Learning to write better content for the web

How To Write Content To Attract Local Residents

Learn How To Write Content That will Attract Local Residents to your Law Firm

The primary goal of your law firm’s blog, should be to attract local residents and ultimately obtain new clients. In order for this to be successful, the content not only needs to be interesting but also relevant to the region where your law firm is practicing. It’s always the best marketing strategy to start local.

 

Below are several tips to consider when adding content to your legal firm’s website:

 

  • You can gain a wealth of content material from the local and national news that is currently trending.

Major court rulings, local tax hikes, and other issues that are in the media can be discussed in an article. Doing so will demonstrate professional expertise in the subject matter. Since the information is current and relevant, it will be searched for frequently, increasing the number of hits your site will receive.

 

  • List questions and answers to some of the most common cases that your firm handles. People who are investigating an attorney always have a lot of questions and if your firm can answer them, your chance of gaining them as a client is greater.
  • Another way to spark interest in your content is to turn your written article into a video. It is much more personal and potential clients will get a feel for your personality as well, which will build trust before you even meet them face to face.
  • Webinars are very useful in discussing common issues that your potential clients may have, such as divorce and child support questions, malpractice, etc. Think about what questions your clients ask you in your consultation and provide a resource for the public through your webinar.

 

Let’s take a look at other ways to gain exposure in local areas:

 

Keywords and SEO

Be sure to include relevant keywords that pertain to the content you are posting. In addition, include the names of the surrounding cities and towns that your firm services.

It’s very important that the wording of your posts should sound natural and not like it is stuffed with keywords. Use your target words wisely and place them where they flow smoothly into the subject of the article.

Along with mentioning the specific location in the article, it can also be placed into the meta-data tags and category fields as well.

If your article’s main focus is about a particular region, including the name of it in the title is another way to boost visibility and gain a higher ranking in the Google search engine.

 

Frequency & Lenth of Posts

Posting content to your website on a regular basis keeps your page fresh and up to date. Content that is focused on current events or client Q&A are the simplest, yet most effective way to accomplish this.

Viewers are more likely to come back to see what new information has been added if there is always something new to see while on your site.

The more posts and interaction that your website receives, the higher you will be in the rankings when people are searching for an attorney in your area. 

Google really likes post that have substantial content and are longer than 1000 words. Having 2 very long posts jammed with great content will do much more for your legal firms SEO ranking than 10 really short posts.

 

Social Sharing:

Social interaction increases ranking. By sharing your posts on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, you can gain followers and regular readers of your material.

Once you share your posts, the capacity for others to share it increases, driving more traffic to your article and boosting your ranking as well.

A benefit to posting your content on LinkedIn, is that you can target a local audience who would be interested in the topics of your posts.

 

Press Releases

Press releases are another way to attract local residents in your target market.

Contact local newspapers and media sources with your articles to be featured in their publications. This is another means for exposure and a potential traffic builder. You can also take advantage of some press release distribution websites such as e-releases.

 

Conclusion

Keep your website’s content fresh and add interesting articles and videos pertaining to current events to  create return visitors. Always make sure you include SEO in your posts and pay attention to your keywords.

If you find that you do not have time to manage your website content on your own, consider hiring a professional to do it for you.

For further reading, be sure to check out: 8 Tips That Will Make Working With A Web Designer A Breeze and 3 Content Ideas for Your Facebook Business Page.

Why Using Real Photos Is Important For Law Firm Web Design

Using Real Photos For Legal Firms Website is a must if you want to start making connections with your visitors.

Your website is the first impression of your law firm for potential clients. Using real photos in the design of your site is extremely important to be authentic and build a sense of trust before these clients ever walk through your office door.

Clients want to be able to put a face with a name. Sometimes credentials won’t make a person feel as confident in their choice as seeing the smile and wisdom on the face of who may be representing them.

