WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARKETING KPIS

Maybe your law firm is paying an internal employee or an outside firm or consultant to maximize your online marketing strategy and tactics. Maybe you have a sophisticated strategy involving SEO, social media, Google AdWords, email marketing, and more. But how do you know your digital strategy is working? Without turning to key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantify your efforts, you have no way of knowing. These critical metrics let you rate your campaign’s performance, tweak it as needed, and improve your strategy as you go. Without them, you may “feel” like inquiry emails or calls for consultations have increased, but your observations are far less reliable than real data.

What You Need to Know About Marketing KPI

Before you decide which metrics to track, decide what goals your marketing campaign should meet. How does each performance indicator relate to that goal? How long will you track the metric? A week? A month? An entire quarter? Each campaign and situation is unique. For example, it’s impossible to track year-over-year sales if your law firm just opened. Still, law firms might draw from a common set of metrics regardless of the campaign type or their practice area.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to users that find and visit your website through a search engine. As you undoubtedly know, Google is the dominant player in organic search. Search engine optimization strategies let you target potential clients who are already looking for your services on Google and elsewhere. Careful tactics help you acquire leads efficiently and cost-effectively, and your law firm can use free online tools like Google Analytics to measure your organic traffic volume.

Google Analytics lets you see how people find your website. Do they come from search engines? Where do they land? How long do they stay? If you choose to monitor these metrics and realize that clients rarely find your site through organic search, consider how you can improve your site’s inbound content marketing. Google—and the rest of the search engines—value useful, relevant, readable, and unique content. Improve your content and you’ll improve your standing on the search engine results pages.

Leads

The whole purpose of driving people to your website is to encourage them to contact your law firm for a service consultation. Generally speaking, the more leads your website generates, the more conversions you enjoy. If you’re doing it right, the more conversations you get, the more clients you’ll engage. Track the leads your marketing efforts generate by capturing names, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Ideally, you would also take time to define what a quality lead looks like at your law firm. Who is your ideal client? What do they want when they find your website? Do they just want contact information to call you immediately? Or do they want to spend some time on the site looking around, getting to “know” you, and exploring your experience before deciding whether they’ll reach out? If your display ads generate plenty of traffic (but an abundance of irrelevant leads), your campaign is underperforming (and probably dramatically). You might reevaluate that campaign to improve the quality of leads it generates, which would, in turn, increase the likelihood that you’ll turn those quality leads into profitable clients.

Conversion Rates

Eventually, you’ll probably realize that tracking where all those leads come from (organic search, referrals, social media, email marketing, etc.) is a somewhat empty metric without more context. That is, how did they ultimately reached you and how often did they convert into profitable clients?  That’s why it’s important to calculate your “conversion rate.” If your website generates gaggles of visitors but only sees a few convert into real leads, your website may be failing you in the conversion department. So how can you tweak your website design and content to turn more fly-by visitors into potential clients? It may require fresh website content that’s more engaging and relevant, a reimagined site navigation to help potential customers to find what they’re looking for, and work to ensure your marketing campaigns target the right demographics. You may also toy around with improving (then testing) your calls to action. And you might consider lead-to-client ratios and conversion rates for the landing pages you use.

Sales

Sales are one of the most critical performance metrics. Every business should track sales revenue. Analyze your sales and incoming revenue thoroughly and decide which marketing efforts increase your sales. That will prepare you to invest more resources into effective campaigns, tweak the marginal ones in an effort to improve them, and eliminate the duds altogether.

Acquisition Costs

So, your new marketing campaigns have increased leads, conversions, and sales? Hurray! Celebrate, then get back to work. You still have one crucial KPI to measure: how much did it cost your law firm to acquire those new clients? Calculate your marketing campaign’s return on investment (ROI) by dividing all campaign expenses by the number of clients you acquired during the designated time frame. Because “average profit per client” ranges from firm to firm, the range of acquisition costs per client varies wildly. Ideally, the overall cost you pay to acquire a customer remains on the low side while the value you generate from each client continues to grow over time. For starters, shoot for a 3:1 value-to-cost ratio. That is, make sure your cost of customer acquisition is—at most—about 33% of the total lifetime value you expect to generate from your new client.

