5 Must Haves For Your Website Conversion Tool Kit (Webinar)

Attention Attorneys: You have only 6 seconds to make a connection with a website visitor.

Six short seconds from the time a visitor lands on your website to let them know what you're focusing on, how you can help them, and ultimately to prompt an inquiry from them.

Even if you drive thousands of visitors to your website every day, that traffic is of very little value to your law firm if you're not converting those visitors into inquiries.

Ready to make changes to your website that will prove results?  Join Cindy Greenway, Editor in Chief of LawMarketing.com and Tanner Jones, Marketing Director of ConsultWebs.com on Thursday, September 12th at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific, for a complimentary webinar.

5 Must Haves For Your Website Conversion.

Here's what you learn when you join us for this webinar:

  1. Five top items you MUST have on your website to convert visitors to prospects
  2. How to design for human eyes:  ensuring you are approachable
  3. Proven ways to maximize your website conversion
  4. Which data is worth tracking and how it impacts your bottom line
  5. The top conversion tools that are critical for today's Web browsers

This webinar is complimentary. Click here to register.

Webinar: The Secret Ingredients of 5-Star Law Firm Websites

Join us for an encore presentation of our FREE Webinar:

The Secret Ingredients of 5-Star Law Firm Websites

 

Results of the 2013 Law Firm Website Conversion Studyby LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®

 

 


Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Time: 12:30 – 1:30 P.M., ET

It takes the right blend of ingredients to create a 5-star law firm website that inspires confidence and drives leads. Which elements pique a consumer’s interest enough to prompt a call to your firm?

This complimentary Webinar, back by popular demand and presented by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Web design experts, will explore the results of an exclusive study on how to turn visitors to your website into leads.

We will answer the following questions:

 

·         Which law firm website elements do consumers notice?

·         What do consumers react to in a positive, negative or neutral way?

·         What prompts website visitors to contact the law firm for more information or an appointment?

·         Based upon your practice area(s), which website elements should be included?

·         How can your law firm website stand out among many law firms vying for prospects’ attention?

We will also include examples of best practices for your website and which pitfalls to avoid.

Register HERE for an encore presentation of our FREE webinar and receive a copy of the study whitepaper after the presentation.

Presenters:

Samantha Miller, Vice President, LexisNexis® Product Web Visibility Solutions has held leadership positions at litigation technology companies and has previously practiced law in Philadelphia as a commercial litigator. Ms. Miller is a published author and speaker on the use of technology in the practice of law.
 

Felice Daddario, Creative Director for LexisNexis® Web Visibility Solutions is responsible for the creative design strategies behind the company’s world-class websites for law firms. His design team has won numerous industry awards, including the 2012 Web Marketing Association WebAward for “Legal Standard of Excellence.”

 

Differentiate Your Practice By Dominating Your Niche

My friends at The Rainmaker Blog posted an article about the impact dominating your niche has on differentiating your practice from your competition.  You may read it at the source here.


The law of marketing is once you become known as Wal-Mart, you can never become a Tiffany's. By not discovering - and emphasizing true competitive differences, you are relegating yourself to be just another lawyer who is casting their fishing line into the vast ocean of legal marketing. 


Here are several great ways an attorney can start to set himself or herself apart from competitors:

Emphasize Your Service: I'm not referring to the services you offer, but how you serve your clients. At the Rainmaker Retreat, our two day legal marketing seminar, we use the phrase "micromanaging the client experience" to describe how law firms can create a unique and powerful experience for clients by treating them like VIPs (without spending a lot of money).

Market Like a Specialist: It's always easier to build a financially successful law firm that focuses on a specialty area. The more practice areas your firm promotes, the fewer referrals you will receive. There are several major benefits to specializing, including:

  • You can command higher prices.
  • More people can send you referrals because they don't view you as a competitor.
  • And you can develop a deeper knowledge about your clientele and their legal issues.

By choosing to specialize, you increase opportunities to form alliances with other professionals.

Create a "Double Niche": Focusing on a particular industry is a great way to niche your firm. Jeff Matsen is a well-respected estate planning attorney and a long-time client of ours, but over the last two decades he has become a nationally recognized asset protection attorney (first niche). 

Even further, he has created a niche targeting asset protection for doctors and dentists (second niche) because he knows it's easier to position himself as a true expert when he applies his first niche (a specific niche within a practice area) to a specific industry (like doctors and dentists) thus creating a "double niche."

