The importance of diversifying your marketing strategies cannot be overstated. Think of your marketing campaign like a stock portfolio. Investing in a diverse set of companies is much more likely to keep you financially stable than putting it all in a single company. If that company has a bad year or changes its policies, you may be at risk.
Similarly, a diverse marketing campaign protects you from the dangers of websites you can’t control.
For an Orlando criminal lawyer trying to get and stay noticed online, a wide variety of advertising options should be pursued. A good way to think about a comprehensive marketing strategy is to tap into several different markets. Cover these bases and you will be golden:
A diversified online marketing portfolio is a vitally important asset for your firm’s success. It may take a lot of work to set up, but once you get into a good routine, it will bring in enough business to make it worth every post. Just make sure you do not stretch yourself too thin.
How can legal professionals tell if their websites are too old? Obvious signs include pager numbers in the contact section, animated Flash intros set to New Age music, FrontPage extensions, Comic Sans MS fonts, animated navigation icons that resemble flames, etc. Other signs that are less obvious but equally indicative include lack of social media buttons or widgets, the absence of a blog, page templates that emulate print brochures, content that dates back to the Rehnquist Court but ignores the Roberts Court, and more.
Old websites can have a very negative effect when converting website visitors into interested prospects and potential clients. An effective and expensive paid search results campaign can virtually evaporate if visitors stumble into a law firm’s site that looks like it was designed using old MySpace templates. Attorneys should always assume that their visitors are Web-savvy and sensitive to page layout and content.
The problem with design layouts that have obviously failed to keep up with Web design trends is that they can make visitors feel uneasy. If they arrived from a search engine result, they may think a law firm has gone out of business but the site has not been taken down. A fresh and modern layout will have the opposite effect and will instill confidence in the visitor and boost credibility for the firm.
Old content can be even more problematic. For example, a Venice Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney would not want to have blog posts up featuring opinions written before the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 — they want fresher content with accurate information. Site visitors and prospects are very likely to seek available, up-to-date information when they visit the website of a legal professional.
Another pitfall of old websites is that they are less likely to be mobile-friendly. This is a modern cause of poor conversion metrics and higher bounce rates, particularly when considering the sheer growth of mobile Internet searches.
Tracking the reading habits of social media followers is something that legal professionals interested in cultivating their online presence should practice. This is a process of discovery that can help formulate a content publishing strategy or an editorial calendar, with the ultimate goal of encouraging audiences to keep coming back for more content.
There are various tools to measure engagement, but Google Analytics should be the first choice. Some of the basic insights that Google Analytics provides include:
The reading habits of visitors can also be tracked with advanced functions like:
Once advanced metrics are established, it is up to legal professionals to decide on a content plan of attack. If a commercial law firm in White Plains notices that readers keep coming back for blog posts related to the General Corporation Tax imposed on companies that do business in New York City, it would be a good idea to measure how far they scroll down the page.
By placing readers and skimmers in their proper categories, the business law firm above can plan future blog posts accordingly. If visitors click on a blog post but abandon it after they scroll halfway down the page, this may be a signal that future posts need to be shorter.
Lawyers dipping their feet into the world of online marketing may initially be driven by a sense of competition with other legal professionals in their geographic area or field of practice. This is perfectly understandable; lawyers tend to have type-A personalities and are driven to succeed and be the best at everything they do — which is part of what makes them successful lawyers. However, law firms seeking to develop websites should keep in mind that other lawyers are not their only, or perhaps even their most important, competitors. You have to develop your website with the entire Internet in mind.
Rather than competing with the Pittsburgh attorney across the way, consider the entire Internet as your competition. It matters less how much better you are than other lawyers and more how good your website is compared to other websites. You should be driven to improve your website not just because you want to stand out from the legal crowd but because you want your site to be up-to-date on current trends and best practices. An out-of-date website design can immediately cause someone to abandon their search for information about your firm.
When users search your website, they are not just comparing you to other lawyers. They are comparing you to the user experience they have had on websites across the Internet. If you don’t provide an experience that pops, stands out or draws viewers in, they will suffer from indifference and quickly close the window or move on to the next website.
