Local Marketing Strategies For Law Firms

Successful Legal Firms Market Better than Their Competition

There is a fine line between successful attorneys and ones who are financially struggling.

The difference among the two is most likely the marketing strategies each one has adopted. This doesn’t necessarily reflect on the lawyer’s capability to be a proficient and effective attorney, but they may not be presenting themselves appropriately to the public to achieve the clientele they desire.

 

Let’s take a look at the several marketing methods, which will aid in growing your practice:

 

Networking

One of the most important aspects of marketing is to network with other professionals and get to know the community in which you practice law.

Consider offering your assistance with local issues or a family in need on a pro bono basis. By volunteering your services to help citizens in the area in which you practice, your name will become familiar, as well as your good nature in helping others.

Another benefit to networking is the ability to meet other attorneys that you may share a common interest with. They may have ideas and tips to share on what helped them build their own practice.

Here is an article on the importance of networking – http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60663/Why-Networking-is-Essential-to-Your-Success-as-an-Attorney/

 

Small Scale Advertising

Advertising is the most helpful in gaining new clients if you start small and build slowly.

First of all, determine your budget and make sure you stay within that range. You then want to focus on advertising in places where your specific niche is desired.

Stick with the smaller publications to keep your costs down, as your client base grows, you will have more funds to put towards advertising on more costly platforms.

Even though you are focusing on local marketing, Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising can be used as a great local marketing tool.

 

 

Client Referrals

Most people know that word of mouth is the best form of advertising, an excellent way to grow your client list and build a solid reputation.

Don’t be afraid to ask your past clients to refer your services to their friends and family. People don’t think of legal representation until they need it. When they do the often turn to family and friends for recommendations.

The benefit of this method, is there are no upfront costs, just a small decrease in your original profit. You will gain another client, which can refer you as well to other possible clients in their circle.

An article on Getting more Client Referrals – http://businessoflawblog.com/2015/02/law-firms-referrals/

 

Create A Website

One of the first things a person searching for legal advice does is go to Google and search for an attorney. If you don’t have a website that makes you look professional and trustworthy you are missing out on potential clients.

Obtaining and maintaining a website is crucial to growing your business.

Another benefit of an attorney website is the ability to hone in on a specific audience with the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). When implemented properly, SEO can target a specific audience in your location who may be searching for an attorney.

Learn more about why having a website for your legal firm is so important

 

Conclusion

Putting in the extra effort to gain exposure to your law firm is a must if you want to be successful. Practicing law can be a cut throat occupation and lawyers need to do all they can to let their presence and expertise be known.

If it is difficult for you to develop your local marketing plan, then consider hiring a professional who can guide you in the proper direction. Doing so will alleviate the stress of trying to do it all on your own, so you can focus on practicing law.

For further reading, on how to market your law firm, be sure to check out: 4 Tips For Attorneys When Using Social Media And Facebook To Market Their Firms and 4 Questions Attorneys Need To Ask Themselves When It Comes To Internet Marketing.

6 Tips to Speed Up Your Law Firms Website

Why Website Loading Speed Is More Important Than Ever

The speed in which your attorney website loads is crucial in creating a positive experience for the visitor. Additionally, a website’s loading speed is also factored into your Google ranking, which is necessary when growing your audience.

If a website fails to load completely within a few seconds, the user will become frustrated, move on to the next site and will most likely never return. When designing websites for clients, my goal is to have the website load in less than 2 seconds. You also risk visitors telling others that they failed to have a good experience on your site and may recommend another alternative. A slow website will not only lose a current visitor but potential future visitors, as well, causing a decrease in conversion rates.

Some of the tips below may require some technical assistance.

Below are 6 Tips you can use to help speed up your website:

 

Decrease Image Size

Adding large images to your website will dramatically slow down the loading speed. Even though the picture on the page may be small, if the source picture is super large, the server will still have to call on that large image. Thus, making the website slower.

Images should be resized to properly fit the width of the web page. If you only need an image that is 300px wide don’t upload an image that is 1200px wide.They also load much faster if they are in JPEG format.

They also load much faster if they are in JPEG format.

Compressing the resized images will also help them load more quickly. One of the quickest and easiest ways to resize a large image is to use one of the many free websites that will let you resize and compress the image.

Here is a suggested site – http://www.reduceimages.com/

 

Optimize Code

Take a good look at the code on your site. If you notice any extra spaces, commas or special characters, then removing them will aid in speeding up your page.

Any unused code should also be removed, as well as formatting and code comments.

Here is a great article with some tips on optimizing and speeding up your WordPress website.

 

Minimize Redirects

When a web page is redirected, load times are increased and the user may become impatient and click away to another site.

