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About James Greenier

LawFirmSEOExperts.com is a subsidiary of Lawyer Success, Inc. Lawyer Success, Inc. was founded in 2003 by renowned law firm SEO expert, James Greenier. Mr. Greenier has personally been involved with 7 of the 10 most trafficked legal websites in the Internet. He is taking this unmatched experience and using it to help law firms of all sizes generate superior results in the areas of Search Engine Optimization. Mr. Greenier has advised over 3,500 law firms on a variety of law firm marketing strategies used by the highest grossing and most profitable law firms in North America. Mr. Greenier has developed and continues to develop some of the most cutting edge of law firm SEO solutions available. Some of his ideas and developments are are used today by some of the leading and most recognizable legal brand names on the Web. Lawyer Success, Inc. maintains offices is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi but maintains offices in San Francisco, California; Houston, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; D.C.; Tampa, Florida and Portland, Maine. LawFirmSEOExperts.com a Lawyer Success, Inc. company P.O. Box 1926 Brandon, MS 39042 (769) 218-6099
Author Archive | James Greenier

Google’s Response to Black Hat SEO

Although most webmasters feel the majority of messages received by Google are related to linking, Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts stated that almost 90% of the messages sent out to webmasters relate to black hat SEO. Black hat SEO techniques are possibly the fastest way to not only get noticed—but to destroy all credibility as well. For those who are unaware of what black hat SEO includes, think of the following practices:

  • Camouflaging text in the same color as the page’s background (thus hiding keywords from readers)
  • Including random comments on different websites which have links pointing to your site
  • Overloading your site with similar keywords in your particular niche
  • Hiding pages which can only be seen by search engines

Avoiding Black Hat SEO

Particularly for legal websites which must be credible, trustworthy and beyond reproach, any hint of black hat SEO can literally be the downfall of your website and can even seriously harm your practice. The importance then, of your lawyer website design and subsequent content cannot be overstressed. When anyone attempts to convince you to use questionable techniques in order to increase your page rank, be very wary. You can read the guidelines set forth by Google and other search engines in their Terms of Service to determine whether a particular practice is in violation. To be clear, black hat SEO is not illegal however is highly unethical and is considered a form of cheating in the web world.

Penalties for Black Hat Practices

Camouflaging or cloaking presents your readers a page which appears not only user-friendly, but clean and on the “up and up.” What the search engines “see” can be completely different, containing heavily optimized pages and text. Should you be the least bit tempted to venture into black hat SEO techniques, bear in mind that the penalties Google is handing out are getting more and more severe. Your site could be banned completely or, at a minimum could have its page rank substantially lowered. When BMW implemented highly optimized pages containing no relevant content other than to bring users to its site, Google promptly removed the site from the search index altogether.

How Black Hat SEO is Discovered

Lest you think you will chance a bit of black hat SEO thinking you won’t be found out, there is more than one way Google ferrets out unethical practices.  Their own team may discover the pages, competitors could report you to Google or mainstream media could report to Google.  Thanks to Google’s constantly updated algorithms, particularly the recent Panda and Penguin updates, it is getting harder and harder to cheat the system. Keyword-stuffing and link farming will soon become a thing of the past as the incredibly sophisticated algorithms continue to evolve. In the end, though, never forget that the online extension of your business—your website—is wholly dependent on your clients and potential clients. Should those clients ever feel they have been tricked, or duped, the credibility and authenticity of your business can be on the line.

As experts in lawyer website design, we will always ensure your site avoids black hat SEO at all costs. Call (800) 877-2776 to speak with an expert in lawyer websites. You will receive free advice and invaluable strategies from the most highly experienced consultants rather than sales representatives.

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Did the Penguin Cause You to Change Your SEO Strategies?

When Google released the Panda algorithm update in February of 2011, the ultimate goal was to decrease the rank of any website which was believed to be providing inferior user experience. The Penguin followed on the heels of Panda with a goal of penalizing spammers and decreasing the rank of sites which violate the guidelines of Google Webmaster. The Penguin caused many website owners to rethink their SEO strategy.

