Branding is something that lawyers often ignore when they build their first website and start to create an online presence for themselves. However, as we will see below, branding is absolutely essential for law firm marketing.
As a law firm, you want to make your name memorable so that people call on you when they need a lawyer, right? The best way to do this is through high-quality branding. Building a strong, clear brand is an essential part of your online law firm marketing efforts, and it can be the difference between success and failure.
What Is Branding?
Traditionally, branding involved creating a decent logo, a catchy name, and a slogan or some other catch-phrase which distinguished you from your competitors. However, branding in the modern world of the internet is a little more complex.
Today, branding involves a consumers perception of you and your business (of you and your law firm in this case). What do they think of when they hear or see your brand name or logo? How does it impact them, and how does it make you stand out above your competitors? Branding is extremely difficult, which is why a lot of law firms consult with branding experts to try and improve their business success.
Why Does My Firm Need To Be ‘Branded’?
As a law firm, you are working in a very competitive environment. There are many other lawyers out there who would be more than happy to take your clients and potential clients if they are given half the chance, so you have to do whatever you can to put yourself ahead of the pack.
When it comes to record keeping and tax returns, Business Activity Statements (BAS) are without a doubt one of the most hated things for small businesses in Australia. Although a lot of people choose to do their BAS on their own, you should consider using experienced accountants do yours for you.
Record keeping and tax obligations can be confusing to the best of us. If you don’t have a tax background, then it can be very easy to make mistakes on your BAS. An experienced accountant will know the system inside out, and should be able to fill out all of the relevant information without any problems. Our top 5 reasons why you should always use an accountant for your BAS include:
It will save you time:
If you own or manage a small business, then you will know that time is money – really! Every hour you waste doing one thing is an hour that you could be spending doing something else, and these hours can add up when it comes to doing things like BAS. Often, you simply need to prioritise and do the things that are going to be the most beneficial for your business. Rather than spending hours completing your BAS every quarter (or even every month for some!), pay an accountant to do it.
If you had to choose one key indicator of website success, it would be the number of visitors that the website has. There are literally millions of WordPress websites and blogs out there, but a lot of them receive few to no visitors, and can therefore be considered useless.
If you would like to get your content out there, drive sales income up, and increase the amount of money you make from advertising, then you simply have to get more people to visit and engage with your website. There are plenty of ways to do this, but some of the most common include:
Target long-tailed keywords with low competition:
Unless you have a lot of money (think thousands of dollars) to spend on advertising, there is little point targeting short, popular keywords. Most of these will be dominated by larger websites, and it is extremely difficult to rank for them. This means that you will get very little traffic from them, even if you focus on them.
However, longer tailed keywords generally don’t have as much competition, which means that it is much easier to rank highly for them. Try and target keywords with little competition, but make sure that they are still relevant to you page and content, otherwise you will probably have a pretty high bounce rate.
Trained Lawyers can help you Negotiate Advantageous Terms
The reputation of a business is often defined by the sum of the transactions that take place in its name. There can be different transactions including purchase of raw materials, sale of services or finished goods, hiring of services among others and all these involve exchange of money. By seeking the guidance of experienced commercial lawyers, you can maximise your ability to negotiate and enjoy advantageous terms on transactions within the framework of Australian law. As a business owner or partner, you must be vigilant about every dollar that you spend and ensure that you get your hard-earned money’s worth. Every business transaction that you conduct must be accompanied by a legal contract. All parties involved in the transaction must agree to and sign the contract for the transaction to be legitimate.
GoogleAdWords is a tried and trusted method of bringing traffic to your website, and there are many companies who get such great results, that they are happy to spend millions per year and up to $100 dollars per click. To be honest, these figures relate to some of the biggest companies online, so the question to be asked is: ‘Can GoogleAdWords work for smaller businesses with limited budgets?’
The simple answer is yes, but as with any business decision you make, there are pros and cons to weight up before you decide to go ahead so let’s look at some of the main ones.
#1 It Requires A Lot Of Testing
Running a Google AdWords campaign is not a simple case of getting out your credit card and paying for ads. You need to do a lot of research before you start, and then when you are up and running carry out more testing and analysis. In fact, it never ends. If you enjoy looking at data and trying to improve results then you’ll love the process. If not, then you’ll either have to come out of your comfort zone, or employ someone who does enjoy number crunching.
Effective financial planning is essential for all businesses, whether they are a one-man operation or a large corporation. Larger companies have the resources to employ in-house experts, but if you are a smaller business or a start-up then this is not normally feasible. The alternative is to employ the services of an independent financial planner who can assist you as and when required for a fee and/or a commission.
The reason financial planning is so important to your business is it allows you to know what its objectives are, the direction it is heading and what goals it has. In addition, financial planning ensures that the pursuit of these objectives and goals are not compromised due to issues arising from a lack of funds, affordability of resources nor insufficient money to implement marketing and advertising.
