blog post by Sam
If you are reading this blog post, you are most likely a law firm that is seeking out a website provider, and for many law firms, both FindLaw and Lawyers.com are the obvious choices.
This blog posts serves to highlight why I, a former Senior Consultant for FindLaw, branched out and began my own marketing firm located in Roswell, GA.
1. Marketing for attorneys online is a competitive environment, and if you can make a law firm show up in searches, you can most likely assist most any small business owner. Rather than limiting the focus of our business to one type of practice, we’re able to work with countless industries, and often times able to learn different techniques and tactics that can be leveraged for other clients.
2. The average FindLaw client has two attorneys, and is considered to be a smaller practice. Thomson Reuters is the parent company to FindLaw, and is a Canadian company that operates in over 100 countries with over 55,000 employees. I thought that small local law firms might prefer to work with a smaller company that understands the pressures of owning and operating a small business. heystac, is a smaller web marketing company that has much more in common with our clients.
3. In the greater Atlanta metro alone, FindLaw works with over 250+ law firms. How is it possible to make everyone show up for the same searches? heystac does work with competing law firms, but is extremely aware of ensuring client trust through openness and honesty. heystac is keenly aware of the pressures facing small law firms, and working with a marketing company that may also provide consulting services to competing law firms as is the case with FindLaw, is one stress that heystac tries to eliminate for our clients.
4. There is much more to success online than SEO. As a FindLaw consultant I was trained to highlight the importance of showing up in the search engines. At heystac we take a more holistic approach to marketing. At the beginning of a client relationship with heystac, I will guide clients as to where they show up in the search engines, who are their competitors, what are those competitors doing, and more importantly, what blend of services is needed to improve the success of the law firm’s online marketing program. heystac focuses on development, design, content, visibility, search, and social elements for law firms. Client goals determine the amount of effort, and expense is needed for each element of the client solution. Not all clients want to… or even need to focus on SEO as the cornerstone to their online marketing efforts, and heystac is fully aware of finding a client solution that meets the specific needs and goals for each individual client. heystac solutions are all custom, and there are no two heystac clients that have the same solution.
5. Success online, does not require upgrades. Each year, FindLaw brings out new client solutions into the marketplace. From directory submission packages, to blogs, video, social media solutions, each year brings more products for FindLaw clients to purchase. New service offerings are excellent, and they help ensure that FindLaw clients are relevant within the online marketplace. I take a different direction with my clients that differs from the “upgrade” approach offered by FindLaw. Each year, we review and assess the online marketing successes and failures from the previous year and then start from scratch to develop a new custom solution for each individual client. I’m a firm believer in heystac services; however, I’m also keenly aware that internet marketing is an ever-changing market. Each year, Google goes through roughly 400 algorithm changes, and the same holds true for Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter. Click here to see all of the various algorithm changes that occur. If the market is changing, your marketing solution should too.
6. Leverage all available service providers. heystac as a company is aware of the fact that many other companies have service offerings that can benefit their clients. heystac is in the business of ensuring client success. On multiple occasions heystac has guided clients to FindLaw services, and there are also situations where a client has no need for services from FindLaw or any other web marketing firm.
If at the end of the day, as a law firm, you choose FindLaw or Lawyers.com, I can assure you that they are both excellent companies. If working with a smaller, and more localized marketing firm are attractive to you, then consider heystac, or any other firm that has provided design and SEO services for lawyers, and can demonstrate measured success.
If you are a law firm that is looking for a web marketing partner, look no further than heystac.
blog post by Sam
If there was ever a time to start thinking about the future of the web, it’s now. There is more to the web than just computers and mobile devices. Samsung has released a refrigerator with a wifi enabled touch screen.
Since the beginning of the internet, it has only been on desktop and laptop computers, until a few short years ago the iPhone came out and changed the mobile web forever. Shortly after that, tablets such as the iPad came out and has since been introduced into cars, TVs, and other home appliances. As web designers/developers, we no longer have to focus on five primary web browsers but hundreds of devices with different screen sizes.
Your website can no longer be a static size that fits computer monitors but one that needs to adjust to the different devices or it will be left behind and forgotten. Mobile websites were introduced a few years ago as a temporary solution to the quickly evolving web. Over the past 8 months there has been an enormous amount of buzz, and rightfully so, around responsive web design.
Responsive web design is the ability for a website to change based on the width of a browser or device. You can see an example of it on our promotional micro site. With responsive web design your website will be able to work across every browser and device without a hitch. It’s future friendly because it’s not constrained by particular device sizes, it flows into whatever size you can think of and even those you can’t.
