All SEO’s have, at one time or another, asked themselves “Which is better – Content or Backlinks”? The SEO team at Sundown Legal Marketing recently conducted a study comparing the effectiveness of adding quality backlinks versus adding relevant, robust content. The team selected three client websites for this study and tailored a unique SEO plan for each.

The team applied the following SEO plan to the three selected websites:

  1. For website A our strategy was to add backlinks only.
  2. For website B our strategy was to add content only.
  3. For website C our strategy was to add a combination of content and backlinks.

The SEO work for the three websites selected for the study was done during the same time period: February – April. Let’s take a look at the results for each website.

Work Completed for Each Website:

There are many other factors that go into Google’s algorithm (beyond links & content) that impact website traffic and organic placement, so our SEO team tried to keep everything else as close to uniform as possible. For example, the SEO team continued their SEO efforts with all three websites, which included siloing the pages on the main menu and correcting any 404 errors found in Google Search Console.

Website A (Backlinks Only):

In addition to the normal SEO tasks performed on all three websites listed above, the team created 5 separate and unique backlinks from industry related websites back to Website A. Each of these links had domain authorities of between 30 and 40.

Timeline:

  • These backlinks were obtained during the month of April.
  • There was no content added in the months of February, March, and April.

Looking at the weekly organic traffic for this website there was a spike toward the middle of April, but it was not sustained. However, overall traffic increased, and plateaued at around 80 sessions per week. Before the project began the traffic had plateaued at around 65 sessions per week.

Interesting to note here is that there was content added to the site in January, and that could possibly account for the slight increase of traffic in February. Also, this website plateaued at around 75 sessions/week during February and March (with one slight dip in early March), before spiking up after the backlinks were realized. This tells us that there’s a strong correlation between the backlinks being realized (picked up by Googlebot) and the increase in organic traffic.

Website B (Content Only):

Again, the SEO Team continued their normal tasks that we provide all of our SEO clients, which includes fixing any onsite health issues that are found, but in terms of backlinks, they added absolutely none. Instead, they only added content to this website – lots of content. In fact, during the months of February, March, and April they added close to 20 pages of additional content, each with an average of about 850 words. Here are the results:

Timeline:

  • These articles were added throughout the study February -April.
  • No backlinks were created during the study time frame.

There was a slight rise in organic traffic during February, but then a slight decline in March, then a gradual increase in April, and a huge boost in May. What did the Team do in April and May? They simply went back to adding content, but this time, it was their regularly scheduled 2-3 articles per month. It seems that Google slowly rewarded our content efforts by showing this website higher in the SERP over time. Indeed, here is our average position for relevant keywords we track for this website:

There is a great deal of volatility in the chart above, but at beginning of April, right after we finished adding the large volume of content pages, Google moved the average position of the website from about 21 to about 18.

During this time the Team did not add any backlinks to the website and only did the same amount of maintenance (fixing crawl errors, broken links) that we do for all our other clients, including the other two websites in this study.

Website C (Combination of Content and Backlinks):

You would think that a combination of the above two strategies would be the best strategy – and you would be right! For website C we added substantial content, and obtained substantial backlinks.

In March we obtained 5 backlinks, and throughout the course of March and April we added seven articles to the website, each with an average of about 850 words.

Timeline:

  • These backlinks were obtained during the month of March.
  • The content was added to Website C in March and April.

It seems that Google rewarded this website a little bit in March, and a lot in April and May. The weekly organic traffic plateau went from about 60 to about 100.

After reviewing the results of our study, it became apparent that in order to successfully rank a website, you must institute a broad-based SEO program, applying many different techniques.

We hope this has been an insightful look into the work of a digital marketing firm. If you need any assistance with generating more organic traffic, and being found by your target audience, contact Sundown Legal Marketing for a free consultation. We can be reached at (800) 649-1764 or by using our website contact form.

Good reviews can lead to future business, bad reviews can lead to a slow painful death.  Actively pursuing client reviews can be a risky proposition.  It’s almost impossible to know what a client, or worse yet someone with an axe to grind, might say with the perceived anonymity that social media provides.

Many lawyers feel it’s beneath them to “ask” for a review.  Many believe that if they do good work, get positive results, clients will come.   Believe me, I understand the frustration with client reviews. The practice of law can be a thankless business and even if you get a good result for your client, they can usually find something to complain about.

