Category Archives: News & Trends

Tips to Moving Your Law Website Away from FindLaw.com – Part Two

Continued from Monday.

We Are a Google Partner Specializing in Search Marketing
We Are a Google Partner Specializing in Internet Marketing

FindLaw does not make it easy for you to move. Roadblocks and delays are all part of the tactic to get you to decide it is too hard to move.

Here are more tips on how to move out of FindLaw.

Your mobile version of the website will be broken.
The static site you will receive, will work in mobile, but have no navigation. I am still working on this issue, but one easy work around is to use DudaMobile to render the mobile version of the site and simply install a “script” to sniff for mobile devices that DudaMobile provides.

Make sure you search out and remove FindLaw links.
Use Dreamweaver to ferret out the hidden links to FindLaw in your source code. I found links in the head tag and links in the footer, as well as links to broken elements like site search, client testimonials, and review us buttons. As a site owner, understand that your webmaster really needs time to find these, create new links or elements to replace all these things that are broken.

As far as I am concerned on the site I am working on, these dynamically scripted elements are not needed to make the site work and look good. Don’t let your webmaster take time to try to fix them especially if you will use your site for only one year.

Make sure to get ownership of your social media accounts.
FindLaw sets up social media for your website, but not in your name. Make sure that before your subscription with them expires that they transfer ownership to you so that you will be able to update your social media profiles.

Know that you will need to have a newly scripted contact form.
The static site will not arrive with a working contact form. Make sure your webmaster knows that time needs to be factored in to create one and test it on your new hosting server.

You will now need to buy your own hosting.
Make sure that your webmaster sets these accounts up in your name. Otherwise you simply move from FindLaw to another gateway but this time with a webmaster taking over.  Before you move make sure you know where your mail server is and who owns and has access to your domain name. Assure that the domain name is tied to your business not FindLaw or your new webmaster.

Make sure link testing is done as the static site is brought up and online.
I found that even top of page links in the content were broken. Easy to fix, but as you work on these static sites, you start to see just where the “warts” are. Link references are wrong, image URLs are not correctly defined – and all need review and fixing.

It is not inexpensive to move out from FindLaw but in the long run owning your own site files allow you to spend money where YOU want – maybe in Google AdWords where you’ll get better lead results.

I estimate that the initial review of the problems and site renovation will cost this client $1,500 to $2,000 initially but the annual cost saving from FindLaw to self ownership is $30,800 a year. That’s a nice chunk of change to spend on Google AdWords, blogging, and social media and be building a site you truly own, not one you “think” you own but that is not really easily transportable.

 

Introducing Our Summer Intern, William McCord

William McCord, Our Summer Intern
William McCord, Our Summer Intern

William McCord, my 20 year old son, has joined the firm for the summer in a Computer Science internship.

William is a rising Junior in Computer Science with an interest in programming, GIS, and cyber security at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

With a passion for computer programming, he is already helping to implement and tweak complex scripts for AdWords account management as well as fine-tuning his HTML and CSS skills for website design.

This summer, he will be focusing on WordPress management, site design customization, website security, mobile-friendly e-newsletters, and AdWords script programming.

He is a incredibly fast learner, innovative, and a hard worker. We are excited to welcome him into our office.

Our Blogging Writing Services Are Different!

Be discerning when it comes to your blog writing service professional.
Be discerning when it comes to your blog writing service professional.

When we offer our blog writing services to you as a good match for your project needs you’ve got to know we are different!

  1. We use only American writers.
  2. We use only college educated, mature professional writers.
  3. We hand select the background information for our team of 10 writers.
  4. We craft the title for your blog post for the writer.
  5. We decide what keywords will be used in your blog post.
  6. We have a MBA graduate proof read all your content as it comes out from our writing team.
  7. We have four WordPress blog installers, who load the content, add categories, and tags as well as hand select the image to enhance your content.

But our service does not stop there…

The day your post is to appear, we verify that it has published and that it looks good.

If you are looking for a focused, results oriented team to write your blog posts and make you look good online, I invite you to check out our blog writing service program.

We are available for additional time charges to work with the Yoast plugin in an effort to green light any writing for SEO purposes your blog posts.

