I am speaking at the LMA Ohio chapter meeting this Wednesday, January 27, 2010. The title of my presentation is: "New Rules for Marketing in a Recovering Economy -- Tactics to Improve your Success and Reach." It makes sense to critically analyze your marketing investments to ensure that you are getting your money's worth. ROI is sometimes elusive in law firm marketing departments (more on ROI in future posts) -- the best place to start is to get more benefit from the commitments you've made.
Since Martindale-Hubbell continues to be in the cross-hairs, this post is devoted to sharing ways to get greater benefit from your Martindale investment. Many firms aren't ready to eliminate Martindale entirely - this post is for them.
- Add lawyer photos to your profiles. Brian Salmanowitz, a blogger for Martindale, wrote a post called "Lawyer photos drive traffic" on September 2, 2008. He stated that an analysis they did showed that firms who publish lawyer photos alongside the profile have 33% more click-throughs to their Web sites and 17% more emails sent to them through their listings.
In an email exchange two days ago, I asked Brian for more current statistics. They haven't done a recent analysis, but he did confirm that the stats are still "directionally correct."
Given that Martindale continues to be on the budget hot-seat, I recommend that they commit to this type of analytics review on an ongoing basis. It can only help its credibility.
- Ensure that your "Law Firm Snapshot" accurately reflects the work you do. Many of the law firm profiles have these snapshots that are compiled from a variety of third party sources. If your strongest, most profitable practices are M&A and IP Litigation, ensure that your snapshot reflects this. If your snapshot isn't presenting a current picture of your firm, speak with your Martindale rep.
- Employ best practices as you compile your listing. Add your firm logo, tagline, email addresses for lawyers, list all practices and industries for your firm (much better SEO results if you include all of them), link to your Web site, and maximize SEO by cross-linking (or as Martindale calls it, cross-referencing) inside your listing.
I also suggest (I don't know if Martindale currently allows it, but they should) adding the Vanity URLs to your lawyers' individual listings. For example, Brian D. Goldstein is a shareholder at the terrific Boston-HQ'd firm, Goulston & Storrs. His Vanity URL is www.goulstonstorrs.com/briandgoldstein - clicking on this from his Martindale profile would take a visitor straight to his bio. A great advantage to the visitor (saves time getting more info on Brian) and to Brian (his Web site analytics can track this direct referral to his bio).
- Join Martindale Connected. This is a fairly new social media community for lawyers and others serving the legal industry. It's free, you can freely share opinions and engage other like-minded professionals (including corporate counsel) in blogs and discussions about the law, billing trends, client relationships and more. It's still in beta, but according to Martindale, the new site will be launched soon.
- Dig in to your Web site analytics to learn how Martindale performs as a referrer to your Web site. Read my January 4, 2010 post, The efficacy of Martindale.com as a referrer to your Web site.
- Understand how visible your profile is within Martindale.com. Martindale tracks the visibility of your law firm profile, as compared to other firms in your market, and to all other firms with listings in Martindale.com. For example, today, Davis Wright Tremaine, (www.dwt.com) a Seattle-headquartered firm, ranked #1 in weekly views when compared against all other Seattle law firms (1,371 of them). And DWT ranked #91 out of 210,910 law firms overall. Those are terrific numbers for DWT.