Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Website Design and Marketing for Attorneys, Doctors, and Other Professionals
Below are some questions many clients have when they first contact Foster Web Marketing about the online marketing world.
The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find your answers here, you should contact us for answers to any questions specific to your firm.
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Should your law firm hire a marketing director?
Depending on how involved you are in your marketing, you may find that you need some help. Foster Web Marketing offers plans for lawyers who want to hand their web marketing off to someone else, as well as tools for the do-it-yourselfers.
If you like marketing and want to be involved in the marketing of your law firm, you will likely find that it's hard to balance practicing law with marketing your firm effectively. You may even consider hiring someone to help you. We'd strongly recommend getting yourself some help, but you'll need to make sure you hire the right person for the job.
First, consider what kind of help you need. If you want to really explode your practice, you might consider hiring someone with 5-10 years of internet marketing experience. They should have strong copywriting skills and be highly motivated, energetic, and able to take complete control over your firm's marketing.
This may not be realistic yet for your firm. Attorneys like Ben Glass take advantage of local universities to hire interns. If you screen them properly, interns can help your marketing tremendously. The trick is to find the good ones. Give them a test before you hire them. This test could be as simple as writing an article about a legal matter or as complex as writing a follow-up sequence. You want to know if they are intelligent, can learn quickly, follow directions, and meet deadlines. For more information on hiring marketing help and sample job listings, email our marketing director Zach.
What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing? Where does attorney Web marketing fit in?
"Outbound marketing" includes print ads, television ads, cold calling, trade shows, and email blasts. While good in the past, these techniques are now outdated due to technology. Outbound marketing does not speak to a specific group and it interrupts those who may not even need your services. How many have hung up on a telemarketer during dinner or thrown away a flier left on the windshield?
"Inbound marketing" instead targets people who are already looking for your services. This type of attorney Web marketing uses the technology that the majority of people use - the Internet. Inbound marketing includes: blogs, Ebooks, YouTube videos, search engine optimization, webinars, and feeds. Without interruption, future clients search the legal advice they are seeking. Your page pops up on the search engine, they click, and on your home page includes information about your free book. The future client decides to order the book, and his or her name is added to your lead database.
Inbound makes sense, especially during this economical time, because your marketing is cost effective and efficient. It is cost effective because there is no need to buy ad space, booth space, or higher telemarketers. It is efficient because your videos, blogs, etc., are seeking out specific individuals who are searching specific keywords.
Though your marketing comes from you and your team, when using inbound, your future clients' perception is that they made the choice to click on your webpage rather than be pushed to use your services through a barrage of fliers, phone calls, or pesky "salesmen" at a trade show. To further your attorney Web marketing, use inbound marketing to receive the benefits: effectiveness, efficiency, and esteem.
For information on how we can help you with your Internet marketing needs, contact us today by calling 888.886.0939 or filling out our online form.
Be sure to order our FREE report, The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make With Their Websites!
Does My Website Need Facebook's "Like" and Twitter's "Tweet" Buttons?
The short answer is YES, but you may wonder why you really need social media sharing buttons on your website. Each time a web visitor clicks the "Like," "Tweet," or "+1" button, it is a natural, organic way of saying "Hey this is good stuff!" Facebook, Twitter, and search engines try to use this data to rank you in search engines and provide accurate ads for you on their sites.
In addition to data gathering, people trust their friends and followers on social media sites. When you share an article or blog post on a social network, it has a chance to be seen by thousands of people. It automatically creates a link back to your site that could be followed by any friend or follower of the person that "liked" it. Social media is proven to drive targeted traffic to websites that integrate on every page of their site.
It's very easy to add sharing buttons to your website. Just go to AddThis.com and sign up for an account. They will walk you through the very simple process of getting Facebook, Twitter, and Google +1 buttons on your site. If you are Foster Web Marketing client, you already have them! For more information on social media, get a free copy of our book Secrets of Social Marketing for Attorneys Revealed: Mission 101.
Why Do Lawyers Need to Use YouTube?
It is a fact that lawyers are getting cases from the videos they have posted online. It is also a fact that people think lawyers are intimidating, untrustworthy, and overwhelming. You may not like to hear that, but it's the truth. Video is your chance to change their perception and, if done properly, encourage them to pick up the phone and call your office.
You have likely heard about the Google Panda update, which has recently hurt many websites that publish "spammy" content. Studies have shown that since the Google Panda update, sites like YouTube are up to 18% more visible in Google search results.
Google is tracking the activity of visitors on your site and using that data to decide if it's worthy of top page ranking. How much time a user spends on your site is among the data they are tracking. Video is one of the best ways to keep visitors on your site longer. In addition to adding "Google juice" to your site, video builds trust with potential clients. Many of our clients note that when new clients come to their office, they feel like they already know each other because of their videos.
To learn more about how to get your firm found on YouTube and turn those viewers into clients, check out "The Small Business Guide to YouTube."
When sharing my personal information on the internet, how much is too much?
It doesn't matter whether you're posting comments on your personal or professional social media pages when it comes to sharing too much information. Just be sure that there's nothing that would deter possible prospects coming to the door of your legal firm. In fact, think of all posts as communication that directly affects your legal web marketing and your practice, and you'll be just fine.
Ask yourself these questions when posting information on Facebook, Twitter, or other legal web marketing outlets:
- Is your post friendly, interesting, and professional? Remember that social media is a place to let your hair down while still attracting potential clients.
- Would you feel comfortable directing clients or even your mother or father to your posts?
- Are you cognizant that the information you post online today will be available for a very, very long time, even if you try to remove it? The online risk protection company Symantec calls this phenomenon a "digital tattoo."
- Have you checked your privacy settings recently? Do it often, as the settings morph without warning.
