When planning your website, search engine optimization, and online legal marketing strategy, determining your practice area is probably going to be a more difficult task than you originally anticipated. Not because you do not know what you do but rather, do not know what to focus on with your website.
Remember, the goal of your website and search engine marketing strategy is to convince Google’s algorithm that your website is the most relevant for your keyphrase or keyphrases. If you do a search for your region and practice area, you may notice that the attorneys that focus in a particular practice area are generally ranked higher than law offices that optimize for 10 different areas.
There is a value in niche websites. If you want to focus on divorce, family law, child custody, adoptions, etc. these are all relevant practice areas. However, if you want your website to have information on divorce, bankruptcy, (more…)
With parties, travel, holiday planning and shopping taking the top slots in your priority list it is important to also use this time of year to establish a law firm marketing plan for 2012.
December is by far the busiest time of year for us because law firms use the traditionally slower month to look at their online marketing and see how their current strategy has played out. Is there more traffic? More exposure? More phone calls? Is there a chance this will improve next year?
Do not wait
A lot of law firms come down with “First of the year syndrome”. Law firms suffering from this syndrome put off their legal marketing planning until the next year. Unfortunately, your competitors are not all inflicted with the same disorder and therefore are getting a head start.
It is important to make sure you are working with a law firm marketing company that is innovative. (more…)
There was a time when Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) was the web’s future. Its ability to put moving objects, presentations and animations on a website made it an industry standard.
Many law firms embraced the technology by having their entire websites made in Flash. Thinking it would help keep the attention of their web visitors, they had slider effects, digital sounds, and flashy transitions. Unfortunately, Google and other search engines were blind to it.
As we fast forward to the present, Flash is all but obselete. In a few unique cases, a small Flash element may still be needed in a header if the design is uniquely shaped but for the most part, Ajax and HTML 5 have taken its place.
If your website is running Flash, here are a few things to know:
1) Make sure your Flash element is only used by a small piece of your website and that (more…)
A lot of law firms are frustrated when they find out that the website they just built cannot be optimized. It seems as if the time and money that was put into the site was all for nothing.
Sometimes it is better (and costs less money) to start over with a new website that is built by the same company that is going to market it. However, if you have the right elements in place, you might be able to keep the website you have and move forward with a powerful search engine marketing plan.
Content Management System – Does your current website give you the ability to login and make minor changes yourself? Is it easy to do and easy to train staff members on how to use? If not, you might be able to keep your design but simply have it converted to a friendly, content management system.
Dinosaur or Dynamic (more…)
Among the many challenges that law firms have to deal with is, of course, growth. Lawyers spend millions of dollars on marketing every year in an effort to get new clients. From billboards, to television, radio, and the Internet, law firms are spending money to accomplish one thing – to build a bigger law firm.
Unfortunately, many firms spend their law firm marketing dollars on ad campaigns that look the same as every other attorney’s advertisements in their region. To quickly catch the eye of a new client you have to look different.
Think for a moment about products and services you buy. Think about the advertisements that you watch and read. If Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Infiniti said the same thing in their advertisements but simply had a different logo, what sort of impression would that make? This is the same impression prospective clients get when seeing the same words (more…)
A logo is the face of every company and your law firm is certainly no different. If you think your face should be your law firm’s logo, you should reconsider.
An estimated 65 percent of the United States population is made up of visual learners, which shows that people interpret the world in visual ways more than they read text. Therefore, 65 percent of the population remembers graphics and imagery more than textual data. When you want to make an impression, you have to use symbolism.
For thousands of years, civilizations, societies, secret orders, and religions have all used symbolism to communicate with the public and followers.
In fact, historical psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both agree that the mind has a unique capacity to store symbolic information. Basically, we all think with symbols and imagery, not words. So even the 35 percent who are classified as textual learners still (more…)
We use Google as a standard in search engine optimization because their ranking algorithm is the most stable, relevant, and widely used. Claiming more than 80 percent of North American search queries each month, Google is the standard we use to do search engine marketing.
Google is interested in showing only the most relevant, high-quality websites for each search query. If people search for something on Google and messy, obnoxious websites always show up first, Google loses its credibility. However, if they show quality, clean, easy to navigate, highly relevant websites then they will continue to dominate the search engine market.
If Google is looking at two websites side by side to determine which website is the most relevant for the keyphrase “Chicago divorce lawyer”, which of the following examples would you choose?
Law firm name: The Chicago Family Law Firm
First headline on website: Chicago Divorce Lawyers
Second headline on website: Your divorce, (more…)
When we talk about a content based strategy for law firm marketing, we also mean video content.
Videos offer a number of advantages to your firm’s marketing strategy. You can explain various details about your practice area(s) to your website videos as well as build links back to your website with videos on YouTube and other viral video channels.
What makes your videos effective or not will all come down to content. How valuable are the videos you are producing?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when producing videos as a part of your legal marketing strategy.
1) Keep it Short – Your firm will be better served with a library of 10-12 short videos rather than a couple of long videos. You want to answer common questions that someone that has never hired an attorney would want to know. Some examples may include, “What happens to my home in a (more…)
Ten years ago, some forward-thinking companies began embracing mobile website application. They developed small text, limited design layouts to make their websites accessible on the newly available Internet-enabled mobile phones.
However, these applications were unattractive, hardly functional, and navigating a website on a traditional cellular phone was awkward at best.
Now that smartphones are becoming commonplace and are able to render websites with the same standards as mainstream browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, your law firm should embrace what is sure to take over the legal marketing industry – a mobile website.
Even though your website is going to look the same on an Android or iPhone as it does on your computer, it will not be easy to navigate. Websites are designed to be wide, use large graphics, have at least two columns, and assume that the end user has a mouse. When you cram in a drop-down menu, (more…)
Videos have become a strong part of the online law firm marketing strategy. They are helpful to your website visitors, and also provide valuable links back to your firm’s website. But what you film and how you play it can determine the success of your videos.
What to Film
Information sells. You want web content that is informative and answers some basic questions that your potential clients may have. You want your videos to do the same. A video should never be more than two minutes, and should always provide answers to the common questions. For example, if you are a bankruptcy attorney, you should briefly explain the various bankruptcy options and who they are for. Divorce attorneys can give a brief outline of how a contested and non-contested divorce will proceed.
If you have multiple attorneys in your firm, have each one talk about whatever they primarily practice. The videos will show that (more…)