How Attorneys Can Keep Up with Their On-Line Reputation

Internet LAVA’s suggestions for how attorneys and law firms can keep up with their on-line identity and manage their reputation:

  1. At least once each month, enter the name of your law firm into Google, Bing and Yahoo. Look carefully at the first three pages of results to find any negative review, misleading information or outdated content.
  2. Every few months, ask each lawyer in the firm to perform a search on the first three pages of Google, Bing and Yahoo for any variations of their name and geographical information. For example, the attorney should search for “Jane Doe Attorney in Cleveland Ohio.”
  3. Sign up for the following alerts so that you will be notified when new content is created about your attorneys or your law firm:

This process of reviewing the search engines to learn more about the scope and depth of your on-line reputation is important because all of the attorneys in your law firm will quickly realize how to make improvements in the law firm’s on-line presence. Just being aware of the law firm’s on-line reputation will quickly lead to incredible improvements.

Read more about: Law Firm Reputation Management

Contact Internet LAVA to find out how we build better websites for attorneys based on better content. Let us help you create a powerful internet presence that uses each emerging technology including business and social media profiles to increase positive content about your services and minimize the impact of a negative review.

How Attorneys Should Respond to a Negative Review – Forget About It – Read our Blog article with informational videos produced by Yelp.com with advice to business owners worried about one negative review.

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How Attorneys Should Respond to Negative Reviews on Google Local Business Listing

When an frustrated former clients posts a negative review about a law firm, seeing that review on your Google Local Business Listing can be devastating. The local business listings on Google Places are perhaps the most important marketing tool available to attorneys because it will inevitably show up first when anyone “Googles” the name of the attorney or the law firm.

At Internet LAVA, our website design and internet marketing company has an easy solution – worry more about an effective on-line presence and then you will worry less about one negative review. In fact, one negative review can actually increase the credibility of other positive reviews. Your ideal client is less likely to trust a series of glowing reviews without seeing at least one isolated negative review.

Don’t Try to Remove a Negative Review on Google Places

Yes, Google Places does have a process for asking for a misleading or inaccurate negative review to be removed from a law firm’s local business listing. However, don’t even think about it. Our experience has been that once the review is removed, the listing gets penalized and loses its rankings for at least 6 months. If you are worried about one negative review then keep in mind that eventually positive reviews will minimize the impact of one negative review.

Update: In August of 2010, Google Places now allows law firms and other businesses to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Interacting with the prior client who shared their opinion about the law firm is a great way to let your potential clients know that you care about the feedback. However, attorneys must be very careful not to violate any rights to confidentiality. Although this is an interesting option for a hotel owner or a cupcake maker, attorneys are probably better off not responding to a negative review.

How Law Firms Should Respond to a Negative Review – Forget About It – Blog article with informational videos produced by Yelp.com with advice to business owners worried about a negative review.

On-line Reputation Management for Attorneys – Read more from Internet LAVA about how we help our clients manage their on-line reputation through a strong internet presence that begins with a powerful, effective website.

How Law Firms Should Respond to a Negative Review – Forget About It

What happens when a client post a negative review of your law firm on-line? If you already have an effective internet presence, the best response may be – “Forget about it.” Just to impress upon you how import these reviews are becoming, consider the fact that Yelp has produced a serious of videos on the topic of what business owners should do if they receive a negative review on Yelp.

On Negative Reviews…

Business Owner Advice – Frank & Paul explain how to respond to a negative review on Yelp

Business Owner Advice: How do you respond to your Yelp reviews? (Jeff D.)

At Internet LAVA we focus on internet marketing and website design exclusively for attorneys. That focus allows us to stay current on emerging technologies that work best for law firm marketing. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss how you can achieve your goals. Read our free guide to learn more about why attorneys and law firms should used social and business profiles to provide positive information about the legal services they provide.

Popular Law Firm and Attorney Review Websites

As we discussed in the last article, managing the on-line reputation for any law firm or attorney is become increasingly important. Recently, numerous websites have emerged allow the public to post reviews about the business. For any business owner – this new level of transparency is terrifying.

Many attorneys ask us – “Is this what it’s coming to?” But the question really ignores the fact that focusing on your reputation has always been a part of managing a law practice. As new technologies emerge, that reputation discussion is simply taking place on-line instead of by word-of-mouth in the community.

Search Engines Local Business Profiles:

Websites that Focus on Attorneys:

Websites that Cover Different Types of Small Businesses:

  • MerchantCircle – Think of Merchant Circle as the Facebook for businesses. Considered to be the “business owner centric” profile service that allows the public to post reviews. To a large extend the business has control over deleting false or misleading negative or positive reviews.
  • City Search –

Law Firm Reputation Management: Control the Damage from One Negative Review

One of the most common questions we get from attorneys who contact us for an initial consultation is “what can we do to get rid of a negative review?”

One frustrated former client or disgruntled former employee can write a negative review with untrue or misleading information about the law firm. What can be done?

The answer depends on the depth of the law firm’s internet presence. For instance, some law firms have almost no internet presence. Therefore, when you Google the name of their law firm or an individual lawyer working for the firm then one of the first things to pop up on the search engine is the negative review.

