Are you feeding your website what it needs ???

Your digital hub deserves devotion—right now, agree?

One of our attorneys logged 131,000 unique sessions last year. A session is defined as activity that a user with a unique IP address spends on a website during a specified period of time—and in web-speak that’s a lot of traffic.

But our client didn’t get stats like these by turning the other cheek; this law firm gave its website the attention and nurturing required in a constantly changing environment.

Perhaps this makes you wonder how effective your website is.

Technology has advanced in warp-speed. No longer is a slick, eye-catching website design and compelling content enough go live with pride. No one makes a move without consulting Google, and to make things more challenging, the search engine giant keeps changing how it ranks websites altogether.

Keywords used to be key. Now original content rules. We must weigh the importance of page titles, meta tags, URL structure, anchor text, image optimization, heading tags, crawlers and so much more. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-moving target, but you have to have the know-how to take an accurate shot.

Today, law firms are tasked with monitoring all types of traffic stats and staying on top of industry changes. The overwhelming prospect often leads to lawyers to turning it all over to a digital marketing agency. Working with professionals whose jobs are dedicated to keeping up with digital shifts, while positioning websites in the smartest ways possible to drive people to them, can pay off in stress relief alone.

What do I give my attention to?

If your website is a year old, it’s already time to start thinking about a refresh, which should include design and content updates, but also strategic methods for leveraging the brand equity you’ve already built through your website. It’s time to let your web presence move front-and-center and treat it with the respect it deserves. After all, if it converts one big case, it has more than paid for itself.

Start by considering your own web habits. Think about how you use the Internet to look someone up, check a restaurant’s reputation or dig deeper on a topic. If what you heard about is not what checks out through a Google search, you quickly move on to the next person, the next dinner joint or the next topic.

Your legal website is no different. If your web presence isn’t better than the vehicle that drives people there, it may drive them away. If your firm’s website doesn’t pay off your TV commercial or even word of mouth, people will instantly move on to the next attorney.

The competition is fierce. If you don’t stay abreast of what’s happening in the digital marketplace, you might miss out on a new client, a lucrative case or a better chance to represent the brand you’ve worked so hard to establish. Look at things such as:

  1. The first impression your website really makes
  2. How you are driving people to your website
  3. What visitors do when they get there—and how much you’re actually giving them to do
  4. Analytics shows where your site is “off”—so you can fix those broken areas
  5. How (and how well) you’re converting the people who initiative unique sessions to begin with

So as you ponder your next web steps, start by treating your website more like your baby. Give it love, attention and respect. You’ve got to nurse it along to perfection.

Turn Your Legal Website Into a Profit Machine

You spend thousands of TV advertising dollars every month to drive people to your website. But what happens when they get there? Do you even know? Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do they leave too soon, leaving your law firm with a missed opportunity?
  • Does your website’s look and feel match that of your TV ad campaign, creating cohesion and establishing instant brand integrity?
  • Is there compelling content to keep visitors engaged and interested in learning more about your attorneys and legal work?
  • Can users easily navigate your site and find written and video content that completes the story you started to tell on TV?

If you don’t know, there’s no better time to start making sure your TV and online efforts match up. Don’t neglect the TV’s small-screen sister if you want to see real ROI in 2015.

How to get your legal website up to speed:

It’s not uncommon for law firms, and most advertisers, to spend big for a big splash on TV but skimp on an online presence that ultimately pays off that first impression. A smarter strategy is to start making the messages on both platforms work hand in hand. For many legal firms that may require building a better website or enhancing the existing online “user experience.”

If you like your current website design and it pays off the brand image you’ve presented through your TV advertising, then focus first on content. (If not, get your TV and Web visuals in sync ASAP.) These days content comes in many forms, but the most competitive companies are producing it regularly, creating timely, informative assets on their websites weekly, if not daily.

Here are three quick ways to get your website up to speed with your TV efforts and ensure that once you’ve sent people to your website they stay there—at least long enough to prompt a call or an email, and ideally convert to a case.

Leverage video content: You’ve already got great TV creative (or perhaps are about to produce a new spot), why not leverage that asset on your website, especially given that two years from now video is expected to account for nearly 70% of all consumer Internet traffic, according to Cisco. Talk to your agency about repurposing a portion of your TV commercial with interactive or shareable elements appropriate for Web viewing, and start to build a bank of short videos that introduce your firm, position your attorneys as knowledgeable leaders and ultimately help you rise above competitors in your space.

Create a content strategy: One big push to update website content to match your impact on TV isn’t sustainable. A creative burst will likely die out, along with your online leads, if you don’t have a long-term strategy for Web content. That starts with assessing the existing tone of your website copy and overhauling it if it’s outdated or doesn’t complement how you’ve positioned your firm on TV. What follows is even more critical:

  1. Create a content calendar for distributing content regularly on a blog, news section or video storehouse, for example.
  2. Depending on the size of your law firm, consider hiring or designating a content manager, or outsourcing production to your ad agency or a content marketing expert.
  3. Each month monitor how your new content is performing via Google Analytics and other data measures your agency can recommend.