This lack of certainty would suggest that client reviews should be avoided, but the opposite is true.  Recent changes in Google’s ranking algorithm demands client reviews and are an absolute necessity if you hope to rank well.  So, if client reviews are a must, what’s the best way to go about getting them?

Creating a repeatable process is the key to not only securing reviews, but putting your firm in the best position to get a positive review.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get good reviews:

  1. Set expectations – setting expectations is important in any relationship, but is an absolute necessity in the attorney/client relationship.  It is extremely important that a client knows, from the beginning, what to expect during every stage of their matter.  Setting expectations early on and adjusting those expectations as a time passes, can prevent a client from being disappointed with the outcome of their case.
  1. Be transparent – Be open and honest with your client.  Discuss all aspects of a client’s case with them, positive and negative.
  1. Communicate – One of the biggest complaints that law firm clients have concerns a lack of communication from their attorney.  Constant and consistent feedback strengthens an attorney/client relationship.  Also, client communication is a firm responsibility, so make sure that every member of your staff shares in the responsibility of keeping clients informed.
  1. Create great client experiences – Involve every member of your firm in the client experience.  Provide your clients with the kind of service you would expect if you hired your firm.
  1. Ask for reviews – One sure way to secure a positive review is to maintain control of the review process.   Most people enjoy talking about a positive experience, so let them.  Also, asking a client for a review suggests that you value their opinion.  Add client review responsibilities to staff job descriptions.  Collecting reviews needs to become a part of your firm’s culture.
  1. Create a simple way for clients to create a review – E-mail clients a link to post a review on Google or Yelp, create an auto-responder e-mail with a built-in Google review form or utilize an iPad loaded with a special review app, so a client can provide you with a review while they are still in your office. Whether you use these or some other means, dedicate the time to create a method, or methods, for a client to easily author a review.

If you need any help with any of these items, specifically your online marketing, give Sundown Legal Marketing a call at (800) 649-1764.

Your website…. it’s your baby! It’s a living breathing thing. You invest your time and money into having it designed and developed to spotlight your firm and help you achieve greatness. Or, so you thought….You launch your pride & joy and wait for your new clients to break down your door. So, your phone begins to ring, occasionally.

Things improve slightly, over time, as you invest more and more time on Search Engine Optimization, blogging and whatever else the latest article implores you to do. You add content, additional pages, more blog posts. You think you’ve done all you can.

Well, maybe you haven’t. The firms with the highest conversion rates have a little trick that works in every situation, live chat!

It’s no secret, our society today is accustomed to instant gratification, in fact most of us demand it. When someone visits your site, you have less than 3 seconds to give them a reason to stay and really check out your site. If that’s not pressure, I don’t know what is.

Many studies have been done investigating why website visitors (potential clients) interact with certain websites more or longer than others. The top two elements are engaging content and ease of use.

One engaging element that is extremely easy to use is live chat.  A live chat tool allows website visitors to communicate with you and your firm instantaneously.  In this world of texting and social media, that is what more and more people want.

A recent study done by Forrester Research showed that 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person, while on a website, is one of the most important features a web site can offer (aside from videos, which is a topic of another discussion).

Nearly half of online consumers want to engage with you and they want to do it now!

Another compelling reason and maybe the most important reason to consider live chat for your website, is to keep pace with your competitors. We recently completed a study, reviewing the sites of the top injury firms across the country. The study reviewed over 1,000 sites in the top 100 markets across the United States. Over 89% of those top marketing firms employed some type of live chat tool. Potential clients want it, your competitor’s offer it and you need to have it.

So, we’ve helped you decide you need a chat program. Now what? We have the answer – LegalChatNow. Why LegalChatNow? Because it is a live chat product that is extremely unique in a crowded and sometimes boring marketplace.

What makes Legal Chat Now different?

It sends chats to your phone, utilizing text functionality (SMS), while a potential client is on your site. Don’t wait to get a copy of the conversation between the client and an operator, after it has taken place. LegalChatNow allows for real time communication between a website visitor and up to four members of your firm, simultaneously, utilizing a technology that you use every day.

LegalChatNow is so simple:

1. A website visitor clicks on the chat box on your website.
2. You and three other members of your firm are instantly made aware of their presence.
3. You have the option of engaging with the potential client immediately or you can wait until they’ve completed answering the customized intake questions that you created.
4. Once you’ve determined there is value, you can instantly engage with the potential client to schedule a phone conference or a face to face meeting.
5. You can take advantage of this powerful tool anywhere in the world. As long as you have cell phone service, you are connected to your website.