Obviously, this one review can make a huge impact on the business because it makes up a huge portion of the law firm’s on-line presence. However, for law firms with little or no internet presence, the best cure for a negative review is to create numerous pages of positive information about the law firm on hundreds of powerful websites.

For law firms that have begun the process of creating a strong internet presence, fighting negative reviews requires strengthening the ranks for the positive material so that the few pieces of negative content are more difficult to find. Contact Internet LAVA to discuss how we can help you quickly create a professional and powerful on-line presence.

When You Find a Negative Review Try and Correct the Concern

For most attorneys, when a negative review is posted the attorney knows exactly who posted the negative review. When possible, contact the former client and offer solutions to address their concerns. The client will often be impressed that their voice is being heard. The source of their frustration is often feeling powerless. By responding to their concerns immediately you are showing the client that you care about their opinion and that you are willing to help make them satisfied with your services.

In other cases, the attorney or law firm may not know who posted the negative review. In many of these cases, one negative review serves as a wake up call to the business to pay attention to difficult clients and try to stay in close communication with them so that their concerns and frustrations are heard.

When that One Negative Review Actually Helps Your Reputation

With a powerful internet presence, one negative review has almost no impact. In fact, it may actually help the business because it shows that other reviews and information about the law firm are also genuine. In other words, the numerous positive reviews for the law firm become more powerful when the viewer also sees one negative review. No viewer would believe that any business could have nothing but positive reviews. So the viewer tends to trust the positive reviews more when they also see one isolated negative review.

Getting Numerous Positive Reviews of Your Law Firm

Getting positive reviews tends to happen naturally as you increase your internet presence. When your clients tend to find you through your on-line presence, they also tend to be the types of clients that would leave a review about your business. Depending on the bar rules for your particular state, you can send your client a closing letter inviting them to make a comment about the quality of your legal services on one of your business listings that makes leaving such a review particularly convenient. Make sure to not ask for a review until the representation is completely concluded.

Most of our clients report that during the initial consultation the potential client will mention, “I decided to hire you because I read a lot of positive reviews about your practice.” These same types of clients tend to be the type of person most likely to leave a positive review at the end of the representation if they are highly satisfied with the attorney’s services. As these reviews become more and more common, managing your on-line reputation also becomes more important.

The Future of On-Line Reputation Management for Attorneys

The internet has consistently changed businesses and entire industries by making information more readily available. It should come as no surprise to attorneys that these reviews by former clients are expected to increase exponentially over the coming years.

As bar associations struggle with ways to manage an attorney’s efforts to advertise on-line, the market place is quickly sorting out the regulation of shady attorneys with incredibly efficiency.

Although not a perfect system, if all clients left reviews about all dealing with all attorneys the public would have a tremendous amount of information at their disposal. Over the next five years we predict these types of comprehensive reviews of attorneys (and all business people in the service industry) will be more common place. Those attorneys and law firms that get control of their on-line reputations early will have a clear advantage.

How Can I Create this Comprehensive On-line Presence for My Law Firm?

At Internet LAVA we create an entire on-line presence for the attorney so that the entire first three pages of Google are content about the law firm and attorneys that we create. For instance, our attorneys have the following on-line presence when you Google their name:

  1. The law firm’s main website;
  2. The law firm’s main blog;
  3. On-line business profiles or local business listings on the map function of Google, Bing and Yahoo;
  4. Facebook Business Profile;
  5. Merchant Circle Business Profile (similar to Facebook for small businesses but better for SEO purposes);
  6. LinkedIn profiles for each attorney and for the law firm (these often show up at the top of the search engines especially for the names of the individual attorneys);
  7. Law firm and attorney specific business profiles such as LawLink profile for each individual attorney, an AVVO profile for each individual attorney, and a Justia / Cornell LII profile for each individual attorney;
  8. Other professional profiles such as BizNik and Naymz; and
  9. Hundreds of other business and attorney profiles on some of the most powerful websites such as Insider Pages and Yelp.

Our Problem is Bigger Than One Negative Review

For certain types of legal practices, negative reviews are more common just because of the type of clients that they represent. For example, individuals in family law cases tend to be very emotional when a ruling doesn’t go their way. After all, the individual’s personal wealth and child custody issues can be affected. Obviously, family law attorneys have to be careful to manage the expectations of their clients and to stay in close contact with them about the developments in their case.

The less obvious answer involves being aware of the negative review as soon as it is posted. By knowing about it when it occurs, you are in the best position to contact that client to discuss their frustration with them. In many cases, you can ask the person to take down the negative review. Just the fact that you contact them to discuss their frustration may make a difference in the way they view the situation.

However, if you don’t know about the negative review for several months then your options are more limited. Additionally, the individual that posted the review becomes harder to identify and harder to contact. Even if you discuss the matter with the individual months later, they would be less likely to take down the review given the lack of a timely response.

Our Solutions – We Help You Own Your Name On-line

Working with an internet marketing company that cares about your on-line reputation is equally important. Attorneys understand that their reputation is everything. These attorneys work hard to impress the other attorneys, judges, and business people that they come into contact with each day. As internet marketing becomes increasingly important, attorneys will also start to realize that their on-line reputation will become influence their off-line reputation as well.

