Getting your firm working online grow your firmDocument Transcript
GETTING YOUR FIRMWORKING ONLINE www.growyourﬁrm.com.au
Table of ContentsWeb Design Hows Your Websites Naviga3on? Is Every Page on your Website Conver3ng? Is Your Law Firm User Tes3ng? Is Your Law Firms Website Mobile? Whats Your Movement? Law Firm Web Design and Content Management Systems Every Page is a Winner Is your Law Firm Upda3ng its Website?Search Engine Op8miza8on Hows Your Meta‐Tags, Keywords and Content? Is Your Law Firm Marke3ng Strategy Relying on Duplicate Content? GeNng Your Law Firm Marke3ng Strategy Linked Content, Content and Content Law Firm Marke3ng Daily Dose Is Your Firm Genera3ng Video? How to Perform for the Ringmaster SEO and Your Accoun3ng or Law Firm Has Your Law Firm Got a Good Idea? Is Your Firm Speaking Another Language? Lawyer Marke3ng Plan Content Spinning & Duplica3on Marke3ng Law Firms with AdWords Has Google Found Your New Website? Does your Law Firm Use Keywords? Your Law Firm and the Tectonic ShiT Law Firm SEO and Images Your Law Firms Content Strategy Domain Purchasing for Your Law Firm Be Careful Who You Link to Your Law Firm and its Mobile Applica3on Should Our Law Firm YouTube? Will Google Instant End Your Reign Place Your Firm Now Why Small Firms Can Win
Is your Law Firm Tracking Calls? Content is King, But Design is Queen Does your Law Firm use PDFs? Your Law Firms Link Building Strategy Law Firm Marke3ng King Hit: Get Content Get ClientsEmail Campaign Email Marke3ng: the Neglected Tool Law Firm Marke3ng Strategy and Client Conversion Marke3ng to Exis3ng Clients Is Your Email List Segmented?Social Media Is Your Law Firm Facebooked? The Promise of Social Media or Not? Cant Work Out Why Your Law Firm Marke3ng Strategy is GeNng Crushed? Will Facebook Work in Your Law Firm? How Does Your Law Firm Count Conversions? Is Your Law Firms Website Mobile? Law Firms and Mobile Phone Applica3ons Why Your Law Firm Needs to Blog Should My Law Firm Facebook?Google Analy8cs How to Get BeYer Ranked by Google Is Your Law Firm Website Conver3ng? Google +1 Launch Measure Everything Twice Marke3ng Your Law Firm on Google See Your Website without Opening It Your Law Firms Bounce Rate Beef Up Your About Page Now
WelcomeThis guide is proudly brought to you by Australia’s leading professional services marke3ng company, Grow your Firm.Grow your Firm is unlike any other professional services marke3ng agency in Australia. We co‐create individualised marke3ng solu3ons for both accoun3ng and law ﬁrms that we rapidly change to keep in sync with not only technology trends, but the constant ﬂux of the algorithms used by leading search engines like Google. We also use a diverse range of media tools to broadcast your ﬁrm to numerous online channels, as well as syndicate your ﬁrm’s content across a number of high traﬃc legal sites across Australia of which we own.Grow your Firm does web design, development, SEO, social media, content genera3on and syndica3on and email campaign management.In addi3on, we design and develop mobile applica3ons and soTware. Most recently we developed a completely automated online will service for one of Australia’s leading law ﬁrms and are presently devising a web‐based applica3on for personal injury law ﬁrms.Contact Uswww.growyourﬁrm.com.ausales@growyourﬁrm.com.au1300 886 322
<<Back to Table of Contents>>Hows Your Websites Navigation?There are some great tools out there that can considerably assist your law ﬁrm get its head around its websites naviga3on. Site naviga3on is one of those things that are so oTen neglected. Many law ﬁrms just subscribe to the view that their site naviga3on should just be the stock standard. You know what I mean, "About, Services, Resources" ect. A great place to start is through the use of card sor3ng. So, best prac3ce would be to do a content strategy, iden3fy every piece of content to go up and correspond a card with that content. So, in the case of a family law prac3ce, you may have some content on "binding ﬁnancial agreements," and you would simply 3tle the card accordingly. Best prac3ce would also dictate that in sor3ng the cards to map out your sites naviga3on, you would involve a client cluster group.Theres something potent about crea3ng site naviga3on pathways via this visual method that is also engaged with client or user involvement. But spend some 3me in the prepara3on of the cards before involving the user group, this seems to work best.The other alterna3ve is to use the online version at WebsortWe can help facilitate all this. Contact us at Law Firm Marke3ngIs Every Page on your Website Converting?Nearly every law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy when it comes to web content, spend too much aYen3on on the homepage, wrongly assuming that the others count considerably less. Every page, post or piece of content your law ﬁrm generates is a window of opportunity.Yes, your homepage will bear the grunt of most traﬃc (if you’re doing things right) but there are mul3ple loca3ons or landing pages of your site that a prospec3ve client might ﬁnd themselves depending upon their search enquiry.If your law ﬁrm has a content strategy, derived from the keywords you’re chasing in the market and then check out your Analy3cs and you’ll be surprised at how people ﬁnd you and in par3cular, what page of your site was the entry point. Once there, the ancillary informa3on for a ﬁrm can be gold. For example, you will be able to deﬁne the average 3me spent on the page, the bounce rate (bouncing oﬀ your page and going elsewhere) and of course, the amount of traﬃc coming in via this window.
Why is this so important?Increasingly with the sheer amount of content on the web, people are far more conﬁdent in their searches. In other words, when they once may have typed in “divorce,” they may now type in “how to oppose a divorce applica3on” or “can I get a divorce in Australia if I was married overseas.” These more descrip3ve searches are called “long tail” and are so oTen ignored in the marke3ng strategy of law ﬁrms.In responding to long tail searches, you need to ensure that the page holding the informa3on is capable of conversion. Conversion may not necessarily mean that the searcher becomes a client today, but it may mean that content on this long tail page encourages the searcher that if they want more informa3on, they can download your “Divorce Guide” in return for their email address. Now, you’ve got this poten3al client engaged and plugged in which is far beYer than landing on your page and exi3ng.We are helping law ﬁrms deﬁne their online marke3ng strategy.Is Your Law Firm User Testing?A couple of years ago, a guy called Steve Krug wrote a killer of a book called, "Dont Make Me Think." It was probably the ﬁrst of its kind in really accentua3ng the fact that a web site isnt a trophy piece, but rather a signiﬁcant marke3ng tool that has to work for your business, or in other words has to give you a return on investment (ROI).More speciﬁcally, Krug talked about user‐focused design and there is this whole movement these days called UX design which largely emanates from some of the tenets of what Krug tackled in his work. He has since wriYen another excellent book called, "Rocket Surgery Made Easy."Let me cut to the chase. Lets for a second agree that your law ﬁrms website is about the user. So, your ﬁrms website has to be about crea3ng an experience for the user that speaks their language. Were up to our knees at present in building out a site for leading Australian criminal law ﬁrm Ryan & Bosscher If you look at the site, you will overtly see that it is posi3oned towards the poten3al client. Prior to launching the site, we undertook user tes3ng. In other words, we tested the site with 8 people and we tracked their response. As a result, we re‐tweaked and site went live about 6 weeks ago and there have been two reitera3ons of it since. Why? Because at the back end of this site we have extensive analy3cal data recording. We track the hot spots and cold spots all over this site, or in other words, where people are gravita3ng towards on the site, how long they are there and where they go next. We keep on adjus3ng to ensure it is in sync and we keep on user tes3ng. We do this to ensure that we have the user always at the front of our minds, instead of what we think works. There is so oTen a great disparity between the two. Weve also just integrated a Facebook presence that were building out as well that we are similarly watching. There are also a number of other features we will integrate into the site as well.
Steve Krug in his work talks about never assuming you know what the consumer or user wants. Instead, you user test and keep on user tes3ng.In the context of your law ﬁrm, that doesnt need to be a costly exercise. You can do it yourself, or if youve got a marke3ng person in the ﬁrm, let them loose.Steve Krugs got an excellent free guide here that I strongly encourage you to download and implement into your law ﬁrm web marke3ng strategy. Get it hereIs Your Law Firms Website Mobile?In this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p we encourage ﬁrms to look at their mobile strategy.Law ﬁrms have to embrace Mobile Technology if they want to be relevant over the next ﬁve years.In April 2010, the respected Morgan Stanley Analyst Mary Meeker in a preYy robust report stated, "Its the era of the mobile internet. Within the next ﬁve years more users will connect to the internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs."We men3oned in a previous post some of the challenges for law ﬁrms in wrestling with mobile technology, but here are a few 3ps on making a start today to ensure your current website is readable on a mobile device. That said, obviously ﬁrms need to be looking seriously at a mobile adapta3on of their website and oﬀering it separately to mobile device users.1. Dont use FLASH. Flash is a technology that despite its heavy use on most big brand sites, is largely unsupported by mobile technology2. Minimize naviga3on on your website, as panning across mobile devices is s3ll fairly clunky.3. Use images sparingly. Mobile devices can have serious issues in their resize, slowing down site loading 3mes.4. Common objects like Ac3veX are generally unsupported5. Dont go overboard with text.6. Ensure your websites contact forms are opera3onal and eﬀec3ve to the user experienceBe that as it may, if your law ﬁrm is serious about being seen well on mobile devices, wed recommend cuNng to the chase and geNng a mobile version up. If you have a current web design ousit that your happy with, talk with them ﬁrst and see if they have the exper3se to carry out the job. That way you can ensure synergy between your current site and its mobile counterpart.
Whats Your Movement?In this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p we show you how some ﬁrms are aYaching themselves to causes as way of expressing their brand essence.Law Firms that see their brand as one dimensional are signiﬁcantly compromising other opportuni3es for growth. Historically, its always been the case that smart ﬁrms align themselves with industry groups, union movements or clusters of cause‐based ini3a3ves in order to poten3ally derive clients. But while a ﬁrm may share a physical rela3onship with a par3cular group, there has been somewhat of a lackluster response of ﬁrms in Australia to see the poten3al value in ins3ga3ng digital rela3onships with such groups, or beYer s3ll ins3gate your own groundswell around a par3cular issue.This isnt diﬃcult from an online perspec3ve when you have such phenomenal tools, oTen free, at your disposal. The recent ﬂoods in Queensland, in par3cular the huge numbers of people wrestling with insurance companies has prompted numerous law ﬁrms to jump into the space. For example, Maurice Blackburn Cashman had a page dedicated to the issue in no 3me. The real trick of course, if ﬁrms are serious about making a real dent in the issue, is to not just dedicate a page on your website, but rather take out a fully ﬂedged domain name, throw some great content at it that is innova3vely packaged and harness social media to create a community.In the case of emerging issues such as the ﬂoods, most ﬁrms will dilly dally way too long and the opportunity to build a community around the issue will be lost. Its counter‐intui3ve to most lawyers, but the approach in the digital space is most certainly, ready, ﬁre, aim.Law Firm Web Design and Content Management SystemsProfessional Services Web Design is oTen wrongly predicated upon aesthe3cs as opposed to func3onality.Aesthe3cs are hugely important, but the grunt of website that will work for your ﬁrm day aTer day is about func3onality. Func3onality emanates from ﬁrstly and foremostly having a marke3ng strategy that signiﬁes the role your website will play in user engagement and conversion. In other words, how will your ﬁrm generate content, what will the content be, will it be syndicated across diﬀerent plasorms, par3cularly social media, the frequency of that content, who will coordinate it and of course, who and how will the content be uploaded. These ques3ons emanate from the concession that to perform well online, your ﬁrm simply has to produce great content, regularly.Secondary to this batch of ques3ons is "What plasorm will best enable your law ﬁrm to do whatever it takes, day aTer day to keep innova3ng, genera3ng and syndica3ng content?"
