Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do you get referrals? If "yes", your firm needs a website

Virtually every lawyer and law firm I speak to tells me that the biggest source of new clients are referrals. I don't disagree. Even firms with phenomenal web sites and web dominance still get a significant portion of their business from referral sources.

Having a good referral source is the best reason to have an effective website. Sounds counterintuitive doesn't it? Here's why a lawyer website is important:
1. Validation - potential clients that are referred to you want to make sure that you are a legitimate attorney and handle their particular issue. There is only one way for a lay person to do this, using the internet to search your name.
2. First Impression. If you don't have a website or have an ugly one, it is hard to recover from that initial impression.
3. Competition. You think you are the only attorney or firm this prospect was referred to? All things being equal the lawyer with the best website wins.

Some examples of nice referral sites:
Elkton Criminal Attorney
Geneva NY Real Estate Attorney

Until next time,


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pay per Click and what you should know

Pay Per Click

First a couple of quick definitions:

Pay per click in a nutshell is the "Sponsored Links" portion of Google, Yahoo, MSN etc search engines. The Sponsored Links are usually on top and to the right hand side of the search results. Companies and people bid (pay money) to get their website and tagline listed. How much they bid determines how high up on the search result page their ad shows up.

Organic Results are the listings that are presented to you when you do a web search (sans the Sponsored Links). Google, Yahoo, and MSN etc have algorithms to rank sites according to the terms you type into the search box. You do not pay to rate in these rankings. Making your website search engine optimized helps you gain in the rankings. This is a subject for another posting.

Is pay per click worth the investment? Yes, with the caveat you do some research and spend some time managing it and you have a website that has been search engine optimized. Pay per click is a nice shortcut to get your law firm some exposure and traffic on the web. You can also increase and decrease your budget according your caseload and budget. Google and Yahoo make it fairly easy to set up an account and get started. Some suggestions:

1. Start small. Google suggests that a minimum of $30/month is needed to see any results. I would say this is a good starting point.
2. Plan. What type of business are you looking for? If Family Law is what you are looking for is it Divorce, Child Custody, Adoption? The terms you want should not be too specific or too broad. "Car Accidents" is far too broad of a term to bid on. However "Car Accident St. Louis" will be more effective and cheaper
3. Measure. Track how many visitors come to your website from the pay per click campaign. Your current website should have traffic reports that allow you to do this.

Until next time,