If your customer acquisition cost is prohibitively high, or if you notice it creeping up over time, reevaluate your marketing and sales efforts. Are your costs increasing? Or is your overall client acquisition rate declining? It may be a good time to check your online client reviews and request feedback from clients.

The universe of KPIs you can track is nearly limitless. But don’t get lost in data and spreadsheets without connecting metrics to your actual business. If the Average Visit Duration on your website increases dramatically but fails to improve lead generation or sales, you can conclude that the metric isn’t very useful. It’s just noise. Stop paying attention. Law firms misstep when they invest time, money, and energy into defining, tracking, and improving metrics that don’t convert (yeah, I’m looking at you, Facebook Likes). The most important KPIs lead to profits or other returns that you hold dear, like customer satisfaction. That’s why we recommend tracking organic traffic, leads, conversion rates, sales, acquisition costs, and customer satisfaction.

The post What You Need to Know About Marketing KPIs appeared first on Lawyerist.com.

Source: Karin Conroy’s Lawyerist Feeds

FEATURED BY SYSTEMS SAVED ME – HOW TO QUALIFY + ONBOARD GREAT CLIENTS

I’m really excited to announce I was recently on Jordan Gill’s podcast Systems Saved Me!

Jordan and I discuss how important it is to only bring on clients that respect you and some red flags that you should look out for.

You can find the podcast on iTunes by clicking here (episode 149) or you can snag it from Player FM by clicking here.

CONTENT IS KING FOR LAW FIRM WEBSITES

Great content should drive traffic and attract visitors to your law firm website. Content is king is an essay Bill Gates wrote in 1996, predicting content would become central to the success of websites.  But what exactly is great content and how can you make content king (or queen) on your law firm website site? 

In short, you’ll want to create high quality content that attracts, educates, and entertains your audience, keeping them on your website as they read your expert articles on how to deal with their legal issues. 

Your website content is foundational to establishing your expertise and authority and building trust with potential clients. As a lawyer, you sell your legal knowledge and experience to people to help them through confusing and difficult matters that they can’t resolve themselves. Legal knowledge is becoming more accessible to everyone, and we’re happy about that. Legal knowledge should be accessible to everyone. But this also means that your potential clients are researching their legal issues before even hiring an attorney. Where that can find the answer to their legal problems should be on your website in the quality content you create. 

Is Content Writing Different For Legal Websites? 

Not really. The biggest difference is in subject matter. Though whatever you write about, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make your content stand out: develop client personas and write with them in mind, have a clearly defined voice and tone, and connect with your audience.

Your content should know its audience and their needs, be targeted towards that audience through your use of  keyword strategies and client personas  be helpful, and be easy to understand. It should only focus on one topic at a time to be clear, concise, and not convoluted. Seek to educate (and maybe entertain) in your content, but not to sell. Your content should also start to build trust and establish your firm as an authority in your areas of practice. 

Building trust and authority first comes from having a reputable brand  and websites, but also by not writing like a lawyer. Writing and speaking in legalese can be off-putting. People want an attorney they can connect with, who will understand their position, and who explains things so the other person can understand. 

You also shouldn’t limit your content to articles or blog posts. Content is  more than just words .It can also be downloads, infographics, videos, or live streams. Plus, having a face and voice to put to a name helps you build trust with potential clients before you even meet them. 

Potential clients are researching their legal issues before reaching out to an attorney. They’re also researching you and your firm before contacting you. Make your website’s content a resource for potential clients that answers their questions and addresses their specific concerns in a comprehensive but not complex way. Being that expert that can provide knowledge and guidance helps connects you to your audience and starts cultivating a relationship with those potential clients,  making it more likely those potential clients will reach out to you and not a competitor. 

Having content that is useful and educational for your potential clients isn’t enough. You’ll have to know how to get that content in front of your target audience by understanding and using SEO and other traffic-generating tactics. 

