The year 2017 brought many changes in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing. In particular, law firms should take note of the push toward HTTPS, the importance of using structured data and accelerated mobile pages (AMP), and changes to local search and Google My Business. It is imperative that you or your marketing consultant stay abreast of these and other marketing trends so that you don't fall behind.
October 2017 will bring stronger warnings on non-HTTPS sites for users of the Google Chrome browser. For websites with contact forms that don't use HTTPS, this might mean a significant decrease in contacts from your website. Make sure you are ready when this change comes!
Justia Premium Members can now see how often visitors have viewed their profile and listings on the Justia and Legal Information Institute lawyer directories and legal portals. This new web traffic report tracks the number of profile impressions and page views that lawyers receive across the Justia and LII properties.
With the advent of online review websites, many lawyers are finding that they benefit from having positive client reviews on each site where their name appears (and suffer from having negative reviews). Lawyers should be aware of the rules of ethics and professional responsibility that might apply to the solicitation of client reviews. In a recent opinion, the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics held that lawyers may offer a discount on legal fees to clients who write an online review, provided that the discount is not contingent upon the content of the review, the client is not coerced to provide the review, and the review is written by the client and not the lawyer. Other states may have different rules or interpret similar rules differently, so all lawyers are advised to seek counsel if they are unsure about the way they are soliciting client reviews. The information in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.
Whether a lawyer or law firm may ethically bid on other attorneys' or law firms' names among the keywords in their pay-per-click campaign depends on the state(s) in which they practice. Although the practice, also known as competitive keyword advertising, is commonplace in many other industries, several recent opinions issued by bodies charged with regulating the legal profession have cast doubt on the viability of the practice by lawyers under current ethics rules. The information in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.
Embedded contact forms are an efficient way for lawyers to allow their website visitors to contact them. Like other aspects of attorney advertising, contact forms may be subject to regulation. In many jurisdictions, certain disclaimers might need to accompany your website contact form in order to comply with state laws governing lawyers. We discuss three considerations with respect to disclaimers that you may want to include with your contact form. This blog post is not legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only.
One of the most important components of a strong content strategy for lawyers is to include legally substantive material throughout your website. Finding a balance between readability and legal substance can be difficult, so we describe three ways to help you find that balance. First, focus on a few basic rule statements. Second, give real-life (or hypothetical) examples illustrating the application of the law that a prospective client can relate to. Finally, explain why a reader should take action.
Lawyers who use a website and/or blog to advertise their services are usually subject to rules of professional responsibility and ethics that apply in the jurisdictions where they practice. Often, these rules require that the lawyers state in a prominent manner certain information that can help prevent prospective clients from being confused or misled about the attorney's services. Here are six common disclaimers that attorneys might need to include on their website or blog. This blog post is not intended to be legal advice. Attorneys with questions about whether their website or blog conforms to applicable rules should consult their state bar or an attorney experienced in professional responsibility/ethics issues.
Some law firms might benefit from marketing their services in a language other than English. However, this strategy is not for everyone. Be sure that you follow these four tips if you are considering marketing your legal services in another language: (1) include quality content in the foreign language, (2) be sure to optimize the metadata correctly, (3) be sure that someone at the law firm speaks the language, and (4) try out one page or a few pages before investing a significant amount of time and effort.
Different states regulate lawyer advertising in different ways. Lawyers who use a website or blog for advertising purposes should check the rules in their jurisdiction(s) to see whether their content may (or must) be approved before being published online. Regulation of law firm websites and blogs is a rapidly changing area of law, so it is important to stay abreast of the rules that apply to you and your practice.