Things to Avoid in Legal Marketing

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.

A webpage listing various child advocacy sites on the left, and articles on the right discussing U.S. government issues and a virtual event for Florida’s children advocacy.

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.

A small green leaf on a branch against a blurred green background. The text on the right reads, "B2B Arbitration & Litigation Arbitration Law, Practice & Procedure.

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.

A website header with the title "MenuBytes.com," a search bar, and an image of a plated gourmet meal on the right. The text below reads "Explore New Taste Buds.

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.

Screenshot of a legal services webpage detailing a Riverside criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI cases. The page includes contact information, a case highlight, and sections listing areas of practice.

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

Aerial view of a yacht on the ocean with text promoting "A different yachting experience" and "FGI is yachting with a difference." Includes a call to action to find a perfect yacht.

Web Development

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

A screenshot of a code editor displaying PHP code for a search functionality. Key elements include query building, conditionals, and the usage of `mysqli_real_escape_string()` for security.

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

Screenshot of a law firm's website on both mobile and desktop, featuring the text "State & Federal Criminal Defense" and contact details. A pair of handcuffs with bokeh lights is visible in the background.

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

Code snippet displaying conditional PHP scripts to output blog posts' dates, links, titles, and excerpts based on specific page IDs (204, 221, 178).

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.

A web browser displays an error message: "This site can't be reached. eisenworld.com took too long to respond.

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.

Image of a computer screen displaying HTML code. The code includes sections for images, text paragraphs, and a navigation menu. There are comments and HTML tags in different colors.

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.

A dashboard summary displays errors (5), contrast errors (18), alerts (11), and features (7) under respective icons.

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.

Illustration of three people with money and a large clock; one person holds a coin, another sits on coins using a laptop, and another works at a desk with a screen showing charts.

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.

Screenshot of a code snippet for an image carousel. It shows HTML elements with class names, image sources, and text within div tags, including some attributes related to images and labels.

9. Writing All Your Code Manually.
There are many editors, extensions and snippets that can be used to speed up your coding significantly.

Screenshot of WordPress plugins page displaying three plugins: "Advanced Custom Fields PRO," "Autoptimize," and "Better Search Replace Pro," with options to activate, deactivate, or delete each.

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

A cup of espresso, a smartphone displaying 16:16, and a notebook with a colorful sketch of a landing page layout lie on a wooden surface next to a laptop keyboard.

6. Not Testing Ad Copy.

A green coffee mug filled with black coffee sits next to a silver pen on a napkin featuring various marketing and copywriting terms arranged in a word cloud.

7. Not Properly Tracking Conversions.

A blackboard with the words "Sales," "Marketing," "Generation," "Advertising," and "Conversion" written vertically, with the letters spelling "LEADS" highlighted in yellow.

8. Not Using Negative Keywords in Your Campaign and Conversely, Using Keywords That Are Too Broad in Your Campaign.

Wooden blocks spelling "KEYWORDS" on a table with a small potted plant in the background.

SEO

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

A person types on a laptop at a table with a searchable overlay, a coffee cup, and pens visible.

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.

A close-up of an internet browser address bar displaying "http://www..." and navigation tabs labeled Favorites, News, and Weather.

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

Illustration of people interacting with large virtual screens displaying graphs, charts, and data in a technology-based workspace with various devices and digital elements.

4. Not Enough Relevant Content.
Law hubs and long-form content win. It is quality within quantity.

A hand is drawing a balanced scale with the words "Quality" on the left side and "Quantity" on the right side, indicating an equilibrium.

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

Illustration of an open laptop displaying text and images, surrounded by various icons such as thumbs up, paper planes, messages, and leaves.

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

Illustration of people examining large screens displaying chain links, representing digital links. One person holds a magnifying glass, while another interacts with a tablet. Large leaves decorate the background.

7. No Visual Aids.
Users like images. Add them to your content.

Infographic titled "Is Attorney SEO Needed?" It features a large website interface, a smartphone, and people working on SEO elements like web design and copywriting, illustrating discussions on SEO necessity.

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

Screenshot displaying three blog post titles from CSBB Blog with publication dates and arrows pointing to them. Titles are about Florida probate, attorney fees in partition actions, and special needs guardianship.

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

A webpage titled "Raising the Bar: An Internet Marketing Blog for Lawyers" displays categories: Web Design, Internet Marketing, Content, and Branding & Design.

