Is Your Website Secure? What Attorneys Need To Know About Upgrading to SSL.

Trust plays a critical role in lawyer/client relationships and a lawyer’s ability to acquire and retain clients. The same holds true in the online world as well. Visitors to your website need to trust that your site is safe and secure to browse. Additionally, search engines like Google place greater value on websites that make the extra effort to ensure their visitors are viewing a safe site.

In today’s age of Internet hackers, spammers, spoofing, and phony sites, it is not only responsible to secure your website but it is a distinct advantage as well.

A Brief History of SSL

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, but don’t let technical jargon get in the way of knowing what goes into making your HTTPS site secure.

A site’s SSL certificate plays a critical role in site security. An SSL certificate authenticates a website’s identity and it’s the technology that encrypts the data sent to the server. Many website hosts compare the SSL certificate to an electronic passport that certifies one’s online identity.

A few years back, SSL vaulted onto the tech scene after a virus capable of reading sensitive information on third-party sites became public. The virus allowed individuals–many with nefarious intent–to observe traffic over non-encrypted connections and hijack the data. Fortunately, the virus was eliminated and the world wide web relaxed…but only momentarily.

The virus served as a wake up call. Properly encrypting user information and securing a website has become a factor for search engine rankings and visibility. Search engines, such as Google Chrome, now display a clear warning when internet users reach a site that does not display the now familiar SSL green lock in the site’s URL.

[Read more…]

6 Things Every Attorney Should Know To Rank Well On Google

Have you ever “Googled” yourself? What did you see? If you searched specifically for your name, your website is probably listed right at the top of the results page. But if you typed in a more general term related to your practice, you may find your website on the second page or even lower.

That’s because Google – the search engine giant – rank results according to a complex algorithm. This mathematical formula takes into account hundreds of different criteria when deciding which websites are the best match for a searcher’s query. There are many factors, but in general, Google is looking for credible websites with high quality, relevant and recent content. But ranking well is challenging so it’s important to have reasonable expectations and understand how to get the best overall visibility.

Understanding how Google ranks websites isn’t easy. The company does not readily disclose the parameters of its algorithm. Even professional search engine experts don’t know exactly how it works. And Google changes its formula 300 to 500 times a year, sometimes with a major release that can have a significant impact on your rankings. [Read more…]

What to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Firm For Your Law Practice

To survive and thrive in this competitive economy, your firm needs a well-designed and well-executed marketing plan. An effective marketing plan will raise your profile, establish your reputation, and generate leads that can be turned into new clients. Most attorneys understand the need for a strategic marketing plan, but few have the time or expertise to implement one.

The rise of the Internet, Google search, social media and mobile phones have changed the way attorneys reach and engage their clients. Traditional tactics such as yellow page ads and face-to-face networking used to drive prospects. Now people expect real-time access to information about your firm on their phones and make decisions by reading reviews – the online equivalent of word of mouth. This means that attorneys need to ensure that their message is well crafted and that it can be found on the web easily.

Because the stakes are so high, more attorneys than ever before are outsourcing marketing to firms of all sizes and abilities. Many of my clients find us after a disappointing experience with FindLaw or Martindale-Hubbell. They are looking for alternatives to the big firms’ high prices, poor customer service, and lackluster results. [Read more…]

How can I be sure I’m making the most of my marketing budget?

If you would like to get more out of your marketing budget, you may want to consider hiring a firm to help. Here are some questions attorneys and law firms should be asking themselves and thier potential marketing partner.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Can you meet with a local account representative who can make immediate changes to your marketing campaign?
  • Is it a long-term relationship or is it always a new rep?
  • Are you getting the results you expected?
  • Do you feel you’re getting your money’s worth?
  • Can you be spending your monthly budget better or more effectively?
  • Have you considered taking your budget and reallocating it across more opportunities?
  • If so, how?
  • Who will help you manage all these different relationships?