We highly recommend and principally use WordPress for all our own plasorms and those we build for our clients. Why? Because of the open‐source nature of Wordpress, the goodwill of developers within the community and the absolute sheer elas3city of the plasorm. For example, were working with a client at present who wants his ﬁrm to be renowned for innova3ve, engaging legal service. In response to his speciﬁc ques3ons, WordPress has always answered.But before you get there, think long and hard about the content, its genera3on, coordina3on and syndica3on.Learn more about content spinning and duplica<on, here.Every Page is a WinnerMarke3ng Law Firms eﬀec3vely online isnt one dimensional.Most law ﬁrms and in fact lots of web designers neglect the fact that while your homepage will bear the grunt of signiﬁcant traﬃc (if youre doing things right) there are mul3ple loca3ons or landing pages of your site that a prospec3ve client might end up.So, if your law ﬁrm has a content strategy, derived from the keywords your chasing in the market, then check out your Analy3cs and youll be surprised at how people ﬁnd you and in par3cular, what page of your site was the entry point.Once there, the ancillary informa3on for a ﬁrm can be gold. For example, you will be able to deﬁne the average 3me spent on the page, the bounce rate (bouncing oﬀ your page and going elsewhere) and of course, the amount of traﬃc coming in via this window.Why is this important in the scheme of things?Well, increasingly with the sheer amount of content on the web, people are far more conﬁdent in their searches. In other words, when they once may have typed in "divorce," they may now type in "opposing a divorce applica<on" or "can I get a divorce in Australia if married overseas”. These more descrip3ve searches are called "long tail" and are so oTen ignored in the marke3ng strategy of law ﬁrms.So, in responding to long tail searches, you need to ensure that the page holding the informa3on is capable of conversion. Conversion may not necessarily mean that the searcher becomes a client today, but it may mean that content on this long tail page encourages the searcher that if they want more informa3on, they can download your "Divorce Guide" in return for their email address. Now, youve got this poten3al client engaged and plugged in which is far beYer than landing on your page and exi3ng.
The other obvious feature of tracking your pages is that you may invariably ﬁnd one page performing extraordinarily well. If thats the case, it may be worth following the trend and throwing more content up like it.Think about every page, every post and every piece of your law ﬁrms content thats out there in the ether. Is it working?Our soon to be released Law Publisher program designs and generates your content into guides, e‐books ect Law Publisher is inclusive in most of the Grow your Firm Monthly PackagesIs your Law Firm Updating its Website?Your law ﬁrm must have a website, full stop.If you are considering a website or upda3ng your current, the thing you must realize is that both design and search engine op3miza3on (SEO) are intrinsically linked. But dont expect your web developer or designer to be across both of these. We are amazed out how many law ﬁrm sites come online, yet are ignorant of the basis SEO principles. To put it bluntly, if your site looks great but hasnt got a core of great SEO func3onality, your ﬁrm just wont be found online.One of the most common reasons we have found for sites not being well op3mized or designed for that maYer, has been the law ﬁrms confusion that IT = Web Design, Development & SEO. It isnt.Grow your Firm provide design, development and SEO services, but if you want to contract your own, ensure that the bases of good design, eﬀec3ve func3onality and SEO are in the mix and preferably that each of the par3es are conversing together. Not to men3on, if your ﬁrm is considering a social media bent, it similarly needs to be contemplated during the design mark‐up.You cannot design without a good understanding of contemporary Law Firm SEO prac3ces.
Search Engine Optimization
Hows Your Meta‐Tags, Keywords and Content?Yep, its a huge, huge issue for law ﬁrms and can grind their law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy to a halt. This is what happens OK. They invariably ring up a web designer who comes out with his bag of tricks and says, "what do you want the site to look like?" In response, all and sundry provide him with a list, he goes away confused and does up something that is middle‐ground. He returns to show the product, fully expec3ng varia3ons and then goes away and aYends to them. The site is built, the client is sort of OK with how it looks, the web design company gets paid and they never, ever see each other again.OK, we think design is very, very important but it plays less of a role to geNng found by Google. Years ago, all these great sites that went whizz, bang, pop were never found by Google. They played beau3fully for the ar3s3c heart of the designer, but were wretched in driving traﬃc. Content is King!Last week we went to work with a client, looked under the bonnet of the website and by Crikey, it was horrendous. Not one piece of useful content thread that Google or any other search engine was going to ﬁnd. A 73 page website, with so much eﬀort from the team of lawyers and no wonder for the last two years theyve been wondering whats wrong with them. Whats was wrong with them was they went oﬀ to a web design company that cared liYle for their ﬁrm and less about asser3ng the importance of content and search engine op3miza3on. My team at Grow your Firm: The Law Firm Marke3ng Company deal with it excep3onally well at our Tips sec3on on our site.But, in the meanAme, if youre a law ﬁrm contemplaAng a re‐design, dont whatever you do fall into the trap of thinking a website is all about aestheAcs. Instead, contact us and from our collecAve experience of working with a great bunch of law ﬁrms who are kicking goals online, well put you on the right track, guaranteed. Ring me now on 0421 950 355 or at the oﬃce on 1300 886 322Is Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy Relying on Duplicate Content?You see this so oTen. Law ﬁrms wan3ng to rank well who fall for the old trick of duplica3ng content, or worse, supply their content to third party sources for a fee, some3mes at the
recommenda3on of law ﬁrm marke3ng consultants, and have their content re‐spun on other sites, as well as their own.Its a big mistake and can see your ﬁrms website relegated to the back of the ﬁeld. That said, there may be some legi3mate reasons as to why you need to duplicate content. If your ﬁrm is duplica3ng large blocks of content, then you should be across canonicaliza3on, which essen3ally is advising Google which content you want them to consider as the most important. Accordingly, any links that may derive from the page that you have the duplicate content on, will be directed to the original page. Its a bit tricky, but if there is someone in your ﬁrm with a head for it, they should read this from Google.The take home message is really this. If you have someone in or outside your ﬁrm looking aTer content, than insist that they are not duplica3ng content, and in circumstances where they are, have got redirects ac3ve between the content pages. You can also do a snoop by using the tools we pointed out in this law ﬁrm marke3ng post.In fact, prior to hiring a consultant or SEO company, plug them in to the link tool that is discussed in that post and see what it reveals. If theyre running duplicate content all over the place on their own site, chances are theyll do it to you too. Getting Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy LinkedA link building strategy just has to be an integral part of your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy, yet from our experience in working with ﬁrms in Australia and most recently, NYC, it is oTen ignored.A link is essen3ally a link from a website to your website. Now, there are a couple of diﬀeren3a3ng features when it comes to links. A link may be appearing on a referring website just like this Smith Lawyers, linking the phrase "Smith Lawyers" to their website. Alterna3vely, and this is where there is some real potency, a link which features the keywords for which your law ﬁrm is wan3ng to be found for. So, for example, it might be the case that a great link on a well ranked site for your ﬁrm would be "personal injury lawyer" with this phrase hyperlinked back to your website. This adds a liYle more Google juice because of the fact that the linking text contains keywords for which your law ﬁrm wants to dominate for.GeNng a sense of what links your compe3tors have is obviously a great place to start. In this case, go here and type in your compe3tors address and it may well be likely that you can acquire some links from the very sites that are linking to them. Of course, the best links will be those that derive from a site with a good page rank. You can ﬁnd out Google page rank here . Your ﬁrm should be trying to acquire links from those sites that have a Page Rank of 3 or higher.
Undoubtedly you may turn up links that your compe3tor has from obscure sites that bear no connec3on whatsoever to the ﬁrms prac3ce. Id recommend staying clear of these. These are typically referred to as link farm sites and Google has been unrelen3ng of late in penalizing sites that are associated with them.Content, Content and ContentIts no longer a maYer of choice. Intrinsic to your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy has to be your ﬁrms commitment to generate user‐centric content. Full stop.Everyday, via a desktop, laptop, a mobile phone, an iPad, Android and even a television people are consuming informa3on at a phenomenal rate. The internet has become the quintessen3al informa3on tool, as evidenced by the growing trend of people conduc3ng long tail searches. A long tail search being one that is speciﬁcally targe3ng the informa3on you are trying to locate, as opposed to the use of general terms.But despite people now wan3ng good quality informa3on, when it comes to a law ﬁrms response to the provision of such informa3on, for most ﬁrms it s3ll remains incredibly bland. Thats to say, instead of being user‐focused in its produc3on and facilita3on; it normally is long pieces of text, full of legal terminology. While deconstruc3ng legal rhetoric is easier said than done, it has to become entrenched in your content strategy.When speaking about content strategy generally, Kris3na Halvorson is a terriﬁc resource. According to Kris3na, your web content is useless unless it does one or both of the following: (a) Supports a key business objec3ve;(b) Supports a user (or client) in comple3ng a task.When youre taking stock of your current web‐presence, ask yourself is every piece of content, every page and every form achieving these objec3ves. Is the site easy to navigate? Are people ﬁnding what theyre looking for?Integral to your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy has to be the ability to understand the Analy3cs on your site and of course, the ability to locate any user impediments. For example, we were recently working with a client who understandably thought that the low bounce rate (percen3le measure of how long someone is on pages or posts of your site) on their site was a great thing. However, the exit rates were incredibly high, indica3ng that users more than likely may have become lost and not sure what to do, so they lingered longer, but ul3mately exited at alarming rates. Your Analy3cs is a great place to start, not only in the iden3ﬁca3on of issues, but of course opportuni3es as well. What are best performing pages or posts on your website? Is there a possibility of genera3ng more of that content, or wri3ng other unrelated content in a similar way? If youre convinced that your ﬁrm is genera3ng client‐focused content but the uptake is low, is
there a naviga3on issue, or does the informa3on need to be broadcasted using a diﬀerent medium. Is a video warranted instead, or an audio clip, a webinar or screencast?Content strategy is undoubtedly a complicated undertaking, but when done well pays excep3onal dividends. Ideally, a content strategy is the primary deriva3ve of which your web plasorms emanate. So, if youre considering re‐design, than most certainly incorporate a content strategy. Conversely, if you dont want to go down that track of re‐design, a content audit may work for your ﬁrm.We can help, but if you want to help yourself, read Content Strategy by KrisAna. A good primer is here for freeIs Your Firm Generating Video?We use video as a key law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy with all of our clients. Why? Because it works. To give you a heads‐up, a dead in the water web presence of one such client went from minimal traﬃc to over 1,100 in just four weeks. Sure, we did a heap of other stuﬀ too, but by and large when we crawled through the analy3cs (which we do everything in response to) the traﬃc was going ballis3c over the video and conver3ng. I had a great chat with Law Firm Marke3ng Legend Larry Bodine last week and he said, "video, video and more video." We couldnt agree more. But here is your ﬁrms problem. You havent got the capacity to do it. Conserva3vely, it will cost you in the vicinity of $5,000 ‐ $8,000 for 25 ‐ 30 videos produced, edited, syndicated on your own site and across mul3ple channels. The laYer is so important! sure, there are plenty of punters around saying its simple, just go out, by a camera and do it all yourself. Wrong, wrong, wrong. In the very least, youre going to need a great set of lights, microphones, booms, post‐edi3ng soTware and you will have to jig your website to accommodate it, as well as syndicate the video. Its not simple!Instead, come and see Grow your Firm and well take care of everything, including web design (on‐going), development, SEO, social media, video produc3on, edi3ng and syndica3on, content genera3on and syndica3on, email campaign management and a whole lot more.Not persuaded. Contact us on 1300 886 322 and well give you the contact details of our clients. You can ask them.
