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Top 10 Web Marketing Mistakes Made by Law Firms and Other Businesses

Warning - website mistakes made by law firms and businessesWeb marketing can produce powerful results for your law firm or other business, but there are some essential elements which must be done correctly if you are to achieve your online goals. If not, you may be not only wasting your time and investment, but you may also be risking damage to your reputation. The following are ten of the most common online marketing mistakes made by law firms and businesses and some tips on how you can avoid these:-

1. Designing your website for what you want, not what your customers want

For most businesses, your website should be the hub of all of your online marketing activities and, therefore, most of your online marketing focus, particularly when getting started online. One of the most common mistakes is to design the site for what you would like to see, not necessarily what your customers are looking for. Examples include listing the technical abilities and features of your business without describing how you can help customers or without showing customers where they fit in. One solution could be to focus on the industries or sectors of your customers, rather than just your services. And when doing so, it’s a good idea to optimise that content for search engines…

2. Not presenting your site effectively to search engines

Search engines can drive a massive amount of relevant users to your website and other online marketing channels. However there are certain key steps that must be undertaken to optimise your site to present it effectively to search engines in order to secure the top rankings and thus to attract the best possible business.


This process is known as ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. Ensure that your site is optimised both on the site, with appropriate heading tags, title tags, url structure and internal links (on-page SEO), and externally with consideration of link building or social bookmarking (off-page SEO). And by search engines, we really mean Google, although Bing has started slowly eating into Google’s significant monopoly on search in the UK. This is despite Google having moved further into social networking with Google+…

3. Ignoring social media marketing

The past few years have seen a tremendous revolution in the way people communicate online. Social media marketing should not be seen as an option for businesses, but a necessity. If your business ignores social channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+, you are missing out on the chance to connect thousands of potential customers to your brand.


You are also missing out on the chance to drive additional visitors to your website and to increase the number of brand ambassadors who can create further referrals of business for you. But how can you expect others to get people to connect with your business if you don’t call them to action yourself?…

4. Not including calls to action

Assuming your website is set up to attract enough visitors, in order to generate business you must convert them. To convert visitors on your site, the best advice is the acronym KISS – ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’. You should make it blindingly obvious for visitors to do what you want them to do. call to action - call us today

This means having a phone number, email address or other piece of contact information in key locations on your site. It also means having text throughout or at the end of articles telling people to call, email or complete your online enquiry form (you do have one don’t you?). If you want people to sign up for your latest newsletters or bulletins instead, that may itself be a useful call to action you want to promote. Which leads to our next key mistake…

5. Avoiding capturing contact details for follow-up newsletters

Particularly with professional services websites and to a lesser extent with e-commerce websites, the first time a visitor arrives at a website may not be the first time they’ll instruct you or buy something from you.

newsletters for law firms and businesses

Which is why it can be useful to try to have that visitor provide you with their contact details so you can add them to your mailing list to provide them with useful information in newsletter form or even provide them with a useful publication at the point of entering their contact details.

Just make sure that the information you provide them with later is useful. Otherwise you risk spamming…

6. Spamming and over-promotion

Nobody likes receiving spam in their inbox, or even through their social media accounts. According to Commtouch, there were on average 183 billion spam email messages sent every day in the first quarter of 2010 (source: http://www.commtouch.com/download/1679 at p8). And some web marketers and businesses may not be aware that what they are sending out is classed as spam. Not only could this cause reputational damage to the business, but it could also be breaking the law if the messages are unsolicited and if there is no option for unsubscribing. Try to ensure that you are providing value to people with your content and not constantly talking about your own services. However, there’s a time and a place to shout about your services and successes…

7. Staying quiet (or even silent) about your successes

It’s important to publish on your website customer testimonials or case studies illustrating your successes and ways you have helped your customers. An effective and simple way to do this is to have a page on your site with customer testimonials which you can keep updated regularly. Indeed, if you update this regularly you will avoid your site becoming out of date…

8. Allowing your site to get out-of-date


Having an up-to-date website is important. One of the best ways to do this is to have a blog or news section on your site and updated with useful content or news regularly. If a user lands on your website and the last publication was over two years ago, they may be immediately put off from contacting you – they may even question if you’re still in business at all! But they have to be able to read the content in the first place…

9. Installing incompatible features

Sometimes, having too many technical features on your website can be a bad thing. If you have flash plugins that some devices and users cannot use, you will lose visitors fast. If you use too many images that search engines can’t read, you will lose out on potential traffic. And it’s the same for email newsletters – if you have too many images that automatically get blocked when someone opens the email many people may not see your messages. Another way to get blocked by search engines and thus lose visitors is to use black-hat providers…

10. Using black-hat providers

Black-hat in an online marketing context refers to any immoral, unscrupulous or illegal practices used to try to game search engines or to spam people via email or social media. It’s important to ensure that your online marketing team does not engage in any of these practices. Not only does this risk reputational damage, it can also get your site blacklisted by search engines and get you suspended from social media sites. Using a white-hat web marketing provider on the other hand can help you achieve your goals online and advise you on the best ways to avoid the above pitfalls.

Questions? Contact us here:

Stephen Moore is the founder of Moore Legal Technology, a leading strategic technology consultancy, specialising in helping our clients generate business online. To discuss how we can help your law firm or business today, please call us on 0845 620 5664 or complete our online enquiry form here.

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