Track & compare marketing efforts: Keeping abreast of statistics such as what pages people are visiting on your website, where they stay, what they read the longest and what content they share most will build the intelligence you need to tweak and hone content in the future. The second part of gauging performance, and therefore better understanding how your audiences digest content, is comparing the success of your TV campaigns alongside your Internet marketing efforts. By measuring TV and online video against each other, you will start to see how the two work in concert and will be able adjust your cross-media mix in a way that makes sense for your advertising budget.

So as you start to evaluate your television advertising this year and strive for constant improvement, think big picture—yet outside the big screen. If your website doesn’t measure up to and pay off your TV campaign, it’s time to spend some quality time online.

Do Your Legal Commercials and Website Work Together?

There’s nothing more inspiring than a fresh start. Each new year is an opportunity to position your law firm for success. January is a time for reflecting, revamping what’s not working, and taking business to a new level in 2015.

Two key advertising channels to review right now are your law firm’s TV commercials and website. When properly integrated, this powerful duo will help your marketing hit the mark. Let’s consider three ways clients interact with these mediums and why that matters.

Watch the ad.

Very often a consumer’s first interaction with your legal brand is through a well-timed TV commercial. This initial impression is critical and should not only create an emotional effect, but also a direct response. Your firm’s ad should encourage people to reach out through an appropriate call to action. As you review your current creative or start to work on a strategic advertising campaign for 2015, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your branding and creative stand out? (Are you distinguishing your firm within your specific legal niche or regional marketplace?)
  • Does your commercial make it clear that your law firm has an online presence (i.e. website and social media)?
  • Would you call your law firm based solely upon that ad? (Be honest)

Google your name.

If consumers don’t initiate a phone call after seeing your ad on television, their next step is typically performing a Google search to check on the legitimacy of your firm. Based what’s returned, a consumer might learn more about your lawyers on your website or check other reviews of your firm via a social media platform. The results of a Google search can be very telling about how well your marketing is working, while providing key insights about how a typical client might interact with your brand. When was the last time you Google’d yourself?

  • Do you show up on the first page of Google results? Where?
  • How many times does your name/brand appear and in what “forms”?
  • Is it immediately clear that you are the same law firm that was on TV?

Take an action.

After a preliminary interaction with your law firm through TV or online, a potential client should have enough information to take further action or make an informed decision about what move to make next. As you watch your ad, Google your firm, and land on your website, try to view these neutrally as a consumer might. Think about what impression your firm is making and what your next intuitive action might be.

  • What is the first impression you’re really making?
  • What actions are potential clients taking upon an initial search or after landing on your website?
  • Are visitors converting on your site? Do you even know?

Applying your intelligence.

Once you’ve looked at how potential clients first interact with your firm—what they see, how they find you, and what actions they take—it’s the perfect opportunity to take that new intelligence and market better in 2015.

You are spending thousands to develop TV ads and drive consumers to your legal website. Make sure awareness doesn’t end there. Look at monthly analytics from last year’s campaigns: Where were leads coming from? Where did people spend time on your website? What actions were they taking on the site? What percentage of visitors did you convert to cases?

Not entirely sure? Give us a call. We would be happy to sit down with you to review what you’re currently doing and what you’re currently not doing (but should be).

The Second Screen and Integrated Legal Marketing Campaigns

Do you know what “second screen viewing” is? You can’t afford not to know, especially if your law firm is using television as an advertising platform.

Television is Still the “First Screen”

The “first screen” is the television – which, for now, is still the most powerful medium for getting a marketing message in front of a large number of people quickly and efficiently.

Effectively, every home in the United States has a television in it – and well over 80% of those households have more than one.

This traditionally has been great news for television advertisers. However, things are rapidly changing because of the adoption of second screens and the consumer behavior associated with them.

Mobile is the “Second Screen”

The “second screen” is a smartphone or a tablet. As of July 2014, approximately 173 million people in the United States own a smartphone – representing 72% of the market. Additionally, nearly half of American adults own a tablet.

Considering the pace at which companies are producing mobile devices, it is safe to assume that all of these numbers will continue to increase over the coming years.

So what, if anything, does mobile adoption have to do with your law firm’s television advertising efforts?

The answer is: Everything.

“Second Screen Viewing” is the New Normal

“Second screen viewing” describes the act of using a smartphone or tablet while watching television. Generally speaking, the second screen is being used to do something while the first screen is on in the background. Common activities associated with second screen viewing include: sending e-mail, online shopping, using social networks, or surfing the Internet.

