Monday, June 28, 2010

Google Tags Are Now Available In New York

If you have an Optimized Google local (i.e. places or maps) listing in Google and you practice in New York, Google Tags are now available as an upgrade on your account.

As I previously posted about the introduction of Google Tags in May of this year, for a flat $25 monthly fee, you can add these highlighted markers to your current Google local listings to make them stand out. If your Google local listings consistently display well in targeted searches of higher volume, then this is another great way to draw user eyes to you.

If you are an attorney in New York, you should:

- Optimize your Google and Bing local listings

- Add tags to your Google local listings if they display well in higher volume searches

Visit the SEO consultant firm website to learn more about Law Firm Search Engine Optimization and our blog to learn more about Google Tags Optimization.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Using Social Media To Help Promote Your Blog

There are over 70 million blogs in existence with a new blog being created every second of every day. With the growing number of blogs in use, many people and companies struggle to create followers and promote their blog for others to read.

The most successful blogs in use today have hundreds and even thousands of “followers” who both subscribe to the blog or visit and contribute to it on a regular basis. But just like Rome, successful blogs were not built in a day. In most cases; visibility, reputation, and followers came from months and years successful promotion of your blog.

So how can you help promote your blog today? Simple: through Social Media. Here is how it works:

1. Facebook now has around 500 million active users. Most people can quickly create a Facebook account and amass a large number of friends and peers in a very short period of time. The average Facebook user has around 130 “friends” who are connected to their accounts. With a Facebook account, all of your friends can see postings that you can create on their Facebook home page. Start by creating a Facebook account and then find and as many friends as you can – especially people you think would benefit from reading from your blog. Another great aspect of Facebook is that many of them will find you as well with almost no effort on your part.

2. Now that you have an audience on Facebook, it is now time to create a Facebook page for your business / blog. Once created, invite your “friends” to become “fans” of your new page on Facebook. Next, add the “Social RSS” tab to your Facebook Page so you can have your blog entries automatically displayed on your Facebook Page. Here is the link: Important: when you setup this new tab, make sure to allow your new blog entries to be published to your Facebook page wall. Here is an example of how it looks when done correctly:

3. Next, you will also want your blog entries that are published on your Facebook page to also be published to your Twitter page. Here is the page to link the two together:

Walla! Now every time you create a blog entry on your blog, it will be published on your Facebook page and your Twitter page – automatically. Now all of your friends will see your blog postings in these accounts which will then link them back to your blog to read and discover more.

As you can see, social media can be a very effective way to help promote your blog. As the old saying goes: it is better to fish where the fish are. Through these simple steps, most people can be easily fished for by using social media.

Visit our webiste today to learn more about how advanced search engine optimization can help promote your law firm.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

3 Ways To Make Your Law Firm Practice Stand Out

Below is a nice article from the Rainmaker Institute on the top 3 ways to make your law firm stand out. Working in a major metro like NYC where there are over 75,000 attorneys competing for clients, these are especially important for success...

One of the questions our clients struggle the most with when it comes to marketing their law firm is “How do I differentiate my law firm from my competition?”

1. Create a micro niche. In these days of hyper-specialization, it’s NOT about “mass marketing.” It’s about “micro marketing”—creating a micro niche that best positions you as a specialist. If you developed a tumor on your brain, you would go to an oncologist specializing in neurosurgery, not a general practitioner.

It’s the same way with law firm marketing. You must position yourself as a specialist, not a generalist.

One way to do this is by focusing on a very defined niche. For example an intellectual property attorney could say, “I concentrate on helping inventors and owners of small software development companies in Los Angeles with less than $1 million in revenues protect their intellectual property and develop creative ways to generate multiple revenue streams from their invention.”

Creating a micro niche, or focused target market is critical to your success as a small law firm.

