October 24, 2012 (San Diego, CA) – Legal website design specialist Legal Web Experts is announcing its leading design, custom programming, and marketing services in Latin America and Canada. Legal Web Experts has recently launched a new site for Latino legal marketing (http://www.legalwebexperts.com/ESP/) and also offers services in French.
The Legal Web Experts Spanish website was officially launched on September 10, 2012. The new site is part of an expansion initiative by Legal Web Experts’ parent company, internet marketing agency New Wave Web and Marketing, which launched its own Spanish-language website the same day as well as a Spanish site for its other subsidiary Medical Web Experts. The Latino and French-focused site follows the company’s commitment to help Hispanic and French law firms expand their client bases, engage users and succeed in the digital age.
With nearly ten years of experience in custom programming and web design, Legal Web Experts has put together a completely bilingual website design and marketing team to tackle a variety of Hispanic and French legal marketing services – including translation services in French and Spanish; bilingual website design; Hispanic and French internet marketing; search-engine-friendly design; Hispanic and French custom logo design; Latino legal marketing, French legal marketing; Latino and French market analysis services, and more.
By offering a unique approach for each client, the company is able to consider each client’s needs, budget and overall goals to guarantee successful results. “We find there is less competition for Spanish keywords than English keywords in the United States, so the costs of getting to the top of Google are lower. That, combined with the same conversion rate, leads us to experience a higher ROI,” says John Deutsch, President and CEO of New Wave Web and Marketing.
About Legal Web Experts
Legal Web Experts was founded in 2003 by John Deutsch as a subsidiary of New Wave Enterprises LLC. Specializing in providing web solutions for law firms, Legal Web Experts aims to provide customers with highly effective websites and time-tested internet marketing services that meet each client’s specific needs and budget. For more information, visit http://www.legalwebexperts.com/.
Legal Web Experts
In a few recent studies, including one from the ABA about Social Media ROI, many law firms and attorneys are stating that they have seen positive ROI and attracted new business from the use of social media and blogging. The important numbers from the report, which surveyed 179 attorneys from law firms varying in size, show that:
- About 85% of attorneys are using social media in some form, and 70% are using a blog.
- 50% of firms have received leads from their blogs and/or social media.
- Over 40% received publicity and inquiries from journalists related to their blog.
Another study from Hubspot, which is a company that does SEO of all kinds, showed that:
- 57% of companies with a blog have gained at least one new customer from their blog, while an astounding 92% of companies who blog multiple times a day have received at least one lead.
- 77% of Business-to-Consumer companies have received at least one new customer from Facebook.
- 62% of companies using LinkedIn have gained one or more customers through the network.
While many law firms have used these networks and blogging platforms to help with law firm internet marketing by directing links and further traffic to their legal website design, we are now starting to see solid data showing that law firms are receiving direct leads through these platform.
As more consumers are spending more time on the internet and social media sites, they are often finding services they need through these sites, whether directly or indirectly.
Additional sources: www.therainmakerblog.com
We come across law firms with all sorts of budgets in our company, from as low as $100 per month up to thousands of dollars each month. Here are a few steps you can take based on your budget to help your site perform in the search engines.
Consider having your site built in WordPress or another Content Management System (CMS). With a custom site, it will cost you a bit more up-front to program, but it is a one-time fee. Many legal web design companies have template solutions with a CMS that are more cost efficient than a custom site.
With a CMS, you can change and update content yourself. The most basic of internet-users can make site edits on a weekly or monthly basis to help improve content and make your site perform better. SEO plugins are available, and if you do a bit of research on how to use them properly, you should be able to improve rankings to some extent. Some companies may be able to work within this budget if your practice area is local and the competition low.
Here you can afford to hire a legal practice marketing company to do the work for you. Start with designing a well-optimized site and let the professionals do what they do best. The process is complicated and search engines choose their rankings based on more than 200 factors, but a good SEO company will know how to rank your site in relevant keywords that will generate leads.
