Don't miss

Making Cents Out of Chaos! The Wild,Wild Web

Richard Harmer

By Richard Harmer

The billions of people that use the Web control it. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and all the other goliath online companies do their best to keep up and speculate what people will be doing next on the Web. They also want money, so they guide and control the direction and you’re forced to adapt or you slowly fall behind. Based on analytics–KPIs (key performance indicators), search engine data, algorithms – they adjust quite frequently. The ability to adapt when the time is right can separate you from everyone else very quickly. Being nimble is more important than being correct at times. Having a lot of resources no longer matters. The Web, as it is today, has leveled the playing field considerably. Any size firm can get and sustain a great web presence and convert leads into clients.

These are principles you should be aware of. It doesn’t matter who’s doing your online marketing.These principles, myths and facts will give you insight so you can make the best online marketing decisions for your firm. This simple knowledge will give you the ability to sustain, measure and adapt your online marketing efforts.

MYTH: Social Media is for marketing. When people say social media marketing it is misleading. Marketing is communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service. Social media is meant to be conversational between two people. Here’s an analogy, you attend a networking event at a restaurant and begin chatting with someone. All he does is talk about himself. Finding it annoying, you move on to talk to someone else and the relationship is cut short. The same thoughts, opinions and feelings are formed and expressed online too.

MYTH: The more traffic to your site the better. That’s not true. Demand your marketing team keep track of your actual conversions. Just because they are driving a ton of traffic to your site doesn’t mean you’re getting clients. Request you see the actual conversions. Frankly, if you’re doing things right you could be decreasing your online expenditures over time.

MYTH: You should be doing everything. Only do what you can maintain. Quality is much better than quantity.

FACT: Fifty-six percent of all ads on Google are never seen. Where did that stat come from? Google! When was the last time you clicked on an obvious advertisement on Google? Pay per click should be used as part of a strategy, not the end all.

FACT: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is changing … rapidly. Although most attorneys are not SEO experts, here’s what you should do and what you should not do. Do demand monthly reports from your marketing people on your SEO stats. Do participate in creating content and articles. Do continue to use traditional PR methods and local publications to post your material. Do focus on educating and not selling. Do not use linking services. Do not force keywords just to have them in an article. Do not let someone else choose what you want to be known for. Do not be married to one SEO company for years. It’s OK to change. They all have different tactics and six-eight months is enough time to determine if what they’re doing is working for you. Do not disengage from the process.

FACT: People (your competition) can and do use the name of your law firm or the partners names. This is a real life game Internet marketing people play to redirect traffic to their client’s site. Having someone in-house check online very regularly will let you know if this is happening. Hint: When you type in the name of your firm online and someone else comes up in the ad section … they could be paying for your name and possibly redirecting Web traffic away from you.

FACT: Make sure your website is 100 percent mobile friendly. This is very important in today’s mobile world. It’s not expensive to do and should be part of your website creation anyway.

FACT: Staying client focused and educational will help you succeed online no matter what changes.

FACT: Facebook wants you to boost your posts now. The days of pushing things to your fans are gone. Facebook wants anything promotional to be paid for. The change happened in early 2015.

FACT: LinkedIn matters. Just remember it’s more important to have 150 people you know versus 500 you don’t. The Web connects everyone, so you being a connector that brings people together creates sustainability on the Web and off.

Follow these simple rules and avoid the pitfalls. Trying to trick Google will do more harm than good. There are many examples of this.

Knowing this information will not just make you cents, but will turn those cents into dollars.

Richard W. Harmer is a communications strategist and owner of RAW Communications Inc. Most recently Richard was the director of communications for KoonsFuller, P.C. in Dallas, Texas. He specializes in integrated media strategies and social behaviors. Richard trains, coaches, consults and partners with law firms about their online marketing presence, traditional media approaches and building a memorable brand. He has been working with law firms for over 10 years and is continually adapting his methods as the new marketing world continues to evolve. Email richard@rawstrategic.com or call (817) 937-5359 for more information.