Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Marketing a Law Firm Closure

Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but in my travels around the Internet recently I came across two law firms that have or are closing.

According to the site of Chicago-based Askounis & Borst, P.C., the firm no longer offers legal services as of March 2008. "The firm is, however, continuing to operate for the purpose of collecting assets, addressing payment of obligations, and finalizing all business matters. A professional staff has been assembled, and is executing a plan for this wind down process."

Leading partners have formed separate firms, Borst & Collins, LLC, and Askounis & Darcy PC.

After 80 years of service, Chicago-based Schwartz Coooper "discontinued the practice of law" on July 14, 2008. Attorneys have gone to four different firms listed on the former firm's web site.

So as we see, an ending represents a new beginning. For attorneys or legal marketers who are wondering how to handle the announcement of a law firm closure, these firms offer some guidance.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Martindale Continues TV Ads

Have you noticed that Martindale continues to run TV ads promoting the site? The campaign started in February 2008 and was produced by advertising services company Spot Runner. You can view the ad online at

My fellow legal marketing blogger Kevin O'Keefe of Lexblog wrote an interesting blog post ("Martindale-Hubbell TV ads for : Will they work?") on this topic shortly after the launch.

The ads must be working to drive consumers to the Lawyers. com site. We certainly favor "integrated" marketing programs. In this case Martindale's TV investments supplement online promotions for the purpose of driving more traffic to their massive online attorney directory.

What this means for you, the attorney or legal marketer, is that you obviously want to be where prospects are looking for you. Even if you start with a free basic listing, every advantage you gain to attract a prospect is beneficial. Martindale's campaign reinforces the benefit of being listed.

Of course, we don't want to overlook our Thomson Reuters friends at FindLaw. While they may not be advertising on TV, they provide another premier attorney directory that is a "must have" for many attorneys.

If you are not already listed in the leading Internet directories in your field of practice, now is a good time to update your law firm marketing campaigns.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil Search Engine Competes with Google

Today is a busy day in terms of search engine and Internet marketing news for law firms.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that former Google engineers are launching, a competing search engine, early next week. The new Cuil site will deliver search results from 120 billion (yes, billion with a B) web pages, triple the 40 billion pages covered by Google!

Search engine results are presented in an interesting fashion ... 3 columns of data, like on online magazine complete with photos. A quick search of my name "Margaret Grisdela" immediately delivered my photo, a brief bio, and links to many of the law firm marketing articles I've written.

Here are two takes on what this means:
  1. Writing for the search engines becomes increasing important. Note that keyword-rich copy intended to get the attention of search engine spiders is different for what you might write for a magazine article or a client report. Keyword density and placement is imperative.
  2. If you are already spending big bucks on a Google AdWords internet advertising campaign, think of what your budget might become if Google gets stronger competitors. While pay-per-click advertising will not be available for the Cuil launch, it is very likely to appear in the following months.

Law firms that learn the "best practices" in Internet marketing techniques are the longer term winners in the legal marketing and business development race for new clients.

Now is a good time to review your law firm's website. Just as your car needs a tune-up every 3 months or 3,000 miles, your website benefits from a website audit as well.

Read the full Cuil story here.

Search Engine Optimization Example for Law Firms

The Rainmaking Lady recommends an article published today on

Entitled "Search Engine Optimization Means Business" and written by C.C. Holland, the article tells the tale of a DUI law firm that went from a sorry state of sales to top of the charts performance. Read the article to learn how the firm attributes the turnaround to the development of a new web site that incorporates basic search engine optimization techniques.

Here are some Internet marketing "best practices" you can use on your own law firm website:
  • Develop "in-bound links" from independent websites
  • Identify the keywords that drive traffic to your law firm website and build the keywords into the headlines, meta tags and body copy on the website
  • Include your law firm's location (i.e., Los Angeles divorce attorney rather than just divorce attorney) wherever possible
  • Consider writing a blog, which gives you a chance to frequently publish fresh copy on your area of expertise

Law firm Internet markeing is a "must have" these days. You should consider matching this to a Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign for maximum performance. Google also offers "Google Analytics," a free web site performance tracking tool that gives you valuable statistics on your daily website traffic volume, source of visitors, geographic location, and more.

As I always say, "you must be present to win on the Internet." The law firm that does not take advantage of Internet advertising and online marketing is very likely losing business to their competitors. Don't let this happen to you.