Lawyer, mega-blogger and lexBlog chief Kevin O'Keefe revealed the little-known secrets about getting traffic to your site at the 11th Annual Super Conference sponsored Wednesday by the Alliance of Professional Associations and the PM Forum in Chicago.
- People don't trust sponsored links. Those are the paid ads at the side and top of Google search results.
- A site map will help raise your search engine results, because it's a page of links to your site.
- Nobody reads your calendar on your blog. You might as well get rid of it, because people will search your blog by topic but not by the date you posted something.
- A blog post should be short -- two paragraphs and two sentences each, maximum. No one will read anything longer. (I guess I violated this rule right here!)
- Just quote and refer other blogs and you can get huge traffic to your own blog. That's what Kevin does, and his blog has a Google ranking of 8 out of 10 (this is very high). Kevin says he does no original writing on his own blog, and instead has created a clearing house for information from others. "You get the viral marketing buzz by quoting other bloggers," he said.
- Put content in the <title> tags on your site. Most home page title tags say "Welcome to our site," when they should instead describe the services of the firm instead, improving search engine results. Most lawyer bio pages are titled "lawyer bio," which is a mistake. Instead, each bio title tag should have the lawyer's name, industries and skills.
- Start using RSS. This method of syndication will be built into the next version of Windows, known as "Vista." RSS will be built into Internet Explorer, Word and Outlook.
- Kevin uses Netnewswire to follow 200 news feeds. He sees the title, sources and when the post went online. He organizes them by category and decides which to put on his own blog.
- He uses Newsgator to search for certain words, like "marketing," his own name and his company name.
- Major law firms are launching blogs, including Davis Wright Tremaine's Telecom Law Blog, Sheppard Mullin's Antitrust Law Blog -- one of 7 blogs the firm publishes in place of its newsletters and PDF files -- and Preston Gates & Ellis's Electronic Discovery Blog.
- Get ready for the Web of the future. Today's Web sites must comply with CSS and XHTML standards. Ask your developer. The new Web of audio, video, entertainment and journalist is just over the horizon.
- Podcasts are catching on. Your firm can record an interview with an expert, and people can download it, and listen to it on their iPod. You can also post the podcast to iTunes and Apple will list it online.
And you can tell Kevin loves it, he gets a thrill from getting lawyers excited about writing blogs. Most effective is lexBlog's one-page advertisement: it shows a set of empty train tracks at sunset. The caption says, "Blog. Don't get left behind."