Glossary

A
Anchor Text

This is the word or words used to link to a page. If “Click” is hyperlinked, then “Click” is the anchor text. If “Boston Divorce Lawyer” is hyperlinked, the entire phrase of “Boston Divorce Lawyer” is the anchor text.

Attorney Marketing

This is any process (online or offline) used to attract new clients or leads.

AJAX

Short for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML”. This programming language is often used on forms and the dynamic parts of a law firm’s website. It allows content to load in a section of a page without requiring the entire page to reload.

API

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are used to connect applications to other websites or applications. For example, an attorney who wants users to log in via Facebook before commenting on the firm’s blog may accomplish this with the Facebook Developer API. The ability to connect an email signup form with MailChimp or Constant Contact is another example. Both are accomplished with APIs.

Acquisition Strategy

This is the strategy used to acquire new leads and clients. If a lawyer wants to attract a certain number of new accounts each year, an acquisition strategy can be implemented to achieve the goal.

Ad

An ad (or advertisement) is any recognition your law firm gets after paying a fee. An ad could be on another website, a social network or in search engine listings.

Ad Copy

Ad copy is the content within a paid ad. It generally goes below the ad title.

Ad Title

Ad titles start an ad on social networks or search engines. For example, a personal injury lawyer may have an ad title of “Chicago personal injury lawyers” or “Get help with your injury now!” Ad titles need to identify the advertiser and grab the user’s attention.

Algorithm

This is a program that delivers results based on different inquiries. The process in which a website is determined to be on Google’s Page One or Page Eight is based on Google’s algorithm (the rules that they have in place to determine content value and position).

Alt Text

Alt text (also called an alt tag or image tag) is assigned to images just in case the image itself does not load. A picture of a dog running may have an alt tag of “running dog” or “dog running through field”. Using alt tags solely for search engine optimization purposes is generally discouraged. A picture of a lawyer could have an alt tag of “lawyer, John Smith”, but an alt tag of “personal injury and wrongful death accident lawyer John Smith” could be considered keyword spam.

Amplification

With content amplification, you pay a service to promote a certain page on your site. Services like Taboola and Outbrain post your page next to news stories in their networks to attract visitors.

B

B2C

Short for “business to consumer”. A B2C firm may specialize in family law, personal injury or estate planning.

Backlink

A link pointing to your website from other websites. If Local.com links to Lawexample.com, the link from Local.com is a backlink.

Bid

Bids are often used for pay-per-click marketing. If a lawyer believes top placement for a keyword (like “car accident”) is worth $40/click, that is his or her bid.

Blog

A blog is a section of a website or an individual site dedicated to producing topical content on a regular basis. A regular page on a website may stay up-to-date for a long period of time, but a blog generally covers items that are relevant right now. Blogs also have feeds, making it easy to syndicate and share the content.

Boost/Boosting

Boost is a service on Facebook that allows attorneys to pay for more exposure for a certain post on a firm’s Facebook wall. For a small fee, Boosting can add over a thousand views to a post.

Branding

Branding is the process by which a firm establishes its public recognition. Branding often includes a law firm’s logo, slogan, positioning statement and other recognizable elements. A website should be an extension of a law firm’s brand.

C

CPA

CPA is short for “cost per acquisition”, the amount of money spent to get a new case. If $100/month is spent and yields 10 new cases, the CPA is $10.

CPC

CPC is short for “cost per click”. This is the amount of money charged to your firm each time someone clicks on your ad.

CPM

CPM is short for “cost per thousand impressions”. Display networks often use CPM to determine their pricing models. Rather than paying for each click, you pay per thousand views of your ad. Some networks will combine CPM and CPC, forcing you to pay for both views and clicks.

CTR

CTR is short for “click-through rate”. This rate is determined by dividing the number of user impressions by the number of clicks. If 10 users click on your ad for every 100 who view it, your click-through rate is 10%.

CSS

CSS is short for “cascading style sheet”. The style sheet on your website tells the browser what colors, fonts and other styles to display. For example, if all headers need to be 15 pixels high and in boldface, the style sheet could define that need for all “h1” tags. Then, the content management system will assign that same style to all “h1” tags.

Click Bot

Click bots are deployed on websites running pay-per-click ads to con networks into paying for undeserved clicks. Over the years, most major networks like Google have developed ways to detect click bots and protect their advertisers from fraudulent charges.

Comment

A comment is a form of user interaction on a particular feature. A website’s blog may attract comments from readers, and a Facebook Wall post may attract comments from followers.

Competitive Analaysis

A competitive analysis is used to detect all competitors for a group of keyphrases. These may not be other lawyers; a competitor, for SEO purposes, is any website that appears on the first page of Google’s results for a targeted keyphrase.

Content Management System

A CMS is used to manage the pages and information within a website. Custom Legal Marketing uses WordPress as its content management system, powering all of its clients’ websites.

