Blogs

Blogs More Likely than Social Media to Influence Purchases

Social Media Examiner:  “Are you wondering how to influence potential customers and prospects?  The latest findings from Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report show that ‘consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.’  In fact, blogs rank favorably with consumers for trust, popularity and even influence.  Here are some interesting findings from the Technorati report.”  Note that Twitter ranked only at 8%.

online services high in influence

By |March 17th, 2013|Blogs, Social Media|0 Comments

Blogging & Content Marketing Replacing Traditional Marketing

Real Lawyers Have Blogs:  “Traditional advertising is rapidly losing out as marketing professionals begin to realize the effectiveness and advantages of content marketing. . . . The number of businesses blogging jumped 29% in the last year, going from 51% of businesses to 65% of businesses blogging. Blogging not only helped businesses gain trust, credibility, and authority, but companies that blog receive 55% more web traffic.  Blogs are also increasingly being viewed as effective in marketing with 58% of businesses believing blogs are an effctive marketing vehicle. Belief in Social media effectiveness jumped 61% from 31% in 2011 to 50% in 2012.

By |October 29th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

Are You Struggling To Get More Business From Your Website?

Legal Marketing Mavens:  “Are you driving regular traffic but it feels like no one is taking the next step to pick up the phone and call? . . . A great way to neutralize the overwhelm and capture a prospect’s information anyway–even if they aren’t quite ready to call–is to implement a strategy of lead generation.  Effective lead generation is the process of offering something of value to the prospect in exchange for their contact information.”

By |June 11th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing|2 Comments

75% of Consumers Seeking an Attorney in Last Year Used Online Resources

Larry Bodine of LexisNexis and the Editor in Chief of Lawyers.com wrote an article that should get the attention of attorneys who do not know that the internet is an untapped goldmine of potential new clients.  In his article called “Most Consumers Go Online to Look for an Attorney” he says:

“The way consumers look for a lawyer has changed in today’s digital age. The advent of social media, smart phones and search engines has dramatically affected the way consumers find lawyers. . . . For lawyers, it is essential to have a website and blog that discuss the legal problems of consumers. An attorney’s online presence should feature FAQs, white papers and checklists to be found by consumers conducing online research. . . .  For lawyers who want to get leads and find clients, it means having a robust directory profile, activity on social media and client-friendly websites. Lawyers can join the conversation – or miss many opportunities to find consumer clients.”

By |May 17th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

What The Highest Converting Websites Do Differently?

Kissmetrics posted an excellent article that examines what websites need to do to convert more visitors into paying customers (aka clients for us lawyers).  This is a topic that I need to spend more time understanding.  My Arizona Limited Liability Company website has 9,627 visitors during April of 2012, but I only formed 41 new Arizona LLCs.  That’s an awful conversion rate of .004.  I would have loved to convert 1%, which would have been 96 new LLCs.

Understanding the best ways to convert traffic to paying clients is important for all attorneys who have websites and who want more revenue.  Remember this important fact:  Your goal is not merely to have a blog or a website – it is to make more money.  To accomplish that goal you must do more than have a static site/blog.  Take some time and learn from Kissmetrics’ article that begins:

“In this post we’re going to go over what the highest converting websites do differently. But before we get into the details, we want to highlight a few points to get you thinking first:

Note the statistic that 96% of the visitors who come to your website are not ready to purchase your services.  This fact is why it is so important that you have a system like Infusionsoft to collect visitors’ names and email addresses from your blog or website and do automatic email followup marketing.  Your site must offer visitors a free report that they get only in exchange for giving you their name and email address.  Once you have the prospect’s name and email address you want your system to automatically send the prospect one or more email messages with content designed to:

  • Give the prospect some useful information about the topic in which the prospect expressed an interest.
  • Keep your name in the mind of the prospect.

Marketing experts say that you need an average of 7 – 9 touches (contacts) with a prospect before the prospect becomes a customer/client.  If you don’t keep your name and contact information in the mind of a prospect that prospect is not likely to remember your name or how to contact you weeks or months after the prospect visited your site/blog when the prospect is ready to buy.