2. Focus on solutions and results. People buy solutions to their problems. They buy results, not your services. When meeting with a prospective client, emphasize the benefits you offer to clients and the value you bring through your specific expertise with their kind of legal problem. Discuss the results you have achieved for other clients, but be careful not to overstep the ethical boundaries or promise results based on someone else’s case. There's an old adage “Facts tell. Stories sell.” While your colleagues may be thrilled to know all about how you found a loophole for your client, don’t forget to meet the needs of your client by focusing on the solution.

3. Build an online presence. The Internet has changed everything when it comes to law firm marketing and how consumers select law firms. Many attorneys either don’t realize or aren’t willing to admit that most savvy individuals will check them out online before they ever finalizing their decision.

In fact, current research shows that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations; only 14% trust advertising. An online presence today means not only a website, but also immersion in Social Mediablogs, video, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Avvo and more.

As another old adage goes: Fish where the fish are.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

SEO Updates For Bing & Yahoo

Later this year (we were told) Bing and Yahoo will be combining their back end search engine to become a more formidable and unified force in the search engine world. The current market breakdowns for search engine traffic are as follows:

Google: 66%
Yahoo: 17%
Bing: 11%

With The combination of Bing and Google, we expect to see a distribution to look something like:

Google: 66%

BingHoo: 30% (est.)

So what does this mean for SEO? I had a chance to review my client's performances in both search engines and on average, and here are some general observations:

- I tend to notice a better performance in Bing for sites that have high quality on-site SEO
- I tend to notice content and structure (without links), on average, tends to perform faster and better in Bing than in Google.
- Textual links and relevant multi-source linking seems to get better results in Bing than Google
- Ever sine Google's MayDay release, optimized web pages residing in high value domains tend to consistently perform better in Bing than in Google. These include such things as power pages, Facebook pages, etc.
- If you haven't already done so, it is time to claim and optimize your Bing Local Listing. I am not crazy about the way Bing presents their maps displays in the SERP's and my suspicion is that they are less effective than Google in this regard.

Adding the Bing Webmaster Center to your website toolkit is clearly important here as the video here discusses. Beyond that, it will be interesting to see the results of the new "BingHoo" and how that plays out in the search engine market.

SEO Consultant Firm

Monday, June 14, 2010

Divorce Lawyer Marketing & Social Media

One of the fundamental aspects of inbound marketing (aka internet search engine marketing) is that you have to MATCH THE WAY YOUR MARKET YOUR SERVICES TO WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE BUYING THEM. Along this line, I continue to meet excellent divorce and family law attorneys who continue to tell me that they want to grow their practice yet continue to spend money on phone-book and TV ads…the disconnect is obvious. Why?

According to a Jun 4th Pew Research on divorces in the United States, the median age for a man to divorce is 31.8 years old, and 29.4 for women. Moreover, the highest at-risk age category for divorce is 25 years old (more than 50%). If you are a divorce attorney, you need to ask yourself just where these people are spending their free time because I can assure you that it is not typically in a phone book or watching TV’s online.

So where exactly are they online? Social media: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

According to the latest statistics, here are the (estimated) breakdowns for each:

Facebook: 500 Million Active Users and growing – median age: 27
Twitter: 75 Million Accounts (20-30% active) – median age: 40
LinkedIn: 60 Million members (50% active)
Blogs: 30% of Americans actively participate in blogs every day
YouTube/Videos: 100 Million Videos are watch online each day

So what is the social media usage by age group? According to a recent poll by Harris Interactive (June 2010), the following are the breakdown of social media users by age group:

- 18-34 year olds: 78%
- 35-44 year olds: 71%
- 55 and older: 43%

Since Facebook is the ten-thousand pound gorilla of social media, let’s take a closer look. According to a recent user count on Facebook, here are the following breakdowns for New York City (within a 50 mile radius):

- Total Users (25 years old and up): 4.6M
- Total Married Users: 1.35M
- Total Married Users (Age 25): 25K
- Total Married Users (Ages 25-31): 275K

As we discussed in our recent article on Facebook advertising for attorneys, Facebook advertising as dramatically different from traditional PPC advertising since you can now focus your advertising to your target customer demographics.

