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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Advertising in this economy...

I get objections from prospects every week that include this present economy. "This economy is making it impossible to advertise right now."
Not to brag, I have spent more money this Christmas than ever. I went to Toys R Us the other day to buy a ride-on vehicle for my 2 year old son. Guess what; sold out! That's right, these vehicles range in price from $65-$399. Again, sold out!
This is what I think. People don't stop buying during economic downturns, go to a mall today and see for yourself. People do however, become more selective when making a purchase.
Great! My company offers great products, the best in the industry... So, its up to me. Am I getting out in the field and offering my product to people who need it?
Those businesses that choose to advertise in times like this are the ones that are going to come out ahead in the long run. Check out this article analyzing recessions of the past 80+ years: All Business - investing in a bad economy.
The economy will recover and history shows that those who choose to advertise during rough economic times come out ahead of those who don't.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Free AVVO listings...

Cynthia Henley is well-known and respected among criminal defense attorneys in Houston. She is a solo practitioner so she watches closely what she spends on advertising. Cynthia has a website and has some listings on Internet directories like and Recently, she has received some quality phone calls from her AVVO profile.
She’s thrilled with this of course, as the profile on AVVO is FREE! Cynthia has taken the time to improve her profile by adding information and photos as well as asking clients to fill out reviews. The profile also includes a place for other attorneys to endorse her as well.
Another benefit from the profile on AVVO is the link to her website – Criminal Defense Lawyer Houston. This inbound link from a relevant, highly trafficked site is a good way to get more visits to her site.If you’re a lawyer and you haven’t taken the time to improve your AVVO listing or worse yet, you don’t even have one. It is well worth your time as Cynthia tells me that she has had a handful of good cases from her AVVO listing in the past 6 months.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Specialty site for well-known Houston firm...

JoAnne Musick is not only a respected attorney here in Houston. She is also well versed in the Internet Marketing game. Years ago she played a major role in the development of her existing site, writing content, helping with the layout, etc.
She also had the foresight to buy an extra domain name for a smaller, more specific site in the future. The theory here is this; by having a smaller more specific site you help your relevancy and conversion when someone lands on the site. After buying the URL JoAnne never found the time to do anything with it as she became busy practicing law, imagine that. When I met JoAnne in October she expressed interest in finally building a site with the other domain name. She decided that DUI/DWI cases would be a nice target as their existing site already performs well for Family and Juvenile Law searches.
With the help of specific PPC campaigns on Google and Yahoo targeting only local DUI/DWI searches, we are driving traffic to JoAnne’s new site Houston DWI Attorney. Check it out when you have the opportunity.
DID YOU KNOW? JoAnne graduated from Sam Houston State with a degree in Accounting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pick the ending...

Check out Yellowbook's newest commercial. Staying with the "Say Yellow To The Future" theme established by the last set of commercials, this new ad incorporates public opinion. YOU get to choose the ending that will appear on our national ad campaign.
Go to and pick the ending that you prefer. Results will be counted soon. You will start seeing the commercial during NFL football games on Fox, episodes of CSI, ESPN Sportscenter and other national placements in coming months.
Please come back here and let me know how you voted and why. Results will be posted to the right.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nicole DeBorde's new SEM campaign

When I met with Nicole she was happy with the amount of DUI cases her site was getting from the search engines. I said, “Great, I want to improve those results by adding a focused SEM campaign targeting searches like, ‘drug Charges defense’ and ‘drug possession attorney’ here in the Houston area. This would allow her to expand her current marketing efforts by giving her exposure on the right side of GOOGLE and Yahoo SERPs.
Her site, Houston Drug Possession Attorney is not only informative but also does a great job of converting the clicks that her SEM campaign attracts. After all, CONVERSION is what it’s all about. Who cares how many clicks you get if nobody contacts you?
Nicole is well-known and has a great reputation here in the Houston legal community. She is a former District Attorney and has appeared numerous times on national news channels including MSNBC and Fox News.

DID YOU KNOW? Nicole is married to another criminal defense attorney here in Houston.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My favorite website!

Check out when you have the chance. I love this site.
Take a quick look at it daily or a couple times a week to find out the latest about search engines and search engine marketing. There are multiple articles posted daily so you can stay informed about the Web and the latest news regarding SEM and optimization.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Murray Criminal Defense

Mekisha Murray is a former Harris County prosecutor and specializes in criminal defense matters here in the Houston area. Take a look at her site at Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer to find out more about her and her practice.
Mekisha is a life-long Houstonian and concentrates solely on criminal defense matters including DUI charges, Drug Possession and Distribution charges as well as both felony and misdemeanors. She does some advertising in the Greensheet but for the most part has built her practice with nothing but hard work and taking great care of her clients.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What did I learn today???

