Speaking at The Mass Bar Association – Avvo’s First Impression

Last month I had the chance to speak at The Mass Bar Association…. Content marketing specialist Kristen Lovett, and search engine optimization guru Francis McGovern will help you learn how to use online marketing target to new clients, enhance relationships with your existing clients, and raise your visibility.

It was a great group of seasoned attorneys, many in the group were solo practitioners. There were a lot of questions. One topic that came up was whether or not to complete your Avvo profile. I stressed to the attorneys that I felt it was very important to complete that especially for legal consumers (who don’t understand the compulsory nature of Avvo.) Attorneys know that they get a profile on Avvo whether they want it or not.  Consumers see a profile on Avvo which is all over the search results and they presume the rating to be based on something (not whether the attorney has filed out the compulsory profile information.) An incomplete profile will result in a low rating and a low first impression. Fill out your profile on Avvo and make a strong first impression.

Law Firms Should Avoid These Online Marketing Mistakes: Part 2

If you are a law firm who is avoiding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, this is a major problem. As Forbes.com claims: “SEO and search algorithms are constantly evolving, but they are not going away. Keywords are getting much more specific and sophisticated.” This is absolutely true. Think about Google’s latest algorithm, which judges websites on whether they are mobile friendly or not. By “mobile friendly,” we mean that the website must be a good experience for users on a smartphone. If your law firm’s website is considered mobile friendly, it will have better search results. Those websites that are not mobile friendly will be pushed down in the Google rankings. Therefore, the combination of staying current with algorithms and SEO strategies will help a law firm’s online presence immensely.

If you have a website, think about its content. How do you present yourself physically on the site? In other words, if you have a photo of yourself in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt, that may be a problem for prospective clients who are looking for a professional, top-notch attorney. Look at how other lawyers appear in photos. Most likely, they are in suits, pantsuits, or in business attire, such as professional dresses and shirts. Hair and makeup must look professional, as well as the photo’s background.

In the same vein, if your website doesn’t have video, you need to add it. Having a professional video is a must nowadays. Potential clients want to see how lawyers look and talk, and they want to receive a sense of the lawyer’s personality and presentation. However, the video must be professional. It’s best to hire a professional Internet marketing service that has a videographer. It’s a good idea to have a script and actors if needed. Videos are proven to increase traffic to your website too.

Do you have any commendations? For example, has Martindale-Hubbell given you a strong AV rating, or have you received a Super Lawyer award for your state or city? Think about your track record. If you’ve never lost a case as a prosecutor, for instance, you should include that on your website, as well as any awards or commendations you may have received. If you or the firm has represented a well-known client or been involved in a well-known case, that’s something to mention too.

At Qlegal, we are happy to discuss how to increase your law firm’s online presence and Internet marketing, and the best part is, we’ll do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in SEO, social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to improve your or your law firm’s visibility, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

This blog was inspired by an article from Forbes

Law Firms Should Avoid These Online Marketing Mistakes: Part 1

Law firms have to walk a fine line between promoting themselves online and not overreaching in regard to advertising. They must adhere to ethics and guidelines. However, in doing so, law firms shouldn’t avoid Internet marketing altogether, and when done the right way, it can be a very powerful tool to attract clients. For example, some firms believe they don’t have to have an online presence at all. That’s a huge mistake. By not having a well-maintained and up-to-date website, they are missing out on securing potential clients and basically giving them up to their competitors who do have a strong online presence.

A big mistake that some law firms make is advertising the wrong things on their websites. For instance, if you’re a lawyer, you may think it’s straightforward and helpful to a potential client to advertise your hourly or billable rates. But it probably will damage your financial success in the end. Why? If you charge the same rate for every client, that doesn’t take into account the length and complexity of a case. Some cases may be resolved quickly and easily, while others may take a long time and are quite complex in nature. It’s best not to advertise any billable rates on your site or online. Meet with the potential client first and receive a sense of time and complexity, and then you can start talking about rates. Remember, your online presence draws potential clients to the consultation.

Also in regard to finances, do you do pro bono work? If so, that’s great! It shows a sense of giving back to the community and highlights what is important to your firm, besides money. Therefore, on your website or social media pages, you want to discuss your pro bono work and maybe talk a little about why it’s important to the firm overall. As Forbes.com correctly mentions: “If your firm has no time or inclination to get SEO and keyword strategy right, then outsource it. But get it done.” Basically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical for your website. You must have the right keywords and content to be visible in searches. If you let SEO lag, then you are losing potential clients on a daily basis.