I have used Infusionsoft for five years to collect leads from my websites and do automatic followup marketing.  To learn more about Infusionsoft and how I use it to make more money in my law practice read my “Infusionsoft Review: The Cheapest & Best 24/7/365 Marketing Department.”

By |May 10th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

Beware of Blog Posts with Long or Ugly URLs

I got an email today from a lawyer who said check out my article at : http://blog.firmname.com/index.php/estate-planning-2/7-major-errors-in-estate-planning/#more-147.  Have you ever gotten an message with a link that is mostly numbers such as www.firmname.com/blog/12/5/030455020110304440500060.phx?  I am sure you get lots of email messages that have URLS with a long string of text or numbers and/or text that doesn’t make much sense.  I call these URLs “gross URLS” or for WordPress users “gross permalinks.”

Do yourself and your readers a favor and do not create pages or posts on your website that have gross URLS for four reasons:

  1. They look bad.
  2. They often get broken by email programs and don’t work when clicked.
  3. They are hard for people to type into a browser.
  4. They probably do not help your search engine optimization.

The last point may be the most important because you want your URL to contain key words that may help increase the page or post’s search engine ranking.  Think about the most important key words in your post and use them in the URL / permalink.  If you are writing an article about Arizona widget law which of the following URLS is better:

  • www.firmname.com/blog/12/5/030455020110304440500060.phx
  • www.firmname/arizona-widget-law
By |May 8th, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

Why Attorneys Should be Bloggers

Do you have your own law blog?  Does your law firm have a blog?  Do you want to get more clients?  Do you want to make more money?  Does a bear . . . oh never mind.  I am a big advocate of the attorney law blog.  It works for me.  It can work for you.

The term “blog” is short for web log.  In the early days of blogging a blog was a series of posts displayed on a website in reverse chronological order.  People typically created a blog with content about a specific topic because they wanted to provide a source of information about their topic of interest.  You can find many blogs on any topic you can imagine.  The quality of each blog depends on the creative talent, knowledge and writing ability of the blog’s creator.  Nobody know how many blogs exist, but there are millions of them.

Here is my list of some of the reasons a lawyer should have a blog:

  • Blogging is a learning experience.  Writing good articles (called “posts” in blogese) helps you to know your topic better and increases your legal knowledge.  When you write something that can be viewed by the entire world it has a tendency to cause most people to invest time in making sure the don’t say something that is not true or that is misleading.  It is very common for me to spend time researching a statute or reading one or more cases to make sure that what I say in my post is correct.  Writing about a topic also helps me understand that topic better.
  • Blogging brings traffic to your website/blog.  An important goal in having a website/blog is to attract a lot of visitors to your site.  The best way to get visitors is to have large quantities of good content on your site.  One of the best and easiest ways to create content is the blog.  With good blog software like WordPress is it extremely easy to write an article and post it on your site.  No need to send the article to your web designer and wait a week for the article to be up on your site.  With WordPress adding an article to your site is as simple as writing the article, giving it a title, adding it to one or more categories and clicking the upload icon.   Read “Why I Love WordPress for My Law Firm.”
  • Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your area of law practice.  Over time as you add more and more content about your specific area of law (widget law for example) your blog becomes clear evidence to visitors that you are an expert in widget law.  When deciding on who to hire a prospective client is more likely to hire the lawyer that has tangible (ok technically it is intangible) proof of expertise than the lawyer who has no blog or website about widget law.  Consider for example my blog called “U.S. Real Estate Law.”  This blog is about a single topic, i.e., nonU.S. citizens investing in U.S. real estate.  I form a lot of new Arizona LLCs for people all over the world who want to purchase U.S. real estate.
  • Blogging helps you convince propects to hire you.  Several times a day I talk to prospects on the phone who are interviewing me for the purpose of deciding whether or not to hire me.  Prospects frequently ask about a subject that is an article or post on one of my websites.  When that happens I tell the prospect I have an article on the subject and if he/she will give me his or her email address I will  send a link to the article.  I then use Macro Express to zap canned text with the link to the article into an email message and send it to the prospect.  For example, people frequently ask me about dissolving their Arizona LLC.  When I get a call on that topic I send the prospect the following message:

Thanks for contacting me about terminating your Arizona limited liability company.  To hire us to prepare the documents to terminate an LLC, complete our service agreement found here:

www.keytlaw.com/azllc/killllcagr.pdf

For more information on terminating an Arizona LLC, see my article on this subject found here:

www.keytlaw.com/azllclaw/terminating-llcs/how-to-terminate-an-az-llc/

  • Blogging is fun.  Yes it is.  I enjoy the writing and creative aspects of blogging.  I also get personal satisfaction in knowing that people are reading my posts and learning from the results of my investment in time.

A great way to get ideas for blog posts is to listen to questions prospects and clients ask you in email messages and over the phone.  I am sure you have the same experience I have with people who ask the same common questions about widget law (ok maybe questions about your area of practice, not widget law).  These commonly asked questions make great blog posts.  Turn these questions into a post you can email to prospects and clients to show your expertise.  See for example a blog category on my Arizona Limited Liability Company Law website called “How Do I.”  When I get a call or email message from somebody that asks me a question I’ve answered on my blog I send the person a link to the blog post.

An very important fact of blog life and the key to a successful client generating blog is that you must create good content.  This means you need to invest the time to create posts.  This leads me to Keyt’s Technology Rule #5, which is call the Website Content Equation.  The equation is:

more posts = more content = higher search engine rankings = higher web traffic = more new clients = more revenue

Schedule times for content creation and set a goal for a minimum number of posts every week.  Over time your content quantity will grow and the Website Content Equation will put more money in your pocket.

By |May 5th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Ramblings, Websites, WordPress|0 Comments

A Fool-Proof Formula for Easily Creating Compelling Content

Copyblogger is a great website for learning about blogging and website building using WordPress.  It’s tag line is “Content Marketing Solutions for WordPress that Work.”  I bookmarked this site a few years ago and recommend it for those who want to learn more about using WordPress and getting more traffic to their website or blog.  The site contains a ton of articles on creating good content.  For example, here are some Copyblogger posts just on the subject of the importance of writing good eye-catching headlines:

  1. Why You Should Always Write Your Headline First
  2. The Cheater’s Guide to Writing Great Headlines
  3. Do Key Words in Post Titles Really Matter?
  4. How to Write a Killer “How To” Post That Gets Attention
  5. 7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work
  6. Why Some People Almost Always Write Great Post Titles
  7. 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work
  8. 9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like Crazy
  9. 7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work
  10. Warning: Use These 5 Headline Templates at Your Own Risk
  11. The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines
By |May 2nd, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Websites|0 Comments

44 Must Read Resources on Content Marketing

The secret to getting a lot of traffic to your website is not really a secret.  For those of you who do not know the single most important thing you must do to get lots of visitors to come to your website here it is:

Put lots of high quality content on your blog/website!

The reason my law firm website averaged 163,000 visitors/month during 2012 is because the site has thousands of pages of content.  Yes thousands.  My site is 11 years old and includes eleven separate websites all of which have content and bring visitors to keytlaw.com.

Keyt’s Technology Rule #4 is “If you build it they will not come.”  Yes, your law firm should have a website or blog, but do not be discouraged if it has little traffic in the beginning.  It takes time to create good content.  Your goal should be to add original content on a regular basis – daily is best, but several times a week is better than once a week.  Set a time every day to write content.  I like to get up at 6:15 everyday and spend the first two hours of the day working on my websites.  Over time a regular plan of creating content and adding it to your site will add up to a lot of content, higher search engine rankings, more traffic to your blog or website and more new clients.

To learn more about creating content, read an excellent article published by Kissmetrics called “44 Must Read Resources on Content Marketing.”

By |April 30th, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Websites|0 Comments

WordPress Plugins Used on My Law Firm’s Websites

I have used WordPress to create 11 websites (put your cursor on the menu text above that says “My Other Websites” to access one of my other sites), ten of which I created to get more clients and revenue.  The only WordPress site I created that is not for my law firm is one called “F-4 Phantom,” a site about my five years flying the F-4 Phantom supersonic fighter bomber in the United States Air Force.

