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  • Martindale-Hubbell Congratulates Our New AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorneys 6/18/18


    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.

    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 has 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. Peer Review Rating award status can go up or down based on subsequent reviews. Please click on an attorney’s profile link to determine current award status.

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  • How To Get The Highest-Quality Backlinks for Your Law Firm’s Website


    A backlink is a link on any page of a website that links to your law firm's website. Quality backlinks deliver value to your site in three primary ways:

    1. Exposure: Whenever your URL appears as a link, your firm becomes visible on that site. More visibility increases visits your website. Especially, on websites that Google ranks highly such as YouTube; legal directories like Lawyers.com, Avvo.com and Martindale.com; or local search engines/business directories like Yelp.
    2. Referral Traffic: The more links that you have on relevant websites, the more traffic you're likely going to get to your firm website from users clicking the link and visiting your site, increasing the likelihood of more leads
    3. Authority: When Google ranks websites, they assign more authority to those sites with quality backlinks from relevant, thematic and trusted sources.
    Not all backlinks are created equal A quality backlink comes from a relevant and trusted source. This can take shape in a listing on a directory, a blog or article or even a video on YouTube. Google and other search engines recognize as trusted sources, government entities, educational institutions, reputable local or legal directories, community websites specific to your area of areas you serve your clients, reputable organizations and social media websites. Law firms use a variety of techniques to create backlinks. Firms might sponsor sports teams, donate to local or national charities, or get involved with community events. Additionally, attorneys from firms might provide legal commentary on local news channels, which can result in links back to their website. Other firms might offer scholarships to students that will generate backlinks to high schools, colleges or universities in the area. You should ensure you have links from a variety of different domains relevant to your firm’s location, clients, practice areas or the legal industry in general. Types of Quality Backlinks
    • Legal Directories. Reputable legal directories, including Lawyers.com, Avvo.com, Justia.com and Martindale.com, provide law firms with high quality backlinks.  Depending on the site, firms may need to subscribe or may be able to list for free, but the more legal links a firm has, the greater its site authority will be. Potential clients find you or your firm in the directory and then click a link that leads back to your site.
    • Law Schools (.edu links).  Educational institutions, including your law school or undergrad alma mater, deliver quality backlinks to your site. Consider adding a link to your alumni directory profile or providing content to the school’s blog or site.
    • Local Business Directories, like Yelp, Yellow Pages and the Better Business Bureau allow your law firm to create a business profile that includes a backlink to your site.  And don’t forget to claim and optimize your Google My Business profile, which will include a link to your site.
    • Social Media Profiles. Establish your firm’s business profile on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and link back to your site.
    One of the best and simplest ways to find relevant, strategic backlinks is to do a Google search for your practice area and geographic location. Check and see which websites pop up on the first or the second page. Look for directory-type websites that will allow you to submit your website URL.

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  • Martindale-Hubbell Congratulates Our New AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorneys 6/11/18


    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.

    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 has 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. Peer Review Rating award status can go up or down based on subsequent reviews. Please click on an attorney’s profile link to determine current award status.

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  • CRM Integration to Expedite Lead Response Time


    A CRM system helps your company manage their current clients, potential prospects, and sales and marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, with so many options to choose from and new pitches being thrown at you every single day, it is often difficult for managers to select a single CRM that meets their organization’s many different needs. Whether you have chosen a stand-alone system or are using a web-based platform, making sure that your CRM is set up to help your team respond to leads quickly is paramount. A good CRM ensures that all of your marketing efforts are tracked in a single, easy-to-find place for your sales team to find them. One that includes alerts and is set up for easy access from anywhere will ensure that your sales team knows when a new lead has arrived, and they can quickly contact the potential client. Some of the better-known CRMs include: Salesforce, InfusionSoft, and Zoho (among many others), and all of them make it much easier to track new leads and assign them to representatives immediately. What many businesses fail to do is to properly integrate their CRM with their website and live chat provider. If you are still relying on your team to enter lead information into your CRM manually, you are likely wasting time and may experience delays that can kill a potential deal. Manually populating your CRM with lead information may cost you valuable time and might cause you to lose potential leads due to clerical errors. If you set up your CRM correctly and take advantage of third-party lead generators’ integration into the CRM you choose, you can be sure that all of your marketing efforts are effective and every lead is contacted by a member of your team. Proper CRM integration will allow the platform to automatically populating the system with the prospective client’s data and therefore streamlining the sales process. Also, a fully-integrated CRM will allow your team to categorize leads so that they can immediately take action on interested or “hot” prospects, and can continue to nurture leads that are not yet ready to buy but need more information, education, or communication. At Ngage Live Chat, we realize the importance of integration with your firm or company’s CRM. That’s why we have tailored our platform to meet the needs of businesses large and small, and our live chat software is ready to integrate with all of the major CRM platforms, including Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics, and countless others. Contact us to learn more about how our chat platform can integrate with your preferred CRM.