Clearly Define Your Perfect Client: Once you have narrowed down your niche, you need to determine who your perfect client is. This puts you in a much better place to educate potential referral sources. 

Here's a good example of a target market: small to mid-sized companies that are privately held with 2 to 100 employees, in the construction, high-tech, or professional services industries. They may need help establishing their company, are having challenges growing their company, looking at adding a partner, or want to acquire another company.

Be Smart About Your Office Location: You've heard the importance in real estate of "location, location, location." The city you practice law in will determine a lot of things; it can also be a factor in your success. 

Targeting immigration law in San Francisco provides you with more opportunities than practicing immigration law in Fargo, North Dakota.

There are many ways you can dominate your chosen niche. Below are the top 10 ways I've seen work in the legal industry.

1. Focus your website on your primary area(s) of expertise. Whether it's a doctor or a lawyer, we all want to be treated by a specialist. Find a targeted, focused legal niche where you can specialize and ensure your website focuses on just that niche. Do not create an online presence that makes you look like a general practitioner. Most savvy consumers will check you out online before they ever pick up the phone and call you.

2. Own your niche's keywords. Select 20-30 keywords or phrases that prospects likely use to look for you online and work with a search engine optimization company to help you get to the top of Google for those keywords. Don't make the mistake of just targeting the obvious key terms.

3. Get a Blog. Subject matter experts (SMEs) are well-read in their niche and they can and do comment on what the big topics are, the major cases, and emerging trends. One of the best ways to position yourself as a SME is to blog several times per month on your niche.

4. Become a Guest Author. Target high-traffic or highly influential industry blogs that appeal to your specific target market and offer to write a guest column.

5. Create a Special Report or an E-book. Publications are viewed by many as a sign of authority and prestige. You don't need a major New York publisher to "discover" you to become an author. Write a simple 5-10 page special report, white paper or turn it into a PDF and call it an "e-book."

6. Speak at Live Events-Your Own or Others. Few things are more authoritative in the field of marketing than speaking at events, either events you offer or for other associations, whether live or online via webinars, speaking positions you as an industry expert. We have several clients who have built million dollar practices simply by speaking 2-3 times per month at local and regional events. 

7. Send out a Press Release. Press releases are a great way to build your online credibility. Create a media list of target publications that reach your perfect clients and regularly send them press releases. You can do a press release on almost any topic like: Is your law firm growing/hiring (while other firms are downsizing)? Did you expand your offices to better serve your clients? Are you involved in philanthropic work? Did you recently win a big case? Is there a specific legal issue facing local people that you can comment on? Are you giving a seminar you would like to promote? 

8. Create a Radio Show. With modern technology you can easily create your own "online radio show." For only a couple hundred dollars per year you can use platforms like BlogTalkRadio.com to create, host, and post your radio show. They can even help you promote your show online. There are thousands of online radio shows currently and if you don't want to create your own you can contact the owner and ask to be interviewed on his or her show. Most of them welcome professional guests.

9. Publish an Industry Survey. Surveys are powerful tools that can open doors to high profile interviews with industry leaders, media attention about the results, and inbound leads when you publicize the results. There are several good online survey tools like SurveyMonkey.com and Zoomerang.com. Target a specific topic like "The impact of the new estate tax laws on small business owners in Phoenix" or "The Top 10 Biggest Legal Issues Facing Divorced Women in Arizona."

10. Create information products. Write and distribute articles, e-books, free reports and other information products that demonstrate your authority in your niche.

I have personally used every single one of these to build The Rainmaker Institute's credibility and national presence. In addition, we have hundreds of law firm clients who have used these with great success. Just remember, there is no easy button and there is no "magic wand." You have to work at it to create a niche and it will take time and consistent effort to position yourself as a true expert. 

Optimize Your Law Firm's Website for Mobile or Keep Losing Clients

Samantha MillerVice President of Product, Web Visibility Solutions at LexisNexis, wrote an important piece back in November about the importance of optimizing your firm's website for mobile users.  Here is an excerpt. Read it at the source, here.

Have you ever tried to navigate a website with your mobile phone or pad, when that site was NOT optimized for mobile devices?

The text is too small and the images are too large. There is way too much content and that material is basically unreadable. Pictures are not sized or placed properly. If you can even find the scroll bar or tabs, you have to keep swiping. And forget about trying to find any contact info.    

In short, the website looks and feels terrible.

