Five free (or low cost) digital marketing tools

There are so many excellent tools for different purposes that I think I need to start with two pieces of rather generic advice.

Firstly, your time is expensive and limited; so fast, easy things are generally better value than less slick free ones. Secondly, where a product has a free version and a paid-for version, the latter is almost always a lot better. Insisting on “free” is normally a false economy.

Here are my five favourites.

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The 5 best free digital marketing tools

Digital marketing plays a major role in marketing today alongside traditional methods. Unlike traditional channels, digital marketing allows marketers to target and track campaign successes with accuracy. After all, how can you truly know how many readers have seen your advert in a printed trade publication or how many recipients have opened your postal mailshot? Even your best guesstimate could be far off the mark.

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Bidding on competitors’ trade marks in AdWords

Interflora v Marks & Spencer

Should you bid on a competitor’s trade mark in AdWords? This is a simple question, but not one that has a simple answer.

The High Court ruled in 2013 that you should not, as doing so would amount to a trade mark infringement.

The case before the court involved Marks & Spencer and Interflora. M&S had made an AdWords bid on the name “Interflora”. Users who searched that name were given results that directed them to M&S’s flower delivery service. Interflora claimed that this was an instance of trade mark infringement. The judge agreed, saying the adverts may lead the average well-informed internet user to think that M&S was a member of Interflora’s network.

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Generating business online: are you contented?

What do you need do to generate more profitable business through your firm’s website?

In terms of generating business online, content is no longer king, it’s the kingdom. While the other online marketing activities that your in-house marketing team should be carrying out on an ongoing basis remain important (keeping your social profiles alive, electronic direct mail etc), regularly updated, high quality, unique content that is relevant to your service offering and of interest to your target audience is an increasingly potent weapon when it comes to driving traffic and conversions.

It is this content that will help you engage with current and potential clients and turn your website into an easily accessible portal of thought leadership and opinion.

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Legal marketing: strategies for online success

Today most consumers go online to find legal help. So naturally, a firm’s website is now at the heart of most legal marketing strategies. FindLaw UK, a legal solution from Thomson Reuters, take this opportunity to share some key strategies for online success.

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Are blogs any use to law firms?

I have recently spent some time looking at the blogs on law firm websites. I looked at more than 1,000 blog postings on more than 100 websites. They all had one thing in common: zero visible engagement. Not a single one had had a comment added to it.

I think there are a lot of reasons why people wouldn’t want to comment in a public forum about legal issues that affect them and few reasons why they would, so lack of visible engagement is no surprise at all. Besides, from the firm’s point of view, to start an online conversation with a browser to your site has clear risks and also may lock up valuable fee-earner time. However, the lack of engagement does raise the question: is blogging worthwhile for solicitors?

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Long tail SEO for law firms

As reliance on the internet becomes ever more prevalent and Google is considered to be more of an authority on all matters than ever before, reaching the upper echelons of search engine rankings is of paramount importance to legal firms.

The competition is high but the attractive Google real estate is extremely limited so implementing a successful Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign is very necessary to attract online interest. If your legal firm does not have the same level of marketing budget as the big boys then ranking well for popular key terms such as “London Solicitor” or “Compensation Specialists” may not be possible.

This is where long tail search terms come in handy as there is often not the same level of competition as the shorter, more popular key terms but they are still effective in directing the relevant traffic that may lead to enquiries.

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Getting local in search

The internet may be global, but for many firms of solicitors their most desirable customers are right on the doorstep in the local area and their potential customers are using the internet to find a local legal services provider. Google reports that more than 20 per cent of all searches have local intention, 92 per cent of Americans use their mobile phones to search for local business information and nearly 64 per cent of tablet users conduct a local search at least weekly.

A search for local services triggers a number of different results in the Google search results and your firm should be addressing each opportunity to maximise your visibility. The local results will vary depending on the device used to search: a PC will display different results to those showing on a mobile phone. Local SEO is all about helping your firm to rank well for local searches, irrespective of the device used to search.

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Legal Web Watch December 2013

Legal Web Watch is a new email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. The below issue was published 15 December. Legal Web Watch is sent to subscribers to the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers, purchasers of our Legal Web CPD courses and some others on our lists we have had contact with in the past. If you’re not already on our lists and would like to receive Legal Web Watch regularly (free of charge) sign up here.

This month: What client’s want from lawyer website biographies; Modern lawyer blog; Delia’s legal web picks.

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Event planning – for both real and virtual events

Events are a great source of fresh new leads. They provide true permission-based marketing, bringing potential buyers directly to you. The type of event, however, varies significantly. For example, you may be inviting accountants to talk about tax legislation changes or targeting estate agencies to advise on conveyancing law changes. Alternatively, you may have secured stand space at a national exhibition.

Another variation is whether the event is “real” (at a physical location) or “virtual” (an online webinar). Webinars are delivered over the internet and received by your audience from the comfort and convenience of their own desk. You can reach people who are not based in city locations and you can expand into new markets. You can deliver your message to hundreds of people all at once and cheaply.

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Direct Access barristers – getting clients online

Direct access is currently having a powerful impact for Chambers and their Direct Access barristers and teams; it is creating opportunities for chambers to forge new initiatives and collaborate with other professional groups, businesses and individuals at a time of rapid change in the legal services environment. Indeed, for many chambers it is the largest […]

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Pay per click – how to use it effectively

The legal landscape is changing rapidly as a result of the Jackson Reforms ban on referral fees and the introduction of alternative business structures. With the large aggregators facing an uncertain future, many firms are increasingly looking to bring lead generation in house using pay per click (PPC) marketing platforms especially Google Adwords. PPC offers control over the type and volume of leads generated, as well as the opportunity to reduce the overall cost of each lead.

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