Why is this important to you?

LegalChatNow allows you to capture a potential client before they disengage from your website and move on to a competitor’s website. And, in a world of instant gratification, this is one of the most important things you can do for your practice.

You’ve invested a great deal of time, effort and money into your website and web presence. Why not utilize every tool at your disposal to secure potential clients when they visit your website. Give LegalChatNow a try and start converting website visitors into clients today.

Any questions, click on this link to chat with me NOW, via LegalChatNow.

Check out our website at www.legalchatnow.com or call at (800) 649-1764.

I read an article earlier this year written by Jennifer Brandt, Co-Chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Family Law Department, which shared 10 tips on how to revive your law practice in.  Almost half of the year is behind us and perhaps now is a good time to review where you and your practice stand against the 10 items mentioned in Ms. Brandt’s article. 

Before we dive into the 10 tips, let’s discuss the importance of a plan and the efficacy of New Year’s resolutions.  I think we can all agree that having a plan is beneficial for any endeavor.  The importance of a plan gains potency when talking about running a business, specifically a law practice.  Managing a law firm can be a daunting task.  Breaking that task into two broad categories – the practice of law & the business of a law practice – helps to better understand what topics a plan for a law firm need to address.  The practice of law is covered, as attorneys spend three years in Law School focusing on the skill set necessary to practice law.  The business of a law practice is an area where most attorneys are not quite as skilled.  So, the necessity of creating, and sticking to, a business plan is even more imperative.  

Every January 1st, we all spend a few minutes to a few hours, creating a plan for the New Year.  Unfortunately, only 64% of those people who make resolutions are still on pace to meet those resolutions after one month and that number drops to below 50% between one and six months into the New Year.

With the above two points in mind, let’s review the 10 tips and see if anything can be integrated into your 2016 business plan…..if you are still eyeing your plan.

Take time to organize – Have you spent any time this year organizing your client files or case files?  Are you managing your trust accounts properly?  Do you have file folders spread out all over your office floor?  Now is a good time to take account of all your existing record keeping systems and make changes where necessary.  Delegate certain responsibilities to your staff and take on the remaining responsibilities yourself.  Set aside time to review and improve your record keeping system.

Assess what doesn’t work and change it – How efficient is your staff?  Could certain responsibilities be managed by another staff member?  Review all policies and procedures in and around your office.  Focus on those procedures dealing with clients and make changes where necessary.

Review your billing and collecting practices – This is an element that fits squarely into the business of running a law practice and is often at the center of many firm failures.  Now is a great time to review your billing procedures to make certain you are accurately capturing every minute of time dedicated to a client matter, limiting non-billable hours and that bills are being sent & paid in a timely manner.

Renew and refresh your attitude – We all can get frustrated by our chosen professions and lose sight of what matters most in our professional lives.  A question that needs to be asked, and asked often, “What can I do to improve my relationship with my customers?”  Customers or clients are the lifeblood of any law firm.  Without them, a law firm ceases to exist.  If you find yourself getting frustrated by the somewhat unreasonable demands of your clients, take a few minutes to remind yourself that your clients are your source of revenue.  Keep them happy.

Create and use a marketing plan – Marketing a law firm used to be blasphemy.  But, today, if you are not aggressively marketing your law firm, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant and taking the clients that your competitors have already cast aside.  If you’ve already created a marketing plan, now is a good time to review it, tweak it, make sure it is delivering results.  If you are working with a marketing resource outside your firm, get their input.  Make sure you understand your plan and its goals.  If you haven’t created a marketing plan….what are you waiting for?  If you can dedicate the time yourself, get to it.  If not, find a viable and trusted resource to partner with.  They can help you put your thoughts and ideas for your firm into an actionable marketing plan.

Update web bio and social media presence – Maintaining a presence on the many social media channels available today is an absolute necessity for any law firm that expects to be relevant on the internet.  Focusing on the top social media sites (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), as well as the top local and legal directories, is the best way for most firms to accomplish that task.  But, if don’t actively manage your profiles, keeping them current, you are presenting outdated information to potential clients.