If you want to know why I use WordPress to create my law office websites read my article called “Why I Love WordPress for My Law Firm.”  In that article I say that the biggest reason I love WordPress for the law firm is because WordPress has over 19,000 free plugins that allow a WordPress administrator (you should be your site’s administrato) to add cool features to your WordPress blog or website.  A WordPress plugin is software written to accomplish a specific task or add a feature to your WordPress site.  My guess is that somebody has already created a free plugin that will do  everything you could possibly want to do with your site.

Do you want to have message forums or a list serv on your site?  Would you like your site to have a gallery of photos or videos that are displayed to viewers in the order you select for the number of seconds you select?  Would you like to require a visitor to type a captcha before he or she could send you a message?  There are numerous plugins that provide all of these features right out of the box.  That’s cool and free, but the second neatest thing about WordPress plugins is that when you see one you want you click twice and the plugin is installed and working on your WordPress website.  IT ONLY TAKES A FEW SECONDS LITERALLY TO INSTALL A PLUGIN.

The following is a list of plugins in alphabetical order that I always install on every WordPress website or blog I create:

  • Akisment – used to prevent comment spam.  It automatically deletes spam comments of which there are many.
  • All in One SEO Pack – a great tool for adding title, description and key word meta tags to your posts and pages.
  • Bad Behavior – another spam preventor.  I use Akismet and this one.
  • Broken Link Checker – A must have program.  It alerts you to broken links and makes it easy to fix them
  • Contact Form 7 – Use to create web forms to collect contact information and message text so visitors can communicate with you or your firm’s personnel.  See one of my contact forms.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin makes a map of your website every night and sends it to Google and other search engines to help you get better search engine rankings.
  • Sharedaddy – It creates icons and links to share your content with other sites like Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn and Twitter.  You can see this plugin at work at the bottom of every one of my posts.
  • Smart Youtube Pro – This plugin lets me insert and position a Youtube video any where on my site just by copying the Youtube share URL and pasting it where I want it to go on my WordPress site.  It also requires me to add “vh” just before the colon in the Youtube URL.
  • Sociable – I use this plugin to send a post to our Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn pages.  Although you can configure it send every new post we have it set to send posts only if we want to send it and then it only goes to the other sites we select.
  • Subscribe to Comments Reloaded – Use this plugin to allow people who leave comments to chose to receive copies of all future comments and replies made to their comment.
  • Websimon Tables – WordPress does not do tables so you need a plugin.  I have tried a number of table plugins, including one I purchased, and my favorite is Websimon Tables.  It comes with 9 pre-configured tables.  Everything about a table can be customized easily.  It is also easy to move rows and columns.
  • WP-DB Manager – This plugin does all your back ups of your data, including the site’s MySQL data.  It also zips backup files and emails them to you.  I also use it to optimize the WordPress site.
  • WP-PageNavi – This adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog or website.
  • WP-PostViews – It counts and displays the most popular posts and pages on your site.
  • WP-Print – Gives your visitors a better printed output than was is inherent with WordPress.
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – This one displays other posts on your site that are similar to the post a visitor is viewing.

To learn more about these plugins and the 19,000+ other free WordPress plugins go to the WordPress plugins page.

By |April 28th, 2012|Blogs, WordPress|2 Comments

Why I Love WordPress for My Law Firm

I love WordPress.  WordPress for attorneys is a fantastic tool for generating clients and more revenue.  I have been creating my websites using WordPress since 2009.  As of today I have created 11 WordPress websites.  You can access them from the menu link at the top of this page.  Of these 11 sites, I am the only person who adds content to 7 of them, two sites contain content created only by two other KEYTLaw attorneys and two sites contain content created by me and other KEYTLaw attorneys.

If your website is not a WordPress site, you are making a mistake unless you have the money to pay a consultant or web development company a ton of money for a super-duper site.  My experience is always been that I can invest the time to learn a software program so I can use the program and its powerful features without being dependent on a high paid consultant who probably isn’t really that knowledgeable.  See Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 1.

