December 15, 2008
There is more to internet exposure for your business than search engines. To be sure, Google, MSN, Yahoo and the like are all excellent ways of getting your name out there. But it can take a long time to get your site to the top of most of the major categories, and since the number of categories is only limited by the imagination of the typical Google user, getting the results that you want can sometimes take awhile. So while you are waiting to move up the rankings, what else can you do to increase the web presence of your law firm? What can you do to get more clients? What can you do to get better cases?
For one thing, you might want to take a look at what your kids are doing on their computers.
Facebook and MySpace are the scourge of teachers and employers everywhere. In many schools, a student caught looking at one of these sites during class ends up in detention, and younger employees caught on these sites during working hours can get reprimanded or worse. Wikipedia, which is an encyclopedia site that gives brief or lengthy summaries of almost everything, is also the scourge of academics because, since it is updated by users, it can be inaccurate. Many are the lazy college students who have been caught cutting and pasting a Wikipedia entry on their term papers.
While these sites are ridiculously popular with teenagers, they aren’t the only ones using them. Adults have caught on to the Facebook and MySpace craze, seeing them as a great way to stay in touch with friends and to find old ones. In terms of finding old friends, it has been said in some quarters that Facebook and MySpace may be the end of the high school reunion, simply because the internet makes it very easy to find and keep in touch with all of your old classmates.
YouTube, which is a site that allows people to post their own video content and others to view it free of charge, has enjoyed immense popularity, so much so the point that Google actually purchased YouTube in 2007 to the tune of about $2 Billion. So can you make these sites work for you? The answer is an emphatic yes, and the good news is that you can do it fairly simply.
Social Networking Sites
Signing up for Facebook and MySpace is absolutely free. What they allow you to do is to create a profile page, in which you can put whatever information you deem appropriate. MySpace allows for more decoration and personal touch than Facebook, but as of right now Facebook is more popular. But considering that both are free, you should feel free to sign up for both. In the sections that you fill out to tell people about yourself, tell them that you are a personal injury attorney and tell them the practice areas that are your specialty. You are also given the opportunity to include links, so give them the link to your website. In order to make the site truly work, it helps to have “friends,” which is what happens when you link up to other members with their own pages. If your employees have accounts, become friends with them. If one of your clients has a MySpace or Facebook account, become friends with them. If your teenager can stand the utter embarrassment, be friends with him or her. All of this increases your profile and also gets picked up in Google and other search engines. MySpace offers you a blog to update, which is always good, and both sites allow you to post videos. This brings us to YouTube.
YouTube Video Sites
If you have already shelled out the money for a commercial to be aired, why not double up on the exposure by putting it on YouTube? And unlike paying for television air time, YouTube is completely free. If you don’t have a commercial ready, you can certainly make one, or simply record the testimony of a satisfied client. You no longer need a high profile production team. These days, all you really need is a camera, some basic video editing software, and an imagination.
Most people don’t like the idea of writing about themselves in the third person, but Wikipedia gives you a great opportunity to post your professional biography and accomplishments online. Also, in the “references” section, you can link to your website, any articles that you might have written, or any newspaper articles describing cases that you have won. Also, due to its popularity, a Wikipedia page routinely pops up in the first page of Google for almost any subject that you can think of. These are only a few of the many ways that you can increase the web traffic of your law firm. It doesn’t take much time, and the benefits greatly outweigh the effort that it takes to get started.
Tom Foster – At Foster Web Marketing, we offer full service web programs for attorneys all over the country. We offer web hosting, content writing and management, site design and search engine optimization services. If you are part of a personal injury law firm and are interested in raising the internet profile of your firm, go to http://www.fosterwebmarketing.com today.