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Solicitations from Marketing Companies: Don’t Believe Everything You Read!

At SLS, we let our portfolio do all the talking. We don’t send out solicitation emails, and we don’t make broad general statements to scare potential clients into signing with us. We let them take a look at the work we’ve done for clients, and even encourage them to reach out to those clients to ask their own questions.

That’s right. We encourage potential clients to reach out to our current clients…ANY of our current clients…because we’re that confident in the work we put out and the finished product we give to our clients. But that’s just how WE acquire new business. Overall, it’s safe to say that there are a ton of marketing tactics out there used to attract and obtain new business, with some of the tactics being a little more questionable than the others.

Recently, one of our clients forwarded us an email he received in regard to the penalties his site had recently been hit with due to Google’s algorithm changes. The only problem was that our client’s site hadn’t been hit with any penalties, and his rankings were just as strong as ever. See the body of the email below. We’ve removed names and anything else to identify our client and the marketing company:

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Video Killed the Attorney Star

Legal Video As most people are acutely aware, with smart-phones and Skype part of everyday life now, the camera can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. It is a microscope that focused one way somehow adds pounds, and another way, subtracts youth. It can highlight the things you don’t want on screen and shroud the things you want to stand out. It is relentless critic getting the best of you one day and a screaming cheerleader the next, determined to get the best out of you.

Take Richard Nixon for example. In the fall of 1960, then Vice President Nixon took on a young Boston Senator in the first televised Presidential debate. The contest was decided long before either of the two candidates opened their mouths. In one corner you’ve got sweaty, bulldogged Tricky-Dick looking like he’s got one foot in the grave and in the other corner, Camelot’s own smooth, suave and charismatic son – John F. Kennedy Jr. While there are plenty of contemporary examples, few offer the stark contrast between being fully prepared for the spotlight and just winging it. Read the rest »

What is Link Building in 2014 and What Does the Future Hold for Links? (PART 2)

Link Building MarketingSo, now that we know what used to work in terms of link building, let’s take a look at a few more things that law firms can do to build stronger link profiles for their websites.

For starters, make sure that you have all of the basics covered. Your state bar association more than likely has a profile for you on its website, so be sure to fill out all the information fields it allots you. Often times, this includes a link to your website. Other legal associations, particularly those in which you hold positions of authority, may offer the same, so be sure not to overlook these easy, deserved, and EARNED links. Read the rest »

What is Link Building in 2014, and What Does the Future Hold for Links? PART 1

Online Marketing FirmIn the not too distant past, link building was a relatively easy thing to do. In the same way that you could get web pages to rank well by keyword stuffing, you could also strengthen your site’s link profile by submitting it to every web directory that you came across. Sometimes, it didn’t even matter what the directory was affiliated with. As long as you had a link back to your site, you were in a great spot.

Flash forward to today’s internet, and there’s a much different story playing out. Search engines like Google prefer quality over quantity and reward sites that follow this lead. So, what constitutes a quality link and what makes a link not worth the submission time? Let’s take a look…

Over the past couple of years, Google updates have more or less nuked the various spam directories out there. Long gone are the days of submitting URLs in bulk, and so too are the benefits of those bulk submissions. The directories that have managed to survive managed to do so because they provided something of value for web searchers. Read the rest »

If You’re Not Getting Cases, It Might Not Be Your Website’s Fault…

Marketing TipsHere at SLS Consulting, we always try to go above and beyond for our clients. We design websites according to their exact specifications, we continually tinker with their site’s SEO to make sure that everything is running at optimal levels, and we examine their content on a regular basis to make sure that it’s converting effectively.

However, in some rare cases, we still hear that a client is not getting cases and, after evaluating everything that we do on our end of things, we’ve been absolutely baffled as to why this is happening. The website is getting plenty of traffic, the contact forms are regularly being submitted, and the number of phone calls hasn’t dropped drastically, if at all. It wasn’t until we picked up the phone and called one of our clients that we realized what the problem was – how the phone call was answered.

Proper phone etiquette can be more of an issue than you would think. It is often one of the most obvious problems, yet gets completely overlooked the vast majority of the time. In one particular scenario, we called a client and the phone simply rang and rang. It turns out that the law firm didn’t even realize that when the receptionist was away from the phone no one else was answering it or was even aware that it was ringing. Read the rest »

Net Neutrality: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Online Marketing CompanyEver since a federal appeals court threw out federal rules requiring that broadband providers treat all Internet traffic equally, there has been much talk about the future of net neutrality.