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  • Martindale-Hubbell Congratulates Our New AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorneys 6/4/18


    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.

    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 has 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. Peer Review Rating award status can go up or down based on subsequent reviews. Please click on an attorney’s profile link to determine current award status.

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  • Long-tail Versus Short-Tail Keywords: Why You Need Both


    If you have ever spent any time trying to make sure that your law firm is found in Google’s search engine, you are likely familiar with the term “keywords”. Keywords are the words that people enter into Google that are essential for returning relevant results for their search. There are two main types of keywords that the experienced web-marketer should be familiar with: short-tail and long-tail. What is the difference? The number of keywords and their specific descriptiveness determine whether it is a short-tail or long-tail phrase. We’ll use the personal injury practice area as our example for the purposes of this post. Examples of short-tail keywords:

    • Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
    • Sacramento Car Accident Attorney
    • Boston Elevator Accident Lawyer
    These strings are very short and are very basic descriptions. You and your competitors most likely use exactly the same sets of short-tail keywords on your websites, which makes it increasingly hard to organically rank or be found for these terms.   Examples of long-tail keywords:
    • I was hurt in an accident in Houston and need a lawyer
    • Do I need an attorney if I have a DUI in Sacramento?
    • Boston lawyer when someone is injured in an elevator accident
    Content targeting long-tail keywords predict the searcher’s intent and tries to pinpoint the searcher’s need. In doing so, the content is targeting a smaller more specific audience. The searcher has a clear motive for a solution. These terms can yield less overall traffic to your site but they can be easier to rank for than short tail terms because the search phrase is more specific and fewer websites will be relevant to that phrase. Also, the pay-off of incorporating long-tail keywords within your website content may be greater because the prospect coming to your site is more qualified. How can I test this myself for my firm? Pretend to be a client and actually do a Google search with your key terms in mind. When doing this, you want to predict the intent of the searcher. You want to answer a question and you want to find the solution. For attorneys, you want to get a client for a particular legal situation. Take a look at your competitors’ websites and analyze the search results. When it comes to long-tail keywords, you will likely find that your competitor’s content has clearly been written to provide information and advice on a particular subject, like the accident keywords listed above. Creating Content for Long-Tail Keywords Attorneys always ask us “Do those exact words or terms need to be in my content for it to provide SEO value for long-term keywords?” The answer is no. It’s no longer about having the exact keyword in your content. You definitely need to mention the short-tail keywords. Google infers the subject matter of long tail keywords by the words around them and then comes up with the search result. The more comprehensive your content is, the better to capture both long-tail and short-tail terms. Create well-written content for your website that includes all of the relevant information that someone might be looking for if, say, they were hurt in an auto accident. By providing this information in a clear, concise, and thorough manner, Google will crawl that content and hopefully display that page when someone initiates a long-tail search.  

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  • Martindale-Hubbell Congratulates Our New AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorneys 5/28/18


    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.

    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 has 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. Peer Review Rating award status can go up or down based on subsequent reviews. Please click on an attorney’s profile link to determine current award status.