 

Drift – Much More Than a Messaging App – Part Two

Continued from Wednesday.

The Drift messaging app for websites is on target with my needs.
The Drift messaging app for websites is on target with my needs.

Implementation of the Drift code on my website, to enable clients to use the app, took under five minutes, as I use header includes.

As I have tested out the application, I have found that it sends emails to the user to remind them of their appointment with you and also saves their email in the Drift application.

So, my concern with getting the prospect’s phone number in the initial conversation with the bot is moot. As the appointment approaches, I  can directly contact the client and make calling arrangements on my own. I can even communicate using the email link for appointment confirmation via the Drift app to ask for the phone number.

Drift has a mobile app which allows you to respond to website messages while you are out of the office and on the go. Talk about instant communication!

Once the appointment is scheduled by the prospect, within seconds the appointment appeared in my own Google Calendar. I was even able to select my own Google category for incoming calls so they would be marked and colored properly in my calendar.

I have to say that the Drift app has some very nice new features that I have not seen before in other calendaring or messaging apps. I do like some of the automation features and the ability to interact with prospects immediately when they really have a question while they are sitting on my website.

I do recommend that you check out the free version of Drift. At the very minimum, you will have a really nice website chat app and if you upgrade, you will get some really nice features that are unique to Drift – like the bot, team settings, and auto response functions.

 

It’s a Mobile First World Now

Get professional help with  your website.
Get professional help with your website.

Your mission for 2017 if you want to be successful is to focus your activity on mobile. That’s mobile optimized content, advertising on mobile, newsletters that look great on mobile, and location specificity for mobile. In other words, gear up to leverage mobile activity in all you do for 2017!

AMP Pages Showing Now on Google Mobile

Earlier this week I noticed that on Google.com from my smart phone that all the results I clicked in were marked AMP that means Accelerated Mobile Page.  These pages have a super fast download and are visible instantly. But they typically do not have navigation, graphic features and do make it hard to people to dig deeper into your website.

If you are using WordPress you can use the Yoast plugin and Yoast glue for AMP pages on your site. If you are not using WordPress, you’ll need to create an AMP page for each page on your site.

Mobile Version Newsletters

Several years ago I shifted my own personal newsletter format and that of many of my clients to a mobile version. If you do not have a newsletter template that resizes to fill your smartphone screen and is stated to be mobile-friendly, in 2017 you need to embrace a change to a mobile version skin.

Location Specificity for Mobile

In early 2017 take a look at your website. Are there areas you can add more location specificity? Can you add a map with directions to your site. Can you sprinkle in more geographically specific keywords? All this helps to bump up the ability for Google to categorize your website and deliver location specific content to mobile users.

Make sure to bookmark our blog “The Web Authority” so that you can be first to know and share our tips on how to leverage mobile activity to boost your 2017 website visits.

My Predictions for the Web for 2017

Google Partner Badge
McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Here are my predictions for 2017 in regards to what will be popular for website business owners.

Google will continue to focus on mobile
This prediction is simply a strengthening of what we have seen happen fourth quarter 2016. Google will continue to keep its organic placement algorithm tied to mobile sites and content found on a site’s mobile page.

Mobile adaptive websites will lose to mobile responsive websites
Google stated that it prefers for a site to be mobile responsive versus mobile adaptive. More site owners will move to responsive websites and move away from using mobile adaptive websites in 2017.

Twitter will continue to lose dominance and may be bought by Microsoft/Bing
Although I have not heard of Microsoft being interested in Twitter yet, it seems like it would be a good match for Microsoft. As Twitter continues to struggle and top staff leave for greener pastures. I see Twitter shrinking even more in popularity, but doubt that it will disappear totally in 2017, but may be gobbled up by another company even if it is not Bing or Microsoft.

Facebook Messenger will start appearing as a chat app on websites
With more sites implementing chat functions, it makes perfect sense for Facebook to aggressively  move into this area working to make it easier for business owners to implement real-time chat functions.

Take a look at my 2015 predictions nearly all of them came true by at least 2016.

Got your own prediction? Leave it in the comments section below.