Get New Business with Mobile Marketing

Worldwide Tablet and PC ForecastMore people are online than ever before and they are looking up lawyers using their mobile phones and tablets. If you haven't optimized your website for mobile devices, you are missing a lot of new business.

Smartphones have been outselling PCs since the end of 20101 and tablets (like iPads) will start outselling PCs in 2015.2 Mobile Internet users have grown over 30 percent in one year to about 1.5 billion users worldwide.3

When you realize that 21 percent of consumers use smartphones to search for an attorney (according to "Attorney Selection Research Study," The Research Intelligence Group, March 2012) you can see it's time to capture this new business.

Mobile websites are very different from PC websites — your mobile content should be action-oriented, and focus on issues that arise when a person's primary access to the Internet is a smartphone, not a PC. A great example is being stopped for a DUI, where a consumer needs an answer instantly.  

Here are other scenarios where you'll want a mobile website:

  • A lawyer's name is given to a client as the best person to handle a matter. The client goes to your website on his iPhone to validate the lawyer's credentials. Your mobile website or profile on a legal directory should highlight your attorney profile, the firm's practice areas and your expertise (e.g., your blog).
  • A lawyer is at a conference and meets a prospective client. The lawyer mentions an alert the firm issued and is able to display it instantly. Your mobile website or profile on a legal directory should highlight your alerts, publications and news.
  • A client is going to a meeting at the firm and needs directions. The client can't recall the address. Your mobile website or profile on a legal directory should highlight your offices, maps and directions.

Think of how often you check your own cell phone when you are looking to buy something or hire someone — and you'll be convinced.

1 IDC, "Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker," February 2011.
2, graph IDC, "Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker," May 2013.
3 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, "Internet Trends 2013," May 2013.

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Most Consumers Go Online to Look for an Attorney

When you read this statistic, let it sink in:

3 out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process*

76 percent of consumers went online to find a lawyer

The way consumers look for a lawyer has changed in today's digital age. The advent of social media, smart phones and search engines has dramatically affected the way consumers find lawyers.

Nowadays:

  • People send a quick text instead to avoid a time-consuming phone call.
  • People write emails and send attachments instead of going over documents in person.
  • People attend conference calls and web meetings instead of meeting face to face because it saves time and money.

This new kind of communication is more efficient, but it diminishes the amount of direct contact people have with each other. People bank online to avoid tellers, look up phone numbers online to avoid operators and read news online to avoid buying a paper.

Think about it. Would you ask your neighbor whom to call if you were charged with a crime? Would you ask your relatives to help you shop for a divorce lawyer? I don't think so. You'd rather research these issues in private by opening your laptop. And with smart phones now outselling computers, a wide swath of consumers can conduct an online search.

Huge change in consumer behavior

This huge change in consumer behavior has taken place in the last ten years. LinkedIn launched in 2003, Facebook went online in 2004 and Twitter appeared in 2006. Consumers can now get input from family and friends through online directories and social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social media have grown exponentially so that they've entered every corner of American life. The best example is Facebook, which has grown to 900 million users who spend an average of 7 hours and 45 minutes per month on the site, according to The Nielsen Company. It is now possible to get advice about hiring a lawyer from dozens of contacts and connections by reviewing what they say on  social media.

What this means for 21st Century Lawyers

For lawyers, it is essential to have a website and blog that discuss the legal problems of consumers. An attorney's online presence should feature FAQs, white papers and checklists to be found by consumers conducing online research.

Lawyer websites and blogs must be optimized for search engines, particularly Google, so that they rank high in search engine results. A LexisNexis law firm marketing specialist can conduct a search engine optimization review, compare your site with competitors' and evaluate whether your site uses the latest best practices.

It is clear that a huge conversation is taking place online. The search for a lawyer has moved out of the family living room or neighbor's back yard, and moved onto the Internet. For lawyers who want to get leads and find clients, it means having a robust directory profile, activity on social media and client-friendly websites. Lawyers can join the conversation - or miss many opportunities to find consumer clients.

*Based on a survey of 4,000 adult internet users (internet users comprise 78% of the US adult population and **the US adult population comprises 235 million according to the US Census 2010) conducted by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), March 2012. **According to The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project's Spring Tracking Survey conducted April 26-May 22, 2011.

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10 Tools To Check Your Online Reputation


If you're not worried about your online reputation, you need to read more expert authors. We have ten cool tools you can use to check your online reputation and make sure there's nothing negative (and false) spreading online. Protecting your identity and reputation is very important, even if you're not a celebrity or trying to run a business. Our list is going to help you keep on top of everything so that your reputation isn't smeared online.

Tools for Checking Online Reputation

Here's a look at ten specific ways you can keep track of your online reputation.

  1. BrandYourself - This is a free tool that will help you keep track of where your name is coming up in the search engines - even if you have a name similar to someone who is famous.

  2. About Me - This is a very simple (but useful) service that allows you to easily set-up a webpage that's all about you. Once you have this page, you can direct people from Facebook or Twitter to it to learn more about you.