So, what exactly is “net neutrality?”

Basically, it is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and governments cannot discriminate or charge different rates by user, platform, content or type of attached equipment. In principle, net neutrality means that ISPs, like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, could not charge a premium for access to faster data throughput to companies or individuals. But, that all changed with the January appeals court ruling.

You may be asking then, why shouldn’t companies and individuals be paying more for faster broadband service? Therein lies the argument; and it tends to be an argument that encompasses price and access. Proponents of net neutrality argue that if ISPs are allowed to charge different rates for different content, applications and the like, then large established companies will have a distinct advantage over smaller content providers and start-ups. The larger companies will have access to a larger broadband pipeline that will be less likely to get clogged when usage is high. Read the rest »

How Oculus Rift Might Expand Marketing Possibilities

Oculus Rift MarketingIn 2012, the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted virtual reality display unit, was conceived by a young head-mounted display enthusiast named Palmer Luckey. He simply wanted to build a unit that would be better and more affordable than what was on the market at the time and provide gamers an immersive way to play video games. He could not have possibly predicted what would happen years down the line.

In March 2014, Facebook announced that it had purchased Oculus VR, the company behind the Rift, for $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock. The social media company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has expressed nothing but confidence in the decision. He believes that the Oculus Rift will change not only the medium of video games, but the world itself.

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Heartbleed and What It Means for You

heartbleed info protectionRecently, a scary sounding security bug called “Heartbleed” dominated news concerning the Internet. Without getting too technical, Heartbleed is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library.

So what exactly does this mean? Basically, the weakness may have allowed hackers to access information that was supposedly protected by SSL/TLS encryption. So, information that you assumed was secure and that you may have shared via web, email, and instant messaging may not have been secure at all.

This is a problem, since it has been estimated that more than 66 percent of the web uses OpenSSL. While an older version of OpenSSL was not affected, it still means a good chunk of the web has been vulnerable — and may have been vulnerable for the past two years. Your usernames and passwords, taxpayer identification numbers, and even private encryption keys could be plucked from vulnerable sites.

Unfortunately, there is little the average user can do about this. For the most part, you have to wait for Internet companies to update OpenSSL and reissue their security certificates.

So, what, if anything, can you do anything to protect yourself? Read the rest »

SEO Specialist Lynna Pham Receives Certificate for Google Analytics Course Completion

google analytics course certificationSLS Consulting is proud to announce that Lynna Pham, an SEO specialist with our company, has recently received a certification for completion of the Google Analytics Platform Principles course.

The course is part of Google’s Analytics Academy, an online digital marketing education program launched by the prominent internet company back in October 2013. It seeks to teach users how Google Analytics collects, processes, configures, and reports data. The course material also covers the various ways in which analytics transforms data across multiple platforms and how users can customize data according to their needs and goals. Those who complete the course gain a foundational understanding of the processes that underlie Google’s page rank system and other important web mechanics, allowing them to provide clients with more effective and focused digital marketing strategies. Read the rest »

The Legal Implications of Dumb Starbucks – How Parody Law Affects Marketing

dumb starbucks parody controversyDid you hear about Dumb Starbucks? A coffee shop, bearing a very striking resemblance to your run-of-the-mill neighborhood Starbucks, popped up in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles in early February, and the owners of the shop weren’t worried about the real Starbucks shutting them down (Note: the L.A. County Department of Public Health did manage to shut the business down though for “operating without a valid public health permit”).

It would stand to reason that the use of copyrighted materials is wrong, and that any use of those materials for profit or gain of any kind would not be permitted. To assume anything otherwise would question the validity of copyrights altogether, and any deviation from the guidelines set forth by copyright laws would seem to nullify any penalties associated with breaking them. In other words, if you use someone else’s copyrighted material, you’re going to get in trouble for it, plain and simple.

However, according to fair use, an entity may use copyrighted materials for parody purposes as long as the use of those materials is clearly considered parody. While it seems contradictory, clearly identifying materials as parody items means that images and likenesses are required to mimic the original copyrighted material to such an extent that the similarities between the copyrighted material and parody work are clearly evident. Read the rest »

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