    Read More
  • Why Attorneys Should Care About the Sales Lifecycle


    One common mistake some firms and lawyers make is overestimating how unique or specialized their team and services are compared to the rest of the landscape. The legal space is crowded, and with dozens of firms competing for a client's business, ignoring essential marketing efforts and the value of establishing and tracking a sales cycle can cause real consequences on your bottom line. And with roughly three-fourths of a law firm's business coming from current or repeat clients, providing a great experience with insight and unmatched value will create a culture of loyalty to nurture your sales pipeline with repeat customers and referrals for years to come. What is the Sales Lifecycle? Understanding the sales cycle can be difficult, especially for those with limited or no experience working in sales. Like any industry, there's jargon and other terms that carry very little meaning without proper context. And while the approach may change across different practice areas, understanding the sales cycle is the first step in creating a workflow that efficiently converts leads into clients.   Running a law firm is like running any other business. You need clients to hire you, and you need them to return or refer you to others. That means having a sales cycle in place. In short, the sales cycle is a series of repeatable steps encompassing every action you take to secure new business from the point of engagement to closing the deal. This includes the following:

    1.    Lead generation - The first step in the sales process is using outbound marketing tools or techniques to define your ideal customer and generate prospects.
    2.    Qualifying leads - Not all leads are the right fit for your practice or are ready to make a purchasing decision for your services. Here, prospects and sales reps (or the lawyer) talk about their legal situations and decide if the person is in need of an attorney and ready to meet for a consultation.
    3.    Show Value - Here, the lawyer can talk with the qualified lead and demonstrate his or her value to them in detail. This includes going over their case, how the lawyer would handle it, and even talk about his or her past experience and qualifications.
    4.    Purchasing - After demonstrating your value, anticipating and handling any objections or concerns from the client, this the phase where a decision is made.
    5.    Deliver and Get Referrals - The deal doesn't end when the client hires you to handle his or her case. Now you must deliver, provide a great experience and hopefully establish a relationship with repeat business and referrals.
    These five steps cover your marketing (lead generation), sales (qualifying leads, showing value, purchasing), and implementation (delivering) efforts, and by establishing a repeatable series of actions, you can continue to build your client base and increase revenue. Implementing a CRM Because the practice of law is a business, you need business tools to streamline your daily sales and marketing activities so that your legal team can focus on their expertise and what they do best. By implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software, lawyers can track all lead and client information and also visualize where potential clients are in the sales cycle at any moment. Implementing a CRM for your law firm can benefit you in the following ways:
    • Improve your firm's efficiency by storing all lead and client information in one location and streamlining the sales process.
    • Give you contextual and detailed data about leads so you can follow up and move them through the sales cycle more efficiently  
    • Improve your overall relationship with clients by giving you detailed information about them and their case for a better experience, increasing the chance of return business in the future  
    • Increase your opportunity to cross-sell additional legal services
    It is important to give your team the proper tools they need to capture incoming leads, track them, and take the right steps to follow up and hopefully bring them on as new clients. Social Selling Compared to other businesses, the legal sales process is unique in that there's very little cold-selling or prospecting. Lawyers don't pick up the phone and start dialing numbers hoping to land a client, but that doesn't mean there aren't other ways to engage with potential clients who may not have considered your practice. The good news for lawyers is most of your business comes from people reaching out to you. And while this makes the selling process easier than someone cold calling 100 people a day, you have to focus on providing insight and value and get them to sign up. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, one method of interacting with potential clients is by creating and sharing content marketing on social media or your website. By providing prospects with value and engaging in open dialogue with them across these platforms, you can differentiate yourself from other attorneys. For many people looking for legal representation, it's easy to forget that lawyers are people just like them. So, by creating relevant content, sharing it on your website, and then engaging in dialogue, you can keep clients coming back, but also win some who have worked with competing firms in the past. Along with gaining trust, social selling helps you gather data, listen to pain points and other concerns, and get a better idea of the client's needs so you can better appeal to their specific needs and win their business. How understanding the sales cycle will help By understanding the sales cycle, you will likely find that your firm is more responsive to the needs of your clients. Being good at sales translates to being an excellent communicator and being responsive to the needs of your potential client. This means responding to inquiries quickly, following up, and being ready to help. What does this ultimately sound like? Good customer service. Once your firm realizes that the sales cycle is all about responsiveness, the better your team will be at closing business and keeping clients happy throughout their entire experience with your firm.

