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2021 Best Practices for
Law Firm Marketing
214 Ideas for the New Year


We have been creating some of the best law firm websites online since 2001. The big year of 2021 is here, so what are some of the best practices for law firm marketing in 2021? Check out the top 214 ideas.

Chapter 1

Worst Practices

Our yearly guide has always been a showcase of best practices, but in honor of 2020, we thought we would also outline the worst practices. This is a quick list of things you should never do - they are almost horrors. If you have these in your marketing mix, fix them immediately, and then proceed to the best practices.

    Web Design

    1. Too much clutter.
      Junking up the site with too many graphics, content blocks and ads will prevent your users from absorbing any meaningful information.

    2. Poor images.
      Photography can make or break a site, so choose your images wisely and try to allocate a good budget towards taking new bio photos.

    3. Dated Logo.
      If you get a new website design or update your current one to look more modern and your logo still looks dated, the user will notice this disconnect, and it will appear inauthentic.

    4. Overwhelming content.
      We know content is king; however, too much content that is not formatted or displayed well will overwhelm the user into not reading any of it and ultimately bouncing off the site.

    5. Too many fonts.
      Keep it simple with a limited number of fonts. More than three typefaces will create an inconsistent and scattered look.

    Web Development

    1. Not commenting code.
      A minor nitpick, but not commenting code makes maintaining a site harder. Comment every code block.

    2. Testing.
      Not testing for desktop, mobile, and tablet is a bad practice.

    3. Improper indentation.
      Poor spacing and indentation can make code harder to understand, modify, and maintain.

    4. Forgoing page speed.
      Using too many fonts, not optimizing images, or using too many libraries/plugins can have a significant impact on your website and your visitors.

    5. Repeating code sections.
      In development, we always suggest keeping it DRY (meaning “Don’t Repeat Yourself”). This means that if a specific functionality or code block on the website occurs several times, keep that code in one place and call it from one place. Doing so improves consistency, and your future self updating that code will be thankful.

    6. Not coding with ADA in mind.
      The law now requires all websites to be ADA compliant, which now makes this a requirement for building future websites. ADA non-compliance cases have nearly tripled in the last three years, making this a major thing to consider during development.

    7. Choosing the cheaper hosting alternative.
      Going for the cheapest hosting option can lead to problems down the line, such as slower loading, downtimes, possible security issues and manual updating.

    8. Using absolute urls.
      Using relative URLs instead of absolute ones can save a lot of time and frustration if a website is ever transferred or a domain is changed.

    9. Writing all your code manually.
      There are many editors, extensions and snippets that can be used to speed up your coding significantly.

    Pay-Per-Click-Advertising

    1. Continually hitting budget threshold.
      Not having the proper budget for your ads to run for any given month continuously is never a good thing.
    2. Casting too wide of a net .
      Focus on what’s important, be it location, schedule or campaigns. Having too much of anything can be harmful in some cases.
    3. Low quality score.
      All ads lead back to your website. Your site needs quality content that keeps the user engaged and results in conversions.
    4. Google Content Network Advertising by Default.
    5. Landing pages not optimized for conversions.
      • Lack of content
      • No contact form on site
      • No phone number at top of page

    6. Not testing ad copy.

    7. Not properly tracking conversions.

    8. Not using negative keywords in your campaign and conversely, using keywords that are too broad in your campaign.

    SEO

    1. No foundation.
      Not properly selecting keywords that match up to user intent.

    2. No optimization.
      Using title tags with “Home” or a lack of focus. Also, having a page of content that is not supported by each keyword you are targeting is problematic.

    3. Not focusing on the user.
      80% of your content should focus on the user; 20% of your content should focus on your firm.

    4. Not enough relevant content.
      Law hubs and long-form content win. It is quality within quantity.

    5. Not formatted for the web.
      Write in digestible bite-size pieces and write naturally. No legalese.

    6. No cross promotion.
      Your blog should support your core practice area content. Link to it!

    7. No visual aids.
      Users like images. Add them to your content.

    8. No rhythm to blogging.
      Keep the beat and write regularly. It prompts Google to reindex your website.

    9. No categorization in your blog.
      Simply nest your blog posts in the correct folder. This helps users and Google alike.

    10. Too many low-quality links.
      It is more important to focus on obtaining individual links of good quality instead of just quantity alone.

    11. Too many links to your homepage.
      Diversify your backlinks overall and make sure to point many of them to your subpages. Good quality content should have links to support it.

    12. Not monitoring your return.
      Too much focus is spent on just rankings and traffic. Measure the value of your traffic and new-found exposure for qualified leads.

    13. Keyword stuffing.
      Write naturally and use keywords in a contextual manner. Do not simply force them into the content and repeat them over and over.

    14. Ignoring keywords.
      The flip side to the above is that if you avoid an appropriate keyword density, the chances of your page ranking are slim.

    15. Slow-loading website.
      Your website takes too long to load and will frustrate visitors causing them to abandon the webpage. This can especially happen on slower mobile connections.