Pump up your staff – Have you challenged your staff lately?  Sharing your vision with your staff and challenging them to help you reach your goals is an absolute necessity if you plan to build a successful law firm.  Keep them excited.  Entrust them with responsibilities that help ease your administrative workload. This will allow you to focus on business development and the practice of law.

Learn to use the technology you have – Admit it, almost everyone wants the latest and greatest widget.  The newest laptop, the latest smart phone, the best tablet.  We invest time to research the new gadget that will do everything we need, we shop the best price, and we buy the widget, only to use a fraction of it features.  Now is a great time to review the technology in your office to make sure you are taking advantage of every feature that could help you and your practice become more effective.

Spruce up your leadership skills – It can be tough to treat others well when you work in a stressful, deadline heavy world.  Filing deadlines, juggling clients and diverse legal issues, a potential malpractice suit around every corner, are just a few of the stressful aspects of life as an attorney.  Even with these challenges, it is important that you treat your staff with respect.  Your staff, if they believe in you and the firm’s mission, can help you manage the things that create the stressful work environment.  Ask yourself, are effectively leading your troops? 

Take time to breathe – Most law firms generate revenue one way – billable hours.  If you are not working, the firm is not generating revenue.   But, it is ridiculous to think that you can manage your business without a break.  There are countless studies that prove taking a break from the everyday grind of work and relaxing away from the office, can help make you more effective in your work environment.  As mentioned at the beginning of this article, we are almost half through the year.  Have you taken any time off?  Planned a vacation?  If not, do it today.       

Each of the 10 tips above can help you become a better attorney and help you run a more effective law firm.  Follow these 10 tips and it can lead to more clients, higher profits, happier employees and a better quality of life.  Get started on these tips today.  If you need any help with any of these items, specifically your online marketing, give Sundown Legal Marketing a call at (800) 649-1764.

The use of social media has changed over the years.  Not long ago social media sites like My Space, digg and Friendster were simply “fun” websites where teenage kids could share stories, talk about weekend plans or complain about their Mom and Dad.

Today, social media has blossomed into a way of life.  There are social media sites and apps for just about everyone, regardless of age, sex, likes, dislikes, height, weight or any other measurable factor that makes each of us different.  The biggies – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  The here and now – Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr.  The up and coming – Periscope, Yik Yak and Kik.  The influential directories – Yelp, AVVO.  Video hosting – YouTube, Vimeo

Now, you may be asking yourself, “As an attorney, a law firm owner, why do I care about any of this?”   That is a great question and the answer needs to be integrated into your 2016 Marketing Plan.

Facebook boasts over 1.55 billion users, Tumblr over 555 million, Instagram 400 million and Twitter 300 million.   That is a lot of “eyeballs” on any social media activity or advertising.  Social media provides a law firm or an individual lawyer with an excellent opportunity to gain brand recognition.   It also provides a law firm with an opportunity to engage with their community, their potential clients.  To become more than just simply a business that is looking to take from the community, to a business that is ingrained in the fabric of the community.  Trust is an important consideration when a potential client is looking to hire a lawyer and a robust social media profile can build that foundation of trust before a client ever walks through the door.

Social media is also a key distribution channel for a law firm’s content.   In order to succeed in today’s extremely competitive internet marketplace, a law firm must continuously create new and impactful content.  Blogs, articles, new web pages, videos.  All examples of content that a firm must create in order to be relevant online.  Social media is the perfect conduit to deliver this information to potential clients.  An article on a change in the law that may impact business owners can be posted to LinkedIn.  A blog sharing what you should do just after being involved in a car accident could be posted to Facebook.  A video addressing a common estate planning question could be posted to YouTube, with a link to the video tweeted to the community.

Any social media channel, specifically the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & LinkedIn, will provide a law firm to an opportunity to connect with the community, aka potential clients. Adding a face or human element to any business, can help secure business.  But, with a law firm, it can have an even greater positive impact.  Lawyers are often thought of as arrogant, self serving or described as shysters.  Social media allows a lawyer or law firm to contradict those misnomers.  Social media provides a lawyer with an opportunity to profess to the world that they are regular “folks” involved in charitable work, community events, the local PTA, as well as coaching local sports teams.

Finally, search engines like Google are increasingly placing more importance on active participation on social media sites.  Soon, if you don’t post to Facebook or tweet on Twitter, on a regular basis, your website ranking will begin to suffer.

