Articles Tagged with “Web Marketing Today”

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domains.pngAmong the very first law firm websites I ever worked on was www.mlb.com. My six year old son accesses the site every morning on his iPad before heading to school or camp to check scores and watch video highlights of last nights’ major league baseball action. Of course, that does not sound like a law firm website, does it? No, it is Major League Baseball (MLB). But in the late 90s, www.mlb.com took you to the website of one of the nation’s largest law firms–Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Morgan Lewis’ IT people were certainly on their game when they beat baseball to the punch and acquired the domain name that certainly made sense for them–MLB. When working with Morgan Lewis on their initial website and subsequent iterations, we always chuckled at the enormous web traffic that the site garnered. Of course, the bulk of it was people looking for baseball. And as you might imagine, they were none too pleased when they ended up with an antitrust practice area description instead of All-Star game voting results. As a matter of fact, many website visitors e-mailed various unflattering comments regarding what they believed was an inappropriate use of the MLB domain name.

Luckily for Major League Baseball, they were a client of the law firm. And eventually Morgan Lewis provided their client with that prized possession, so they could join the NHL, NBA and NFL in owning the proper online moniker.

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fb-like.pngLike and Like. This is like two Facebook posts in one.

For my April 2014 contribution to Web Marketing Today, I return to a topic that I last covered just 11 months ago in May 2013. So much has changed in the social media space in a relatively short time. The players are still the players. But with Facebook changing–more focus on mobile and more focus on revenue (advertising options)–you simply can’t sit around and stay status quo.

On the marketing side, it has certainly gotten my attention. Many law firms are finding that Facebook provides brand awareness options that are sharper, cheaper and more focused than many traditional advertising methods. And you do not need to be targeting a mass consumer audience to find ways to use some of these tools effectively. The bottom line is this–there are two ultra-powerful websites in the world–Google and Facebook–and if you don’t exist on both, your online universe is not operating at full strength.

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opentable.jpgIn my monthly contribution to Web Marketing Today, I go off the reservation a bit (pun intended) in discussing Open Table, restaurants and customer service compared to professional services, law firms and client service. In Using Customer Reviews to Drive Sales, I discuss positive (and negative) customer service experiences and how the same concepts and data drive similar patterns for a law practice.

Fine dining is a centerpiece in the health and well-being of my marriage. Every Saturday night is date night, come hell or high water, and with it one of many great restaurants in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Regardless of how busy we get with work, travel and dealing with the kids, we take a few hours and a few bucks each weekend to partake in a nice dinner. It is our household’s major discretionary spend (and when you add wine and a babysitter, it adds up fast). Our Facebook followers know that each week they’ll be clued in on a new, hot or long-time favorite eatery for future consideration.

The chances of your restaurant being selected as a destination are heavily weighted by whether you show up on Open Table. I peruse the reservation options weeks in advance and look at my profile to remind myself where we are going over the next month or two. On the flip side, the participating restaurant gets to know a lot about me before I walk in the door–and that is where the possibilities of developing customer satisfaction and loyalty exist.

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publicity.jpgIn this month’s Web Marketing Today column, Pros and Cons of Online Publicity for Lawyers, I write about the issues that struck me coming out of Perez v. Factory Direct of Secaucus, LLC. There is a significant difference in determining the impact of media attention on a case in the “traditional media” days versus the “blog/social media” era. That is the lesson defendants’ counsel for Ashley Furniture learned when filing suit against the plaintiffs’ law firm for defamation–stemming from online publicity.

My article breaks down the impact and pros/cons that all parties involved–plaintiff, defendant, and counsel for both sides–in measuring how the World Wide Web might affect not only the outcome of a case, but the long-term consequences that can be far more detrimental than whether you won, lost or settled.

As I note, I would never have heard about what I’d suggest is a relatively common “employee lawsuit against an employer for wrongful termination”-type filing if not for the third party action taken by one law firm against the other for what amounts to unwanted publicity on the case.

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After taking a one month “sabbatical” from my monthly Web Marketing Today article, I address a topic that is becoming increasingly important for the legal professional–how to respond to online criticism.

How Lawyers Should Respond to Online Criticism addresses dos and don’ts as they relate to the growing slate of websites that allow for posting of “reviews”, whether you are a plumber, doctor or lawyer. As I often teach, this is not an area where you have the option to participate. If I’m a client and want to post a positive or negative review of your professional product for the world to see–I can.

I’ve often used the power of Internet-based reviews myself. When my realtor pissed me off a few years back, I let a number of websites know what I thought of her. It did not go unnoticed. I’m a huge review contributor to Open Table–posting at least one a week after every dining experience. I often hear back from restaurants for the good and the bad.