    16. Focus on quantity over quality.
      When it comes to anything related to SEO, including backlink campaigns and content marketing, it is always best to have a quality over quantity approach.

    17. Forgetting your target audience.
      A critical goal of your website is to attract clients. With that in mind, keep your reading level to an easy read and address the content that helps your client understand how you will help them.

    18. Too many pop-ups.
      This can be very distracting to users and create a poor website experience (especially on mobile). Pop-ups are best to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

    19. No anaylitics or conversion tracking.
      It is near impossible to measure marketing success if there is no tracking in place. Make sure you have Google Analytics and conversion tracking setup on your website so you can check the progression of your marketing.

    20. Cheap web hosting.
      Going this route can result in poor page load performance, more frequent downtime from server issues and sites that are more vulnerable to security attacks.

    Logos

    1. Over-complication.
      If every element in the logo is bright or distracting, it leaves the viewer confused and nothing memorable will stand out. Keeping it subtle, clean, and quickly recognizable is the way to go.
    2. Illegible fonts.
      Typography is crucial to logo design and carries through all future marketing materials. Cursive fonts in most logos prove hard to read in some cases.
    3. Isn’t visible at small sizes.
      A logo should be versatile enough to be scaled to smaller sizes and still be legible. This typically happens with fine details and thin fonts.
    4. Too many colors.
      Don’t overdo it with too many colors in a single logo. It can become busy and distracting.
    5. Too many fonts.
      When multiple fonts are used in a logo, they all fight for attention and tend to clash with each other, ultimately leading to a chaotic looking logo.
    6. Isn’t unique enough.
      Creating a unique logo helps your audience identify you right away; however, when a logo uses cliches or common elements, it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

    Social

    1. Stale social
      It is better to not be on social than have an account that is two years out of date.
    2. No engagement
      Just using social media as a soapbox. It is not. It is built for interaction and engagement.
    3. Not networking
      They are called social media networks. If you are not connecting and networking, you are not using social to its potential.
    4. Only promotional posts
      It’s a social network. Join the conversation. Don't just promote your services.

    Newsletters

    1. DON’T YELL AT YOUR AUDIENCE.
      Email subjects should never be in all caps. Not only is it a red flag to spam filters, but you don’t want to YELL at subscribers.
      yell microphone
    2. Don’t depend on images to relay key information.
      Most people disable images for their email. Make sure important information is reflected in the content.
      infograph
    3. Don’t depend on images to make your email look good.
      Again, some subscribers may not even see them, so ensure your newsletter works without and always use alt-text to describe images so everything still makes sense.
      broken image
    4. Don’t include a “Subscribe to Newsletter”
      CTA in your newsletter. Because, ya know, they already DID subscribe
      subscribe

    Content

    1. Always use first person
      Go ahead, say “I, I, I” and “me, me,me” - that’s what everyone wants to hear.
      business lawyer
    2. Never use spell check
      Grammar and spelling errors are endearing, right?
    3. Short copy is better
      Only include a few sentences, leave the rest up to the imagination.
      practices
    4. Use five-dollar words
      Use those big words from college and law school as much as possible. We recommend you write with a thesaurus nearby to confuse your reader as much as possible.
    5. Never blog
      It's old fashioned and a waste of your time. Besides, nobody ever gets useful information from a blog.
      Never Blog
    6. Keep it text only
      Pictures, diagrams, charts and pull quotes are just a distraction from your writing.
      about
    7. Everyone loves long sentences
      Sure, cram every thought you have into one, long, drawn-out sentence that never ends and seems to go on and on even though you should have ended it 20 words ago because everybody loves that and….well, you get the picture, right?
      the office

Chapter 2

Web Design

  1. Background Videos.
    Tell a story when your website loads instead of having a static image or outdated image slider.
  2. jaffe


  3. Micro Animations.
    Animate key CTAs, icons and graphics to add a nice touch and draw the user’s eye to key areas of any page.
  4. franczek-micro-animation


  5. Photos.
    Have new custom photos taken. Bio photos taken against a background that can be cutout by the photographer creates a cleaner look that is better for responsive designs.
  6. lawyers-bio-pics


  7. Branding.
    Have one team design your logo and website. It leads to consistent branding.
  8. zuplaw-branding


  9. Large Type and Elements.
    Bigger and bolder is better for 2020, where large text takes center stage.
  10. kaplin-large-type


  11. Whitespace Wins.
    Cluttered and compact design is a thing of the past. It’s all about the breathing room now with lots of whitespace between content sections, around images and type, and just an overall airy clean look.
  12. whitespace


  13. Boxed Elements and Colors.
    Embrace the boxiness this coming year as sites continue to use obvious boxed images and text areas that are often overlapped, as noted below.
  14. boxed-elemnts


  15. Flat Design.
    Flat design is still in, but it’s been elevated for the likes of this coming year. One-color buttons and backgrounds are still prevalent and the foundation of the design, but they may be finessed with a few light gradients and design touches.
  16. flat-design


  17. Overlapping Text and Images.
    This trend from 2019 is still going strong, including floating elements and asymmetrical designs.
  18. overlapping-text