I've hit on this a few times now in past posts but I think I finally have a grasp on it.

SEO vs. SEM - I've had the optimizaiton believers tell me that SEM and PPC stinks because if you ever stop your campaign you've lost everything and are right back where you started... My response, even if that was true, who cares? You made alot of money while you were doing it. Here is an idea. Do some SEM to compliment your organic efforts. When your site is showing up in the first oraganic result for every search imaginable (will never happen) stop your SEM campaign. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Consider this, if 70% of searchers look at the left side of SERPs and only 30% click on the ads on the right side, why is PPC and SEM Google's cash cow? I've seen all kinds of statistics from 80/20 - 70/30 or even 60/40 in favor of the left (organic) side of the SERPS. Whatever the number, a huge chunk of those organic clicks are informational only, in other words they aren't from buyers. I argue that while the organic side makes up most of the clicks and traffic on SERPs, the right side is where the buyers click. Isn't that what its all about?

Who else would click on ads with titles like, "affordable CPA" or "Discount Purses" if they weren't shopping? Searchers looking for local services or products are just as likely to click on a relevant ad on the right side as they are on the left. The only searchers who WON'T click on the ads on the right - people only looking for information, researching something, etc. People ready to buy click on the right side because they are, ready to buy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Helpful tool to measure the quality of your site

I'm constantly telling clients that just having a website in 2008 is not enough. The Internet is sooo competitive that you must have a strategy for how you market that website. A website that doesn't show up organically or on sponsored links is nothing more than an on-line brochure. Don't even think that its a marketing tool. You might as well have a billboard in the middle of a corn field.
I found a helpful website that measures the strengths and weaknesses of any website. seems simple enough but its the first site I've found that breaks down page strength, quality of tags, inbound links and more. Take a look at the site and use the competitve site feature which will compare your site to others that are competing for your same customer base.

Monday, September 8, 2008

its been awhile

Wow, I don't know if I remember how to make a post...
Making the switch from the Organic side of Google and Yahoo SERPs has not been easy. In other words, changing my mind-set that SEM doesn't work and SEO is the only way to go isn't as easy as flipping a switch.
I am convinced of one thing for sure though, BOTH are important to have a successful Web Presence. Yes, a well-optimized site will serve you well for relevant searches but what if you have a statewide or even nationwide practice? Do you have months, even years to wait for your site to index properly and rank among the top ten results? If so, great. If not, you need SEM. You need to place some PPC ads on the first page of Google and Yahoo to compliment your organic (SEO) efforts.
Let me assure you, if organic results were the only place you needed to be there would be no Google Empire as we know it today. The PPC side of the SERPs are the "cash cow" of Google.
I'm not convinced that either ONE strategy is better than the other. What I am convinced of is this, you better be in as many places as possible if you want consistent traffic.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Katine & Nechman's new site is live!

Mitchell Katine and John Nechman are two attorneys here in Houston, Texas who decided to "join forces" so to speak. Their new site launched today and is going to do great on search engines. Not to mention, the site does a great job of relaying their firm's message and qualitications to the public.
John has been hard at work translating much of the content to Spanish and Mitchell provided input regarding both design and content. Both attorneys have helped tremendously with the direction and flow of their site. After a short visit with these two lawyers I realized that not only are they friendly and approachable, they are also very experienced in their areas of practice. Go to to check it out and find out more about this unique and highly qualified new team of attorneys.
Feel free to check back here and leave a comment about what you think of their new site.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Google beat out by for searches!

Okay, okay its only on News Video Searches but still...
One of my favorite blogs on the Web is the one at The most recent post features a survey about News searches on the Internet. 57% of the 500 people surveyed say they went to for news compared to 53% who went to Google.
Even more interesting is the fact that 36% of the respondants are VERY LIKELY to click on a video that is listed on a search engine results page (SERP) while searching for news. In addition 35% are VERY LIKELY to click on a video that is embedded within the news article.
This is great news for those of us in the Internet Advertising business as more and more companies like FindLaw are offering Video services now. Even on-line Directories like are starting to offer video products.
To see the complete post go to

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Informative BLOG from one of my clients