How to Perform for the RingmasterIt might sound like a stupid ques3on, but “what is your Law or Accoun3ng Firm’s website being found for.”To put it another way, “What keywords or phrases would a poten3al client have to type into Google Search to ﬁnd your law or accoun3ng ﬁrm?”If you don’t have a clue, that’s by no means unusual and in fact is the most synonymous response to the ques3on. But it invariably is the case for those ﬁrms who are oblivious to what they’re being found for who usually rank so poorly, or not at all in Google lis3ngs.There are of course excep3ons to the rule, par3cularly in the case where through sheer luck the ﬁrm registered a domain name that had some preYy potent keywords contained in it, or when the internet was a pup, jumped on quickly, got a site up and have been adding content it ever since. For example, we’re working with a ﬁrm at present that has got excep3onal posi3oning in Google through no real concerted eﬀort on their part other than being around for a very, very long 3me online.When it comes to online search, Google is the ringmaster. Sure, there are other search engines and plasorms, but by and large Google is who your law or accoun3ng ﬁrm has to perform for. She is a tough ringmaster, but fair, even though at 3mes she is prone to changing the rules without broad consulta3on.Her organizing methodology has two main func3ons: 1. Indexing (iden3fying the type of informa3on it ﬁnds and analyses it)2. Authen3ca3ng (assessing the usefulness of the informa3on and its quality)In the iden3ﬁca3on of the informa3on, her spiders or bots crawl through all the pages and posts of your website, grabbing at key messages embedded into the code of each entry. More speciﬁcally, the spiders primarily pull keywords denoted in the 3tles and descrip3ons that you have purposely placed there. These 3tles and descrip3ons referred to in geek speak as meta‐descrip3ons and meta‐3tles appear in the Google Search lis3ngs.Now, the search term you wish your informa3on to be found for should be placed ﬁrst in the meta‐3tle and the meta‐descrip3on, in a commercial sense should be somewhat of an elevator pitch. It’s this descrip3on that has the job of primarily persuading the searcher to open up the site.In conjunc3on with these key elements, the spiders and bots examine the content on the page or post and in the absence of a 3tle and descrip3on they will grab at anything they think deﬁnes what the informa3on is about, and then of course broadcast their interpreta3on of it to the World.The meta‐3tle and meta‐descrip3on can be added easily via the content management system on your website. If you haven’t one, you most deﬁnitely need one or a developer close by who can add them. Remember, this isn’t just the home page, but every page or post on your site requires
these key characteris3cs. Don’t wrongly assume that all traﬃc will enter via your homepage. Every page or post on your site has a job to do.It follows that those ﬁrms who are aYen3ve to the keywords they wish to be found for and place them both in the meta‐3tles and meta‐descrip3ons and in the text content itself, all things being equal, they will get found for those keywords or phrases. BeYer s3ll, if the ﬁrm has conducted some keyword research and as a result consider they can rank well for those words, and then they may ﬁnd excellent ranking opportuni3es for them.Let me explain a liYle more. If you’re a criminal law ﬁrm and intend to write content in rela3on to drink driving, then instead of just wri3ng it up and pos3ng it on your website, head across to Google Adwords here:Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides a useful gauge as to how popular par3cular search terms are. If your law ﬁrm is already involved in a pay per click campaign, then the keywords in your adver3sement should derive from this tool or equivalents.Enter the keyword or keywords and ensure the search loca3on is Australia. Lets say it was "drink driving."Following the ﬁrst return of results, go to the leT hand side of this page, uncheck “broad” and check “exact.” You will now be provided with an exact local monthly search of people entering “drink driving.”According to the Keyword tool, 3,600 people every month are entering this exact phrase into Google each month. But it may well be likely that the term is s3ll too broad to really acquire good conversion given that you’re a Brisbane law ﬁrm.Accordingly, you may now wish to be more speciﬁc and search “drink driving Brisbane.” This is what commonly is referred to as a “long tail” search. It returns approximately 58 monthly searches. Now that is the return for people typing that exact phrase and there will be of course signiﬁcant varia3ons that people will enter which will translate into a higher volume of people poten3ally hiNng on your page or post if you had 3tles, descrip3ons and content rela3ng to this keyword term.The Google Keyword Tool also provides an informa3on bar rela3ng to compe33veness. We have found it to be not that accurate and can dissuade ﬁrms from genera3ng content because they wrongly perceive that they would not be capable of penetra3ng the market for content rela3ng to the precise keywords. We have worked with some ﬁrms who because of the weight they hold in Google can literally dominate search results for whatever keyword term they choose some3mes overnight.Be that as it may, returning to the case of the law ﬁrm wan3ng to dominate the market for “drink driving,” the proposed page or post meta‐3tle should be “Drink Driving Brisbane | John Smith Lawyer.” The meta‐descrip3on should also pick up the keywords as well and may be something like, “Have you been charged with drink driving in Brisbane? Are you concerned about losing your license? John Smith…”
The meta‐3tle should be no longer than 12 words and the meta‐descrip3on, 25 words.In the ﬁrst paragraph of the content, you would again use those keywords, but be careful not to go overboard. Google can spank sites fairly severely for keyword stuﬃng. The best rule of thumb is to ensure that it reads well and isn’t too repe33ve.In our experience, most law and accoun3ng ﬁrms do not ever consider keyword research when marking up any content for their website. Hence, the ﬁrms that have an online marke3ng strategy with a focus on content, in par3cular well‐craTed content that derives from good keyword research are domina3ng the market and from all reports, will do so in the future.If you need more help, contact usSEO and Your Accounting or Law FirmDion Algeri opened a can of worms in his post on SEO for Law Firms on a Linkedin Group recently. Its well worth a look. He advocates a philosophy that is aligned with Google and that is, generate great content consistently, abide by a few of the basic SEO techniques and Google will reward you. If your ﬁrm is doing everything itself, then read the post and its comments, then watch the video. You will be beYer informed. Watch video at www.youtube.com/embed/tQQmq9X5lQwHas Your Law Firm Got a Good Idea?With the sheer online tectonic shiT, smart law ﬁrms are increasingly considering how they can automate some of their services to both reduce costs to the legal consumer and the ﬁrm.At present, were building out a couple of automated solu3ons for law ﬁrms, in par3cular a completely automated online will kit and a web plasorm that engages personal injury clients on a number of levels in rela3on to their maYer and of course, take some client related stress oﬀ the lawyer or aYorney.If your ﬁrm has a head for innova3on, but are lacking the capacity to implement, then contact us. Perhaps we can co‐create?
Is Your Firm Speaking Another Language?Ge]ng started in trying to generate content that speaks the language of a potenAal client and is capable of being found by the search engines isnt for the fainthearted.If we can oﬀer any advice from our experience in working with a host of leading professional service ﬁrms in Australia, it is to start thinking from the client perspec3ve.In this landscape that is undergoing a tectonic shiT, your ﬁrm has to concede that content is fundamentally important and is intrinsically linked to search engine op3miza3on (SEO), Google Page Rank and ul3mately online dominance. In other words, your ﬁrm can do very well online but it must come from a paradigm shiT within your ﬁrm that sees the produc3on and prolifera3on of excellent, useful, and well‐thought out content as a key element of your marke3ng strategy. It has to become part of your ﬁrm’s DNA.But when it comes to the genera3on of that content, you need to do your homework. Simply genera3ng content without thought to the persona of the poten3al person who will read it, whether theyre interested and how will they ﬁnd it, are the integral ques3ons in the produc3on of any good content intended to be eﬀec3ve for your ﬁrm. As lawyers, or accountants we can tend to revert to legal speak and before we know it, the communica3on thread becomes lost.One of the great ways to always have the client perspec3ve in mind is to develop a persona for them, or if you have a diverse prac3ce, a series of personas.A persona is your ﬁrms very own in‐house client that you run every marke3ng message past. In working with a ﬁrm recently, we created Robert Wells, a 38 year old father of three, who works at the local meatworks, enjoys a few beers with his mates every Friday night at the local Hockey Club. He was schooled un3l Grade 9 at the State High School and married his childhood sweetheart, Mary‐Anne. Their marriage now is on the rocks.Robert represents a reasonable slice of the ﬁrms family law prac3ce. In craTing marke3ng messages and content generally, we now never lose the opportunity of considering what Robert would think of it. Is it in his own language? Is it too verbose? Will it work for him? Will it add value to him? How can we inﬂuence him?Of course ﬁrms with a commercial law bent shouldnt be reluctant in adop3ng similar methods either. Who is the ﬁrms "perfect" client? Is it John Emery, the Property Developer? How can your ﬁrm craT messages that will cut through to him? What is the best medium to u3lize in reaching John and those like him?Crea3ng personas is an incredibly useful tool. Segment the prac3ce areas of your ﬁrm and create personas for each, or even a few diﬀerent personas for each area and never, ever generate content without running it by them. Inevitably, this content shiT will dictate to all the marke3ng touch‐points in your law ﬁrm. Alignment for the beYer dont you think?Our Team are trained and accredited in Belbin Team Role Theory and the Enneagram. We bring another dimension to markeAng your law ﬁrm. Contact us.
Lawyer Marketing PlanWhats your accountant or lawyer marke<ng plan?It may sound like a ridiculous ques3on, but in a recent chat with Larry Bodine, possibly the Worlds most renowned law ﬁrm marke3ng expert; he reiterated the importance of lawyers in every ﬁrm being ac3ve par3cipants as opposed to bystanders in marke3ng the ﬁrm generally.Larry, in a forthcoming podcast feature, iden3ﬁed 4 strategic parts to a lawyers individual marke3ng plan. He suggests each lawyer in the prac3ce taking 4 pieces of paper.On Page one, is the sales plan which should mark up a list of your law ﬁrms top 10 clients. Larry suggests seNng a date when you can visit the client and really engage with them.On Page two of the plans iden3fy the top 10 referral sources of your law ﬁrm. Again, you meet with these referral sources both to engage and of course iden3fy the poten3al reciprocal referrals your ﬁrm may be able to oﬀer.The other 2 pages or aspects of the plan are absolutely essen3al to any robust and eﬀec3ve law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy.It equally applies to accountants.The Law Firm MarkeAng Podcast Feature with Larry Bodine and other Law Firm MarkeAng Experts is available here: www.lawﬁrmmarkeAngpodcast.com Content Spinning & DuplicationThere are some scurrilous prac3ces out there being adopted by internet marke3ng services on behalf of law ﬁrms, one of which is content spinning.Content Spinning is essen3ally where you supply a blog ar3cle on an area of prac3ce, submit to a person or unknown company that literally seed the blog post on numerous other unrelated blogs. For example, we recently noted one marke3ng specialist who had a blog entry spun on mul3ple blogs including those with dubious 3tles like Brisbane Car Rental Blogs, Australian HandBags and Op3mum Dry Cleaning. Now, the purpose of doing this is essen3ally to escalate your posi3on up a few notches in Google as a result of the links from these blogs back to your site. Its sought of like a sugar ﬁx and can give your site a liYle rush that more 3mes than not will not sustain.However, the risks of geNng caught up with marke3ng services that adopt this type of methodology to their work are fraught with risk. Not only is Google well aware of this prac3ce and spanking those websites involved in it, but it can signiﬁcantly denigrate your service if your content is aYached to completely unrelated and dubious sites. In fact, we recently no3ced on one occasion that the legi3mate business website was ranking #1 for a par3cular search term, only to be followed by a blog entry generated by the ﬁrm, but placed on a blog with a very discriminate 3tle.
