Branding is a commonly maligned concept in the legal world, too often associated with low-quality advertising and a move away from focusing on client service. But branding and practice are not mutually exclusive; they can and should work to support each other.
No, a snazzy logo alone will not bring in more business. But your brand is much more than just a logo or a tagline; branding and marketing are not the same thing. Your brand is the sum of everything you do. It is the overall image that comes to mind when others think of your firm. Your brand must convey a sense of your firm’s culture and personality while also reinforcing the benefit you provide to your ideal client. Your brand is a promise. And it must set you apart in a meaningful way from other attorneys in your area.
After paying for your website, volumes of useful content, and blog entries, you may be surprised to learn that your content does not really belong to you.
If you are like thousands of other attorneys, you will never know, unless you decide to move to a new service provider – at which point, your legal marketing company may inform you that you have no rights to the content that you paid for.
As many law firms assess their online marketing and look for other options, they generally reach out to law firm marketing companies to do comparisons and provide a competitive quote. Most lawyers do this search with the assumption that they will need a new website, but that the content they have spent thousands of dollars on will be transferable.
Technically yes. Legally, no.
While all content can be easily transferred, the problem comes down to the terms of your agreement. If (more…)
Research released in Monetate’s Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ) report for Q1 2013 reveals that email is still an important marketing tool for businesses. According to data collected during the first quarter of this year, email is actually a larger driver of conversion than search.
The study examined over 500 million shopping experiences and found that email marketing converted more than 3 percent of the time, while search came in at slightly over 2 percent and social less than 1 percent. Search traffic overall is down from the same time last year, as people increasingly use targeted apps to do their searching from a variety of devices.
Blair Lyon, Monetate’s vice president of marketing, believes that many businesses and service providers pay too little attention to their email marketing. The concept has been around for so long, it is easy to ignore or pass over for more shiny, newer things. But email is (more…)
Google Penguin 2.0 rolled out last week and Matt Cutts‘ assertion that it’s targeting black-hat SEO seems to be viable. The first Google Penguin caused a lot of collateral damage for websites that inadvertently crossed the ethical link-building line. Thus far, Google Penguin 2.0 appears to be more discriminate, hitting websites that knowingly and willingly acted unethically to achieve links.
In his article, Langdale explains how Google has evolved beyond the need for links; it can match relevance of a brand by reviewing the content around the brand and associate profiles such as Google Authorship.
Here is how Google used to review relevance:
Your law firm’s website is http://www.example.com, (more…)
Every industry has its jargon, acronyms and language that is shared only by those within the profession. Such shorthand is necessary and understandable; people, particularly those who deal with highly technical information, benefit from methods that help them quickly communicate ideas among themselves. Sometimes acronyms spill out into the general population and become so widely used that they can be comfortably employed by writers in any industry with the understanding that most people will be aware of their meaning. But more often, industry terms are confusing to those who have no cause to them them regularly.
There is a difference, technically between acronyms and initialisms. Acronyms form a new word that is pronounced as such, like SNAP, while initialisms form a series of letters that is read as letters, like FBI or ACH. Both acronyms and initialisms should be used thoughtfully and sparingly when writing for a broad audience – (more…)
At Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco last week, they announced their plans to make internet search a little more conversational. With a little inspiration from Star Trek, Google wants users to search with casual verbal conversation.
Google Senior Vice President Amit Singhal said the search engine of the future will “answer, converse and anticipate.”
The presentations at the conference involved Singhal searching for pizza by asking, “What’s the nearest pizza place?” He then asked follow-up questions such as, “When does it close?” then “What’s its phone number?”
Google Vice President Johanna Wright showed attendees a preview by asking Google to “Show me things to do in Santa Cruz.” The search engine showed pictures, landmarks, and restaurants.
Like most early previews of Google products, this creates more questions than the company is willing to publicly answer. But, based on the examples provided at the conference, here is how your clients are going to (more…)
Each new, highly publicized update Google releases causes some frustration among businesses that see their rankings fluctuate as the changes take effect. And Google will continue to hone its algorithm in an attempt to make search results as helpful as possible for those in need of information or services.
However, through all of Google’s updates, the basic rules have remained the same. And so has the underlying formula: a combination of authority and relevance. The search giant has simply (and consistently) been stepping up enforcement of things long considered to be unethical or bad practices and attempting to reward content that is genuinely useful.
Social media increasingly has a place within this equation. Businesses that produce content others find helpful are more likely to get liked, shared, tweeted about and followed. And marketers just cannot stop talking about social media. But it is not the magic bullet that some seem to (more…)
In a highly saturated market, firms must pay attention to every piece of their marketing efforts. Small details may be the things that ultimately push people to choose you over the competition.
Convincing a website visitor to contact your firm is just a first step; the ultimate goal is of course to convert that visitor into a client. The more you can personalize their experience and convince them that you are a trustworthy resource, they more likely they are to actually take the next step and hire your firm. An often underutilized resource in the conversion process is the thank you page that is displayed after a visitor completes a form submission.
Hopefully, your website already uses thank you pages. That is, once a visitor fills out and submits a form, they are redirected to a page that at a minimum thanks them for their interest in your firm and tells them (more…)
Including pictures of lawyers doing something they enjoy can make their attorney bio page more than a resume and a way to connect with prospective clients.
People hire you to handle their legal matters. They don’t hire logos, DIY legal document services, they hire you – your experience, your credentials, maybe even the style of your hair. Whatever it is, you are who they are contacting.
You need to think about the power of you when selecting an online marketing strategy. Your website should not be a buffer between you, your law firm, and prospective clients. Instead, it should be an extension of you and what you stand for.
Don’t think this only applies to sole practitioners. If you have a larger firm with multiple attorneys, you can capitalize on this philosophy by bringing the characters and personalities of your law firm to life so that the many personalities (more…)