Questions for your marketing partner:

  • How big is your marketing firm?
  • How many clients do you have?
  • Where is your headquarters?
  • Who will work with me and what are their qualifications?
  • Who do contact if I need to make immediate changes?
  • What kind of clients do you work with?
  • What is your marketing expertise?
  • How do you measure success and track and report results?
  • Do you require longterm contracts?
  • What do I get when/ if I decide to leave?
  • Do I have easy access to my site, content, analytics, etc.?

Using the Law to Protect Your Online Reputation

Reviews are very important these days. Eighty-five percent of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses to determine whether these businesses are good or not. But with more people reading and posting reviews, you need to make sure you are protecting your good reputation.

Part of reputation management is monitoring review sites and your search engine ranking. You want to make sure that when someone searches for “your name” that the positive reviews outweigh any negative ones.

We encourage our clients to be proactive and obtain favorable reviews on selective review sites. But more and more we are hearing from clients who get inaccurate, misleading, or defamatory reviews and are unable to get them corrected or removed entirely from online properties, namely Yelp, Google, and Yahoo.

The good news is that there are additional steps you can take to get illegitimate reviews removed from these sites. Many businesses and professionals have turned to legal action to combat defamatory reviews and get resolution. As an attorney, you can use your legal expertise to expedite the process and see it through completion. [Read more…]

Google Penalizes Non-mobile Responsive Websites

On April 21, 2015 having a mobile-friendly website will become more important than ever. That’s the date Google has picked to start penalizing non-mobile responsive sites. Google is going to start lowering the rankings of any site that isn’t mobile ready. Google wants to give searchers the best results possible, and sending someone to a site that’s difficult or impossible to read via mobile is not a good experience.

Mobile-responsive sites are those that “respond” to a user’s screen size. According to a recent study, 60% of U.S. adults now choose smartphones or tablets over PCs to find information before buying products and services offline. With more people spending more time on their mobile devices, the pressure is on to make sure your website is mobile friendly. This means having a site that looks good no matter what kind of device someone is using – smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

The good news is that mobile friendly sites will most likely get a boost in their ranking that will ultimately lead to more traffic. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to make sure your website is ready for mobile.

2014 Legal Marketing Year in Review

2014 was a big year in Internet marketing. Some of the hottest trends – the rise of mobile and the explosion of apps – were plain to see. But many of the biggest changes happened behind the scenes. These affected Internet marketing dramatically but were invisible to the average Internet user. Staying up to date in this evolving landscape is a challenge. In this issue, find out about the big changes in 2014, five lessons for 2015, and how we work very hard to keep you safe, secure, and visible.

5 Factors That Influenced Your Online Visibility in 2014

It seems like every year there is big news in Internet marketing. The tools and techniques continue to evolve. This forces attorneys who market themselves online to get more sophisticated and to step up their game – or get a good partner who can help them.

2014 kept this streak rolling. There were many important events from Google algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, Pigeon to natural language searches, the impact of client reviews, the retirement of Google authorship, and malware attacks on big-name companies as well as millions of websites just like yours.

Let’s take a look back at the biggest changes last year and see how these “behind the scenes” factors will impact your Internet marketing in 2015.

Factor #1: Google Algorithm Updates

Search engine marketing is becoming more important every year. Having your website listed at or near the top of Google, Yahoo, and other search engines boosts your visibility, differentiates you from competitors, and enables prospects and clients to find you more easily.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) must be constantly refined to keep up with changing Google guidelines and savvier searchers. Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways. [Read more…]

Yelp For Attorneys: Marketing Opportunity or Reputation Nightmare?

Good reviews are a great way to connect with new clients and build your business. Avvo and LinkedIn are preferred places for attorneys to share reviews. But last spring, an online survey claimed that Yelp is the most popular and trusted website for legal reviews. I read the report shortly after it was published and didn’t give it much merit. However, it received recognition from industry influencers who re-published the findings on their blogs. Yelp starting pushing the positive claims to my clients who in turn asked me about the benefits of advertising their legal services on Yelp.

Yelp is undoubtedly a well-liked site, with reviews on everything from hotels and restaurants to barbers and mechanics, and even some attorneys. But is Yelp really the go-to site for consumers in search of legal representation and, more importantly, is it a good venue for attorneys to market their services?