  19. Light Drop Shadows.
    Dark shadows have been out for a while, but subtle drop shadows add a bit more interest to the design and are becoming more popular in current and upcoming websites
  20. light-drop-shadows


  21. Glowing Buttons and Hover States.
    This super fun trend can be seen in many new tech sites that aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of the norm. We especially appreciate the glowing elements that are animated.
  22. hover-states


  23. 3D Illustrations.
    Expect to see more graphics and illustrations with 3D renders. It’s another way that designers are mixing media and their programs for one final product.
  24. Pitta


Chapter 3

Web Development

  1. ADA.
    Have a professional review your website for accessibility and ADA compliance. Your website should provide good color contrast for readability, be navigable by keyboard, offer text-based alternatives on images, and much more. Only a human can determine if your website is truly accessible.

  2. Contrast


  3. Speed.
    Good website performance isn’t a “feature” in 2020 -- it’s a baseline requirement. A simple goal to strive for is a 90+ score in Google’s PageSpeed Insights, but tools like WebPageTest provide more technical insight into how the page is loading and how it can be optimized. It’s not just the file size of what’s loading, it’s also the sequence in which it loads.

  4. speed


  5. Manage Your Content.
    WordPress is a foundation for a staggering one-third of websites on the web, and as a Content Management System (CMS), it does its job of content management well. In 2020, the new Gutenberg page editor gained greater traction and we anticipate new advancements in WordPress in 2021. Become comfortable and familiar with WordPress -- it's your site, after all.

  6. manage


  7. Build for Browser Compatibility.
    Modern web browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge present web code reliably, but older browsers lag behind. There is a fine balance to achieve between using the latest and greatest web tech and leaning on tried-and-true coding techniques that work on the widest range of browsers - even the old ones. While Internet Explorer 11 is being actively phased out, we must continue testing websites in it.

  8. internet


  9. Know Your Editor.
    Mastering your code editor - that is, making use of its shortcuts, creating code snippets, and knowing where to go to change specific settings - is an underrated aspect of development work. We recommend a popular, powerful editor like Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. It's feature-rich, well documented, extensible and dev-friendly.

  10. editor


  11. Mobile-first Development.
    Mobile dominates Google rankings and traffic. Make mobile just as or even more important than desktop.

  12. mobile


  13. PDF.
    Get exact copies of any page on your website for yourself and users via PaperStreets newest PDF library that provides flexibility to meet the design needs of any page.

  14. pdf


  15. Proposal Generator.
    Build fully custom proposals on the fly in WordPress.

  16. proposal


  17. Security.
    Security on your website is key with nefarious bots and traffic at an all-time high. Rest easy by letting PaperStreet handle the security for your website and server via our hosting platform.

  18. security


  19. SSL Certificates.
    Google made these mandatory when using Chrome by flagging your website as “Not Secure.”

  20. ssl


  21. PHP Version.
    If the site you are running is a PHP site, it is essential that you are on a supported version - https://www.php.net/supported-versions.php . As of October 2019, your site should be on PHP 7.2 or 7.3.

  22. php


  23. Standards.
    Build a set of coding standards that are used by your entire development team. Collaboration is a big step of web development and it is important that your team is on the same page when it comes to certain standards. Industry standard is to be PSR compliant (https://www.php-fig.org/psr/)

  24. standards


  25. Code Commenting.
    Odds are that you will most likely not remember the code you wrote a few months prior. Leave docblocks for large sections of codes that accomplish a goal. You don’t need to comment every line in a function; rather, create a docblock with a brief overview of what the function does.

  26. code


  27. Password Storing.
    If you need to store passwords, do NOT encrypt them. Encryption can always be unencrypted, meaning it is not secure. Hash your passwords. For PHP, use the built-in password_hash function to hash, and password_verify function to verify the hashed password.

  28. password


  29. Version Control.
    Use Git to keep track of changes to your project and “push” after every key feature is implemented. Should anything go wrong, you have a full history of your project and can restore each checkpoint if necessary.

  30. version


  31. Staging Environment.
    Use a staging environment or local host when making edits to prevent errors/issues being created or a live site going down momentarily.

  32. staging


  33. Clear Cache.
    It is important to always clear the WordPress cache after any updates have been made to content or development. Anytime the client accesses their site, they should see the most updated version.

  34. clear


  35. Compress Images.
    Before uploading an image to a site, make sure to compress it. This will not only save server space, but it will also help to improve loading speeds.

  36. compress


  37. Themes.
    If using a theme for your website, make sure it is one that is well written and light. They can quickly get overwhelming if not managed properly.

  38. themes


  39. Simple is Better.
    Don’t get too complicated with a solution to a problem or an idea, otherwise, it makes it that much more difficult to troubleshoot or add to it in the future.

  40. simple


  41. Expectations.
    Have clear and attainable expectations whenever building a site. Doing so can help prevent mix-ups or inconsistencies.