The take home message here is treat your ﬁrms content with respect and dont risk it with a third party link building spin service, no maYer how good the promise.Learn more about Law Firm MarkeAng Strategy.Marketing Law Firms with AdWordsIs your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy contempla3ng Google AdWords?It goes without saying, but eﬀec3ve search engine marke3ng (SEM) is dependent upon a really good understanding of not only what poten3al clients are looking for, but also a response that is likely to convert the searcher into a client.If your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy already consists of a Google AdWords campaign, then it’s likely youve been disappointed with it. Like any web plasorm, be it your website or use of social media, an AdWords campaign at best will only convert a person who is at the end of the "buying" process. Now thats not to say that you cannot engage with a person who isnt there yet. In this regard, when it comes to professional service ﬁrms, a client conversion does not have to necessarily mean a paying client, but rather should also include people who your ﬁrm through its campaign is now engaged with by providing them with an eBook, newsleYer or some other subscrip3on to something of value. Another way of saying this, is to ensure your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy is clear about what ROI looks like and how it will be measured.Once your ﬁrm is clear about this, keyword research is obviously fundamental to having a successful AdWords campaign. In addi3on, ensure you create clear, compelling messages to drive up your clickthrough rates (CTR) and do some usability tes3ng on them by crea3ng three or four diﬀerent ads and determine which is the best performing via your Google Analy3cs. Poorly draTed message content can be expensive and will inevitably drive your campaign to a halt.Last, but by no means least, having a landing page speciﬁcally created for the campaign is a must. So, instead of driving your AdWords traﬃc to your website and risk losing the poten3al client in an array of diﬀerent messages, a landing page with one purpose and one clear message can signiﬁcantly increase your success. A landing page doesnt necessarily have to be a sta3c webpage though. Were working with a client at present and are using the ﬁrms Facebook page as the landing page. Why? Well, in working with this ﬁrm, our ini3al conversion goal is to build a strong Facebook following.Keep watch, we plan on doing a case study on it.
Has Google Found Your New Website?Plenty of new law ﬁrms who launch their site can literally wait months for Google to ﬁnd it. You can speed Google up by supplying a XML Sitemap.Simply put, when it comes to your law ﬁrms web design, an XML sitemap is integral. An XML sitemap is a text document that sets out where all the pages on your site are, and how users are to navigate to them. It literally reveals to Google all of the separate pages, how they’re linked, and helps search engines to index your law ﬁrms website.Now, some content management systems like WordPress have plug‐in that easily generate sitemaps, but you can do it or make sure your developer does it right hereNow you will need a Google Webmaster Account. Once you have one visit Google hereGet a Website Analysis, visit us hereDoes your Law Firm Use Keywords?Does your Law Firm Website incorporate keyword op<miza<on?Remember a keyword is a word or phrase that you’ve done some research on and you think your law ﬁrm website can dominate the market with it. If you’re not sure how to do keyword research than Google keywords is a preYy good place to start and if you look in our 3ps, I give you some guidance there.But here are 4 3ps that I highly recommend if you want an edge with your law ﬁrm website.The ﬁrst rule is to focus on one keyword phrase for each post or page. In other words, if you’re wri3ng content on making a will, than you should use that term regularly in your copy and of course it should also be in your meta‐3tle.Second rule is that the more content on that page the beYer. Fortune Cookie’s David Deutsch recommends a minimum of 400 words, but 800 is good. Now be careful you don’t go berserk with jamming those keywords into your copy. Keyword density is a tricky thing. The right density will give you a liT, but too much and you’ll ﬁnd your ﬁrm’s site is penalized by Google. The best rule of thumb is that if someone read it and didn’t observe the repe33ous use of the term, than its likely you’ll be OK.Rule 3, again with keyword density in mind, the keyword phrase needs to be used oTen.Rule 4, dedicate the page to the keyword phrase and leave other topic to pages craTed speciﬁcally for the keywords that relate to those topics.Let me be honest, there’s fair bit to both keyword research and implementa3on on your law ﬁrm website, but it’s not insurmountable. Let us know if we can help.If you want more informaAon, be sure to sign up for free to our Free MarkeAng Guide.
Your Law Firm and the Tectonic ShiftThere are some very, very bad law ﬁrm websites out there.The team and I have been looking at the vast terrain requiring cul3va3on and its endless. In any one market, there are at best one or two stand‐outs and the rest are straggling way behind.MaY Barrie, the BRW Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of Freelancer says this:‐"There are 6.8 billion people in the world. There are 2 billion people on the internet. Five billion people are not but theyre coming. This is the next tectonic shiQ."Mediocrity is a perilous prac3ce for those ﬁrms asleep at the wheel with their online presence.Want to get beaer prepared? Read our Free Law Firm MarkeAng guideLaw Firm SEO and ImagesWhen it comes to uploading or generally using any images on your law ﬁrms website or any other plasorm for that maYer, the credo has always been not only use them sparingly, but if you do use them, ensure that they are properly search engine op3mized (SEOd).It goes without saying, but images add another layer or dimension to your website, but you have to make sure that a couple of things are right. The ﬁrst of course is to ensure youre not uploading heavy images onto your site that will slow down the loading speed of it. A good rule of thumb is to try and aim to keep all your images under 50KB. The second thing is to make sure your image is named appropriately and that the image has alterna3ve text and tags in the code, or in other words, has a string of meaningful words which let Google know what the image relates to.For example, if your ﬁrm Pulse Lawyers uploads some images of your staﬀ, instead of naming them "staﬀphoto1," it is far beYer to consider "Pulse Lawyers | Rachel Smith" or throw in relevant keywords that you want your law ﬁrm to dominate online. It may be, "Moonee Ponds Lawyers | Rachel Smith."Now you also want to aYach some alterna3ve text. Remember, Google or any other search engine cannot penetrate and see your image, so they rely upon its name and alterna3ve text. Again, use text that relates to your keywords.If this is all a bit geeky, then in the very least open up a page on your website, go to your browser op3ons on top of the window and choose "View." Follow the menu down un3l "Source" or "View Source." Open it and you will see what essen3ally Google is seeing. Track down to some of the images in this source code and see what they say. Its a preYy good chance they wont say anything of meaning.
While good web designers, conversant with SEO always aYend to this, they notoriously use words that they consider relevant. Of course, where it goes all a liYle pear‐shaped is when what they consider relevant is at odds with the keywords your ﬁrm is chasing not only on the site as a whole, but speciﬁc pages or posts as well.Need help! Give us a yell. In the meanAme, read our FREE Law Firm MarkeAng Guide.Your Law Firms Content StrategyIf we can oﬀer any advice from our experience in law ﬁrm marke3ng, it is to start with a content strategy.Your ﬁrm has to concede that in the current landscape content is fundamentally important and now is intrinsically linked to SEO and Google Page Rank. In other words, as weve said repeatedly, your ﬁrm can win online but it must emanate from a paradigm shiT that sees the prolifera3on of excellent, useful, well‐thought out content. It has to become part of your ﬁrms DNA. So passionate about this, we simply wont work with a ﬁrm that is not commiYed to genera3ng content. It is just way too diﬃcult to give good ROI without it.If you want to go it alone, which we obviously dont endorse, then a good place to start is to read Kris3na Halvorsons, ar3cle "The Discipline of Content Strategy" In essence she deﬁnes a good strategy as one that considers: key themes and messages, recommended topics content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements) content gap analysis metadata frameworks and related content aYributes search engine op3miza3on (SEO), and implica3ons of strategic recommenda3ons on content crea3on, publica3on, and governance.To expand, these considera3ons need to be explored within your ﬁrm prior to design work being done and of course, you need to have well thought out who will be responsible for the content genera3on in each prac3ce area and a frequency scale, that is when such content that fulﬁlls Harlvorsons blue‐print, can be expected.If you need help with your ﬁrms content strategy, read our Law Firm MarkeAng GuideDomain Purchasing for Your Law FirmIf youre a new law ﬁrm and youre thinking about purchasing a domain name and web hos3ng, or even if youre an exis3ng ﬁrm looking to build a micro‐site, consider a few things ﬁrst.Great domain names are somewhat diﬃcult to source, par3cularly names that are keyword rich. For example, if youre law ﬁrm is based in Townsville, you may no3ce that there may be a fair amount of traﬃc for the keywords, "Townsville Lawyer" and consequently you may want to own and populate the domain name www.townsvillelawyers.com.au. Now just to back track, you can
get a preYy good idea of how popular your choice of keywords are by doing some research via Google Keywords Tool.So, if the domain name was available, you would obviously purchase it. However if it wasnt dont always assume that it is going to be used for the purposes you intended to use it for. Lots of domains are bought by people who literally sit on them for years. Why you should never give up on keyword rich domain names is that theyre like a good boYle of red wine, theyre aged. Aged domains are liked by Google and by paying a few dollars for the domain name, it will provide an ini3al search thrust that would be lost to you if you bought a fresh domain name.Now you can ﬁnd out who owns a domain name right here. You can check domain age while youre there.We recently purchased a keyword rich domain name for a law ﬁrm client with an age of 6 years for $800. In our view, a damn good investment in geNng a good head start on driving quality traﬃc.More on ge]ng great domains can be found in our Free Law Firm MarkeAng GuideBe Careful Who You Link toIs your law ﬁrm being asked for reciprocal links?Recently there has been a surge of email correspondence from link farms wan3ng law ﬁrms to link to par3cular sites and in return theyll link to you. Heres an excerpt from an email that one of our clients received this week."My name is Sandy Keiths, Web Marke<ng Consultant. Ive greatly enjoyed looking through your site ........................ and I was wondering if youd be interested in exchanging links with my website, which has a related subject. I can oﬀer you two home page links back from any of my related websites all in Google cache and backlinks which are:alaskasciencewriter(dot) com PR 4arsdonand(dot) .com PR 5If you are interested, please send me the following details of your site:TITLE:URL:Ill add your link as soon as possible, in the next 24 hours. As soon as its ready, Ill send you a conﬁrma3on email along with the informa3on (TITLE and URL) regarding my site to be placed at yours.I hope you have a nice day and thank you for your 3me."