 

Benefits of Using Professional Photos on Your Website

Stock photos are easily recognizable and visitors may feel like your firm is not legitimate if their attorney’s are pictured as posed models wearing suits. Even if someone is not extremely familiar with the internet, they may notice how stock photos tend to look like advertisements instead of “real people”. They will question the integrity of the firm and you will not come across as trustworthy.

When a professional photo is used of each lawyer, potential clients can get a sense of their individual personalities. The image of each attorney can be portrayed in their stance, smile, dress and confidence shown in their photo. Visitors will be easily able to relate and be more apt to choose the one they feel most comfortable with.

Clients often share very personal and private information with their attorneys. There needs to be a sense of security that they receive when they look at the photo. It is natural for people to judge someone based on their photo, so you want to make sure the image you project is strong and wise, as well as compassionate.

 

Keep in mind the ideas below when planning your photo session:

  • Avoid clothing that has patterns. A solid color is much more professional and pleasing to the eye. Patterns can be distracting and take away from the face.
  • Dress as you would for court. Show visitors how well you present yourself during a trial. Be sure your hair and/or facial hair is well-groomed.
  • A group photo of the entire team shows the unity and combined knowledge in the law firm. This will give a sense that everyone in the office is there to support their client’s needs. Gather all employees in front of your sign, building, or in an attractive area of the office space.
  • Photos of each attorney need to be included in the bio section of the website. These photos can show the attorneys in candid professional shots, such as speaking with a colleague. Photos such as these appear natural and show more personality.
  • Images do not have to be general, straight on head shots. Have the photographer take photos from various angles. Photos taken from a higher angle will give an interesting and unique perspective.
  • The natural light of the outdoors is also a nice touch when adding photos to the website. It presents a more casual feel to the photograph and gives a little diversity from the office shots.
  • If office shots are being taken, be sure to remove any paper stacks and files that may be on desks or on the floor. The office should appear completely clean and tidy.

 

Conclusion

As a law firm, you want to be recognized as genuine and trustworthy. By using real photos on your website, people will feel like they are getting to know your attorneys before they meet them. Avoid stock photos at all costs and invest in a professional photo session.

Once the photographs are taken, you may need assistance with adding them to the website. Contact a reliable law firm web designer to get the job done for you, so you can focus on your clients and their cases.

For further reading on how to improve your attorney web site, check out: 3 Easy Tips For Captivating Your Website Visitors and 3 Website Mistakes To Avoid.

 

How To Use Case Studies To Answer Client Questions

Case studies can give us a deeper insight and validity to the strength of a law firm and their capability to win cases. Proven statistics will demonstrate the success rate of attorney lawsuits and client satisfaction.

Case studies are a way in which your visitor can connect with you on a more personal level, and it allows them to see how you have helped others in their situation.

Presenting evidence of the attorney’s hands on victories will build confidence in their character and work ethic. Clients will be persuaded by the findings and the firm will continue to grow.

 

Determine Client Base

To successfully build your brand, you need to determine the primary client base for your law firm.

Once you have established who your ideal client is, you want to prove your expertise with case studies in those specific areas or industries.

 

State The Facts

The Houston Chronicle reports that using case studies of successful defense cases and testimonies of past clients will build a sense of leadership in that particular specialty of practice.

Be sure to include studies ranging from high dollar cases to smaller, low key cases. Cover potential clients across the board in all economic levels to gain as much exposure as possible.

In each study, you will also want to include a description of the client, the situation at hand and the challenges they are facing, along with the resolution to the problem and how your law firm solved it.

This information will give a sense of security to readers and they will be more likely to follow through with contacting the attorney. Websites who do not list case studies will miss the opportunity to make the connection with a possible client.

 

Benefits To Client

The internet makes it possible for the general public to do their own research on just about any product or service under the sun. Searching for a law firm is no different.

Stand out from the rest of the law firm sites and present an inside look at the success rate and efficiency of your business.