How Does SEO Play a Role in Legal Content Writing 

Generally, search engine optimization (SEO), is how to optimize your webpages to improve its visibility in search results on search engines for organic search. SEO is what helps get your website in front of your ideal client more quickly. 

A study in 2014 suggested that 64% of all web traffic comes from organic search, compared to 6% from paid search (like PPC), 12% from direct, and 15% from other sources. Of that 65%, Google accounts for more than 90% of global organic search traffic. So it’s important to at least know the basics of SEO . 

Keywords 

Keywords are what your potential clients will be searching for. You’ll want to conduct keyword research to know exactly what those words are. You can use tools like Google Keyword ToolKeyword DiscoveryBing Keyword Research, and Google Analytics to start with your research. Most of the time, your keywords will come in the form of long-tail keywords, like “Estate Planning Attorney Sheboygan Wisconsin.”

Metadata

Metadata includes information like your title tag, your meta descriptions, and image alt descriptions. The title tag is the title of your webpage, the meta description is a summary or tidbit of information about the webpage, like below:

The alt description is the text descriptions of images that helps search engines (and people with visual disabilities) understand what is going on in a picture.

Link Building

Link building is where you have links to pages on your website either within your website, internal link building, or on other websites, external link building. An easy way to build links externally is to list yourself on legal directories and by claiming your Google Business profile

Writing for Keywords, Images, and Technical Tactics 

But you should strive to write in a way that is good for your audience and search engines to read. This means having a website that is fast, easy-to-use, easy-to-navigate, mobile friendly, and has your contact information on display. Once you have a well designed website, it’s time to develop content to populate it.

As you write content, you should strive to have at least 500 words per post with titles and keywords related to the types of keywords your client personas are looking for. For example, if you’re writing about how to establish a living trust, “Living Trust” could be a keyword, but a Google search shows that “Living Trust” has over 1,300,000,000 results. 

That’s over a billion results. However, simply changing the keyword to “Living Trust Ann Arbor Michigan” lowers the results to just 7,480,000.

So you could have your article be titled, “How to Establish a Living Trust in Ann Arbor, Michigan” with the long-tail keyword “Living Trust Ann Arbor Michigan”

Long-tail keywords are more likely what your potential clients are searching for on Google. Long-tail keywords are more specific and more relevant to what your audience is searching for, so your content should be focused on optimizing for those.

You should try to include your keywords in your titles, metadata, headings, and URL, as well as in your webpage’s copy, but be mindful not to “keyword stuff,” which is overusing your keyword. Your keywords should be used naturally in your web page. 

Including images on your website is another great way to help improve your SEO. Not only does it make your web pages more visually appealing to readers, but you can also add alt text, which is a description that tells search engines what the image is about and also improves accessibility for people with impaired vision using screen readers. For a great talk about accessibility for your law firm website, check out Podcast Episode 202: Accessible Justice with Haben Girma.

Start creating content that points to other content on your website. This is called internal link building, and is a way to get visitors to go to other pages on your website and provide more useful information to other relevant topics. External link building is having other websites link to your site. You can do this by listing your business on legal directories or by writing guest posts on other legal websites or blogs.

Publish consistently.  Once a week is a good start to help build your SEO. While regularly producing content is a great way to engage with and build an audience, you shouldn’t publish for the sake of producing content. Be thoughtful in what you publish and focus on quality not quantity. Thinking about your long term message, short term announcements, or on-going offerings is an excellent way to fill up an editorial calendar. Writing a new post every week that is true to you and not pushy can slow people down. Coming up with ideas for emails, blog posts, and social media will take some thought. There are several credible sources to help if you ever feel like you’re running out of ideas, but if you’re in touch with your prospective clients and the other things they’re finding for their solutions you should be able to come up with lots of additional content over time from tips, to case studies, to law updates, to new ways to think about their problems, etc. 

All your content should provide keyword rich information that is helpful and also establishes your authority while drawing in organic search engine results by following SEO best practices.  Showcase your expertise by answering questions and sharing information on relevant topics to your practice area. 