Perhaps you were one of those who received a slap on the wrist from the Penguin algorithm. If so, you might have been fully aware of why you received the Google reprimand, or you could have been truly in the dark, therefore didn’t know how to correct the problem. Below are some tips which may help you increase the ranking of your legal website while simultaneously increasing the overall of your site:

  • Consider your links and always ensure they are of the highest quality.
  • Avoid any type of link-building that could even remotely appear “spammy”
  • Ensure your most important pages are higher up in the craw path to ensure they receive the most link authority
  • Use no more than 10-12 keywords per page
  • Update your content constantly
  • Ensure your content is both unique and relevant to your niche
  • Don’t repeat keywords on your meta tags
  • Concentrate on your user when building your site—if your content is not useful to your reader, then Google will find it irrelevant as well
  • Always avoid  hidden text, hidden links, cloaking, irrelevant keywords and sub domains with duplicate content

Some experts feel that all paid link building campaigns should be suspended although if you have a very knowledgeable, experienced link builder who spends the time staying up with all Google’s algorithm changes your site will likely be fine. Using exact match anchor links could also get you penalized by Google. Diversify your anchor text and focus on the links that specifically mention your brand. Check every single link on your site to ensure there are no broken links as broken links can bring your site a penalty.

In order to effectively add unique content and value to your site, consider writing a how-to guide for proceeding with a legal matter, publish new content to your blog at least 4-5 times per week, build new landing pages and microsites and write weekly press releases. As you are probably already aware, great content generates links, therefore constantly updated content creation can get your further up the rankings than paid link campaigns.

In the end, if you are working toward organic search results, you will likely never have a problem with any algorithm Google comes up with. Create engaging and original content, be active in social media and strive to improve your user’s experience. If you hire a professional, make sure you find a web designer who has extensive experience in lawyer website design in particular, as this niche has site requirements which differ from other sites. When you call (800)877-2776 you will speak with an expert in lawyer websites, never a sales rep. Call today for your free consultation.

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Can a Legal Firm Use Craigslist for SEO?

Although every single website is struggling to find the very best path to great SEO, attorneys and legal firms may wonder whether using Craigslist for that purpose is ethical—or even possible. Craigslist currently has over seven billion page views each month, with over 20 million monthly visitors so on the surface it would seem like a viable avenue for search engine optimization. Creativity regarding SEO can give your law firm’s website just the boost it needs and Craigslist is certainly an avenue which is full of people who need something specific. In order to answer the question of whether it is ethical for legal firms to use Craigslist, consider the following:

  • One way you may be able to use Craigslist to the advantage of your law firm is to look for article writers or blog contributors under such search terms as “writer,” or “content writing.” You can also post your own job for writers and have them come to you. Make sure you have a legal contract in place prior to putting someone you don’t know to work writing for your legal website. In some cases you may be able to offer the writer a link in your author biography section. This technique builds relationships and expands your SEO reach.
  • When placing advertisements for content writers or blog contributors, make them interesting and challenging in a way that will demonstrate the writing skills of potential applicants. You want to ensure the applicants are skilled at the writing job they are applying for and have a basic knowledge of HTML as well as experience in writing high-quality legal content.
  • Although you don’t want to think that every applicant out there is running some sort of scam, it’s important that you ask for previously published writing samples or links to those articles which allow you to verify they were actually written by your writer applicant. Writers who currently write for a legal industry publication might be asked to interview you or someone in your firm regarding your specific legal niche.
  • You might also consider using Craigslist to post “teasers” to a particular upcoming event at your law firm. No matter whether you are using Craigslist to obtain writers or advertise (in a tasteful manner), use your proven keywords in the anchor text of your Craigslist ads and the search engines will give your site a boost for those keywords. Place them close to the top of the page and always include your website URL.
  • Re-post your Craigslist ad every few days however no more often than every three days as Craigslist may flag and delete your posting(s). To increase your rankings, use HTML tags such as H1tags using your main keywords. HTML tags will also help your Craigslist ad look more professional, which in turn can end up in conversions.