If you are a consumer in urgent need of legal information or actually need to find an attorney, you're moving on to another firm's site.

Drive More Traffic to Your Law Firm Website

Colleague Stephen Fairley at The Rainmaker Institute, offers 5 ways to bring more traffic to your website.

Attracting more visitors to your website allows you to engage more with current and potential clients, which can result in a boost to your bottom line. Use these tactics to create more traffic for your website:

Fresh content – too many companies create websites and then let them languish. You need to add fresh content regularly to not only give people a reason to return to your site, but also to attract search engines, which love fresh content! 

Add video – video clips add interest and a new dimension to your site, and current research shows that sites with video convert more browsers into buyers. Address a problem that your clients have or discuss whatever is of relevance to your target market, and then post it to your site and YouTube for even more views.

SEO – search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to any website. You need to be sure you have included the right keywords that prospective customers use to search for what you sell. If you don’t know anything about SEO, consider hiring a company that specializes in it to boost your rankings and viewership.

Publish – publishing online articles and press releases can help drive traffic to your site. There are a number of web sites that will publish your articles and press releases for free; just be sure to add a link to your site at the end of each piece you publish.

Comment – identify the top blogs in your industry, visit them and comment on relevant posts. This is not a forum for you to sell directly, but indirectly by adding a link to your site or a relevant blog post with your commentary.  

Read more here.

It's 10 P.M. Do You Know Where Your Law Firm Website Leads Are?

This was a recent article posted on LexisNexis.com

 

Does your law firm's website generate enough traffic and leads each month to grow your business?

And are the leads your website is producing in the areas of the law that you practice? (E.g.,a website for a bankruptcy firm probably should not generate requests for consultations on personal injury.)     

Statistically speaking, there is enough online activity that your website should be producing leads. After all, three out of four consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process, according to a recent survey of adult Internet users.*

So where are all your leads?

To hire your firm, prospective clients searching for legal services online first need to find your firm. And when they find your firm, they need to be inspired to contact your firm and request a consultation.

If that's not happening, you don't have to be an expert developer or webmaster to know you need help. 

"Would I Hire Me?": Take Our Simple Website Self-Assessment

Assume the mindset of a consumer who has a problem related to the area of law you practice, and turns to Google for help. Ask yourself these hard questions and BE OBJECTIVE:

  • What types of questions would my target prospects enter into Google when researching their legal matters? When I key in those questions, does my website appear? (E.g.: My husband is cheating. How do I plan for a divorce?)
  • If a consumer is looking for an attorney in my market, who practices in the area of the law that I practice, will he/she be able to find my firm? (E.g.: Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney; Albany Divorce Lawyer.)
  • When I land on my website, is the content engaging, readable and written in a consumer-friendly manner?
  • As I review my site, how easy is it to call or email to request a consultation?
  • How does my website look when compared with my top competitors'?
  • Is the area of law I practice obvious or ambiguous?
  • Does my website look fresh and current, or does some of the content appear stale?
  • Would I hire me?

If you asked yourself these questions and do not like your answers, or just want to learn more about the latest in law firm marketing, contact us to speak with a Law Firm Marketing Specialist. And don't forget: You should always be as critical as your most discerning prospective client.

 

* Source: Based on a survey of 4,000 adult Internet users (Internet users comprise 78% of the U.S. adult population** and the U.S. adult population comprises 235 million according to the U.S. 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.

 

Lawyer Biographies Remain the Most Popular Content on Law Firm Websites in Communicating Expertise

LexisNexis® Legal & Professional ( www.lexisnexis.com ), a leading provider of content and technology solutions, last Thursday announced results from the latest LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® study on how international B2B law firms are using their websites as part of their marketing programs.

Based on initial qualitative interviews conducted in April 2012 and an online, quantitative survey in July, the study "The Use of Websites in Law Firm Marketing" reflects the views of 209 law firms across six world regions (excluding the United States). Amongst all participants, offline tactics currently account for just over two-thirds of all marketing spend, compared to 38% for online - though many respondents expect this to change in the future as online methods become more widely adopted in their marketing programs.