Call-to-Action and Increasing Engagement 

Once you have people reading your content, you’ll want to encourage them to do something to engage with you. A call-to-action, or CTA, encourages people to take a certain action. Your CTAs are a way to increase engagement with your audience and bring your potential client a step closer to hiring you as their attorney. They’re usually placed at the end of a post, but they can be placed anywhere in your marketing.  

A CTA should help guide your audience what to do next after finishing reading your article or watching your video. A CTA  could be to contact you, visit another page on your website, download something, sign-up for an event, or register for a free consultation. 

High-quality content addresses and resolves an issue your client persona is having. It is concise and clear, focusing on one topic at a time and uses long-tail keywords to promote that topic on search engines. Your content should also encourage visitors to engage with your website by linking to related content or through a CTA. 

Effective content marketing is a long-term strategy and should be focused on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality, helpful, and relevant content on a consistent basis, establishing your trust and authority in their eyes, then getting them to engage with you through your call-to-action strategy.

A complete content marketing strategy can be a complex machine, but it always starts with great content that provides value to your audience. For them, and for Google, content is king (or queen).

Originally published April 5, 2010. Updated and republished June 27, 2019.

The post Content is King for Law Firm Websites appeared first on Lawyerist.com.

Source: Karin Conroy’s Lawyerist Feeds

Featured on Attorney at Law: 4 Revolutionary Female Lawyers Who Boldly Break Down Tradition

According to the American Bar Association, women make up 45% of associates in private law practice but only 20% of partners are female lawyers. The motherhood tax is real, and it’s having a dramatic impact on careers, law offices, and outcomes. One major contributing factor in this statistic is the billable hours law firm, business model.
An efficient attorney makes a billable hours firm less money than an attorney who takes hours to complete the same task. The irony here is who can you think of more efficient and productive than a working mother? But their efficiency is considered a liability if it doesn’t stack up the firm’s monthly billable hours.
Female lawyers everywhere have struggled to juggle motherhood and their careers. In an industry where a mild workweek is 60 hours long, this is no easy feat. Traditional ideas about how many hours of face time you’re supposed to put in at the law office die hard, so some dedicated law professionals and mothers have decided to take matters into their own hands.
Meet 4 female lawyers blazing their own trails through the law office and motherhood.
Click here to read more: https://attorneyatlawmagazine.com/4-revolutionary-female-lawyers-break-tradition

How to Do a SWOT Analysis for Your Law Firm

In the post , we visualize your ideal customer and define one or two niches that will be the focus of your firm.

To assess the things your firm excels at and what your firm needs to improve (strengths and weaknesses), as well as promising opportunities and the biggest threats to your firm’s success. In this post, you will learn how to perform a SWOT analysis (otherwise known as SWOT matrix) to identify the internal and external factors of your firm that most affect your marketing.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

In a SWOT analysis, you identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This step requires objectivity, having a clear picture of what you can do well, and knowing your limitations.
When considering your strengths, it may help to step out of yourself and view your firm from your clients’ perspective. What would clients say is your biggest weakness? One way to determine your strengths and weaknesses is to send clients a brief survey at the end of each case. It may also help to ask your employees, colleagues, and even your competition what they see as your strengths.
Most people who complete a SWOT analysis find that they are better at identifying either their strengths or their weaknesses. This probably correlates with whether you are a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty type person. Asking for outside help is most important for the areas you have a hard time seeing clearly.

Gather Your Supplies and Set an Appointment with Yourself

Get out a nice clean sheet of paper, or open your favorite word processing program and schedule out some time to stick to this exercise. Many professionals tend to skip over the actual writing of a SWOT analysis, assuming they can just think about their SWOTs when they have free time. However, these assessments are much more efficient when written out and when you allow plenty of time for honest reflection.
Start by drawing a SWOT matrix, which is just a page split into four boxes. Give each box a heading:
swot analysis
This setup allows you to separate the most important factors that will drive your marketing plan into four distinct, prioritized lists. Across the top, you can easily see internal factors while the bottom boxes reveal external factors. The boxes on the left side reveal positive factors while the boxes on the right reveal negative factors. Fill in the boxes with as many details as you can.
The following questions will help you to focus on each aspect of the analysis:

Strengths (Internal Factor)

  • What does your firm do better than anyone else?
  • What aspects of your company do several clients praise?
  • What makes your firm, or even your individual cases, successful?
  • What are the reasons people choose you as their representation?

