The Most Valuable & Most Neglected Way to Upgrade Your Legal Websiteís Search Engine Standings

By Bob Schwartz, CRS, GRI ©2007 Promotions Unlimited All rights reserved.

You paid top dollar for the professional design of your firm's website and it looks amazing. Itís easy to navigate, loads fast, has harmonized, pleasurable colors, and lots of informative and useful content. Your Web designer has also shown you how to go to the search engines, type in your firmís name or key phrases, and view your site come up on the first page of the results. It seems like you have done everything right, yet, after over a year, you're not getting any new clients that can be attributed to your firmís site!

There are two important steps you should take to determine where the problem lies. Before we begin, keep in mind that almost without exception, website design firms are NOT SEO (search engine optimization) firms. Actually, the most you can expect from your web design firm in the area of optimization is the very basic meta-tag inclusion and perhaps some out-dated (and often damaging) optimization efforts.

Now on to our two critical steps:#1. Go to a major search engine (like Google or MSN) and type in a city-specific, legal keyword phrase. Actually, you will want to try this on at least two terms. The first term should be a general city-specific term like Houston lawyers (in our examples we will use our Houston Texas legal directory - as an example). Don't mind the paid, sponsored listings, and see if your firmís site shows up on the first three returned pages of results. Looking beyond page three is of no value, as your potential clients most likely won't search beyond about thirty returned sites.

Now, do the same for a city-specific & practice-specific keyword term like "Houston divorce lawyers". Did you locate your site in these two searches? If not, this is the reason you are not generating new clients!

Even if you firmís name search results happened to be on page one, so what? How many potential (especially out of town) clients are going to search on your firmís name? Do they actually know your firmís name?

As an example, here are the results from the two searches for our Houston legal directory (we added one more phrase):


Houston lawyers Page #1 Position #1 & #3

Houston attorneys Page #1 Position #1 & #2

Houston family lawyers Page #1 Position #1 & #5


Houston lawyers Page #1 Position #1 & #3

Houston attorneys Page #1 Position #1 & #2

Houston DUI lawyers Page #1 Position #3 & #8

Ok, now you know where your site stands. Our step two examples may be the reason your site is not ranking high.

#2. Go to a major search engine (like Yahoo or MSN) and type in the search box the word "site:" followed by a colon and your siteís URL. For our Houston legal directory, we would type in:

At the top of the first page of returned results youíll see a wrap-up (these results are other sites that have links directing to your site) of the results. Below are the results summaries for our Houston legal directory on Yahoo and MSN:

YahooSearch ResultsResults 1 - 10 of about 10,400 for site: - 0.44 sec.MSNResults 1-15 of about 7645 containing "site:"

Note that our Houston lawyerís site had about 10,400 links on Yahoo and about 7645 links on MSN.

Donít stress out if you donít have thousands of links pointing to your site. It takes time to build up quality links. Plus, you really donít need excessive numbers here. However, unless you have at least a hundred or so quality links, your site will never rank as well as it could.

Increasing quality links is the most looked over way to improve your siteís search engine rankings. Plus, these links will guide traffic from other sites to yours!

The procedure can be done on your own. I recommend specific software made just for securing and setting up reciprocal links pages on your site. With this software, a high school or freshman college student could have your site all completed in just a couple hours per week for three or four weeks. I recommend you download a free trial version of Arelis.

Want to have 15 high-quality legal links leading to your site? Take a {minute|moment}} to review and submit your site to one of our legal directories.

Copyright 2007 Promotions Unlimited. All rights reserved.


Bob Schwartz, is the founder of Promotions Unlimited an Internet legal directory (CA, TX & Las Vegas) publisher and search engine placement technology analyst. You can contact Bob via e-mail at or visit his San Diego legal directory at:


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