminal Defense
Most of Mr. Willett's practice is devoted to protecting clients against criminal charges. Criminal convictions come with many consequences. High fines, jail time, restitution, loss of driver's license and civil rights, loss of employment, family problems and other repercussions often come with convictions, so it is important to present a strong defense in court.

The Law Office of Rick Nicoletti - Denver Colorado

Effective legal representation comes from taking the correct approach to working with opposing counsel and judges. Above all, it means taking the correct approach on behalf of clients, through responsive, timely and zealous advocacy.
Attorney Rick Nicoletti has been divorced; he knows how overwhelming the legal system can be. When Rick works with clients, he offers them the personalized attention and tailored solutions that he would want from an attorney. Loyalty, honesty, hard work and consistency have characterized Rick's life, and they have been the hallmark of his legal practice.

Rick isn't just a one dimensional lawyer who went straight out of college to law school. Rick can relate to all types of people and clients. Rick has been a Model A Ford restoration specialist, a radio disc jockey (KTLK Denver), a TV assignment editor/reporter (KUSA Channel 9 News), a commercial hot air balloon pilot and a trapeze artist.


Tom Miller - Denver, Colorado Criminal Law Attorney

Congratulations to Tom Miller, Criminal Law attorney in Denver, Colorado on the release of his new website.
If you want a straightforward lawyer who will return your calls, answer your questions and fight for the best possible result under the circumstances, you want a trial lawyer like "Doc" Miller. His combination of experience as an attorney, an investigator, journalist, and as a court certified document examiner gives him the ability to review evidence and help you present the best defense possible. He has worked on high profile cases as a handwriting expert, including the Jon Benet Ramsey case, and has the experience to handle criminal defense matters and an expertise as a handwriting expert that other attorneys do not have.


Ethics Violations to Avoid on Law Firm Web Sites

From case studies to core practice-area content to e-mail newsletters, law firms have a variety of Internet-based content tools they can use to inform potential clients of who they are and what they do. Other online marketing tactics, however, fall outside of state ethics rules, as well as the ethical guidelines the American Bar Association (ABA) promotes the states to adopt.

As an attorney working to develop client relationships online, it’s your responsibility to educate yourself about these rules and apply them. One good resource is the ABA Web site, which provides links to the rules governing lawyer advertising, solicitation and marketing in all 50 states: www.abanet.org/ad rules

While the ABA’s prohibition against posting "false and misleading" information on a legal Web site is interpreted differently in various states, there are some established guidelines your law firm can refer to make sure that you are operating ethically on your site. Some of the key areas that your firm should address include:

Illegal communications. If the Internet is anything it’s information-rich — and the unauthorized "borrowing" of content is a recurring problem. Utilizing plagiarized materials, stolen testimonials or copyrighted images from other Web sites is not only unethical, but illegal.

Omissions. Statements such as "No Recovery — No Fee" can be misleading if the client is exempt from legal fees only and is still liable for courts costs or administrative fees. Many states require disclaimers when contingent fee arrangements are publicized. Another common omission on legal Web sites is the posting of positive awards and settlements without a prominently displayed disclaimer on all relevant pages of the site stating that results may vary or that the facts and circumstances of each case dictate the results.

Unjustified expectations. The creation of unjustified expectations is an important consideration that is relevant in all states. Some of the key areas of concern are:
  • Many of the same rules that apply to law firm names also apply to Web site domain names. A firm may not, for example, adopt a domain name that creates undue expectations of success (www.winyourlegalcase.com) or that implies a connection with a government agency or charitable legal services organization.
  • Some states restrict the use of awards, honors or commendations, as they can create unjustified expectations of success. New Jersey is presently discussing the use of the "Super Lawyers" designation due, in part, to a concern that the designation may create an unjustified expectation that the "Super Lawyer" is better than other lawyers.
    The inclusion of "verdicts and settlements" pages or other descriptions of success can be a powerful marketing tool, but may create unjustified expectations without the inclusion of appropriate disclaimers or factual descriptions. Most states regulate the use of this type of information.
  • Testimonials, endorsements or representative-client lists are also prohibited or banned in certain states because they can create expectations of success merely by reference to who has retained the firm in the past.

Statements about a lawyer’s services. Statements that compare one lawyer’s services with another’s run afoul of the ethics rules in many states, if they cannot be factually substantiated or objectively verified. In some states, self-laudatory are also against the rules. Any comparisons to the services of other lawyers — even implied comparisons, such as a law firm that bills itself as "the most experienced in the state" or "the most qualified" — should be avoided or clearly documented, if possible, on your site.

Claims of specialization. While the rules differ state-by-state, a Web site that positions a firm as "experts" or "specialists" may violate ethics guidelines. In most states it is allowable, however, to state that you "limit your practice to" or "concentrate in" your area of expertise.

