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  • How Does Ngage Live Chat Work?


    Offering your website visitors the ability to engage in a live chat set you apart from the competition. It helps reduce your website bounce rates, improve your conversion rate and offers visitors to your site immediate service 24/7/365. Live chat is a simple addition to your site that can double the number of leads you get from your website compared to a standard contact form. Contact us today for more information on live chat and how we can help your firm convert more website visitors into clients.

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  • MARTINDALE-HUBBELL CONGRATULATES OUR NEW AV PREEMINENT PEER RATED ATTORNEYS 11/20/17


    Martindale-Hubbell is proud to announce that the following attorneys have achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, awarded to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

    Congratulations to:   

    Only approximately 10% of attorneys have achieved this prestigious honor. For more information on Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, visit our Ratings and Reviews page. Attorneys who are interested in starting their own peer review process can submit the form below to contact our Ratings Team directly.

    Martindale-Hubbell conducts secure online Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are instructed to assess their colleagues' general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice.   The ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. The confidentiality, objectivity and complete independence of the ratings process are what have made the program a unique and credible evaluation tool for members of the legal profession.  The legal community values the accuracy of lawyer peer review ratings because they are determined by their peers – the people who are best suited to assess the legal ability and professional ethics of their colleagues.

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  • REASONS TO BLOG AS A LAWYER


    As an attorney who is active on the web, you may notice that some of your colleagues are actively blogging on their websites and social media profiles. We often hear the question: “It seems like everyone else is blogging. Do I need to do it too?” To that question, we often respond: “Yes, but only if you have something to say.” Today’s web is a sea of content, and quite a bit of it is just clutter. If you are unmotivated, too busy, or do not have an opinion you’d like to share, then the content you produce will likely reflect this and go unread. If you have a message for your clients, potential clients, and an opinion about how the law should be practiced or how important stories are developing in the news, then blogging may be a useful method of developing and communicating with your audience. The following are a few reasons why blogging can work for you: Reason #1: Develop your voice and give your practice a personality. A well-crafted blog post can offer your clients an insight into your philosophy or firm’s mission statement and can provide them with a sense of who you are as a person. Keep in mind that blogging on behalf of your practice should still maintain a certain level of professionalism. Also, while you want to give your audience an honest perception of you and your personality so that they can identify with you and connect with your brand, abrasive or obnoxious personality traits can harm you and may turn away prospective clients. It is important to be genuine, informative, and entertaining, but not at the expense of your reputation. Consider having a trusted colleague or partner edit your posts before you publish them, just to get a second opinion and some editing assistance. Choose someone who is not afraid to challenge you and make sure you take any criticism with an open mind. Reason #2: Connect with prospective clients in avenues you might not have before. Because a blog post can be pushed out to all of your social media accounts and can be reposted and republished elsewhere, there is a chance that a well-written post can gain traction online and expose your firm to an audience of potential clients that you would have otherwise never reached. This can be achieved by creating insightful and informative blogs about current events, upcoming trends, and any topic that can quickly generate interest among the vast population of readers online. You may find that your audience covers a wide range of general interests, or you may have more success reaching people who are interested in a particular niche. If you are passionate about a topic and can write compelling content about it, you may find that there are others who share your interest and want to hear your take on it! Reason #3: Share your expertise. Your prospective clients likely have many options to select when choosing a lawyer. So, how do you go about standing out from the pack and making sure that you are the one they choose? By utilizing your blog as an extension of your practice, you can demonstrate thought-leadership in your particular practice area. Your blog can showcase your experience, successes, and your passion for your clients. What’s more, your blog can speak to clients who are afraid to contact you and would prefer to learn more about you and your practice before reaching out. Your blog is a great method of reaching these “passive shoppers” who want to gather as much knowledge about you and your competition as they can before they make their final decision. Reason #4: Optimize your content for SEO. One of the most important reasons to blog as an attorney is to help boost your website in the search engines, so that you can be found by the prospective clients who are searching for you. By actively publishing fresh and informative content, using the right relevant keywords, and tagging your posts correctly, you may find that your posts (and your site) may achieve desirable rankings in the search engines, and may drive valuable traffic to your site. You may want to start by focusing on highly-specific types of cases or keywords (known as “long-tail” keywords) which are typically a bit easier to rank for than the most commonly searched keywords, If you feel that you have something to say about a specific topic or your practice, then blogging can be an incredibly useful way to tell your story and connect with others. Best of all, you can often track the effectiveness of your blogs by monitoring visits to the posts, social shares, and comments on your posts, so you can monitor how your audience feels about specific topics you cover, and you can tailor your efforts to match their interests. For many lawyers, blogging is an enjoyable and productive method of expressing themselves, promoting their practice, optimizing their website in the search engines, and connecting with current and potential clients online.