Contact Internet LAVA to discuss your internet marketing needs. We would with attorneys interested in dominating the search engines for their particular practice areas in their particular jurisdictions. We work with medium and large law firms to manage their on-line reputation. Contact us today at 1-800-292-LAVA (5282) for a free consultation to discuss your concerns and long-term goals.

Read more about: Law Firm Reputation Management

Tags on Google Places for Law Firms – What Are You Waiting For?

Law Firm Internet Marketing SEO Local MapsThe minute that the tags came out for the Local Business Listings on Google Places, we called all of our clients to tell them why they should sign up immediately for tags. As soon as our clients gave us the go ahead, we added the tags which allows our clients to sponsor their Google maps listing.

For $25 a month, Google will place a nice yellow marker tag next to your listing. As soon as we began signing our clients up for the tags we saw there rankings jump up within 24 hours. The tags even show up on Google Maps and mobile phones! As mobile phone marketing becomes more and more important – tags are one of the most important factors in “mobile phone” SEO.

One of the keys to ranking high on Google is thinking about what Google wants your business to do – what would Google do? By creating the tags in the first place Google wanted all of the owners of the local business listings to sign up. After all – the company wants to make a profit.

So we do what Google wants – especially when it is free. And we do it before everyone else catches on. Our clients with the tags were the first attorneys in town to sign up for this service. And by the time the other attorneys in town figure it out, our clients will be leading the way on the next new trick Google wants us to use.

Watch this video produced by Google – it explains it all.

What are Tags on Google Places for Local Business Listings

When advertising your law firm on Google, the local business listings called “Google Places” are the single best value for your advertising dollar – because it is free! Your ideal clients are already searching Google looking for an attorney to handle their specific legal problem.

By creating a free business listing with Google Places for your law firm, you can help your ideal clients find your law firm more easily. By simply adding a tag to your Google Places listing you can highlight particular info that you want your ideal customers to see (okay, that part will cost you a simply monthly flat fee of $25 a month – but we call that “nearly free”).

What can be highlighted? Your law firm can design the tag to highlight any of the following:

  1. Highlight a coupon for new customers (although coupons don’t really work for attorneys and law firm but you can customize the coupon to provide a “free legal guide” on the particular service that you want to highlight or the law firm’s monthly newsletter. Anything that you can give away for free that provides your potential clients with helpful information).
  2. Highlight a video about the services that you provide;
  3. A link to your website (for many of our clients we started with that link because when the client clicks on the link it takes them directly to the attorneys main website).
  4. Highlight “posts” on your Place Page from your business (posts are the status updates that can link to any page deep within your website);
  5. Highlight photos of your business.

At Internet LAVA we are in the process of testing each of the different options to see which are more beneficial for our clients. As we gather more information, we are beginning to adjust the tags to provide our clients with the biggest benefit to make sure their local business listing on Google maps really stands out from the competition. Watch Google’s video on the specific tag types.

We have noticed that small changes can make a huge difference in the number of calls our clients receive from their ideal clients. And since are clients are the only law firms right now benefiting from the tags – our clients are enjoying every minute of it. Many of the attorneys have called us to ask – “Are you kidding? Why are we the only ones doing it? Thanks for telling us about this – we love it!”

Do Tags Affect Search Results Rankings?

Although Google claims that the “tags do not affect search result rankings” we know that they affect something because we have seen our clients rankings jump up several spots within 24 hours of adding the tags. Perhaps, the numbers of hits to the local business listings control a part of the search rankings determination and by adding the tags you are affecting that part of the equation. Or maybe the keywords that you can add to the tag somehow affect the search ranking equation. We don’t know why it works – but we know through “reverse engineering” that it works.

Watch a Google’s video to learn more about Tags.

Although You CAN Cancel Anytime – You Should NEVER Cancel

In order to sign up and add your law firm’s tag it takes less than 5 minutes. You will need a valid credit card. Go to your law firm’s Google Places Dashboard and click on the “Create Tag” link to get started. But once you sign up – don’t let anything happen to that credit card. The fine print of the contract says that Google can delete your entire business listing if you let the payment lapse. So once you sign up, you need to pay that $25 as long as it is still an option.

While Other Attorneys Pay Per Click – Our Clients are Tagged

Take a look at all of the attorneys that are paying thousands of dollars a month in pay per click. Yet, no one has told them about how they can pay $25 a month to have a tag next to their local business listings. Which is the better value?

Well, you can pay thousands of dollars a month for pay per click and be in the sponsored listings section. Of course, most of your ideal clients are going to be drawn to the 7 business with the nice map next to it. And of those 7 businesses, most of your ideal clients are going to be drawn to that one business with the nice yellow tag next to it that says – “Visit Our Website.” And the tag only costs $25 per month.

Read more about the mistakes made by attorneys using pay per click advertising and the benefits of more targeted niche advertising.

Google Places – What Else Am I Missing?

When we begin representing a new client one of the first things we do is revamp their local business listing. We are amazed at how many attorneys do not take advantage of the free resources available to them. What do attorneys miss when they do the local business listing themselves?

