New Video on Canceling FindLaw

cacnelling-findlaw

New Video – Take Ownership of Your Website

I just published a new video that is just under two minutes and explains a little bit about how a law firm can go about canceling their FindLaw subscriptions and taking ownership of their website.  I have been helping people move their websites away from FindLaw since 2008.  If you have questions about where you traffic is coming from, how moving your site will effect your Google rankings, or any other questions about law firm marketing, don’t hesitate to contact me by calling 651-271.8845 or click here to email me.

Do People Know What to Do At Your Home Page?

home-page

Your Home Page

Is it set up to convert your visitors to clients?

I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about their websites.  So much time that I usually neglect my own website. Recently I re-did my home page to give the visitors that I believe I have the best chance of converting an easy path to the information that I hope is most helpful to them.  Conversion rates on websites are low.  Even the best websites convert only 3 or 4% of their total traffic.  So instead of thinking that your home page is going to appeal to every possible visitor, just speak directly to the people you consider to be your best potential clients.

swell-sitesMost of my business is working with lawyers on moving away from FindLaw or building new websites.  I also work with people who want to improve their existing sites and drive more traffic.  So, made four key areas in large buttons at the top of the home page.   Take a look:  www.swell-sites.com.
hobson-homeThe idea was that I’d rather have people just jump into the page that is most relevant to them.  This makes even MORE sense if you’re talking about a law firm website, especially if you have more than one area of practice.  The home page can be challenging if you practice both, for instance, family law and criminal defense.  There are very few things that you can say that are relevant to both of these audiences.  So, it makes sense to try to get people right to the pages that are most relevant to them, or even split the page in two, like we did here at www.thehobsonlawfirm.com.

The key is just to take some time to think about how to arrange a few visual elements on the home page to help your potential client find the things they are looking for.  You don’t want someone relying on understanding that “Practice Areas” is the button that they’re looking for.

If you have questions about how to improve how your website is performing, check out some additional information at the links below or contact me today.

 

The Illusion of Success

SUCCESS

The Illusion of Success

Are you attributing more business than you should to your FindLaw website?

I wrote an article for my website, and now I’m making a blog post about it.  It’s tricky to know what should be on your website vs. what should be on your blog.  I have decided that since this concept (of the Illusion of Success with your law firm website) isn’t going anywhere to put it on the website.  But, then again, my blog is starving for content, so I figured I’d at least mention it here.

What is the Illusion of Success?

More or less, what I’m referring to is law firms attributing business or success in general to their website when it doesn’t deserve it.  Look, I love it when people get business from the websites that I build, and I would love for people to think that every client they get from their website is because of what an attractive and usable design I created, and what compelling content I put on the site, and how the design leads people to look at the contact form, and projects a professional and experienced law firm.  But what if it was just a referral?  Then do I get all of that credit?  I mean, they DID go to the site, right?   In short, the Illusion of Success is the idea that people are giving their websites too much credit, which in and of itself maybe isn’t so bad.  What’s bad is if you’re using that illusion to justify paying thousands to keep your site up.

To read more about the “Illusion of Success” on my main website, click here.

What should $600 a month get you? How much should your website cost?

I see so many template websites from FindLaw and I always wonder how law firms justify paying so much for them.  Last week I was on the phone with a lawyer here in the Twin Cities yesterday and mentioned “how expensive they were”.  Her response was,

“Well, they actually are pretty well inline.  You’re going to build me a website for a couple thousand dollars, and then charge me for SEO a couple hundred a month, so is it that bad to just pay $600 a month, know I’ll get a decent product and will never have to deal with that big amount up front”

(or something to that effect).  Now she was making a pretty good point (and to be crystal clear, I do offer websites with zero on-going fees).  The problem is, while it does solve her most immediate problem (I need to get a website up and running with as little of my time, money and effort involved as reasonably possible) it creates a much, much bigger problem down the road.

For the moment, let’s focus on what’s potentially positive about buying an on-going package from a company like FindLaw.  If she selects a template, makes all of her project manager’s scheduled calls, has zero feedback on the content drafts, no mistakes or hold ups are involved, she could possibly have her website up within about 30 days of signing the contract.  She gets her first bill for $600 and has a nice website to show for it….Awesome!  By the way, in my experience, this NEVER happened.  The first bill always showed up before the initial call, and it started the downward spiral of horrible client experience….But let’s just say that DOES happen, the whole process goes ideally beyond what you could imagine.  Now next month you get another bill for $600, so on and so on.

The math is easy, but the decision is difficult, and oddly familiar.  Assuming you don’t fall into the trap of having your FindLaw rep call on you and upgrade, after 24 $600 payments on a two year contract you’ve invested just under $15,000 into a template website that you do not own.  And here you are back at square one, trying to determine if it’s worth the effort to take over ownership of the website now or just pay the $600 and get back to the pile of work on your desk.

But what if it’s “Worth it”?  How much should my website cost?

So this is really the tricky part.  At $600 a month, even one or two good cases every few months can feel like a pretty good return.  However, business that you “get from the website” is not necessarily business that you should attribute to FindLaw’s SEO or traffic from a directory.  Meaning, the business that you get through your FindLaw website may very well be business you would be getting through ANY website.

Today I was talking to an injury lawyer in Orlando and he told me he was getting “a few cases a year” from his FindLaw website.  Now obviously, because he’s doing injury work, ANY case that comes in could range from a tiny little couple thousand dollar soft tissue case all the way up to some major spine injury causing limited future employment and requiring on-going care multi-million dollar settlement.  So, a lot of injury lawyers tend to “keep the faith” with their marketing if they’re seeing any return at all.  But here’s the thing; his map listing shows up for “injury lawyer” because he’s got a really nice Google+ page with seventeen 5 star reviews…. I about dropped the phone.  Now understand, most of the people I talk to with FindLaw websites are just being under-serviced.  They have a mediocre design, content that’s just blah and inconsistent Google results.  In addition to all of that, this guy had a really ugly site.  Like the first draft “maybe he’ll approve it” design that some project manager had the gall to throw at him.

So there’s a good chance that his website is actually just a liability; something that in spite of it looking terrible people hire him either because they don’t see it, or they trust the Google reviews more than the lackluster design.  Either way, FindLaw isn’t earning the money they’re charging him.

If it’s with FindLaw, there’s a good chance it’s not worth it.

Look, I’m not saying they’re bad people, I’m just saying that you’re very likely paying too much.  Let’s be honest, if you didn’t already know that, you wouldn’t have done the Google search that lead you here.  But if you need me to confirm your suspicions, I’m happy to do it.  Call me at 651.271.8845 or send me an email and we can build a plan.

FindLaw Replacement – Hobson & Hobson in Marietta, Georgia

Marietta, GA Criminal Defense & Family Law

FindLaw Replacement in Marietta, GA

I have had the pleasure of working with a handful of law firms in Marietta, Georgia.  About six months ago, Chris Hobson of Hobson & Hobson came to me and wanted to get out of his FindLaw contract as they were paying a lot for their site but weren’t seeing very good results.  I explained to them how we could re-build their site and get rid of the on-going monthly expense that they were incurring with FindLaw.  More recently, we worked on a plan to re-invest that money back into their marketing plan in the way of Google Adwords (Pay Per Click, or “PPC”) and have a long term plan to put some videos together.

Overall, they have been very happy with the new site and have seen better results since the switch.  More recently, we began working on re-vamping a few areas of content and working to drive our better conversion by making clear and obvious paths for potential clients to follow to the information they need.