The Tools I Use: A Resource Page for Attorneys
Chris Dreyer | March 11, 2016
It’s difficult to recommend a tool if you’ve never used it before. I use a variety of tools on a daily basis to do my work and I’d like to share them as resources for attorney’s looking for similar solutions in their own SEO work. If you’re looking for software in any of the following categories, these tools come with my highest recommendation.
If you are going to be using WordPress WPengine is a great hosting company to go with. They understand the platform and work with it every day. It also works out well if you want to have multiple WordPress installations on the same hosting account (but under different domains). For example if you have law offices in different states or even in different regions of the same state you could have a domain that represents each location.
Another great service is Blue Host (full disclosure, I’m a Blue Host affiliate). I wouldn’t promote something however if I didn’t think it was any good. The thing with web hosts is that you don’t really find out that they aren’t good for current web development technologies until after you’ve signed up. Blue Host is great no matter what your plans are. The prices are extremely reasonable and the whole process is very painless. Also, if you want to install WordPress their backend interface for point and click installation is about the easiest to use I’ve ever seen.
Ahrefs is a backlink analysis tool on steroids. If you want to get scientific about your backlink building activities, this is an excellent web-based tool. You just type in your domain name and click the “try it for free” button on the home page. You can look at a limited amount of data for free but after that you’ll have to pay for the subscription. Ahrefs will show you a ton of data related to links leading to your website.
You’ll be able to see the number of links, the number of linking domains, the anchor text of links, their position on the page, new and lost links, outgoing links, no-follow vs do-follow and other information. There are three tiers of subscription plans that scale up based on how many links you are asking Ahrefs to crawl per request. If you don’t have a lot of links leading to your site (i.e. less than 5,000), the basic $79 per month plan will work for you.
For keyword research and keeping track of rankings, I’m a fan of SEMRush. It’s web-based software that allows you to make SEO projects and printable reports. You can gauge the difficulty of keywords you want to rank for, compare domains, and do analysis on paid advertising. You can either sign up for one month which is 79 bucks, a recurring monthly plan for 69 per month or an enterprise version (called Guru) for 149.95 per month.
I use WordPress for my own website and I think it’s a very flexible and stable platform for web development. One of the cool things about WordPress is that it falls into the category of software that has the ability to scale. By that I mean it works great for basic users who just want to have the basic built in theme and post to their blog every once in a while. It also works great for big companies that have hundreds of thousands of visitors every month and sophisticated eCommerce transactions taking place every day. You can do pretty much anything with WordPress.
Domain name registrars may seem like a dime a dozen but when you really dig in you’ll find some do the job better than others. I like Namecheap.com because they have an intuitive interface that’s super easy to use. For example on the home page you can enter one domain name to register but there is also a link for bulk uploads of domain names and extensions.
Mail List-Building & Auto Responders
If you’re looking to build an email list, Aweber is an easy-to-use web-based software that integrates with some other really great services. You can create forms to embed on your website, make popups, or integrate forms with other services.
You can create an email list that a user’s information automatically gets submitted to when they fill out your form. Auto response emails are another cool feature. You can set up automatic emails to go out every time there is an email submission and program pre-made emails to go out at specific intervals after that. Aweber helps you automate your list generation and email marketing so you can set it up and then let it work its magic for a while.
Website Analytics & Analysis Tools
There are a lot of good analytics programs out there but ironically it’s hard to match the flexibility and functionality (and cost) of Google Analytics. I use Google Analytics to track the interactions users have on my website. If you aren’t familiar with the platform, Google has a lot of great resources on it . You install one snippet of code on your site (or all pages if you aren’t using a template) and you can get a wealth of information about your visitors. For example you can see where they are visiting from, how many pages they looked at, what they clicked on, and a ton of other data.
Webmaster tools is like the SEO tool in Google’s suite of web-based applications. Attorneys can get information on keywords that their site is already ranking for, suggestions on HTML improvements, warnings on spam and/or hacking and the specific pages that Google is associating keywords with.
It’s completely free to set up your site in Webmaster tools and the information it provides you is invaluable. While it’s a little more cumbersome to work with than the leading SEO tools, you can get a lot of the same data completely free right from the source.
What tools do you use for your web marketing? Join in the conversation by commenting below.