 

Minimize Plug-Ins

Plugins are awesome and it seems everytime you need your website to do something, there is a plugin. I caution you to only install and use the plugins that are the most essntial. When a website includes too many plug ins, it could slow down and your site and also could be a threat to security. An outdated WordPress plugin is a hacker’s dream…and your nightmare.

Other issues, such as the website crashing frequently, can occur when there is an abundance of plugins running at once. Choose the most efficient and important ones and ditch the rest.

 

Use A Content Delivery Network to Speed up your site

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) works very well in increasing the speed of your loading time and also saves a substantial amount of bandwidth on your site.

When a CDN is in use, the files for the specific website are hosted on servers around the globe. Visitors are then able to download the content from the server that is closest to their location. This process will eliminate the bandwidth from one site and will spread it across an entire network.

 

Quality Website Hosting (It’s Worth Every Penny)

Do your homework when it comes to finding the right host for your website. If the price is very low, chances are the bandwidth is low too and you won’t be getting the speedy load times your site requires.

It’s worth your time to do a little research ahead of time. You don’t want to find out after the site is set up that it is unable to handle your content.

I use SiteGround for a large majority of my clients and have had terrific results and support.

 

Conclusion

It is evident that your attorney site must load as quickly as possible to continue to increase your ranking, gain more visitors and hopefully new clients.

If you are familiar with developing your website from the back-end, then you are already one step ahead of the game. Often, attorneys find that after working on cases all day, there is little time to focus on tweaking their website. If this is the case, consider hiring an experienced professional to handle these tasks for you.

If you would like to find out more about working with an SEO professional, check out the following articles: 3 Tips For Lawyers Looking To Hire A SEO Professional For A Website Audit and Attorney Online Marketing: Get Started On The Right Foot.

What To Do When Your Legal Firm’s Website Isn’t Converting

What You Can Do To Fix Your Firm’s Website When It Isn’t Converting 

Attracting new clients through your website can be difficult, even if your website is visually pleasing and you have well-written content.

In order to achieve the most from your site, you need to grab the attention of your audience and make them want to find out more. If visitors are instantly bored with what they see or don’t find your CTA enticing (Call to Action) they will just click on to the next website, never to return.

The main goal of your firm’s website should be to have your visitors come back to your site to learn more about how your firm can help them and eventually become a client.

 

Let’s take a look at several ways to increase your firm’s conversion rate:

 

Images

According to an article on HubSpot about using visuals on a website,

Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images 

…Colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.

(37 Stats You Should Know About Visual Content Marketing in 2016)

We live in an age where images mean everything. In such a fast-paced world, if a visitor doesn’t see an interesting image, they will be less likely to engage with your website. They will almost automatically click away to find another website that connects with them.

Be sure that you have great photos and infographics on your website. If you are having trouble finding great images for your website I recommend reading this previous article I wrote on how to find great images for your website. Something as simple as a colorful chart can spark interest and your visitor may stick around to see what else that can learn from your page.

 

Write Engaging Content

Take a good look at the content you are supplying to your visitors.

Does it pertain to common questions that your clients often ask?

Does it flow and engage the reader?

Blog posts and content should focus on the needs of your audience. Make a list of the most popular questions you are asked and create content that centers around it. The key is to always make them want to return to find out more.

Be sure to include specific keywords pertaining to each post, so new visitors will be able to find you when doing an online search.

 

Get a Website Review

“Too Close to the Forest to See the Trees.”

You love your website and you’ve poured money, sweat and maybe a tear, but clients aren’t using your website. Why?

Why isn’t my site converting? There are many reasons why your website could not be converting. Sometimes it helps to have a professional who isn’t so close to your website give an honest evaluation. One of the best ways to fix your website when it isn’t converting is to get a professional website review.

During an attorney website review, various aspects are evaluated. Meta descriptions, title tags, and other key optimization points will all be investigated. Once all the information is collected, website owners will receive a report with a detailed map of how to implement specific steps to boost their Google ranking and conversion rate.

 

Your Website has No Call To Action

If you want to connect with your visitors, creating a call to action (CTA) is a must.

Email list sign ups can be encouraged with bonus content. One example of bonus content could be an eBook on a specific practice area which could be downloaded if they join your email list.

Once your visitors have joined your list, you can periodically send them links to your site to read blog articles that may interest them. Not only will they start to view your firm as an expert in the topics, but they will also be increasing the hits to your site, which in turn, will boost your ranking.

 

Conclusion 

As you can see, there are many facets to gaining the highest conversion rate for your website. Implementing the steps mentioned above will get you on the path to more potential clients and an increased number of cases.

The simple acts of adding eye-catching images, interesting content and stepping up your SEO game have been proven ways to increase conversion rates.

If you are unsure of how to put the procedures in place or simply just don’t have the time, consult with a professional website developer who can take care of all the details for you.