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

A screenshot of a webpage displaying a table of backlink data including referring page titles, domain ratings (DR), URLs, referring domains, total backlinks, and traffic metrics.

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.

Illustration of people interacting with devices like laptops, tablets, and desktops, connected by chains and gears, representing digital communication and teamwork.

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.

A person points at the word "ROI" on a transparent screen filled with various financial and business icons, graphs, and charts.

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.

Illustration of a web page with the word "Keywords" next to a keyboard and golden scissors, set against a teal background.

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.

An illustration of a hand touching a tablet screen showing a search results page with the word "SEARCH" and "KEYWORD" highlighted.

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.

Text "LOADING..." in blue with a rectangular progress bar partially filled, on a dark background.

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.

A hand is drawing a balance scale with the word "QUALITY" on the left side and "QUANTITY" on the right side.

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.

A grid of black human-shaped figures with one yellow figure in the center, emphasizing individuality.

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.

A pop-up window on a webpage lists options for users not to leave yet, including Bakery Online Store, Craigslist Classifieds Online, Used Classic Cars for Sale, Restaurants Near You, and Order Food Delivery.

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.

A person in a suit holds a tablet displaying digital data visualizations and graphs, symbolizing analytics and technology integration.

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.

Concrete letters spell "SITE DOWN" against a dark background, with two cut and frayed cables beside them.

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.

Illustration of a mouth shouting into a megaphone, surrounded by a bright burst pattern on a blue background.

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.

Promotional email from PaperStreet about their "2021 Law Firm Marketing Guide: Best and Worst Practices," emphasizing that images should not be relied on to convey key information, as some subscribers may have images disabled.

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.

Screenshot of an email with an attachment named "image001.jpg" (4.8 KB). There is a message saying "Images not displayed. SHOW IMAGES | ALWAYS SHOW IMAGES FROM THIS SENDER.

4. Don’t Include “Subscribe” in Your Newsletter
Don’t include a “Subscribe to Newsletter” CTA in your campaigns. Because, ya know, they already DID subscribe.

Email from PaperStreet Marketing with a "Subscribe to Our Newsletter" CTA highlighted and labeled "NOPE!". Below is contact information and social media logos.

Content

1. First Person.
No one wants to hear “I, I, I” and “me, me,me”.

Partial view of a person wearing a suit, next to text introducing a business and technology lawyer specializing in various legal services such as mergers, acquisitions, and commercial agreements.

2. Spelling Errors.
Grammar and spelling errors are endearing, right?

3. Avoid Long Blocks of Content.
Long blocks of content are a SEO no no and very difficult to read. Break up your content with H2s and bullet points.

4. Avoid Inconsistency With Imagery and Colors.
Make sure the visual feel and style of the website remains consistent.

5. Avoid Passive Voice.
Speak like you would in normal conversation. Both Google and your potential clients prefer normal speech over the writing used in a college essay.

6. Short Copy.
Avoid only using a few sentences on a page. It’s best not to leave the facts up to the imagination.

Screenshot of a Personal Injury webpage from a law firm's website, highlighting recent victories, attorneys, and their approach to personal injury cases.

7. Five-Dollar Words.
Avoid using those big words from college and law school as much as possible.

8. Generic Cookie-Cutter Content.
Make sure your content is unique to your business and showcases why you are an expert in the industry. Be sure to prove why you stand out from the competition and bring valuable insight that isn’t found on the web already. If you aren’t adding something new or better to the conversation, Google isn’t going to value your content over someone else’s.

9. Forgetting Your Blog Exists.
You should be posting on a regular basis – weekly or monthly.

Screenshot of a law firm's webpage detailing a new briefing schedule for stormwater appeals and a CCKA brief, dated Jan 8, 2015. The page emphasizes expertise in Proposition 65.

10. Text-Only Pages.
In 2023, no one wants to see a huge block of text without images, video, or quotes to add to the story.

Image showing the "About" section of a legal and tax services firm's website, detailing their experience with international and Russian-speaking clients, multi-jurisdictional transactions, and corporate law.

11. Long Sentences.
It’s the internet and we all have short attention spans. Write like a human with simple sentences.

A law firm offers services in Civil & Commercial Law, Trusts, Litigation, and Real Estate Law, specializing in dealings within the Dominican Republic.

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