If you or your firm are not active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) you are missing a huge opportunity.  Get started today.  If you need any assistance with developing a social  media strategy or just simply want someone knowledgeable to manage your profiles for you.  Give us a call or send us an e-mail – Sundown Legal Marketing – (800) 649-1764 – rr@sundownmarketing.com

Your website, it’s your baby! It’s a living breathing thing. You invest your time and money having it designed and developed to spotlight your firm and help you achieve greatness. Or, so you thought. You launch your pride & joy and wait for your new clients to break down your door. So, your phone begins to ring…..occasionally.

Things improve slightly, over time, as you invest more and more time on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blogging and whatever else the latest article implores you to do. You add content, additional pages, more blog posts. You think you’ve done all you can. Well, maybe you haven’t. The firms with the highest conversion rates have a little trick that provides one more way to connect with potential clients, live chat!
It’s no secret, society today is accustomed to instant gratification and most people demand it. In fact, when someone visits your site, you have less than 3 seconds to give them a reason to stay for a while and really check you out. If that’s not pressure, I don’t know what is.

Many studies have been done investigating why website visitors (potential clients) interact with certain websites more or longer than others. The top two elements are engaging content and ease of use.
One engaging element that is extremely easy to use is live chat. A live chat tool, allows website visitors to communicate with you and your firm instantaneously. And, in this world of texting and social media, that is what more and more people want.

A recent study done by Forrester Research showed that 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person, while on a website, is one of the most important features a web site can offer (aside from videos, which is a topic of another discussion). Nearly half of online consumers want to engage with you and they want to do it Now!

Another compelling reason and maybe the most important reason to consider live chat for your website, is to keep pace with your competitors. We recently completed a study, reviewing the sites of the top injury firms across the country. The study reviewed over 1,000 sites in the top 100 markets across the United States. Over 89% of those top marketing firms employed some type of live chat tool. Potential clients want it, your competitor’s offer it and you need to have it.

We would love to talk with you about live chat, how it can help your firm and which chat products are the best based on your firm’s needs and structure. Please contact us by phone (800) 649-1764, by e-mail (info@sundownmarketing.com) or by chat via LegalChatNow.

It wasn’t that long ago that internet marketing success was solely based on a few things:

  1. A website with a lot keyword content crammed into every page
  2. Tons of links to other websites that may or may not be relevant, but received a lot of traffic

Today, success in internet marketing is impacted by a great number of factors and involves a lot of moving parts.  With all of the changes that Google has made to their algorithm (Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird) over the last few years, the path to internet marketing success starts with two simple factors:

  1. Creating relevant and authoritative content
  2. Delivering relevant and authoritative content to potential customers/clients

Creating relevant and authoritative content allows a website owner to convey subject matter expertise.  Consumers utilize the internet to find information and, dependent upon their needs, will work diligently to find a website/business that can provide them with the expert answers that they need.  Subject matter expertise provides a consumer with a sense of security, allowing them to comfortably make a decision to buy, not to buy, act or do nothing at all.  With those thoughts in mind, it is easy to understand why Google now demands that websites provide their customers with good, quality content.

The second point above, delivering relevant and authoritative content is just as important as creating the content in the first place.  Without a mechanism to deliver the content, no one will ever see it.  Here is a list of some of the most important tools for delivering content:

  1. A website
  2. A blog
  3. Social Media

The first tool for delivering content is always a website.  A website is typically the first stop a consumer makes when searching for information online.  A good website will have a number of good qualities (good color palette, uncluttered, call to action, etc.), but the single most important quality will be great content.

Another tool for delivering content is a blog.  A blog allows an author to convey timely subject matter expertise.  A business should blog as often as they can and dependent upon their area of expertise, 2-4 times monthly should fit the bill.

Lastly, utilizing social media as a content delivery mechanism is becoming more and more important and businesses who effectively utilize social media are recognizing the benefits.  Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to name a few) allows a business to connect with the community.  A community which is made up of potential customers/clients.

Each of the elements above are important on their own, but become incredibly valuable when they are part of a holistic approach to internet marketing.  Bringing consumers to a website from a link on a well written blog, driving potential clients to a blog through postings on social media or pushing potential customers to social media profiles from well displayed icons on a website.  Tying all of these elements together, as a part of a well thought out, well planned internet marketing program is the only way to succeed online today.