Consider spending a portion of your budget on Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) paid advertising. This will bring you immediate traffic, while your organic, unpaid results will take more time.
At this stage, most SEO companies will be able to rank your site in numerous keywords and ones that have higher competition, such as national keywords. If you have $5,000 or more, many companies will assign a staff member (or hire a new one) to be dedicated mostly or entirely to your site.
Having a dedicated staff member means you will have multiple articles written about your firm each month that will generate awareness and drive links to your site. On top of that, you can likely afford to have your marketing company run a social media campaign, and they will make frequent on-page changes to your website to enhance its performance in search engines.
For a large budget, you should strongly consider spending some of it on forms of paid advertising, whether in Google’s ad network or across other sites.
1. Social media markets my practice using the same methods as my law firm website.
Don’t think of a Facebook or LinkedIn page as a replacement to having a good legal website design and doing online marketing. Social media works differently than website marketing, but the two systems complement each other.
Traditional online advertising markets your firm by increasing web traffic, and tactics like SEO aim to boost visibility in the search engines. Other methods like branding and graphic design give your legal practice a unique identity and help ensure that clients remember you when they need your services. Social media for lawyers, however, allows you to directly interact with your clients. You’re able to post updates, answer comments and reviews, message them or start group chats, and keep in touch with them on a daily basis. Being active on social media websites allows you to reach out to clients over a medium that’s comfortable and familiar to them, and you’ll also be able to address any negative comments about your firm before they reach the rest of the online community. It’s essential to set up and maintain social media profiles to stay connected with your potential clients.
2. All I need to do is set up a profile page for my firm.
In order for your social media accounts to have any benefit for your firm, you need to keep them up-to-date. Keeping them current and active will help keep your followers interested. Put someone in the office in charge of posting articles or news about your firm on the sites 1-2 times a week (these posting guidelines don’t apply to LinkedIn).
3. Only kids and teenagers use social media; it’s not meant for anything serious.
If you think social media is simply a way for kids to keep up with their friends, it’s time to re-examine. On Facebook, 53% of users are over the age of 25; on LinkedIn, the average age of someone with a professional account is 41. It is also known that social media followers of a particular brand are more likely to purchase that product. Social media helps create buzz for your law firm as well as helping you to reach out to your clientele. Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for college kids anymore.
Check in next week for 3 FACTS about social media marketing for law firms
Updated 7/19/2011 – When we speak with lawyers in our business, which we do every day, we often hear complaints about the mounds of paper that add up inthe office. We also hear that communication is not what it ought to be between employees, clients, and even with judges. The new tablets on today’s market may be changing both of those things substantially.
When the iPad first came out in 2010, it was looked at mostly as a toy for gaming, watching movies, browsing the web and reading books. Now, thanks to its open platform for creating apps, there has been an explosion in useful utilities for business professionals and lawyers to use. Furthermore, with Google’s Android tablet platform, the price of tablets has dropped to where just about anyone can afford one. Google’s Android platform is also open source, so anyone with the programming knowledge of the platform can create a useful app. A recent ABA technology survey estimated that about 130,000 lawyers (or 13%) nationwide use an iPad.
As a legal website design firm, we are beginning to see the desire for attorneys not only to find useful apps for their firm, but also create their own to help out their practice or business. Tablets can not only be used with Virtual Law Offices to access client data, but also with other more conventional software like Microsoft Office. For presentations, attorneys can simply plug in their tablet to show an exhibit in PowerPoint.
Many larger firms are distributing tablets to their employees to allow better inter-firm communication as well as the ability to locate files from anywhere, even sometimes showing documents to judges from a tablet. Having this quick and easy access to such necessary documents in a courtroom is invaluable to those who are utilizing this technology now. Starting from as low as $100, there is no reason every firm does not have at least one tablet to try out in their office.
Two personal injury lawyers in Arizona, Marc Lamber and James Goodnow, give iPads to all of their personal injury clients. The iPads enable clients to contact them 24/7, take photos of accident scenes, videos of injuries, and exchange legal documents over dedicated email addresses.