A financial planner can assist you as a business owner to set plans for the next few month, the year ahead and further into the future. Bear in mind they will have worked with, and created financial plans for many other businesses of a similar size to yours. The benefit to you is they will have data on how successful those businesses have been and can use these previous plans to create the most effective plan for your business.
If your budget allows then an option for you to increase traffic to your website is paid advertising and one of the most popular is Google AdWords. Not only is it very popular, it is one of oldest forms of internet marketing, having been launched in the year 2000.
There are lots of reasons why you might want to use Google AdWords, but here are three of most beneficial reasons.
#1 Boost Your Traffic Quickly
The biggest benefit of using Google AdWords is the speed with which it can start generating traffic, and therefore visitors to your website. It can do this for several keywords within the same campaign so you have the advantage of visitors who have searched for those keywords which your website wishes to target.
Whilst SEO has great merits and is an essential part of any marketing plan, it simply cannot compete in terms of how quickly it can produce results in comparison to Google AdWords. The other advantage in terms of speed is that Google AdWords you will let you see much quicker what keywords are the most effective.
If you have done any research into choosing a web hosting company you should know by now that there are literally hundreds of companies to choose from. As you narrow down your choices one of the first things to decide on is whether to go for paid or free hosting. There are pros and cons to each of these so let’s look at the differences.
With paid hosting you should be able to use a unique domain name which is desirable if you plan to build a brand around your business. Some paid hosting plans even give you a free domain name of your choice. With free hosting, it is likely that you will only be able to choose a sub-domain so instead of having a domain name like mycompany.com it will be like this: hosting.com/mycompany.
Unless you plan to have lots of multimedia on your site, bandwidth won’t really be a concern and a free hosting account will give you enough storage to host your website files. If on the other hand, your site will have videos and audios then you are going to need a decent amount of space to store them all, which will only be available via a paid hosting plan.
In the relatively short time that the internet as we know it has been around, the expansion of services and tools has increased exponentially. This applies as much to the field of digital marketing as it does to any sector but no matter how many new services appear there remains 5 core reasons why engaging a digital agency to undertake digital marketing has many advantages for online businesses.
The number of potential customers that can be reached using digital marketing, locally or globally, is massive. Before the internet, in order to get your message out, you either had to invest in a mass mailing campaign or undertake media advertising. The costs of these are huge, and the work required to physically create the marketing material was immense. The internet means a digital marketing campaign can reach across the globe, or merely down the street depending on who you wish to market to, and the logistics of setting either up are very straightforward.
There are countless examples of companies who have spent a lot of time, money, and effort to make their branding the best it can be, only for it to collapse in an instant due to losing the trust of consumers. Without trust, they have no customers, and without customers, there is no business.
The first area you can ensure your brand is seen as trustworthy comes not from your marketing or advertising but in your day-to-day dealings with your customers. It beggars belief that a company will spend a fortune on developing and marketing a product, but then scrimp on its customer service. Nothing kills the trust in your business and its brand quicker than not looking after customers once they have bought your product or service.
If you are using Google Adwords or other pay per click services as part of your marketing strategy hopefully you will never experience click fraud. If you are not sure what click fraud is, or what to do if you are a victim of it, then you need to read on.
As you know Adwords is run on the principle that you pay based on each occasion someone clicks on your ad or when your ad has been displayed a certain number of times. (normally 1000 views)
Click fraud occurs when those clicks or views are generated artificially either by an individual, a group of individuals or software called clickbots. If click fraud is being used on your AdWords ads, your costs can increase dramatically, your ad performance is greatly compromised and at the end of it all you won’t have had a single new customer or sale.
The people who perpetrate click fraud do it mostly for financial gain. Those who have sites in the content network scheme want to artificially inflate the number of clicks or views that appear to be coming from their site. By increasing them, they increase the revenue they receive from Google, which means both you and Google are victims of click fraud.
Another group click fraud could be perpetrated by is your competitors, especially when the primary keywords become part of a bidding war. By increasing your costs, they are hoping you will either lower your bids on a keyword or stop bidding altogether.
Having a professional taking care of your web design can release you from the pressure of having to do it all yourself, however, you need to ensure that the stress doesn’t manifest itself in a different way. What we mean is ensuring that the agreement you have with your web designer is more than just a handshake, because if it isn’t then you are potentially inviting all sorts of problems if anything goes wrong.
To ensure this doesn’t happen a simple written contract which both you and your designer agree to, means both of you know exactly what is required on both sides. There should be five basic sections included and here is an explanation of each one.
#1 Cost and Payment Method: Make sure both parties know what the agreed cost of the work is and what, if any, part payment agreement there is. You’ll also want to agree whether the amount is an hourly rate or a fixed price and the method of payment.
