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Attorney Website Design Blog

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's in a name? Top Six Factors You Should Consider When Choosing a Domain Name for Your Website

Couples expecting a child often deliberate over the baby name for months. Anxious parents read through baby naming books, consult with family members and consider a wide array of factors including religion, popularity, initials and pronunciation in the decision making process. While choosing a name for your firm's website should not be nearly as painstaking, there are a number of factors you should consider when determining the best domain name. Below you will find the top six factors to consider when selecting your domain name:

  1. Search Engine Optimization Value:  The major search engines do consider your site’s domain name so this should factor into your SEO strategy. Your site is packed with keyword and geographic locations, so too should your domain name. If you are a matrimonial law attorney in Flushing, NY, you might consider selecting a domain name which reflects you main practice area and office location such as www.flushingdivorcelaw.com.
     
  2. Don’t Make It Too Long:  You want your clients and prospective clients to be able to easily recall your domain name. If the name is too long, it is more likely that users will forget it and have difficulty finding your site.  Also, steer clear of hyphens in your domain name. These are generally seen as less credible and are viewed with greater suspicion by search engines.
     
  3. Consider the Spelling: Very often firms simply use their principals’ names (in many instances, the firm name) as the domain name for the website.  As we all know, last names can be difficult to spell and many of the most popular ones even have a wide range of spelling variations. If a client hears about you but then is unable to find your firm on the web because they can’t quite figure out the spelling of the domain name, they may give up and turn to another attorney.
     
  4. Make Sure It Accurately Represents Your Law Firm:  Your domain name is a big part of your branding and as such, it should remain consistent with your firm’s mission and practice areas. Quite simply, your domain name should be a (very brief) description of your firm. Keep in mind that this domain name will be included on business cards, advertisements and in all emails from your firm so you should be proud to show it off!
     
  5. The Ending Does Matter: Domain names ending in .com are perceived to be more credible than others ending in .net, .biz, .us, etc. If your dream domain name ending in .com is already taken, it’s probably not the best idea to settle for a different ending which is available. Internet users tend to assume that a domain name ends with a .com so they are more likely to try this at first. If the .com name is already taken, there is a good chance they will be taken to a different website (and quite possibly a competitor).
     
  6. Don’t Go Domain Crazy: We often hear from firms who have purchased 27 domain names and want all of them to point to one main website. If configured incorrectly, multiple domain names all pointing to one site can actually be harmful to your firm’s SEO. When pointing multiple names to one site, search engines see that pages within the several domains actually have duplicate content and refuse to index them.  Worse, search engines may actually index pages from a domain you only meant to have as a supplement and not index your primary domain.  Instead of pointing multiple domains to your server, you should simply redirect the domain names so they all point to one main URL. Using a redirect is preferable because users cannot easily detect the transition from the alternate domain name to the main URL but the search engines definitely take note, recognizing only one site.

If you live in a metropolitan area with many law firms, an available domain with all of these elements may be difficult to find but with a little creativity, you should be able to purchase a great name for your new site. If you have any questions about your firm’s domain name, please feel free to contact us at any time. We are here to brainstorm with you or offer suggestions.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Website Redesign Services

If it’s been a few years since you last updated your site, you probably have a lot of catching up to do. Technology evolves very quickly and as such, website design, technology and search engine strategy must too.

Many of our clients are taking advantage our redesign services and are improving their sites dramatically. We recently completed two major redesigns for the Lennington Law Firm, a Twin Cities estate planning firm and also for the Law Offices of Keith Codron, an Orange County estate planning law firm. With both sites, we revamped the flash animation, adding prominent links to the flash sequence, updated the search engine optimization strategy in place and added interactive tools for new visitors and clients.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning...For Your Website?