Failure to include necessary disclaimers. Many states require special disclaimers that govern contingency fees or legal services in general. It is important that the attorney understand all disclaimers required, as well as any size, position, type and color requirements that may exist in certain states. In some states, failure to include necessary disclaimers results in a per se violation of the rules.

Spamming. Spamming is another key ethics concern online. If your firm uses mass e-mail communication, do not include overt marketing messages in the subject line, and give recipients a prominently displayed "opt-out" option to ensure the e-mail is not misconstrued as spam. Some states also require that advertising for legal services be included in the subject line itself.

The ethics guidelines covering spam and some other aspects of Internet-based legal marketing, such as online recordkeeping requirements, are still being fine-tuned. To stay on top of developments in blogging, pay-per-clicks and other emerging areas, the best strategy is to bookmark the ABA Web page that tracks changes in state advertising laws (www.abanet.org/cpr/professionalism/lawyerAd.html) and refer to it frequently for updates.


Law firms can pay a high price for unethical online marketing in disciplinary measures, fee forfeiture and reduced visibility. If your Operating your Web site within the rules can help you avoid ethics repercussions and make the most of this dynamic marketing tool for your law firm.


How to Benefit from Google’s Enhancements

Behind the scenes, Internet search engines continually refine how they rank information and provide search results. Recently, however, they’ve rolled out changes that are more dramatic. Search-engines users are noticing the difference and so are law firms that market themselves online.

Google and other popular search engines like Yahoo! and Ask are attempting to give their users both more information and more personalized information — by incorporating maps, video and other useful tools into their search results and by tailoring those results based on data they collect about the user.

The three key factors driving these changes are:
  1. Universal search
  2. Geo-targeting
  3. Personalization

Universal search, which Google introduced in May, is a broader, more comprehensive way to search the Web. A universal search serves up standard Web results alongside video clips, blog entries, images, news results and other categories of information — all pulled from Google’s so-called "vertical search" tools which index information by type (images, maps, blogs) or content (finance, shopping, academia). Those specialized search tools have been available at google.com for years, but now they’re being brought to the forefront.

So a search for "Chicago car accident," for example, might generate local TV video, newspaper coverage of recent events and (if you do personal-injury work in the Windy City) a listing for your law firm, integrated into one result. For Google and other search engines implementing universal search, the goal is to break down the walls that separate different types of Web content and give users a better search experience.

Geo-targeting refers to the increasingly sophisticated way that search engines are tailoring results based on a user’s location, which Google says it can determine nearly 90% of the time. As a result of geo-targeting, two people searching for "Boston defense lawyer" — one from a coffee shop in Massachusetts, the other from a home office in Denver — likely will get very different results.

User-based information (the physical location of the computer, MapQuest defaults) is part of this trend, but geo-targeting is a two-way street. For both legal prospects and law firm Web sites, geographic details now matter more. Referencing local towns and neighborhoods on your site, displaying the firm address prominently, your presence on local directories ... all are becoming more critical as search engines strive to provide relevant, location-specific results.

Personalization means that along with geographic information, search engines are collecting more data about the search behavior and online browsing patterns of users, then using it to shape results. Type in a Google search and your Web history, Gmail account, iGoogle settings and other unique-to-you information all may impact the results delivered to your screen.

Universal search, geo-targeting and personalization are good news for law firms that market themselves effectively online. With access to better, more relevant results, prospects are likely to spend more time online. On the attorney side, law firm Web sites that are grounded in their target market and provide a diverse mix of relevant content — and that are monitored and updated frequently — may see better qualified prospects and convert them at a higher rate.

How can your law firm take advantage of these Google updates? Consider these specific steps:

1) Get your firm on Google Maps. When users search for services online, they’re more likely to include a geographic qualifier than when searching for products. The integration of Google Maps into general search results is an opportunity to make yourself more accessible to those prospects. There’s no charge for adding your firm, though a Gmail account is required — go to google.com, select Maps, then select "Add or edit your business."

2) Think content, not just copy. As search parameters expand, new ways of communicating with your prospects beyond standard Web site text are more likely to find an audience. Video is an example of this. YouTube streams more than 200 million videos daily, and Web video is emerging as an important new tool for online legal marketing.

3) Go local. In today’s search environment, with results tailored to each individual, being #1 is relative. Achieving a top rank is less important than being seen by your target audience. Zero in on your prospects by utilizing keywords, key phrases and geographic terms relevant to your local market — avoiding legal jargon in favor of commonly-used terms. By incorporating targeted, unique content into your site, you’ll define your market and capture more local traffic.

4) Stay relevant. On the Internet a generic, one-size-fits-all approach is less effective than content that sets you apart and speaks to your prospects; Spanish-language information, for example, if you’re in a city with a high concentration of Spanish speakers. Or consider establishing a topical practice center on your site that focuses exclusively on an industry or area of the law that’s big in your market.