I started the original www.keytlaw.com website in the winter of 2001.  At that time I was a partner at one of the largest law firms in Arizona.  The firm’s board of directors told me I could not have  a website and that a firm website was worthless for generating new clients.  I knew that virtually all lawyer websites did not generate new business because they were nothing more than electronic firm brochures.  I was convinced that I could create a website with original content that informed the public about legal issues and that it would generate business.

I was right.  Since leaving big law in 2001 I have obtained over 6,000 new clients most of whom hired me and my firm because of my websites.  A good informational website is a great way for a lawyer to obtain new clients.  During 2011 the total combined traffic on my websites averaged 163,000 visitors/month.  Per Avvo and www.alexa.com the KEYTLaw website is one of the 35 most visited law related websites in the United States.

Microsoft FrontPage

When I took the plunge and created my first website in 2001 the two most popular HTML editors were Microsoft’s FrontPage and Adobe’s Dreamweaver.  FrontPage was cheaper and sold to the public as more user friendly than Dreamweaver so I bought FrontPage.

For eight years I used FrontPage to create every page on the old www.keytlaw.com.  Take a look at an old FrontPage created KEYLaw page.  The old site look and feel worked well for me for many years despite it’s cludginess.  I designed the look and feel of the site without any knowledge of what I was doing, which is why the site looks like it was made by somebody that didn’t know how to design a site.  I knew I wanted a website and so I just loaded FrontPage and started creating web pages.

My original website and now the other ten WordPress sites generate a tremendous amount of web traffic because they contain content. See an old web log report for the month of December 2006 which shows www.keytlaw.com had 91,489 visitors that month, an average of 2,859/day.  For the year 2006 my old site averaged 85,500 visitors a month and 2,850 visitors a day.  Every year the number of visitors increases because we are constantly adding content to our sites.  Web success is very very simple – the more good content you have on your site the more visitors it will have.

FrontPage was actually user friendly for its era, but the problem with HTML editors is that you start with a blank screen and you must build every page and every feature of your website from scratch.  A simple website was easy to create in FrontPage, but to create any feature required a ton of time and html editing.

WordPress

In 2009 I decided to create a law blog so I did a little research and concluded that WordPress was the way to go.  The difference between WordPress and FrontPage is as great as the difference between night and day.  FrontPage was a low tech do everything yourself program.  WordPress is a high tech do everything for you program.  WordPress combined with WordPress plugins is a winning combination that allows a novice to do anything with a website/blog with very little effort or knowledge needed by the WordPress user.

WordPress comes in two flavors, i.e., wordpress.com and wordpress.org.  The .com version is hosted on WordPress’ website.  The .org version is free downloadable software that you must install on a server (shared or dedicated) and that is accessed by people who go to the URL of your domain.

WordPress.com

The .com version of WordPress is a website that as of today hosts 426,536 free WordPress blogs.  To have a blog on wordpress.com all you need to do is sign up and two minutes later you are in business on the internet.  Your site will be a subdomain of www.wordpress.com such as www.lawfirm.wordpress.com.  WordPress hosts your site on its server.  Although it is actually very easy to have a WordPress.org site on your own domain, the WordPress sites on wordpress.com are even easy to use.  See a list of features offered for free by www.wordpress.com.

The downsides to the .com version are:

1.  Your site is not on your domain.

2.  You will not have access to the vast universe of plugins available when you have WordPress running on your domain.

3.  You cannot have any ads.

4.  Customization is limited.

5.  Moving your site to a Wordpress.org site later is a big deal for the average WordPress user.

Reasons Why I love WordPress

1.  WordPress is Very Easy to Install:  With a good webhost like Bluehost anybody can create a WordPress law firm website or blog simply and easily.  I’ve hosted my websites at Bluehost since I created my first blog in 2009.  Bluehost hosts millions of WordPress sites and is adding 20,000 new sites a month.  I cannot say enough about Bluehost.  It’s cheap ($5 – $7) month.  It’s got great tech support 24/7, which I have used from time to time.  What I love best about Bluehost is that is uses something called Cpanel and Simple Scripts.  What these two programs mean to the WordPress user (prospective or actual) is that you can create a new WordPress website/blog in less than ONE MINUTE.  Yes!  In a future video I’ll demo how to do it and how quickly I can create a new site.