Google is becoming increasingly aware of SEO prac3ces like this, par3cularly from agents who oﬀer links in a completely unrelated ﬁeld. If your law ﬁrm was to respond to such request, it is more probable than not that Google will declare the link as irrelevant and your ﬁrm wont acquire any beneﬁt from it. In some circumstances, it has been reported, that Google may actually penalize you as a result.The best links your law ﬁrm can acquire are those of course that are organic. In other words, links from websites that are of signiﬁcant relevance to your prac3ce and belong to reputable organiza3ons. How does Google know that? Simply by the quality and page rank of the organiza3ons that link to them.Want to know more about link‐building? Get our Free Law Firm MarkeAng GuideYour Law Firm and its Mobile ApplicationIs your law ﬁrm considering building a mobile phone applica3on?Up un3l now a reasonable deterrent for ﬁrms who want to do it properly has been the lack of accessibility to data via iTunes (Apples distributor of Apple Mobile Applica3ons) rela3ng to purchaser informa3on. In other words, if youre serious about engaging with clients and in this instance, people who have purchased your mobile applica3on then it was impossible to draw such data from iTunes, other than the volume of sales.Well, thanks to Mail Chimp, in par3cular their Chimp Kit which has just been released allows the developer to drop into the ﬁrms mobile applica3on some code that not only tracks purchases but allows the ﬁrm to dialogue with the owner of the app via newsleYer. Chimp Kit is free up to around 2000 newsleYers, so if youre a ﬁrm contempla3ng a mobile app via iTunes, you should deﬁnitely consider it.Learn more about Law Firm Website Meta DescripAon.Should Our Law Firm YouTube?As you might be aware, a couple of years ago Google bought YouTube. Hence, when you search for anything online via Google, YouTube videos appear in the search results. There’s good reason why your law ﬁrm should be thinking video, because by and large searchers have a preferen3al op3on to view videos ﬁrst as opposed to opening other text pages. But the trick is, to ensure your videos have keywords in them that searchers are looking for.To do this, head across to Google Keywords and key in some words and see what the results generate. When you do this, ensure that you have checked your loca3on and you can do this via the advanced op3on. The results that turn up are essen3ally split into global and local. If your ﬁrm
has a local presence, then obviously those results will be relevant. To get somewhat of an exact analysis of the keywords, following your ﬁrst search, go to the leT column and uncheck “broad” and check “exact.” The result that now follow will indicate an accurate depic3on of search enquiry for the keywords you have chosen.The next step is to ensure that you have these 3tles in your YouTube video 3tle. BeYer s3ll, also when you save your video, save it as this 3tle too. Then aYend to the descrip3on of the video and while tags are becoming irrelevant in Google search generally, YouTube tag words are reportedly s3ll used by Google in deﬁning your content.Last but not least, great video produc3on is all about ligh3ng and sound, and to a lesser extent the camera. Sure, a HD camera, be it a FLIP HD or a Kodak ZI8 we see are essen3al items for any law ﬁrm wan3ng to use this space well, we’ve seen really good content generated by older cameras, but under good lights and good sound input.Learn more about Law Firm Web Design.Will Google Instant End Your ReignIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, you might have no3ced that each 3me you now type into Google, its second guessing what youre about to type in.Google Instant is the latest innova3on which Google call ‘Search at the speed of thought’. While the mo3va3on for Google is that it can save you 2‐5 seconds every 3me you search, if your law ﬁrm is chasing the long tail keywords than it may well be likely a searcher will not get to you. Watch hap://www.youtube.com/v/ElubRNRIUg4In other words, if you were wan3ng to type in "Sydney Family Lawyers prac3cing in Blacktown," Google Instant as soon as you type "Sydney Family Law" will oﬀer you "Sydney Family Lawyers." While it’s probably too early to tell what the impact may well be, ini3al research is showing Google Instant results as being a quicker preferred op3on. The problem for the ﬁrm in Blacktown is that their poten3al client will now be immersed in the squillions of Sydney Lawyer results.We dont think it’s 3me yet to redeﬁne your long tail keyword strategy, but instead maybe look for the keywords that Google is oﬀering up in its Google Instant results and do some keyword research on them. For a client recently, we were able to purchase domain names which were a snug ﬁt for the Google Instant keyword returns. Well now build a site and content around them accordingly. It might work!Learn more about Law Firm MarkeAng Strategy.
Place Your Firm NowIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p ﬁnd out why you need to be thinking about Place pages. If your law ﬁrm hasnt got a Google Place Page, you beYer jump on it quickly.In the last month Google re‐tweaked their search algorithm which is giving Google Place Pages preferen3al treatment over other search results. In other words, it may well be the case that your place page will be posi3oned higher than your own web site.AYending to a Google Place Page is dead easy. Go to Google Places, ad your details and make sure you spend the 3me dropping great content there and dont forget to draw people to your website and social media plasorms.Do it now!Why Small Firms Can WinIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, ﬁnd out why the smalls ﬁrms will win in the new online landscape.When it comes to beYer posi3oning your law ﬁrm online, dont be in3midated by the big ﬁrms with big pockets.Big law ﬁrms oTen suﬀer from layers of bureaucracy which slows them down considerably in playing well in the new landscape. Agility and the capacity to create and syndicate content quickly is the new yards3ck. Law Firms that are caught in the rhetorical spin of "aim, aim, aim" cannot compete with the innova3ve ﬁrms who have adopted a strategy of "ready, ﬁre aim."Recently we caught up with a midsized ﬁrm with a real propensity of crea3ng content. It manufactured content like widgets in a factory and within one month would probably quadruple the content disseminated by a larger ﬁrm in one year. When a ﬁrm has a culture of content crea3on theyre half way there, but where they need to be careful is ensuring that such content is predicated by innova3ve design, packaging and a syndica3on method. Content has to be focused on the end user while covertly following a content strategy that is mindful of the keywords the ﬁrm is wan3ng to dominate.Smart thinking around content, along with a commitment to crea3ng it is the deﬁni3ve diﬀerence between the ﬁrms that will and wont make it in the future. Read more about content strategy.
Is your Law Firm Tracking Calls?In this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, ﬁnd out why you need to be tracking calls emana3ng from your online presence.While working with a great liYle law ﬁrm over the last week who were absolutely diligent in watching their Google Analy3cs, they couldnt understand why they were geNng loads of traﬃc, but minimal enquiry via their contact forms, or in other words not much conversion despite the numbers.Well, the truth of it all was that a quarter of all traﬃc were soaking up the content then heading straight to the Contact page to pull the phone number and make the phone call. While the ﬁrm were tracking where their clients were coming from at the ini3al interview with their solicitor, that data wasnt being captured in a useful way. Also, never forget that it is oTen the case that a client will come to you via numerous ways. For example, a friend may recommend your ﬁrm and then to validate, they check out your website. Now the site may well have been strongly responsible for the conversion, but despite that at the ﬁrst consulta3on they may tell you a friend was the referral point, thus not an accurate representa3on of what really occurred.The only way to get an accurate depic3on of how successful your web presence is, is to measure everything. Despite how great contact forms are designed and where they are posi3oned, people love the immediacy of picking up the phone. The best way to measure phone contact via your website is not by having recep3on ask the ques3on of where the poten3al client has come from. What you need is a completely unique and diﬀerent number on your website. You can do this easily by purchasing a Toll Free number and forwarding that number to recep3on, but capturing all incoming on forwarded calls. The other alterna3ve is purchasing an online number via Skype, which at the 3me of wri3ng is approximately $30 for three months. You simply choose the number and via account administra3on, key in the number you want it forwarded to. All on forwarded calls, including the 3me of the call, are recorded in your account. However, if youre forwarding the online number to your ﬁrms recep3on, expect there to be a fairly signiﬁcant delay while the call is ported through 2 numbers before it is picked up.The old adage you cant manage what you cant measure is true when it comes to seeing how successful your web presence is. Dont whatever you do, leave phone contact out of the equa3on in measuring your analy3cs.
Content is King, But Design is QueenIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, ﬁnd out why you cannot ignore design aesthe3cs.Weve been playing around with Crazy Egg for awhile. Crazy Egg is an analy3cs tool that applies a heat map on your website which can show you where people are clicking on your website. Why is this important?Well, it visually tells you the hot spots on your website and those that get liYle aYen3on. For example, we done a liYle consul3ng work for a ﬁrm recently who were geNng loads of traﬃc on their site, but very liYle aYen3on to their "subscribe to our newsleYer" func3on. The ﬁrm generates a mass of great content, and the NewsleYer of course provides it all and more on a monthly basis. Its free and yet the subscriber uptake was poor.So, we integrated Crazy Egg just to take a peek and lo and behold, it was true, no‐one was heading to the mid‐sec3on of the page where the func3on was located. We moved it to the top and watched the subscribers grow nearly overnight.The lesson here is great content is number one, but dont ever lose sight of the design aesthe3cs. Crazy Egg is a great tool to have at the back end of your Analy3cs Toolbox.Does your Law Firm use PDFs?In this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, why you need to be thinking seriously about using PDFs online.The greatest tragedy is when you see law ﬁrms insistent on crea3ng great user content who then package it all into a PDF and have it hosted somewhere on their site.PDFs are great when you want to create a guide or e‐book that users leave their email address in return for, and then you shoot the PDF across to them. But, if you are using PDF as a way of dis3lling some good content on a par3cular issue, then nothing you have men3oned in your PDF will be read by Google. In other words, if youve got a great liYle piece on "consent orders," rich in useful keywords that people may be searching for informa3on on, and youve wrapped it up in a PDF, Google cant read it except for the 3tle.Google sees PDFs as images, so it will grab the PDF 3tle, providing youve got one that means something and thats it. The alterna3ve and the solu3on is that you ensure that all that content about "consent orders" is on a HTML page (a page on your website).The trick is to only use PDFs as something you give to a user in return for their email address. Go berserk with your guides, e‐books, but dont whatever you do, waste great content by locking into an impenetrable ﬁle such as a PDF. Learn more about Law Firm Marke<ng.
Your Law Firms Link Building StrategyIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, we ask what your law ﬁrm’s link building strategy is.Rarely does a Law Firm Marke3ng Strategy have within it any reference to link‐building.We recently had the pleasure of doing some work with a large Australian law ﬁrm who are similarly compe3ng with some other large ﬁrms. At the outset we did a liYle compe3tor analysis and staring at us in the face was the very evidence as to why this ﬁrm stands so poorly in Google page rankings. (Page Rank is where your law ﬁrm appears in Google for a search term)This ﬁrms compe33on had a zealous commitment to building links and they simply didnt and were paying considerably for it. Now, a link is an inbound link from another website to yours and you preferably want links from those organiza3ons who Google loves (those who have a high page rank).Links are fundamentally important because as Google becomes increasingly human‐like in wan3ng to oﬀer to searchers the best quality law ﬁrms at the top of their page, they consider that if such a ﬁrm has lots of other organiza3ons linking to it, then they must be a credible ousit.GeNng great links to your website is a lot easier than you think. Law ﬁrms that are philanthropically inclined should be reques3ng in the very least a link on the respec3ve organiza3on’s website. But just dont leave it there. Think of all the business to business rela3onships your ﬁrm has, write them down and get someone to determine the relevant web addresses and shoot an email across asking them if they could place a link to your site on theirs. In return youll do the same. If you havent got a links page, get your web designer to do one up. It should cost you peanuts.So, if your ﬁrm has a marke3ng strategy, ensure that link‐building is an integral part of it. If youre ﬁrm doesnt have such a strategy, you need one and when you get it, think link‐building and you might be amazed out the results.
Law Firm Marketing King Hit: Get Content Get ClientsIf your Law Firm Marke3ng Strategy is all about pay per click, skinny content and preYy pictures of the ﬁrms partners, give up now.It cant be said any straighter than that. The Law Firms that will do extraordinarily well in the future will be those who simply have a steadfast commitment to online user engagement. To put it another way, those ﬁrms who can think "client" as opposed to thinking "our ﬁrm" are winning and will con3nue to win in the new landscape.While there are some fundamental reasons law ﬁrms should be genera3ng user‐focused online informa3on and resources, it has to be packaged in a way that will translate best to your poten3al client. We all know that we comprehend informa3on diﬀerently and ﬁrms need to be thinking about their mul3‐dimensional communica3on strategy when pos3ng anything online. Can this informa3on be broadcast across mul3ple channels? This is the primary ques3on that ﬁrms should be asking. These types of ques3ons of course do not emanate from your IT department, they should come from your passionate lawyers who are prepared to communicate across channels and just require a liYle impetus. Grow your Firm provides it if you havent got people within the prac3ce to think innova3vely about informa3on transfer.The take home here is that to play in the new landscape well, get great content, package it innova3vely, broadcast it broadly and just keep on engaging. Learn more about Law Firm Marke<ng.
