Micah Buchdahl, the Internet Marketing Attorney (www.htmlawyers.com), provided an overflow crowd with a fast-paced and information packed overview of what works and what doesn't in the world of technology and law firm marketing.
Trend No. 1 -- The brochure vs. the interactive web site
No right or wrong -- both work. Examples provided were www.cravath.com and www.vanosteen.com with the fascinating aside that Osteen was one of the two plaintiff's in the Bates decision that created the line of work so many of us are in.
Trend No. 2 -- Cyberspace is growing and growing.
Obviously, websites have become a given but there's also email newsletters, search engine placement, webcasts, podcasts and more to be considered than could be copied from the side before it was changed.
Trend No. 3 -- Law firms are still sabotaging their sites
- Avoid unintuitive domain names (www.qlrgm.com);
- Clip art and collages unfortunately still do turn up too often;
- Unfortunately, wall paper does too.
- Use flash when there's a reason -- not just to use it
- And be responsible about your page layout
Trend No. 4 -- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is really only relevant to consumer, not corporate, firms.
Trend No. 5 -- Tracking ROI is not about Traffic Reports -- it's about what sections of your site clients find useful and how they respond to your site.
Trend No. 6 -- Design your site for your Audience
Your site audience is your clients, your prospects, your referral sources, your recruiting prospects and the media, among others.
Trend No. 7 -- The Internet is still leveling the playing field for smaller firms
Case in point -- visalaw.com
Trend No. 8 -- Midsize and Large Firm Tips
Midsize -- Design like the big firms (see Trend 7)
- Assign responsibility
- Content Management Systems (CMS) are affordable
- Better less & fresh (content)
- Focus on meat & potatoes
Large firms -- You may be overdoing it -- what pages are your clients using?
- Personalize for your clients
- Satelite office -- arrange to be able to upload directly to enhance your presence
- Spend traffic dollars directly on Search Engine Optimizaiton (SEO)
- Meat & potatoes, regardless of firm size
Trend No. 9 -- Make sure you're serving high quality meat and potatoes
Web sites are frequently the first stop for prospective clients. And, they're usually evaluating more than one firm at the same time so maintain attorney profiles, practice descriptions, office information (be sure they can reach you and get there), and searchability at levels that impress and surpass other firms.
Trend No. 10 -- "The Nifty 50" continues to be a great source to make your site succeed.
This summarizer hopes I have done the information packed presentation justice and that the above summary is useful. See you at our next meeting ---
Julie Meyer, Marketing Director
Dilworth Paxson LLP