Steve Corney, senior digital marketing manager at LexisNexis International, commented: "The study shows that the legal industry is finally recognizing the role and importance of online content in lead generation, alongside traditional offline techniques. The 38% of marketing budgets allocated to online tactics now brings the legal sector slightly above the market average of 36%."*

As the table below illustrates, survey respondents across firms of all sizes do seem to be prioritizing their budget in online investment - reporting to allocate at least 3% of their marketing spend when developing a new website, and a further 1% on sourcing external support for the site once launched:

Size of legal practice

 

Small firms (1-20 lawyers)

 

Medium-sized firms (21-50 lawyers)

 

Larger firms (51+ lawyers)

 

Total annual marketing budget

 

Up to US$155,000

 

Up to US$775,000

 

Up to US$1.5 million(lower end)   up to $7.5 million(higher end)

 

Website development budget(involving a major revamp)

 

Up to US$15,500(10% of total budget)

 

Up to US$31,000(4% of total budget)

 

In excess of US$46,500(3 % of total budget)

 

Ongoing external support budget(annual)

 

Up to US$1,550(1% of total budget)

 

Up to US$7,750(1% of total budget)

 

Up to US$15,500(1%                                    of total budget)

 

Firms that responded to the survey perceive their website to be 'very effective' (34%) in helping to build their reputation and awareness of their brand. A disparity, however, lies in the role that their websites play to help generate new work. Here respondents are seemingly more ambivalent, with more than one third (36%) feeling that their website fails to sufficiently support lead generation - though this view was more prevalent among respondents from smaller law practices and firms that had not revamped their website for more than three years. On average, all firms surveyed tended to run their websites for two to three years before considering a re-design.

A quarter of all respondents report taking a formal approach to managing content on their website, with 25% (small, medium and large firms) using a content calendar to schedule regular updates, whilst the majority (66%) have yet to put this structure in place. When asked about the most popular content on their website, lawyer biographies are the most visited pages (85% of respondents), followed by information about practice area/sector expertise (52%) and thought leadership articles, case histories, etc. (50%).

The popularity of such content helps to explain why respondents also ranked online legal directories (61% 'very' and 'somewhat' effective) as the third most effective lead generation tactic, behind their website (74%) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO, 62%). Adding relevant content about their lawyers, market expertise and thought leadership to online directories provides firms with further SEO benefits beyond their own website and helps to surface their content to a wider online audience to help prove credibility and generate new leads.

Whilst 71% of firms do take time to track how content on their website is used, many recognise that there is room for improvement in this area. Of these firms, only 11% report extensively using the available reporting tools and data to help measure effectiveness and return on investment, whilst 43% make little or no use of the data available.

Derek Benton, director of International Operations at Martindale-Hubbell, commented: "Technology is one of the factors that is changing the competitive landscape in the legal sector. It is positive to see how firms are using relevant content on their own website and third party sites to help produce leads more cost effectively, rather than rely only on offline channels. The challenge for marketers is to use the available reporting tools to monitor engagement and continually measure and improve the impact of online content to deliver the best return on investment."

Download the full report of "The Use of Websites in Law Firm Marketing: Examining how corporate law firms use their websites in marketing and business development" here.

*Source: "The Marketing Budgets 2012 Report", Econsultancy, in association with Experian Marketing Services, Feb 2012.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional

LexisNexis® Legal & Professional ( www.lexisnexis.com ) is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal and Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content, to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. Part of Reed Elsevier, LexisNexis Legal & Professional serves customers in more than 100 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide.

Martindale-Hubbell® helps international law firms to enhance their online presence and drive more prospect enquiries through professional profiles on martindale.com® and coordination of Martindale-Hubbell lawyer ratings. martindale.com is a leading online law directory with over 13 million unique visitors every year.

The Use of Websites in law Firm Marketing

Attorney Website Design Highlighted at Upcoming ABA Marketing Conference

ryan nelson, aba law firm marketing strategies, website designThanks to Ryan Nelson of LegalWebExperts  for this guest post:

The ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference coming up on November 8th and 9th, 2011, will explore the ever growing importance of attorney website design in promoting three core elements of business success: reputation, referral and ranking. The conference has been named R3 after these three elements.

The conference is presented by the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) and will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. This is the third legal marketing conference hosted by the ABA as they continue to help law firms of all sizes grow their marketing for the future.

The event offers the opportunity to learn from the ABA’s faculty of attorneys and expert keynote speakers from the industry. Networking with other fellow attendees is a major part of the event as opportunities are provided before, after, and during the conference.

Over the course of the two day conference the keynote speakers and other presenters will delve into how law firm web presence and legal website design can grow your business, how the internet is changing everything, and how the secret to success can be reduced to reputation, referral and ranking. 