<<Back to Table of Contents>>Email Marketing: the Neglected ToolIt use to be the case that there was this huge resistance from not only law ﬁrms, but business generally to send HTML emails (emails that look preYy with images ect). Well, with the enhanced capabili3es of email services generally, you just have to be using HTML email as an engagement tool. But dont rely on your own email service to have the capacity to both manage email lists or build email newsleYers. You have to be using a third party ESP to not only ensure your email draTing is compliant but to signiﬁcantly improve the prospect of it not geNng caught as SPAM.Law Firms so oTen tend to neglect their current clients as not only a resource for future work, but ignore in a networked world, the sheer potency of a client referring another poten3al client to you. But to do this, youve not only got to do great work for the origina3ng client, but you have to be in the mind of this client in the ﬁrst place.Email Marke3ng done right will both sustain and value add to your rela3onship with your ex‐client. In other words, to keep them engaged, you need to give them useful informa3on, innova3vely packaged that will keep them liking you. Simple.If youre a ﬁrm with a mul3‐discipline prac3ce, then youve got endless tools at your disposal to engage with this person. If youre not so diverse, that doesnt necessarily mean you cant engage, but you will do it diﬀerently. For example, if youre a PI Firm, you may provide some stories of completed cases and valuable links to other areas of interest for the client.To assist, there are a plethora of email marke3ng soTware plasorms out there. MailChimp is great, so too Campaign Monitor that not only provide great tools to develop email campaigns, but both have the ability to handle email lists and the analy3cs to see if youre hiNng the mark.Law Firm Marketing Strategy and Client ConversionIf your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy isn’t about genera3ng leads, than its missing out on clients.Law ﬁrms, like most professional service ﬁrms generally rarely cul3vate the market. In other words, most law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy consider client conversion as being the ﬁrst paid consulta3on and neglect a fair chunk of the market that just aren’t ripe for conversion yet. Take for example a person caught up in a tumultuous marriage contempla3ng separa3on. Theyre not there yet, but their searching online to put their legal issue in some context. The ﬁrm likely to capture and eventually convert this person into a client is the ﬁrm with a marke3ng strategy that oﬀers something for nothing, but then, maintains the rela3onship.Without a doubt, one of the best ways to do this is via product crea3on. Give a person a free family law guide, access to some resources not readily available on your site in return for their
email address. Once you’ve got this contact, you’re able to engage with the client through ongoing provision of useful content distributed to them in a manner they choose via an email marke3ng campaign management system like Mailchimp. The content of course has to be useful and cannot be thrown at them repe33ously. The best rule of thumb is to provide the content fortnightly and no more. For example, a popular podcas3ng program recently lost a considerable number of its subscribers due to frequent, empty contact.If your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy sees client conversion as when the client is paying, it’s 3me to reconsider and when you do, and it may well be 3me to think about integra3on of client rela3onship management soTware. In an upcoming post well review the best.Grow your Firm creates products for our clientsMarketing to Existing ClientsLead genera3on is rarely considered in the context of exis3ng clients. So many law ﬁrm marke3ng strategies are based upon genera3ng new leads and neglect those already within the fold of the ﬁrm.A great place to start in considering your current client base is to simply ask, "When we close this ﬁle, how will we stay engaged with this client?" This is par3cularly the case for general prac3ce ﬁrms, but it has real relevance also for specialist ﬁrms. At present were working with a ﬁrm on their marke3ng strategy that predominantly prac3ce personal injury law. During the course of ac3ng for a par3cular client, there was considerable rapport established, the client stayed in regular contact with the ﬁrm post his maYer and since, has referred numerous clients.One of the greatest strategies weve found in maintaining engagement is email. In a diverse prac3ce, the pos3ng of weekly email law 3ps that are of real use is an excellent way of maintaining useful engagement. In fact, our Email Marke3ng Management System does this automa3cally for your ﬁrm, pos3ng HTML emails to your email list. Whats more, the system iden3ﬁes open rates and those on your list who actually opened the email. If your ﬁrm has the capacity of doing this itself and our experience suggests thats rarely the case, there are a number of email campaign management systems that will oﬀer comparable outcomes.Be that as it may, cul3va3ng your current client list can be a potent tool. Do something about it this week.Get a Free Website Analysis, visit us here
Is Your Email List Segmented?Youre using email as a key marke3ng strategy in your law ﬁrm right?Well, if youre not, according to the 2010 Forrester Report, your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy is neglec3ng the number #1 arsenal for ROI.Thats right! Its not TwiYer, its not Facebook, its not LinkedIn, and it’s the old workhorse, "email."Email is a potent marke3ng tool that when used properly by your ﬁrm can literally turn your impotent law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy into one supercharged on viagra.The sheer beauty of email these days is that you can get very, very targeted with some smart segmenta3on. In other words, if youre a general law prac3ce, segmen3ng your email list into prac3ce areas is a good start, but if you want to get a good thing great, than segment by age, gender and even personality. Now this might sound a liYle over the top, but this is exactly what companies like Amazon, iTunes and Ebay do and its one of the predominant reasons behind their success. They know their customer.Why would your law ﬁrm want to do this?Well, law ﬁrms tend to neglect their biggest prospects and advocates, their exis3ng clients.If youre sa3sfying your current or have sa3sﬁed your previous clients (not all of course) there are likely upsells or referrals lying there on the table for your ﬁrm to pick up. For example, a family law client may now need to update their Will, they might have just ﬁnished the property seYlement and are looking at a purchase. Now in these circumstances, email is a great, subtle way to add leverage.But get this. When considering an email campaign dont whatever you do use your exis3ng email provider (MicrosoT Mail ect). One client were working with at present thought that it might be a good idea and crashed their server. You need a third party client to do this. There are some good ones on the market. We recommend MailChimp, but you need to do a bit of homework on list integra3on. Whack it into your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy now.But to make it very easy on you, join our growing allegiance of Grow your Firm clients and well take good care of it for you, even assisAng your ﬁrm in segmenAng your list. Give us a call. 1300 886 322
<<Back to Table of Contents>>Is Your Law Firm Facebooked?I know, I know, I know! Everyone is saying , "you goWa be on Facebook”, and youre thinking what the heck is it and my law ﬁrm shouldnt touch it with a 40 metre barge pole. But youre curious right?The biggest thing Facebook has to oﬀer your ﬁrm is "community." Sure, it lets you mark up a diﬀerent story or brand message about your ﬁrm and people get to see a diﬀerent side, but the real grunt of this plasorm is community genera3on. How do you do it?Get yourself a Facebook Fan Page and think of it as a channel or another plasorm to your ﬁrms online presence. I recommend that you oﬀer content on your Facebook page that isnt on your website as a way to migrate people between the two. Again, I dont want to rave about it, but be innova3ve in the crea3on and packaging of this content. Video is great! Short, sharp, straight to the point with, get this, an 80% higher rate of conversion than text. Next, start promo3ng your Facebook page on your website, email and all other marke3ng touch points in your ﬁrm. Cul3vate the community, keep them engaged, communicate with them usefully, frequently and if you do this, what is the likelihood of them contac3ng another ﬁrm when everything goes pear‐shaped?OK, am I persuading you?Well, at the risk of being a liYle "geeky," the Facebook Mark‐Up Language (FBML) has now been replaced by HTML, which is the language on which your website is built. What this means for law ﬁrms who want to push the envelope is that you can and morph a Facebook page into a preYy amazing web plasorm.So, who is doing it well?Fenwick & West are always held up to be leaders in this.New Orleans Firm, Wolfe Law does it OKSo too, Trilby MissoWere working on one at present which we think will topple the lot.Be that as it may, if we have persuaded you to think more about a Facebook presence for your law ﬁrm, wed love to take a shot at it. In fact, become a client and you get it free as a part of all our other integrated services. Not convinced? Ring me on 0421 950 355
The Promise of Social Media or Not?Is your Law Firm seeing the results of social media?It was recently reported by Social Graf that research conducted by ForSee indicated that approximately 1% of traﬃc to websites in their study was being spun by social media. The research reportedly emanated from a study of 300,000 consumer surveys across 180 websites in both the private and public sector. However, the research also found that 18% of people were inﬂuenced, among other things to ul3mately visit the site.While the research is interes3ng, it does reveal that when it comes to social media, quan3ta3ve research has its limita3ons. In contrast, the qualita3ve impact of social media can be of considerable value, yet cannot be measured in metrics. Good social media in law ﬁrm marke3ng is about good content genera3on, sharing and community building, all of which are intrinsically diﬃcult for the bean counters to assert ROI isnt there with this type of medium.Learn more. Read our Free Law Firm MarkeAng GuideCant Work Out Why Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy is Getting Crushed?If your law ﬁrm just cannot work out why a compe3tor with an empty website is crushing you, perhaps their law ﬁrm marke3ng is using a Google product?Sean Odom in his SEO for 2011 suggested that when it comes to beYer posi3oning your law ﬁrm in Google, using Google products may give your ﬁrm an edge in the percen3le range of 5%. While at ﬁrst blush it might not seem much, but if the mere integra3on of a Google BlogSpot blog on your site pushed you a couple of places closer to the top of the page, then it’s got to be worth considering.Interes3ngly, for a US‐based client we are presently working with, we just couldnt understand why this ﬁrms site which was deprived of good quality content, was beYer posi3oned than our clients presence which was transﬁxed with providing lots of great content. Well, we havent goYen completely to the boYom of it just yet, but when we dug into the analysis of this compe3tor, lo and behold here is Google BlogSpot.If our preliminary research is correct and it marries up with Odoms thoughts on the maYer, then perhaps your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy should incorporate Google products.Also, remember this. Dont neglect content.Want to know more about how your ﬁrm can get an edge? Get our Free Law Firm MarkeAng Guide