We make websites in the medical industry as well, where we have seen tablets rise in popularity, even long before the iPad was spoken about. The issue thus far has been that they are cumbersome, slow, and use inefficient software like Windows, which was not made to run on a tablet PC. With Apple and Google’s newer platforms, those issues are resolved. The increase not only of tablets in doctors offices, but also apps to help physicians, has spiked in the past year and is not likely to stop. The great thing about open-source app development is that even if your device is older, you can get the newest apps to make your device better and more valuable to you than the day you bought it.
Bottom line: Go buy a tablet now, you won’t regret it. Our recommendations are the iPad 2 for Apple or the Samsung Galaxy Pad with Google Android.
If you are looking for ways to increase practice efficiency, de-clutter much of the paper mess that you currently shuffle through, and ultimately increase your bottom line, here is where you should start:
1. Start Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System
Implementing a CRM is not very expensive, and there are many that are tailored towards lawyers, called Virtual Law Offices (VLOs). In a 2010 ABA survey, 14% of lawyers polled said affirmatively that they use Internet-based software to communicate with clients, and that number is on the rise. VLOs allow you to manage clients from any computer in the world, track billable hours, receive payments, make appointments, etc. Our business operates with one and we wouldn’t dream of life without it now.
2. Build an Attorney Website
It’s simple to get a website up and is affordable for literally everyone. You can create your own site for free, or pay a legal web design company to create a nicer custom one for you. For about $2,000 you can have a great looking site that is built to have you found in Google. If you need more clients, most design companies can do additional marketing to improve your site’s ranking in search engines.
3. Go Paperless.
We know … it’s a daunting task. Converting thousands of your documents can be overwhelming even to think about. In many cases it isn’t even possible, as you will have to present certain documents in court. So start by selecting one process you do now, that can be done paperless. If you don’t already, start using an online calendar like Google’s – you can sync it with your phone and access it from anywhere. The dusty rolodex you’ve had for 12 years? Have someone in the office put it into Outlook or Google contacts…then you can see it wherever you are.
4. Make Yourself Mobile
There are countless numbers of cell phones to choose from, but if you are looking at smartphones, we recommend a Blackberry, an iPhone, or any Android-ready phone. These phones make writing email and general communication easy. One of their strengths is that they are very customizable, so if you have written off ever using a smart phone, you may want to rethink. They can be stripped down to the basics for simple users, and many apps can be added to help productivity. In a recent survey of attorneys, 27% of respondents said they use at least one legal-related app on their phone.
5. Pick Up a Tablet
Tablets aren’t for everyone, but they can be a great way to keep track of just about everything for attorneys. Smaller and lighter than a laptop, but larger and more functional than a phone, tablets allow you to read documents and websites, while easily fitting into your briefcase. 1 in 5 firms says an iPad is available for their employees to use. An iPad or Andriod-enabled tablet is your best bet.
Check back in with us periodically for more tips on how to stay ahead of the game in the legal industry. For more ways to help your firm excel online, contact us.
Let’s look at the options:
1. Template Website vs. Custom Website
Creating a template site is relatively easy and can be done very inexpensively or even free. The benefit is the low cost, but in creating a template site don’t expect much of a return on your investment. The drawbacks to such a site are:
A.) The site will not be optimized correctly for search engines. This means that it will be much more difficult for Google to sort and rank your site, so potential clients will not be able to find you as easily as they should.
B.) Your site will not be unique. Templates are sold — or given for free — to a large number of people. They are generic, so chances are there are hundreds of sites identical to yours. They are generally of lower aesthetic quality as well.
C.) There will likely fine print. Some sites will offer to create a ‘free’ site for you, but there is a binding contract for at least a year with a monthly fee.
Custom sites, on the other hand, offer any and all services that you might need online, but it does come at a price. Setting up a quality custom site will run from $1,000 all the way up to about $10,000 for a smaller, more basic site. For $1,000 you can likely get a site that is fully custom, about 5 pages, and carries some type of monthly fee. Most legal web design firms will offer a buyout option if you do not want to pay a monthly fee for hosting and support services.