  42. Expectations


Chapter 4

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

  1. Audience Targeting.
    Audiences are the present and future of paid search. They allow advertisers to choose the right messaging and viewers for a given campaign or ad group, either by targeting groups you want to show your ads to or excluding groups that don’t fit your target audience. Continued innovations on audience creation and targeting may eventually make keywords obsolete.
  2. Audience


  3. Responsive Ads.
    Responsive ads take your copy and other properties (i.e. images and videos on display) and show the best combinations to users based on machine learning. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of testing ads and adds an element of versatility, particularly on display.
  4. Reponsive ads


  5. Mobile is King.
    The majority of clicks from paid searches come from mobile devices; so having ads and landing pages that appeal and target to mobile users is key. If your message or page functionality are not in line with user expectations, your business will suffer.
  6. Mobile is king


  7. Display Campaigns.
    Just a few years ago, display campaign strategies for lead generation were essentially "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks." With advancements in targeting, from audiences and topics to expanded demographics, display campaigns are now viable options for driving conversions.
  8. Display


  9. Google Analytics Integration.
    Google Analytics is not just for website analysis, it also offers insights into how paid search is performing. Additionally, Analytics is the preferred source of conversion tracking for Google Ads
  10. Google Analytics


  11. Don't Be Afraid Of Automation.
    Whether through the use of rules, scripts or platform-provided automated bidding strategies, automation can be helpful in freeing up time to focus on more important tasks. Most bidding strategies have at least some element of control, so risks are negligible as long as the correct strategies are chosen and campaigns are regularly monitored.
  12. Don't be afraid of automation


  13. Platform Diversity.
    While Google is the undisputed champion of paid search, that doesn't mean that other platforms don't have something to offer. Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and Microsoft Ads, among others, each have a niche that they can serve (i.e. B2B on LinkedIn). Branch out from Google when the opportunity arises.
  14. Platform diversity


    Platform diversity


  15. Proper Use And Testing Of Extensions.
    The amount of space available for extensions on paid search ads is limited, so it is important to ensure you have the right extensions showing at the right times and on the right devices. It's also a good practice to test extensions beyond the default sitelink, callout, location and call extensions. You never know what might click with your audience (pun intended).
  16. Proper


  17. Monitoring Negatives.
    Frequently check search term reports for possible additions to negatives, including competitor terms (if you don’t want those) and locations your business doesn’t service. Also check auction insights reports and do a Google search for potential competitor names to add to negatives. Robust negative lists can prevent unwanted searches.
  18. Monitoring negatives


  19. Niche Your Keywords.
    Some areas like criminal defense and personal injury can get extremely competitive in larger markets. If you don’t have a large budget, you may see more success by splitting these down into smaller focus areas like slip and fall and white collar. By niching your targeting, you commonly also see higher quality clicks, as your audience is searching for exactly what their case is about.
  20. Niche your keywords


  21. Proper Tracking is Key.
    You don’t know how well your campaign is doing unless you set up a means to track every opportunity that someone may contact you through. Be sure that you have conversion methods set up for your contact forms, call extensions and phone calls from the website through a service like CallRail. Having this conversion data will also allow you to make adjustments to your campaigns in order to improve the quality and volume of conversions you receive.
  22. Proper tracking is key


  23. A/B Testing.
    Every area of law performs differently, and every city will have different results. You can’t expect the same campaign to work well in all areas. You should A/B test your ad copy, landing pages and keywords to build your campaigns specific to the audience you are targeting.
  24. A/B testing


  25. Quality Scores Matter.
    Google assigns a quality score to every keyword that you target in your account. This number is based on how closely your ads match that keyword term, the landing page that your ads direct to and how closely they match the keyword, as well as user interaction with those ads. You want to build your campaigns in order to achieve a 6+ quality score. For every point above a 5, you will see lower cost bids and you will have an easier time achieving higher positioning.
  26. Quality scores matter


  27. Branding.
    More and more, competitors are targeting the brand names of other firms to piggyback off of their marketing efforts. Creating a campaign based around your brand name can help drive them out of the ad space and ensure that potential clients find you first.
  28. branding


  29. Google Screened/Guaranteed.
    Sign up for Google’s latest ad upgrade that shows you have been screened by Google and helps your customers be more confident in booking your services.
  30. Google Screened/Guaranteed


Chapter 5

SEO

  1. SEO/Core Content & Blog Posts.
    You need both, and there’s a difference.
  2. SEO/Core Content


  3. Long-form Content is Better.
    At a minimum, 500 words is still a best practice, but long-form content that is 1,000+ is ideal to set you up as the subject-matter expert.
  4. Long-form Content is Better


  5. Use Subpages.
    One generalized piece of content per practice area isn’t always enough to reach all of your potential clients.
  6. Use Subpages


  7. Content Headings.
    Headings are easily the most overlooked, but one of the most significant aspects of SEO content. Don’t stop at H1! H2 and h3 are also very important and need to contain your keywords.
  8. Content Headings


  9. Client-Focused Content.
    Think about what your clients ask on a continual basis and make that the focus of your content. This is a great way to frame blogs and core content.
  10. Client-Focused Content