So…… you’ve invested all this money into a brand new website, Search Engine Optimization, local search, Pay Per Click and all manner of things that are supposed to increase your caseload. You’ve seen the traffic reports and they look great, but your phone still isn’t ringing.

Well, you’re not alone. That is the concern, by far, that most law firms have with their internet marketing program. Let’s be honest, if your investment paid 10 times what it cost you would probably be satisfied. In fact, you would probably be satisfied with 3-5 times your investment.  And, there are a lot of law firms that would like to just stop losing money on their internet marketing program.

That is what I would like to discuss with you today. After 14 years of listening to law firms discuss their internet marketing programs, examining the highs and lows, I have come up with a few tips that could really help.  Here are the Top 5 simple steps you can make to your website that will get you more cases.

Step #5 – Make your website inviting and colorful

Appearance means a lot. When you look at someone getting out of a $40,000 car your first instinct is to assume the person is successful and intelligent, unless they are wearing a valet uniform, of course.  On the flip side, the most successful person you may ever meet could exit a fixer upper (which could simply be a restoration project of their first car) and you would assume that was all they could afford and were probably not successful.

It is human nature to be attracted to people or things that make us feel better about ourselves and success is one of those factors.  Your website should look successful. Use high quality pictures, graphics that depict your practice areas and success stories, right on the home page.

Step #4 – Don’t be afraid to advertise your success

Potential clients are going to be attracted to your success, so show it. Talk about the types of cases your firm has one and make it easy for them to find them.  Instead of mentioning a lot of midsize verdicts and settlements, combine them together to say “Our firm has successfully negotiated more than 20 Million dollars for our client’s in the past 5 years. Let us see what we can do for you.”  That statement alone may drive more phone calls.  Potential clients want to hire a winner.

Step #3 – Display your contact information prominently on your home page

Your Firm phone number, Live Chat, e-mail addresses must be up front and obvious on your website. They’re interested in talking to you, so why make it hard. They most likely had to work hard to find your website in the first place, so make it easy for them to contact you. They want to communicate with someone and the more quickly that someone is you, the better!

Step #2 – Have a good marketing message

Your marketing message is critical and must be on the top half of the home page.  An example of a good message is – We help Accident Victims. Period.” Or “Big Firm Resources, Small Firm Approach to Our Clients.  People want to know who you are and what you are about. Remember, you have less than 4 seconds to get their attention and encourage them to read on. So, be bold!

Step #1 – Have a live chat program

This could end up being the most important thing you could do, especially since you can actually do it today. Changes to your website can sometimes take a while.

People don’t visit law firm websites because they are looking to learn about the law. People visit law firm websites because they have a problem and it is probably one of the most stressful times in their lives.

You may not know it, but law firms and attorneys themselves, can be very intimidating to the general public. Your education, your success and your “don’t back down” attitude can make even the most polished individuals a little nervous, when they are feeling vulnerable.

A phone call can be a scary thought. That is where live chat programs have taken law firm marketing to the next level. Some studies claim that live chats can increase your intakes by 40% or more.  We recently completed a study of the top 1000 websites for the top marketing law firms around the country and 87% of those firms employed a live chat tool.

This, in itself, should be validation enough that it is working. Even firms with money to burn, so to speak, don’t want to waste it and are always looking for that extra edge over their competition. You should too.

The reason this option is appealing is its anonymity, its convenience and the instant response. And, considering more and more law firm searches are being done via mobile devices, it makes sense.

I don’t know what 40% more potential conversations could do for your firm, but most attorneys tell me, it’s worth it.  And, your most successful peers are doing it, so don’t get left behind.

There are lots of chat programs to choose from, so it’s important to find the one that’s right for your firm and your attorneys.

If you would like to know more about our live chat program, LegalChatnow and how it could increase your business, call or email us today; (251)513-0543 or dm@legalchatnow.com or just visit our website, www.legalchatnow.com.

If you have questions or comments about this article, click here to chat with us live.

Our program utilizes live chat and text messaging to maximize the potential for website visitor interaction. Call us or chat with us today.

We are the experts, so you don’t have to be.

As the clock ticks down towards the April 21st deadline, Google’s most expansive algorithm update in years is looming large over website owners without mobile-friendly websites. The update, aptly nicknamed “Mobilegeddon” by SEO experts, stands to make a major impact on organic search rankings by greatly strengthening the power of Google’s mobile-friendly ranking signal.