So what is the bottom line for divorce and family law attorneys? You need to market your services to your best customers and where they are…and your customers are using social media. The best part is with services like Facebook ads, you can now reach them more effectively than ever when it comes to paid advertising.

Contact us today to let us help you grow your divorce lawyer practice online.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Every Lawyer Should Know About Advertising On Facebook

I spend a great deal of time getting my clients to the highest organic positions possible on search engines due to the fact that paid advertising (or PPC) has a much lower ROI and typically only receives around 20-25% of the user clicks.

By the recent explosion in social media has provided a new and much more dynamic way in which to advertise your services online that never existed on the search engines.

Traditional Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows the customer to choose a geography for their search and then requires that keyword selection be used to match the desired search engine traffic. Since nearly 50-70% of all attorney search engine searches are non-repeatable (i.e. long-tail), there is simply no way to accurate capture the majority of these searches.

But Facebook has thrown a whole new wrinkle into the equation. Facebook is the fastest growing social media tool with an active user base of over 500 million people and growing. To put this into perspective, if Facebook were its own country, it would be the third most populated country in the world! Moreover, Facebook is the second most visited site online next to Google and over half of all internet users are now projected to visit Facebook at least once a month.

So why is all this important to an attorney? Because the most important aspect of marketing is to match the way you market your services to the ways in which your customers will best see them. The bottom line is that your prospective clients are now on Facebook.

What Makes Facebook Advertising So Unique

Traditional Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is based largely on keyword selection and geography and your ad is then displayed in a very small section with very limited text. Facebook ads also display on the user’s page but allow you to add an image to your advertisement and best of all, your user targeting demographics are much more dynamic.

When users create a Facebook account, they will provide information about themselves including their: location, age, sex, relationship status, likes and interests, education, and connections to other facebook people, groups and pages. As a result, Facebook allows you to advertise to people based on their user demographics. In short, if you have a target profile for your prospective clients, Facebook will now allow you to advertise directly to them through their website.

For example, say you are an estate planning attorney in NYC and determine that your targeted user profile is highly educated men in Manhattan within a certain age group and profession. You can now, based on what these people tell Facebook about themselves, advertise directly to these people in a way that traditional search engine advertising never allowed.

Another example might be a divorce & mediation attorney in NYC who knows that married police officers tend to have higher incidents of marital problems and therefore decides to target people of a certain age who have law enforcement as an interest as well as those people who are part of NYC police groups and pages on Facebook.

Recent Pew Research also suggests that the highest level of divorces tend to fall in the 25-31 year old age groups. PPC doesn’t allow you to target users by age but Facebook now does…a definite advantage.

As you can see by these examples, the best way to target your ideal customers is to first know their target profiles and then enter these criteria into Facebook to see how many people meet this advertising market size. If it then makes sense to run ads for these people, you can choose to pay based on the number of impressions (views) or clicks you receive from the ad.

How To Get Started With Facebook Advertising

1.) Create a new facebook account by going to:

2.) Go to to setup your new advertising account and select your criteria.

3.) Once you start selecting your user criteria, you will notice an “estimated search” number to the right of the screen indicating how many people fit these criteria. You will also notice at the bottom of the screen the estimated number of clicks or impressions you should expect to receive on a daily basis.

4.) Make sure to spend a good deal of time in crafting both the content for your ad as well as the image you will use within it. If you need ideas, visit the ads on the right of your own Facebook screen to see how other people are advertising to you.

5.) Set a reasonable budget and run your ad for a 2-4 week period of time and then gauge your response rates and potential new clients you receive. Make sure to ask each new client you receive from the web where exactly they found you from so you know if your Facebook ads are effective from both the qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Your website analytics will also help by proving a “source” indicating the number of click you received from

If you would like to learn more about facebook advertising, page optimization and use, please visit our website today: SEO Consultant Firm.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

No Tweets For Blagojevich In The Court Room

Interesting preemptive strike by Judge Zagel today who ordered Ex-Governer Blagojevich to not tweet from the courtroom during his trial. This is yet another example of Twitter finding an increasing presense in our court system.