As we head into warmer weather and the summer months, folks around the country are getting their homes and offices in order. In addition to dusting off the old grill or repainting the office, the slower summer months serve as a good time to review and revamp your firm's website. As you take a look around your site, consider the following checklist:

Review your content
During the hectic year, it is easy to put your website on the backburner. However, like homes and offices, a website must be given proper upkeep and maintenance to ensure continued success. During your review of the site, be sure to carefully read through all of your site’s content. In certain instances, you may need to update the language to detail certain developments in the law. And since new and relevant content is the key to any search optimization strategy, the summer provides a perfect window of opportunity to add articles, seminar handouts or blog posts which you may have worked on throughout the year but just did not have the time to add. Using the Site Manager tool, you can easily add or edit text at no extra cost.

Take a look through the Site Manager
At Amicus Creative, we are constantly making improvements to the Site Manager. These additions serve to enhance your site’s functionality. Over the past year, we have added more content to our practice area library (which you may access through the Site Manager), developed advanced technology which allows you to upload audio or video files directly to your website and have launched LegalVault, a comprehensive document storage system which can be integrated right into your website. As you can see, we’ve had a lot going on. This summer, make sure you learn about all of these online marketing tools so you can get the most out of your website.

Evaluate your site’s design
Just as cars and wardrobes go out of fashion so too can marketing materials. If your website looks outdated or no longer adequately represents your practice, you may need to update your website design. Amicus Creative offers current clients amazing discounts on website redesign through our Loyalty Program.  If you think your site could benefit from a facelift this summer, contact us to learn more about our redesign services.

As you book your summer adventures and vacations, be sure to reserve some time for your website. While it may seem like a tedious task at first, working with your site can be refreshing, rewarding and will undoubtedly benefit your firm’s online marketing campaign.
 


Monday, May 24, 2010

Beating Blog Writer’s Block

It is easy for attorneys who blog frequently to suffer from writers block. If you are feeling a bit stuck in finding a new topic to feature, you may consider turning to one of the following sources for inspiration:

  • News stories: You don't have to create a story or rely on past anecdotes each and every time you blog. Instead turn to popular news sources for inspiration. As a matrimonial lawyer, you might write on a celebrity's divorce proceedings to inform clients about various aspects of the law and how they apply in real life cases. Following a news story provides relevant and fresh information on your areas of practice.
     
  • Other Blogs: Of course you do not want to replicate the content but browsing other attorney blogs may provide inspiration for an entry on your site. There are millions of attorney blogs to peruse so you won't run out of inspiration anytime soon.
     
  • Attorney Listservs: Many professional organizations offer listservs for their members which allow them to exchange ideas and information related to their areas of practices. Many times, these group conversations raise some interesting ideas which can be translated into fascinating blog posts.
     
  • Past hits: Review your older blog posts. You might find that one really stands out in the number of comments it received. If this is the case, you might revisit that topic with a new spin. Old favorites can definitely be revitalized and can be just as popular the second time around.
     
  • Client inquiries: Your clients regularly turn to you for legal assistance. And you can be sure that if one or two call with a specific question, more of your other clients have probably wondered about it too. Compile a list of the most common questions and use these client concerns or questions as a starting point.

Maintaining a blog is no easy task but with constant developments in the law and frequent contact with your client base, it is certainly one which can be tackled creatively. If you ever have questions about your firm’s blog, we encourage you to contact our attorney marketing experts.
 


Monday, May 10, 2010

Next stop: Orlando, FL!

As a partner of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Amicus Creative is heading to Orlando this week for NAELA's 2010 Annual Meeting.The event, which is being held at Disney's Yacht Club & Beach Resort, will explore developments in Special Needs Law, Tax, Trusts, VA, Medicare, Medicaid, Practice Development, Social Security and Health Care Reform.

If you are interested in learning more about our services, please visit our exhibit where representatives will be on hand to give you a demonstration of our attorney website system and our state of the art document storage and exchange system, LegalVault.
 
If your firm already has a site with us, please stop by and meet some of the members of our team. We always love getting the chance to catch up with our clients.
 
We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Increase Site Exposure with Free Local Business Listings

Upon launching a new site, we advise our clients that good rankings with the search engines may take several months to attain because there is a general tendency by many search engines to not list new sites high up on the search results list. This is known in the search engine world as being in the "sand box" which is a metaphorical term coined by search engine experts to explain why most new websites have poor rankings.     