So what does this mean for website owners? In the words of Google, “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Translation: it’s time to get your website mobile optimized if you haven’t already. The best way to know if your website is 100% Google-approved for its mobile update is to use the tool they provided in their February announcement, located here. To use the mobile-friendly test, simply enter the URL of your website and hit “analyze”. Google will then return a simple yes/no response letting you know if your website is ready for the coming change.

Mobile-Friendly Web Design is the New Standard

Google has urged website owners for years to improve the mobile experience of their users, but up until now those recommendations have been met with mixed acceptance. While some savvy website owners immediately recognized the beneficial effects mobile-friendly design has on conversion, many more remain exclusively focused on desktop performance – an increasingly outdated way of thinking, according Jon Wiley, the head of Google’s User Experience Team. The increase in mobile device searches has been impossible to ignore, says Wiley. “Mobile is having a huge impact on how we approach design.”

Just as desktop shipments have declined over the last several years, mobile device use has exploded, with some estimates attributing over 60% of all searches to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. This increasing reliance on mobile traffic has meant that, for web developers, mobile web design now is web design. Writing for Forbes, Jayson DeMers has noted that “Due to the widespread (and quickly growing) use of smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary for companies to create content that’s accessible to mobile users… As the shift from traditional PCs and laptops to mobile devices continues, businesses that aren’t onboard are likely to suffer.”

What Can You Do If Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly?

Luckily, it is not too late to optimize your site for Google’s impending update. The best response is to contact experts in website design and ask them if they can code for mobile devices. Even if you miss the April 21st deadline, it’s still better to get a head start on recovering your organic rankings than it is to wait around hoping that Google will revert the changes (spoiler alert: they won’t).

Click here to speak with the website design experts at Sundown Marketing now – we are willing and able to make sure that your website is in full compliance with Google’s mobile update.

In thirteen years of working with law firms and real estate companies, I have gotten a lot of internet marketing questions. Sometimes these answers seem so obvious that I wonder why they ever asked it to begin with. Well, the question about blogging isn’t one of them.

Let me first say, I am a fan. I believe it can really help you connect with a potential client in a way that traditional website content can’t. As search engines have evolved and website content has become better written, getting an answer to even the strangest of questions seems easier than ever….”My washing machine is making a chirping sound in the spin cycle!” Or, “I hear a thumping sound when I put my car in drive!” are only a few of my wife’s internet searches that have led to the perfect answer to her dilemma.

If we can get answers to even the strangest of questions; including videos on how to do just about anything, then why wouldn’t we search for, “How to beat a DUI?” or “The best neighborhoods in Mobile, AL”. Having a blog that is written in a way that answers questions, even if you aren’t giving advice, but simply saying, “the answer may be much more complicated than just posing the question to the internet world”, can be great for your business. A well-written blog, that shows that you are an expert in some subject matter, can often help you become a “trusted adviser”.

If I would have gotten a DUI, I may be trying to see what my options are or seeing the worst case scenario. It could be your blog, explaining that trying to beat a DUI on your own or with an inexperienced attorney can be costly, beyond your wildest dreams. In essence, your opinion may convince me that I really do need an attorney. And, you have positioned yourself as someone who knows a little bit about the subject. Why wouldn’t I contact you or try and chat with you about it (assuming you have a live chat, which is also just as important).

In today’s world of options and instant answers, you have to position yourself as an expert in your field and you have to do so before everyone else. The traditional way of optimizing websites is through keywords that alert the search engines about your areas of interest. An example of this might be DUI Attorney or Real Estate in Mobile. The problem with this approach is that everyone else is doing the same thing. Why not try to cut in line. Get in front of that potential client, before they are searching for an attorney, a real estate agent or even a plumber! Try and address their concerns in a way that shows you “Understand their situation”, you can “Empathize with their Situation” and finally, you can “Help with their situation”.

Now, I said at the beginning of this post that I believed in blogs. I do. But, only if done correctly.

Write content that is easy for people to understand. Keep in mind, it’s not for your colleagues, it’s for your potential new clients.

Write often. Nothing kills a blogs effectiveness like never being updated. An updated blog is new content and search engines love new content.

Finally, keep it short, not like what I have written here. Assume that people don’t have long attentions spans and you will do great.