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  • Martindale-Hubbell Congratulates Our New AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorneys 5/21/18


    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.

    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. Peer Review Rating award status can go up or down based on subsequent reviews. Please click on an attorney’s profile link to determine current award status.

    Read More
  • Get The Most Exposure out of Your Google My Business Listing


    Here are some quick tips to keep your Google My Business (GMB) active and engaging. You’ll want to do this for a few reasons:

    • Engage your potential clients
    • Provide potential or returning clients easier ways to communicate with you
    • Provide easier ways to get pertinent information about your business
    • Provide answers to frequently asked questions
    By doing so, you also will receive the added bonus of sending positive signals to Google that your listing is active, updated, and you care about the user experience - which in the end could help you in the local search landscape. Keep your GMB listing active Start by regularly adding photos and videos to your listing, while also getting reviews.
    • Client reviews. Ratings and reviews create trust, so when prospects read actual reviews from your clients, they can make an informed decision on who to choose for their legal counsel. The more high-quality, honest, and informative reviews you have, the more likely that prospect will be to choose your firm over your competitor’s. Google also considers reviews an important component of its local search algorithm. Google states that “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business's local ranking.”
    • Photos Include shots of your attorneys, your office space, and the exterior of your building. Google puts a lot of weight behind photos because they help the user to know what to expect regarding where they are going and who they are meeting with. Make sure you add relevant photos consistently.
    • Videos. You can now add 30-second videos to your Google My Business listing. Like photos, video can help showcase your office space, while also bringing a more personal element to your listing. You can add videos introducing the members of your firm, that speak to your expertise in a practice area, or even a tour of your office! All of these will create a better user experience for anyone who lands on your local listing.
    Incorporate new GMB features Google Posts This feature allows law firms to share updates  directly to Google for all users to read and enjoy. Think of it like a Facebook post or a Tweet -- a short and sweet message, paired with a photo, for all to read. These Posts are static (for 7 days) and you have complete control over them, so you don’t need to worry about Google changing your message or choosing which information to display.  Items to consider include:
    • Did you just win a landmark case? You can share that here.
    • Was a new law passed in your state? Add that to your Posts.
    • Did a new attorney join the firm or make partner? Tell everyone about it.
    In short, consider including any kind of information that's relevant to a potential or returning client that may help them choose you again or for the first time. Posts can run up to 300 words and should include an image and a link. The best size for photos are 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels high, and it’s suggested to use UTM codes on your links so you can track the clicks to your website properly.  Remember: a Google Post only lasts 7 days, so make sure you are publishing weekly updates. GMB Questions and Answers Available on all devices, Questions and Answers acts as a public forum where any user can ask questions about your business and receive a timely answer. You can also use this platform to address questions your firm frequently receives about its services, hours, location, fees, or any others that will help you prospects choose you.   A warning about Questions and Answers: Any user can ask any type of question they want on your business listing - even if it doesn’t pertain to your firm. Additionally, any user can answer any question they see on your listing - whether the answer is factually correct or not. So, make sure to check your GMB profile routinely to see if there have been new questions asked,  because as the owner, you want to be the one answering them, and answering them first.   GMB Messenger Sixty five percent of consumers say they’d consider using text messaging to connect with a firm to get information or schedule an in-person appointment. GMB Messenger gives users this option by allowing them to connect with the firm via SMS text messaging. To enable this feature, go into your GMB control panel and enter a cellphone number of someone at the firm who will respond to inquiries. This feature allows for staff to interact quickly and efficiently with potential clients. If you’d like to turn on the feature but are not prepared or able to have someone ready to respond 24/7/365, consider using a live chat service to help. How These Features Improve the User Experience All of these additional features increase the breadth of available information about your firm and encourage potential clients to be more engaged. By implementing these features you’re sending positive signals to Google that your listing is active and updated and puts you in an optimal position to increase your local visibility.
      Related Posts:  
     

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