The best sites on the Internet follow a set of key technical and creative practices. SEO, design, copy and more are all aspects of creating a quality website. You want to create crisp, clean experiences that stand out from the clutter of videos, sites and images that make up the average Internet user’s experience.
Be sure to study up on how to build a better online experience for your potential client base. Don’t worry about what the lawyer down the street is doing. If you can follow best practices to create a great website compared with the best sites on the Internet, your business will improve no matter what the other lawyers do.
While some businesses can benefit more from focusing on short term sales and marketing, law firms are usually better off when looking at the big picture. As such, it’s beneficial to make the shift from a channel strategy to a content strategy. Here are some reasons why this move is important and how you can use it to help build a long-term client base.
First of all, a content strategy is geared toward creating information architecture that your audience will find helpful and provides them with genuine value. Unlike a channel strategy that concentrates more on making an immediate sale or conversion, a content strategy looks further into the future where a conversion is likely to be made at a later time. Although it tends to take longer to see tangible results from a content strategy, the long-term benefits often outweigh those of a channel strategy. When done correctly, this can lead to the creation of brand ambassadors for your firm and maximize your overall impact.
One of the best ways to get started is to figure out what your audience already knows and what they would like to know. This will ultimately dictate the type of content you create and is important for seeing success. Once you have an understanding of the needs and wants of your audience, you can spend time creating relevant content. A Tucson embezzlement lawyer might want to write a series of blog posts concerning white collar crime and the legal process a defendant in Arizona typically goes through.
After you have built your foundation of content, it’s important to get feedback so that you can maintain your existing audience while gradually increasing it. This could include viewing blog comments, interacting on social media sites, responding to emails and performing other any tasks that engage your audience. From there, you will need to update your content and keep it fresh. While this may not result in massive leads right away, it should generate a considerable amount of quality leads over time.
Improving click-through rates and driving more business to one’s website or blog is a primary focus for lawyers beginning to establish a web presence, and they can benefit from using preview images or other engagement objects to improve their website’s search rating and create more leads. Embedding such objects is a quick, easy way to improve a site’s value and reach even more clients.
A landing page with a preview image is over three times more likely to be clicked on than the same page without a preview image. This was confirmed in a statistical study that showed that preview images improved a landing page’s conversion rate by as much as 359 percent.
There is a lot of text on the Internet; consequently, a relevant and attractive image will stand out and draw a viewer in. Preview images and other media such as videos are often called “engagement objects,” meaning that they can be used to engage the viewer’s attention while searching. When a viewer is comparing the website or blog of employment lawyers in Pittsburgh to their competitors’ websites, for instance, this small detail could make all the difference in his or her ultimate choice.
Using preview images in your legal firm’s website or blog is as easy as simply changing up your landing page’s design: Rather than having it only include text, consider embedding videos and images to make it a multimedia experience for potential clients. As the web becomes increasingly social, you can receive a big boost in interest if a client links to your informative videos or images.
Content farms, whether intentional or not, were heavily targeted by Panda and its subsequent updates. Some websites were unfairly stripped of their SERP rank in this regard. Family law attorneys who followed their SEO consultants’ advice to create lots of relevant content loaded with keywords were determined to be trying to game the system and were summarily pushed down the SERP. It did not matter that the site content was of high quality and relevant to the intricacies of dissolution of marriage in North Carolina or spoke to the benefits of hiring a qualified divorce attorney; if Panda said it was duplicate content or stuffed with too many keyword phrases, down the SERP it went.
Enter the subdomains
A current SEO strategy to remedy the content farm judgment by Panda is to relocate content to subdomains. This is ideal for law firms that have different areas of practice. A family law firm can separate its content into different subdomains for divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, protective orders and more. One advantage with this strategy is that new subdomains are seen by search engine crawlers as fresh pages, and thus SEO consultants can apply all the current best practices regarding content, layout, author tags and more to these pages.
If the content on the domain has gone stale, the subdomains can be used to feature articles that mention current events, such as the North Carolina judge who was reprimanded for gossiping on Facebook about a divorce case with one of the attorneys. If the content on the subdomain becomes viral, Google will eventually reward the entire domain with appropriate SERP rank.
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.