Check out Ruby Bolton's blog at She has posted alot of helpful information about Probate Law and Wills and Trusts. My favorite post is under the "wills" section. She writes about the pitfalls of using one of those store-bought wills or "fill in the blank" wills. Very informative...
You can also get to the BLOG through her website at

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fact or Fiction - The Fold

I tell propsects all the time that they the design of their website is important for many reasons. One of those reasons is the information displayed above "the fold" very often determines whether the user goes deeper into the site. Now the trend seems to be that as users get more and more accustomed to the Internet scrolling down the page is commonplace for people who are looking for information on the Web.
Here is a great article about "the fold" which I found helpful. Enjoy -

Friday, April 18, 2008

New template site for Kingwood attorney

Contratulations to Wayne Garrison. His new website just went live and will no doubt help his practice capture clients from the Internet. Wayne's goals for the site were simple; attract clients from Kingwood, Humble and surrounding areas who need help with DUI or Drug Charges. The content is well written, as always with a FindLaw site and portrays Wayne's message clearly.
Wayne works in all Criminal Defense areas but wanted to narrow the focus of the website to only DUI Defense and Drug Crimes Defense to make the site more effective for those search terms.
Check the site out at when you have a chance.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sheesh, another new custom site in Houston...

Congratulations to Mark Goranson and Linda King. Their new FindLaw site launched last week and looks great. They have had a website but it wasn't bringing in clients and was used more for an on-line brochure than anything. Now they have a true web presence and a marketing tool in one. is a custom site with a great layout and clean design. Its easy to navigate and features a Live News Feed and Employment FAQs. The firm's main practice areas are Business Litigation and Employment Law.

Be sure to check out the site and leave any comments if you have the chance.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another new site

When Jim Martin called me he wasn't sure where to start with creating the brand of his law firm. All he knew for sure is that he wanted it be aggressive. He didn't want a website that consisted of the typical family law images of children laughing and grandparents holding babies. He wanted pictures that portrayed what can be the toughest times in a person's life. is exactly that. This is a custom website with Information Centers about Divorce, Medical Malpractice and Motor Vehicle Accidents. The law firm of Martin & Lilly have offices in Kingwood, Sugarland and downtown Houston. Jim and Glenn have years of trial experience and well rounded backgrounds in various areas of law. Not to mention, Earle Lilly, a Texas legend in the area of Family Law, is OF COUNSEL and is board certified in Family Law.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Great site for North Houston law firm

Congrats to Ruby and Andrew Bolton on the launch of their new site. The law firm of Bolton & Bolton has two offices; one in Tomball and another in The Woodlands. They have a wide range of practice areas including Family Law and Bankruptcy. When Ruby and I spoke initially she wasn't a believer in the Internet as a marketing tool and decided on another website provider. Almost a year later she called me to "revisit" the subject and give FindLaw a try. Since the firm is new to The Woodlands area Ruby wanted to be aggressive and go after business from that area.
After a couple meetings we decided that a Level 3 custom site with a few add-ons would help her dominate the North Houston area. Add-ons include FAQs and an "Information Center" for Bankruptcy as well as a BLOG for her Probate practice. Ruby also submitted her own FAQs for the areas of Divorce and Wills and Trusts.
I have NO doubt that this site will rank well immediatley due to the fact that the domain name has been around for a while and the content is well written. The geo tags are very targeted and should provide a boost for search rankings in the North Houston area. Visit the site at and feel free to let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Best new template site in Houston

Congratulations to Michael Von Blon. His site received the most votes in the recent poll for "best new template site in Houston."
Check it out at and feel free to check out the comments below in the post about the poll.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Long Tail searches...

I meet with attorneys every day who want to be on the first page of Google and Yahoo for the searches "divorce attorney Houston" or "texas injury lawyer". These searches are great to show up for but how many of those searches are done by someone who actually wants to hire an attorney?
Research has shown that the searches that usually turn into paying clients or good cases are more specific and many times unique. For example, if searches like, "accident in workplace caused by fatigue" or "helicopter accident on petrochemical platform" start showing up on the traffic reports for your website, get excited. These are referred to as long tail searches.
Sure there is less of these searches performed but they convert at a higher rate. Not to mention, the volume of long tail searches is staggering. Every month my clients can expect to see a handful of searches like, "kingwood lawyer" or "attorney in the woodlands" but they see many more like, "custody modification for military personnel" or "questions about injury on construction site" that are performed only once each. Add all of these unique, long tail searches together and you have some serious search engine traffic.
I'll put it another way, if I give you the five or six searches a month like "houston attorney" and you give me all the long tail searches, which could be hundreds, who do you think will get more clients or cases from those searches?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Vote for Best template website in Houston

Template sites are a great way to get noticed by search engines. Many attorneys aren't ready to take the plunge with a large custom website the first time I meet with them so the template site is the perfect way to get indexed on Google, Yahoo, etc without paying top dollar. Here are a few template sites that I like here in Houston:

Check out each and pick your favorite.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Google paid ads are decreasing in value...