Read this month’s newsletter to learn whether Yelp carries its weight in the legal market. [Read more…]

5 Things To Consider When Creating Your FindLaw Exit Plan

Internet marketing for attorneys is a well-established practice. As more of us spend more time online, using Google to find any kind of professional service has become second nature.

Which means it’s more important than ever to have a great website that’s easy to find and promotes your firm well. If you’re like most attorneys, you turned to a professional agency to create and manage your site instead of doing it yourself. Some of you choose FindLaw, one of the biggest, for its reputation and resources.

But Internet marketing is more than just a listing in an online directory and a website, and over time, many clients of big companies like FindLaw become dissatisfied, not only by the level of service but more importantly, the results they get and the premium price they pay month over month, year over year.

If you don’t have a website already, FindLaw might be a good option to help you get started. But working with FindLaw is a case of diminishing returns. While it may be worth a premium rate the first year to get a well designed website introduced to the search engines, it’s definitely not worth this much in the third year, never mind year four … or ten.

Plus, upon entering an agreement with FindLaw, most attorneys aren’t sure who owns their website, the domain, the design, and the content upon termination. They are surprised to learn, when they dig into the terms and conditions, how much leverage FindLaw maintains. [Read more…]

I have a website I’m happy with. What else can I be doing to market myself?

Successful Internet marketing means creating and leveraging a strong online presence. Your online presence is a combination of all of the ways you are represented on the Internet: your website, online profiles, videos, blog posts, podcasts, social media pages, directory listings, and more. Used separately, each one helps you be found by more prospects and clients. Used together, they will help you get as much visibility online as possible to grow your business.

Read my article “Online Lead Generation: Seven Tactics To Grow Your Law Practice” to get more tips about using the Internet for marketing.

 

Is Your Law Firm Ready for Digital Natives?

Younger consumers, especially those under the age of 35, have grown up in a world in which digital technology is ubiquitous. Also called “millennials,” this is a generation that sleeps with their smartphones and multitasks so much they don’t even realize they’re doing it: texting friends, downloading music, uploading videos, watching a movie on a phone or tablet, and posting on Facebook and Instagram and Vine and Twitter and more.

Digital immigrants, on the other hand, are those older than 35. They have a lesser degree of digital fluency as a result of being introduced to technology at a later age. While digital immigrants understand social media, smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices, and can also be avid users, their immersion is learned rather than innate.

Each of these consumers has distinctive behavior patterns when it comes to using digital technology, from devices and social networks to the Internet and apps. This influences all types of activities: how they shop, connect with friends and family, watch videos, do their banking and even choose a doctor, a real estate agent, or an attorney. According to a recent report, U.S. consumers between the ages of 18-36 check their smartphones an average of 43 times a day.

While the average baby boomer client doesn’t want to create a will or trust online or do research on how to incorporate a business, younger clients prefer it. These young people are moving into the world of work, getting married, and starting families. They are soon to become the typical legal consumers. They are used to conducting their business on the Internet and that’s also how they’ll choose their legal services. [Read more…]

I know I need to add content to my site but I don’t have a lot of time. How can I get started?

One great way to add useful content to your site is by collecting and sharing information that you come across during the course of your regular day. This is known as “content curation.” When you curate content from around the web, you choose the most relevant and interesting items that are related to your practice and the interests of your clients and prospects. These can be news stories, recent decisions, current events, or articles on another website. You can then simply add your comments or opinion, recap the article, and tell readers why you think this is helpful or important for them.

There are many ways to use curated content to build your reputation and attract more of your ideal clients. Here are three:

  • Blog. A blog is a great place to share your curated content. People expect to read your opinions on a blog. It’s a great way to show your expertise and add your interpretation.
  • Website. Google rewards high quality, shareable content. You can create a new page on your website with your comments and a link to the information that will give you an SEO boost.
  • Social media. Be sure to share any content that you find online with your friends and followers. This will drive people back to your website and improve your reputation as an expert.

You’ve Earned Your Rank, Now Keep It!