Reputationdan hill, law firm marketing, legal marketing, aba

The key to your success is having the world know about you. Keynote speaker Dan Hill, President of Sensory Logic, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN begins the conference addressing how law firm internet marketing can improve or hinder your reputation in his speech “Lie to Mie! ‘Emotion Management’ of Your Marketing Will Invite Trust, Not Contempt.” Dan Hill is an internationally recognized authority on the use of facial coding, the method of reading facial expressions to know what someone is really thinking. Hill is a prominent figure in the national media on facial coding analysis on a wide variety of topics such as presidential elections. 

Also dealing with reputation in the talk “Social Media: Does Your Firm Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift?”, Steve Silverberg, the moderator and partner at Silverberg Zalantis LLP, White Plains, NY, will discuss how to use Social Media in a way that you are comfortable with to help the overall reputation and awareness of your firm. 

Referrals

A large part of maintaining business is referrals. The second keynote speaker, Peter Shankman, Founder of Help A Reporter Out and Founder of The Geek Factory, Inc. New York City, New York discusses the impact of the internet on law firm marketing and how it has changed everything. Shankman, known for “redefining the art of networking” will explain how social media, legal website design, internet marketing and public relations are transforming client referrals and retention.

The process of internet rankings and ratings - not search engine rankings; rather, the various companies and resources that rank lawyers - is growing more complex as it gets more attention. The conference luncheon “Effects of Rankings & Ratings on the Legal Profession” will address many topics surrounding this issue such as how to sort through the thousands of companies (Chambers USA, Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media) that do rankings and ratings. Other topics include the pros and cons of participating in rankings, how to deal with ethical quandaries, and how to incorporate rankings into your attorney website design and even marketing campaign. The roundtable discussion will include perspectives from law firm management consultants, in-house counsel, traditional print and online entities, and other media.

You can still register for this even. Visit www.lawpractice.org/marketingconference for registration and conference updates. 

LexisNexis Announces a New Suite of Website Services for Law Firms

David Palmieri, Vice President, LexisNexis, web servicesLexisNexis has rolled out Site Essentials, Site Edge and Site Exclusives, a suite of updated website development products and services — complete with blogging features and mobile device optimization — designed to help law firms establish an effective online presence and attract more clients.

“LexisNexis has updated its website development services to provide law firms with solutions that help them establish an effective web presence, generate robust site traffic and accelerate and track their web-based lead generation efforts,” said David Palmieri, vice president and managing director of Marketing and Consumer Solutions at LexisNexis. “When law firms engage with us, we can deliver higher return on investment with a wider variety of products and services that meet firms’ marketing goals.”

The new LexisNexis® Site Essentials product offers firms:

  • An effective, professional website, designed and hosted by LexisNexis, that can be implemented in as little as two weeks
  • A creative consultation
  • Home page content with suggested content for practice area descriptions
  • A website performance dashboard to track key site statistics including phone and email inquiries
  • A content management system enabling users to make copy adjustments and site updates
  • Basic search engine optimization
  • A mobile-optimized version of the site
  • Ongoing technical assistance from LexisNexis website experts.

Additionally, LexisNexis® Site Edge includes copywriting assistance as well as the addition of five articles each from three practice areas which update every two weeks, giving visitors a reason to come back to the site. Site Edge customers can also add a professionally produced video to their site.

Also available is LexisNexis® Site Exclusives, a custom, end-to-end web development product. In addition to providing all the features of the other two services, Site Exclusives gives customers significantly more copywriting and ongoing technical assistance, while also providing a fully customized site design and architecture and hosting services for up to five videos on the firm’s website.

While websites from all three services are optimized to render on mobile devices, LexisNexis® Mobile Website Personalization service gives firms the option to create versions of their site optimized for specific devices or to target specific clientele. According to a 2010 report from Gartner, Inc., mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide by 2013, making it more important for firms to communicate their expertise and capabilities effectively on the mobile web.

For firms looking to increase online engagement via their website, LexisNexis® Blog Basics is an easy-to-use integrated blogging tool. LexisNexis Blog Basics provides customers with another effective way of promoting authoritative firm content and maximizing lead generation. According to a 2010 study released by HubSpot, companies that blog have 55 percent more website visitors and generate 88 percent more leads.

To learn more visit the Law Firm Marketing Center at http://lexisnexis.com/law-firm-marketing.