  3. Social Mention - If you want to know about mentions of you or your brand on social media networks, this is the tool to use as it concentrates on the major ones and others you may not have heard about before.

  4. Who’s Talkin? - For getting mentions and alerts when someone is talking about you or your company online, this is a very simple and free online tool that can help.

  5. NameChk - This tool makes sure no "squatters" are using your name on any of the social media networks. Just fill out the information and let this tool check all the social networks for you automatically.

  6. HootSuite - This is more of a full featured social media management tool, but it's also very useful for making sure you stay up to date on any mentions you get on the major social media networks.

  7. Google Alerts - Google also makes it easy to set up an alert for any search you want - like for your name or brand. You can customize how often you get email notifications as well as what sources Google will check.

  8. Yasni - If you type your name or brand into this online tool, you might be surprised at what you find. The site makes it very easy to keep track of what people are saying about you online.

  9. Better Business Bureau  - If you have an online business, you're going to want to make sure you have an official BBB page and that you're not getting negative comments from anyone.

  10. Hire Someone - This is not an online tool, but you can hire a VA (virtual assistant) to spend time each day scouring the web for your name or brand. They're going to use a lot of the tools mentioned above, but if you want to save time you can spend a little money to hire someone.

Using some or all of the tools and techniques listed above will ensure you have a handle on what other people are saying about you online - automatically.

 

Sara Xiang likes to read Ally Bank reviews online whenever possible. She has a job dealing with reputation management strategies and likes to do her banking online.

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200 Factors Google Uses to Rank Your Website

Tip of the hat to Cindy Greenway of Lawmarketing.com for finding this very useful infographic. Today's infographic, posted on TheUltrainx.com, shows incredible detail on 200 ranking factors that Google uses.  If you want to have your website work better for you in 2014, take note of these factors, and share them with your law firm staff who also contribute to updating your legal website.

200 factors in how Google ranks web sites

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Law Firm's New App Helps You Decide About Divorce

the grass is greener law firm appJust in time for the stressful holiday season, a Minnesota law firm has rolled out a new smart phone app helps that people decide if they should get a divorce.

The novel marketing tactic called "The Grass is Greener" is both practical and informative. The app is detailed quiz created by the Green Law Office of Golden Valley, MN, a boutique law firm with a practice focus in family law.

“We all have moments when we question our relationship, but there is a lot to consider before picking up the phone to call a divorce attorney,” said attorney Pamela Green. “The Grass is Greener app aims to keep couples together, by instigating a faster make-up time and providing resources that will benefit the relationship.”

Green spearheaded the development of the free app and collaborated with friends and colleagues in professions such as psychology, financial planning and career counseling for their input. 

Pamela green lawyer MinnesotaEach woman brought her personal, argument acumen along with her professional, counseling experience to create the relationship quiz offered on the app, which deals with the question, would the grass be greener without your spouse?

The app helps a person consider the real impact of divorce and take pause to remember the person they fell in love with in the first place. Available to iPhone and Android users, it uses a series of questions to help the frustrated individual find the true motivation behind the argument at hand and ultimately assess the strength of their marriage as well as the positive and negative impacts of divorce.

After taking the quiz, the individual is directed to resources that correlate back to the specific motivators for their own conflict with their spouse. For instance, if the argument is about money, financial management resources are provided. If the disagreement stemmed from the snow not being shoveled, you are directed to Dvorak Lawn Care. Or if the root is a lingering house project, the app provides a referral to Rick’s Handyman Services. Kids the issue? No problem, there are links to useful articles. If the dispute is about sex…well, then, appropriate tools are listed—such as the recommendation of a Marvin Gaye CD and some candles. 

“We needed to be honest about our personal experiences and recall the big arguments that we’ve had with our partners,” said Green. “The truth is, we’re not that much different--money, kids and sex seem to top the argument charts. And most arguments do not lead to divorce. Even though at times we feel just the opposite.”

To view the app, please visit the Apple App Store or in the Android Market.

 

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Free Webinar: Harness the Power of Video for Your Law Firm

Today I will be one of the presenters for a free webinar.  See details below:

Every month, 75 million people watch online videos. When consumers want an engaging visual experience, they turn to video. Video is expressive and allows for a real connection. It’s a vehicle for showcasing your law firm’s personality and credibility to potential clients, and a complement to your overall marketing strategy.

In this complimentary one-hour webinar presented by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® you’ll learn best practices for creating and sharing your own law firm video. How can your firm benefit from a video? Videos can:

• Demonstrate your credibility and personality
• Help attract new clients and grow your business
• Deliver return-on-investment within a flexible budget 

Lawyers who attend this webinar will learn:
• The Value of Video for Your Law Firm
• Why Video Speaks Volumes In Attracting Clients
• How to Create a Law Firm Video
• Which Videos Make the Most Impact with Consumers
• Video Social Sharing (YouTube®, Vimeo®, etc.)