  1. Adding the tag (as discussed above);
  2. Adding “a post to your place page” which acts much like a Facebook status update and it allows you to link to an interior page on your website;
  3. Adding one standard category, and 4 other categories customized to the attorneys practice (instead of just using 5 standard categories);
  4. Taking advantage of the service areas and location settings to show your client’s which jurisdictions you practice in;
  5. Adding at least 5 photographs which are properly tagged (in other words you can name each photograph and it doesn’t hurt to use the same key words in those tags that you used when creating your custom categories); and
  6. Adding at least 2 videos which are properly optimized using the keywords that should match your custom categories).

Although we provide a lot of free information here about how to optimize your Google Business Listing, we also keep the best and newest tips for our clients. If your law firm is paying per click and not taking advantage of EVERY other advertising option Google has available, then your internet marketing provider just does not have your best interest in mind.

Internet LAVA – Stay Way Ahead of the Curve

At Internet LAVA we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve. By taking advantage of every new option available for internet marketing, we help our clients rank at the top. We welcome your calls for a free consultation.

During the free consultation, we will take you on a free tour of what your ideal clients find when they begin their search for an attorney on-line. We will also show you how your current marketing budget could be redirected to provide you with a much better and immediate return on investment.

Topics: Mobile Phones SEO for Law Firms, Google Places Tags for Attorneys, SEO for Local Business Listings, Pay Per Clicks

Internet Marketing for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Website design for Criminal Defense AttorneysAt Internet LAVA we focus exclusively on internet marketing and website design for law firms. We focus on building websites for criminal defense attorneys that dominate the search engines.

Criminal and DUI defense remains one of the most competitive areas of internet marketing for attorneys. Many attorneys are spending a small fortune on pay per click which is no longer an effective way to marketing a criminal defense practice. Instead, attorneys should focus their resources on creating a powerful website based on great content.

How Your Ideal Clients Begin Their Search for an Attorney

When someone begins their search for a criminal defense attorney that research the criminal charge pending against them and possible punishments and defenses. These individuals are looking for answers to their general questions about very specific criminal charges and defenses. Criminal defense attorneys already know what their potential clients want to know early in their case. These attorneys answer the same questions over and over again during their initial consultations:

  1. What are the maximum and minimum punishments;
  2. What are the possible defenses that might apply to their case;
  3. How many similar cases as the attorney handled in the past;
  4. What were the results in those cases;
  5. What are the possible collateral consequences to their future employment and educational opportunities?

A website should answer all of these initial questions for the client. The size and scope of the website depends on the goals of the law firm. Many law firms focus on particular niche areas within the criminal defense field. Many criminal defense attorneys focus on DUI cases. Others focus on serious felony cases like drug trafficking. Some criminal defense attorneys focus on marijuana defense from simple possession to larger cultivation cases. Many attorneys want to dominate all of these areas of criminal defense for their particular city or county.

Why do I need so much content – who will read all this?

When we first begin talking to a criminal defense attorney about our services, one of the first questions they ask is: “Why do I need so much content – who will read all this?”

If the attorney asks that question then they do not yet understand how the search engines really work. No potential client is going to read all of the content. That potential client is going to perform research on a particular legal topic targeted for a particular geographical area. The search engine will take the potential client to a particular page, often deep within the website. Many clients will never see the home page of the website.

For a great website, every page is the homepage for a particular type of search. The content throughout the website is often more important then the content on the home page.

The Scope of the Criminal Defense Attorney’s Website

An entire website can be build around one particular niche area or can encompass many different areas. The key to showing up in the search engines is providing more information and educational content focused on a particular geographical area then any other website.

Free Consultation – We Welcome Your Calls

Contact Internet LAVA for a free consultation. During the consultation we will take you on a tour of what your ideal clients currently find on the internet when they begin their search for a criminal defense attorney. We will show you the most effective websites in your area. By examining your competition, you should look at the following factors:

  1. How many pages of content does the website have?
  2. How well does that content answer the general questions for a potential client on any number possible criminal charges and defenses?
  3. How many relevant and highly ranked websites link to that content?
  4. Does the attorney use video and social media to drive traffic to the website?

Once you understand the competition in your area, you must work with an internet marketing company to build a bigger and better website. We create websites with at least 40 pages of unique informative content. Over the course of the next two years we steadily add additional pages of content. In addition to the wealth of information that we post for the attorney, we teach the attorney how to use our content management system to add or edit any word on any page of the website.

Then the attorney says: “Who has time for all that?” If you can send an e-mail you can add content to the website. You simply hit the “log in” button at the bottom of the website, go to the page you want to edit and hit the “edit” button. Then you change the words on the page and hit “save.” Adding a new page of content is just as easy.

Attorneys then ask, “If adding content is so simple, why hasn’t my current website company allowed me this option?” Good question. Perhaps your internet marketing company also represents your competitor. If so, they have no reason to teach an attorney how to dominate the search engines. At Internet LAVA we provide exclusively contracts to attorneys in a certain county or region of the country. Because we are a small company, we have every reason to want you (and only you) to succeed.