That said, a site is really only as good as it’s position in the search engines. We often use the analogy in the industry that building a site is like opening a restaurant. You can have the best food and building in the country, but if you’re 100 miles from any city, you aren’t going to get any business. Here is a graph that shows the importance of being highly ranked in Google. Below is the average percentage of clicks received for each position in a given Google search. Only about 10% of search engine users ever continue to the second page of Google results.
Clicks per search result (1-10) on page one of a Google search (source: www.slowseo.com)
Before you make the decision on where to spend your money, make sure you talk to a few companies about how they can get you to rank highly in Google. There are really no guarantees as to where you will rank, that is simply the nature of the business. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, but a good company will get you and keep you on page one.
2. Marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) prices?
Once again, it depends: Where are you located? How much competition is there? How many people are looking for services that you offer?
You may be weary of some companies if they ask you what your budget is before giving you pricing. Don’t be. The reason is that the price of your marketing will depend largely on where you are. $500 a month isn’t going to get you anywhere if you are a divorce attorney in Los Angeles. Optimization to move up in keyword rankings that competitive would take too many hours of manual work for $500 to cover the expense of it. However, if you’re a real estate attorney in Omaha, Nebraska, you make be able to make some real headway with that kind of budget.
What you should ultimately weigh out is how much return you will be getting on your marketing investment. Good SEO companies will get you ranked in 6 months, and once you have the ranking, you can stop paying for the services pending there is no long term contract. So, that $500 a month budget comes out to $3,000, and you have your ranking forever (some minor tweaking may be necessary down the road). If the average client brings you $1,000, your costs are recouped at just 3 clients. If the SEO campaign has been done properly, you will be getting many more clients than that.
These prices are all very general. Some companies utilize outsourcing (or outsource everything) and have lower costs. Others do everything in-house and in North America, and so may cost more. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. For specific pricing and resources, contact our legal web design and marketing company.
Media today is not media yesterday, and it might not be media tomorrow. As we move into a more digital era, however, there are still many forms of media and marketing that will be here for a while; the press release is one of them. Some say that the press release doesn’t work, while others believe it to be one of the best forms of SEO.
Those in the public relations industry and those in the SEO industry often are – and have been for years – too focused on only their respective industry. Many public relations agencies do not use SEO to their advantage, and many SEO experts focus on page ranking and back-linking, when other forms of public relations and marketing would help.
But this is starting to change a bit, and although there are some who say the press release is dying, it is in fact here to stay. The press release’s function is simply changing. If done correctly, they can benefit your audience and be a great source of relevant information.
Here are 5 tips for making your press release perform in the search engines:
Say it quickly. While this is true for all business and informational writing, it is even more so with the press release. Your audience wants the facts, and they want them fast. Internet readers are even more impatient than paper readers, so cut out any fluff. Furthermore, many sites will only offer readers a snippet of the first section of your article and leave out the rest, so it needs to grab attention right away.
Keywords at the beginning. The headline will be used by the search engines to auto-generate important HTML fields like the description tag, the header tags and title tag. These tags are what the search engines have to sort and index your article for queries. Use interesting, engaging keywords, and do it early. If a title is ten words, the first five will carry more weight with Google than the last five.
Hyperlinks. Use keywords that you are targeting to create links back to your site. Be sure to link them to specific pages, so that your efforts are not all going to just one page on your website. This gives readers more direct and relevant information, and will help with SEO efforts in the future.
Make it newsworthy. It’s up to the public relations and marketing community to keep press releases alive. Write about newsworthy topics that will help the general public – otherwise press releases will start to be seen as full-on advertising and people will stop reading them. Also, most press release websites have people proof reading them, and they will reject your article if it looks like propaganda or is not newsworthy.
Incorporate social media. You should post a link, at the very least, on your social media profiles, both business and personal. Social media is a great tool that can be used to spread the word on just about anything. It will spark conversation and keep people interested, so long as your release is stimulating!
