Ever invite a friend to dinner, or asked them about the best hotels in New York City? Chances are you did so through mobile messaging. In fact, nearly two-thirds of smartphone owners use messaging more than five times a day to communicate with others. And people aren’t limiting their use of messaging to social communications - 65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service or to schedule an in-person appointment. No wonder Google is introducing text-enabled ads (Text-to-Chat) to bring the efficiency and effectiveness of messaging to search ads. To see how this may work, let's say you've set up a Google Adwords ad with an Ngage Live Chat service. Every time, a prospect clicks on the below ad for "Pain & Suffering Calculator", he or she engages with an easy way to text you to start a conversation and continue it whenever is most convenient for them. Tapping on the texting option launches a user’s SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the service they’re interested in. For example, “I’m looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer.” Many advertisers are already using text-enabled ads to take advantage of a new and faster way to connect with clients on mobile to increase conversion rates. This provides mobile users more flexibility than ever to choose how they want to connect with businesses. Through messaging, you can initiate valuable conversations with them by tapping into one of their most preferred modes of communication. As Google begins to prioritize mobile-friendly sites and text-enabled ads, you don't want to fall behind your competition. To learn more about Ngage’s Text-to-Chat feature, which gives you the ability to immediately convert web visitors to clients without having them click to your site, contact us today at 1-877-912-8668.Read More
As you may know, one of the most significant benefits to regular blogging is the impact it can have on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. As you continue to offer your readers useful, informative content, you can boost the search rankings of your web pages and give your law firm greater visibility in a competitive digital environment. To that end, there are numerous SEO practices you can use to improve your blog’s search rankings. Today we are going to focus on two of the first elements of a blog post you will need to consider: the title of the page and the headline of the blog post.
In a recent study, Northwestern University’s Spiegel Digital and Database Research Center analyzed how online reviews can impact consumers’ purchasing decisions. While legal services were not included in the study, the findings are illuminating, particularly in two aspects: Finding: As you might expect, the higher the scores a product received, the more likely someone was interested in purchasing that item. However, for all products, once a score exceeded 4.5 stars, people stopped saying they were more likely to buy, and at 5 stars, some consumers were less likely to purchase a product. Why? Their answer was that a perfect score seemed “too good to be true.” Conclusion: The desire to have the highest possible score is understandable. However, when it comes to online reviews, it’s crucial to consider the thoughts of the potential client who is looking at your reviews. The Northwestern study has confirmed what we’ve seen elsewhere: a perfect score, particularly if based on a smaller number of reviews, would not make an attorney or law firm more attractive to most prospective clients than an attorney with a significant number of reviews and a lower score. Finding: The research found that reviews become more important to consumers when a product or service is more expensive and the decision to choose one product/service over another involves greater consideration. Conclusion: Hiring a law firm is often a significant financial commitment for individuals and small businesses. Choosing which lawyer to hire falls exactly into the higher price/higher consideration decision process that leads a consumer to put a greater focus on online reviews. When we talk to lawyers about reviews, we stress that a perfect score is not necessary for a prospect to hire you, and that people who use Lawyers.com and Martindale.com focus on online reviews as part of their research. Northwestern’s study provides further evidence that online reviews need to be a key component of every law firm’s marketing plan.Read More
A common question we receive from attorneys who are just getting started with their blogging efforts is whether they should host the blog on the firm’s domain or on a separate domain. For example, imagine there’s a Cincinnati-based law firm called Thomas & Jones Law, and the firm’s website URL is www.thomasjonescincy.com. The attorneys may wonder if they should host their blog at www.thomasjonescincy.com/blog or create a new website altogether — something like www.cincylawblog.com. This is an understandable question. It’s reasonable to believe that creating multiple websites could expand your firm’s digital footprint. But in almost every situation, the answer is the same: keep the blog as part of your main website. By creating a new domain just for your blog, you are essentially creating an entirely new website. This means you’ll have two URLs that you will need to market and that your customers and online followers will need to remember. This could cause confusion that you can easily avoid by hosting your blog on your firm’s site instead. In addition, these two domains will now be competing against each other for positioning in the search results. Ultimately, your blog is a marketing tool designed to increase conversions and get more new clients through your door. It positions you as a thought leader in your field and has numerous search engine optimization (SEO) benefits to improve the search rankings of your site and web pages.
