Category Archives: Design

Sean McCann – Art to inspire you and your boardroom, not to be missed.

Journey throgh Landscape ExhibitionI’ve just come back from an exhibition displaying the work of Sean McCann at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, which made a big impact on me and others attending – even including my 13 year old son who began to appreciate for the first time what it takes to produce this quality of work.  With the artist’s agreement, I considered including some images from the 53 paintings on display here, but realised that photos just can’t do them justice.

This collection of landscape paintings has to be seen first hand to be fully appreciated. So if you’re anywhere near Liverpool, Birkenhead and the Wirral, I recommend dropping in here for half an hour to take a look.

This will brighten your day!

 

Journeys Through Landscape Exhibition - Sean McCann Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes 5 Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes 2 Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes  3 Sean McCann - Journey through Landscapes 4

 

 

 

Linkedin Users – default setting you may want to change

This is worth checking out on your Linkedin profile, although Linkedin has changed their policy as a result of user feedback since the piece below was published by Steve Woodruff back in August.  When I checked today I found that my account allowed Linkedin to use my name and photos to be used in third party advertising … which I doubt many of you want.  So you should follow the instructions below to check and amend your profile.

“Apparently, LinkedIn has recently done us the “favor” of having a default setting whereby our names and photos can be used for third-party advertising. A friend forwarded me this alert (from a friend, from a friend…) this morning.

And I expect that you, like me, don’t want to participate.

This graphic shows you how to Uncheck The Box.  (Click on the image to make it bigger):

1. Click on your name on your LinkedIn homepage (upper right corner). On the drop-down menu, select “Settings”.

2. From the “Settings” page, select “Account*”.

3. In the column next to “Account”, click “Manage Social Advertising” .

4. De-select the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising” .

*UPDATE: After you finish with Account, check the new default settings under E-mail Preferences (such as Partner InMails); and Groups, Companies & Applications (such as Data Sharing with 3rd-party applications). It’s a Facebook deja vu!”

Worth checking your profile out to see how it’s set today?

Allan Carton

Converting Browsers to Business

We all know that people who come to your website are impatient and want information straight away. If you don’t get their attention fast, or the information they want quickly, they go looking elsewhere. There are plenty of other options to be explored on the web, whatever you are looking for. But there’s more to it than that in the increasingly sophisticated world of internet marketing, where most law firms have only just begun to “engage” browsers.

Law firms taking this seriously will track, know and care about how long a browser spends on their website. Without this, it’s impossible to know what is working and what is not, so this is the starting point. Begin to track and evaluate this if you don’t already.

Learn from experience

Many of the basics of marketing in this virtual “web” environment are not that much different from the traditional “bricks and mortar” approach to marketing and promotion. Personal injury lawyers, for example, have become familiar with the impatience of claimants. If they don’t get out to the client and get them signed up immediately, they will soon check out other options.

The solution there is to send an agent round: what is the equivalent on the web? In conveyancing, if a caller doesn’t manage to speak to someone who can help them on the phone, they will probably pick up the phone to someone else who they feel can do just as good a job. In employment, if they can’t get enough advice or assurance today, they will go to someone else who can. It’s the same on the web. Get them before they go somewhere else.

Why is this critical now?

Approximately 70 per cent of households (18.3m) now have internet access. 63 per cent of these have broadband access – up from 56 per cent in 2008.

Use of the internet by those aged 65 and over has increased 15 per cent in past year (2008/9), compared with 3 per cent for 16 to 24-year-olds.

Back in 2006, 20.1 per cent of respondents booked their last holiday online compared to 16.8 per cent in 2005 and 12.4 per cent in 2004. This has continued to increase, so the public are getting the habit of researching and buying online.

Both private and commercial clients are using the web as a way of identifying and making first contact with solicitors.

Increasingly SMEs will use the web to find a potential regional law provider.

How to convert Browsers to Business

We use the “AIDA” steps in many areas of our approach to selling legal services: Continue reading

Why Law Firms need to consider Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

We are in the age of the Internet with the younger “Y” generation using the web to find and check out options on just about everything they do online.  It’s no different when they want legal advice.  Even if a friend or relative recommends your firm, the chances are that they will check out the other options when they look for your website on the web too. 

If your law firm already has a web site it’s time to ask yourself one question – how much new business is it generating for you?  The problem with many Law firms is that they did not set business objectives when their web site was first developed … and it has carried on from there. It was probably created ‘because everyone else has got one’ and the fundamentals haven’t been revisited.   Web sites are superb marketing tools, so it’s time to start putting your firm in the shop window.  It’s time to consider joining forces with a professional SEO consultant that can initiate and manage your online campaign.