To learn more about everything Bluehost gives you for $5/month go to its hosting features page.

2.  WordPress is Very Easy to Learn:  It takes me about 15 minutes to show a person everything he/she needs t know to add content to WordPress.  Only one person in your firm needs to be the administrator of your WordPress site and know how to do things like add, configure and update plugins and do the admin stuff.  There is a higher learning curve to be the administrator, but there is virtually no learning curve to be a WordPress content creator.   Everybody only needs to know how to create a blog post or a web page, both of which are extremely simple.

3.  WordPress Themes:  A WordPress theme is software add on to WordPress that gives the entire site a certain look and feel and built in features.  In my bad old days of using FrontPage, I had to create the look and feel (theme) of my website.  It is not an easy task for a novice, which is why my theme was not too spiffy for eight years.  WordPress, however, for some reason I do not understand offers 1,549 free themes that you can download and install in a matter of seconds.  Yes.  That’s right SECONDS!  See the free WordPress themes yourself.  If you see one you like all you have to do is click on the “install” button then 5 seconds later click on the “activate” button and your WordPress site has a new look and feel.  I use a very popular theme on all of my sites called “Atahualpa,” which had been downloaded 941,182 time as of the date of this article.  There are also thousands of themes that you can purchase if you can’t find a free theme you like.  Update:  I now use the Avada theme on most of my websites.  I love this theme.  It is state of the art including being “responsive” out of the box.  A responsive site is a site that looks great on smartphones, iPads and tablets.

4.  WordPress Has Plugins:  The thing I like best about WordPress is that there are thousands of plugins (19,330 free ones as of the date of this article) that I can quickly download and install on my WordPress site.  Most plugins are free, but some require that you purchase the plugin before downloading.  A plugin is essentially software code that you can add to your WordPress site literally by making two clicks with your mouse.  Unlike the FrontPage days when the website developer had to create all the code to do anything on a website, there are probably several free WordPress plugins that will do anything you could imagine doing with a website or a blog.  See WordPress’ plugins page where you can find all the free plugins.  Here are the four most downloaded plugins (I use all of them on all of my sites) with a description of what the plugin does:

  • Akismet – downloaded 9,949,581 times.  This plugin detects comment spam and deletes it.  Yes  Comment spam is common whenever you have a website/blog that allows visitors to leave comments.
  • Contact Form 7 – downloaded 6,732,250 times.  Allows the administrator to create a contact form to collect information when people want to contact the website creator or somebody in the company that owns the site.  See one of my contact forms I created with this plugin.
  • All in One SEO Pack – downloaded 10,606,267 times.  This plugin has fields into which I enter the title of a page or a post, the keywords therein and a description of the page or post that is not more than 160 characters in length.  When a page or post is saved this information is included in the meta data for the page or post and used by the search engines.  This information is important for good search engine optimazation.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – downloaded 7,368,379 times.  Every night this plugin creates a sitemap of my WordPress site and sends it to Google and the major search engines to assist them when their bots crawl my site.

How to Learn How to Use WordPress

There are many ways you could learn how to use WordPress, but here are my recommendations:

1.  Teacher-Student Method:  If you know somebody who is a serious user of WordPress, ask him or her to give you a lesson and if you can call from time to time with questions.

2.  Watch Lynda.com Training Videos:  Whenever I want to learn how to use software I go to Lynda and watch one or more training videos.  When I wanted to learn how to make Adobe Acrobat pdf fillable forms I watched a 20 hour training video on Lynda.  Today Lynda has a 6.5 hour course on the self-hosted version of WordPress and a 5 hour course on the WordPress.org hosted version.  Both of these courses are about version 3.3 of WordPress, the current version.

You can pay to watch individual videos, but for years I have paid Lynda $25/month for unlimited access to all of its training videos.