Social media is a great opportunity for prospective clients to learn more about you. My very first post on The A.R.T. of Social Media for Lawyers focused on three core concepts that you should focus on in building your law firm’s social media presence. This post will enhance all of those concepts as you look to create your brand personality on social media, but will focus on adding your human side to the equation.
One of the most important components of online marketing for a law firm is blogging. If your firm has multiple attorneys focusing a variety of practice areas, you may be wondering: should each attorney have his or her own separate blog, or should your firm have one main blog to which each attorney posts at different times? This is a good question and one that's best to settle before you ramp up your blogging efforts. The answer comes down to what you are looking to get out of your firm's blog and the voice you'd like to establish. Thus, one strategy is not inherently better than the other. The following are some different formats and arrangements you could try out:
The case for blogging is strong and many lawyers I work with have been convinced that they should be writing posts on a regular basis. But writing those posts is easier said than done. Attorneys often find themselves staring at a blank screen, with no idea where to start. During a recent webinar we held in September, 19% of participants said they avoided blogging because of it was too hard to find good topics to write about. If this sounds like you, I have good news. The best source of topics is hiding in plain sight: It’s your audience. And by taking the following steps, you can turn their deepest concerns into the start of your next post.
When you create content for your legal blog, your primary focus should be on delivering useful information that your readers will find interesting and valuable. But almost as important as the content are the images you choose, because images attract readers and keep them engaged. One study found that about 94 percent of users are more likely to read a blog post that includes an image than a post that does not. The image you choose also has a big impact on social media, where images are previewed. Those previews quickly grab users’ attention on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, making readers more likely to click through. An image that’s engaging and representative of your content will attract more readers to your blog. Additionally, images can make your content easier to read and digest. You’ve probably seen it yourself — if you visit a page and see a seemingly never-ending block of text, you’re not likely to read all of it. In today’s world of shortened attention spans, you need to break up your content into smaller, more digestible chunks. In short, images make your blog content visually pleasing and more likely to keep readers’ attention.
We had such a great experience working with Jersey Cares collecting for their School Supply Drive that we decided to partner with them again for their Halloween Costume Collection Drive. Once again, our employees from Martindale-Hubbell stepped up to help kids in need. We are proud to say that our company’s caring employees purchased and collected children’s Halloween costumes, ranging from scary masks to cute little pumpkin costumes, to aid this effort. In 2009, the first year Jersey Cares sponsored this drive, they collected a total of 138 costumes; the next year, the donations totaled 1,200 costumes. Jennifer Lewellen, Jersey Cares’ senior manager of service events, estimated last week that the number of donated costumes could have doubled from last year. When I checked in with her this week, we were delighted to hear,
“Our final number is 3600! We tripled last year’s drive and are so excited about it. We couldn’t have done it without volunteers like you and your team!”Jersey Cares is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 that recruits and engages volunteers in rewarding, effective efforts that address community-identified needs. We at Martindale-Hubbell are honored to support their mission to help New Jersey’s families and hope you will, too! Find out more by visiting Jersey Cares
Happy Halloween!Read More
In a time where social media, blogs and traditional media are overwhelmed with disagreements, malaise, and worry over the effects that this election could have on our future (and you personally), it’s wise to remember that when everyone is writing about a certain topic, writing about completely different topics will make yours stand out all that much more. This is the time to get online and start blogging by sharing about your firm, t your areas of practice, and topics about the laws that are front and center in your field. Elections remind us of the problems our country faces, but they tend to ignore the people bearing the brunt of those problems. Candidates may be constantly discussing their solutions for the future, but you have current and potential clients facing those problems right now. Google is being flooded with opinion pieces, blogs, social media posts and similar content debating candidates and policies, but the people who are looking for an attorney — who need answers to their queries and are looking for solutions — are still as present as they were before we even knew who would be running for office. The message boards on popular legal forums like Lawyers.com, Avvo and Findlaw are still there, and Google is still being searched for attorneys with the same frequency. So what can you do to take advantage of this time before a new president is elected?