For more information, be sure to read: 3 Tips For Lawyers Looking To Hire A SEO Professional For A Website Audit and What Lawyers Need To Know About WordPress.

8 Tips that will make working with a Website Designer a Breeze

How To Prepare To Work With A Website Designer

When working with a website designer, to design your legal firms website, requires thorough communication between both parties to achieve desired results.

Experienced web designers are familiar with what works in building a quality website that will increase revenue. Discussing details of your vision and goals with your designer, will give them a solid foundation to start developing your unique website.

If you are working with an experienced website designer, they will have you fill out a website planner form to really dig into what your website design goals are.

 

Below are items that should be considered before the designing process begins:

 

Domain Name

Your domain name should be easy to remember and not too long.

You also need to make sure that the name is not already being used. Think of several names that appeal to you and get the opinion of your designer as to which would work the best for you.

Be sure that your domain name is relevant to your business. If you are an attorney, include the words “law”, “lawyer” or “attorney” to immediately define your website.

An easy way to see if a domain name is available is to visit GoDaddy

 

Content

Determine your audience and the type of content you want to focus on.

Did you want a basic site that only features the contact information of your law firm and the attorneys that work there? Do you want a more elaborate site that has FAQs, statistics or articles?

Legal firms that have many quality pages on their site about practices areas, tend to have the most success when trying to rank for local SEO keywords.

 

What Pages Should I Include?

Your site may have pages dedicated to particular topics. Consider the different areas you would like to feature and create pages for each one.

For example, an “About Us” page that describes your services and mission statement. You could also create a page for each attorney in the firm, which lists their credentials and important information.

Some attorney websites include a blog page that features articles that focus on the type of law that is practiced in that firm.

 

Color Scheme and Style

Determine the color scheme and style that you prefer for your site. Take a look at your logo and be sure that they coordinate well.

Do you want your site to look modern, flat, etc.? You can discuss details with your designer as to what you have in mind and ask for their input.

An experienced web designer should be able to guide you in the right direction to get the appropriate look you desire.

 

Budget

Be sure that you know the price range that is affordable for your budget before consulting with a designer.

Many web designers have different packages or price points that you can choose from. By determining your needs ahead of time, the designer will be able to give a more accurate quote for their services.

 

Know The Correct Terms

Attorneys need to be familiar with website jargon when communicating with their designer. This will make the process run smooth, without confusion or misunderstandings on either part.

For more details on that topic, be sure to read: 11 Website Terms Every Attorney Should Know.

 

Decision Makers

Determine who is in charge of making the decisions on the website. If your law firm is comprised of more than one attorney, consider the input of others in the office. It’s always great to get advice from others in the office, but there needs to be one person who has the last word when it comes to the design of the website.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will be in charge of making future changes to the website?
  • Will the web designer have access to the site after it is built?
  • Will another member of the staff be responsible for updating the website?

 

Conclusion

It is always a good idea to have all your ducks in a row before hiring a web designer. Make sure you take the above points into consideration and have some type of idea about the look and feel you want to portray.

Lastly, do your research to find the perfect designer for your firm. Professionalism and references are a must. By being well informed and prepared, you will be able to collaborate with the designer of your choice to create a website that will increase exposure and build a strong client base as well.

11 Website Terms Every Attorney Should Know

There is no better way for law firms to attract potential clients, than to have a quality website.

A recent Nielson survey reported that, three out of four Americans use the internet to search for an attorney.

Individual practices and large legal offices will each benefit from having a responsive and easily navigated website. To find out more on how a website can benefit your legal practice, check out: 3 Things You Get From A Business Website.

 

Attorneys who are involved with their own website need to be familiar with the following important terms in order to get the full potential out of their website:

 

  1. Domain Name

 A domain name is the network of a particular website address, which identify certain web pages within the site.

 

  1. IP Address

An IP (Internet Protocol) Address identifies each computer that is connected with the internet with a unique number. Similar to that of a physical mailing address, this number allows exact pinpointing of location so the remote computers can instantly communicate with one another.

 

  1. Web Hosting

Website hosting is the place where all the files for your site are stored and maintained. This is how your site is accessed when a user types in your website address (URL).

 

  1. Server

A simple explanation of a server is a computer that delivers web pages. When a website address is typed into the browser, the server is what connects to the site and sends it to the computer.

 

  1. Traffic

Website traffic is calculated by the number of visitors and pages viewed on your site.

 

  1. Session vs Hits

A session is referred to a visit to your website by a particular IP address. If a user visits your website more than once, each time is recorded as a session. This is one way that website traffic can be calculated.

A hit is counted for each file that is downloaded from the website server, such as images and files. For instance, if your home page features five images and a text file, then your site would receive six hits.

 

  1. Hyperlink

To easily link a website, web page or image to another location, a hyperlink is created. It is a highlighted word or phrase that is easily recognized and can be clicked on to go to the new location in the internet or within your own website.