In July of last year, we reported about a libel lawsuit involving twitter messages that got a former tenant in hot water with her apartment management company. We also reported in October about the increasing use of social media tools like twitter as evidence in divorce law cases.

Of course, the news isn't all bad...especially for recent law school graduate Rex Gradeless who in March planned to charge $174 per tweet to advertise to his 76,000 followers.

This all follows the ultimate question I commonly receive from attorneys: should lawyers be using twitter? Based on the recent cases in the news, I would suggest that the answer is becoming increasingly say the least.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Legal Sector Job Losses Stabilizing?

According to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector gained 300 jobs in May after losing 1100 in January, 100 in February and 500 in March.

However, a total of 22,200 legal jobs have been lost since May 2009. This marks a decline in job loses from 2009 - a year many refer to as the worst year in the legal market in at least the past half-century.

Job losses in the legal sector:

October 2009: (5800)
November 2009: (2900)
December 2009: (2100)
January 2010: (1100)
February 2010: (100)
March 2010: (500)
April 2010: +300

Visit our website to learn more about law firm marketing online.

CLEAN Source:

Monday, June 7, 2010

US Online Video Statistics for April 2010

Still think you don't need videos on your law firm's website? Here are some pretty interesting statistics from comScore for April 2010:

- U.S. Internet users watched 30.3 billion videos in April
- 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online videos
- Google Sites ranking as the top video property with 13.1 billion videos, representing 43.2 percent of all videos viewed online
- 83.5 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video
- 135.7 million viewers watched 13.0 billion videos on (96.0 videos per viewer)
- The duration of the average online video was 4.4 minutes.

What does this all mean for lawyers online? Well, when it comes to law firm internet marketing, the goal has always been to market yourself where your customers will see you. When 83.5% and growing of your potential clients are viewing videos, it is hard to ignore the facts.

What is even more promising for videos are recent results indicating that when videos are present on a website, the number of law firm websites people will visit BEFORE they contact an attorney drops from 4.8 to less than 2. For law firms focused on high conversions, videos are clearly a key component.

comScore Stats:

Friday, June 4, 2010

NYC: $9.9M Settlement For Man Framed By Cop

NY Post: A man who spent 18 years behind bars after he was framed for murder by mob cop Louis Eppolito settled his civil suit with the city today for $9.9 million.

The city agreed to the whopping payout for Barry Gibbs, 62, this morning, just days before his case was set to go to trial in Brooklyn federal court.

"Mr. Gibbs is very happy," said his lawyer Nick Brustin. "We uncovered massive misconduct in the police department. What was most shocking was how brazen it was."

Gibbs, a former postal worker with a drug history, was convicted of strangling prostitute Virginia Robertson in 1988.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dustin Ruge Speaking At NYSTLA (New York State Trial Lawyers Association) - June 3rd, 2010

June 3, 2010

6:30 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
NYSTLA, 132 Nassau Street
New York, NY 10038
6 CLE Professional Practice Credits (total for program)

Topics to be presented:

Trends in Online Marketing
- Web Usage & facts
- NYC Legal Search Trends

Inbound vs. Inbound Marketing Overview
- Changes in consumer behaviors

Understanding Attorney Searches
- How search engines display results
- Why search engines display results
- How Search Engine Optimization Improves Results
- The importance of long-tail search for attorneys

Video & Social Media
- Facts & Growth
- Video Impacts
o Conversion
o Optimization
o Search Results
- Facebook
o Facebook Pages
o Facebook Ads (alternative to Google Adwords)
- Twitter
- Using social media to support your overall strategy

Why Work with a Legal Marketing Specialist?
- Experience in understanding your practice
- Understanding your competition online
- Available assets and support to fully execute (content, authority, videos, etc.)
- Stability & Growth
- Knowing how you can best compete online with the highest ROI

The speaker: About Dustin Ruge