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Legal Website Design & Marketing

Top 8 SEO Tips For Law Firms

With Google declaring war on SEO (search engine optimisation) it has become harder and harder for legal websites to grasp the top spots on Google. What options do law firms have if they can no longer "game" their way to the top of Google?

David Clarke, director of DBS Legal Websites & Marketing shows solicitors 8 proven ways to get more traffic and clients.

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1. Optimise every page on your website

In most cases your law firm's home page will be the most highly visited. However, don't make the mistake of concentrating all of your optimisation efforts on the home page. Treat every page as a potential landing page for your existing clients and prospects. Optimisation of each page should involve keyword research to make sure that the keywords people actually type into search engines are reflected in the wording on your pages and also in the coding (known as meta data) that sits behind them.

2. Claim and optimise Google mapped listings

Mapped listings, like the ones below, often outrank natural listings in Google with only pay per click listings appearing above them. It's really important to claim the mapped listings for all of your offices and optimise them thoroughly to take advantage of the superior ranking they afford.

3. Pay per click advertising

If you have attempted any PI marketing you will know that the cost of just a single click can be in the region of £100. Don't be too put off by this and carry out keyword research to identify less competitive "longer tail" keywords. It's highly likely that you can still run successful, profitable pay per click campaigns using less obvious keywords and limiting your campaigns to the postcodes in your target geographical area. Seasonal campaigns can be effective such as the post Christmas divorce and separation spike.

4. Shadow your visitors with retargeting

Ever been on a website and then, a few days later, seen a banner advert for the very same website whilst you were surfing elsewhere? It's not a coincidence - it's a powerful technique called "retargeting" or "remarketing". Retargeting "follows around" and serves your adverts to anyone who has visited your website on a network of thousands of sites in the UK. You can easily exclude your own staff from being retargeted. It's wise to control the number of times a day that people are shown your firm's retargeting ads so they don't feel stalked.

5. Retargeting on Facebook

Facebook users usually stay logged into Facebook on PC's, laptops and mobile devices. When a prospect visits your website then law firms can display retargeting adverts directly in their Facebook page. Facebook retargeting is a powerful reminder to Facebook users that they should re-consider going back onto your site.

6. Content marketing

"Content is King" is still the maxim. Your legal website should be a curator of content that informs, supports and entertains your clients and prospects. Your content needs to be pushed out daily by social media posts that link back to your website.

Providing content that people engage with by liking, sharing, commenting on and linking to will:

  • drive more traffic and enquiries to you
  • promote and strengthen your law firm's brand
  • help you in search engines as you will naturally attract links and social media activity which are ranking factors on Google

"If a competitor appears smarter, more interesting or more reliable than you, your buyers will reach out to them first and not you. FACT!"

7. Social media marketing

Sorry but Facebook and Twitter aren't just for kids. Social media marketing is a massive opportunity for law firms. When people sign up for Facebook they readily give important information. The things that they like, share and talk about are also picked up by Facebook and Twitter.

Savvy agencies can process this information to your law firm's advantage by pinpointing your target market in terms of geographical area and demographics.

Using Facebook a marketing legal practices can build their followers and display targeted ads straight into their target market's Facebook pages. The same applies to Twitter.

8. LinkedIn marketing

When you sign up for a LinkedIn account you are putting your CV online which includes job role / title and much more. Savvy agencies can interrogate LinkedIn to find the perfect target market to and place targeted adverts directly on their LinkedIn page.

The Great British Public is more internet savvy than it ever was and it's been said that prospects are "touched" on an average of 6-8 occasions by law firm marketing efforts before they make initial contact with a solicitor.

In the "olden days" of SEO one of the top sources of enquires for your law practice was probably:
" I did a search on Google and there you were"

If you take advantage of the latest SEO techniques it's likely that your prospective clients will not be able to give a precise answer when you ask them how they heard about you. They will have been surrounded by your online marketing material and will have it in their heads that your law firm is the one to turn to.

Please talk to David Clarke on Freephone 0800 988 8366 or 01522 811688 for a free no obligation discussion of your needs.

Divorce: How your Law Firm can get more cases

January often sees double the amount of divorce proceedings as any other time of the year.

DBS Director, David Clarke, explains how you can position your law firm to take new divorce instructions in this seasonal spike.

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The strain and stress of Christmas family gatherings coupled with the traditional excessive intake of alcohol can prove to be a volatile mix and the last straw for many marriages.

Many couples whose relationship is on the rocks will make an effort to hang on until after Christmas to avoid upset at what should be a special family time.

The first place that many people will go to in January to search for a divorce solicitor will be Google.

If your law firm does not feature highly in Google's listings then you will miss out on new instructions. Fact.

Because the spike is predictable DBS can help position your firm highly in Google's paid search listings at the very top of the page and therefore maximise enquires and new instructions.

DBS are qualified Google Partners and have experience in bringing new divorce and separation clients to UK law firms in a cost effective manner.