Adding Content About Criminal Defense to the Website

By continually updating the website and adding additional content, the search engines begin to see that website as authoritative and powerful. While other attorneys waste money on pay per click, our clients build impressive websites that show up organically in the search engines.

Find out more about how are internet marketing strategies are different. Our cost-effective solutions provide an incredible return on investment both in the short term and long term. Call us for a free consultation to evaluate your current internet marketing efforts and learn more about new strategies to dominate the search engines through effective website design and internet marketing for criminal defense attorneys.

Internet Marketing for Criminal Defense Lawyers –


Criminal Defense Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada

We designed this website for a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas. The website contains custom designed graphics focused on images specific to Las Vegas. The website contains more than 70 pages of unique informative content based on Nevada criminal offenses including the elements of the offense, possible defenses, minimum and maximum statutory penalties and more.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston, Texas

Click on the link above to go directly to the website for this criminal defense lawyer in Houston, TX. This website also contains unique graphics on each page, and tons of informative content. We also created a video player for the attorney to highlight his collection of videos. Video websites will gain tremendous importance in the coming years as views start to shift from reading content to watching videos.

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Criminal Law in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

A female criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida, wanted a unique website that highlighted her personal style. We created tons of informative content designed to answer the questions of her ideal clients. We also created a powerful call to action by highlighting her excellent credentials for certain practice areas such as drug crimes, drunk driving offenses, and domestic violence charges.

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Criminal Defense Lawyers in Brevard County, FL

In the highly competitive criminal defense market, showing up in the search engines requires a tremendous amount of unique and informative content based on issues important to individuals in a particular jurisdiction. For instance, each jurisdiction has unique administrative and local rules important for diversion programs, emergency bond hearings, and violation of probation cases. Individuals seek out this information first before deciding on which attorney to hire.

Contact Internet LAVA to Discuss Your Criminal Defense Marketing Plan

We have developed special techniques for criminal defense attorneys across the country who are interested in dominating the search engines. Set up a free consultation to discuss what we can do for your practice. We provide exclusive contracts for attorneys in each jurisdiction so the first question is whether we can represent an attorney in your area of the country.

If so, we then set up a consultation to show you what it takes to dominate the search engines for your specific city or county. We’ll show you what your competition is doing and what is required to outrank them. We believe that the most educated attorneys who really understand internet marketing become our best clients. Call today to schedule your consultation – 1-800-292-LAVA.

Criminal Defense Internet Marketing

Call Internet LAVA today or visit our main website - http://www.InternetLAVA.com

Local Business Listings on Google Maps for Attorneys

Law Firm Local Search Engine Marketing Google Business ListingsImprove Your Law Firm’s Google Local Business Listings on Google Maps

If your law firm has not claimed a local business listing Google Places then you are missing out on a great marketing tool. Many consider Google’s local business listings to be the “new Yellow Pages” for marketing small businesses. Attorneys can create a business listing that can show up ahead of even the organic listings. Best of all, it doesn’t cost even a penny per click.

A few years ago attorneys were able to optimize the listings with little effort and still see their law firm at the top of categories such as “San Diego Personal Injury Attorney” or “Dallas DUI Lawyer.” Those attorneys quickly realized how profitable those listings were to their practice. As other attorneys created their own profile, remaining at the top became more competitive.

Today, many law firms hire marketing professionals to optimize their Google Places business listing. At Internet LAVA we work hard to keep our attorneys at the top of Google Places, as well as optimizing the local business listings for Bing Maps and Yahoo Local.

Google Places for Law Firms, Attorneys, Lawyers

The Importance of Optimizing Local Business Listings

Optimizing your local business listing on Google Places is increasingly important because many of your clients will search for an attorney on their smart phone such as an iPhone, Droid, Palm or Blackberry. In many of those searches, only the top business listing profiles will show up, while the organic listings can not be found unless the viewer clicks through to the next page.

And yes, in certain practice categories such as criminal defense, immigration law and personal injury, an individual will use the listings on their smart mobile phone in much the same way as they found an attorney from the phone book just a few years ago.

Additionally, many smart phones use GPS systems that can identify the users precise location. The location information is then used by search engine maps to highlight local businesses that are nearby even if the user is on vacation.

The Importance of Reviews on Google Places

Another important part of optimizing your local business listing on Google Places is having a great place for your past clients to post a review of your law firm. Those reviews are then displayed on your local business profile which is key component of the ranking system. Even reviews posted on other websites can be pulled into your Google Places business profile. Google puts great weight on reviews from websites such as Yelp and InsiderPages. Information can also be pulled in from AVVO, YellowPages.com and other websites. Therefore, having an effective online presence is key to seeing your business listing at the top of Google Places.

Our Solutions

In many cases the results we achieve for our clients are immediate. At Internet LAVA, we help attorneys set up and optimize the information on their local business listings for Google Places, as well as Bing Maps and Yahoo! Local:

1. Listing information about your most important practice areas and niche categories;

2. Determining the proper location settings and service areas;

3. Uploading properly tagged photographs of attorneys in your law firm, your office, the lobby, logos, or other branding material that conveys a professional image for your law firm;

4. Uploading properly optimized videos that discuss your key practice areas;

5. Providing information that distinguishes your law firm;

6. Creating other online profiles so that the information can be pulled into your Google Places business listing profile.