  11. Be Creative with Your Blogs.
    Add some creativity to your blog titles with playful language. Use alliteration, rhymes and street talk to help make your blogs more shareable.
  12. Be Creative with Your Blogs


  13. Think Beyond Your Search Position.
    Have an SEO title and meta description that stands out from the rest and get you clicks.
  14. Think Beyond Your Search Position


  15. Use Anchor Text Wisely.
    An internal link is much more effective provided that the anchor text is meaningful and relevant.
  16. Use Anchor Text Wisely


  17. Allow for Easy Conversions.
    Site visitors will be reviewing your site on different devices and locations. Provide options for the client to contact you on every page of content and offer various formats to make their communication as easy as possible.
  18. Allow for Easy Conversions


  19. Internal Link Away.
    Make sure all related pages have some internal links to each other. Links can boost your SEO value and help users navigate your site. Never force a link; keep it natural.
  20. Internal Link Away


  21. Visuals Matter.
    If it makes sense, use graphs, charts, pull quotes, images, and other visual aids to help convey your message or emphasize your brand.
  22. Visuals Matter


  23. Don’t Belittle Brand Awareness.
    Creating blogs should provide relevant information for attracting clients, but including topical information such as pop culture, lists, and more can also rank and be used to expand your brand.
  24. Don’t Belittle Brand Awareness


  25. Use Google Predictive Search to Brainstorm Content Ideas.
    Google autocomplete essentially gives you the “questions” to answer directly to match the user’s intent.
  26. Use Google Predictive Search to Brainstorm Content Ideas


  27. Be Aware of Passage Indexing.
    Google’s new changes mean that a closer look will be paid to individual sections of your content. Don’t let your content be generic and target long-tail phrases in order to make this indexing work in your favor.
  28. Be Aware of Passage Indexing


  29. Implement Structured Data.
    Implement structured data to help search engines better understand information on your website.
  30. Implement Structured Data


  31. Take Advantage of Rich Snippets.
    Be aware of the different types of rich snippets that Google supports in their SERP and take advantage, when applicable, by using structured data. These include additional markup for pages with these content types: FAQ, How-to, Recipe, Q&A, Video, Job Posting and others.
  32. Take Advantage of Rich Snippets


  33. Mobile First Indexing.
    Focus on mobile first design and UX since that is what Google now uses for indexing and ranking purposes.
  34. Mobile First Indexing


  35. Need for Speed.
    Fast loading websites must be a top priority. It’s important to find a balance between fast loading sites and modern functionality and design.
  36. Need for Speed


  37. Improve Traffic Attribution Data.
    Use UTM parameters in your links to better classify traffic that would otherwise have attribution issues. Examples include clicking links from email newsletters, YouTube video descriptions and social media posts.
  38. Improve Traffic Attribution Data


  39. Implement Call Tracking.
    Set up call tracking on your website for a better overall depiction of your conversions and ROI. If you are only tracking contact forms, then you are missing pieces of the puzzle.
  40. Implement Call Tracking


  41. Video Marketing.
    Produce and incorporate high-quality videos into your content to help with dwell time and user engagement. Make sure to incorporate structured data for the videos on these pages to help with a video rich snippet in search results. Also, upload these to YouTube and share them on social networks for more visibility.
  42. Video Marketing


  43. SSL is a MUST.
    Install an SSL certificate on your website. This upgrade not only gives you a slight ranking boost in Google, but it also helps to avoid browser notifications to visitors that your site is insecure.
  44. SSL is a MUST


  45. Optimize for Voice Search.
    Alexa and Siri aren’t going away anytime soon. Write in a conversational tone and incorporate FAQs into your content.
  46. Optimize for Voice Search


  47. Lazy-load Functionality.
    Images that are below the fold do not need to preemptively load. This helps with site speed and to prioritize loading elements above the fold that visitors see first.
  48. Lazy-load Functionality


  49. Google My Business Optimization.
    Make sure your listing targets the right keywords, have high-quality photos, and include GMB posts.
  50. Google My Business Optimization


  51. Contribute Guest Content.
    Writing for your own blog is not enough. Increase backlinks and brand awareness by getting published on well-known media outlets and guest blogging for other websites relevant to your industry.
  52. Contribute Guest Content


  53. Earn Backlinks from Community Engagement.
    This means sponsoring local events, taking part in speaking engagements, getting involved in charities, and other initiatives that help the community but also increase your online presence.
  54. Earn Backlinks from Community Engagement


  55. Invest in Link-Worthy Content to Build Backlinks.
    Marketing copy is necessary to convert website visitors to clients, but it is not the type of content that will get you backlinks or will be reshared on social media. Create ebooks, in-depth guides, how-to blogs and other valuable link assets that you can promote.
  56. Invest in Link-Worthy Content to Build Backlinks


  57.  Obtain Reviews on Various Platforms.
    Make sure you are continually earning positive reviews on Google, Facebook, and any other platform on which your business may be found. Respond to each, whether it is positive or negative, to build your reputation.
  58. Obtain Reviews on Various Platforms


