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Mobile Optimization is a Must for Law Firms

mobile search for lawyersLast year, Google’s paid links (listings powered by Adwords) saw traffic from mobile devices account for 25 percent of clickthroughs — a significant number, and one that law firms must pay attention to.

When looking at consistency between natural Google rankings on desktops and smart phones, we see little changes. About 85 percent of desktop rankings have the same position when conducting a search on a smart phone or via tablet.

Those other 15 percent are generally websites that do not have a mobile-friendly website or a responsive web design, and generally perform worse on mobile searches. Since Google is aware of the device a user is using, we can expect them to improve their mobile search engine to be more selective.

If you are on a road trip and craving some pizza, you can get out your smart phone and type in “pizza.” Knowing your location, Google will display pizzerias near your (more…)

Fifteen Phrases You Can Drop (and not lose any meaning)

Good writing is essential to your ability to communicate with clients, judges, colleagues, and those who read your blogs and social media posts (whom you hope to convert to clients at some point). Whether you are putting together formal articles and briefs or sending a quick email response, your writing can confirm that you are a professional adult… or tell a different story.

Even the best of us will succumb to typos, and unless they are in a particularly embarrassing place (like a resume), we will be forgiven. But systematic use of unnecessary phrases that muddle your meaning can be a turn off for your readers. Here are some common culprits of cluttered copy that can be stricken from your lexicon post haste:

Redundancy. Our speech contains a lot of redundancy, and it is easy to let some of these conversational quirks sneak into your writing. But what is ok for informal (more…)

Design Terms Part Two: Fixed vs. Liquid Layouts

Since nascent HTML began supporting images, colors and backgrounds, people have been experimenting with ways to dress up their pages. Website design has since flourished, with developments in code and technology giving designers the freedom to create layouts they could not have dreamed of ten years ago. But even with modern development capabilities, challenges still exist. Browser and operating statistics, coupled with on-site analytics, can help you predict what technology people will be using when they access your website. However, no predictions are perfect, and it is simply impossible to anticipate the limits (or abilities) of the devices on which your site will be viewed.

The best you can do is develop a site that will look as good as possible on all browsers and machines. There are multiple ways to approach this issue, which must be a consideration from the beginning of the design process. One question you should ask yourself (more…)

Facebook Graph to Help Law Firms Connect with Clients

Facebook’s announcement about their search engine, Facebook Graph, has left many with questions about how to make sure their firm is well-positioned when the new feature leaves beta and hits the mainstream.

While the company works to distinguish itself from Google, the process in which a Facebook page ranks well when users search in Facebook Graph shows a close resemblance to the classic rules of search engine optimization.

Facebook Studio posted these suggestions on their blog:

Continue to invest in your Page by making sure your Page is complete and up-to-date.

The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.

If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.

Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and (more…)

New and Revolutionary! Fifteen of the Most Overused Words of 2012

Every year, some words are more popular than others. As fashionable words get bandied about with abandon, you will find some of them begin to grate on you. The more they are seen and heard, the less meaning they retain. You can only read that something is “cutting-edge” so often before nothing will ever seem cutting-edge again. And how many times can you hear the phrase “best practices” before you automatically tune out any advice that follows?

We have written about the damage that overused words and jargon can do to your writing’s effectiveness. At best they simply take up space without adding any substance, and at worst they turn readers away who are tired to death of hearing them. Do not take unnecessary hits to your credibility. Start your list of words to avoid now.

PR Words:

Press releases have to be somewhat formulaic. Newswires have standards and requirements, and (more…)

Design Terms: What is Grid Layout and is it Right for You?

Two websites that have a very different look and feel may, at their cores, be structured in much the same way. Before adding graphics, colors and text, you must decide what type of layout best fits your needs. Layouts can be fluid, fixed (more on that later), grid, one, two or three column. Grid layouts are popular because they can support a lot of information and content without looking unorganized. After you have evaluated the pros and cons, you may find a grid layout is the right fit for your firm.

Most designers are taught to use a grid when creating layouts for print publications. The grid is simply the invisible structure that is used to hold the design together. Grids are comprised of grid units – the smallest element of space that will be used to build the layout. A print grid unit may be 2 inches by 2 inches, (more…)

How Legal Marketing Companies Bet Against You

Betting Against Law FirmsWe recently conducted an internal study, looking at how law firm marketing companies manage working for competing law firms. If a company is providing search engine optimization services, this is of particular importance, as there are only 10-15 natural listings between standard and local.

Over the last four years, the number of online marketing firms which claim to focus on attorneys has dramatically increased. Much of this is due to the economic downturn that started in 2008; many search marketing firms looked to lawyers to maintain their revenue, as law firms in many practice areas were not as severely effected by the economy as other industries.

Some search engine optimization companies offer exclusives, agreeing to only work for one law firm per city and practice area. Others, like SEO | Law Firm, limit their market size to three attorneys per keyphrase – thus, they would not work with more than three “Boston (more…)

LinkedIn Releases List Of Top Overused Profile Buzzwords – Podcast

LinkedIn has released their list of the top ten overused profile buzzwords. Be different and don’t use them. It sets you apart from the competition.

Eight ways to come up with new ideas for your lawyer blog

If you blog or write articles on a regular basis, you will inevitably face times during which you believe there is simply no way you can come up with another interesting topic. The blank page stares at you, taunting and mocking. Everything that can be written about has already been done.

Generating a regular flow of informative posts is difficult, but it is a necessity for lawyers engaged in search marketing. Fresh content is the norm. Websites cannot compete if they simply exist as static brochures. Frequent updates to your site, blog and social media profiles help build trust with visitors, cement your position as a knowledgable professional and give you more weight with search engines.

So how do you come up with the next great idea? Here are some tips for attorneys needing to meet that content deadline:

Change your setting. Sometimes, just getting away from the desk is all (more…)

Company pages on LinkedIn are still an underused resource

In December, LinkedIn released its list of the 12 best company pages of 2012. According to a post on the official LinkedIn blog, the pages were chosen because they used a range of features to both enhance the company’s brand and communicate with its audience in a meaningful way. Some winners include Adobe, HubsSpot and CNBC. You can see the complete slideshow on the LinkedIn blog.

LinkedIn has been actively promoting its company pages, releasing a new look and several upgrades toward the end of last year. The network, which is known predominantly as an arena for making b2b connections, is attempting to compete with other social media sites that have long been considered avenues for direct interaction between businesses and their target audiences. Company pages look to be a promising way of increasing LinkedIn’s value to its members, but they contain many features that are still underutilized. Try using these (more…)