When I joined Legal Internet Solutions Incorporated as Director of Business Development in late June of this year, I was a bit of a novice to the world of search engine optimization, which is one of LISI’s key strengths. Sure, I knew of terms like “SEO” and had attended seminars at the legal-marketing events throughout the years. But I didn’t truly know or appreciate what went into making one site rank better than another in the search engine results pages. Frankly, I didn’t give it much thought—I just used search engines to find information.
Digital marketing is any online channel used to market a good or service. In today’s world, digitally mature companies with a strategy are eight times more likely to gain market share. This is apparent in the meteoric rise in the number of marketing hires of the past five years, and the requirement of more than half of those hires that they have some sort of digital experience. However, 45% of companies surveyed in a Smart Insights poll admitted they don’t have a digital marketing strategy. These figures aren’t specific to legal marketing, but they portend an even wider divide for legal marketers and their trusted service partners.
How a law firm’s website appears on mobile devices is as important—and arguably more important—than how the website looks on desktop computers. The share of website traffic going through mobile devices has grown substantially since the iPhone’s debut in 2007. In the United States, the share of traffic to websites (excluding tablets) topped 40.61 percent in the first quarter of 2019, trending upward from previous quarters. With this in mind, one of our longest-tenured clients and we partnered to build the firm’s new website with a mobile-first mindset, and the results were award-winning.
Like the dust on my sills and the flannel linens that are swapped for Martha Stewart’s crisp cotton ones, your law firm’s website should have a spring cleaning as well. You could work on these tasks any time of year, and spring is the perfect time because the winter holidays are behind you and you have some can-do momentum still pulsing before the summer hits. If you need buy-in or approvals from partners, they are not yet out on vacations or at the beach. My advice is to simply begin. This 15-step list will help you get started.
The Legal Marketing Association annual conference, #LMA19, proved to be everything I expected it would be—and more! With more than 1,500 legal marketers and service providers, our association converged on Atlanta for three days of networking, sharing, and learning from the best, brightest, and most innovative in the industry. As promised, below is a recap of the conference and some of the great information and tips I plan to put into practice and share with our local group in Philadelphia. If there is one theme that keeps popping up in each of the sessions I attended, it is this: move beyond a focus on data and system output to insights and results.
I am on my way to Atlanta to attend the premier annual educational and networking event for legal marketing professionals and industry partners. The Legal Marketing Association annual conference is where over 1,500 professionals convene for three days to share insights, explore best practices, and discuss trends. Beyond that, the conference is a place to connect with old and new friends and be among like-minded marketers working to elevate their firms and companies to the next level through innovation. So, what am I looking forward to most?
Have you noticed people are increasingly finding a deeper appreciation for craftsmanship, quality, and the unique? We are witnessing a revival in all things artisanal – from craft microbreweries to handmade soaps, cheeses, and leather shoes. The word “artisan” evokes a simpler time when people took pride in their craft. Today, the draw for real artisanal products is born out of a movement deriding mass-produced goods linked to big corporations. But true artisans have the passion and commitment for finding the right tools, selecting only the finest materials, and infusing everything produced with the energy and authenticity of a superior, hand-crafted product.
It is nearing the end of summer and you may have spent some of it playing the great game of golf. As you know, a golf bag contains many different clubs, each designed for a specific purpose. A driver is for long shots off the tee, the middle irons are for the fairways, and the wedges and putter are for the short game. It’s close to impossible to have one club make all the shots needed to complete 18 holes. Each club is a tool for a specific task.
It’s the same with law firm websites. One type of site is not going to be suitable for each of the marketing tasks in the law-firm-marketing world. There are many types of law firm websites, and it’s wise to choose the type that suits your firm’s marketing needs when redesigning your internet presence.
As we announced earlier this year, we are honoring our clients (and celebrating 20 years in business) with our 20/20 initiative where we will be making 20 charitable donations monthly on behalf of our clients. Here are the third and fourth worthy recipients and their benefactors.