3.  Watch My Demo Videos:  You can’t watch them today, because I haven’t created them yet.  In the very near future I will have demo videos that show lawyers interested in learning WordPress everything they need to know to install a WordPress site on Bluehost , configure it with a theme and plugins and how to add content.  Check back in the near future or enter your email address in the field in the top of the left column of this page if you want to get an update when I add new content.

Your thoughts?  Do you or your law firm use WordPress and have any gripes?  Do you use something else that you like?  Leave a comment.

By |April 28th, 2012|Blogs, Stuff We Recommend, WordPress|0 Comments

Google Plus & Google’s Rich Snippet

Do you know what a Google “rich snippet” is?  Should you?  If you want more visitors to your blog or website you need to know what a rich snippet is and how to create them.  There are three types of bloggers and webmasters:

  1. those that are clueless about Google +,
  2. those that have heard about Google + and who are vaguely aware it might be a good thing to understand and use, and 
  3. those who understand and use Google + and related Google features to get more traffic to their blogs/websites.  

Until yesterday I was in category 2.  Now, after reading the two excellent articles listed below I have the knowledge I need to create a Google business page for my law firm, KEYTLaw and implement the suggestions contained in the two articles.  I’m now at stage 2.5.  I just need to implement my new knowledge.

To date Google + does not have the reach of Facebook and Twitter, but we all know Google’s power and innovation track record so it is safe to bet that Google + could be as important blog/website referral source as Facebook.  By the way I have heard many people, including a keynote speaker at the 2012 Infusionsoft convention, say that Facebook doesn’t send much (or any) traffic to their blog/website.  The primary reasons for the lack of Facebook referrals are:

  1. the business does not have a Facebook page (hint:  a page is different from a Facebook account)
  2. the business has a Facebook page, but little happens on it, i.e., not much content.
  3. the person or people in the business responsible for its Facebook page don’t understand how to use the Facebook page to generate referrals to the firm’s website.

My websites get a lot of referrals from my firm’s Facebook page.  Earlier this month I did a blog post on a new law passed by the Arizona legislature entitled “Arizona Legislature Passes Broad Internet Censorship Bill.”  I also put the entire text of the bill on the KEYTLaw blog.  The day that blog post went live it got over 800 visitors, including over 400 who were referred from Facebook!

Here are the two articles on Google’s rich snippets and Google + I recommend:

The second article listed states “according to one study on the impact of rich snippets on traffic, the number of clicks increased by 150% once the rich snippet was added. This is one of those opportunities to give yourself an almost unfair advantage in Google.”

Read also “Google+: Should Lawyers Care?” which states:

“Last week, Google announced that Google+ (aka, “Google Plus” or “G+”) has reached 170 million users.  By any measure, that is a truckload of users; but it is staggering when you consider that G+ is less than a year old.  That makes the infant G+ roughly the size of Twitter (200mm registered users) and larger than LinkedIn (150mm registered users).  And, while G+ is still only 20% of the size of Facebook, it has clearly arrived, requiring lawyers to strongly consider it as part of their online branding and business development strategies.”

By |April 25th, 2012|Blogs, Google, Ramblings|0 Comments

Google’s Advice on How to Create High Quality Websites

The following is the beginning of an article on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog called “More guidance on building high-quality sites

“In recent months we’ve been especially focused on helping people find high-quality sites in Google’s search results. The “Panda” algorithm change has improved rankings for a large number of high-quality websites, so most of you reading have nothing to be concerned about. However, for the sites that may have been affected by Panda we wanted to provide additional guidance on how Google searches for high-quality sites.

Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”

The article mentions 23 things you can do to improve the quality of your website.