Weaknesses (Internal Factor)

  • In which areas do you wish you had more knowledge or experience?
  • In the past, what has caused you to lose business to your competition?
  • Which aspects of your firm are you least likely to brag about?
  • What holds back you firm from being what it could be?

Opportunities (External Factor)

  • What are some things you wish your firm had time to do?
  • What upcoming events or trends could result in more business for your firm?
  • What impending changes in the law could affect your business?
  • What technological advances could change the way you do business?
  • Does any of your noted strengths reveal opportunities for business?

Threats (External Factor)

  • What are some of your biggest obstacles to increased revenue?
  • Who is your competition and what are they doing differently?
  • Will any impending policy or law changes affect your firm or clients in a negative way?
  • Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems?

Tips for the most useful SWOT Analysis

  • Be specific. A vague sense of something possibly being a threat in the future is not as useful as a well-researched threat. That doesn’t mean you should leave vague threats off your list. However, you should find out more about them so you truly understand how they could hurt you.
  • Prioritize. It’s not necessary to do everything in order and not everything on your analysis carries equal weight. Put each list of your SWOT analysis — Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats — in order of importance, so you can emphasize your biggest strength and address your biggest weakness first.
  • Listen and learn. Check out what others are listing on their SWOTs. A quick Google search of SWOT analysis will bring up a lot of examples of completed SWOTs that could help spur thinking about your firm.
  • Ask for help. Bring in reinforcements. Ask everyone in your office for feedback as you complete the analysis. A receptionist might be aware of something your clients see as a strength that you overlooked.
  • Be objective. Do not respond to every weakness with a “but …” statement. Problems can only be fixed when you admit they are problems.

Why is a SWOT Analysis so Important?

Everyone knows they have strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats, but sitting down to identify them and assess their priority helps with the future steps of your marketing plan. Although SWOT factors may always lurk in the back of your mind, writing them down and prioritizing them will help you to feel less overwhelmed and in control. When a potential client asks why they should hire you, the answer will roll right off your tongue.
The post How to Do a SWOT Analysis for Your Law Firm appeared first on Lawyerist.com.
Source: Karin Conroy’s Lawyerist Feeds

Featured by Systems Saved Me – How to Qualify + Onboard Great Clients

I’m really excited to announce I was recently on Jordan Gill’s podcast Systems Saved Me!

Jordan and I discuss how important it is to only bring on clients that respect you and some red flags that you should look out for.

You can find the podcast on iTunes by clicking here (episode 149) or you can snag it from Player FM by clicking here.

Should You Remove Your Website’s Sidebar?

Has the sidebar gone the way of the Dodo bird? When the Internet first gained popularity in the 1990s, the website sidebar was an excellent way to capture readers’ attention, gather email addresses, and point them to a CTA. However, as websites and tastes have evolved, the sidebar is becoming more and more obsolete.

Should You Remove Your Website’s Sidebar?

Minimalism

The current trend towards minimalism means websites are becoming increasingly pared down. Users are demanding a more streamlined experience. To improve UX, designers are removing clutter.
The sidebar falls into the clutter category. Ask yourself, “Is there anything on my site’s sidebar that cannot be achieved in another way?” Is the information in the sidebar repeated on the top navigation? Or could you put the information in another spot?
The question when it comes to sidebars is not if they should be removed from every website. The most important question is, “Does this feature add value?”.