If you are interested in finding our more about the services that we provide to busy attorneys, then contact Internet LAVA for a free evaluation to discuss our strategies for helping your law firm dominate the search engines.

Read more about
Local Business Listings on Search Engine Maps and Google Places for Attorneys.

Read more about Google Places for small businesses and how it can help your law firm:

Watch Google’s YouTube Video on Google Places:

Florida Bar Rules for Attorney Websites with Case Results



Florida Bar Rules Website Internet Ads DisclaimerFlorida Bar May Amendment Rule 4-7.6 for Attorney Websites

The Florida Bar will consider an amendment to Rule 4-7.6 (Computer Accessed Communications) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar which would allow a lawyer to create an “information upon request zone.” Content in the “information upon request” section of the website would not fall under the requirements of Rule 4-7.6 because the information would be deemed to have been specifically requested by the viewer.

Florida Bar Rules for Internet Websites

Under the current version of Rule 4-7.6 which the Florida Bar will begin to enforce on July 1, 2010, any website that an attorney owns or sponsors may not contain laudatory statements, case results, or testimonials. These amended rule, if it is approved, would give attorneys guidance on how to comply with the rule and still provide important information to potential clients.

Adding case results is particularly important for criminal defense attorneys and personal injury attorneys because potential clients are interested in seeing results that can be verified.

The legislative language of the proposed changes to the Florida Bar rule for any website owned or sponsored by the law firm is provided below:

OFFICIAL NOTICE:

RULE 4-7.6 COMPUTER-ACCESSED COMMUNICATIONS

RULE PROPOSAL TO BE FILED

The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar hereby gives notice of filing with the Supreme Court of Florida, on or about June 1, 2010, a petition to amend rule 4-7.6, Computer-Accessed Communications, of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, governs such matters.

The full text of the proposed amendments is printed below in legislative format using the rule as approved by the Supreme Court of Florida in case number SC08-1181 to be effective on July 1, 2010. A copy of the petition will be available on the Bar’s website (www.flabar.org) and the Court’s website (http://www.flcourts.org) after the petition has been filed. If you do not have internet access, you may request a copy by contacting the The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300 or calling 850-561-5600, Extension 5751.

Members who desire to comment on these proposed amendments may do so within 30 days of the filing of the Bar’s petition. Comments should be filed directly with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, and a copy must be served on the executive director of The Florida Bar.

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

CHAPTER 4 RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

SUBCHAPTER 4-7. INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES

RULE 4-7.6 COMPUTER-ACCESSED COMMUNICATIONS

(a) Definition. For purposes of this subchapter, “computer-accessed communications” are defined as information regarding a lawyer’s or law firm’s services that is read, viewed, or heard directly through the use of a computer. Computer-accessed communications include, but are not limited to, Internet presences such as websites, unsolicited electronic mail communications, and information concerning a lawyer’s or law firm’s services that appears on Internet search engine screens and elsewhere.

(b) Internet Presence. All websites accessed via the Internet that are controlled or sponsored by a lawyer or law firm and that contain information concerning the lawyer’s or law firm’s services:

(1)  shall disclose all jurisdictions in which the lawyer or members of the law firm are licensed to practice law;

(2) shall disclose 1 or more bona fide office locations of the lawyer or law firm, in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) of rule 4-7.2; and

(3) are subject to the requirements of rule 4-7.2 except that a portion of such a website will be considered a communication made at the request of a prospective client and therefore exempt from subchapter 4-7 under subdivision (f) of rule 4-7.1 if

(A) the information provided in that portion of the website is truthful and not misleading, either by itself or in the context in which it is given and

(B) that portion of the website is accessible only after the prospective client views a disclaimer page and makes an affirmative acceptance that the viewer has received the following disclaimers:

(i) the type of information that will be accessible;

(ii) that the information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar;

(iii) if past results are provided:

1. that a prospective client’s facts and circumstances may differ from the matter in which results have been given;

2. whether all results are provided;

3. that the results are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer; and that every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits; and

(iv) if testimonials are provided:

1. that a prospective client’s individual facts and circumstances may differ from the matter(s) in which the testimonials are provided;

2. whether testimonials of all clients are provided; and

3. that the testimonials are not necessarily representative of all clients’ experience with the lawyer.

(c) Electronic Mail Communications. A lawyer shall not send, or knowingly permit to be sent, on the lawyer’s behalf or on behalf of the lawyer’s firm or partner, an associate, or any other lawyer affiliated with the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm, an unsolicited electronic mail communication directly or indirectly to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment unless:

(1) the requirements of rule 4-7.2 and subdivisions (b)(1), (b)(2)(A), (b)(2)(D), (b)(2)(E), (b)(2)(F), (b)(2)(G), (b)(2)(H), and (b)(2)(I) of rule 4-7.4 are met;

(2) the communication discloses 1 or more bona fide office locations of the lawyer or lawyers who will actually perform the services advertised, in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) of rule 4-7.2; and

(3) the subject line of the communication begins with “LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT.”