5) Incorporate current events. Search engines increasingly are blending news, blog entries, video clips and other timely, event-focused information into results, and that’s an opportunity for your firm. Keep your eye on news that’s relevant to your practice and integrate it into your site. Reference current events and local stories in case results, on your blog and in online articles. The key: make updates frequently.

6) Use local directories and search engines. Get your Web address out through a variety of online resources including local search engines, superpages.com, legal directories and your bar association and chamber of commerce Web sites. That’s important not only for the leads they generate directly, but also because search engines like Google pull from smaller directories and search tools to validate information, compile rankings and provide better local results.

7) Monitor, then modify. Increasingly, there’s no one "right" set of keywords or content strategy for legal Web sites. Results are fluid. They vary by user and location and are influenced by trends. That makes understanding user behavior through the use of analytics more important than ever. Available from Web site developers, analytic programs help you determine how users find your site and how they behave once they arrive. Which keywords drew prospects last month? What are the most (and least) effective pages on your site? Use analytics to ask these questions; use the answers to make upgrades to your site.

Overall, search is becoming more refined and precise, and opening up to encompass new categories of information.

That’s good news for a law firm that knows its target market and is proactive about staying relevant to its prospects, monitoring site performance and delivering a diverse mix of quality content.


How To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

No marketing channel can touch the power of the Internet. And no channel is as crowded with competitors or as potentially intimidating to clients. That’s why addressing the issue of visibility — how your web site is linked to other sites, how prospects find you, and how you can improve those connections — should be an important piece of your online strategy.

One smart move to consider is making changes to your site, and to your overall online presence, that boost your rankings with powerful search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. That’s called search engine optimization, and it’s not about tricks or shady tactics.

The goal is to make your site more visible and relevant to both search engines and the people who use them to find legal representation. By taking a few basic steps to raise your site’s visibility, you’ve got a great opportunity to generate more leads and up the return on your web investment.

The challenge, of course, is standing out from the crowd. Research shows that most people look at just the first page or two of a search result. So how do search engines compile those lists? Why does Firm A rank highly in a given result, while Firm B struggles in at #273?

It starts with "spiders," software programs that the search engines send out to visit web sites, collect information, then use that information to build a searchable index. When a person types in a query, the search engine sorts through its index for the most relevant, authoritative information related to that request. Search engines frequently adjust the formulas they use to rank sites. They do that to make their rankings more precise and to prevent spam. But you can leave the technical fine-tuning to folks who don’t have a law firm to run. Focus instead on strategies that are proven winners in improving search engine results.

These strategies include:
  • Ensuring your web site’s content is fresh and easily browsable.
  • Choosing words and phrases that target your prospects.
  • Increasing the number of inbound links from other sites that drive leads to yours.
  • Content A rule of thumb: What attracts and holds the attention of site visitors will also improve search engine rankings. Regularly updated content, for example. A search engine’s spider looks for fresh information to index.
  • Straightforward, easy to browse design also makes a difference. The same slow-loading, overdone graphics and multimedia bells-and-whistles that drive web users up the wall also drastically decrease the likelihood of your web site being found in a search result.
  • One of the most important factors in search-engine-optimizing your web site is to intelligently use keywords that promote your marketing objectives, fit your geographic location and practice areas, and match the words that prospects use when they conduct a search.
  • To use keywords effectively on your site, remember to:
  • Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Prospects won’t necessarily use legal terms of art when conducting a search. Incorporate layman’s terms for your key practice areas.
  • Include "lawyer" and "attorney" and "law firm."
  • Cover your geographic area in all its permutations: city, state, even neighborhood if you’re in a big city.

Keep it readable. Keyword stuffing — repeating key words and phrases over and over — makes for a poor user experience and could get your site flagged by search engines. Your goal should be keyword-rich language that’s also natural and easy to read.

Own a niche. While the typical search generates thousands (or even millions) of results, most users click the first few links. So it’s key to target your specific market niche and location. You’re better off, in other words, scoring high in a unique search than chasing the most competitive, generic keywords like "divorce lawyer" or "criminal-defense attorney."

Keywords should also be incorporated into the behind-the-scenes programming of your site. Properly written title tags, meta descriptions and alt tags are a few of the key elements that can help keep you at the top of search engine rankings. Content really is king. So if you work with a web-site provider, make sure they know the legal industry and how to write for it, and understand how search engines evaluate and rank law firm web sites like yours.

Inbound Links Another factor influencing search-engine rankings are inbound links to your web address from other online sites. With inbound links, quality is much more important than quantity. Relevant links from other law firms, legal sites and bar associations should influence your results in search engines. Think of it like a frequently cited legal case. A case is more important if lots of other rulings reference it, particularly if they’re high-profile cases that are directly on topic. In the same way, when authoritative web sites link to your site it raises your credibility. That said, links should only be purchased for the traffic they will generate and not for any potential search engine result lift they might provide.