For help with this subject as well as experienced assistance with lawyer website design, lawyer website marketing, law firm SEO and law website content call (800) 877-2776 to speak with a knowledgeable expert in legal websites. You will receive free, no obligation strategies from a highly experienced consultant—never a sales representative. Call today for the information and help you need.

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Building Links Using SEO and Social Media

Social media could well be one of the most underappreciated forms of search engine optimization out there today. In fact, in order to develop a truly comprehensive marketing plan it is imperative that your firm’s SEO team as well as the social media team work together. You may wonder how you can actually gain links through social media—if so, read on. There are several specific tactics you can use in order to build those critical links through SEO and social media. More and more search engines are actually incorporating “likes,” “shares,” and “views,”—typical social media signals—into their incredibly complex algorithms. If you’ve been keeping up with the progression of social media, then you know that Google Plus is not integrated into your Google search results with FB data being integrated into the Bing search engine. Therefore, consider the following:

  • The number one way to build solid, high-quality links on your legal website is to ensure that only the highest-quality, relevant, informative content appears on every single page of your website. In the end, the reason users come to your site is to have a specific question answered in a comprehensive manner. If they are unable to find that on your site, it is likely they will click away as quickly as they got there.
  • Remember that the type of content listed above will bring you not only repeat visitors, but those visitors will “like” and “share” with others who will do the same, and so on and so on. Think of it somewhat like word of mouth advertising. One of your clients tells his Uncle Bill what a great attorney you are, Uncle Bill takes advantage of your expert legal services then tells two friends at work and Cousin Sharon. Word of mouth can spread like wildfire, and social media sharing can do the same however you must start with quality content.
  • Blogging is possibly the next most effective manner of building solid links for your legal website. When you blog high quality posts on a regular basis you will attract critical industry links.  When your blog remains keyword-focused it will begin ranking well for long-tail terms. Don’t pass up the opportunity to create internal links from your legal blog to your primary legal website.
  • Whether you do your own blogging or outsource it make sure that your most important keywords are used consistently in all blog postings. This technique will make it much easier for potential clients to find the content on your site.
  • Your blogging efforts should also include reading other industry blogs, and commenting appropriately. Offer to write a guest blog when applicable. These techniques are the cyberspace equivalent of networking, so don’t neglect these important opportunities.

When you are receiving links contained in millions of social shares, you will not be ignored by the search engines. Social media and SEO are irrevocably intertwined, so use this to the advantage of your legal website.  For the most trusted, experienced information and advice on lawyer website designs, law firm SEO and legal content call (800) 877-2776. You will be given free advice and strategies from highly experienced consultants – not sales re

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Are You Using Links Correctly in Your Legal Website?

There is a right and a wrong way to use links for your legal website and there are some basic rules to follow to ensure that you do so. First and foremost—accepted practice on the Internet is that when something is underlined, it is a link. If you simply underline for emphasis, or for any reason other than a link, you are confusing and annoying your readers. Rather than using underlining for emphasis, use italics, boldface type or make the emphasized word or phrase a different color. Users expect that a link will be both underlined and blue—because that’s the way they are in over 99% of all websites. While you could only underline or only place the words in blue, messing with the tried and true formula can have negative effects for your website. The one exception applies to links contained in menus; they neither have to be blue nor underlined because they are clearly menu links.

Explain Your Links Whenever possible, explain what you are linking to; if you are able to provide extra information, then by all means, do. As an example, many websites have a page devoted specifically to links to other high-quality websites. It can be a good idea to write a short description of these links to allow your visitors to quickly find the ones which are pertinent to their specific questions. Nothing annoys web users more than to waste their precious time, so the more concise you are (in all areas), the better. Should you leave off any type of descriptor, your readers have no choice but to click each site in order to determine whether it has what they are looking for, so never simply put a huge page of links out there with no explanation whatsoever. Keep Your Internal Links in the Same Window While many web owners have their site set up so that a new window pops up each time an internal link is clicked, in fact, this is another annoying practice. When the site is set up like this a user can end up with a crowded page full of open windows. So long as you include a great navigational menu at the top or left of your page, then links within your legal website should always, always open in the same menu. External links can and should open in another window. Avoid at all costs the words “click here,” or “link,” on your legal website. When you use generic words as linking text, you have limited your readers’ ability to scan, which is how most all web readers quickly go through any given page. Getting Help There are a variety of ways to use links, most particularly sales links, helpful resource links, friendly links, links which are attention-grabbers or “notice me” links and internal links. All of these link types have a specific purpose and your legal website will likely not use all of them. For help with your linking strategies call (800) 877-2776 to speak with an expert in lawyer website design. When you call, you will be given free advice, lawyer website marketing tips and strategies from highly experienced consultants – not sales representatives.