(d) Advertisements. All unsolicited computer-accessed communications concerning a lawyer’s or law firm’s services not addressed by other provisions of this rule are subject to the requirements of rule 4-7.2.

Comment

Advances in telecommunications and computer technology allow lawyers to communicate with other lawyers, clients, prospective clients, and others in increasingly quicker and more efficient ways. Regardless of the particular technology used, however, a lawyer’s communications with prospective clients for the purpose of obtaining professional employment must meet standards designed to protect the public from false, deceptive, misleading, or confusing messages about lawyers or the legal system and to encourage the free flow of useful legal-related information to the public.

Lawyer and law firm websites containing information about the lawyer or law firm’s services must comply with the general advertising regulations set forth in rule 4-7.2. However, a lawyer or law firm can create a portion of the website which contains information that can be provided only at the request of a prospective client, and is therefore not subject to the lawyer advertising rules under rule 4-7.1(f) In order to be considered information that is provided at the request of a prospective client, the information must be accessible only after viewing a disclaimer page and making an affirmative acceptance that the viewer has received the disclaimers required by this rule. On the disclaimer page, the viewer must acknowledge receipt of the information before being given access to the portion of the website that contains any information that does not comply with the lawyer advertising rules, such as past results, testimonials, or statements characterizing the quality of legal services. The lawyer should not require that viewers provide information about themselves in order to access the information. Lawyers may use a disclaimer page, a pop-up, or any other technological mechanism as long as the above guidelines are followed, and the above information cannot be accessed without viewing the disclaimer page and making an affirmative acknowledgement of receipt of the disclaimer. The website must be set up in such a way that this information cannot be viewed as a result of a general search engine or site search without displaying the disclaimer and acknowledgement page each time.

All information contained in this portion of the website must be truthful and not misleading, either by itself or in the context in which it is given. See rule 4-7.1(g). If testimonials or past results are provided in this portion of the website, sufficient information about the matter also must be provided to allow the consumer to evaluate the testimonials or results. Testimonials and past results may be included in this portion of the website only with the informed consent of each client to which the matters relate. See rule 4-1.6(a).

Alternatively, a lawyer may provide a section of the website in which a viewer, at the viewer’s option, may provide contact information and make a specific acknowledgement that the viewer would like to receive specific information about the lawyer or law firm. After receipt of the contact information and acknowledgment, the lawyer or law firm may send the viewer information by either e-mail or regular U.S. Mail, as long as the information is truthful and not misleading, either by itself or in the context in which it is given. The lawyer or law firm must provide the same disclaimers to the recipient imposed by this rule.

Unsolicited electronic mail messages from lawyers to prospective clients are functionally comparable to direct mail communications and thus are governed by similar rules. Additionally, communications advertising or promoting a lawyer’s services that are posted on search engine screens or elsewhere by the lawyer, or at the lawyer’s behest, with the hope that they will be seen by prospective clients are simply a form of lawyer advertising and are treated as such by the rules.

Examples of computer-accessed communications other than websites and electronic mail include pop-up advertisements and banner advertisements. As indicated by the rule, such advertisements must comply with rule 4-7.2.

This rule is not triggered merely because someone other than the lawyer gratuitously links to, or comments on, a lawyer’s Internet website.


Building and Improving Websites for Florida Law Firms

At Internet LAVA we work exclusively with attorneys to help them create a dominating internet presence. Because of that focus, we work hard to stay current on the Bar Rules that effect an attorney’s website.

Florida Bar Rules for Attorney Internet Websites – Learn more about possible ways to comply with the Florida Bar Rules for attorney websites, social media, creating the domain name or URL or domain name, and other issues related to website design for attorneys in Florida.

Board of Governors Proposed Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar

Website Design for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorney Websites and Internet Marketing

Internet marketing for criminal defense attorneys has become increasingly competitive because attorneys are starting to see the ground shift that has occurred as their ideal clients are turning to the internet to find an attorney. In larger cities, criminal defense attorneys are paying more than $50 a click for the trophy terms such as “Boston DUI Attorney” or “New York City Criminal Lawyers.” Those same attorneys would benefit more from an effective website design with an easy to navigate system to find information deep within the website.

In many competitive markets, even smaller criminal defense law firms with two or three attorneys are paying more than $10,000 a month just on pay-per-click ads. For a fraction of that price those criminal defense attorneys could dramatically improve their websites enough to dominate the search engines for their favorite niche areas.

For a faction of that price, those same attorney could start to dominate the trophy terms most priced by criminal defense attorney. Internet users have become more wary of pay-per-click listings. More and more they are clicking on the top orgainic listings which prove to be powerful and informative websites. Many of your clients may assume that the best criminal defense attorneys have the best criminal defense websites for their location. At least than know that those attorneys are paying attention to provide informative information to their potential clients.

Adding quality content is much more effective than wasting money on pay-per-click. The good news is that you can spend less and get much more with a great content management system that allows to add content to your website. For attorneys willing to spend a few hours each week improving and adding to the content on their website, the return on investment is amazing. Even for those attorneys that just want to hire us to improve their content, a small investment will result in an immediate improvement in search engine rankings and we can do all the work.