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  • MARTINDALE-HUBBELL CONGRATULATES OUR NEW AV PREEMINENT PEER RATED ATTORNEYS 11/13/17


    Martindale-Hubbell is proud to announce that the following attorneys have achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, awarded to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

    Congratulations to:   

    Only approximately 10% of attorneys have achieved this prestigious honor. For more information on Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, visit our Ratings and Reviews page. Attorneys who are interested in starting their own peer review process can submit the form below to contact our Ratings Team directly.

    Martindale-Hubbell conducts secure online Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are instructed to assess their colleagues' general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice.   The ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. The confidentiality, objectivity and complete independence of the ratings process are what have made the program a unique and credible evaluation tool for members of the legal profession.  The legal community values the accuracy of lawyer peer review ratings because they are determined by their peers – the people who are best suited to assess the legal ability and professional ethics of their colleagues.

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  • Martindale Social:
    Critical Learning Source for Lawyers and Their Clients


    If you’re like most people, you read postings on your favorite social media sites to stay abreast of important news, new ideas and new products to do your job or live your life better.

    This is why, as a lawyer, you’ll want to follow the Martindale social media pages presented below. Martindale is the legal industry leader, and we are committed to educating both consumers on the law and attorneys on how to grow their practice. Our social sites provide important legal updates, marketing best practice articles, and great deals on products specific to your practice.


    Martindale Legal Marketing Network

    Follow the Martindale Legal Marketing Network social media pages to be among the first to learn about FREE best practice webinars, as well as new articles, white papers and case studies related to growing your practice through online marketing.


    Nolo

    Follow the Nolo social media pages to stay informed of important legal updates and content that you’ll find useful, and can also help educate your prospective and existing clients. Our postings cover new content on estate planning, small business, landlord/tenant, and many other practice areas. We also publish special discounts on DIY legal forms, books, and software like the popular WillMaker and Online LLC.

     

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  • Combine Live Chat and Phone Calls to Increase Leads


    Turning prospects into cases is probably the most important job performed at your firm. No amount of skill or successful cases will make a difference if you do not have clients walking through your door. Unfortunately, attorneys often overlook the importance of their conversion techniques and may not even know what they should do to convert leads. This article takes a look at two of the most popular methods of intake, live chat services, and phone calls. Live Chat Services  Live chat services have greatly increased in popularity as online research has become a primary resource for people seeking an attorney. These services are available at any time of day or night when someone is scanning your website. A trained operator engages your website visitor, eliciting information so you can respond to their inquiries as soon as you are available. The live chat option can be of huge benefit to law firms for the following reasons:

    • Fulfills the need for instant gratification and privacy: Consumers want results right away, 24 hours a day. Even though the legal process takes time and cases can take weeks or even months to work through, prospective clients want to get started as soon as possible. Especially if you practice in a time-sensitive area of law, such as criminal defense or personal injury, giving a potential client immediate answers can hook a lead for good. Live Chat services also allow a consumer who is unable to call the law firm during business hours -- for example, maybe they can’t call from their workplace -- to still reach out to the firm in a private, timely manner.
    • Allows for a more efficient intake: The instantaneous collection of potential client contact information and details about their issues saves you time spent tracking down this information from the voicemails or emails you receive.
    • Improves your conversion rate: When used properly, a live chat service can catch browsers while they are on your site and convince them to establish a relationship with you. Timing is important in the legal market, and live chat ensures you are showing up for the potential client when they need help the most.
    Phone Calls The telephone is the tried and true method for consumers contacting an attorney. Legal matters are often highly personal in nature, so some prospective clients may feel more comfortable talking to someone directly. Having a dedicated phone number is important for your law firm’s image as it indicates legitimacy.  According to a Google survey conducted by Ipsos, 47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other businesses. The same survey states that 70% of mobile searchers use click to call and that calls are an important option when searching. The Bottom Line Phone calls are the traditional method law firms use for lead intake, but consumers today want options. The introduction of the smartphone has made it easier for people to perform web searches and communicate immediately with a business either online or by phone. Attorneys offering prospects the option to both call or chat can be sure that they are not missing the opportunity to convert prospects into clients. Live chat does not replace phone calls, but rather helps to augment them and generate more leads for your law firm. Ultimately, as an attorney, you want to ensure that you are gathering leads from as many sources as possible.

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  • MARTINDALE-HUBBELL CONGRATULATES OUR NEW AV PREEMINENT PEER RATED ATTORNEYS 11/6/17


    Martindale-Hubbell is proud to announce that the following attorneys have achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, awarded to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

    Congratulations to:   

    Only approximately 10% of attorneys have achieved this prestigious honor. For more information on Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, visit our Ratings and Reviews page. Attorneys who are interested in starting their own peer review process can submit the form below to contact our Ratings Team directly.

    Martindale-Hubbell conducts secure online Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are instructed to assess their colleagues' general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice.   The ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. The confidentiality, objectivity and complete independence of the ratings process are what have made the program a unique and credible evaluation tool for members of the legal profession.  The legal community values the accuracy of lawyer peer review ratings because they are determined by their peers – the people who are best suited to assess the legal ability and professional ethics of their colleagues.

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  • SEO and Geo-Specific Language Best Practices


    When marketing your law firm, you are likely familiar with the workings of search engines and how they show results when a user searches for an attorney within a specific geographic area. While the major search engines like Google and Bing are aware of efforts to “best” the system and actively combat overt attempts to manipulate their search results, there are some simple best-practices you can follow to make sure your site is optimized to present the best option for their algorithms and appear in the top results for a given search. Multi-lingual and geo-specific search engine optimization (SEO) techniques however present unique challenges for lawyers. This article will help you determine your goals and offer some special considerations required for reaching potential clients in a specific area. Who are you targeting? The first step of any successful marketing technique is to consider your audience. Do the majority of your clients live in the same community you do? Are most people you service out of state? Is English their first language? The answers to these questions will help you determine the extent to which you will need to implement language specific to a location. Geo-specific language can be useful if you are faced with the following:

    • Reaching people in a different part of the country: Many firms offer services that extend nationwide. To keep up with the competition in those regions, it is common to create local landing pages to provide unique content to potential clients in other cities.
    • Reaching people who speak a different language: Especially if you work in an area where the residents speak a foreign language or you specialize in immigration law, multi-lingual web pages can help you reach more potential clients.
    Although lawyers in the categories above may benefit the most from geo-specific language, all attorneys should use the tool to help their search results. Keep reading to learn about the best techniques that will address your needs and keep your content engaging. SEO best practices for your website When you are attempting to reach people searching for your law firm, having a well-optimized site is the way to go. To indicate to Google and other search engines that your practice is indeed located in your particular city and practice-area, your site should have all of the following:
    • Title and description: Your title and meta description are the first impressions people will have of your page. Be sure to incorporate the name of your city, state, or another region you are trying to promote.
    • Geographic keywords: At the very least, include your location in your title, opening paragraphs, and call to action. Keeping the place relevant will increase the likelihood of Google and other search engines displaying your page.
    • Unique content: There is no point in creating a local landing page if it contains the same information as your regular homepage. Incorporate location-specific content including events in the area, blog posts about the community, and testimonials from past clients from that city.
    • Name, address, phone number (NAP): Your NAP data should be on your page, and it should be localized. People on your site will notice whether your phone number has a local area code and if your office is in the area. Consider investing in different phone lines for different regions if you haven’t already.
    • Include a map: This feature is useful regardless of your location. Including a user-friendly map with directions to your office will prove that you are working in the neighborhood and add an extra layer of trust and reputability to your firm.
    • Promote local backlinks: Backlinks are (typically do-follow) links that take users from one website to a different website. For example, if the local newspaper wrote a story about your firm and included a link to your main website, that’s a backlink! Backlinks are essential because they prove you are a legitimate and trustworthy business. Try to identify and expand backlinks whenever possible.
    • Call-to-action: The call to action should be the last paragraph of your page, and it should encourage people to contact your firm. When people know how to reach you and are prompted to do so, they are more likely to turn into a client. Make sure to include information specific to the city if you have more than one location.
    Translating your Pages The suggestions above for writing optimized local landing pages apply even if you are writing your page in another language. Keywords and creativity can help your page rank regardless of who is searching for it, but the following guidelines are also relevant when attempting a multi-lingual conversion.
    • Hire a translator: The quality of your translation will make all the difference when someone comes across your page. Unless you are fluent in the foreign language you are writing, hire someone else to translate your pages for you. People browsing your site will appreciate the clarity and effort you put into providing them with great content.
    • Avoid duplicate content: Search engines do not favor duplicate content. When two pages contain the same material, one will inevitably win out over the other, which will cause one of your pages to suffer in ranking. In general, if your content is in another language, it will not count as a duplicate. Just to be sure, there is a tag you can use that will let Google know your intentions. Read more about the “hreflang” tag in this article published by Yoast.
    When people are looking for an attorney, the first place they turn is usually Google. Keeping your website current and interesting attracts new clients and helps convert curious internet browsers into clients. Implementing geo-specific language is an advanced technique that will show others that you and your firm take their individualized needs seriously. Of course, proper SEO and marketing techniques can take a long time to develop and may be difficult to maintain for some attorneys. If this is the case for your firm, consider hiring an external media marketing company. Many of these businesses specialize in optimizing websites, and they can help you add geo-specific language to your site. Whether you do it yourself or contact a professional, these tips will put you and your firm on the path to expanding your clientele.

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  • MARTINDALE-HUBBELL CONGRATULATES OUR NEW AV PREEMINENT PEER RATED ATTORNEYS 10/30/17


    Martindale-Hubbell is proud to announce that the following attorneys have achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, awarded to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

    Congratulations to:   

    Only approximately 10% of attorneys have achieved this prestigious honor. For more information on Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, visit our Ratings and Reviews page. Attorneys who are interested in starting their own peer review process can submit the form below to contact our Ratings Team directly.
    Martindale-Hubbell conducts secure online Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are instructed to assess their colleagues' general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice.   The ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. The confidentiality, objectivity and complete independence of the ratings process are what have made the program a unique and credible evaluation tool for members of the legal profession.  The legal community values the accuracy of lawyer peer review ratings because they are determined by their peers – the people who are best suited to assess the legal ability and professional ethics of their colleagues.