  59.  Add Reviews to Your Website.
    If you have positive reviews on Google and other platforms, showcase them on your website. Create a testimonial page to feature the best reviews and make sure to add those that are about a specific topic to their corresponding page.
  60. Add Reviews to Your Website


  61. Build a Community Outside of the Standard Social Media Pages.
    This could be answering questions on a forum like Quora, interacting with topical blogs through conversational comments, or participating in a Facebook group.
  62. Build a Community Outside of the Standard Social Media Pages


  63. Tackle Spam.
    If you notice a competitor is spamming within their GMB listing, report them. If you find they are listed in an unrelated directory, notify the support team.
  64. Tackle Spam


  65. Don’t Get Hung Up On the DA of a Backlink.
    Domain authority is a nice metric to use when evaluating a backlink, but it's by no means the only thing that matters. Highly relevant legitimate websites can have low domain authorities and still be a valuable backlink. It is also possible for a spammy website to have a high DA.
  66. Don’t Get Hung Up On the DA of a Backlink


  67. Core Web Vitals.
    An exact date has yet to be announced, but in 2021, Google will take the following website load factors into ranking consideration:
    1. Largest Contentful Paint - the time it takes for the largest element on your site load
    2. First Input Delay - the time it takes for your website to start rendering
    3. Cumulative Layout Shift - the stability of content as the page loads

    Core Web Vitals


  68. Google Analytics 4.
    Create an additional property in GA that comes with expanded predictive data insights, further integration with Google Ads, cross-device data measurement abilities, and more granular data controls.
  69. Google Analytics 4


  70. Hreflang Tags.
    If you have a multilingual website, be sure to implement these tags. They are used by Google and other search engines to understand what content to serve to users in other countries that speak different languages.
  71. Hreflang Tags


  72. Competitor Analysis.
    Performing a competitor analysis from a technical, content and link building standpoint can reveal improvement opportunities for your website to take advantage of and surpass the competition.
  73. Competitor Analysis


  74. Social Share Buttons.
    Make sure blog posts are equipped with functionality to allow visitors to share content on various social media platforms. This helps make it easier for content to spread and increase visibility.
  75. Social Share Buttons


  76. Focus on Dwell Time.
    The longer a visitor stays on your page before returning to the SERP is a positive signal to Google. Make sure your website content is highly engaging, matches up to user intent and includes video marketing (when applicable) to increase the amount of time a user dwells on your page.
  77. Focus on Dwell Time


Chapter 6

Logos

  1. Colors. Choosing the right color can make a logo stand out in the crowd. However, it is also important to make sure that the logo translates well in black and white too. Keeping colors to a minimum is also helpful to keep printing costs low and it ensures that your logo isn’t too busy when scaled down on smaller screens or print materials.
  2. Colors Logo from Lace and Lyons


  3. Typography. Most memorable logos are because of the unique and versatile fonts used. By selecting a practical font and the right typography, your logo is sure to be timeless.
  4. Typography from Yadav Law


  5. Elements. Part of keeping your logo timeless is limiting the amount of elements, textures and filters used. For example, absolute “no, no’s” are drop shadows and photographs within the logo.
  6. Elements Logo from Mark C Wagner


  7. Simplification. The latest trends show that companies are rebranding their logos to a simpler version of what they have. Sleeker and more focused identities will become the norm soon.
  8. Simplified Logo from Murphy


  9. Gradients. Blending colors to form a smooth gradient has been trending since last year and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for 2021. It’s a nice way to use only 2 colors but add what seems like additional colors and impact.
  10. Gradient Logo from Dilworth


  11. Animation. A great way to enhance and draw more attention to your identity online is to add animation. Whether it be a script that looks like the letters are being drawn out or emphasizing a particular element within the logo, adding motion elevates your logo to the next level.
  12. Animated Logo from WACHP


  13. Casual Fonts. The chosen typeface of a logo can set the tone and trends are showing a less conservative and more casual feel to the overall look.
  14. Casual Logo from Schwab Gasparini


Chapter 7

Social

  1. Be Newsy.
    Social media is your chance to boast about firm life, charity work, case victories, new employees, etc.
  2. Be Newsy


  3. Pay Attention to Reading Trends.
    There are times of day and days of the week where people are more likely to be on social media and reading blogs. Monitor the trends for your intended medium and post accordingly.
  4. Frequent Posting.
    Posting fresh content and linking to your blog posts on a weekly basis can help build followers. Sharing content is a great way to stay active with limited resources.
  5. Frequent Posting


  6. Interaction.
    Interacting and engaging with your followers is key to building a following. Set up auto-replies on your Facebook inbox to get a 100% response rate and direct leads to the appropriate resource.
  7. Strategy.
    Using key themes and having a strategic approach are important to a successful campaign. Grouping your content by type (testimonials, industry news, firm news, promotional) is an excellent way to ensure you have a balanced social strategy.
  8. Strategy