#2 Work Agreed To: This might seem strange but you do actually need to agree what services you are employing your designer for. For a website, this should be detailed and include the agreed process for edits and reworking of the design if it is not satisfactory. It is essential this part makes it clear that the designer is expected to make any changes you want to make as part of the work.
If you have never set up an email marketing campaign before, it can be a daunting task. This is why instead of doing it all themselves, many business owners seek the services of a professional digital marketing agency to set up their email marketing campaigns.
There are several advantages of asking a digital marketing agency to organise and oversee your email marketing, and although their services will require a fee, the benefits both short and long term can be enormous, including the financial ones.
The first advantage is a very simple one…you don’t have to do it. What we mean by this, is any task you undertake which you do not have experience in, is going to take you at least twice as long to complete, than someone who does. In other words, there is no learning curve, plus time isn’t wasted by you having to correct your mistakes or errors.
Another aspect of this is the reduction in your stress levels as you don’t have to fret over whether or not you are setting up your email campaign correctly. With the stress removed, and your time freed up, you can focus on other tasks which your role demands with a clearer mind.
Unless you want to pay for all the traffic which visits your website, you must have an effective SEO strategy to improve your search engine ranking and thus generate free traffic. If you plan to implement this yourself, you must avoid some of the most basic and damaging mistakes that can seriously harm your website’s chances of being ranked well.
Using ‘Black-Hat’ Tricks
For every SEO technique which Google and the other search engines accept and welcome, there is one which tries to ‘game the system’. These black hat methods may bring some short-term improvement to your ranking but in the long term, they will only serve to damage your site. It can even be blacklisted altogether meaning it will never rank.
Don’t be tempted by dodgy shortcuts, and instead practice sound, well-established SEO techniques. They may take longer to work, but they will mean your website is safe, with the added bonus being you are not constantly worried about being caught out.
Whilst lots of photos, images, audio and video may make it seem you are giving your visitors the best experience possible, it can lead to the opposite of what you planned. Lots of media files mean your website and its pages can take a considerable time to load. This can mean visitors clicking away as they don’t have the time or the patience to wait.
Not only will you lose these visitors, your website’s ranking will be damaged as the search engines consider load times, and measure how long each visitor remains on a website.
If you have an eCommerce store using Shopify, Woo Commerce or another platform there are a multitude of extra functions you can add to enhance your store’s functionality. Better than that they will increase your profitability and improve your customers’ experience so that they are more likely to return and purchase from you again.
To list every single type of app would take an entire book, and to name specific apps without testing every single one wouldn’t be fair. Instead we are going to tell about what the main functions you want to add to your store so you can research which specific app or plug in to use for your eCommerce store.
#1 Abandoned Cart
We’ve all done it and so do your customers, and that’s go through the process of adding items to the online shopping cart, and then for whatever reason, fail to click the checkout button. An abandoned cart app will remind the customer, either through pop ups, or emails (and sometimes both) that they haven’t checked out. You won’t get everyone to return but those that do add to your sales and profits.
For any new business getting your brand established and easily recognised is an important step, and a big part of this process is the type of logo that you choose for your business.
Every successful business has a logo and some of the world’s largest companies have a logo that is instantly recognisable across the planet. When you are choosing a logo for your business there are four basic types that you can select from with each of them having different elements and characteristics. The four types of logo are:
A brand mark logo is one where the representation of your company brand is purely graphical. In other words, there is no text anywhere in the logo. Examples of brand mark logos are the circle and three spars of Mercedes Benz and the blue Twitter bird.
Having a brand mark logo designed will require you to outline to your designer what graphical representation you want your business to have. Sometimes this can be abstract and have no relationship to your business name, as in the case of Mercedes or bear some relationship to it, as with the ‘Twittering’ bird of Twitter.
Due to the principles of freedom of a contract, parties in Australia may consent to any terms and provisions by entering into business agreements as long as the terms and provisions do not violate law. Despite this according to expert commercial lawyers Summers Legal, it is possible to discern certain patterns that drive Australians to include specific provisions in their business agreements. To start with, scope and application of an agreement is almost always negotiated and reflected in the agreement. In this part of the agreement, the parties provide that the overall purpose of their contract is to delineate their mutual professional rights, duties and responsibilities, as well as the nature of services, which are being provided under the terms of a separate written agreement, exercised by them.
Introductory part and status disclosure may also be included as inseparable parts of a business agreement under Australian law. In this constituent, the contracting parties affirm that they are authorised to provide services in question or sell goods at issue. Also, they reveal the legal nature of their joint enterprise, by stating what types of business entities they operate as. To elaborate further, the provision of services may be specifically regulated and discussed in a separate part of a business agreement. In this part, the parties to a contract may delineate how they are going to negotiate all commercial issues and place orders. It especially pertains to contracts of supply. Price and costs of service provided or products sold constitute a group of most important provisions in the area of business agreements. Usually, one party that provides services is keen on specifying its remuneration, which is either a fixed amount for the whole spectrum of services or a milestone of a project, or a percentage of the insurance premium paid by the consumer of the services that permits the provider to consent to other provisions of the contract.
