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Infographics begin with inspiration and research. Their ongoing popularity among Internet marketing campaigns owes a lot to people’s love affair with visualizing data: We enjoy quantifying information, especially when it is visually appealing, but deep inside, we appreciate the cognitive process and research behind them.
The legal profession relies on information and reasoning, which presents attorneys with plenty of infographic opportunities. Muskegon DUI attorneys, for example, could easily create a visualization of drunk driving fatalities in their state as they relate to non-DUI fatal accidents. In order to make a compelling infographic, it is necessary to:
Law firm marketing campaigns can occasionally err on the side of boring. This is not entirely bad — law firm marketing should be informative and focus on expertise rather than flashiness. However, a little bit of flash can go a long way in the typically staid field of legal marketing. As a lawyer or legal marketer, you should consider giving your firm’s brand a visual edge. By implementing some strong graphic design choices, you can help your firm stand out from your competitors and draw more business.
It may seem like a mystery to verbally-minded individuals: People see an eye-catching image, and then they want to associate with the brand that image represents. If you want to improve your online market share, you should consider taking advantage of this inherent power in visual branding.
Visual branding is about the visual choices you make on your website and in your advertising copy. Think about the fonts and colors you want to use. For instance, while red is typically associated with power and victory, blue is often associated with trust and security. It’s no surprise that these are the two most commonly used colors in the business. Whatever you choose, keep to the same color palette throughout your site and other ad copy. Choose a font that matches your brand’s emotional tone whether it’s uplifting and freeing or stark and serious.
Create infographics. Work with a graphic designer to explain interesting statistics or step-by-step information in a visually pleasing way. For instance, a Houston estate planning lawyer could publish regular infographic reports on the size and nature of wills in Houston. You could also commission an infographic titled “How to Write a Will.” It is no secret that blog posts with images are more effective than blog posts without them. Have a consistent style and theme through your infographics, and you may develop a following.
Making visual choices can be difficult to do on your own. If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to making your brand visual, consider asking an artist or graphic designer for some help with details. It might be the beginning of a fruitful, long-lasting business relationship.
While responsive Web design (RWD) may not have been on the radar of law firms a few years ago, its importance is now apparent. Due to the large number of people who use mobile devices to explore the Internet, it’s critical that your firm’s website is mobile-friendly. Here are some of the main benefits of RWD from an SEO standpoint.
First of all, the biggest advantage of RWD is that you can capitalize on mobile users. While a large percentage of people still use desktop PCs and laptops, many are now using mobile devices. In fact, Google’s head of mobile sales, Jason Spero, predicted that 1 billion people will use mobile devices as their primary means of browsing the Internet by the end of 2012. This means your website should also be optimized for the mobile crowd.
When it comes to SEO, your firm can benefit considerably from RWD. Rather than being forced to create multiple versions of your website for different mobile devices, RWD will result in one site that can be viewed on all devices. This means that you only have to worry about creating one set of links instead of several. If product liability lawyers implemented RWD, they could save lots of time in their SEO campaign by reducing the number of back links they need to create for pages on defective drugs, car tires and other dangerous products.
Along with this, RWD makes it considerably easier for search engines to crawl your site. By only having one set of links, the chances of getting your content found increases. Rather than having separate sets of links with multiple versions of a website, you can expect an SEO boost with only one set. This should improve your overall ranking on Google and other search engines because all of your links will contribute to your ranking. Consequently, you can appease mobile users and get an SEO boost at the same time.
Up until the late 20th century, legal professionals who wanted to establish an online presence simply had to contact a Web designer to create a professional-looking site. Online marketing during those days was limited to submitting a website to a few directories. Websites are developed rather that simply designed, and they involve the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing strategies to make them successful.
Law firms and solo practitioners who are not getting positive results from their websites should look into full-service development solutions that incorporate SEO into the design process. A Winchester attorney who is getting low Web traffic may think about a website facelift as a remedy, but changing the layout and style without giving proper consideration to SEO may end up hampering traffic for months.
These are the five most important SEO factors to consider when redesigning a website:
1 – Keyword strategy: Despite all the commotion surrounding the algorithm updates rolled out by Google, keywords and key phrases are still the basis for Internet search queries. Performing keyword research and reviewing analytics reports should always be done when making any changes to a website.
2 – Website audit: Once a keyword strategy has been selected and a plan to implement it has been drafted, an SEO professional should audit the site to ensure it follows the 23 bullet points Google published with regard to search relevance in the wake of its Panda update.
3 – Navigation: SEO professionals recommend designing the site’s structure and navigation around a keyword theme. For legal professionals, the scope of their practice and the services they offer will determine the navigation and link structure.
4 – Inbound links: If other pages on the Web are responsible for generating traffic, it is important to identify the most effective links and the pages they point to; a series of 301 redirects may be in order.
5 – Market intelligence: SEO professionals know about effective websites in several industries. Learning from the competition is a valid SEO strategy.
When it comes to implementing a sound online marketing and branding strategy, many law firms tend to focus on external elements like advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media. These factors are undeniably vital to the success of a legal practice since they can attract many prospects to a website, but once visitors arrive at the home page, it becomes important to drive even more internal traffic.
