We all know the importance of marketing. Building a brand is part of business, and law firms, at their core, are businesses. They provide specialized services to a client for a fee; therefore, their success is directly related to the obtaining and retaining of clients. Classically, these quintessential processes were aided by the help of advertising and marketing campaigns.

Since the invention of this little thing called the Internet, marketing has evolved into an entirely different beast. When on the hunt for a service provider, potential clients go to their trusty search engines first, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. They do not check the local listings in the newspaper or monthly magazine, unless of course, those publications are online.

Not only is it important to get up to speed with the latest lingo in connection with SEO and related terms, in this day and age, it is a necessary step to growing your business and keeping your firm on the cutting edge of client development. Whether or not you have an internal marketing team, or have outsourced the task to a professional company, it is important to be familiar with the industry jargon to ensure you or others are best serving your company’s needs.

Find below a beginner’s glossary and guide to the most commonly used terms that will inevitably come up in your next marketing meeting,

SMM: Social Media Marketing
Importance: The topic of this blog post is social media marketing, that is, marketing that is engaged in and through the use of social media and social networking websites. These websites include: Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. The benefits of SMM are multifold: it is an inexpensive method of gaining exposure; a firm’s expertise and knowledge can be showcased through their website and blog posts; and active and detailed online profiles create credibility and trustworthiness in the firm’s staff.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Importance: There are a number of methods, techniques, strategies, and specialized tactics used to attract as many individuals to your website as possible. These marketing tools work to optimize your website’s position in relation to all other search results on a SERP. There are standards tricks and tools of the trade, but each SMM specialist will use their own bag of tricks to optimize your firm’s online search standing.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page
Importance: Ideally, the higher your firm ranks on the page, the more likely an individual will enter your website. The further back in the search engine results pages, the less likely your website will get any traffic. A good ranking is essential to leading potential clients to your website.

Analytics: There a number of programs available, both with or without a fee, that collects and summarizes various pieces of data about your website, such as its use, hits, and traffic.
Importance: This data can aid is assembling a more productive marketing strategy. Analytics are a key component in tracking your online efforts and success of current strategies. Google Analytics is a popular and useful options for those entering into SMM.

Metadata: Data about data
Importance: Descriptive metadata refers to information about the content of a document or webpage. This data may be expressed through “meta tags” that include keywords and qualifiers about the web page’s content. These meta tags are picked up and used by search engines through their indexing process. Unique, accurate, and descriptive meta tags are crucial in reaching SEO. Metadata may also include information that is not directly visible in the document itself, such as information about the author, the document’s length, and the date of publication.