Effectiveness

If you steadfastly want to hold on to your sidebar, examine its effectiveness. Is it driving conversions, email signups, or other growth for your business? Is it user-friendly? Is your sidebar adding to your website instead of detracting?
The reality is that it might be negatively impacting your website and traffic. If your sidebar currently has a CTA, you may get better results by inserting the call to action in the text of your page instead.
Of course, different websites have different purposes. E-commerce sites commonly use sidebars to categorize products. Google’s sidebar uses widgets that are helpful and used across its different platforms. For these sites, sidebars help users navigate their content in a straightforward way.
However, your law firm’s website probably does not need a sidebar. If your aim is to inspire potential client’s to call your firm for services, they are neither buying a product online or using a web-based service, as in the case of e-commerce sites and Google.
Your CTA is straightforward, whatever way you word it: contact us for expert legal services. By removing the sidebar and inserting the CTA directly into the page, either mid-page or at the bottom, you could increase responses.

Responsiveness

All websites must be mobile responsive. In the early 2000s, responsive design was not an imperative and many clunky websites with features like sidebars and overwhelming ads were built. In the modern age of smart devices, responsiveness is no longer an added bonus. It is critical.
Sidebars inhibit responsiveness. They do not show up in mobile correctly and are usually redirected to the bottom of the page. This disrupts the design and misses the entire point of a sidebar. Without one, content can be moved around and the site’s width can be shrunk easily.
Another key factor to user experience is speed. Without a sidebar, your site will load faster. This can decrease bounce rates and keep users from leaving your site immediately — as often happens to sites that don’t load quickly enough.

Options

As website design has progressed, there are so many more options available for information on your site. The sidebar held the spot as the prime place to put extra information, drive people to sign up for newsletters, and blast your CTA.
This is no longer the case. There are so many options! If the content in your sidebar is essential to the site, and cannot be eliminated entirely (remember, minimalism), consider these other choices:

A sidebar is no longer needed to share additional information on your website. With the plethora of design options available, you can engage users without the outdated sidebar.
Sidebars had a heyday of popularity in the early 2000s. You’ll still see it commonly used on blogs and e-commerce sites. But your law firm’s website probably does not need one anymore. Getting rid of it is a chance to streamline your site and improve the user experience for potential clients.
You’ll notice that our website does not have a sidebar. They add to visual clutter and weaken the overall message of the page. We’ve found that people respond to straightforward CTA buttons rather than distractions on the side of the page.
Take a look at your firm’s website. Are you still using a sidebar? Is it adding value to the site? If not, it’s time to remove the dead weight. If you are truly worried about the effects of removing it on your site, you can try A/B testing to quantify your results before making it permanent.
One thing is clear. If your sidebar is distracting and unnecessary, kill it.

website's sidebar
website's sidebar
website's sidebar

Vision, Value and Goals: Creating Your Law Firm’s Strategic Roadmap

One of the keys to your law firm’s success is planning out your long-term strategy and a business plan that will help you achieve your goals. It is helpful in this process to spend time crafting a mission statement, identifying who you are as a firm, and clarifying the goals you have in the short and long term.

As you go through this process, capture your mission statement and craft your business plan so you can say “yes” to several important principles you might recognize from The Small Firm Scorecard:

  • Your vision and values are clear, documented, and shared by all.
  • Your long-term goals are ambitious, important, clear, and shared by all.
  • Everyone at your firm is working on projects and short-term goals that are connected to your long-term goals.

The most significant elements of these three statements are having a clear vision, having shared company values, and setting meaningful goals for your firm’s future. Let’s take a closer look at each of these three and how you can approach them in your strategic planning sessions.

Strategic Roadmap: Vision

You might have a general idea about your firm’s vision, but it doesn’t do you much good if you haven’t shared your vision with the other people working for you and earned their buy-in.

Your vision is everything you want to be as a firm and the role you hope to fill in your community. Spend some time thinking about your firm’s strengths, the clients you want to serve, and your company’s values. Alone or, ideally, with your colleagues and staff, use those insights to develop a clear, documented vision statement that resonates with your colleagues and, ultimately, your clients.

Values

Having a cause or a set of issues that you and your colleagues care about can strengthen your team, your firm, and your culture. It can also be a competitive advantage. Fortunately, finding this shared set of values is often more straightforward in a law firm than it might be in other industries. If you practice a particular type of law, there’s a good chance the people working there are passionate about values associated with that practice area.

