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Get more out of your thank you pages

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…)

Five Things the Most Effective Websites Have in Common

Law firms may not want to think of themselves as small businesses, but competing for new clients increasingly requires the implementation of business strategies, from law firm practice management to holistic marketing plans. As traditional methods of attorney marketing continue to move toward obsolescence, online marketing efforts are taking a larger and larger share of marketing dollars. Because of this, your website must be effective.

MarketingProfs published a provocatively titled article this week, claiming that most small and medium business websites will fail. Small and medium businesses (SMBs), the article claims, are not as prepared to face the reality of competing online as they should be by this point in the life of the Internet. Their analysis is based largely on data drawn from vSplash’s SMB DigitalScape, which reveals some surprising facts about small and medium business websites, including:

  • 93.3% are not mobile-compatible
  • 80.5% contain no links to social media
  • 60% have no phone number (more…)

How much your firm’s SEO rankings would cost in PPC

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…)

Spec work: Free up front but bad for your bottom line

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…)

Too many keywords are keeping your law firm down

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Creating a Sitemap for Your Law Firm’s Website

Since content is one of the most important aspects of your website, it is time to do some planning. For the sake of this demonstration, we are going to use the fictional law firm of Smith & White, divorce lawyers in Boston.

Decide on the type of general overview page you want to use – for example, “About Us,” “Attorney Profile,” or “Firm Profile.” The “About Us” or “Firm Overview” page is a general overview of your law firm. If you are a solo practitioner, you will want to substitute this page for an “Attorney Profile” page. If you have more than one attorney, it is appropriate to include an “About Us/Firm Profile” page as well as individual attorney profile pages.

Like anything else, your website needs a plan. So let’s start by creating a preliminary content sitemap. The list is organized by the level of importance, as if it was going to (more…)

How your law firm can dominate Google for hundreds of keyphrases

Your search engine optimization strategy is often centered around high-traffic, targeted keywords. These keywords are generally based on a city and practice area, like “New York personal injury lawyer” or “San Francisco business attorney” or “Divorce lawyer in Seattle.” But many law firms have learned how to dominate hundreds of keyphrases simply by answering questions.

To do this, consider all of the questions prospective clients have asked during consultations. A family law attorney could consider the following:

How long does a divorce take?
Will a divorce ruin my credit?
What happens to my house in a divorce?
What happens to my business in a divorce?

While a question like “What happens to my business in a divorce?” gets very few searches in Google, the individuals searching for that answer will probably be larger clients.

But what above the first question, the one about the time it takes to get a divorce? Here are some variations of that (more…)

Naming your law firm for the right clientele

Determining your law firm’s name goes hand-in-hand with determining your market. If you are a personal injury lawyer, a personal bankruptcy lawyer, a divorce lawyer, or some other consumer-oriented attorney, you are going to require aggressive marketing. However, large corporate bankruptcy, business litigation, and niche, specialty areas may require a more traditional look.

For the specialty practices, the classic law firm style will probably be best. Many of your clients will have traditional ideas about working with attorneys, and a clever name may make your firm appear inexperienced.

If you’re in one of the more aggressive areas of law, you have a lot more to consider — especially if you work in personal injury.

Personal injury lawyers are advertising everywhere: billboards, television, radio — even via direct mail based on accident report lists (in states where that’s legal). Branding yourself in the competitive personal injury market is going to be a (more…)

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…)

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…)