Carrying out SEO for your business website is one of those tasks that in 99% of cases you will want to outsource. Even if you are a seasoned SEO expert, the amount of time it can take is more than enough reason to employ the services of an internet business consultant who specialises in search engine optimisation.
The first task is to find a consultant who has a track record and upon which you can rely on to get you results. This should never be rushed as the consequences of employing the wrong person or agency can be disastrous for your website and your business. Therefore, always follow up with references and check their testimonials and reviews thoroughly.
Once you have chosen your SEO consultant there are several basic SEO tasks that you will want them to undertake. The first should be to carry out comprehensive keyword research for you and then establish the competitiveness of the ones that you would like to improve your ranking for.
Any decent internet business consultant should have access to keyword and ranking software which they can use to carry out their research. The data and information which this research software can produce are essential for any reasonable assessment to be made about how difficult or easy each keyword will be to rank for.
There are many aspects of web design that relate to how user-friendly the site is going to be in terms of navigation and visitors being able to easily access all areas of the website easily. Whilst it is important to get this right, it is not the only major consideration you should factor into your website design.
Another very important matter of website design to think about carefully, is the visual impact of your site and in particular, those elements which will directly influence how a visitor uses their eyes to scan, read or view your website content on their screen. There are four main ones you should consider when designing your site, which are:
Text arrangement refers to how your text is arranged on the page and more especially on content pages which have a lot of text. One of the best practices is to utilise a grid system similar to how most newspapers arrange their newsprint text on their pages. The reason this is particularly relevant today is the huge upturn in handheld and mobile devices that people now use to access the internet.
As a business owner, you should be aware of the important role social media should play in promoting and marketing your products and services. This is particularly true of Facebook, which is the biggest and most popular social media site on the internet.
If your business is local as opposed to global you may not see the benefit of using Facebook. You might assume that either there are not enough local people using Facebook to make it worth your while or that Facebook is only for international businesses and corporations. How wrong you would be.
The truth is that Facebook is the perfect platform to market and brand your local business and if you are not taking advantage of it then you can be certain your competitors will be.
The first thing you want to have is a Facebook page. This is where your followers will gravitate to, read your posts, have discussions and most importantly where they will see any offers or promotions you are running. When creating your Facebook page always use a designer who has experience of creating them. Whilst you may have some graphics skills, your time can be better spent on more important matters.
For any business one of the most effective ways to build a relationship with your customers and to communicate with them is email marketing. Whether your business is large, small or just starting, using email must be part of your marketing toolkit.
When a business fails to see any return from their email marketing efforts it is likely down to one of 3 basic errors. These will not only fail to produce any positive results, they can cause some harm.
#1: Emailing messages without any clear objectives
Failing to have an end goal in sight is one of the most fundamental mistakes not just for email marketing but for any form of marketing. When you write an email that you are going to send to your subscribers you must first have a reason to send it in the first place.
The reasons for sending an email could be to further build the relationship by providing useful advice. another might be to get the reader to complete a survey or questionnaire. How about letting them know about a Facebook post you have made and asking them to share it amongst their friends?
Whether it is any of these or a good old sales promotion, ensure you have a goal in mind for your email, and make it clear what, if any, action your subscriber needs to take once they have read it.
Mergers or acquisitions are all too common in the competitive corporate world these days. Top-notch commercial lawyers can help you get a good price for your shares in case the company is bought over. Most shareholders tend to lose their bargaining power because they wait for too long to take action. However, reliable legal counsel can help you get a good price for your shares. Any corporate business is only as good as its members; any conflicts or internal disputes over important matters can result in far-reaching adverse consequences for the business.
If disputes are not resolved in the right way, the business may be rendered bankrupt or insolvent. Everything that the partners and employees have worked for is likely to be lost in a maze of courtroom battles and legal wrangling. Business disputes could include several different types of conflicts such as shareholder disputes, disagreements over business evaluation, mergers and acquisitions.
You’ll often hear SEO experts say, ‘Choose the best keywords’, which is probably one of the most unhelpful pieces of advice you’ll ever hear. For a start, telling someone to find ‘the best’ keywords doesn’t take into account the multitude of different types of keywords and search terms that exist. A keyword that might be the best for one person’s needs may be completely unsuitable for the next, even if they are in the same industry or niche.
One of the first things you need to recognise is that whenever someone types a search term into Google (or any other search engine) there is a reason behind it. If you are targeting that keyword you need to ensure that if the searcher clicks on the link to your site, what they find there matches their reason for searching in the first place.