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If it appears this month’s Web Marketing Today article on law firm apps is courtesy of the Department of Redundancy Department, I apologize. In the time I was writing it, I was also interviewed on the subject by two law publication journalists reacting to what must have seemed like an onslaught on law firm press releases touting the latest & greatest app. But I certainly saved some of my tips and examples for the loyal WMT audience.

In Corporate Secretary magazine, Abigail Caplovitz Field writes on “Law firms offer mobile apps to attract new clients.” Her article revolves around two US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) apps developed by Latham & Watkins and O’Melveny & Myers. In developing apps, the type of law firm and the related content runs the gamut from global mega firms to mom & pop shops.

Almost every attorney involved in the development of an app at a law firm will (accurately) tell you that the expectation is not that it will generate new clients, but more likely offer a branding or awareness tool that (hopefully) will be seen as an added-value item by clients, colleagues and the media.

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law-book.jpgTo start the second year of my monthly contributions as the voice of the legal profession on internet marketing issues for Web Marketing Today, the publishing team asked me to take off the marketing hat and hang my lawyer shingle for their significant small business readership and tackle legal issues that many of them face online.

There are so many legal precautions and potential issues that small businesses face on the World Wide Web, whether the business is purely virtual and online only or is the online marketing voice of a traditional store front.

Ironically, these issues have come into play during my many year studying Internet law, as I often discussed with my law firm business development clients that they needed to show clients and prospective clients (whether it was a consumer, mom and pop shop, small business or Fortune 500 corporation) that they knew how the web and technology worked–since they were often advising businesses on Internet-related issues–which often were new and uncharted legal waters for most.

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Facebook.jpgAs part of my monthly contributions to Web Marketing Today, I’m slowly working my way through the major social media sites. I started with LinkedIn, which has the most relevance to the most attorneys. In future months, I’ll tackle Twitter. But this month, I address what is arguably the most powerful website on the planet–Facebook. Search Engines aside (i.e. Google), there is simply no website with more users and higher traffic. And, let’s be honest, how can you do serious internet marketing and not be on the biggest site?

So, is Facebook right for you and your law practice? READ ON…

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nixon-peabody.jpgWhen creating the “Internet Marketing Attorney” moniker in 1997, I would scour the web for the most innovative law firm websites, eventually rating and ranking them in five categories–design, content, usability, interactivity and intangibles. If you were listed among the 250 largest U.S. law firms, you were then ranked accordingly. Many small and midsize firms from around the world submitted themselves for consideration as well, and while I did not review all of them, I also had the annual Nifty Fifty list of innovative legal website components. But times changed and just like technology, I had to adapt.

There were three key factors that led me to stop presenting the IMAs–as they are known throughout the legal industry. First, the large law firm sites become homogenized. There were so few substantive differences to the sites that it made finding those differentiators quite difficult. I would write the same notes and comments over and over again. Second, my “for-profit” business (HTMLawyers, my law marketing consultancy) did not provide enough free time to properly conduct these evaluations. Because I never solicited those law firms I reviewed, it was a great branding tool but not necessarily a revenue generator. My time was always “sold out”, but it was tough to equate new business with the time needed for the IMAs. Finally, any free time or “down time” is now owned by my children–who do not find law firm websites all that fascinating. Luckily, my monthly contributions to Web Marketing Today allow me to continually monitor and teach best practices for law firm internet marketing.

Which is a long-winded way of introducing this month’s WMT column, Law Firm Websites: A Developer’s Review, where in essence I turn the tables slightly by asking the web site developers to tell me what site they like best and why (obviously, their own handiwork). I invited some of the more prominent names in law firm website development to participate–just give me a site and what makes it special. The end result is a handy tutorial for any law firm looking to identify key components for their next website.

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In this month’s Web Marketing Today column, I discuss the uses and value of video as an Internet marketing tool for attorneys. Video provides both enhanced web content as well as improved search engine optimization results.

Among the things that have changed in video production over the last five years or so is the importance of making sure that the quality is there. Lawyers should not look like they are facetiming each other on an iPad. That is left for my kids harassing relatives with video chat. Getting seasoned professionals to produce, tape and edit is critical.

My column discusses the ABA Golden Gavel Video Awards, created by Infinite PR‘s Nicholas Gaffney. I also talk about web video marketing tools such as those developed by TheLaw.tv and an example of law firms moving often-stilted webinars to a polished video product. The use of video impacts every type of law practice. Brown Rudnick’s Charitable Foundation uses video to enhance the site for their Center for the Public Interest.