You already know that Internet marketing for your law firm comes with many challenges. The biggest is simply determining what you need to do and how to get it done in the time you’ve allotted. Fortunately, there is an entire industry built around helping you, with information and tools for all levels of expertise. Here are just a few of the online marketing resources I think you will find most useful.
Online Marketing Tools
GetListed.org. This fantastic free tool gives you a glimpse of how your website is performing on local search directories, and the current state of your reviews. There are wonderful guides and a list of trusted vendors. If you use one tool for your law practice’s local search marketing, make it this one.
Yext.com. You can use Yext to find out if the wrong business information is listed for you in various directories. Be warned, though, using this tool usually means you will get called by Yext’s sales team. It’s a powerful tool but their product is not inexpensive. It can be good, though, if you care to have your data instantly corrected on the sites they list.
Whitespark.ca Tools. While these tools are a little more technical for local SEO, and you must pay a monthly fee to use them, they are extremely powerful. The citation finder tool helps you find where you are listed — and where you aren’t — on local directories, and it can compare you to your competitors. The keyword tracker allows you to track where you rank in organic results.
BrightLocal.com. This all-in-one local tool set does a ton of things, from auditing an existing website to tracking reviews and citations. The prices are very reasonable for different levels of uses and the data is pretty good. They offer a free trial and you can have a look around to see if their user interface helps you to understand how to do what you need to do. As with Whitespark, this tool is a little more advanced and built primarily for agencies.
GetFiveStars.com. This tool helps you create a testimonial portal and get reviews for your business. It is awesome — and inexpensive, considering what it can do. Reviews are so important, and this is the first tool I have seen that makes the process exactly what it should be.
Blogs and People
LocalU.org. Some of the top minds in local search can be found here. The blog talks about common problems in local search marketing, and tips and tricks, and Local U offers basic and advanced-level seminars around the country. It also just launched a local search forum full of videos and content. (Full disclosure: I am a part owner of this company, but have no problem telling you that the others involved are people I look up to, immensely.)
Professor Maps. Mike Blumenthal runs the world’s most followed blog on all things Google local search. Before you’ve even thought about having a question, he’s probably already blogged about it. Things can get technical, but this is the site you reference.
Moz.com. This is one of my favorite blogs for tips and tricks within the Internet marketing world, and it usually has the highest-quality ideas and suggestions.
Gyi Tsakalakis. One of the best writers on lawyer SEO, Gyi posts everywhere, so I recommend you follow his Twitter feed @gyitsakalakis to find his most recently published articles. A great mind and a great guy.
Conrad Saam. Conrad writes on all things SEO for lawyers. In addition to his own blog, he is published on some big sites like Search Engine Land. He used to handle in-house SEO for Avvo.com so, needless to say, he understands legal online marketing.
Avvo.com. Avvo’s Lawyernomics blog is packed full of awesomeness on a weekly basis. Everything from webinars to posts on all things marketing for lawyers.
Attorney at Work. Of course.
Jabez Labret. I have seen Jabez speak on many occasions — he has great ideas for lawyers and understands what SEO should be.
Casey Meraz. Casey has published some amazing studies on local search results and is a great marketer.
NiftyLaw. Last but not least, NiftyLaw is part of my company, Nifty Marketing. We recently launched an online marketing blog for attorneys with specific tested tips and ideas for law firms.
Internet Marketing Conferences
Lawyernomics. This marketing conference from Avvo is built for lawyers.
Local U series. From advanced to basic practices, this conference series travels the states and presents a clear action plan for Internet marketing. While not strictly for lawyers, many legal professionals attend and their feedback has been very positive.
SMX. This is the Internet marketing conference for advanced practitioners listening to cutting-edge case studies and tactics. It’s expensive, massive and progressive. Not for the faint at heart. If you don’t know what HTML code is, don’t even attempt it.
Local meetups. In every market there are SEO conferences and local meetups. I can’t say they are all good, but do some investigating and try ones you hear good things about.
The best way to stay up to date is to surround yourself with opportunities to learn.
Mike Ramsey is President of Nifty Marketing, a local search marketing company in Burley, Idaho. Mike is passionate about helping good people and good businesses grow, and recently launched NiftyLaw as a place to learn how to handle online marketing. Follow him on Twitter @mikeramsey or at +Mike Ramsey.