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Should you use QR codes in you law firm marketing?

QR (Quick Response) codes have been popping up everywhere over the past few years. Some businesses have been in such a rush to be a part of the technological in crowd that QR codes have appeared in some fairly ridiculous places, like highway billboards and airplane banners. Who, exactly, is going to scan those codes?

Some of this over-coding is likely the result of the relative ease of creating and printing a code. Anyone can create a free QR code online – directing people to the url of their choice – that can be printed in high resolution or distributed digitally.

There has also been some buzz recently over a ScanLife study that showed scanning of QR codes increased by 157% in Q1 2012 over Q1 2011. These are impressive numbers. In context, scanning in 2011 was low, around 5% of smart phone users. The jump still represents a relatively low number. (more…)

What Does Search Engine Optimization Mean for Law Firms?

Marketing “experts” and self-proclaimed “gurus” all claim to have the secret to search engine success. To make it easy to understand, we have outlined some key points on what it means to optimize a law firm’s presence on the web… not just their website.

The Website

Your website should be built with conversion and user experience in mind. Is the website easy to navigate? Can search engines and human visitors easily access all pertinent information? Is it easy for visitors to contact your firm? Optimization of a website is not just about keyword placement; it’s about optimizing the user experience.

Inbound Links

Google has finally cracked down on where your links originate. Link exchanges, paid links and website directories that accept links from anybody about anything are now getting blocked by Google. While they may not directly punish your website, they are discrediting those links, making them valueless to your website’s ranking.

Real links come from (more…)

The Steady SEO Strategy Wins Results for Lawyers

At the start of an SEO strategy is when many law firms may be wondering if they made the right choice. Did they pick the right law firm marketing company? Did they select the appropriate plan? A couple of months go by, things are slow to improve and they get worried.

Search engine optimization is not like advertising. An honest SEO consultant cannot come to you and say, “If you spend x amount on SEO, we can deliver x number of impressions and leads.” Of course, pay per click proposals may be able to generate such predictions, but search engine optimization is different. With SEO, your goal is to get Google to place your website high in the ranks simply because you are the best.

In this case, the “best” would be your law firm’s website. Based on the quality of the website, the quality of the content and the quality of (more…)

Stand Out Above Other Lawyers Simply by Understanding Your Clients

Law firm marketing professionals have a lot of ideas about how you can stand above your competition, from videos on your website to multimedia and more. With so many law firms using online videos and multimedia effects, it takes something a little more traditional to get extra attention.

What clients really want is a lawyer who understands their situation. One who understands what they are going through. Communicating on this emotional level takes more than just listing “empathic” on a bulleted list of reasons to hire your firm. Prospective clients have to feel it when they visit your website. The colors, images, style and language used to describe your firm all help convey this feeling. Identify your clients’ most important issues and let them feel (not just read) that you have the solution.

Established attorneys have the benefit of being able to reflect on their client base. Think about the people (more…)

Building an Effective Mobile Attorney Website is an Important Law Firm Marketing Tool

Websites designed for desktop browsing are increasingly utilizing oversized elements like large headers, generous graphic features, full screen images and big, bold fonts. This is a design trend that many law firms have embraced successfully. However, while desktop monitors are getting larger, a growing portion of the population is viewing your website on smaller mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.

Having a website that is accessible to mobile users is becoming a necessity for firms that don’t want to miss out on a growing segment of potential clients. Mobile browser usage will only continue to grow as people become accustomed to the convenience of being connected anywhere at any time. And Internet users are no longer using mobile devices only when they are away from home. A recent report released by Viacom shows that over 90 percent of tablet users say their tablet is their primary method of accessing the (more…)

In an Age of Constant Connection, Good Lawyer Website Content is More Important than Ever

Lawyer website content for SEO Theories about what constitutes an effective lawyer website have been evolving rapidly over the past several years. Gone are the days when an attorney could design a static brochure website, stick it on a server and then ignore it for months (or years) at a time. Law firm marketing experts and attorneys in the trenches increasingly agree that a good lawyer website must be dynamic, flexible and current.

In order to establish your firm as an expert in your practice area, you must consistently post fresh, relevant content. Posting regular updates also helps drive prospects to your site. But not just any content will do. Content that is overly generic, full of obtuse terminology or clearly written without regard for the audience will turn users off immediately. Developing a distinct style, or voice, for your law firm’s content is a good way to set your firm apart from other attorneys (more…)

Color Theory and Making the Right Connection with Your Law Firm Marketing

Color psychology is a complex science, one which people could spend their whole lives studying. It is something that we understand subconsciously when we choose the colors that surround us. It is why deep red dining room walls are more common than bright blue, and why muted earth tones are often seen in spas while bright primary colors adorn toy stores and playgrounds.

A potential client’s reaction to color must be taken into consideration when developing marketing strategies. A single component of a marketing plan like a law firm’s website may be the first and only contact a person has with the firm before they make a decision about who to call. In order to work, all pieces of a plan must be professional, evoke the right emotion and make a connection. Colors play an important role in making that connection.

Warm colors: Reds, oranges and yellows. Warm colors are emotional powerhouses, (more…)

Win New Clients with Effective Email Newsletter Design

As attorneys continue to utilize more (and better) web based marketing solutions, the email newsletter remains a popular tool. Newsletters can be quite effective. But attorneys have to employ a more delicate balance in their email communication than most other service providers. In a narrow legal sense, each state has its own bar rules and recommendations concerning attorney marketing and online communications, and attorneys must take care not to cross any ethical lines.

But from a broader marketing perspective law firms also face a more difficult road than other businesses when attempting to craft effective email newsletters. Attorneys can’t offer 30% off an entire summer line or a free drink with purchase. (Although that might be effective.) Try to imagine an amazon.com style attorney recommendation email based on your past lawsuits. Would each attorney get his or her own highlighted box and one to five star rating? Many of the marketing (more…)

Ten Lawyer Website Usability Tips – Part Two

Last week, we discussed several methods law firms can employ to ramp up their website’s usability. Making your firm’s site as intuitive and easy to use as possible helps give potential clients a positive experience and prompts calls and conversion. A well designed, fine-tuned website also encourages users to share your site and refer others to your firm.

Attention to detail in an attorney website is something that is most notable when absent. When done well, no one item stands out. The whole user experience is positive and effortless. When executed poorly, users realize very quickly that they are confused or uninterested. A frustrated user is almost impossible to reach, and you may not ever have the opportunity to win disenchanted visitors back in person.

The lesson is that you must pay attention to usability. The good news is we have compiled a list of tips to help. Part one is here. (more…)

Ten Lawyer Website Usability Tips – Part One

Your firm’s website is at work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a valuable advocate and proxy, often communicating with potential clients before you have had a chance to speak to them in person. And, as a bonus, it will continue to do its job without complaint while you are asleep, on vacation or at trial.

Ideally, your attorney website is functioning at optimum efficiency, converting visits into calls and prospects into clients. But you cannot just assume that this is the case. Your website is ambivalent – it will work for or against you without giving it a second thought. Putting your website to work effectively for your firm is a process. It requires attention to detail during development and ongoing monitoring, tweaking and updating after launch.

Optimizing your website’s usability is key; users must be directed unambiguously to take action. Here are some (more…)