For more information on Internet Marketing for Law Firms, contact us here, or at our legal web design website.
Updated 8/25/2011 — Google, Yahoo and Bing have always had one goal: give people the most relevant search results possible that will provide them with the answers to their questions. As you can imagine, doing so is not always an easy task. It involves creating a formula, referred to as ‘algorithm’ in the industry, that will comb through millions of sites and find the most useful information. The trends we’ve seen in the recent months are to favor relevant content from trusted sources. As an attorney or law firm, you need to find a way to provide that content and make the search engines trust you.
So what can I do to appeal to the Search Engines?
While there is no simple answer, at our attorney web design and marketing firm, we have seen the growing importance of having new, original and relevant content on your site that is connected with your firm. Not only will you show up in more searches as you create more and more content, but Google will begin to look at your site as an authority. This is why Wikipedia, WebMd and other similar sites are continually appearing at the top of your search results. They have thousands of pages of relevant content that give browsers the answers they are looking for. By following that model, you can create a great form of marketing for your law firm.
Why is blogging a good option?
When you create a blog that is either linked to your site or contained within your site, you will be able to easily create and update posts yourself. Blogging software such a Blogger or WordPress are free, and any good legal web design company can integrate your blog into your site.
What do I blog about?
Lend them your ears: listen to what your current clients are saying. What questions come up continuously? Start blogging about these issues; if current clients are having them, there are 10x more potential clients out there that are having the same issues. If you can be the trusted source when they put their questions into Google, your site will get traffic and you will get new clients. Further, blogging about topics in the news also helps. Follow legal trends closely and write your opinion about any big issues. Doing this, people may see your article and post a link on their site (or Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and this will increase the value of your site in the eyes of the search engines.
Can I do this myself?
If you don’t yet have a website, just start a blog for now. Having a website is necessary because it will help you monitor much more closely your marketing efforts, and it looks more professional; however, if you don’t yet have the resources for this, just get started with the` blog for now. Wordpress and Blogger are both free and good options, and a web design company can customize it for you in the future.
How much to I need to write?
What we recommend is an entry of about four paragraphs each week. But, you can never be writing too much. Try to have two or three people in your office each make one post a week on a relevant topic. Having three posts a week will start to give you results after a few months. Our company and many others also offer content writing services. These are a good option since marketing companies know how to write and post links that will boost search engine rankings for both your blog and your website. You can use your site and your blog to leverage each other and increase your legal service’s search engine appeal.
Google announced last Thursday that they have made a change in their algorithm in an effort to increase the visibility of sites with high-quality content and filter out sites with low-quality content. Periodically Google will make such an announcement if the change is one that will effect a large number of queries. This change is anticipated to effect about 11.8% of all searches. The change to Google’s algorithm is nothing new or unusual. Google makes about 500 changes to their algorithm a year, but most are very minor tweaks.
The changes are coming about as Google has been hearing a number of complaints about certain sites dubbed ‘content-farms’. These sites, like ezinearticles.com and suite101.com, take information sumbitted by users or stolen from other sites and use it to automatically generate content on popular search queries. As a result, they will appear high in a search query on the related topic, as Google ranks them partially based on the amount of content the site has. Google’s new alteration is yet another in a series of changes to find sites with the highest-quality, original content.
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites — sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other Web sites or sites that are just not very useful,” says Amit Singhal, the head of Google’s core ranking team.
How Might This Affect Your Firm’s Rankings?
This change will not affect the large majority of sites, helping many. High-quality content has always been a key to search engine rankings. In our legal web design and marketing company, we have realized that and begun a large push to writing new content. This often means creating a blog or rewriting and adding content to your current attorney site. Creating a blog either within your site or one that links to your site is a good step forward, so long as you actually update it.
Consider creating a blog for your law firm’s website and either hiring someone to write it, or using someone on staff who is a good writer. The more frequently you update the blog with quality content, the better. If the writer does not have experience in writing to appeal to search engines, have them read up on it to get an understanding of keyword density and writing on relevant topics.