Potential clients want to know what the usual outcomes are for the cases that you and your attorneys represent. They want to know if the resolution to the cases are personally satisfactory and if they would be pleased with a similar outcome.

Having a collection of various case studies on the attorney website will show a combination of versatility and continuity at the same time.

 

Conclusion

By using case studies, you will gain the interest of potential clients who will want to connect with the attorney personally. Let the studies show how your law firm can help them as it has helped past clients in similar situations.

Prove your value by stating statistics of successful cases and how you can assist them in avoiding large settlements and expensive courtroom trials. Let your firm’s performance history speak for itself.

With the expensive costs of advertising, using other methods such as case studies to prove the value of your law firm is a must. It is just another example of experience and success that will show the worth of your services.

Besides using case studies, there are other methods of gaining new clients through your website. Be sure to read the following articles for more information: When Should You Have Someone Else Manage Your Website? and How To Choose Your Target Audience For Facebook Ads.

It is also necessary to work with an experienced professional marketing team to ensure sufficient exposure and top notch service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Keep Your Website Fresh

Tips on Keeping Your Website Fresh!

The most engaging websites are those that draw in repeat visitors and retain them for an active and exploratory session.

Here are several easy-to-implement ideas to keep your website fresh and engaging.

Blog Posts

If you have a blog, be sure to maintain it with regular posts. These could be monthly, weekly, or daily depending on your goals and schedule availability. (Read this interesting article to see the surprising results one blogger experienced statistically and emotionally when he increased from weekly to daily blogging.)

If you haven’t yet started a blog, come up with a calendar for the next 3-6 months before publishing. This will help you avoid getting writer’s block and keep you motivated.

Here are a few ideas for simple blog posts that can add value content on a weekly basis:

  • Round-up of themed ideas/products relating to your industry. (Example: “15 Best Electronic Assembly Tools for 2015”)
  • Commentary on latest industry news bit. Provide basic advice with forecasts and your expert opinion.
  • Directions or video for unusual ways to use your product. Survey social media fans to get ideas.

Photos From Events

Did you recently host or attend an industry related event? Share photos! These photos may show the personality of your staff or retain a strict business appearance — you decide the tone of your business style. If you attend a conference, be sure to find out if photos are allowed before snapping away.

Create a basic photo album, but be sure to add descriptive headlines and notes to present an overall storyline. Share it on your social network with a link back to your site.

Slider Pics On Home Page

Most WordPress themes allow you to place a slider on your homepage. If it doesn’t, you can add a plugin like the Soliloquy slider plug-in, so you can add sliding images to your home page highlighting various new features, articles, products/services, and press releases. If you publish a new blog post, you should put up a new slider pic replacing the old blog post reference. Keep about 3-5 slider pics rotating. More than that will usually be less effective. Readers may need to see the same image rotate through twice for it to catch their attention.

Hire a designer or web developer to create a template to allow you to easily change out the text and photos on slider pics. This way you can always add new slider images as frequently as you may have need. One example of a sliding image feature can be seen on the LuckyFish Media home page.

Stay Inspired

One of the best things you can do to keep a creative outlook for your website is to visit others. Artists regularly use a similar practice to stay inspired, visiting galleries and museums to see refreshing imagery similar to or very unlike their own.

Take a few minutes each week to visit your competitor’s sites and your favorite industry sites. What new features do you see? In what ways have the graphics or images changed? What are they blogging about? Keep a notebook, tablet, or smartphone handy to jot a few notes. Put into practice your favorite ideas or present them to your web developer for consideration.

The Dos and Don’ts of Updating

Regularly review your site every 3-6 months to consider changes. This helps your website maintain more relevance with readers and with search engines algorithms. When updating your site, be sure to avoid certain website mistakes including outdated content, lack of calls to action, and/or inappropriate font text and size.

Need help keeping your WordPress site current with latest malware protection and plug-ins? Let LuckyFish Media handle your WordPress site updates!