SEO is an essential part to every legal firm’s web site, where there should be a long-term objective and strategy to generate new business through it.   Organic search engine optimisation will provide your site with free traffic by giving you high positions in the results pages of the major search engines.   In a long term strategy organic SEO has a more manageable and level cost from month to month than pay-per-click (sponsored) listings, although it will take longer for you to see a return on your investment.

Naturally, the higher up the rankings you get placed, the more visible your web site becomes to searching browser – and the more visible you are, the more chance there is of people finding and using your services; so competition for the top positions can be tough, in any industry.

Most businesses don’t understand SEO, largely because it is an intangible commodity when compared to newspaper advertising, creating a website or producing PR, all of which are tangible “products”.  SEO is a time consuming, labour-intensive process that requires constant monitoring, tweaks and updates throughout the life of any campaign.

Search Engine Optimisation is not a commodity and your choice of SEO professional should not be based on who offers to do the work for the lowest price.   The industry acquired a bad name in the past where cut-price SEO companies have promised results, but failed to deliver.  However, the entry of more professional and capable of organisations into the industry has demonstrated that results can be achieved with a well-organised, persistent, innovative and proactive approach, that requires constant attention.

As with anything in life, you get what you pay for.  If you are happy to take the risk of hiring a cheap SEO, then remember to take responsibility when your campaign doesn’t get the rankings that were promised.

All the research shows that the web is being used more and more to find providers of legal services – even if they instruct you offline. With the goalposts constantly moving on how to get top of the list on the web search engines, law firms will have to work even smarter on SEO in 2009. Getting up the rankings on “natural listings” on e.g. Google – as opposed to less productive “pay per click” listings – is more important now than ever.

In the current economic you want as many prospects as possible coming to you, rather than your competitors. 2009 will see search become more personalised. We have already seen this with the introduction of Google’s new personalised search results tool – Google Wiki – towards the end of 2008. Moving on from there, 2009 should be focused on five Search Engine Metrics:

  • Non-Branded Search Engine (Organic) Referrals – that is search engine results and click-throughs from organic search results. This is where SEO as we know it comes into play – getting the positions that people can find.
  • Bounce Rate – a metric that we all love. Lowering bounce rate should be of huge significance in 2009. Make your content more appealing and let them find it fast.
  • Time Spent on Site – closely related to bounce rate is the amount of time spent on your site. This metric helps you to find out what is working on your site and what isn’t.
  • Subscribers to Your Content – personalisation is becoming more and more popular with the average searcher. As a result, rankings in this sense are irrelevant. However one area that you will need to monitor as personalisation and blended search become more common is tracking the users that are subscribing to your content. For example, your RSS feed subscribers to your blog(s), the number of followers that you have on Twitter, the number of people subscribing to your YouTube channel. These social subscribers can provide a lot of insight into how people are engaging with your web properties and with your brand online.
  • Site Search – how users are engaging with your site’s search functionality. Besides Google, you would think that internal site search is a popular activity when users land on your site. This engagement metric provides you with additional insight into what keywords and topics people are looking for when they arrive on your site. The fact that they are using your internal site search may also be an indication that they are not finding the information that they are looking for when arriving on your site.

In 2009, engagement metrics such as site search will become even more important in understanding the searching habits of your site visitors. Are they looking for demos? Perhaps they are looking for video content. Whatever the case may be, look for this metric to become more important in 2009.

For more information on this topic, contact Ian Sheldon of Inpractice at isheldon@inpractice.co.uk

Search Engine Optimisation – Preparing for the U.K. recession.

With analysts in the U.K. predicting an economic recession in the coming months, and the cold, harsh winter looking bleaker than ever, the chances are you are thinking of ways to create new revenue streams to increase the number of customers and sales for your business.

As it goes, the definition of an economic recession is that there is zero or negative growth in Gross Domestic Product (or GDP). This in turn leads to unemployment through job losses, spending is cut and so on.

If you don’t currently trade on-line, now might be a good time to start thinking about it. Every main stream company owner will tell you that there are three ways to increase your profit:

  • Increasing the number of customers
  • Increasing the margin on products being sold
  • Increasing the frequency in which products are sold

Taking these points into consideration, Search Engine Optimisation perfectly covers all three. By driving targeted traffic to your web site, you are getting visitors who are actually looking for your products. If you can work with a good SEO Company you will see the growth of new customer numbers, who in turn will purchase your products.

Statistics show that more and more people are buying online, rather than going to high street stores. This not only means that SEO has become more and more cost effective, but it also means than the return on investment for SEO can be huge.

As with any advertising, SEO is actually only any good if its a continued investment.

So if you are looking to tackle the forthcoming recession head on, then give us a call on 07779 653105 / 07791 703944 or email isheldon@inpractice.co.uk for more information on our SEO services and how they can benefit you and your business.