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Law Firm SEO Experts – Guaranteed Law Firm Search Engine Optimization Consultants

Attorney Advertising: What Works & What Does Not

Did you know? Approximately 89% of the first page seach engine positions that your law firm is competing for are not at all true natural search results?  The truth is that these rankings or positions are being manipulated by search engine optimization or (SEO).  In fact, there are very few SEO experts that specialize in working with EXCLUSIVELY for law firms and provide specialized services such as law firm search engine optimization or Law Firm SEO for short.  Our Law Firm SEO company has been specializing in SEO for over 10 years has developed the best law firm search engine optimization program available.

Does your prospective SEO firm understand your practice, lawyer rules of ethics and how your client searches for legal services online?  Put our 10 years of experience to work for you.  Experience makes the difference.

Law Firm SEO Experts and Consultants

Law Firm SEO Experts and Consultants

We start out by interviewing your firm to understand which types of cases you desire and in which municipalities your firm willing to take cases from. Then, we use the latest web traffic reporting tools in order to research the best and most frequently used keyphrases that are used in your local market.  This ensures that your website is positioned in the major search engines for the specific types of cases that you desire and that your lawyer website is generating  the highest amount of web traffic possible.

Key word selection is the absolute most important part of the process to obtain high rankings and quality website leads to your law firm. Again, each set of search phrases are carefully researched based on relevance and traffic volume in order to generate maximum cases.

Then in order to receive a top 10 ranking in major search engines for the target key phrases, we highly optimize your law firm’s website for those high value keyphrases througout your website. Our websites acheive a 100% search engine optimization score for the target keyphrases.

Law Firm Search Engine Optimization – Here is the PROOF

It is pretty simple to make claims about generating high rankings, but what is most important to you is the proof that we can deliver the results you desire. The answer is yes. Here are the websites that we have optimized for the most competitive keyphrases and how well they are positioned.

LawyerSuccess.com is the parent company of LawfirmSEOexperts.com.  Click here to view

Sedwicklaw.com – #1 on Google for “Indiana Car Accident Lawyer” and many others.
Kwlawbr.com – #1 on Google for “Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer” and many others.
Nstlaw.com – #1 on Google for “Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer” and many others.

The bottom line is these clients are signing up multiple numbers of high valued clients consistently each and every month because we have these law firms well positioned for the “right” key phrases.

Targeted SEO for Best Results!

Targeted SEO for Best Results!

Why not just buy ads on Google, Yahoo or MSN to be listed on the 1st page?

First of all, paid ads only attract about 3-5% of the clicks from potential clients. So volume is an issue with paid ads. Second, web searchers today feel that those lawyers positioned within the organic search engine results have established credability. Third, it costs and average of $10 to generate one website visit from pay per click. Figuring our average client generates 2,000+ unique visitors per month, that would cost your firm $20,000 to generate the same amount of web traffic monthly.

Services customized to you needs or full service SEO:

  • Manual Link Building
  • Manual Keyword Tracking
  • Site Analysis
  • Site fault analysis
  • META Tags – Title, Keywords, Description, ALT tags, H1-5 tags, Link Tags
  • “Search engine friendly” SEO content writing
  • Website inner linking and descriptive linking
  • Manually client competitors tracking and research
  • Monthly SEO reviews with your firm
  • Social Networking Integration
  • Search engine content feeds
  • and many more SEO activities.
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Google Announces Top 3 SEO To Dos For 2011 & Panda Update

Google’s new Panda algorithm update and last year’s Caffeine algorithm have placed further emphasis on ranking law firm websites that offer Editorial Content especially content content with unique topics, niches and relevancy of content. Originality of content was the most critical ranking factor added to Google’s Panda update.