In July of 2014, 56% of American adults reported engaging in another digital activity on their “second screen” while watching television.

That’s right, over half of American adults are doing something else while watching television. If your advertising and marketing strategy doesn’t take this in to account, you are already falling behind.

Advertising and Marketing in the Second Screen Era

Given the fragmented nature of today’s media landscape, and the phenomenon of “second screen viewing” described above, your legal marketing and advertising efforts must be up to the task of winning attention. It’s no longer enough to simply be present. Here are four ideas to keep in mind if you want to start winning attention right now:

1. Your television creative and messaging must stand out

The competition for attention is fierce in today’s always-on and always-connected world. You are no longer simply competing with other advertisers on television; you are competing with the entire Internet. Your legal advertising must stand out if you expect a to receive a real return on your media investment.

2. Your marketing campaigns must be integrated

Your creative and messaging should be consistent across all platforms to help establish your law firm’s brand and major points of differentiation. In addition, your television creative should tell consumers where they can find out more information about your law firm online.

3. Your target audience expects an enjoyable website experience

The primary reason your website must be responsive is not to please the search engines, it is to deliver a great experience to your prospective clients.

If 56 percent of American adults are surfing the Internet on a smartphone while watching television, there is a chance they will look your law firm up online while they are watching your commercial. If your website is hard to use on a smartphone, what message are you sending to that potential customer?

4. Speak to Your Target Audience on Multiple Platforms

What other platforms are you using to spread your firm’s message? Research shows it takes a consumer between three and seven impressions of a brand before they are willing to make a purchasing decision. If you are not leveraging other platforms (such as social media, e-mail marketing, or paid search) then you are missing opportunities to get in front of your target audience.

You Need an Integrated Approach

Hopefully it’s clear by now that you need to be looking at the legal marketing and advertising landscape from an integrated perspective. Your TV advertisements must reinforce your digital efforts. Your digital efforts must complement the in-person experience at your firm.

The mobile device is not going away any time soon. In fact, mobile devices will continue grow in market share and penetrate into more and more households as time goes on. It’s time to take mobile and the second screen seriously, and the best time to start an integrated approach was yesterday. The second best time is right now.

7 Reasons You Must Invest In Your Law Firm’s Website

Does the website matter anymore? Do people still use, or even care about, websites? With the proliferation of social platforms and mobile obsessions, these are legitimate questions.

The short answer is an emphatic “Yes” to both.

And in the legal world, the website is still one of the most important segments of your owned media dominion. The reason?


Your website is under complete control of your law firm – everything from the look and feel to the messaging and the content.

The most effective sites today are living and breathing communication hubs that exist as a central brand platform and conversion point. And, not coincidentally, they cost more to create. However, you’ll see the value of that investment comes back 7-fold—and more.

Think of your website as your law firm’s:

  • Digital Storefront
  • Brand Building Block
  • 24/7/365 Employee
  • First Impression Maker
  • Lead Generating Machine
  • Information Hub
  • Thought Leadership Platform

It’s Your Digital Storefront

Let’s start with the basics. When someone is searching for a law firm in relation to a location or specific type of legal case, you want your law firm’s website to come up, right? Online leads are still prized by your business, correct?

Without a modern, highly optimized website filled with original content and all the organic search triggers Google loves, you are undiscoverable to the majority of potential clients who begin a legal search online.

In the digital “mall” of lawyers, your storefront didn’t get a corner spot. If your website is not updated, positioned and tracked for performance, it’s like you don’t exist. And that’s no way to win cases.

It’s Your Brand Building Block

Creating consistency in your legal brand—your signature selling points—is critical to your reputation. Whether potential clients understand it or not, they are looking for a dependable set of messages that prove your firm reliable, trustworthy and the best firm for their specific case.

Your website is that one quality-controlled digital presence, integrated with other owned-media channels, that users can count on. Unlike a social platform, where in effect you “rent” the message space, on your website you control the entire experience. You can give visitors everything they need to know to make an informed decision about your practice.

It’s Your First Impression Maker

The Web is the first place people go for information. Because it’s easy, and because you can poke around for facts and figures without ever having to talk to someone. So when someone searches Google for a law firm in your state, and your website pops up, that might be your first (and only) chance to impress them.

If your site looks shoddy, doesn’t have enough information, can’t be viewed across different browsers and devices, and doesn’t allow people to connect when they’re ready to reach out, you might have lost a chance at a highly lucrative case… and not even know it.

It’s Your 24/7/365 Employee

In the old days, the look and feel of a law office was mission critical. People strolling past might come in for a chat. Most initial meetings took place in person. Today, the reception desk has moved online. When people come to your web “office,” you need to have an official “receptionist” ready to meet and greet in the most professional and courteous way possible in the digital space.

In fact, you might consider your website your hardest working employee. It’s on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Why wouldn’t you invest in a tool that welcomes new clients and sets expectations—and appointments—helping you convert window shoppers to paying customers?

