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Dominating The Internet

I know an awful lot about the internet, search engine optimization, web page development, directory listing, on-line professional networking, and a host of other skills which help propel us to page one Google results.  I’ll be the first to admit that understanding all of the necessary base concepts is daunting for most lawyers…hell, it’d be daunting for anyone.  I think many lawyers figure it’s just too much, too complicated to get their brain around.  They take their Yellow Page online listings, develop a website, and call it a day.

I’ll tell you the same thing I tell all of the lawyers who I speak to about internet marketing.  We don’t have to know everything.  You simply have to get in the game.  Each day is like a drip of water.  Before you know it, there is an indentation.  After a year or two, there’s a flowing stream. 

Technology is all about perseverance.  The internet isn’t going away. You can either get in the game or stay on the sidelines.  But those that plod forward, learning one new thing at a time, will be the ones left standing at the end of the day.



"I think many lawyers figure it’s just too much, too complicated to get their brain around."

They're right, not that under the right circumstances they shouldn't try. As a lawyer, you may not be up to drafting ILITs and charitable remainder trusts, but if you learn how to draft basic estate plans you will be both better able to serve your clients with estate planning needs (even if it means giving them a referral) and will be a much better consumer in relation to your own estate planning needs.

I spoke with a lawyer the other day who proudly told me that he had signed a $10,000 contract with a well-established, but very shady, "SEM" (search engine marketing) firm that had "cold called" him. He had no idea what he was buying (beyond that ads would appear somewhere, somehow based upon keywords, people would click on them, and that some might become clients). The "guarantee" was volume, not quality - they promised him a specific number of visits to his site, but not so much as one new, qualified lead. It probably would have been a better deal for him to flush $5,000 down his toilet - in all likelihood, he would still come out $5,000 ahead.

If I say "optimize for the long tail", I expect that you know what I'm talking about. Blogs are great for the long tail. But what percentage of your readers do you suppose know what I'm talking about?

And if I say that, in relation to expensive or boutique legal services, the volume of your traffic is far less important than its quality, I again expect that you know exactly what I'm talking about. You can get ten, twenty, fifty times as much traffic to a site, but if none of them are interested in your services or aren't going to help you find new clients, that additional traffic primarily serves to burden your servers. But a lot of Internet marketing "experts", including a lot who know better, keep focusing on the raw number of visitors.

If a lawyer is serious about search engine marketing (and most should be, or at least have somebody in their firm who is taking the lead), they should know enough to make their investment meaningful. Otherwise, they're the equivalent of somebody who walks into a used car lot with a pocket full of cash, demanding, "I'm here to buy, so give me something in blue."


Well said Aaron. A layer always needs to know the case before going to trial. The internet is no different. It is nearly impossible for a lawyer who knows nothing to know where to start. Good companies like Kevin O'Keefe over at LexBlog can do the heavy lifting for you. But you still need ot know how the web is won.

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