Consider, then, those causes and values that are important to your staff, colleagues, and friends. Find ways to get involved in those causes beyond your legal work. Become a contributing member of the community and support causes that align with your values.

Goals

What do you hope to accomplish with your firm? Your vision and values will influence your goals in meaningful ways. You will have some financial goals to consider, like covering operational costs, taking on the right mix and number of cases to be profitable, and meeting target financial metrics by the end of the year.

Consider, too, any goals you have that impact your firm’s image, brand, or growth from non-monetary perspectives.

Focus on these three important areas and you’ll be well on your way to developing a strong mission statement, business plan, and strategic roadmap for your law firm.

The post Vision, Value and Goals: Creating Your Law Firm’s Strategic Roadmap appeared first on Lawyerist.com.

Source: Karin Conroy’s Lawyerist Feeds

Why Lawyers Should Use WordPress Instead of Squarespace for Law Firm Websites

Why Lawyers Should Use WordPress Instead of Squarespace for Law Firm Websites
Squarespace and WordPress are currently the two most popular services for law firms looking to build or redesign their website. But does either have the edge over the other?

The comparison is a bit difficult to make. Squarespace is a straightforward website building service, while WordPress is an open-source platform for all types of web content, meaning they fall in slightly different categories. Still, these are the two primary services people choose between for their web design projects, which makes it essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.
While Squarespace can seem like an attractive choice for firms, lawyers who need flexibility and scalability should choose WordPress.
In the interest of full disclosure, it’s worth pointing out that Karin builds WordPress websites. That said, we definitely agree that WordPress is almost always the better option for law firm websites. —Ed.

Ease of Use

Squarespace’s most recent version is significantly easier to use than the previous editions. It has a clean, uncomplicated interface. Users do not need to know how to code. This is Squarespace’s primary advantage: everything you need to design a custom website and publish new posts and pages is all in one place, with no real technical expertise necessary.
WordPress has a slightly larger learning curve, as it is more of an overall CMS (content management system) than a simple site-building tool. If you already have some experience in building websites, WordPress is an excellent option.

In general, Squarespace is easier to use at first for beginners, but it has some significant caps on its capabilities. WordPress seems slightly more difficult at first, but does not have anywhere near the same limits in place, and still has plenty of beginner-friendly theme and plugin options. In the long run, WordPress is the better option for ease of use for any law firms that want anything beyond the most basic website available.

Features

Squarespace has plenty of features, including built-in apps and widgets. It has most of the tools any law firm needs to build a website, such as blogging functionality, ability to import and export content, connectivity with social media, and the ability to have multiple users with different levels of access.
WordPress is also extremely flexible and has more plugins and widgets, as well as SEO packs and commenting systems.
WordPress is much more scalable, which is more important for more complex websites or websites with higher demands for unique features. This makes WordPress the better option for law firms looking for a variety of high-quality features for their websites.

Design Options

Squarespace has around 60 templates for websites and 9 for online stores, each of which automatically includes a mobile version.
WordPress has many free and paid themes—estimated at more than 10,000 right now. Some of these designs are responsive; some are not. It can take some time to learn how to customize these themes, and sometimes that customization requires a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP.
But if you are working with a developer, your options are nearly unlimited with WordPress. It allows for complete control and customization (provided you have the knowledge to edit CSS and PHP), so your website is entirely editable, where with Squarespace you are constrained to their templates.

For design options, there is no comparison. WordPress has a much greater variety, and while the quality can vary, it is quite easy to find a sizable amount of high-quality themes for free or for a relatively low price.

Support

Squarespace has plenty of support options, including live chat, email support, and support through its Community Forum.
WordPress does not have an email or phone number for support, but there are countless video tutorials, forums and additional online resources dedicated to helping WordPress users with their websites. The open source nature of the site has built up a lot of communities that are centered on tinkering with WordPress’s functionality and features, meaning you have plenty of potential helpers to guide you through your digital innovation.