Here at LISI, we like to celebrate milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and, most of all, website launches! So, in observance that 2018 marks 20 years since LISI’s founding, we are honoring what has made us so successful — our clients and our people.
To do that, we are announcing the 20/20 Initiative where we will be making a donation to 20 charities that are important to our clients, staff, and friends.
The practice of law is both a profession and a business. This is hardly a surprising revelation, but many of us who went to law school and have been admitted to the bar tend to focus on the more high-minded ideal of operating in a profession rather than the less-rarified world of being in business. A business person, after all, deals with unpleasant matters such as profit and loss, management of people, and (horrifyingly!) marketing and sales.
When submitting sensitive information — such as credit card or Social Security numbers — into a website form, most everyone knows to look for the signs of a secured connection before proceeding. What you may not know is that Google and other online services are now close to requiring a secured connection — also known as encryption or secure sockets layer (SSL) — for all websites, even those that don’t collect personal information. This creates an important to-do item for anyone with a website that wants greater consumer trust, high search engine rankings, and to keep pace with technology.
Day two is done and that’s the end of the Legal Marketing Association annual conference in Las Vegas. We are sorry it’s over! So much learned, so many good conversations! Here’s a recap of day two.
It was a great first day at the Legal Marketing Association annual conference in Las Vegas. We’ve seen many old friends, met some new ones, and are trading our expertise with fellow attendees. Here’s a recap of some of the sessions.
The fifth and final step is to have an ongoing marketing campaign to let the search engines (and the people who use them) know that your site is current and relevant. Parts of this ongoing marketing campaign involve taking actions on your firm’s website (onsite work) and others include making changes on other websites (offsite work).
Why does my firm need to be on those social networks? Simple: that’s where the people are, and the people expect it. Each network has a distinct value to your marketing: LinkedIn is a massive business network and perfect opportunity to stay virtually in front of your network; Facebook is a vehicle to communicate your firm’s culture to future hires; and Twitter is a place to share thought leadership with the media and other amplifiers.
Next up is the importance of your firm being properly listed in the various online directories, such as Google Maps, Cornell, Findlaw, Avvo, Martindale, and others. If your firm is not correctly (or not at all) listed in these directories, it could have a penalizing effect on your search rankings, hindering those trying to do business with you.
Bringing It All Back Home: Takeaways from Legal Marketing Association Southeast Chapter’s Regional Conference
As part of our mission to spread the LISI message across the country and to stay at the forefront of legal marketing trends, I recently attended the regional conference for the Legal Marketing Association Southeast chapter, which took place in Orlando. With the theme of “Grow. Innovate. Succeed.” there was an excellent lineup speakers and great opportunities to network with colleagues in legal marketing.
This month marks the 17th year of incorporation of Legal Internet Solutions, which I think is pretty impressive for a digital agency in an age where tech companies balloon up and quickly pop. LISI wasn’t promoting its skills in social media, blogs, or mobile-friendly design way back then, as those marketing strategies didn’t even exist. The focus of the company has remained the same, however: marketing law firms and individual lawyers on the web.
It may be self-evident, but it is essential for your firm’s website to have the proper presence in the search engines. Gone are the days of keeping meticulous lists of web browser bookmarks listing favorite sites. And people rarely enter website addresses in the browser’s address bar, especially for hard-to-remember domain names.
A website is your opportunity to frame your firm in the way that supports your marketing strategy. You are in complete control, having the ability to cast your firm as you want others to see it — modern or traditional, dynamic or stable, entrepreneurial or old-school. The design of your site affords you the opportunity to show your firm in any light, creating an image of the firm you want to be.
Of the many business books I read, my current favorite is The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. Its central premise is that, no matter what level of expertise you have in your craft or profession, having and following a simple checklist of steps is essential to avoiding costly mistakes, prevent oversights, and achieve true excellence.
The New York Times has decided to follow the AP’s style of making the word “Internet” lower case rather than capitalized. Going into effect June 1, this change is more than turning an “I” into an “i.” It shows how pervasive the global network of networks has become in our business and personal lives.