Google, the big kahuna of search engines, has a challenge for everyone with a website. It updates its search algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, almost twice a day, every day. [http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change] Most of these changes are minor, but some are major updates that significantly affect how your website ranks and the visibility it has earned compared to all the other sites online.

For anyone marketing their business online, this is big news. It means that Google is constantly tweaking how it ranks your website and that a site with strong visibility and a page one ranking today might not have the same visibility and ranking tomorrow. This makes it a challenge to maintain your firm’s visibility month over month. But there’s one straightforward way that attorneys who are marketing themselves online can ride out this rollercoaster – by consistently adding quality content to their websites.

“Quality content” is information that is new, useful and relevant to your visitors. Publishing content that is meaningful to your prospects and clients and updating it regularly will improve your visibility in the highly competitive search engine market.

Maintain Your Rank

Did your website obtain strong visibility in the search engines but now you find your website slipping to page two, three, or even four? This may be because your website has been determined to be stagnant since it hasn’t been updated recently or worse, you’ve been penalized for lousy content (irrelevant, spam, duplicate, sparse, illegible, etc.). Remember, your website is being compared to all the other attorney sites – your online competition.

Think of Google as a marketplace. Unlike a directory in which you can claim a profile once and be done, Google search results are dynamic and constantly changing. Keeping up with the marketplace is an on-going effort that requires regular attention. There’s always someone who is trying to obtain better visibility than you and who is willing to put more resources into it. Once you’ve earned your ranking you need to keep working to maintain it. [Read more…]

Why are client reviews so important for attorneys?

With more consumers using the web to post reviews, you need to make sure you are protecting your good reputation. Avvo, LinkedIn, and your own website are the best places to have reviews. When someone searches for “your name and review” you want these websites to come up first. I can’t emphasize enough how important reviews have become, especially for attorneys. In fact, 85 percent of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses to determine whether these businesses are good or not. (This is up from last year’s 76 percent).

Yelp is a common review site for everything from restaurants to hair salons. They have recently started to expand in to professional services including attorneys and law firms.  It’s the least friendly to account holders in terms of managing your reviews compared with Avvo and LinkedIn.

Being proactive and having several good reviews is critical. Many times I see that the first review of an attorney is unfavorable, followed by a spurt of positive ones. I know that instead of asking clients for reviews regularly, he or she has had to scramble to get good reviews published so as to push the negative one down. Take the time now to get some good reviews before this happens to you. Remember, given the nature of your business one party usually is not pleased with the outcome.

You may learn more about client reviews in my blog post, “How to Manage Your Online Reputation.”

How to Manage Your Online Reputation

These days an individual’s or law firm’s reputation can be enhanced or tarnished by what appears in search engine results. This is because so many people rely on online reviews. Check out these recent statistics from at 2013 ReviewTracker article:

  • 85 percent of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses to determine whether these businesses are good or not. (This is up from last year’s 76 percent.)
  • 67 percent of consumers read six reviews or less before they feel that they can trust the local business. Meanwhile, only 22 percent read more than seven reviews.
  • 73 percent say that high ratings and positive online reviews make them trust a local business more, while only 12 percent said that they take no notice of online reviews.
  • Asked if they trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations (from friends and family), 79 percent of the respondents said that reviews were as trustworthy as personal recommendations.

Your reputation is public.

Your reputation, and the reputation of your firm, is more public and more accessible than ever before. To stay competitive, attorneys need to act swiftly and positively to show they listen and care about what their clients think about them.

Whether someone is searching for a restaurant for a special occasion, a new desk for their office, or a doctor, dentist, or attorney, they read the reviews. By reading about the experiences that other customers or clients have had, people can judge a business before they ever set foot in the office or meet you.

[Read more…]

How can I keep tabs on my name online?

Monitoring your reputation online can be time-consuming. You want to make sure you’re visiting review sites and searching for your name every day. There are several tools that can make this a lot easier. One of the simplest is Google Alerts. This free service from Google allows you to type in any search term, such as your name or the name of your firm. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

You can enter as many terms as you like. It’s a great way to see where your name is being mentioned and see any reviews as soon as they’re posted. You can also use Google Alerts to keep track of a developing news story, a competitor, an event or anything you want to stay up-to-date on. Check out Google Alerts here: http://www.google.com/alerts.