Will Facebook Work in Your Law Firm?Australian law ﬁrm Mallesons Stephen Jaques (MSJ) has embraced Facebook as a key strategy in their recruitment campaign. To date, 1108 employees of the ﬁrm, or prospec3ve employees have "liked" the ﬁrm. That said, other MSJ generic Facebook sites dont have anywhere near the traﬃc that this speciﬁcally targeted campaign does. There was of course an iPad compe33on to add aYrac3on. Not surprisingly, a number of other ﬁrms, including Blake Dawson have jumped on the trend and launched their own targeted Facebook campaigns.It says a couple of things. Targeted social media campaigns arent such a bad idea. Other industries have been all over it like a kid over a jelly bean for years. But the trick for MSJ, like their predecessors in using a big bang strategy, is to try and maintain engagement aTer the smoke dissipates.A small, regional law prac3ce in Caboolture, Lember & Williams have their page quietly working away for them, primarily as a communica3on tool to those in the fold of the ﬁrm. Sure it’s not bells, whistles and front page stuﬀ on the AFR like MSJ, but its serving its purpose, like many other law ﬁrm Facebook pages that are cul3va3ng community.What you have to love though, is that the paradigm shiT is well among us. Its all about crea3ng value for your tribe as Seth Godin would put it.We can help your ﬁrm out with Facebook design, integraAon and of course planning if you need it. Contact us on 1300 886 322How Does Your Law Firm Count Conversions?As we consult and work with law ﬁrms on their law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy, one synonymous issue always rears its head. Conversions! It normally goes like this. A ﬁrm hasnt deﬁned what a "conversion" is, isnt seriously recording them from marke3ng touch points, or if they are, arent sure what to do with them next.OK. Lead genera3on is fundamentally important to any business, including your law ﬁrm. We know from experience that when a person is enmeshed in a legal conundrum they do not always contact a lawyer immediately. They oTen will try themselves to put their issue into context and invariably, as search engine results reveal, increasingly will go to the internet to source such informa3on.In the cycle of a consumer, theyre oTen simply not at the stage of commitment yet. In other words, they are naviga3ng for informa3on to fulﬁll their speciﬁc needs. Should it be the case that they arrive at your ﬁrms website, is there a likelihood that you will give them the informa3on they require? Lets say you do, what happens next? Invariably they read the informa3on and if its
wriYen ul3mately to encourage the poten3al client to contact the ﬁrm, they just might, they may not too. Lets deal with the former scenario ﬁrst.ATer reading your excellent copy, the client calls your ﬁrm. Are they calling a unique number that is diﬀerent from your main number? If they arent, what are you relying on to ascertain that this is a website enquiry? Having recep3on, or your lawyer at the ﬁrst consult ask the ques3on is prone to error. Research on this has shown that people dont always oﬀer an accurate response, or if there is a lapse of 3me between ﬁrst contact and ﬁrst consult, they can forget. We highly recommend a 1300 number. Not only will it sharpen your judgment on what is working from a marke3ng point of view in your ﬁrm, but if your web design company is worth their salt, they would want to be crawling all over this to encourage a beYer op3mized site.Now, in the case of the laYer, that being the poten3al client who has gathered up the content from your site and gone away, what strategy do you have to further encourage contact? Probably none. Having content on your site wrapped up as an eBook or PDF which your ﬁrm oﬀers in return for an email address is a great way to maintain engagement with the inquisi3ve prospect. Thats not to say that your website becomes a barren ground with only eBooks and PDFs (deﬁnitely not good from a SEO perspec3ve) but ascertaining pockets of content that could be compiled and put together is a great way to start preparing for lead genera3on with a prospec3ve client and of course begin the next step, engagement.Finally, at what point does a conversion become a conversion? Theres something about the psychology of trea3ng a conversion as not necessarily a person who is eyeballing you across the desk aTer theyve signed the client agreement. If a conversion in your ﬁrm was a person who had made contact with your ﬁrm as a result of any marke3ng touchpoint, it may be likely just by the language that you will treat this person diﬀerently. In other words, if a person is engaged with your ﬁrm despite the depth of that engagement, the role of your ﬁrm is to shiT the person from lukewarm, to warmer to hot. Accordingly, this person needs to be engaged at diﬀerent levels during the transforma3on and has to be respected and taken care of with kid gloves.So to wrap up, think seriously about your en3re ﬁrms touchpoints and whether by their nature they are encouraging ﬂight, as opposed to engagement. What can you package up that may be a useful resource (oTen your Google Analy3cs is a great tool in deﬁning how people are ﬁnding you anyway)? How will your ﬁrm record contact? What is your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy in moving a poten3al client from warm to hot? Last but not least, is it worth thinking diﬀerently about what a conversion is at your place?If youre stuck we can help. We can assist in not only deﬁning the strategy, but of course, our Law Publisher service provides eBook and PDF creaAon and our web design and development team can integrate this into your site, along with the email capture funcAonality. Give us a call 1300 886 322
Is Your Law Firms Website Mobile?Smart punters everywhere have been claiming that 2011 is the year of the third screen, mobile. Well, Damon Scarr of Yahoo7 reckons that its the decade of bobile and when you look at the stats, you have to agree.Media consump3on and screen 3me in Australia is going through the roof with people in this country now consuming in the vicinity of 52 hours of media every single week. Most of that 3me, or at least 3 out of 5 of Australians are mul3‐tasking between TV and a mobile device and despite this, most law ﬁrm websites just wont render on a small screen. Hows your ﬁrms website performing under the shiTing popula3on of poten3al clients trying to ﬁnd your ﬁrm on their iPhone, Samsung or whatever? Id say from our experience at crawling across law ﬁrm websites all over the World, not real well.The Integra3on a mobile strategy into your law ﬁrm is becoming less diﬃcult daily, but the plasorm has to be right in the ﬁrst place. If youre hard up for cash, then in the very least get up a WordPress blog, jam it full of content and integrate it into your exis3ng website. There are some add‐ons out there which will ensure all renders well on the third screen. If you want some pointers, give me a yell.In the meanAme ponder this. Grow your Firm does web design, development, SEO, social media, video producAon, syndicaAon, content generaAon and, wait for it....mobile phone web design. Contact us on 1300 886 322 or if youre outside or inside Australia for that maaer, go hereLaw Firms and Mobile Phone ApplicationsLaw ﬁrms considering Mobile Phone Applica3on Development should ponder a few other things ﬁrst.The uptake of mobile device technology has been growing exponen3ally in Australia during the last 2 years with es3mates that our use of such devices is at one of the highest rates in the world. According to the Neilson Report, 43% of online Australians now own a smartphone, over one quarter of social networkers (26%) par3cipated in mobile social networking in the past year and 66 % of mobile social networkers are under 35 years of age. Of course on top of this, there has been a huge spike in purchases of tablet technology like the iPad.While mobile devices have dras3cally changed communica3on, theyve imposed both exci3ng and challenging possibili3es for law ﬁrms who want to engage with this growing mobile traﬃc. How you engage is the fundamental ques3on.
Trilby Misso, the Personal Injury Law Firm recently launched their own accident app which now joins others on the market. While it provides a novel way to engage the ﬁrm if youve suﬀered an injury, paradoxically the ﬁrm has invested no eﬀort into making their own website readable on a smart phone. The strategy at ﬁrst blush appears very much "cart before the horse," but is by no means a remote example of ﬁrms wan3ng an app without properly considering their wider online strategy.When youve got great brand recogni3on in the market, ensure that all your online marke3ng touch‐points are eﬀec3ve before spending what can be an inordinate amount of money on mobile applica3on development. If you havent got great brand recogni3on in the ﬁrst place, forget it.Learn more about Law Firm Marke<ng Strategy.Why Your Law Firm Needs to BlogLaw Firms wan3ng to market their prac3ce online have to blog, full stop.The synonymous ques3on were oTen asked by our clients is that why do we need a blog page. The simple response is that you cant aﬀord not to have one.When it comes to beYer posi3oning your law ﬁrm online, a blog is not only a great way to share some of your ﬁrms personality, but it can count considerably in helping Google ﬁnd you, thus helping you be found by a poten3al client.When you think of a blog entry, do not think of an epistle. A blog entry is as many words as is necessary to get your message across. A blog entry may well be one of your lawyers reﬂec3ons on a piece of legisla3on, a topical legal issue or a current aﬀairs item. It doesnt maYer what is, or how long it is, but it maYers for everything in ensuring its content that you could imagine a poten3al client wan3ng to read.The other thing you must covertly consider in a blog post, are the keywords that the poten3al client would type into Google, and those handful of words should preferably be in the ﬁrst paragraph of your content or beYer s3ll, making sure one of the words at least is in your 3tle.Your Law Firm cant aﬀord not to blog in this new landscape. Users are becoming more selec3ve in their search words and it may well be likely that you might not get found for "Smiths Lawyers," but just might turn up for " What is a Consent Order?"Learn more about Law Firm Marke<ng.
Should My Law Firm Facebook?The perennial ques3on asked by so many ﬁrms is should my law ﬁrm facebook?Well, I’ll give you a lawyer response, “it depends.” But before we get to that let me tell you what Facebook is, and what it isn’t.So Facebook is a social network and is used by over 350 million people and it is by a long way, the most popular online networking site. Now, when it comes to Facebook you’ve got 3 op3ons. You can create a personal Facebook proﬁle, a Facebook page, a Facebook group or a Facebook Fan page. Now what makes Facebook seriously good is its ability to seamlessly integrate other tools or what we call API’s. So for example you can post something on your Facebook page and have it automa3cally fed into your twiYer stream. If you don’t know anything about TwiYer, we’ll get to it in another video 3p.So, returning to the Facebook op3ons. A Facebook proﬁle is a person’s liYle spot on Facebook. Anyone who is connected to this person and by connected, I mean conﬁrmed as a friend of the person, can comment on that person’s Facebook wall, which is sort of like a page. Now as the owner of this proﬁle, you’re able to upload media, like video, images and really anything to it and that media can be accessible to those who you have connected with.Now, a Facebook Fan page may be relevant for your law ﬁrm. A person who is a representa3ve of the ﬁrm can create a Facebook page and maintain it via the administra3on part of the page. As an administrator you can similarly upload anything and communicate to those people who “like” your page. In other words are connected to it. Now here is where its important, recipients of your communica3on, whatever it is, cannot respond to it, but if they don’t want it, they can opt out.A Facebook Group can be created by any Facebook user, and can be taken care of by mul3ple administrators. You can have a group closed or open, open meaning anybody can join, closed being by invita3on only.So, those are the op3ons and obviously a Facebook Fan page is the most appropriate for a law ﬁrm given the fact that you can control it.Now why would your ﬁrm want to Facebook? Well the sheer numbers of poten3al and exis3ng clients that use the plasorm would probably shock you. For example the biggest spike is women between 55 and 60.A Facebook Fan page allows users to see another dimension of your law ﬁrm. Sure, you will probably duplicate some of the content from your website, but it allows your ﬁrm to post dynamic content, like images, videos and publica3ons to a community of people who visit their own facebook presence are connected to your law ﬁrm. It allows your ﬁrm to have an ongoing conversa3on which really a website doesn’t aﬀord.But before you consider a Facebook page, which in your ﬁrm is going to be responsible for it? This is where it all falls down. If your ﬁrm isn’t going to keep your page updated, don’t go there. Some
recent research has shown that out of date web content generally gives users a poor percep3on of your ﬁrm generally.So, work out who is going to maintain it and of course pull together and coordinate what goes up. This person, or preferably a group of people should also be thinking about how some content can be packaged with ﬂair of innova3on.At Grow your Firm we know this coordina3on and of course maintenance can be diﬃcult and we can provide it in our bundle of services, if necessary. Or, if your Law Firm is s3ll wrestling with the idea, or it wants more informa3on, we can do that too.Learn more about Law Firm Strategy.