The advantages in using professionally qualified DBS are:

  • Your account will be set up to get the maximum traffic and enquiries
  • We will monitor your campaign to make sure we are achieving pre-agreed key performance indicators such as return on investment or lead generation to make the most profit for your law firm
  • We will make sure that we implement the very latest updates and innovations to maximise your firm's exposure
  • You get instant advice, help and support over the phone or in person from a fully qualified, dedicated account manager
  • Frequent in depth reporting with feedback and support
  • As Google Partners we can offer new advertisers £75 worth of clicks.

If you are ready to talk about how we can drive traffic and enquires to your law practice with pay per click advertising please call David Clarke on FREEPHONE 0800 988 8366 or 01522 811688.

David would also be delighted to visit you at your offices for a free no obligation discussion.

10 reasons legal website fail

Most law firms are on their 3rd generation website. The online legal market place is much more sophisticated now but just having a web presence is no guarantee of success. Many law firms are missing out on attracting and keeping clients.

David Clarke, director of DBS, looks at the 10 reasons why your website may not be fulfilling its potential and explains more about legal website design.

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1. Website content is written from a solicitor's point of view

In the development stages of your website someone at your firm will have been asked to write the copy – this usually falls to a head of department. Experienced solicitors know about technical aspects of the law so it's not surprising that they will write how they think and speak. However, this can be a big no no for your clients and prospects. Everyone that visits your website will be asking the question "what's in it for me?" So, without being patronising, you need to write copy as if you were in your clients' shoes. Forget "we are" and "we do".

2. Mobile friendly websites

More people access the internet via mobile devices than PCs.

Your clients and prospects now expect to find out about your services on their smartphone, iphone, tablet or ipad whether they're sitting on a train or at home in front of the TV.

A massive problem for many law firms is that their websites don't display properly on mobile devices which means that your clients and prospects have to scroll around horizontally and vertically or "pinch" the screen to see your web pages.

Responsive web design makes your website "intelligent" enough to know what size screen is being used to view it on and is a must have feature.

3. Our people section

It surprises many law firms that their "Our People" section is very often the most highly visited page after the home page. However, it's logical that prospective clients want to know a little more about fee earners, partners and who they will be dealing with. People buy people at the end of the day. It's worth hiring a professional photographer to ensure the style and quality of your team's images. It's worth adding your teams to your law services pages too.

4. No news or old news

Nothing is as off-putting for clients and prospects as a news section with no news or old news. It sends out the message that this law firm is drab. If you don't have web development skills in house it can be hard to add news and cost prohibitive if you continually have to pay a web developer to add items of interest. The answer is to make sure your site contains a news blog which has a Word like interface. If you can use Word then you can use a blog and publish on your website in real time. Most blogs will automatically archive your news and let you add pictures and even video.

5. Shallow navigation

Most legal websites quickly force clients and prospects in one of two directions from their home page in a commercial/personal split. This makes great sense. If a prospect clicks through to the personal section of your site they are typically faced with a choice of:

  • Personal Injury
  • Family Law
  • Employment Law
  • Conveyancing
  • Tax and Estate Planning

If a prospective client has a "separation" issue it's not enough that "separation" is mentioned in a laundry list of services on the family law page. As a rule of thumb you need to have one page for each service. A prospective client won't just be looking at your site. If you have a page for each legal service you offer you will stand a lot better chance of ranking highly in search engines. This also avoids clients thinking "well they list it but don't really do it" and turning to a competitor.

6. No way to contact out of hours

If you got your legal website set up properly then it should have Google Analytics as standard. Google Analytics gives amazing data on how people reached your website and what they did when they got there. You will find that many of your visitors come to your site in the evening and at weekends. Make life easy for them and boost your chances of conversion by adding forms such as "request a callback", "ask a question" or "click to email us".

You've invested money in a website – the last thing you want to do is let a prospect move on to a competitor's site. The completed forms can be set up to arrive as emails at your law firm.

7. Search engine optimisation

This is a subject all in itself but the key is to find a web development company that are well versed in internet marketing. If they aren't then move on. In the background of your site there is what is referred to as meta data which (as a bare minimum) needs to be custom crafted by internet marketing specialists on a per page basis.

8. Clear calls to action

The words on your website need to spell out to your clients and prospects what they need to do next.

Good, clear specific call to action

To arrange a free initial 30 minute, no obligation discussion call or email John Smith on 0800 123 4567

Poor call to action

Contact us for more information

9. Site slow to load

The time it takes for a website to load is thought to be one of Google's ranking factors so it's important that load times are quick. It's also a major source of annoyance to your visitors to have to sit there while your site hangs. If your site loads slowly then chances are you have hosting issues or the images on the site aren't properly optimised.

10. Not surrounding visitors with quality content

It's no longer enough to have a couple of hundred words on each page of your law firm's website and think that's it – job done.

You need to make sure that your law firm's site constantly has client focussed content that informs, entertains and supports.

This content marketing will:

  • drive more traffic and enquiries to you
  • promote and strengthen your brand
  • help you in search engines as you will naturally attract links and social media activity which are ranking factors on Google

Please talk to David Clarke on FREEPHONE 0800 988 8366 or 01522 811688 for a free no obligation discussion of your needs.

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