Online Lead Generation: Seven Tactics To Grow Your Law Practice

The Internet has transformed the way we live our lives. The average person consults the Internet to find everything from recipes to yesterday’s game highlights and, of course, legal services. The typical consumer will search Google first, then proceed to the firm’s website or a review site. He or she may watch a YouTube video, “like” the firm on Facebook, or follow it on Twitter.

The challenge for today’s attorneys is to understand how these activities work together and how to use them to connect with potential clients. Having a well-defined Internet marketing strategy is crucial for many businesses, but is especially important for attorneys whose main source of business is their local communities. Here are the seven tools and techniques of an effective online lead generation campaign.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When someone needs legal representation, the first place most turn is Google. They typically search by geographic location and practice specialty. For example, “Boston bankruptcy attorneys.” Search engine marketing allows you to reach and engage the searchers who are looking for you. The process of creating the most relevant site that is also the most search engine friendly is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. If you’ve optimized your site properly, you’ll appear in the search engine results, making it easier for potential clients to find you and generating a flow of inquiries.

2. Mobile Marketing
A customized mobile app is a great way to tap into your client base — your best source of repeat business and referrals. The AttorneyConnect mobile app keeps your clients engaged with you and your law practice through the privacy of their personal mobile phone. “Go mobile” to stay connected with your clients and grow your business.

3. Blogging
Having your own blog not only helps establish credibility and protect your online reputation but will also help potential clients get to know you and your expertise and build trust and rapport. A blog also improves the search engine rankings of your website and increases website traffic, driving more prospects to your site.

[Read more…]

Question: Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest, oh my! Do I need to stay up to date with all the new online tools?

It depends. When in doubt, the most important thing to ask yourself is, “What are my clients using?” More and more of us are signing up for Facebook accounts every year, including users over 65. On the other hand, the only people I know using Snapchat (the photo sharing app) have an average age of 14. Vine (the 6-second video app) is being leveraged by businesses of all types and some consumers. Pinterest (the image sharing website) is huge among women age 35-44.

If any of those are your target audience, you might want to at least read the Wikipedia entry to find out more, in case it comes up in conversation. You don’t need to use every tool, but being up to date is a quality we all look for in an attorney, and that includes knowing a bit about what’s happening online. Spend a few minutes on Google and you could learn enough to weed out new tools you do, and don’t, need to know more about.

Take Your Referral Network Mobile

Growing your practice through referrals is a must. In addition to providing knowledgeable legal advice and excellent service, asking your clients to share your name with their friends, family and colleagues is invaluable. Yet it is one aspect of marketing that many attorneys are uncomfortable with. Even though you have provided good service, you may wonder whether it was good enough, whether the client is truly satisfied, and whether asking for a referral makes you seem salesy or desperate for new business.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. People would rather do business with someone they know than with a stranger, and getting a name from a friend is the next best thing.  Clients that you have good relationships with do not mind passing along your information to others in need. The challenge is to make it simple and easy for them.

Online reviews and mobile applications are two stress-free ways to get referrals. Online reviews allow your current clients to write about their experience as your client quickly and easily. Mobile apps like “AttorneyConnect” not only include a  “write a review” feature but also a referral button that lets a client forward your contact information to a friend in one touch. [Read more…]

Question: Is it true that the more someone clicks on my website, the higher my website will rank in Google?

No. Search engine marketing — on Google, Yahoo, or Bing — is one of the most effective tactics to generate leads, help you promote your expertise, reach prospects and stay connected with clients. Search rankings are notoriously unstable, and subject to a variety of factors such as the location of the person searching and whether they’ve logged in to Google and are using personalized results. But one thing they do not depend on is the amount of traffic coming to your website.