Far too often, new website owners take a sit back and wait approach as the "sand box" months pass. There are steps you can and should take as soon as your website is launched to claim your spot with the search engines.

One of the most important things you can do for your website is to create local business listings with the major search engines. These listings allow you to list your firm name, URL, business information and key categories.  To fully reap the benefits of local listings, you will want to make sure that you create listings with all of the major search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

To learn more about creating local business listings for your law practice, contact us today.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And They're Off...

Nothing makes us happier than designing attractive and informative attorney websites. With the recent launch of three new websites, we are ecstatic! We proudly announce the launch of Christophe & Associates, PC, a New York Immigration Law Firm, Beck Elder Law, a St. Charles Elder Law Firm and the Law Offices of James F. Simermeyer, PC, a New York Law Firm specializing in Native American Law. We encourage you to take a look around these new sites and give us a call if you feel inspired and would like more information on upgrading your law firm's website.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Promoting Your Law Firm's Website Offline

When developing your firm's online marketing strategy, it is important that you take steps to promote your website and online materials offline. You should make certain that your website's URL is listed on your business cards, firm's letterhead and all firm advertising.

Since much communication is now done via email, it is imperative that all staff members in your office have your firm's URL (ex: www.mylawfirmswebsite.com) in their respective email signatures. This ensures that this information reaches clients, fellow advisors and potential clients whenever they receive a message from your office. If you want to direct users to a specific page(s) within your site such as your blog or seminars page, your signature may contain direct links which take users to the page that interests them most.
 
For additional information or assistance with the preparation of email signatures, please contact us.
 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Testimonials on Your Law Firm’s Website

In business, it is often said that what others say matters most.  When building your law firm’s website, it is a good idea to consider including client testimonials which are a form of intermediated word-of mouth marketing.

Strong client testimonials have the ability to set your law firm apart from your competitors and can serve as objective evidence that claims of expertise or experience you make throughout your website are credible. When utilized correctly, testimonials can be very effective. In fact, research shows that adding testimonials to your marketing copy can improve response by around 30%.

When considering what kinds of testimonials will be effective marketing tools, you should make certain that they describe in detail the real benefits that your clients reaped from working with your firm.  These testimonials can be incredibly convincing especially when delivered by former skeptics. For instance, if you have a client who previously had an awful experience working with another firm but was delighted with your firm’s services, their description might resonate with others who are undecided about retaining your firm.
 
Many state ethics rules regulate publication of client testimonials regarding the outcome of cases or rewards obtained; however, client testimonials can also discuss the process of working with your firm, emphasizing your accessibility, accommodating staff or unique client service.
 
Amicus Creative’s Site Manager allows your law firm to easily create a page devoted to client testimonials. Adding a new testimonial to your website only takes a few minutes so you can constantly keep the page fresh as new testimonials come in.
 
If you would like to learn more about adding testimonials to your law firm’s website, contact us today.
 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Follow Us On Facebook

Amicus Creative recently launched a new Facebook page which will allow us to keep all of our fans informed of the latest improvements to our attorney website system, search engine optimization techniques, special offers and online marketing strategies. Follow the link below to visit our page and begin receiving these great updates!

Start Following Amicus Creative Media on Facebook


Monday, March 15, 2010

Incorporating Password Protected Pages Into Your Law Firm’s Website

The main purpose of most attorney websites is to drive an online marketing campaign, capturing the attention of potential clients and informing them of the services your firm offers. At the same time, many attorneys and law firms also strive to develop a website which serves as a resource for current clients.   In fact, many of the law firms we serve want to offer more resources to current clients and just enough information to potential clients to spark their interest and propel them to make contact with the firm.   Amicus Creative’s Site Manager allows firms to easily create custom pages which may be password protected. With this feature, your firm can create a “Client Resources” section and post articles, forms, video, audio and other exclusive materials to which only clients will have access when they login using a special username and password. This is a great way to promote your firm’s website among your client base and encourages potential clients to contact you to gain access to such exclusive resources.  Contact us today to learn more about creating password protected pages on your firm’s site.
 


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