What Every Lawyer Should Know About Website Marketing
Any attorney who runs a small or solo practice realizes that having a website for that firm is mandatory, but in many cases, it’s not readily apparent how to make an effective website. Until fairly recently, small businesses could get away with publishing a website that was little more than a brochure with a contact button. That method is no longer viable, yet many small business owners, including lawyers, are not aware of some critical changes that have taken place in website marketing over the past five years. A well-designed website will help your law firm reach increasing numbers of better-quality prospects than ever before, while a poorly designed site can actively damage your firm’s marketing efforts.
Effective Website Marketing Begins With Visual Branding
Visual branding and logo design are critical elements in your firm’s website marketing and all of your marketing success. A visual branding package includes things like approved fonts, sizes, colors, variants of your logo, and in what applications each variation is to be used. Hiring a trained and experienced professional to create these for your law firm is one of the most worthwhile investments you will ever make. There are plenty of cut-rate designers out there, but when they cut their rates, they’re cutting the time spent on your work. Typically, that time is slashed from research, which you want your designer doing in detail to ensure that your final designs are effective as unique identifiers for your brand. Another way bargain-bin designers save time is by using stock images, which, obviously, means your logo will not be unique at all. Have you seen how many law firms out there use the same dozen stock images of the scales of justice in their logos? Your logo should be the zebra in a field of horses: striking and memorable.
Search Engine Optimization Begins At The Design Level
Most people have heard of SEO and know it has something to do with putting keywords in your web content to attract notice by search engines. That is one part of SEO, but there are several other key parts, which begin with the design of your website. One of those factors, called ranking signals, is mobile-responsive or mobile-friendly design: Will your website work correctly on a mobile device and offer mobile users full functionality? Google and other search engines boost the search engine result page (SERP) rankings of sites that meet their criteria for mobile-responsive design and penalize the rankings of sites that fail. Most pop-ups on the landing page are called “intrusive interstitials” and automatically make a site not mobile-friendly.
Fresh, Original Content Builds Reach And Establishes Authority
Another ranking signal for websites is the quality and originality of its content. Maintaining a static website is not an effective means of website marketing. Your firm’s website needs continual updates with content that is not published elsewhere. It’s also important to note that while stuffing content with keywords may once have helped a website’s SERP ranking, this is no longer the case. Keyword-stuffed content written for search bots instead of content written in natural language for human readability earn SERP penalties for the entire site. Writing original content not only boosts your site’s SERP rankings, but if you choose topics that genuinely interest your visitors, they’re likely to give your marketing efforts a boost by sharing your content with friends, family, or colleagues. You expand your brand reach and establish yourself as an authoritative source in your field, which ultimately expands your pool of prospects and helps you sign more clients.