Presenters:
Yours truly and
Jay Butchko, J.D., Director of Commercialization for Web Visibility Solutions, LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®

REGISTER HERE

What if Willy Wonka Had a Mobile Website?

Dee Latham, Senior Copywriter at LexisNexis, hit it spot on with this blog post about the importance of mobile websites.


Veruca Salt. Do you remember that name? She was a character from the classically delicious movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She uttered the famous line, "I want it and I want it NOW!"Never mind that she was a spoiled child and met with a highly unlikely and untimely death of drowning-by-chocolate.

But she had the right idea. If Willy Wonka had a mobile website, imagine the mayhem. Instant gratification rules, especially in the age of smartphones — if any Web search takes longer than three seconds, that is two seconds way too long. What is the human instinct in this case? We move on to the next, best thing.

Take your firm's website. If prospects are searching for a lawyer on their smartphones, will they be able to find you? If they do find your site, it needs to draw them in, not push them away. Small, hard-to-use navigation, broken or missing graphics, or no clear way to contact you are some of the negatives of an incorrectly rendered mobile version of your website. Forty percent of consumers will visit a competitor's site after a bad mobile experience.1

Take a look at your website right now on your smartphone. How does it look? It may need to be optimized in order to help you convert mobile site visitors into leads. By maximizing your online visibility in this way, you expand your firm's mobile footprint with improved search engine rankings. A Martindale-Hubbell® Mobile Website is also a way to sync your traditional and mobile site content, so you can focus on your practice instead of making changes to both properties. You may be missing an entire audience if your website looks incomprehensible and cluttered on a mobile phone.

Have you seen any law firm mobile websites that make the cut?

If you would like to learn more about how a mobile website can attract more potential clients who are looking for legal help, give us a call at 866-799-3717, or contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.

And in the long run, a mobile website is a lot healthier than a piece of chocolate.

Read this post at its source here.

1Gomez, 2009 

Another LegalTech Video Clip

The LexisNexis Law Marketing Blog quoted me and included a clip from the recent LegalTech New York 2013 panel.  Below is a snippet, but you may view the original blog post here.

 

At our LegalTech New York 2013 panel — "Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession" — Steve Mann (chief marketing officer of the Research & Litigation Solutions business at LexisNexis) noted that career development remains the leading purpose for legal professionals to use online communities (cited by 71 percent in 2011 and 72 percent in 2012). However, the ABA study found that the number of professionals who used online communities for purposes of client development actually dropped last year (from 53 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2012).

The panelists addressed this trend and offered thoughts as to how law firms can use online communities to support business development.

"I can see why career development and professional networking are increasing in popularity because social media lubricates professional networking," said Larry Bodine, Esq., editor in chief of Lawyers.comSM and martindale.com®. "One of the ways attorneys can convert this networking benefit into a client development strategy is to use social media to get to know people online and then turn that into an in-person meeting."

 

 

Another LegalTech Video Clip

The LexisNexis Law Marketing Blog quoted me and included a clip from the recent LegalTech New York 2013 panel.  Below is a snippet, but you may view the original blog post here.

At our LegalTech New York 2013 panel — "Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession" — Steve Mann (chief marketing officer of the Research & Litigation Solutions business at LexisNexis) noted that career development remains the leading purpose for legal professionals to use online communities (cited by 71 percent in 2011 and 72 percent in 2012). However, the ABA study found that the number of professionals who used online communities for purposes of client development actually dropped last year (from 53 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2012).

The panelists addressed this trend and offered thoughts as to how law firms can use online communities to support business development.

"I can see why career development and professional networking are increasing in popularity because social media lubricates professional networking," said Larry Bodine, Esq., editor in chief of Lawyers.comSM and martindale.com®. "One of the ways attorneys can convert this networking benefit into a client development strategy is to use social media to get to know people online and then turn that into an in-person meeting."

 

 

Are You Mobile Friendly or a Mobile Frenemy?

In 2012, smartphones and tablets out-shipped PCs by 2-to-1. People are using mobile devices more frequently to research professional services. Companies without a mobile experience drive 61% of their mobile traffic to their competitors.
 
However, people use different devices for different reasons. Simply porting an experience originally designed for a PC to a smartphone can make it more mobile-frenemy than mobile-friendly. According to Google, 57% of visitors won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile experience. A device specific approach to content and functionality is critical to consider.
 
Webinar: 13 Stats and 5 Tips You Can Use Immediately to Justify, Plan and Deliver a “Mobile First” Experience
 
Wed, Feb 20, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST
 
To help understand the positive economic impact of an effective mobile strategy, Vizibility has compiled 13 definitive metrics that are shaping mobile strategies of the world's most successful companies. The stats are available as an infographic.
 
I am joining Vizibility CEO, James Alexander to host a webinar to discuss these findings and offer 5 immediately actionable tips you can use now as part of justifying, developing and executing your mobile strategy.
 
Register Here.

 

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