Since I got into the business of Internet Marketing I've studied the benefits of Organic Results as well as Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. There are numerous articles and studies that show where people click and how they search on Google, Yahoo, etc. Feel free to check out some of these on your own:
These articles bring up many valid points. I've been of the oponion that BOTH are effective. PPC for short term success and organic results for long-term success. Studies have shown that nearly 80% of Americans look at the organic results on the left side of the page. That leaves only 20% to click on the PPC. Keep in mind, some of the clicks may be a result of "click fraud" and very expensive. For more information on click fraud check out:
Now I see that Google's paid ads are decreasing in traffic and becoming more expensive. Think of it this way; when you walk into a casino the number of slot machines far outnumber all the other games combined. Why is that? Its the CASH COW. Slot machines are the biggest money maker for a casino. Yes, you can win. You can also drop a huge amount of cash in a short period of time and get NOTHING in return. - Paid ads have been the cash cow for Google for a long time.
On the flip side, think of building an effective website that relays your firm's message to prospective clients with custom content that is well optimized. First, you will have a higher rate of conversion because of better content and you are pulling from 80% of the public instead of just 20%. Don't forget you get to keep the content and design because its custom written for you and your firm. Think about it. Most companies that build PPC campaigns can't build an effective website so there isn't any conversion.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Golf in the Desert

I just returned from the FindLaw National Sales Meeting in Tucson. In addition to sitting in conference rooms for hours and drinking way too much coffee, I got to play golf in the desert for the first time. It was quite different than playing here in Houston as you can see from the picture. Its also nice to hit the ball farther because of the thinner air, less humidity, higher elevation, etc. Check out my shorts.

I'm looking forward to August. The FindLaw Q4 meeting will be in Vegas and we are staying at the Wynn, and yes we will be playing golf. I've heard many good things about the course and can't wait to leave massive divots all over it.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Cynthia Henley is a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer who has never worked in the DA's office. She has been defending those accussed of crimes since day one. Her trial experience and the fact that she is very selective in the cases she takes on speaks volumes about her work ethic and integrity.
When I initially contacted Cynthia she was open minded about setting up a new website but was also being pitched by other website providers. Her question to me was this, "Is FindLaw a program or am I buying an actual website?" Cynthia was referring to a campaign or a program involving pay per click (PPC) ads on search engines that lead to a site with little content and NO optimization.
She wanted a website first and foremost that would relay her unique approach to the practice of law as well as convert clicks to clients. In other words, she felt if people get to a weak site through PPC ads it might not be enough if the content on the site is weak. I assured that with FindLaw she is buying a product not a program or a campaign that last 6 or 12 months. When the term of her contract is up with FindLaw she keeps her custom content and design and is free to take it elsewhere.
Check out the site at and let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I've had the same conversation with two VERY different attorneys in the last week. I spoke with Bob Simmons of Simmons & Fletcher, a Houston Personal Injury Law Firm as well Stephen Zayler, a solo bankruptcy attorney in Lufkin about advertising. Both of them are happy with their site for many reasons but the particular aspect that struck me is this; their website ties all their other advertising efforts together.
Both of them have TV commercials. S&F also do quite a bit of Radio. Stephen on the other hand, doesn't like radio but is a believer in billboards and print ads. Both of them have noticed that since their sites have launched, they have seen a tremendous increase in phone calls and intake forms submitted through the site.
Why? People in this country are smart, for the most part, and want to do some amount of research before they make a purchase of any kind, even before they hire an attorney. So, what happens when a person driving down the road sees a billboard for an attorney that might be able to help them with a problem? They go home or to work and look that attorney up on the Internet. Same with radio, tv and print ads. A firm's website can qualify or eliminate them from consideration. It's that simple. Furthermore, if a firm doesn't have a website, how many clients have they lost that they don't even know about? If I get the name of two attorneys because I have a legal issue I am going to the Internet to pre-qualify both of them. If one of them doesn't have a website, guess which one I'm probably going to call.
Both of these attorneys in different cities, different practice areas and different areas of advertising told me the same thing. They have advertised for years but the website has somehow brought their advertising efforts full circle.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great New Site for Houston Litigation Attorney