Here are 3 more tips for 2011 that Google insiders are saying is critical to increase rankings in 2011.

  1. Optimize your lawyer website for speed
  2. Fix 404 errors or missing pages
  3. Increase your Social Media Marketing presence on Twitter, Dig, Reddit, StumbleUpon in order to increase your traffic and obtain natural links for PageRank.

The idea is that mobile devices like Blackberry and iPhone have become very important for web search “on the go.”  Google and other search engines see this a very pivotal time to gain market share by moving those fast loading websites with authority closer to the top of the search results page.  Many analysts are saying this speed issue on web pages results in a 30% jump on the 1st page of Google.

Again, Google is not denying that links play a big part of the algorithm. Google has done a lot to remove link farms in the Panda update.  Google admits that 12% of the websites in their database were removed in February.  Content thieves and those who reuse content seems to be the target of this past update and it appears Google is trying to “save room” on their servers by stripping out websites that rely mostly on reused or rewritten content.

Ouch. I hope you have a good content writer.

For more free advice, call (769) 218-6099 to speak with a proven Law Firm Seo Expert and not a sales representative.  Click here for writers for law blogs.

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Proofreading and Editing Your Legal Website for Maximum SEO Results

Painful though they may be, proofreading and editing are absolutely necessities if you want your legal website’s content to rise above the rest. Even when the copy appears to be well-written, overall, the message you are trying to get across may be lost entirely if your copy has not been thoroughly proofread and edited. Of course proofreading and editing cover basic grammar, spelling, typos and general readability, but their importance really cannot be overstated. Even one small typo or grammatical error can leave your potential clients frustrated, annoyed, and….gone. Your potential client may see a misspelled word, and decide your firm does not pay attention to detail in other areas as well. Perhaps even more so than other genres, legal websites should always be error-free and should never, ever have any factually incorrect content. It is imperative that the copy is clear and concise and flows in an easy-to-follow manner.

Some General Proofreading Tips for Your Legal Copy

  • Always take your time—the time spent will pay off in increased website traffic and more clients for your firm.
  • Use your word processing program’s spell check, but don’t rely 100% upon it; the human eye can often catch mistakes your program didn’t.
  • Read your web copy out loud to yourself—or someone else, and read from a physical copy rather than your computer screen. You will be amazed at the errors you will catch from a paper copy as opposed to a computer monitor.
  • Forget your’re an attorney, and pretend you know nothing about the topic. Do you understand what you’re reading from this new viewpoint? Does it make sense?
  • Once you’ve read, re-read, and re-read again from your paper copy, ask yourself if the content conveyed your intended purpose from a legal standpoint.
  • Don’t forget to proofread important areas such as spelling of names or legal citations; these are often overlooked on legal websites, but remember that your clients are savvy and will likely catch mistakes you might not expect them to—don’t take any chances!

Don’t Forget!

Additionally, in order to maximize your legal SEO results you must always remember that reading on a computer screen strains the eyes. When we read online our tendency is to jump from heading to heading and scan text in order to find relevant and pertinent information. Your legal clients will be looking for user-friendly language, paragraph titles, bulleted lists and summaries—anything that makes their research to choose an attorney who best suits their needs easier, faster, and less painful.

Perception is Everything

Your legal website copy is of utmost importance in the overall perception of your law firm. Potential clients will look at your website and determine whether or not they want to pick up the phone and call your number. If those phone calls are important to your law firm, proofreading and editing are key elements to ensuring your potential clients comprehend and perceive your law firm’s website in the way you want them to. Your number one goal is to educate and inform your potential clients, then entice them to become your newest, most satisfied clients.

