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Attorney Website Design Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Developing Your Legal Website for Your Target Audience

The ABA Law Practice Management Section stresses the importance of effective attorney websites writing, "Above all, remember that your Web site is your most visible first impression. It also has a chance of being your second and third impression, if it is compelling enough to draw visitors back."

In developing the first impression you want to convey to visitors, it is important that you determine who you are trying to attract with your web presence. The primary focus of your site might be recruiting new clients, networking opportunities with other advisors, providing updates and materials to current clients or even to serve as a recruitment vehicle for job and internship openings at your firm. With the right design and content, your website can be customized to appeal to any one of the groups listed above or to multiple audiences all at the same time.

New Clients:
The majority of law firms use their websites to recruit new clients. In order for this goal to be achieved, there must be strong search engine optimization techniques in place but also effective content which will appeal to those individuals searching for an attorney in your field.

When building and updating your legal website it is important to note that new clients will come across hundreds of lawyer directories and websites so it is essential that your content is easy to read and a good indicator of the type of services you provide. Be sure to clearly list your practice areas, your experience and what sets you apart from your competitors. Furthermore, if state ethics regulations allow, you may want to add testimonials from current clients who sing your praises. Our custom testimonial page allows you to easily add as many client testimonials as you see fit and formats these entries perfectly on your site every time.

Networking Opportunities with Other Professionals
When someone refers your firm to another professional in your field or a fellow advisor reads an article of yours in a local publication, the first thing they are likely to do is Google your firm; with this search they are attempting to learn more about you and what you have to offer. Like potential clients, they may be interested in learning of your education, experience and your practice as a whole. Furthermore, they may be looking for notable cases and even big-name clients you have represented.  You may consider having an “Advisors” section where you can list relevant articles for these professionals demonstrating your expertise and illustrating the mutual benefit which they may reap from working with you.

As a Resource for Your Current Clients:
In addition to attracting new clients, your site may serve as resource for existing clients. You may want to post client forms, toolkits or surveys on a “Clients Only” page. Amicus Creative’s Site Manager even allows you to password protect pages, meaning that you can make certain pages in your site reserved for clients who will use a shared username and password to gain access.  If your clients rely on you for explanations of current laws or cases in the news, you may want to send out newsletters or post new blog entries that explore the impact of the law.

To Recruit New Attorneys, Staff and Interns:
Posting your employment opportunities on major job sites can be expensive and quite time consuming as they often result in hundreds of resumes which must then be reviewed. A website that can be easily updated provides a perfect venue through which to recruit qualified and interested parties for open positions at your firm. An attractive site which outlines the strengths of your firm may catch the eye of promising interns who scour the web looking for summer jobs which will provide them with great experience under knowledgeable mentors in their area of law. Also, posting employment openings to your site allows clients or colleagues to review the information and refer potential employees. As with all job postings, it is important to provide a description of the position, requirements and preferred method of submission for resumes.

The Amicus Creative Site Manager allows all of the previous suggestions to be easily implemented. With the ability to add unlimited custom pages and articles at any time, you can create unique sections that appeal to the many audiences you are trying to reach.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Blogging

Over the past few years, legal weblogs, also referred to as blogs, have become increasingly popular as a medium through which individuals can communicate their thoughts on a wide array of issues. When utilized correctly, your law blog can help you attract new clients, keep you connected to current clients, establish you as an authority in your respective areas of practice and assist with search engine optimization. Below we have provided you with some tips on the ins and outs of maintaining a successful blog.

Blog Topics
First and foremost, your blog entries and the topics they cover should be interesting.  You may wish to use local or national news stories to highlight the need for your services. For example, if you are an estate planning attorney, you might post a blog entry about a celebrity death and the aftermath as it relates to their estate plan. If you are an elder law attorney, you may wish to track a proposed law concerning Medicare as it makes its way through the House and Senate detailing the implications for your clients. 

It is important to note that blog entries are not intended to be scholarly pieces. Instead, they allow you to reflect on a certain issue and express your professional opinion on the matter.  As you write these entries, let your own voice be heard. Your site should serve as a place where potential clients can get a good feel of who you are and what you have to offer; your blog can help convey both your expertise and personality.

To encourage people to read these posts, you should keep them short. At times it is okay to write a lengthier piece, when the subject matter requires a more thorough discussion, but this should not be the norm with all blog entries.

How Often
The success of your blog lies not only in the quality of your blog entries but also in how frequently you post new content to the page. With your law blog, be regular.  You should try to write at least once or twice a week.  Finding time to write can be difficult so it might be a wise decision to schedule in one or two spots throughout the week to sit down and tackle new blog entries.

As professionals, you stay up-to-date on developments within your field. Use the Amicus Creative Blogging System to share this knowledge with others and make more contacts with individuals interested in your work. Visitors can subscribe via email to automatically be notified of new blog entries. More sophisticated subscribers can use the RSS feature.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Amicus Creative in Chicago

Representatives from Amicus Creative will be attending two conferences in Chicago over the next week. From July 30 to August 2, we will be in attendance at the 2009 Annual American Bar Association (ABA) Meeting. Then from August 4 to August 6, you will find us at the WealthCounsel event, "Planning for the Generations" 

If you are interested in learning more about our services, please visit our booth where members of the Amicus Creative team are available to give you a demonstration on our feature-packed attorney website system and answer any questions you might have.

If you are already a client of ours, please stop by and meet the Amicus crew on site. We always enjoy getting to know our clients a bit better and hearing your thoughts on how we can improve our services.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Search Engine Optimization: Content Is King!

If you have a site on the web, you have probably been contacted by a Search Engine Optimization “Expert” who promises to get your site on the first Google search engine result page (SERP) in record time.  They often claim that they can elevate your website's rank within days and promise that your site will have a permanent place in these top positions. Unfortunately, most of these individuals, and the companies they represent, are scam artists hoping to charge top dollar for services they can’t provide. 

Truth be told, there is no instant solution which will improve your site’s rankings.  As you may know, search engine algorithms are officially secret and further, their behavior randomized so that it is virtually impossible to know everything that affects search engine behavior. However, there are proven tactics, which when used correctly, can increase your site’s visibility over time.

Quality content will likely influence your website more than any other search engine optimization strategy. Be sure that your content is well written and easy-to-read. When drafting text for your site, use relevant language containing the keywords and locations which users might search when trying to find your practice. Also, add new content whenever possible in the form of either Articles or preferably Blog Entries.  The Amicus Creative blogging system is particularly well-suited because of the way it formats keywords.

While there is no quick fix to improve your site’s ranking with the major search engines, adding relevant content on a consistent basis over time will surely assist your site in its climb to the top of the results pages.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amicus Creative Launches New Website!

Thank you for visiting Amicus Creative’s new and improved website! Please feel free to browse through the site and send us your comments and suggestions.

Our new Blog was designed with our clients in mind.   On this page, we will be discussing ways in which you can work with your website, improve your search engine rankings and get the most from your online marketing.

We hope that this new feature will become a resource for you and your firm. If you’d like to receive email notification each time a new entry is posted, please subscribe to our Blog by clicking on the “Subscribe Via Email” link on the upper right hand side of the page. 

Alternatively, you may receive notification of new entries by subscribing via RSS. Learn more about RSS feeds and readers here.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please leave us comments or send suggestions on topics you would like to see us cover. 

Thanks again for checking out our new Blog. We hope to see you back here soon!

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