Conversion Rate

This is the rate at which visitors convert to leads. If a website attract 1,000 monthly visitors, and 10 visitors fill out a contact form, then the website’s conversion rate is 1%.

Crawler

A crawler (bot) is used by search engines to access, download and archive your website’s data to be included in its index.

D

Dayparting

Dayparting is a method used primarily in pay-per-click marketing. It targets certain ads for certain days. For example, an ad group for DUI attorneys could run on Saturdays and Sundays to catch the increase in demand for DUI defense following Friday and Saturday nights.

Description Tag

This meta tag describes the content within the page. A description tag is a conversion element (an attempt to interest people to click on the page), but neither helps nor hurts the ranking of the website.

Directory

A directory holds links and resources to many different law firms. Niche and established directories can help your marketing plan, but using too many directories can harm your reputation with Google.

Distribution Network

A network of websites that picks up content like blogs and press releases. For example, Law Firm Newswire’s distribution network has over 200 websites that pick up every news release.

Domain

The website address used to access your site. Your domain name points to your hosting, but the two are separate.

E

Editorial

An editorial is a type of press release used to share an opinion with the masses. For example, a lawyer whose practice is being affected by legislation may write an editorial for or against the legislation and submit it as a press release.

Educational Content

Content that is shared to inform users. Infographics, blogs and news releases may all be considered educational content.

Entry Page

This is the first page on which a visitor lands within a website. Some click-on ads may direct users to a sub-page as an entry page, while users that see a television ad may reach your site through the homepage (making the homepage their entry page). The entry page is simply the first page seen by any one user.

Exit Page

The last page a user on your website visits before leaving your site.

F

FAQ

FAQ is short for “frequently asked question”. FAQs offer a powerful marketing advantage to law firms, as they help visitors understand your practice and attract an audience from search engines.

Flash

Flash is a tool that allows animations to exist within websites. Flash was created by Macromedia and later acquired by Adobe. Its usefulness has become limited with the advent of HTML 5, which offers faster load times, SEO friendliness and wider browser compatibility.

G

Geo-Targeting

Targeting ads or keywords based on the geographic location of a visitor. Most legal marketing involves geo-targeting, as law firms generally serve individual cities.

H

HTTP

HTTP is short for “hypertext transfer protocol”. All URLs begin with “http://”, but it is no longer necessary to type the HTTP prefix to navigate to a website.

HTTPS

HTTPS is short for “hypertext transfer protocol secure”. If your website is receiving sensitive information, it should utilize a secured server. Secured servers are accessed with “https://” rather than “http://”.

Header Tag

A header tag starts the content on your page. Most pages will have an H1, H2 and H3 tag. Before Google’s algorithm updates of 2012 and 2013, keyword placement in header tags was a valuable tool for your search engine placement. They are still helpful today, but not as much as they once were.

Heatmap

A heatmap tracks the clicks on different parts of a website to show how visitors are behaving. Heatmaps can detect if someone is clicking on a link in the top menu, side menu or even within a form. Check the Custom Legal Marketing Lounge for your website’s most recent heatmaps.

I

Iframe

An iframe is used to place your website inside of another website. Press releases use iframes frequently; your website is loaded inside of your press release, allowing readers easy access to the site.

Impression

An impression is a “view.” If one person sees your advertisement 20 times, you have landed 20 impressions. This rate is used to calculate fees for CPM display advertising.

Index

This term is often used to describe the vast database of a search engine. For example, once your website is archived in Google Search, it is included in their index.

IP Address

An IP address identifies a user. All internet connections are made through IP addresses, just as telephone conversations take place through phone numbers.

J

JavaScript

JavaScript is the scripting language used on most websites.

K

Keyword/Keyphrase

A word or phrase your target audience uses in search engines. Any word or phrase can be a keyword or keyphrase, but when marketing your law firm, you want to focus on the terms people are actually using.

Keyword Density

Keyword density describes the frequency with which a keyword or keyphrase is used in a page, article, blog, press release or other content. Generally, you don’t want keyword density to be too high, because Google may recognize your content as spam. But if it’s too low, the content may not be helpful to your search engine rankings.

Keyword Stuffing

This term describes the act of packing too many keywords into content. It’s a practice that does more harm than good.

L

Landing Page

Landing pages are used for most pay-per-click campaigns. Unlike main website sub-pages, landing pages are generally simplified for enhanced lead generation. For law firms, landing pages may not always be the best solution. Sometimes, sub-pages on your main website convert better than landing pages.

Lead Generation

The process of converting online traffic into potential clients that call or request calls.

Link Bait

Content interesting or outrageous enough to attract genuine links. Link bait, for law firms, could be surprising legal statistics or infographics.

Link Portfolio

A list of websites that link to your law firm’s website. Your Custom Legal Marketing Lounge maintains a link portfolio that is updated every 30 days for your review.