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Mistakes to Avoid When Designing your Law Firm’s Website

While the initial design of your law firm’s website may seem like the fun part, never underestimate the seriousness and importance of this first step. Thanks to the newest web design programs which are easier to use than ever, web design disasters are less common than they once were, however don’t think you are off the hook just yet! Perhaps more for legal firm’s than many other businesses, it is absolutely essential that your website conveys professionalism and inspires trust from your client’s very first click.

Basic Layout Rules for your Legal Website

In order to get your website noticed—in a positive way—the overall impression of your website is critical. Keep the following design rules in mind when creating your website:

• Reader satisfaction is definitely influenced by layout of headers, indentation and whitespace; in fact use of whitespace between paragraphs and in the left and right margins increase comprehension by almost 20%.
• Although black links have higher visual contrast, blue links are easier for your clients to click.
• Consider your users when you have a choice between icons or links; it has been shown that users generally prefer links when navigating a website.
• Potential clients surfing legal websites that have clear labels and prominent navigation options tend to browse longer and read more copy.
• Your client’s ultimate decision on choosing your law firm may be driven by perceived security, privacy and quality of content and design. Remember this when designing your legal website.

For Optimum Legal SEO–Never, Ever, Make These Design Mistakes

1. Non-scannable text can be deadly for your website besides being boring and difficult to read. Remember you are not writing for print, but for online, so to draw your potential clients into your text, use subheads, bulleted lists, highlighted keywords, simple writing style and short paragraphs.

2. Links are a key factor in the navigation process, allowing your potential legal clients to exclude links that were not helpful to them, or to revisit links that piqued their interest or spoke to their particular issue. Changing the color of visited links is critical to this process, ensuring your visitors are guaranteed the easiest navigation of your legal website possible.

3. Avoid designs that even remotely resemble advertisements. It has been shown that Web users have quickly learned to ignore anything that interferes with their goal-driven search. Your legitimate legal copy can be essentially lost if it even subconsciously reminds your client of an advertisement, whether it is in the form of a banner, pop-up, flashing text or animation. Be very careful when incorporating any of these particular designs into your legal website.

4. In the legal profession, not answering your client’s questions can be a critical mistake. On the Web, we are highly goal-driven beings—we visit a particular legal website because there is something we need to accomplish or find. If your legal website fails to answer your potential client’s questions quickly and thoroughly, they will soon be clicking onto another law firm’s website which is more relevant to their immediate needs.

5. Finally, page titles with low search engine visibility can truly be the kiss of death for your legal website. For maximum legal SEO, remember that search is the way your potential clients both discover your website and find their way around it once they are there. Your page title is the most important tool you have to attract new clients from search listings and help them find the specific page they need.

When your clients bookmark a site, your page title is also used as the default entry in the Favorites list. For your legal firm’s homepage, be sure to begin with your law firm’s name, followed by a brief description of your website. For other pages, start the title with the very most important information-carrying words that describe exactly what your clients will find on that page.

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Law Firm SEO Tip – Spy on Your Competitors to Beat Them on Google

One of the most commonly asked questions we get is, how do I beat my competitors on Google?

As a client of Law Firm SEO Experts,  one the first steps we take to help you dominate the search engines is to perform a thorough law firm SEO analysis of your website and the law firm websites that are performing the best in your market in order to determine the cost and strategy needed to beat their rankings.

Here are a few things we will look at when we perform a competitive analysis of the top ranked law firm websites in your market.

#1 – We look at their selection of keywords and their use on the web pages throughout the website.

#2 – We evaluate the Meta Titles and Meta Description text and review their keyword phrase selection.

#3 – We check on Google Search, how many pages of content the competing law firm websites contain.

#4 – We look at the number and relevancy of the backlinks to the law firm competitor’s website and review the keyword phrases used in the anchor text of the links.

#5 – We review the rest of the law firm seo techniques (law firm search engine optimization) used throughout the Home Page and the internal pages.

These are just a few of the steps we take in the beginning phases of your law firm SEO campaign. This will help us to determine how to best strategically position you for optimal placement in the search engines.

If you would like a free law firm seo website review or a quote for our law firm SEO services call 7 SEO MY SITE or (773) 669-7483  for a free consultation.

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