Friday, May 4, 2012
There are countless legal marketing scams out there. Companies regularly target law firms trying to sell them costly domain name renewals (when already set to renew with existing host), expensive yet ineffective directory listings, a mobile version of the firm’s website or engage them in a link scheme. We hear all about these rip-offs from our clients who call us to ask if it’s worth the investment or whether there is any merit to the claims that these sales teams are making. Recently, we’ve heard from many clients who have been solicited by multiple companies who make “landing pages” for the firms in hopes of increasing online exposure for a particular set of keywords. Before you decide whether or not this is a valuable strategy for your firm, it’s important that you consider how they work and why they’re generally ineffective (and may actually be harmful) marketing tools.
A landing page is generally classified as a one or two page site which specifically requests a certain action from a visitor, also known as a “squeeze page”. In the case of a law firm’s site, a landing page may have its own unique URL with content devoted to a specific practice area and perhaps even house a free report that a visitor may request by entering their contact details. The rationale is that upon arrival, a visitor is guided exactly as to the next action which should be taken (call your firm, request an appointment, etc). And while the existence of a landing page won’t harm your main site, you must carefully consider whether or not you want a visitor to be directed to that instead of your main website through organic search results (although they rarely rank well given the limited amount of content) or through Pay Per Click campaigns.
Legal services by their nature tend to be complex and consumers are looking for an attorney that has a lot of expertise. A landing page, while focused on a particular set of keywords, won’t convey a strong sense of credibility to a potential client. Web users want to see content, articles, success stories, testimonials and detailed practice area information. Knowing you might only have one chance to make a good impression, it’s wise to focus your energy on a single website which serves a focal point for comprehensive information on your firm. If you do specialize in very different areas of the law, rather than creating two different landing pages with a few paragraphs of content on each, go the extra mile and create a unique website for each practice area which includes a great deal of specialized content to adequately display your expertise.