If you feel like your web marketing strategy needs a boost, give the internet marketing experts with Foster Web Marketing a call for a consultation at 888-886-0939. Also, be sure to take a look at our book Explode Your Practice through Internet Marketing.
How Can I Ensure I'm Not Affected by Google's Changes?
Google constantly updates their search algorithm to provide more relevant, higher quality results. Because Google is constantly making changes to their system, there is a common misconception that we should be constantly adapting our strategies, as well. Many marketers seem to think that Google is out just to shake things up, but that's simply not true.
What Google is trying to do with each update is minimize the effects of what's known as "content farms." These websites try their best to achieve the highest ranking by including as many keywords as possible, no matter how irrelevant they may be. They want the highest rankings so that they can throw all kinds of advertising at the people who click on their links. Essentially, these content farms offer poor quality content and try to make up for it with lists of irrelevant keywords.
For many years, content farms were highly successful, as it was difficult to filter quality with search algorithms. But Google has been working hard and has become very good at what it does. High quality, relevant content is what their new search algorithm looks for. Don't let Google's changes worry you. You should simply continue to write great content, as Google is looking for just that.
If you're concerned that Google's new system will affect traffic to your site, give us a call and let us assess your web marketing campaign. Foster Web Marketing has been providing attorneys with their web marketing campaigns since 1998. Give us a call for a consultation at 888-886-0939 and be sure to download and read our book "The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make with Their Websites."
How Can Lawyers Increase Their Client Conversion Rate?
More cases are the point of the game, right? The whole reason you want an attorney website is to bring more cases to your firm. We started with that in mind and worked backwards to create a system that makes it as easy as possible for our clients to rank high in search results, get more website traffic, and ultimately get more cases.
How do lawyers use a website to increase the number of web visitors and convert them into real cases?
It all starts with content. You need to provide free information to anyone who is searching for it. This means blog posts, articles, news pieces, and especially video. Video is proven to keep web visitors on your site longer and convert more clients than text content. There is no such thing as too much content as long as it's interesting and helpful. Additionally, you need to make sure there is a "call to action" on every page of your website. Don't leave an interested visitor without direction. Capture their contact information by offering them a free book or report and continue to market to them.
Here is an important thing to consider about conversion rates: some of the most successful lawyers have the lowest conversion rates. How can that be? Because they have marketed themselves so well that they can no longer take on the number of cases they are presented with. Once you reach this point, you can raise your rates and won't need as many cases.
For more information, contact us online or give us a call at 888-886-0939.
Are There Apps to Help Boost My Productivity?
There are many different apps available for Android and iOS-based smartphones that can boost your productivity by offering easier ways to accomplish your daily tasks. These productivity apps also provide great opportunities for legal web marketers to cater to the ever-increasing number of smartphone users.
Here is a list of the 4 most popular free productivity apps that offer an easy-to-use user interface, but handle some complex tasks as well:
- Wunderlist specializes in organizing your tasks, and it makes it easy to share them with others so you don't have to waste time trying to keep track of who needs to be reminded of what. Once you set up an account with Wunderlist, you can sync your smartphone and other devices through their cloud-based system. When you make changes or create new a new task, it is uploaded automatically. It can even send you emails about upcoming tasks.
- Evernote is an app which helps you create notes, organize them, and share them with all of your other devices. You can take notes, capture photos, create lists, record voice notes, and have all of these available to you on any device with Evernote installed. For example, if you have Evernote on both your smartphone and home computer, you can save your research with Evernote at your home computer and access it with your smartphone or vice versa. The key here is the cross-platform compatibility that it offers.
- Dropbox is another powerful app for storing your files and images. Like Evernote, Dropbox provides access on various devices. As the name suggests, you simply drop any file into its special folders and it'll be automatically uploaded to the Dropbox servers (they offer free 2GB storage) and downloaded to your other devices with Dropbox installed.
- Google Drive is by far the most popular of the four and may be the most useful as well. Google Drive is essentially the Microsoft Word of the internet, but free (until you hit your storage limit). It also works in tandem with google hangouts, as you might imagine, which is another impressive productivity booster. Drive has become a near-universal tool across the corporate industry. Definitely take a look at this option when considering productivity boosters.
By keeping up to date on the latest apps for smartphones, you are ensuring that your own web marketing strategies are up to date as well. If you've been wondering how your web marketing campaign stacks up against your competition, give us a call for a consultation at 888-886-0939. Don't forget to download a copy of our book "The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% Of Lawyers Make with Their Websites."
Can I Track My Direct Mail Campaign In Google Analytics?
Using the resources available from Google Analytics, you can pretty much track any of your legal web marketing efforts. In regards to direct mail, you can place a Quick Response (QR) code in your mailings, which is a special barcode that can be scanned with smartphones and other barcode readers. When the recipient scans your QR code, the data can be sent to Google Analytics for your analysis. A good way to get the consumer to scan your QR code is to tie in a promotional offer along with it.
Another method is to create an alternative, promotional web page on your site, and use Google Analytics to embed a tracking code on the page. This will track promotional traffic referred by the direct mailings. Be sure to place the promotional URL in the mailings! Adding both the QR code and promotional URL gives you a good chance of tracking the results. You also want to make sure you are adding parameters to the URLs that you create.
Tracking direct mail and other offline marketing campaigns can save you money and time. And, if you're already using Google Analytics for tracking your online marketing, you can view your offline results with the same account.
If you're not using Google Analytics and you'd like to, or if you want to have a professional look over your web marketing campaign, give us a call today at 888-886-0939. Foster Web Marketing has been incorporated since 1998, and our mission has always been to provide attorneys with all of their web marketing needs. Also, don't forget to download a copy of our book The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make with Their Websites and learn how to avoid these mistakes yourself.
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