Remember the web is not the device, it’s the space between devices that connects them.
blog post by Mack
Last summer I watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I loved the show (and talked a lot about it). On it, Jamie attempted to transform the menu at an LA fast food restaurant. The owner, Dino, was opposed to the healthy changes Jamie was trying to introduce as part of his Food Revolution. But Dino came around. He saw the importance of having healthier options available at his restaurant. He began using grass-fed beef and added a whole new section to the menu full of healthier options like Freedom Crushes made with yogurt and real fruit.
Dino, by the end of the season, had made these changes to his restaurant and believed in the importance of having healthy options. I was so inspired by the show and the changes to his LA restaurant that I sent him an email to tell him… and to offer him a new site on us.
After a week of no response, I deleted the reminder email I had sent to myself about it. Figured it was a long shot anyways. Then I got a phone call and recognized the voice I had seen and heard on the Food Revolution. Dino loved the idea and was blown away by our offer to come along side of him and his restaurant.
Designing and developing Patra’s new site was more than a job – it was our honor to help a guy who was creating change in his world. Side note, our photographer, Boyd Hobbs, killed it on the photos. They’ll make you want to fly to LA just for a Revolution Burger.
Thanks, Dino, for taking a stand by making inspiring changes to your restaurant and also allowing us to be a part of Patra’s Burgers!
blog post by Mack
Part of the exciting and fun part of getting ready to buy your own piece of the web is looking for the perfect domain — sometimes even before the business you’re thinking about exists. It’s fun to spend your Friday evenings looking up domains to buy, and doing laundry. Maybe you want it to be clever (youtu.be), or maybe you want it to be your business name (heystac.com), or maybe you want to get the SEO benefit of including keyphrases in the domain, which helps a good bit. I’ve been playing around with a few different ideas in the last month for my own personal blog, though, I’ll probably just end up buying the name my mother gave me + .com.
But I’ve got to warn you about that. Some people out there will take advantage of you and me while we search. It’s too bad, really, to have to worry about one more thing. But I don’t want you to get caught not covering your tracks.
The Warning: Some people are lurking around watching what domains you search for to buy them out from under you.
The Scheme: If you search for a domain and it’s available today and you don’t make the purchase, tomorrow someone might buy it, turn around and try to resell it for a severely inflated price, which may be referred to as cybersquatting.
The Perspective: This doesn’t happen all the time. Not all websites sell you out. But sometimes it happens.
The Solution: You don’t have to live in fear. Here are my two tips to avoid heartbreak.
1) Search safe. Use search websites that don’t share with 3rd parties.
Make sure of the following:
- domain search information is not shared
- domain search information is not stored
- whatever entity you get WHOIS information from also does not share, store, or use domain search information
- using Network Solutions, a past violator of the scheme of purchasing and reselling for more money
- typing in a domain directly in your browser and seeing if any website shows up
Don’t feel like doing that much research? pcnames.com is safe, but from experience, it’s not always completely up-to-date. So it’s a good spot to do brainstorming, but before you marry yourself to a domain, click through to GoDaddy and see if it’s actually still available.
2) If you like it, buy it! This is the fool proof way of covering your tracks. If you’re in between a couple different ones, treat yo’self to a couple domains. They’re usually $8-$20 buckaroos a pop, and you’ll get them for a year or two. You don’t have to commit to a longterm renewal package or anything. Just reserve them for yourself so they’re ready whenever you are. Plus, you can always transfer them to another person’s account. Even if you’re searching the right way, someone else might unintentionally hijack a domain just by getting the same idea as you and buy that perfect domain for themselves. (Great minds think alike, so if you’ve got a great idea… chances are someone else might think of it too.)
blog post by Mack
We’ve noticed some drastic fluctuations in our site traffic during the past 12 months, primarily in March and August. After mulling over analytics reports and comparing to other websites, we discovered that about 100 different sites all experienced the same changes.
If multiple sites were experiencing this, then we knew something was happening on a bigger scale. Sure enough, the changes in our traffic were due to Google algorithm updates. Sam, our SEO expert, then pointed me to a site that focuses entirely on the changes that the Google algorithm goes through.
You may not be familiar with the phrase “Google algorithm,” but chances are you are somewhat familiar with the concept. The updates to Google’s algorithm is how Google stays relevant, always changing, always unknown. It prevents SEO strategies from becoming stale and keeps web developers on their toes. If you are paying for search engine marketing and you haven’t re-evaluated your plan in over a year, then it’s time to.
What are you waiting for? A new year is nearly here and it’s a great time to take a look at your current search engine optimization plan and make some changes. Make 2012 the year that you unlock the full potential of your website design and content through monthly or quarterly SEO updates.