Enhancing your website so that it’s listed at or near the top is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Higher rankings can boost your visibility and a drop in rankings can mean a loss of potential consumers. A good SEO project can take three to four months to begin showing a real impact, depending on a number of factors such as the age of your site, the number of quality inbound links you already have, and the competitiveness of specific relevant keywords. SEO is not a quick-fix marketing tactic that can deliver results in a matter of hours or days. Instead, it typically takes a diligent, ongoing process that gradually improves your site’s rankings.

Client Spotlight – Simmons & Schiavo, LLP

This Massachusetts law firm specializes in elder law, estate planning, and real estate law, with clients ranging in age from young couples buying their first home to seniors preparing to pass on their estates. The one thing they have in common is that most of them have mobile devices. “We see the Google reports and a good number are searching for us on smartphones and tablets,” said Marco Schiavo, Esq.

The firm began offering its clients the “AttorneyConnect” app earlier this summer. The app allows them to share their bios, firm information, legal articles and Q&As, and clients can use it to make referrals, request an appointment and get directions. “People love the layout. It’s easy to use. It does everything we wanted it to,” said Marco.

He noted that having an app gives the practice a competitive advantage, since some other firms don’t even have a website, never mind an app. “The app puts us miles ahead of everyone else. It shows that we’re on the forefront of technology. We’re a tech-savvy firm and people like that. It only makes sense to have an app,” said Marco.

Five Things Attorneys Need To Know About Mobile Marketing

Marketing a product or service on a mobile phone is a new and growing practice. There have been several big turning points in marketing history, and we’re living through another one. Beginning with the first newspaper ads in the 1700s, the first radio ads in the ‘20s, the first TV ads in the ‘40s, and the first Internet ads in the 1990s we’re now seeing the first mobile phone ads, apps, and more. It’s the beginning of a new opportunity for businesses of all types and attorneys would be wise to get on-board.

That’s because it’s where your clients and prospects are. Smartphone use is booming in all demographics, not just teens. In fact, 37 percent of smartphone owners are over age 35 (Google). Mobile phones now outnumber TV sets by over 3 to 1,and laptop and desktop PC users by nearly 5 to 1 (CBS News). [Read more…]

Question: Should I add video to my law firm website?

Yes! Video has many benefits for attorneys. Website visitors in general are getting more visual and enjoy viewing video online. It’s a great way for prospects and clients to get to know you quickly and easily. You can share your expertise on a particular topic without having to write a long article. And according to a new study, having video on your website can improve your search engine rankings. In fact, according to Forrester Research, an indexed video has a 50 times greater chance of ranking on the first page of Google results than a text page. Videos can be hosted on YouTube and link to your website, and other online profiles like LinkedIn, AttorneyConnect, Avvo, and Justia. Adding video to your marketing mix is a smart move.

Why Your Law Practice Needs a Mobile App

The mobile phone is the most widespread and most rapidly adopted technology of all time. In the past few years, usage has grown dramatically. There are now almost 6 billion active mobile phone subscriptions around the world – almost 84% of the people on Earth have a mobile phone! In 2011 more smartphones were sold than all types of personal computers added together including desktops, laptops, and tablets like the iPad.

Contact pageMobile Apps for Attorneys
One way for individual attorneys and small law firms to take advantage of the boom in mobile phones is by offering their clients a mobile app. A mobile application (or mobile app) is software designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.

Most importantly, a mobile app for solo practitioners and small firms can help you increase client loyalty, generate referrals, differentiate your law practice from the competition, and stay on the forefront of this exciting new technology. [Read more…]

80% of Mobile Time is Spent on Apps

Mobile phones are a growing part of everyday life. We get directions, find local businesses, play games, and more. Here are the latest statistics on how Americans use our phones.

  • Accessing maps and directions is the number one mobile activity, followed by social networking, finding local information and reading news (comScore).
  • Mobile searches have quadrupled in the last year (Google).
  • One in seven searches are now mobile and one in three mobile searches are local (Google).
  • After looking up a local business on their smartphone, 61 percent of users call the business and 59 percent visit (Google).
  • 80 per cent of mobile time is spent on apps (Flurry).
  • People are now using more apps than ever, launching 7.9 per day (Flurry).
  • When given a choice, consumers prefer using an app (85%) over a mobile website (Compuware).