3 Steps To Get More Email Subscribers

Email is not going to disappear. Possibly ever. Until the robots kill us all,” says Paul Buchheit, a founder of FriendFeed

Here are some phrases I’ve gotten when telling clients/friends the benefits of creating a good email list.

  • It’s too hard.
  • It takes too long to build a large subscriber list.
  • I don’t know where to start.
  • Social Media is better for getting new clients.
  • Email is old school, people don’t read newsletters.
  • Nobody wants to sign up for my newsletter
  • Newsletters are too hard to manage.

Now, let’s compare that with some real world statistics regarding email marketing (Source: http://www.emailisnotdead.com/)

  • 91% of consumers check their email daily
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as the result of an email marketing message
  • Email Marketing has a whopping ROI (return on investment) of 4,300%
  • 80% of content marketersuse email marketing – CMI “B2B Content Marketing Research” (2014)
  • Email is almost40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter – McKinsey & Company (2014)
  • 42% of businesses say email is one of their most effective lead generation channels. And for B2B marketers, 88% say email is the most effective lead generation tactic – Circle Research (2012)

Do you feel differently about Email Marketing now?

Here are a couple of tips and some suggestions on how to get started building your own email subscriber list.

1. Ask – If you don’t ask, you’ll never know

The first step to getting more email subscribers is to ask people to sign-up. If site visitors don’t know about your newsletter program, then it will be difficult to obtain new leads. Most importantly, you want to make sure that signing up for you email list is super easy.

Email sign-up forms that ask for too many details are seen as cumbersome by most folks. You can do a survey later, not at the time of sign-up. Think of this like eating a 5-course meal — do you prefer eating the salad, dessert, and entre all at once? Or is it better to space them apart so you can enjoy each step of the dinner?

Keep your sign-up form as brief as possible. I recommend a name and an email. That’s it. If it takes someone more than a few seconds to sign up, they won’t.

Here are the steps a new subscriber should go through if they sign up for your list.

Step 1: Enter their email address.

Step 2: Confirm their email address

Step 3: Start receiving emails from you 🙂

OK, You Convinced me, but what’s the best place for my Email Signup Form on my website?

Letting people know about your mailing list should be done in a classy, not “bashing visitors over the head”, way. Keep in mind, that many visitors don’t always come to your website in the same way. For example, some may start on your homepage, while others start on your blog page.

This is why I recommend having the option to sign up for you email list in a few locations, not just in one spot. Some suggestions might be; in your sidebar, underneath you website banner, at the end of your blog posts, and an unobtrusive pop up or slide in. (With a pop up or slide in, I recommend having the pop up come in at least 30 seconds into the visitors visit. If someone comes to your site and starts reading, and a pop up covers the screen, they will close it immediately. It may annoy them to the point where they may leave your site all together.)

Additional Quick Tips: Show an example of the kinds of information, coupons, etc. that may be found in the email, so visitors know what to expect. Also, send out your emails on a consistent basis. If you don’t send anything for 1 year, and then start sending out emails regarding your product, people will leave your list because they don’t remember who you are or why they signed up for your list in the first place.

2. Offer an Incentive – “Use a Carrot”

Generally speaking, people will not sign up for your newsletter just because they like you or think you are cool. By Offering a simple, but valuable, incentive to entice people to sign up you will have much better results. This could be an e-book you’ve published, a one-time coupon for your products, a free sample, an entry to a giveaway raffle, or some other creative offering. The point is, once you get a lead to sign-up for your emails, no matter the initial reason, they are more likely to return to your site in the future.

I highly recommend that whatever item you offer as a “carrot” that it be professional quality. If it’s not good enough to sell, it might not be good enough. If people download your eBook, only to find it’s very poor quality, it will give them the idea any future products you offer, will also be poor quality.