Ongoing Process Search engine optimization is a straightforward, common-sense process, but it’s important to keep at it — to regularly measure your site traffic and conversion rate, audit the content on your site and adjust it as your marketing goals, and the legal issues facing your clients, change. Then republish your site as necessary.

If you outsource your online marketing, look for a provider who can assist you throughout that process — from traffic analysis to writing and design services to the nuts-and-bolts of site management. That will help ensure that the time, money and creative energy you’ve invested in your web site pay off. Search engine optimization is a terrific opportunity to make smart use of the Internet to generate more leads, and ultimately more cases, for your firm.


Google Basics

According to Google, there are three key process in delivering search results to an end user. They are:
  1. Crawling: Does Google know about your site. Can Google find your site?
  2. Indexing: Can Google index your site?
  3. Relevancy: Does your site have content that useful and relevant to the useer's search?

---In Google's Words---

Crawling: Crawling is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index.
Google uses a huge set of computers to fetch (or "crawl") billions of pages on the web. The program that does the fetching is called Googlebot (also known as a robot, bot, or spider). Googlebot uses an algorithmic process: computer programs determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site.
Google's crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs, generated from previous crawl processes, and augmented with Sitemap data provided by webmasters. As Googlebot visits each of these websites it detects links on each page and adds them to its list of pages to crawl. New sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links are noted and used to update the Google index.
Google doesn't accept payment to crawl a site more frequently, and we keep the search side of our business separate from our revenue-generating AdWords service.

Indexing: Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page. In addition, we process information included in key content tags and attributes, such as Title tags and ALT attributes. Googlebot can process many, but not all, content types. For example, we cannot process the content of some rich media files or dynamic pages.

Relevancy: When a user enters a query, our machines search the index for matching pages and return the results we believe are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site's PageRank. Not all links are equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of your content.
In order for your site to rank well in search results pages, it's important to make sure that Google can crawl and index your site correctly. Our Webmaster Guidelines outline some best practices that can help you avoid common pitfalls and improve your site's ranking.
Google's Related Searches, Spelling Suggestions, and Google Suggest features are designed to help users save time by displaying related terms, common misspellings, and popular queries. Like our google.com search results, the keywords used by these features are automatically generated by our web crawlers and search algorithms. We display these suggestions only when we think they might save the user time. If a site ranks well for a keyword, it's because we've algorithmically determined that its content is more relevant to the user's query.

I hope this is some useful information as to what it takes to get found online. Please don't hesitate to call me with any questions at 303-947-1737 or check out my legal marketing site at www.legalmarketingguy.com.


Antonio Lucero - Representing Denver's Hispanic Community for over 24 Years

All too often people do not understand the U.S. court system and all the possible consequences they face. Fearing immigration consequences, they do not call a lawyer to learn about their rights. Serving residents of the Hispanic and Spanish-speaking community in Denver, Colorado, for twenty-seven years, the lawyers of Lucero & Associates, P.C. strive to advise their clients on all their legal options.
Free Initial Consultation • Advising the Hispanic Community
To find out more about your case, call us at (303) 455-7699. Sit down with us during a free initial consultation about your family law, criminal law, personal injury, and workers' compensation case. While it is important to understand the consequences of your legal actions, you need an experienced attorney who can advise you about your options.
Affordable and Accessible Legal Representation
Depending on your case, we can work with you to find an affordable solution to your legal troubles. We work on a contingency fee basis when handling a personal injury case. We will not collect anything from you until you receive compensation for your injuries. As a small firm, we offer prompt attention and personalized counsel for each of our clients. You will not have to worry about your case being handled by a less experienced associate.
Schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney of Lucero & Associates, P.C. by calling (303) 455-7699. Fill out the attached form with any questions you have for us about your case. We represent people through the Denver metro area including the cities of Lakewood, Aurora, Northglenn, and Westminster.

Se habla español

EL sistema legal es complicada y dificil para comprender, especialmente si uno no habla bien el idioma. Los abogados de Lucero y Associados, P.C. tiene años de experiencia ayudando la gente Mexicano e hispano en las cortes de Colorado. Podemos explicar bien sus derechos legales, las consequencias de de los procedemientos legal, y los opciones que tiene usted. Podemos atender a usted rapidamente y resolver su caso lo mas pronto possible.
Llama a la oficina de Lucero y Associados, P.C. para una consulta gratis o llenar el fomulario aqui y mandar por e-mail y podemos responder entre 24 horas.
Lucero & Associates, P.C.3030 West 38th AvenueDenver, CO 80211Phone: (303) 455-7699Fax: (303) 458-8249