Every single referral you get is going to google you before they give you a call, so… what will they find? If you’re not sure, that’s a problem. Jared says it’s time to take a hard look at your website and social media presence (and go take a listen to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing) to make sure those leads turn into paying clients.
Next, all that web presence talk leads us right into Jared’s chat with Jeff Lantz of Esquire Interactive. They discuss what makes a great website, keeping things fresh, and leveraging analytics and social media.
And, no, we didn’t forget the Rump Roast! Jared and Jeff play “Lance-A-Lot,” where Jeff “Lantz” must identify famous “Lances”… you see where we’re going here.
Jeff Lantz is an attorney, ABA book author, and CEO at Esquire Interactive.
Since we played the name game with Jeff Lantz of Esquire Interactive, here’s a bunch of songs with people’s names in them.
Our opening track is Two Cigarettes by Major Label Interest.
The music for the Legal Trends Report Minute is I See You by Sounds Like Sander.
Our closing track is Brooklyn Brunch by AFTERNOONZ.
Special thanks to our sponsors TimeSolv, Clio, Scorpion, and Alert Communications.
Jared Correia: I’d like to take a moment to thank my mom for listening to every episode. Now, my mom is the real reason you’re listening to this show right now, but the sponsors have a little something to do with it as well. So, I’d like to thank our sponsors too Clio, TimeSolv, Alert Communications, and Scorpion.
Now more than ever, an effective marketing strategy is one of the most important things your law firm can have, and Scorpion can help. With nearly 20 years of experience serving legal industry, Scorpion has proven methods to help you get the high-value cases you deserve. Join thousands of attorneys across the country who have turned to Scorpion for effective marketing and technology solutions. For a better way to grow your practice, visit scorpionlegal.com.
Intro: It’s The Legal ToolKit with Jared Correia, with guest Jeff Lantz around the “Lance-A-Lot” and in our ongoing effort to get sponsored by Disney+, Jared will cosplay as Moon Knight. Not me though. I always do the show in the nude. But first, your host, Jared Correia.
Jared Correia: Hello, friends, gather around. It’s Legal ToolKit Podcast time again, and yes, it’s still called the Legal ToolKit Podcast even though I’ve never worked as a night watchman down at Miller’s Tool and Die. Why? Because there are better places to be.
I’m your host, Jared Correia, and you’re stuck with me because Guy Smiley was unavailable, because he’s a fucking puppet. I’m the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, a business management consulting service for lawyers and bar associations. Find us online at redcavelegal.com. I’m the COO of Gideon Software, Inc. We build chatbots so law firms can convert more leads and conversational document assembly tools so law firms can build documents faster and more accurately. You can find out more about Gideon at gideonlegal.com.
Now, before we get into our interview today with Jeff Lantz, CEO of Esquire Interactive, I want to take a moment to discuss your online presence. In just a few minutes, we’re going to chat with my boy, Jeff Lantz, about website design and web presence. He talks about that subject matter in an entirely unique way and I think you’ll enjoy what he has to say. Nay, I know you will, but I want to take a moment to set the table for my friend, Jeff.
I talk to a lot of law firms about SEO. That’s search engine optimization, in case you didn’t know, and it’s also referred to as SEM, search engine marketing in a broader context, and they kind of tend to view it, lawyers do, as some sort of mystery box, like, “What is SEO?” It’s like watching “Lost” wondering what might happen next. What happens when they finally open the hatch? Well, anyone, find my website online. Well, I sure fucking hope so because what are we doing here if not? This is a subset of the law firm in a box problem that is very real in the legal field. That’s when a law firm owner says, “Hey, is there a template you can get me,” or “Can you just do it for me?” Now, as I mentioned on this podcast before, I’m an advocate of law firms using vendors to perform non-legal tasks. Delegation is real and is spectacular, however that doesn’t mean you just drop whatever bundle of tasks you have into the solution provider’s lap without expressing any level of intellectual curiosity.
Let me be clear, there is no law firm in a box. Stop asking. And there’s no law firm marketing template either. Every law firm is different. So, as a law firm owner, your job is to build a plan or to contribute in the building of the plan that a vendor can then execute, and if it’s something like a web or digital marketing plan that’s probably the latter, but you must be an active participant in the process to make it work.
If you want more great tips for the latest of how digital marketing agencies conduct their business, now you can work with them, check out the Lunch Hour Legal Marketing Podcast on this very network featuring two proud Ohio State Lamps, Conrad Saam and Gyi Tsakalakis. That’s just another dope podcast I created. Ho-hum.
Now, I’ve already done the delegation thing so I’m not going to rehash that, and now you need to be an active participant alongside your vendors, but there are also some simple things that you can do, either in association with your vendors or on your own, that can have a positive impact or in lead intake in conversion, and which won’t cost you a dime. So, here’s the play.
Most law firms generate an insignificant amount of referrals, especially sole and small firms, but gone are the halcyon days when a referred lead would just, you know, trust the person sending them along. That Dale Carnegie bullshit is long gone, and like Fox Mulder said, “Trust no one.” There’s just too much information out there now and everybody knows how to use the internet. So, yes, each and every referred lead you get, unless they’re like a hundred years old, is going to search for your name or the name of your firm before they hire you. The question is, what will they find? The answer for most lawyers is, “Damned if I know.”