Long-Tailed Keyword/Keyphrase

A long-tailed keyword or keyphrase describes a detailed or natural-language query. For example, a general keyphrase could be “Boston divorce lawyer,” but a long-tailed keyphrase could be “hiring a lawyer to help me file for divorce in Boston MA.” FAQs are often considered long-tailed keyphrases.

M

Metrics

The various tracked elements of your online marketing. For example, traffic, time on site, popular keywords and conversions rates are all metrics.

Minimum Big

In a pay-per-click campaign, the lowest available bid for a keyword is the minimum bid.

N

Nofollow

The nofollow tag is used on a link to protect your website’s reputation. If Example.com links to Lawexample.com, the reputation of Example.com extends to Lawexample.com. But if you are linking to a site that is of low quality, linking with a nofollow tag protects your reputation and does not extend it to the low-quality site.

NOODP

NOODP is a tag that ensures that Google does not take your website’s title from the DMOZ directory and display it instead of using your website’s title tag.

O

Organic Search Listing

A term used to describe non-paid listings in a search engine. Organic listings appear due to SEO value or location on the local map.

P

PPC

PPC is short for “pay-per-click”,  a marketing model in which advertisers are only charged when someone clicks on their ads.

PageRank

PageRank is the quality score given to a website based on the Google algorithm of the same name. Your PageRank (or “PR”) score is not always a factor in how your website ranks. A high-PR website can rank below a low-PR website if the low-PR website contains other elements that Google considers to be of higher value.

Podcast

An audio broadcast distributed through RSS feeds, most commonly on Apple iTunes network to be listened to on iPods or other mp3 players. Podcasts can be a beneficial marketing tool for lawyers and they can be listened to on any audio device or computer, not just iPods.

PPC Management

The process of optimizing, managing or building a successful pay-per-click strategy is considered PPC management.

Q

Quality Content

Content that has real value for its audience. Quality content does not exist just so search engines have material to register.

Question Marketing

Marketing questions as keywords. For example, “How do I file bankruptcy in New Jersey?” could be a valuable keyphrase for a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer.

R

ROI

ROI is short for “return on investment”, the amount of money made or value derived from an ad campaign or marketing strategy.

RSS

RSS is short for “real simple syndication”. Your blog uses RSS feeds to syndicate content. These feeds can be used to power email newsletters, share content with other websites or share content automatically on social networks.

Rank

Your website’s position on a search engine’s results page. If you are the third listing on the first page, you would be Page One, Rank Three.

Reciprocal Link

A link exchange. If Example.com links to Lawexample.com, and Lawexample.com links back to Example.com, they have created a link exchange. Such practice is prohibited by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Robots Text File (Robots.txt)

A file used to share your preferences with Google. Such a file could bar the search engine from private directories or point it to directories with valuable content.

S

Scrollmap

A tracking tool that displays the amount of time visitors spend on a certain part of a webpage. Scrollmaps can help determine which areas of your site visitors find interesting enough to read.

SEM

SEM is short for “search engine marketing”, a term used for all forms of marketing related to search. Search engine optimization and search engine pay-per-click advertising are both forms of search engine marketing.

SEO

SEO is short for “search engine optimization”, the process by which you improve a website’s rankings through onsite and offsite efforts.

Search Engine

A database of websites that visitors can use to find content relevant to their keyphrases.

Social Network

Networks of people who share and read content created by others within that network.

Sponsored Listing

This term is often used to describe the paid results seen on a search engine or other page. The listing is neither organic nor natural; it exists solely because an advertiser is paying for it.

T

Themes

Your website’s theme is, essentially, its design. A theme extends beyond your home page to unify the design of all of the sub-pages, blogs and other content on your site.

Title Tag

The tag displayed in your browser’s top bar to describe the content on the page. The title tag is important for search engine rankings and for improving the click-through rate from search engines to your website.

Tracking URL

A URL generated to see if a campaign is attracting visitors. You could set up a tracking URL for a specific event, for a seminar or for paid advertisements. The data is then separated within your statistics tools.

Traffic

Users who visit your website are considered traffic (also called web traffic).

U

Unique Visitor

A unique visitor is one person. One person may visit 10 pages on your website accounting for 10 “visits” but will only count as one unique visitor.

User Agent

The user agent is the browser a visitor is using. A user agent could be either a mobile browser or a desktop browser.

V

Video

Online videos used to market your law firm with film (rather than with images).

Viral

The process by which something (a website, video, image or other media) becomes popular as many people share it across social platforms.

W

Website Design

The process of designing your law firm’s website.

Web Content

The textual content that is displayed on your website.

X

XML Sitemap

This sitemap is shared with search engines as the preferred method of indexing your website’s content. For the most part, XML sitemaps have replaced the need to manually “submit” your website to search engines.