Portability

If you are unhappy with either platform, it’s essential to be able to move your site to a different platform with relative ease and without losing data or traffic. WordPress excels at this function, having built-in tools that allow you to export easily, and then import, your data into a different WordPress install or another platform.
Squarespace is also limited here, only allowing you to export certain features into an XML file, which may not be compatible with your new platform. You will not be able to export your text, audio, video blocks, or album pages, so you could potentially lose a lot of content if you decide to move your site from Squarespace.

Cost

Squarespace starts around $10/month for very limited features. You are required to use Squarespace as your host, which can be problematic when it comes to integrating other services such as payment gateways, email opt-in systems, or client management software.
WordPress is open source and free. You will need to purchase hosting and would be good to get a WordPress-managed hosting account. That cost varies, but this will allow you to be in control of where your site is hosted so you can arrange for a plan that supports all the features your firm needs.
Ultimately, most law firms are better served by using WordPress, which offers more freedom, is more extensible and portable, has significantly more design options, and more features.
Why Lawyers Should Use WordPress Instead of Squarespace for Law Firm Websites was originally published on Lawyerist.com.

7 Examples of Mobile Calls to Action for Attorney Websites

7 Examples of Mobile Calls to Action for Attorney Websites

More people than ever before are browsing the internet primarily through mobile devices rather than desktop computers or laptops. In fact, just recently, the number of mobile-only browsers exceeded desktop-only browsers for the first time. That trend is likely to persist as time goes on.

Ever since the proliferation of smartphones truly took off about six or seven years ago, marketers have had to shift their tactics to adjust to a boom in mobile browsing.

A call to action (CTA) is an essential part of any marketing strategy, especially when it comes to creating high-impact landing pages. It’s important to understand, however, that the actions users are likely to take from a mobile device tend to be a little different from those they take when browsing via desktop.

To that end, the following are just a few examples of CTA tactics you might consider implementing as part of your law firm’s digital marketing efforts:
Click to call. If you want to encourage people to call your law firm, add a “simple phone” button. All users need to do is click on the phone, and it will either automatically dial the listed number or automatically input the number into the phone and prompt them to hit the “call” button.


Schedule a consultation. Sometimes a client just needs to talk through their issue. In this case, the fastest route to converting them is coordinating a phone call. These CTAs often link to a page that connects with the firm’s calendar so they can choose the best time.


Contact forms. Mobile contact forms work in much the same way as standard desktop contact forms—only they’re formatted and simplified for mobile screens. This usually means they have fewer fields to fill in and are sized specifically for mobile devices.


Click for more information. Many lawyers realize that it takes their clients a while to decide to hire them, so want their users to read the information on their site to establish expertise. Asking the user to “read more” about the attorney’s bio, or specific blog posts will help to encourage the potential client to move through the site, read that additional information, and establish credibility.


Variety of methods. Maybe your firm has a few client personas that have different needs. In this case you should offer a variety of ways to get in touch such as phone, schedule a consultation, and possibly a contact form.

Best Practices for Mobile Calls to Action

Regardless of the CTA tools and methods you use, there are specific strategies that can help you maximize the traffic that comes to your site. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Be clear and concise with your messaging. The space limitations on mobile devices make it important that you be as clear and concise as possible with how you phrase your CTA. “Call us” or “send us an email,” for example, will make it clear what will happen once users click the button.


Make the buttons or links big. CTAs should always be the largest link or button on the page. This will make them stand out right away to viewers, reducing the frustration that would otherwise arise if a person had to hunt all over for a way to take specific action. It can also help to make the buttons or links a glaringly obvious color.


Place CTAs in sensible locations. Again, you want your CTAs to be seen. By placing them in a place where people are likely to scan with their eyes, you can ensure greater visibility and improve conversion rates.


As you build out or work to improve your law firm’s website, don’t forget to factor in how mobile users will view and interact with your pages and content.

7 Examples of Mobile Calls to Action for Attorney Websites was originally published on Lawyerist.com.