At Qlegal, we are happy to discuss how to increase your law firm’s online presence and Internet marketing, and the best part is, we’ll do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in SEO, social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to improve your or your law firm’s visibility, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

 

This blog was inspired by an article from Forbes

How to Make Your Law Firm’s Website Mobile Friendly

In today’s world, there are many lawyers and law firms out there. This translates into stiff competition for one field of law. Thus, it is absolutely necessary that, as a lawyer, you have a professional website that incorporates Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and mobile friendliness. The former is using strategies, techniques, and tactics to affect a website’s visibility in the search rankings. For instance, you would use SEO to help move your website from the tenth page of Google to the first page when people search for your field of law. The latter, mobile friendliness, is a new concept. Your website should be “mobile friendly” so that it shows up looking professional and readable on a smartphone. If it does not, your Google search engine ranking will be negatively affected as of April 2015. Therefore, it’s crucial to make your website mobile friendly.

Not only is it important for Google, it’s important for your law firm. Think about how many lawyers would show up in your area in a Google search for “divorce lawyer.” Probably a lot. You want to ensure being in the top results for Google, so potential clients find you first. Also, people use their smartphones today to search for everything. Long gone are the days of waiting to go home and search on a computer. The way people search has changed, and you must keep up with the demand of smartphone search. At this point, you may be saying to yourself, “I agree, but what can I do?”

First of all, at Qlegal, since we have a unique brand of combining our SEO expertise with the creation and management of websites, we are happy to help your website become mobile friendly. We recommend the first step for you—which is very easy and will take less than 30 seconds of your time—is to take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Simply type in your web page’s URL and click Analyze. If your website is mobile friendly, then great. If not, please contact us for the next steps and we’ll help you make your firm’s website mobile friendly.

At Qlegal, we’ve had years of experience working for large and small law firms. We manage their SEO by creating unique and strategized content to help them move up in the Google search rankings. Additionally, we focus on local search, so your law firm is found on Google easily in your local area. For lawyers who work nationally and internationally, we also service you as well by helping to ensure a larger outreach for your potential clients. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Congratulations to Katie Rutter

Katie Rutter

At Qlegal we like to recognize some of the great people working in the legal marketing field. One of the most talented, smart and easy to work with legal marketers in Boston is Katie Rutter of Katie Rutter consulting. Katie is the president-elect of the legal marketing association’s New England Chapter. Congratulations Katie!

Katie Rutter is a seasoned marketing and business development professional with 17 years of experience. As President of Katie Rutter Consulting, she provides strategic planning and marketing services to law firms and other professional services organizations. Katie’s mission is to ensure that clients are well positioned in the marketplace, and are focused on initiatives that help them grow their business and better serve their customers. Prior to launching her own business, Katie headed the marketing and business development efforts for practice groups at AmLaw 50 firms, including Goodwin Procter LLP and McDermott, Will & Emery. Learn more about Katie here. here

SEO & Your Law Firm Redesign – Looking Your Website in the Mirror!

Sometimes when we look in the mirror we like what we see. Sometimes. Other times maybe we know we need to make a change. We just want to look better.

Maybe it has been three years or 4 years or really 5 years or more since you have redesigned the firm’s website. What is it that made you decide to act now? Are you feeling pressure to do something? Why? What arbitrary clock has ticked enough so that you decided to act? Has it been too many times that you have thought to yourself – it just doesn’t look good enough? Well you know those are the quick judgements that your potential clients make too. And does that reflect on the work you do? Or do clients think like you – “We are too busy doing work for clients?” The “Design Shelf Life of a law firm” can vary, is it 3, 4 or 5 years? It’s something that you feel (and you feel others feeling or thinking.) Maybe it’s when a client mentions your website or you see that a fellow lawyer from a competing firm with a new updated website that get’s you to act.

Because online marketing is so necessary for attorneys, it is important to have the best design for your site that you can. Also that design should tell the story of your firm or your practice in the most effective way. And should do it every day through news, social media, and content. And you should tell it using core principles of good SEO.

The design and SEO should work together. For design you need a designer that can take a concept for what your firm stands for and then represent that in a way you find pleasant. And that you think others will like – with the right amount of guidance and input from you it doesn’t need to be painful. You need to remember that you will arrive at a design you like and that will be better for your firm. It’s really that simple if you have someone to guide you through the process.