It’s Your Lead Generating Machine

When connected in all the crucial ways to your online audiences, websites are lead-generating machines. Ads and email campaigns send people directly to your site; your database can be linked to your site and mined for targeted marketing strategies, and your live chat or digital points of contact create another lifeline for clients.

Your website is the nucleus of your Internet intake strategy, and it must generate leads – in the form of phone calls, contact forms, live chats, or even social follows.

It’s Your Information Hub

Once people get to your law firm’s website, either through a search or through a digital ad campaign, they need enough well organized and clearly presented information to make an educated decision about whether or not your firm can help their specific situation.

Your website is a concentrated storehouse of real-time information—firm facts, brand boasts, actionable intelligence, video assets, news, linked reviews, and more. It’s where people will go, and perhaps return, to learn more or to contact you.

It’s Your Thought Leadership Platform

For the set of potential clients, partners or other interested parties who want to dig deeper or validate your legal expertise, your website is a platform for demonstrating thought leadership and positioning your firm as a knowledgeable go-to resource.

There are endless opportunities to show your legal capabilities through regular blog contributions from your legal experts, informative videos set in your office environment, through white papers on specific legal topics, and as an online guide to more information.

By leveraging your website—and your brand—as an intelligence tool, you build a reputation as a trusted source and industry thought leader. And if you don’t invest in your website, you’ll lose out on an untold number of potentially high-value cases.

Online Lead Generation For Your Law Firm

When you walk into a store, are you more encouraged to buy if someone greets you with a smile and a simple “let me know how I can help you”? You might not have even thought about it, but the answer is most likely yes. The truth is customer service and customer experience matters in every business interaction.

The same applies to law firms. If you operate your organization like a business—which you should—then the first contact you have with a potential client is critical. These days that initial communication doesn’t typically take place in an office. Instead, it starts on the Internet.

Since people start by shopping around the “mall” of lawyers on the Web, your website needs to make an impact and engage customers. It’s your storefront. Your greeter is your live chat feature. If you don’t have a chat feature, now’s the time to incorporate one into your website. We know that this communication tool can increase intake conversions up to 30%.

One smart way to approach live chat is to revisit the store model. Don’t think of online communication as an impersonal robot that’s automated to answer generic questions. Treat your online greeter as a human. Give her a name. Task her with asking pointed questions that will not only help pre-qualify a case, but make the person on the other end feel valued and confident in his or her decision to reach out in the first place.

However, a smiling greeter with a friendly message and ability to answers questions is not enough to acquire cases. The key to converting is what your firm does with each individual Internet lead. Remember, every online lead is a potential relationship . Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  •     If your greeter is offline overnight, how fast do you get in touch the next morning?
  •     How do you capture enough information without going too far and scaring people off?
  •     How do you follow up once a lead qualifies—and where do you send customers who are not a fit for the firm?

These are just some of the questions worth answering when building a quality Internet intake strategy. Remember, even a 2% increase in conversions can have a huge impact on your bottom line!

What Are Your Web Stats?

It seems that there are still many misconceptions on how a website should perform for a law firm. Many law firms expect their website to replace their ads on TV in terms of lead generation.

There are numerous problems with this. The future of the web is on social media. Eventually, these may end up replacing your current websites.

The other problem with this expectation is that many law firms are expecting the web to generate the sort of business their TV campaigns did in the 1980s. Here’s a news flash: the old days of just placing ads on TV and waiting for the cases to role in are dead.

Look at the analytics

What are analytics? Analytics are the statistics of your law firm’s website. The most popular tool used is Google Analytics. Google Analytics uses a little piece of code placed on every page of your website to track each visitor that comes to your site.

Google then culls this information together in real time and provides various charts and graphs that show how users use your site and how your site is performing. It provides information such as how many visitors came to your site, the most popular pages,  and how visitors found your website.

This is really skimming the surface of Google Analytics’s capabilities. Learn more by going to the official Google Analytics page. If your website does not have Google Analytics installed, have your IT person install if for you and begin tracking.

So, what does success look like online?

The goals of your firm will determine what success ultimately looks like. The bigger issue with most law firms is that they don’t even understand how well their website performs. Most law firms are completely in the dark in terms of how many visitors come to their website on a monthly basis and how many leads their website has actually generated.

Without knowing this information, how can your law firm make an informed decision on how to improve their presence online? Furthermore, without a baseline, how can your law firm set reasonable goals for their website?

Knowledge is power

It’s a hackneyed expression, but very true. It’s impossible to make intelligent decisions online without having the numbers to back up your decisions. Knowing how your website performs and establishing realistic goals and expectations is the first step to growth. Acting on this new found information and truly embarking on an intelligent SEO, social media or PPC campaign is the way to experience success online.