    Read More
  • Virtual Assistants for Law Firms: Benefits, Drawbacks, and Trends


    Customer service, clerical work, social media management, and office maintenance are all tasks that are typically handled by a lawyer’s office staff, but many attorneys often find themselves saddled with these assignments for one reason or another. Solo law practices can rarely afford to hire a full-time receptionist. Budgetary constraints can also impact smaller law firms. Even when lawyers can afford to hire assistants, there can be problems. Additionally, hiring full-time or even part-time staff can feel like an unnecessary expense when you only need them for a few tasks a day. Nowadays, for various reasons, many lawyers opt to use virtual assistants. Virtual assistants perform administrative office support for your law practice--online. All those tasks you would normally delegate to a receptionist or personal assistant can be efficiently handled offsite. When you employ a virtual assistant or use a virtual assistant service, you’re effectively hiring someone to perform their job online, using their own computer and their own space. What are the Benefits of Using Virtual Assistants? As many lawyers can attest, using virtual assistants instead of or in conjunction with hired, in-office workers can dramatically increase the efficiency of your office. There are quite a few benefits to choosing virtual assistants, and a primary perk is the promise of customization. A lot of us still think in terms of hourly employees: hiring one full-time staff member to take care of a variety of tasks and duties. Unfortunately, the overall cost of even one hourly employee can be prohibitive. Even for large firms, it’s easy to see how the salaries of several assistants could be used in other critical areas such as marketing or intake-tracking. It’s difficult to justify paying someone a full day’s wage to perform one or two crucial functions, and many assistants simply don’t have that much to do. Utilizing virtual assistants allows you to pay only for your practice’s specific needs. You can choose programs that will fulfill the tasks you require, effectively cutting down costs. If you are a solo lawyer comfortable with doing your bookkeeping, but you need someone to answer the phones, you can find a virtual assistant to take on that particular responsibility. By selectively paying for individual tasks rather than providing hourly wages for in-office employees, you can make your office much more efficient. Some tailored tasks virtual assistants can handle include:

    • Answering phones
    • Setting up/confirming appointments
    • Sending out appointment reminders
    • Transcription
    • Overseeing your schedule
    • Email inbox management
    • Bookkeeping/Accounting
    • Website setup and maintenance
    • Social media management
    • Legal research
    Customization aside, virtual assistants are also an affordable time saver. These benefits tend to be particularly appealing to solo lawyers and small firms. You can outsource small, menial, or time-consuming tasks to a virtual assistant so that you can focus on more important aspects of your practice. Law offices are simply replete with minor tasks. Appointments need to be scheduled; phones need to be answered; meeting notes must be transcribed. Solo lawyers often find themselves swamped taking care of these jobs, and that can seriously affect your practice. To put this in perspective: every minute you spend researching pest control options for your office is a moment you aren’t spending with clients or working on a case. Virtual assistants can be incredibly useful for those who need a cost-effective way to delegate a practice’s smaller, but crucial, responsibilities. Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Virtual Assistants? While lawyers and firms are beginning to rely more and more on virtual assistants, there are several notable drawbacks to consider before committing to any services. Potential issues include:
    • Tech proficiency requirements: if you are not accustomed to using computer software, apps, or programs to manage your practice, you might not be entirely comfortable with some virtual assistant options. Many virtual assistant services lean heavily on existing programs such as Google Calendar to streamline scheduling. If you’re not completely sold on mobile technology, virtual assistants might be more hassle and stress than they’re worth.
    • Starting research: since the field is booming, there are a lot of virtual assistant companies out there. Determining which businesses can provide you with quality, affordable service can take a good deal of work at the outset. You’ll need to set aside some time to identify the tasks you want to delegate, research the available options, and set up your virtual assistant.
    • Trial and error: it may take several attempts to reorganize your daily practice around the services provided by virtual assistants. Especially if you choose to work with a variety of virtual assistant companies, you may find yourself handling quite a few hitches. Finding the setup that works for your unique needs can take time, and the inescapable “trial and error” approach can leave many lawyers feeling frustrated and anxious.
    While the benefits of a virtual assistant outweigh the drawbacks for many lawyers, it’s still valuable to understand the potential risks. Anticipating possible problems or issues can ultimately make employing a virtual assistant that much easier.

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