For SEO, the first step is that your firm needs to target the right terms, not just the main terms with high visibility that other lawyers are searching but a wide universe of terms related to potential client needs and questions, and the services and practice areas you provide. Then you need to decide on a platform and framework that allows those words and content to be present in the site. The more people that can edit and maintain the site the better for SEO. Technically it needs to be optimized but then it will need to be optimized going forward. The frequency and volume of relevant and original content is what Google wants to see. Your firm’s web presence is no longer one website – it is a network of websites – keep that network updated and interesting and you will reach more potential clients and it won’t hurt when you look in the mirror!

Law Firm Photoshoot with Brian Smith and Twin Lens Media

Just this past week Qlegal held another successful video shoot with Brian Smith and Brian Tortola. We have used Brian Smith for a number of legal photo and legal video projects in the past. Brian has been doing legal and corporate photography in Boston for a number of years and we have worked with him at Qlegal for over 4 years on many successful projects.

lawfirmphotoshoot1He is one of the true professionals that allows you not only to look good for your clients but that you can trust to complete the project on time and on budget. He gets the shot without getting in the way and takes care and ease to put the subjects at ease.

 

 

 

The Best Defense is a Strong Offense in Legal Marketing and (Publishing)

If you are the chief marketing officer or managing partner of a law firm, you need to be proactive about how your firm deals with and responds to client issues, disagreements and negative client interactions. How can you take a strong stand and yet make sure that those disagreements don’t see the light of day? How does your firm’s reputation stand up under the light of Google?

In order to proactively step out ahead of any blips in your firm’s reputation, you need to monitor what’s being said and what’s being written. And, for all intents and purposes, you need to publish your firm’s story and how you want it to be told well in advance of anything negative. A smarter person than me once said, the worst time to ask for credit is when you need it. Don’t wait to launch a blog or social media site just to push down negative content in the search results. Be ready in case it ever does happen.

A good legal marketer knows that their firm must become publishers – publishers of content that shows their expertise and their successful track record of cases and accolades. This stream of content can help quell any negative issues that might arise, that you may or may not wish to engage with directly online.

As publishers, we assume a certain risk. The risk that someone whom we write about might not like what we write, even if what we publish is re-purposed content from the public record. We need to make sure it is true and accurate and that any strong opinions can and will be supported by the firm.

The key to a proactive content strategy is to make sure that your content is original, optimized for your firm and that it is done on a consistent basis. Adopting a strong defense is a lot easier if you can produce content well in advance of anything negative.

How to “Sell” Your Legal Services without Selling Out

In the past, individuals would often contact a lawyer using more traditional methods, such as yellow pages, referrals and word of mouth.  Now rather than location being listed in a phone book, law firms need to reach out and be proactive in obtaining new clients.  In a competitive marketplace law firms are coming to terms with the necessity of “selling” their services.  While it is a hard idea for many to grasp, it is a reality for successful practices.  When some think of selling, they picture television advertisements and over-the-top advertising strategies, which may seem out of place if it is not your style.  You need to be proud and confident about your services, and in some cases, shout it from the rooftops.

While “selling” has long been an important concept, the internet and social media, it is becoming increasingly necessarily and ever more competitive, since there are so many lawyers and places for lawyers to be.  Many law firms continue to turn to marketing professionals to increase their visibility. While large practices may have their own marketing coordinator on staff, or perhaps an entire marketing department, smaller firms and solo practitioners may not have the luxury of such an expense and they need to be creative, deliberate and smart about what they do.

Qlegal can help.  We can tailor a strategy with the needs of individual lawyers or law firms in mind.  From evaluating your website, maximizing its impact and improving the effectiveness of your social media efforts, you can “sell” without selling out.

Qlegal Founder Talks Legal Marketing at Suffolk Law

This past February, Founder and President of Qlegal, Francis McGovern, spoke at Suffolk University Law School in Boston about the importance of marketing and search engine optimization in the legal profession.

Offered by the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, McGovern’s session was part of a day-long offering titled “Jumpstarting Your Practice: A Roadmap for Success.”  McGovern took part in a panel titled “Finding Clients, Working with Clients, Keeping Clients,” which was moderated by Eric J. Parker, who is currently on the board of the school.

McGovern’s seminar on legal marketing delved into the importance of SEO, what it is and how it works to increase traffic to your firm’s website, and in turn, creates more business opportunities for your practice.  Legal marketing is an aspect of law that should not be overlooked in such a competitive industry, and McGovern’s experience in the field makes him a knowledgeable source on the subject, and he was happy to share his expertise with the students of Suffolk University Law School.