Mobile Apps Keep Your Clients Connected

There are more than 6.5 billion mobile devices in use worldwide today, significantly more than the number of Internet users. Consumers are adopting new technology as fast as it becomes available and expect to be connected at all times in order to find the products and services they need. Today’s multi-tasking consumers depend on their trusty smartphones for so many important activities. And to stay in front of these phone-dependent clients, savvy attorneys who want to advance their businesses and leverage technology are jumping into mobile. It’s like the first days of the Internet when early adopters launched websites for their law practices – got ahead of their competitors – and have reaped the benefits ever since.

Mobile Apps Are Exploding

Contact pageOne way to connect with on-the-go clients is through a mobile app. A mobile application (or mobile app) is software designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. The term “app” has become so popular that it was listed as “Word of the Year” in 2010. Mobile applications are the next frontier and the industry is predicted to skyrocket over 1,000% in the next three years to a $56 billion market (Gartner Group).

The popularity of mobile applications has continued to rise, as their usage has become increasingly prevalent across mobile phone users. Last year, comScore, an Internet analytics company, reported that more mobile subscribers used apps than browsed the web on their devices. [Read more…]

How can lawyers reach prospects who are using smartphones and iPads?

Here in the Northeast we’re “on the go” and tend to be early adopters, rushing out to buy the latest thing. We’re using all kinds of mobile phones and tablets more than ever. What’s interesting is that as the demand for mobile devices grows so does the need for local business information like your firm’s name, address, and phone number. According to a recent study, search for local business information on mobile phones continues to grow with nearly 86 million people accessing this info on their mobile phones last year, a 63% increase since 2010.

Two things lawyers can do now to make sure prospects can find you via their mobile phone are 1) make sure your website is readable on a mobile phone and 2) make sure your local listings are up-to-date on sites like Google Local, Google Maps, CitySearch and Internet Yellow Page sites. With more people searching for information on their mobile phones, you need to make sure clients and prospects can find you quickly and easily and that they’re getting the most accurate information about your firm.

Is Your Legal Directory Profile & Advertising Worth the Cost?

A directory listing is one of the most traditional ways to promote your services. It used to be that attorneys would be listed so that other attorneys could find them for referrals. Now that most directories have moved online, more and more consumers are using them to find the legal representation they need. Some of the biggest providers include FindLaw (a part of Westlaw) and Martindale-Hubbell. These are established companies that once produced only print directories and have since moved into the world of online attorney directories and marketing. Many of you have paid to appear in their listings and have hired these venerable firms to create and host your websites, and advertise your practice in their online directories.

[Read more…]

Is FindLaw or Martindale-Hubbell Worth The Cost?

If you don’t have a website or your website is simply a business card online without video, testimonials, articles, or Q&As, you may benefit from investing in these services for a year or two to jump start your marketing efforts. Then you should harvest your investment by transitioning your site to a more affordable option and invest the money you saved in even more marketing opportunities.

The point is that you don’t have to pay just one company a premium rate year over year. Once you decide to take your Internet marketing to the next level, it’s time to move on to an agency that’s dedicated to your success.

Google Authorship – Personalizing Your Online Image

Just a few months ago the search engine giant Google launched a new feature called Google Authorship. Google Authorship lets you link any content you publish on a specific domain (such as www.yourwebsite.com) to your Google+ profile.

This means that every time someone searches for your name or someone with your expertise, anything you have written with your byline (by Jack Smith, for example) will show up on the Google results page with your name and your photo. It will also include a link to a page with any other articles, blog posts, or even Q&As with your name on them!

For example, Googling the phrase “Greater Boston litigation attorneys” produces:

Appearing on the results page with a photo and byline adds credibility, which builds up your reputation as an authoritative source on the topics you cover. Plus, search results with profile images attract a higher click through rate than those that do not have an image. Remember, three out of four people seeking an attorney search online and almost 70% of all searchers use Google. [Read more…]