Stavis called me in November after spending some time on and had a few questions. He was shopping around for a website company that could capture the details of his unique practice. After meeting with him twice he decided to move forward with a custom site and also added a Legal News Feed to give visitors to his site relevant, update information.
Check out the site at It just launched last week and I expect it to do well on the search engines given many of Stavis' practice areas are unique and specialized.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Legal Marketing website here in Houston

Jodi Koupal is a FindLaw consultant here in Houston. I've had the pleasure of working with her for two years now and have learned alot from her about this industry. Check out her site at Its full of helpful information and tips on marketing and using the Interent to gain an advantage over the competition.
Jodi is consistently one of the top performers in the company and just finished #1 in the country for 2007. FindLaw has 135 consultants nationwide so this is a great accomplishment.
Jodi serves downtown Houston and all the way down I45 to Galveston as well as Beaumont and Baytown.
If you are in need of Internet Marketing help and in one of those areas call Jodi before you call anyone else.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kathryn Marteeny, P.C.

Kathryn met with a FindLaw rep last year at the Family Law Convention in San Antonio. The rep, Rob O'Connell and Kathryn discussed the Internet in general initially but soon the conversation turned to marketing and using the Internet as an advertising medium.
Kathryn agreed that she needs a website for her practice and that a premium template from FindLaw would fit her needs. The premium template includes moving text across the banner, a more modern design and content than a standard template.
Kathryn's pracitce consists of all areas of Family Law as well as Probate and Estate Planning. She is located on the Katy Freeway so the location is convenient for those in Katy and the west side of town who don't want to bother with downtown traffic and freeway construction along I-10. She is also a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas which requires a high standard of education and ethics of its members.
Kathryn went to West Virginia University and then attended The University of Houston's Bates College of Law.
Check out her site at

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Networking on the Web

If you don't have a profile on you may be missing out.
Missing out on what, you ask? Opportunitites, clients, inbound links, etc. In addition to allowing people who may know you and want to get back in touch, these sites are great for increasing traffic to your websites, blogs, etc. Google and other search engines consider inbound links "third party endorsements" so they can be extremely helpful in improving the rank of your site(s). Make sure that you select public profile in the "settings" section as well as listing web sites and blogs, etc. View my profile at Do it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kingwood Law Firm Launches 3rd FindLaw Site!

Brian McNamara recently launched his 3rd FindLaw firmsite last month. He's had a template site with FindLaw for years but wanted to expand his Internet presence as provide more information to potential clients.
The new site will benefit from an aged domain name as well as a Divorce Practice Center. The design enforces the firm's branding efforts and has a great geographic "feel" for the Kingwood, Humble area.
Visit the new site at
and see more about the firm and Brian McNamara. He is board-certified in Texas and has been in the Kingwood area since 1992.
In addition to this site, Brian has a small template site dedicated to pre-nups in Texas.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Law Firm in The Woodlands, Conroe

When I initially met with Bert at The Steinmann Law Firm in The Woodlands he already had a website and wasn't doing any advertising on the Internet. His site was old and outdated and he didn't even know if it was still up and running.
After a couple visits and a steady flow of information (from my e-mail box to his) about Internet Marketing and local search trends Bert decided to move forward with a template site to try the Internet out for a while.
His site went up in July and has seen a steady climb in the rankings. We had to use a new domain name due to problems with his previous host but will eventually have that domain name pointed to the site as well.
Check out the site at

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quantcast proves helpful in closing deal

I got a call last week from an attorney who was comparing to a competitor. His question was about total traffic and which directory was best for his marketing dollar. I told him to go to and see for himself. Its fairly easy to navigate and the site shows a ton of information about daily reach and rankings of the sites you inquire about.
He looked up as well as the URL of the other site and was blown away by the numbers. FindLaw consistently shows traffic rankings that blow away other legal directories. The unique monthly visitors alone beat most legal directories.
Needless to say, the attorney faxed me the order form and asked how soon until the spot would be live. I still haven't met this new client and look forward to dropping by sometime in the near future.
I highly recommend Quantcast as a way to measure websites and their effectiveness in reaching the public.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


FindLaw released a new blog today from the Search Engine Marketing Department.
You can find it at
I'm excited to have a focused site to share ideas and find tips regarding the ever-changing world of SEO. This blog will also be a great destination for my clients to go to for ideas regarding their own blogs and/or websites.