One way to capture traffic is through intuitive home page design. A previous paradigm of website design consisted of flash intros and other gimmicks that were not necessarily appropriate for law firms or solo practitioners. While prospects looking for legal services are more likely to be attracted to quality content, the presentation, layout and navigation are crucial to the experience.
What sort of intuitive home page design would apply to an estate planning law firm? The first design element to keep in mind is simplicity and focus. One effective layout consists of a navigation sidebar to the right that offers fixed navigation and a couple of interesting features, such as notable cases won. This sidebar should occupy no more than a quarter of the screen. Bold headlines that speak directly to visitors should appear on the large left column, along with a fresh content item and prominent photographs or social media buttons.
The logo of the law firm should always be placed on the top left corner of every page. The content should follow a certain hierarchy, with the main content arranged in the top center and two complementary articles below it. Instead of displaying entire articles, catchy summaries can be written to entice visitors to click and follow even more content and call to action items.
Navigation is a critical component of a law firm’s website, and it’s important to have navigation that’s simple yet effective. For this reason, implementing sticky menus is beginning to catch on and can be a great addition to your firm’s website. To understand why this is so, it’s necessary to know exactly what sticky menus are and the benefits of using them.
Simply put, sticky menus are a type of fixed navigation where a website’s menu remains stationary regardless of how far a user scrolls down. This allows users to quickly access a menu wherever they are on a website without having to scroll back up to the top. By using this type of navigation, an injury lawyer could make it easy for users to click on a menu button — like a button for client testimonials — no matter where they are browsing on his website.
Perhaps the biggest pro of sticky menus is the speed with which they allow users to click on the menu. Rather than having to scroll all the way up to the top to find another page, users have full access no matter how far down they are on a website. This makes it easier for users to find the content they are looking for without any hassle.
Another benefit is the improved experience for mobile device users. When using traditional navigation on devices like smart phones and tablets, it can sometimes jeopardize the user’s experience. Sticky menus are better because they are easier to use on a smaller screen and they improve browser usability. Due to the fact that a large segment of the population uses mobile devices, you can capitalize on this trend with sticky menus.
In addition, it’s perfect for branding. By keeping your law firm’s logo in a consistent position on your website, it maximizes brand exposure. When this happens, it tends to stick with users and your firm should become more recognizable.
Branding is important to helping you stand out from the crowd. It also helps your business appear legitimate and promotes trust in your website. Even if you’re a small business just starting out, or with a tiny budget, a few simple steps can make your website look branded.
Information in this post gathered in association with a CA consumer lawyer
Use a physical address: Google may give preference to websites that list a real address (not a P.O. box) on their sites and in their WhoIs.net* information. Even if it doesn’t give you an edge in a search, a real address suggests to visitors a real business, not a fly-by-night operation that might not be around tomorrow.
Have boilerplate pages: If you want your customers to feel comfortable giving you personal information, make sure it’s easy for them to find your:
Include several ways for them to contact you, including that physical address, a phone number, email address, and a Web form.
Create press: Do things that are press-worthy, and create press releases to tell the world about them. Have a press page and media kit, too, if possible.
Have a professional-looking logo: Again, it’s about trust and visitors’ perception of your trustworthiness.
Use social media: It’s here to stay—and it’s likely that your business is being mentioned, even if you don’t have an active presence. Become part of the conversation so that you can guide (not control) any conversation to your benefit.
Michael Gray covers this advice in more detail in “How to Make Your Website Look More Legitimate.” He also offers one more piece of advice: Ask yourself if your website can pass the sniff test (or the 8th-grade, tough-cookie teacher test). If you wouldn’t do business with you, don’t expect others to.
* Service mark
Good search engine optimization (SEO) is important for attracting search engines, but it’s even more important to attract and engage human visitors. They are the ultimate clients and they like easy-to-use websites.
A well-designed navigation system makes a website easy to use. It shows visitors right away which page they’ve landed on and what it is about. It also tells them what else the site has to offer and which pages they’ve already visited.
Larisa Thomason’s Web Site Usability Checklist offers tips on what a good navigation system should offer.
Consistency: Keeping the navigation bar identical on every page ensures that visitors know how to get around your site without guessing. A single file containing all your navigation elements—called a Server Side Include (SSI)—that every page can access and load makes this easy to accomplish.
Self-explanatory links: Home, About and FAQ might be boring, but it’s crystal clear where they lead.
A site map: This can make the difference between lost visitors leaving in frustration and finding what they were looking for. Make it a simple list of text-based links and link to it from every page.
Lake County personal injury attorneys at Thompson & Evangelo, P.A. have assisted the SettlementBoard editorial team in identifying topics of importance to readers of this blog.
A home page link: Remember that people may want to go to your home page from an internal page. Make it easy for them.
A second home page link: From your site logo. Many people expect this and will click your logo before looking for a separate home page link.
A clear navigation system, with built-in redundancy for confused visitors, will improve your site’s usability and is likely to keep your visitors happier. To read all the checklists, start with the checklist for branding, the checklist of content, and then the checklist on feedback.