  9. Content.
    Content should provide something of value to your followers, such as information, entertainment, intrigue, inspiration, etc. Making posts that appear to be ads or have too much of a templated feel will give your followers a reason to opt out.
  10. Content


  11. Marathon, Not a Sprint.
    Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Putting out intriguing and visually stunning content consistently over time is the absolute most important focus for building a base of quality followers.
  12. Social Media as a Search Engine.
    Google is the most popular search engine and is most focused-on from an SEO standpoint. But do not overlook the power of social media platforms for searches. You have much more control over your optimization for these sites; however, each of these search engines uses a unique algorithm. Adding hashtags, location and user tags, retweeting and sharing, being retweeted and shared, following and being followed, and commenting on other pages all provide backlinks to your page.
  13. Social Share Buttons


  14. Visuals.
    Images should have a consistent look so that they all meld well in gallery views and subtly fit with your branding. Facebook has removed its 20% text limitation on ad images. So you can now include any level of text that you want, within reason.
  15. Visuals


  16. Social Proof.
    From testimonials to sharing user-generated content, using the content created by your clients is one of the most impactful ways to connect with your target audience.
  17. Optimize Your Pages.
    Facebook is always rolling out new layouts and features. Make sure that you take advantage of all available tabs. If you’re promoting a specific practice area in your content, be sure to have it listed on your services tab.
  18. Optimize Your Pages


Chapter 8

Newsletters

  1. Compelling Headlines.
    Incorporate attention-getting titles and headlines to increase click-through rates.
  2. Compelling Headlines


  3. Calls to Action.
    Always include a clear call to action, such as calling the firm or liking your Facebook page.
  4. Calls to Action


  5. Targeted Content.
    Customize the message to your audience so you speak directly to the reader. Consider segmenting your newsletters to each target audience you serve.
  6. Targeted Content


  7. Themed and/or Timely Content is Appealing.
    Newsletters that draw from seasonal events (i.e. the holidays, Super Bowl, etc.) or major news stories increase their own relevancy and are more likely to be read.
  8. Themed


  9. Conversion-Friendly Design.
    Create a clean, modern newsletter design that aligns with your branding and maximizes conversions.
  10. Conversion-Friendly


  11. A Compliant List is ALWAYS Best Practice.
    Make sure you have a legitimate subscriber list. That means no address book dumps, no purchased emails, and no “fishbowl” business card information.
  12. Compliant


  13. Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines.
    Give the reader a reason to check out your content instead of sending it to the junk folder.
  14. Attention-Grabbing


  15. Test Subject Lines.
    Some newsletter platforms let you test a subject line to see if it’s a winner. Take advantage of the opportunity.
  16. Test Subject


  17. Keep It Short & Sweet.
    Newsletters shouldn’t be a dissertation. Keep it to the point so you don’t lose your subscriber’s interest.
  18. Keep It Short


  19. Design for Inboxes, Not the Web.
    Newsletter design has come a long way, but always remember the ultimate goal is to get in readers’ inboxes. This can’t be done with big files for images, videos, etc.
  20. Design for Inboxes


  21. Make Sure Your Letter Looks Good on Mobile.
    Most email service providers allow you to view how your letter will look on mobile. Make sure to test it out.
  22. Make Sure Your Letter


  23. Keep Your Goal in Mind.
    Newsletters have the unique goal in moving the reader from their inbox to your website. Keep this in mind when writing your content and make sure you include plenty of easy to navigate opportunities for a subscriber to make the move.
  24. Keep Your Goal


  25. Choose a Familiar Sender Name.
    Do you normally open emails from people you don’t know? Exactly. Choose a sender name that most of your subscribers are familiar with and they will feel more comfortable opening it.
  26. Choose a Familiar


  27. Test Your Letter Before Sending Out.
    Always send a test email to yourself and a few volunteers (bonus points if they use different email programs). This gives you the chance to catch any mistakes and see what the finished product will look like in inboxes.
  28. Test Your Letter


  29. Include a Signup Form on Your Website.
    This helps grow your audience and guarantees you always have proof of permission for your subscriber list.
  30. Include a Signup


  31. Commit to a Sending Rhythm.
    Send a newsletter regularly as opposed to sporadically. You want to constantly nurture your subscribers.
  32. Commit to a Sending Rhythm


  33. What IS the Best Sending Rhythm?
    Whatever works best for your business! It could be weekly, monthly or quarterly. Just make sure it is a realistic goal you can stick to and is in line with your subscribers' expectations.
  34. What IS the Best Sending


  35. Source Content.
    It may seem like a wild idea, but not ALL the content in your newsletter needs to be authored by you. Feel free to curate content from other sources. It's sharing info and shows your expertise to subscribers.
  36. Source Content


  37.  Get Nerdy and Analyze Those Campaign Reports.
    Most (if not all) newsletter programs offer reports for email campaigns -- use it to your advantage! Reviewing analytics can help decipher which links are getting the most traffic and what content is resonating with your subscribers.
  38. Get Nerdy