3. How to Get Started – Tools I recommend

If you are going to start an email list I recommend either MailChimp or Constant Contact. (Here’s a review of 6 email marketing software tools) MailChimp is dead simple to set up and allows you to create multiple lists, as well as an automation system. An automation system, will allow you to send a series of welcome emails to the new subscribers of your list. This is a great way to build a relationship with your new subscribers.

Another tool I recommend is Optinmonster. It’s a great WordPress plugin that will help you convert your visitors into subscribers and customers. It will allow you to start collecting email addresses very quickly.

I hope you enjoyed this tips. Now, go forth and get more people on your email list! 🙂

Do you need some assistance getting your online marketing started or sustained? Checkout LuckyFish Media services to improve your site goals.

3 Website Mistakes to Avoid

We’ve all come across ancient websites and nearly laughed aloud at the old style of graphics, simplicity of design, and often boring content. With ever-changing expectations for website design, how do you know if you site is making mistakes like these?

Take a look at these key website mistakes to avoid to be sure your website is ready for modern audiences.

1. Out-of-Date Content

Providing website visitors with out-of-date content is one of the worst pitfalls for marketing your company image and value.

For example, if a user clicks your “News” tab and finds that the latest piece of news is from 2013, he or she is going to believe your entire website may not have been updated for years. This calls into question everything about your business  — standards, product usefulness, dedication to the industry, and plain and simple professionalism.

Many websites avoid dating content at all. Others regularly date items such as blog posts, news releases, and more. The important key is to regularly review and edit your site. If you choose to share news articles featuring your company or product, do so regularly. If you don’t have anything fresh to share, maybe it’s best to remove that portion of the site.

2. Lacking Calls to Action

Do you know what feature distinguished Facebook from other social media sites in the early race to domination? It was the “Like” button. Before Facebook introduced the “Like” button in 2009, users had to textually comment to show interaction with a post. The “Like” button is a simple call to action, but gets highly responsive results. One study of the “Like” button suggests that the history of “Liking” goes much deeper than the history of Facebook. This goes to show that a well researched call to action is worth investigating.

Informing website visitors what to do next or providing an interactive way to communicate preferences greatly lowers bounce rates and improves conversions. These next-step suggestions are called “Calls to Action”. Calls to action may be an anchored text link, an image button link with text, or a sentence including a quick link. Examples of each style:

Take a look at each page of your website, are you lacking calls to action? If so, this is one crucial component of your website you’ve got to improve immediately!

Which call to action style should you choose? Actually, the best way to answer this question is through testing. Set-up an A/B split test to present two different calls to actions to your site visitors in equal shares. Monitor which call to action style gets retains more visitors and/or leads to conversions. This will provide the best insight to which strategy, wording, colors, etc. are best for your particular business needs.

3. Inappropriate Font Size and Type

Font size and type play an important role in the emotions a website evokes on its readers. And now is the time to consider making font changes since recent browser support changes have made more font options a reality.

In a study about fonts by Microsoft and MIT researchers, many important findings about font size and type were discovered. More aesthetically pleasing fonts result in a happier mood and greater reading engagement. Secondarily, the happier mood encourages better cognitive abilities post-reading. Essentially, what this means is that it’s important to consider the font on your website if you want to influence your visitors in a particular way.

Different fonts may also evoke certain cultural emotions. For example, Helvetica font is what is used by the US government on tax forms. This association may produce unwanted side effects in mood. On the other hand, scripted fonts produce more romantic feelings, but are not easy to read for large bodies of text. In general, San-serif fonts like Arial and Calibri appear more informal than Serif fonts such as Times New Roman. A knowledgeable website designer should be able to help you consider which font is best for your purposes and audience.

Font size is just as vital as the type. Too small a font may be difficult for many readers and come across as intentionally misleading (as in the case of the “fine print” on giveaways.) For years it has been noted that font size 12pt and above is ideal, however many contemporary websites are moving towards fonts 20pt and larger. One recent study on font size suggests that these large fonts produce positive emotional responses. Again, these positive emotional responses are crucial to the actions of your website visitors.

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