Why pay-per-click when you can pay for better content?

Many attorneys are starting to realize that pay-per-click is no longer worth the expense. By investing in the best content management system available, adding content is as easy as sending an e-mail. If you write a memorandum of law on a particular criminal defense topic you can add that information to your website in less than 5 minutes.

Many criminal defense attorneys think that the search engines are a mystery. Really, the search engines are just looking for the most informative content on the same topics that interest your clients when they begin their search for an attorney. Find out how updating and adding content on a regular basis is the best search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

When creating a website for a criminal defense attorney, the best and most immediate return on investment comes from focusing on these goals:

  1. Creating a easy to navigate website design;
  2. Understanding how to add content to the pages we create for you to target specific areas within the criminal defense field;
  3. Harnessing the power of social media marketing; and
  4. Creating short videos that answer the same questions your clients ask when they first contact you about their case.

See Immediate Results for Niche Criminal Defense Areas of the Law

What are your favorite types of criminal cases? If you’ve had great results in a particular type of case then you have unique insite into how to fight those cases. Why not share that information with your ideal potential clients.

  • Criminal Defense of State Charges;
  • Criminal Defense of Federal Charges;
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) including drunk driving and impaired driving;
  • Cannabis Crimes including possession, possession with intent to sell, delivery of marijuana, cultivation or manufacture of marijuana, and defending those accused of operating a grow house;
  • Drug Crimes – possession of a control substance, illegal possession of prescription drugs and drug trafficking;
  • White Collar Crimes – Fraud, Identity Theft, Embezzlement, Mortgage Fraud, Insurance Fraud;
  • Theft Charges – Shoplifting, Petit Theft, Petty Theft, Grand Theft, Grand Larceny, Grand Theft Auto;
  • Criminal Appellate Practices in State or Federal Court;
  • Probation or Parole Violation;
  • Juvenile Criminal Offenses;
  • Traffic Tickets or Citations – Speeding, Suspended or Revoked Driver License, Careless Driving, Aggressive Driving, Hit and Run, Leaving the Scene, Toll Violations;
  • Petitions to seal or expunge a criminal arrest record or clerk’s file;
  • Violent Criminal Offenses such as battery, domestic battery and assault, child abuse, aggravated battery;
  • Sex Crimes such as solicitation, child pornography, sexual battery, and molestation, lewd conduct, failure to report as a sex offender;
  • Weapons Charges for felon in possession or improper exhibition.

Although an entire website could be build around any one of these practice areas for a large city, many attorneys want to pick many or all of the practice areas. For any area you want to target, your website must have the most content that is unique and informative.

Developing Content for a Criminal Defense Attorney’s Website

Let us show you how we create the best, most accurate, most informative content for our criminal defense attorneys’ websites. Consider the type of information that can be added to a page on a topic like “domestic violence battery:”

  1. An introductory paragraph which uses the phrases used more commonly by clients in your jurisdiction to describe that type of charge;
  2. The cities and counties that your law firm wants to target for that particular area of the law;
  3. A general description of the domestic violence statute in your state and the element of the criminal  toffense;
  4. A list of potential collateral consequences that can occur after the arrest – such as the impact on the right to carry a firearm or a possible restraining order;
  5. Possible solutions to the problem such as a plea to reduced charges, a motion to dismiss or suppress, or diversion programs that might be available in that particular jurisdiction;
  6. Potential defenses that relate to each element of the criminal offense;
  7. A general description of the standard jury instructions for that particular criminal offense offense (although the exact wording of the standard jury instructions should never be “cut and paste”);
  8. Recent cases dealing with evidence issues such as the confrontation cause or insufficient evidence;
  9. Pictures related to that criminal charge;
  10. Outbound links related to that other websites that provide information on that charge (for instance a link directly to the statute or jury instructions so your viewer can do additional research and so the search engines see the page as the most informative);
  11. Internal links to other pages within the attorney’s website that are indirectly related to that particular topic (such as a page on sealing a criminal record or restraining orders); and
  12. A closing paragraph that again described the your legal practice, the topic on the page, the jurisdictions in which you practice (including a list of each city, county, and state).

Your current website may only have a few paragraphs on each page and an insufficient number of pages to cover any given topic. At Internet LAVA we take a different approach.

Writing content for an attorney website – read more tips on writing effective content for a criminal defense attorney’s website.

Content management system – find our why our attorneys have a huge advantage over the competition for a faction of the price because of our easy to use content management system that allows the attorney to add additional information continuously over the course of the first year. All of the search engines, including Google actually looks to see how often the page is updated. Adding additional content to a criminal defense website is as easy as hitting the “log in” button, then hitting the “edit” button on a particular page. After typing in a few changes, the attorney then pushes the “save” button and the changes can instantly be viewed on the website.

Our Solutions

Contact the internet marketing experts at Internet LAVA to schedule a free consultation to see more about the websites we have created for criminal defense attorneys. The free consultation will provide you with a wealth of information that will give you an edge over your competition.

Website Design and Marketing for DUI and Drunk Driving Attorneys – Find out about internet marketing strategies for DUI, DWI, drunk driving and impaired driving defense websites.