By |April 24th, 2012|Blogs, Google|0 Comments

12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time

Neil Patel wrote an excellent article that I recommend bloggers who want to get more visitors read.  He describes in detail 12 mistakes bloggers make.  They are:

  1. Crafting cute, clever or confusing headlines (or really bad ones)
  2. Never linking to old posts
  3. Never linking to other bloggers
  4. Forgetting to fill out your page title and description fields
  5. Creating clunky URLs
  6. Plagiarizing other bloggers
  7. Publishing less than one post per month
  8. Writing big blocks of copy
  9. Zero presence on any social media platforms
  10. Never inviting readers to leave comments
  11. Writing about a topic nobody cares about
  12. Giving up
By |April 23rd, 2012|Blogs|0 Comments

Leveraging Your Blog to Bring in More Work

In a one hour video LexBlog CEO Kevin O’Keefe provides some tough love and explains how he uses his blog and other platforms on the Internet — like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and even text messaging — to build relationships and bring in business.  Blogging is an important piece of my internet marketing solution.  Every lawyer should have a blog to which he or she contributes regularly.  A good blog is a great way to get new business – if you do it right.

Blog Tip:  All lawyers get people who email and call and ask routine questions about their areas of law practice.  When you get one of these emails or phone calls, turn it into a blog post on your Frequently Asked Questions category/topic.  For example, on my Arizona Limited Liability Company Law website I have a blog category called “How Do I” (another name for a FAQ) where I pose a common question and then give the answer.  A great marketing benefit from answering common questions on your blog is that when you do get an email or phone call asking the same question you can send the questioner an email message with a link to your blog post that gives the answer.  Prospects tend to be impressed when they read an answer to their legal question on your blog.  Written content on your blog is a great way to establish that you are an expert on a topic.

By |April 23rd, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings|0 Comments

WordPress is Most Popular Blog Software

A recent survey by Pingdom found that 48 of the most popular blogs are created with WordPress, up from 32 in 2009.  In order the blog platforms by percent of sites using the software are:

  • 48 WordPress
  • 14 Custom
  • 7 Movable type
  • 6 Drupal
  • 5 Gawker
  • 4 Blogsmith
  • 2 Typepad
  • 2 Blogger

Where does your blog/web software fall in this list?   The article says, “It’s also interesting to see that our findings are not far off compared to what Technorati found in its State of the Blogosphere 2011 report. In it, Technorati found that 51% of blogs in the world use WordPress.”  The article contains a list of the top 100 blogs and the software platform used by each.

If you are not using WordPress for your blog or website you are probably making a mistake.  If you are paying somebody big bucks to create a custom site for you then you are really wasting a ton of money.

I started using WordPress in the fall of 2009.  It is an incredible program and it’s free.  I now have 11 websites/blogs (counting this one) that I created using WordPress.  I use WordPress to create pure blog sites and sites that are traditional websites that may or may not have a blog.  Here are the reasons I love WordPress and recommend it:

  • It’s free.  However there are some themes and plugins that you must buy to use, but the vast majority of themes and plugins are free.
  • It’s very easy to use.  I can teach somebody in ten minutes how to add content (posts and pages) to a WordPress blog or site.
  • It’s very powerful.  For some reason I do not understand people write add-in features and give them away for free to anybody who uses WordPress.  The two most common types of freebies are: (1) themes, and (2) plugins.  A theme is the look and feel of a blog or site.  WordPress comes with a default theme, but you can select from thousands of free themes and download and active a them in a matter of seconds.  When you active a theme, it instantly changes the look and feel of your site.  I use a theme for all of my sites called “Atahualpa,” one of the most popular free themes.  A plugin is a WordPress software add on that adds a new feature to your site.  You do not have to spend time creating code to make your site do what you want.  Instead, you search for a theme you want then click on the Install icon and the plugin then downloads and installs on your WordPress site.  For example, if you want a feature that automatically makes a sitemap of your site and uploads it to Google or if you want to have a message list serve on your site, all you need to do is decide which plugin you want, install and configure it and your WordPress site has those new features in a matter of minutes.

Do yourself a favor and switch to WordPress or create a WordPress site if you do not have a blog or a website.  The first step is go to www.lynda.com.  Pay to watch one of its how to videos on using WordPress version 3, the latest version.  If you learn WordPress and have a WordPress blog or website you can save tons of money and frustration by avoiding the need to pay a consultant.

By |April 16th, 2012|Blogs, Software, WordPress|0 Comments