One of the more well-documented design trends of this year is a move toward more simple website layouts. Designers are removing clutter, utilizing larger elements, paring down navigation to the essentials and creating user experiences that are less busy and more intuitive. Simplicity is both visually appealing and increasingly necessary as firms strive to make content accessible to the widest audience on the greatest number of devices possible.
An aspect of simple design that is growing more popular among lawyers is the use of one dominant image, above the scroll, on attorney websites. This is a departure from the practice of throwing as much information at the visitor as possible, and it is rooted in the fact that people are better able to make decisions when faced with a limited number of choices. Firms are recognizing that while practice area information must be easily accessible, it does not have to occupy all (more…)
This past weekend, widespread reports of a WordPress attack spread throughout the internet. The story got traction on mainstream publications like Forbes, Information Week, and NBC News, putting some website owners in a panic.
SEO | Law Firm’s parent company, Adviatech, whose servers host hundreds of websites for law firms throughout North America, woke up staff members in Florida and California, and coordinated with their server administrators in Texas to execute an emergency plan which heightened security on all of their websites built on the WordPress CMS. Eighteen hours later, long after the sun had set on both coasts, every website had been carefully reviewed, secured, updated, fitted with additional brute-force protection, stripped of all old administrator accounts, and prepared to weather out the storm.
Having prevented their clients from withstanding an attack, Adviatech assigned several people to closely monitor the servers’ activity throughout the rest of the weekend. Monday morning, (more…)
Seminars and presentations can be powerful marketing tools. When your firm hosts an informational seminar, you fill the room with high-value leads – people who have willfully expressed interest in your areas of practice. Since you have a limited amount of time with your audience, you need to provide genuinely helpful materials. And you must make sure your presentation is memorable.
PowerPoint can be a dangerous thing. It does have features that, if used appropriately, can help create effective supporting slides. But, it is merely a tool, and like all tools, it can be used for good or bad, to inform or to confuse. People sit through far to many boring presentations throughout the course of a professional lifetime. Do not force them to endure another. Avoid some of these most common PowerPoint mistakes:
Too much text. People think and learn visually. Pictures can often provoke a memory in a way (more…)
This month’s featured website is businessaviationcounsel.com, which was designed for aviation transaction attorney Stewart H. Lapayowker. Mr. Lapayowker’s site is being highlighted due to a combination of its layout, look and feel, and longevity. This project was completed in 2009, and aside from one programming update necessary to remove an outdated Flash-based menu, it has remained relevant without the need for a design overhaul for the last four years. (The fact that the design did not need to be modified to remove the Flash is a testament to the flexibility of HTML 5.)
What is it about this particular design that has given it a sense of timelessness? What keeps it from feeling dated after almost four years – an eternity in Internet years? Several features have contributed to the site’s success, including the use of imagery, structure and organization of information.
Background image: The large format background image was, (more…)
From a designer’s perspective, responsive website design is beautiful. It is simple: one site, many devices. With a responsive design, your site will transition seamlessly from desktop to mobile without the need for distinct urls. In addition, responsive designs often emphasize white space and large elements, giving sites room to breathe at all sizes. And, the consistency offered by employing responsive design is a valuable brand-building tool, since people will always be interacting with the same look and feel, no matter how they access a website.
With mobile internet usage expected to overtake desktop usage within the next few years, most firms interested in SEO are also interested in mobile-friendly websites. In particular, having a site that functions properly on a mobile device is critical to local search marketing efforts. More and more, people are just as likely – if not more so – to perform a local search on (more…)
Law firms often look at their SEO investment in terms of increased rankings, web leads, phone calls, and other measurable improvements. But there is another way to look at your SEO investment, the pay-per-click value.
The pay-per-click (PPC) value looks at these elements:
1) Your search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
2) The cost-per-click (CPC) for those keywords at their current position (i.e., if the website is ranked number five for “Boston divorce lawyer,” the CPC would be based on a sponsored listing at position five). That is calculated for all three search engines.
3) The amount of money it would cost to run ads 24/7 on all three search engines with no daily maximum. This is essentially the level of exposure you are receiving with your search engine placement.
We ran a report on a small handful of websites in various practice areas and cities to show a comparison of what (more…)
What does modest growth for larger law firms have to do with marketing? In a word: competition. Check out tips for standing above the crowd.
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Spec work is the practice of performing a task for free – in this case design work – with the expectation that the initial offering will eventually lead to some sort of payment. It may or may not. People who request spec work are asking to receive materials, such as website layouts or logos, with the understanding that they will pay for the designs only if they are happy with the work.
Some sites specialize in convincing designers to perform spec work by offering “contests” in which some lucky winner will be chosen to be paid for their logo or other design. Every unlucky non-winner simply gave away their time and expertise for free.
Asking for spec work is like walking into a bakery, eating five different pastries and then deciding whether or not you want to pay for any of them. The proprietor would not allow it. Or, to make (more…)
Social marketing is a popular topic on blogs, in lawyer magazines, and at conferences. This attention is certainly well deserved. Just look at the audience:
- Facebook – 1 billion+ users
- Google+ – 500 million+ users
- Twitter – 500 million+ users
- LinkedIn- 200 million+ users
- Pinterest – 48 million+ users
Those audiences should not be ignored, however when looking at what drives leads into your office, we see that search is still the driving force.
Online lead sources for law firms:
- Google – 77.09%
- Yahoo! – 8.93%
- Bing – 8.01%
- Facebook – 2.51%
- Twitter – 0.13%
- Google+ – 0.27%
Other – 2.97%
How We Conducted the Study
Multiple locations and practices – We sampled a variety of websites belonging to law firms in various regions in the U.S. practicing a variety of areas of law.
No name searches – Search traffic was not calculated for law firm name searches. For example, if someone searched for “Law Office of John Smith” in Google, we did not record that (more…)
Earlier this week, Google officially launched Keep, a new Android-based note taking app. Keep addresses a substantial absence within the operating system – the lack of a native notepad or similar notes application. The interface is very simple and is designed to make it easy to make lists, snatch pictures, record thoughts (with voice) or type notes.
Reviews are mixed, with some questioning whether or not it is worth getting attached to another Google app considering the recent demise of Google Reader. For attorneys on the go, Keep has both pros and cons. It may work as a an easy, quick way to jot down ideas, but it does not appear to be ready to replace more heavyweight apps like Evernote.
Here are some of the things Keep is good (and not so good) at.
Ease of use. Google Keep is very, very simple. By default, the app displays (more…)