  39. Turn That Data into Action.
    You've read the data. Now what? Put it to use!  That analysis can help produce content ideas, segment your subscriber list based on interests, and decipher the best time to send your letter.
  40. Turn That Data


Chapter 9

Content

  1. Interactive Content.
    Interactive content such as polls, surveys, quizzes, and calculators can attract and engage users and yields 2X the conversions of static content. Other examples include chatbots and interactive maps, timelines, and quiz-like forms.
  2. Interactive Content


  3. Content Tailored to Voice Search.
    At least half of all web searches are conducted by voice. Content tailored to voice queries – such as FAQs, tailored headlines and incorporating long-tail keywords into the content – is more important now than ever before.
  4. Tailored-to-Voice


  5. Personalized Content.
    Clients want to engage with firms that provide a highly personalized experience. Content and calls to action are more impactful when they are personalized to the user. Lawyers can also automate the curation and delivery of content relevant to clients, for example, with newsletters or client alerts tailored to various market segments.
  6. Personalized Content


  7. Topic Hubs.
    Topic-focused content pillars help lawyers build topical authority in their practice niche.
  8. Topic Hubs


  9. Solution-focused Long-form Content.
    Content that is 1,000+ words is favored by Google and is more likely to be featured in Google's snippets (or a similar widget).
  10. Solution-focused


  11. Storytelling.
    Forging an emotional connection with users is a powerful way to promote conversions. Convey a story the reader can relate to. Address and solve their pain points. Show you’re human.
  12. Storytelling


  13. Next-level Visuals.
    Charts, graphs, custom imagery, and video clips are more important than ever, boosting traffic and social shares.
  14. Next-Level-Visuals


  15. Content Marketing.
    This is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic and generate leads through content that educates, inspires and informs, providing value to the reader.
  16. Content Marketing


  17. Audience Building.
    Build a loyal audience by answering client questions, solving client issues, and becoming a trusted resource. You can then market to and monetize that audience and grow your practice.
  18. Audience Building


  19. Analytics.
    Analyze high-performing, low bounce rate pages and produce more similar content. Let data drive your content decisions.
  20. Audience Building


  21. Reposting.
    Producing fresh content and blogs on a weekly basis can be a time and budget strain. Tweaking older, well-performing posts and republishing them with a recent date is an easy way to push great content to the forefront and give it new life.
  22. Repurposing.
    Work smarter, not harder by repurposing content that you have already written. For example, distribute monthly blog posts in a newsletter or gather content with a common theme and create an ebook.
  23. Content Mapping.
    Map out your customer’s journey and develop a strategy for delivering the right content to the right users at each point in the lifecycle. Ask yourself what kind of questions they are asking and when.
  24. Content Mapping


  25. Omni-channel Content Strategies.
    Establish a strategy and consistent voice when marketing across multiple channels (social media, websites, blogs, YouTube, etc.).
  26. Establish a Style Guide.
    Style guidelines matter. Is your firm name abbreviated five different ways throughout your copy? Do you have a collective opinion on what phone numbers to use? These decisions matter and help reinforce your branding on the web.
  27. Style-Guide


  28. Guest Posting.
    Raise brand awareness and drive traffic through guest posting on influencer sites and media outlets.
  29. Guest Posting


  30. Live Video.
    Experts predict that by 2021, 13% of all internet traffic will consist of live video. Leverage the growing popularity of video streaming through live video and podcasts.
  31. Live Video


  32. Try to Beat the Featured Snippets.
    Using Google Predictive Search (see SEO section) you can try and beat your competitors to get the Featured Snippet by answering questions directly.
  33. Try to Beat


  34. Keep FAQs on Main Pages.
    We find that incorporating FAQs as headers into practice pages is better than a single FAQ page.
  35. Keep FAQs


  36. Add Local Content.
    To rank for a targeted local area, you need content about that area to support it. Consider state or city pages and incorporate local keywords within your content optimization.
  37. Add Local Content


Chapter 10

Offline Marketing & Membership Marketing

  1. Offline Marketing.
    Do marketing in the real world, not just online. Many times this will also help with your online marketing to build more backlinks, buzz and website traffic.
  2. Donations and Giveaways.
    Participate in charity work and giveaways. Safety-related giveaways (such as donating helmets) for personal injury firms is a great chance to market your firm. You can include a page on your website to spotlight your community work.
  3. Donations and Giveaways
  4. Attend Events.
    Have a plan to attend at least one event per quarter (and maybe per month). Networking in-person is still a great way to meet people and make connections.
  5. Niche Membership Marketing.
    Consider niche marketing for a specific area. Find the publication they read online and/or the publication they receive in the mail/pickup. Get the mailing list of those people and send a mailout. Use remarketing online to have ads follow them around the web. Basically saturate the user with your message.
  6. Market to Current Customers.
    Some of your best marketing should be directed to your current customers. They already know you. They hopefully already love you. Set a budget to market to them regularly.
  7. Leave Something Behind.
    Always have something that you can provide potential clients with after you meet them. Business cards are good. Pamphlets, flyers and brochures are better.