 

  1. Mobile Ready

With the increased use of mobile devices, web pages need to be user friendly and load quickly in an organized format on phones and tablets.

When websites are mobile ready, they will have a clean, simple layout that can be easily accessed so the user can receive all of the benefits of a standard page that is viewed on a laptop or PC.

 

  1. Meta Tag

One of the leading ways that search engines rank websites is with the use of meta tags.

Keywords, page/image descriptions and content are very important to include in the meta tag portion to rank higher in the search results.

 

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is a combination of methods and procedures that will drive more traffic to your website. This will increase your ranking in the major search engines.

A list of excellent SEO tips can be found here: 3 of the Best Search Engine Optimization Tips for 2015.

 

  1. Favicon

A favicon is the small image that you see next to the URL in the search bar from many websites.Many attorney websites use their logo as their favicon. Including one on your website will aid in building your brand.

 

Conclusion

Be sure to keep track of the fluctuations in your visitor traffic. Are there certain posts or pages that draw more attention than others?

Look at other successful attorney websites for ideas to determine how you can improve your format and content to better represent you and your services.

Contact us today to set up a free consultation to create a responsive and productive website that will receive quality traffic and increase your client base.

3 Easy Tips For Captivating Your Website Visitors

Are You Captivating Your Audience?

Maintaining a website can be as simple or intricate as you desire, all depending on your business goals and line of products/services. Generally, the more numerous or complex of product/service, the more robust the site will be.

But the real question is, no matter how large or small, is your website captivating visitors?

THAT is the key to success. Read on to discover three easy tips to reach your online audience with a great website!

3 Easy Tips For Captivating Your Website Visitors

 

Hover Effects

Have you ever noticed that some websites just seem more cool than others? Little features often make a big impact on the overall feeling of a website, adding a certain style associated with the business brand.

Buttons and/or images on a website can quickly become more interesting with a hovering effect. In the past, this effect might have been as simple as the button changing colors on mouse over. However, there are now a wide array of options including fading in or out, 3D and shadowing, or swiping motions. Text can also be given a makeover with certain hovering features such as changes in font color, size, or animation. Navigational links may also participate in the game with underlining, italics, colors, and even icons that appear.

Hover effects are a great way to help users quickly locate the mouse on the page. More importantly, hover effects also help users feel connected to the site in an intuitive, playful, and personal manner.

Tip: Check out the Lucky Fish main blog page to see an example of a hover effect where the images “light up” and zoom in upon mouse over.

Call to Action

In my 3 Website Mistakes to Avoid blog post, I mentioned the lack of call to action buttons or text. This important website component cannot be stressed enough. A call to action is VITAL for success.

Visually or textually telling website visitors what to do next is a subtle and necessary step to retention. Having a clear call to action significantly lowers bounce rates and improves conversions. Calls to action need not be complicated. Consider each page of your site and ask, “What do I want the customer to do next?” The answer may include anything that keeps the visitor engaged and advancing in the sales funnel process.

Calls to action may appear anywhere on the page, but each page needs at least one. For blog posts, this is often at the end of the text. For example, at the end of a blog article about a great food recipe, there may be a link to another recipe to complete the meal with a tasty side dish. These easy connections promote interaction. Another example would be a simple shopping cart button that says “Add to Cart” and encourages users to understand how to purchase the item.

Schedule routine website audits where you check each page for contemporary and meaningful calls to action.

Good Design

What makes a good design? Website design is really no different than any other type of design work, whether it be industrial, graphic, architectural, or landscape. The point of design is to find the best way to display something in a pleasing and understandable manner. Check out Dieter Rams design principles for a fine explanation which can be applied to website design.

Essentially, a well designed website will engage customers, make services and products easy to understand and easy to find, and promote an enjoyable experience on the site.

Is your site functioning on the principles of good design? Regular analytics review, customer or visitor surveys, and an experienced design team will all help to reveal the answer. Another option is to do an A/B split testing of certain design features to determine which website version is best.

Check out my eBook on digital marketing for a deeper understanding of how using a variety of internet marketing methods can help you captivate your audience.

How to Migrate Your Personal Facebook Profile to a Business Page

I just read this great little article telling people how to migrate their facebook profiles to a business profile. Facebook is changing so quickly sometimes articles like this can be really helpful to a small business owner.

Here is  a brief excerpt:

It wasn’t long, however, before a new use became apparent. It was (and is) a useful marketing tool and way of promoting yourself or your business online. Some have been able to incorporate it into a full image seller that can make up an entire profit-earning project on its own. But to do it, you have to take what was once a personal profile and convert it into a place representing your business interests.

To read the full article follow this link

http://freelancefolder.com/how-to-migrate-your-personal-facebook-profile-to-a-business-page/