<<Back to Table of Contents>>How to Get Better Ranked by GoogleThe synonymous ques<on asked by lots of law ﬁrms in their law ﬁrm marke<ng endeavors is howdo we get to page #1 on Google?GeNng ranked well by Google or other search engines for that maYer is dependent upon a few things, the most important of which is for what keyword or set of keywords your ﬁrm wishes to dominate. Only aTer deﬁning the keywords can you get a clue on what your ﬁrm will need to do to rank beYer. While were pleased to say that all the law ﬁrms that are our clients are ranking in the vicinity of #1 or #2 on Google for the keywords that were targe3ng, if the strategy was to change and we began chasing the generic term "lawyers," than we would have to concede that it’s going to take a fair amount of 3me, persistence and dedica3on. You see ranking well is dependent on a number of factors like, the age of your domain name, how long your site has been around, how prevalent are the keywords in both code and copy of your website, how proliﬁc is your content, how frequently is content added, the number of links to your site and the quality of those links and increasingly, social media proﬁle.Now, while that is generally the case for most keywords your ﬁrm might be chasing, it is surprising how many long tail terms your ﬁrm can capture well. Remember, long tail keywords are those that are more speciﬁc. So, people who once were inclined to type "wills and estates," now, they will type, "What is probate," or "what an enduring power of aYorney is." If it were the case that your ﬁrm who specializes in wills and estates, generated frequently good content in rela3on to those terms, even poten3ally building a microsite around them or a core of related ques3ons, your ﬁrm may dominate search results easier than say, "Wills and Estates Lawyers."I repeatedly talk about the importance of deriving your website and its keywords from a robust content strategy and when it comes to ranking well, cannot overstate it. In fact, with a great content strategy, and a collec3ve dedicated response to crea3ng excellent content that abides by sound SEO (search engine op3miza3on) principles you can do extraordinarily well on many fronts. Your ﬁrm will become renowned for genera3ng user‐focused content, renowned for its innova3on in communica3ng that content broadly and Google will accordingly; reward your ﬁrm for it by beYer rankings.Be that as it may, if your ﬁrm is grappling with the whole noAon of SEO, here is a great resource from the team at Search Engine Land Get it here
Is Your Law Firm Website Converting?There is oQen conjecture in rela<on to what is a "conversion." Rather than deal with it here, I urge you to take a look at this previous post.So, for all intents and purposes, let’s just concede that conversions may look diﬀerent across the spectrum of law ﬁrms, but essen3ally can be categorized as contact between an online searcher and your prac3ce. While actually measuring conversions can be problema3c depending upon how you do it, what shouldnt be problema3c is your ﬁrms commitment to Conversion Rate Op3miza3on (CRM).CRM is all about trying to improve your web presence to encourage more conversions. While Ive repe33vely spoke about the importance of great content, what oTen can be ignored is how such content is integrated into the site or blog. In other words, is your site both aesthe3cally and accessibility focused? Rarely does this ever get a look into because by and large law ﬁrms consult with a web designer who designs the site, provides a content management system (allowing you to add content via site administra3on) and no‐one gives a second thought to how it’s all performing un3l it all gets a bit stale a couple of years later and a re‐design is commissioned.Its an expensive mistake because rarely is it the case that designers will hit the mark straight away. The sites that work are most certainly those where CRM is a key element of the online marke3ng strategy.CRM is most commonly conducted by a close analysis of your analy3cs data derived from most notably, Google Analy3cs itself. There are other tools that work well with Google Analy3cs, in par3cular Crazy Egg which provides a heat map behind your site showing a graphical display of how users are interac3ng with it.
When you look at the data sets collec3vely, it becomes apparent what is working aesthe3cally and what isnt. Dead spots are ever so obvious and so too, design characteris3cs that are working well. But rather than simply ditch the whole lot and start again, web designers who care about your ﬁrm will nearly always encourage the use of AB or mul3variate tes3ng tools. In other words you can put out to market over a set period a number of itera3ons of your website, watch the analy3cs and determine which is performing best from a conversion point of view. Obviously, if you havent a strong and robust conversion repor3ng mechanism in your prac3ce, than it all falls down.Googles Website Op3mizer is the most commonly used tool to measure the itera3ons and is a free tool. If you’re serious about your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy, youve just got to integrate it.CRM is well worth its value and if youre considering your law ﬁrms web presence seriously, than you just have to be doing it. Youll be surprised how at 3mes a slight varia3on to a website or a contact form can have such a considerable and measurable impact.At Grow your Firm we do it, because to do otherwise is seriously shortchanging your client with a product you just havent a clue is going to work to expectaAons, despite user tesAng and persona research.Google +1 Launch Watch video at www.youtube.com/embed/4RyY2‐ofP4gIf you ever were a skep3c in rela3on to the importance of genera3ng user‐focused content for your web plasorms, well you might just end up paying for it signiﬁcantly if Google have their way.Last week saw the release of Google +1, an applica3on capable of being placed on all websites, blogs and the like, allowing the user to give your law ﬁrms content a vote or recommenda3on. According to Google, they will pay considerable heed to the vote count, impac3ng poten3ally on where your law ﬁrm will rank in Google.Our search engine op3miza3on (SEO) team is s3ll trying to get their head around it like their counterparts throughout the World. But if it takes oﬀ, and some are saying that it wont given Googles fairly ordinary history in social applica3on development, it will reward those law ﬁrms among you who are puNng out great content consistently.My advice, get on it, it wont hurt you and it may just pay signiﬁcant dividends. We can help you integrate it in a jiﬀy. Open a post here and youll see it down the boaom. While youre there give us a Ack. 1300 886 322 if you need us
Measure Everything TwiceMarc Gagne from Adobe made some cogent comments recently in B&T Magazine in rela3on to op3mizing your web presence, and he wasnt just talking about SEO.So oTen knee jerk reac3ons when considering how your law ﬁrm is performing online can be disastrous. We have been doing a liYle consultancy with one of Australias largest provider of legal services who have been long lamen3ng that their web presence is dead. Theyre right. But rather than race towards a complete overhaul, weve persuaded them for a small period of 3me, to run extensive tes3ng, plugging in a diverse range of analy3cal tools. Why? Because despite the web presence being lame, it is in receipt of loads of traﬃc and to kill it now, we would miss an opportunity of ascertaining how people come to the site, the traﬃc paths they leave while theyre there and loads of other great informa3on that can smartly inform the redesign.Gagne opines that when it comes to measurement, most companies "dont provide enough investment in the areas of analy3cs and measurement and so oTen dont access to the data and results they need to make intelligent and 3mely decisions."I couldnt agree more. Your web presence if it isnt already should be a major touch point in your law ﬁrm marke3ng strategy. Treat it like that, and if youre remiss in having someone in your ﬁrm understand the analy3cs, get them some training or alterna3vely, consider an agency like ourselves who will take care of it and report accordingly and of course, panel bea3ng your strategy if necessary.Marketing Your Law Firm on GoogleLaw Firm Marke3ng is all about going where the poten3al clients are.GeNng seen on the web is the secondary goal to geNng seen by Google for the keywords which epitomize your legal prac3ce. In other words, we regularly see law ﬁrms inves3ng heavily in a website that has all the bells and whistles, but neglect the basic fundamentals of online law ﬁrm marke3ng.Lets get momentarily technical. The Google Spider crawls through websites trying to capture who, what and where you are. It scurries around the back‐end of your site seeking some informa3on indicators that although sparse, tell Google what they should communicate to the World about your ﬁrm. You can get a preYy good idea what Google is telling everyone by doing this very easy task. Pause now and open up your website.
Go to the top of your browser and click on "View." Now, follow down the menu and click, "View Source." You dont need to understand all this geek‐speak, but in that liYle page that has opened up are two incredibly important pieces of informa3on that Google thinks a lot about.Find the string of words that follow the 3tle tag. This phrase of words is incredibly important. If youre a family law ﬁrm prac3cing in WangaraYa, then simply having a 3tle tag that says, "Smith Lawyers" wont help posi3on your ﬁrm that much. But thinking about what a poten3al client type into Google would may suggest a more useful term. For example, it may be the case that most people looking for a family lawyer in WangaraYa might type, "WangaraWa Family Law". So, having a 3tle tag like "WangaraYa Family Law | Smith Lawyers" will widen your scope of securing those poten3al clients.The other really important thing in the source document is the meta descrip3on tag. This is like your elevator pitch and should be provoca3ve enough that once a person sees your revised 3tle in Google, they read the brief descrip3on below and because of its potency, open up your website.Looking at these two things to ensure that the string of words accurately describe your law ﬁrm is a great start to your online markeAng acAviAes and wont cost you a cent.See Your Website without Opening ItIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, we reveal a Google Strategy that just may be hur3ng your law ﬁrm.Google Instant Preview (the search tool that shows a site preview on Google) is great for law ﬁrms that have an aesthe3cally great site, but absolutely horrendous for those who look shoddy.The impact of Google Instant Preview for law ﬁrms who have treated their web presence apathe3cally will be star3ng to reveal themselves as increasing numbers of poten3al clients search online. Paradoxically, even for those ﬁrms who have invested considerably in SEO (search engine op3miza3on) strategies, ranking in the top three of organic searches will mean nothing to the more discerning user who is using Google Preview to ﬁlter their choices. The other impact of course if Google Instant Preview takes hold as a key tool for the searcher, is for web designers to be able to accentuate calls to ac3on that will translate despite the small size of the preview panel.All said and done, Google Instant Preview is sharply reminding both law ﬁrms an designers alike, that design, content and SEO are the holy trinity in crea3ng a web presence that works.
Your Law Firms Bounce RateIn this law ﬁrm marke3ng 3p, we expose bounce rate.If your Law Firm hasnt got Google Analy3cs ﬁYed to the back end of your website, then unequivocally youve got a very hit and miss online marke3ng strategy. If youre in this boat, get on to your web designer/developer, tell them their negligent and you want it integrated at no cost. It is dead‐easy to do (about 5 minutes) and these days every site should be built with this included.For those law ﬁrms enjoying the breadth of informa3on that Google Analy3cs is telling you about how "s3cky" your web presence is, most likely you could be geNng caught up with the "bounce rate" as being the deﬁni3ve test for how well the site is doing. Of course, bounce rate is a kind of standard‐bearer metric for measurement and simply gives a percen3le indica3on of how long people are hanging on your site for. Simply put, its suggested that higher the bounce rate the less eﬀec3ve your site is.Well, a simplis3c applica3on of bounce rate as the measurement for site eﬀec3veness can be misleading for many law ﬁrms. Prac3ce Managers can oTen get hung up on high bounce rates and demand that something aesthe3cally be done to get people to stay. The problem with that approach is, bounce isnt necessarily bad.It can be the case that a law ﬁrm may have a bounce rate of 65 ‐ 70% yet have a stellar record of conversion on their site. One conclusion that can be drawn is that nearly all discerning users of the site are successfully called to ac3on, and those less discerning bounce‐oﬀ. Now, thats not a bad thing right? You dont necessarily want big traﬃc, low bounce rates and liYle conversions.So, when your ﬁrm is considering bounce rate, dont ever look at it in isola3on. It needs to be consider as an important tool that resides in a tool box of other equally important analy3cs tools. Learn more about Law Firm Marke<ng Tips
Beef Up Your About Page NowOne of the great strengths of Grow your Firm is that we solely specialize in law ﬁrm marke3ng, and because of this, the collec3ve analy3cal data we are gathering from our en3re clients websites is truly insighsul.To share just a skerrick of informa3on, if your law ﬁrm has got a preYy ordinary "About Us" page, then I highly recommend you make it extraordinary, or in other words in the very least add considerable content depic3ng who your lawyers are and of course their experience.Our analy3cs strongly tell us that second to your home page, your about us page is the most commonly viewed. If there is nothing there to keep them, the bounce from that page can be astronomical. Now, as we ﬁnd, some ﬁrms are a liYle reluctant to gloat about themselves, get over it, and populate your page today. You might be surprised.Get a Free Website Analysis, visit us hereHope you have enjoyed it?Please let us know at www.growyourﬁrm.com.au Other Resourceswww.growyourﬁrm.com.auwww.lawﬁrmmarke8ng.net.auwww.lawﬁrmmarke8ngpodcast.comNeed Help?sales@growyourﬁrm.com.au