Now, even the most tech-averse attorneys know that it’s pretty easy to google your own name or the name of your law firm. So, do it and see what comes up. Here’s a preview. For most people, it’s going to be a combo platter of your website links, social media profiles, and directory profiles, all of which have some level of control over. You have some level of control over those, I should say. This page OneLinks are of course the ones that your potential clients are most likely to click. So, how do they look? How do you present to a potential client? If the answer is very, very, very poorly, you can fix that. The good news is that you largely have control over most of what’s showing up. Again, you can entirely control your website and your social media profiles, so update them or complete them as needed, and with respect to the directory profiles, you can edit and update the free ones and decide whether you want to pay for the higher-ranking paid options.
Of course, the 800-pound gorilla in this grouping, which is as yet unnamed, like Voldemort – Oh, shit, I actually said his name. Is Google My Business now known as the Google Business Profile? But I’m going to let Jeff handle that one. So, stay tuned. Before we get to that free-flowing conversation about web presence with the singular Jeff Lantz of Esquire Interactive, let me direct your attention to Joshua Lenon who’s got you for this week’s edition of the Clio Legal Trends Report.
Joshua Lenon: Did you know law firms with growing revenue are twice as likely to use financial reporting tools to track their performance? I’m Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence at Clio, and this is just one finding from our recent Legal Trends Report. Understanding your firm’s financial performance helps you make better choices, but unfortunately 60 percent of legal professionals are not confident about their knowledge of their firm’s revenue. If you can relate, consider adopting reporting tools to track utilization, realization, and collection rates, the three leading metrics to track your firm’s revenue. Don’t worry. If math isn’t your thing, just knowing your firm’s numbers is half the battle. For more information on what firms with growing revenue are doing differently, download Clio’s Legal Trends Report for free at clio.com/trends. That’s Clio, spelled clio.com/trends.
Jared Correia: All right, let’s fire up the chimichangas. It’s time to interview our guest. My guest today, very excited, Jeff Lantz, the CEO of Esquire Interactive. Jeff, how are you, sir?
Jeff Lantz: Great, Jared. How are you doing today?
Jared Correia: I can’t complain. A little tired but we’ll pull through, but that’s every day for me.
Jeff Lantz: Exactly.
Jared Correia: Now, Jeff, we’ve been friends for a while and I just want to publicly apologize because I’ve never had you on this podcast before, which is shameful. What can I do to make it up for you?
Jeff Lantz: I’ll be sending you an email after the show, Jared. You’ll have a nice long list, so.
Jared Correia: Good, good. Please do. You are one of the people I often refer out for like website work and SEO, and anything like web presence related, so I’m glad you’re coming on. So, I wanted to talk about a few different concepts with you because I think one of the things you do really well is conceptualize this notion of like a web presence for a law firm really well, better than a lot of people I’ve talked to, so let’s start with websites and go from there.
So, websites I think are interesting in terms of like what people actually like look at onsite, and I think what most attorneys think about websites, they think about it’s like this big box that they’ve got to put stuff into but realistically, if you looked at it like a heat map of a site, there are things that people are looking at, there are things that people are ignoring. So, firstly, what website pages are important, like what are people actually looking at when they’re looking at a website for a law firm?
Jeff Lantz: That’s a good question, and typically you brought the good concept heat maps which show where people are actually looking, which is a lot of times very different than where law firms think people are looking, and typically where they look at is – the homepage obviously is going to be a really critical area and they tend to look at things like typically there’s a top image on a website homepage, it’s often called a hero image, people typically look there. Then what they do is they scan. So, the next thing that they’ll do after that is they’ll take a look at like a lot of times, the big titles and everything underneath it, so they’ll see one big title and then they’ll skip all the text, then they’ll go down to the next big title, skip all the text, and then go down to the next big title. Occasionally, if there’s pictures, especially pictures of people, they’ll take a look at that but a lot of times, what they do is they’ll gloss right over all that carefully-formulated text about the 50 reasons on why you should choose our law firm rather than the guys down the street.
Jared Correia: Right. So, like all that time you spent drafting that text, probably not as important as you think.
Jeff Lantz: Well, it’s actually counter-intuitive in a lot of cases because not only do people not often want to read a lot of their texts, they just kind of just turns them off. So, a lot of people think, in lawyers in particular, it’s kind of like if you have more room, if you have like a 20-page brief you’re going to write 20 pages. And they take that same concept to the homepage and they try to fill up the whole homepage with lots of texts. They should really understand that it’s about images, it’s about key messages and particularly think about white spaces being your friend not your enemy.
Jared Correia: Yeah. I like that and I think those websites look better in general. Let me ask you this. I think this is interesting thing you brought up, which is like pictures of people seem to be the way to go, right? Like rather than stock images or something like that, or is there a combination of those two things you could use effectively?
Jeff Lantz: I think a lot of times a combination, but definitely to get pictures of the actual attorneys of the firm. People know that a lot of the stock images, they see the same guy and the same guy is an attorney, a doctor. He’s got some medical conditions. They know that those are real people. So, if you’re going to use stock images in particular, stock images of people, there’s a lot of images out there that are really good but they don’t look like overly produced.
Jared Correia: Reminds me of the — do you watch ‘The Office’? Do you use to watch “The Office’?
Jeff Lantz: Yeah.
Jared Correia: Do you remember the episode with the chair model when Michael Scott fell in love with the chair model? And spoiler alert, the model actually turned out to be dead. She was in like all the chair catalogues. Similar thing here, I get what you’re talking about with stock images.
Jeff Lantz: Exactly.
Jared Correia: I think that’s really helpful because a lot of law firms are focused on the text rather than the image and the white space, and the latter is often more important. So, broadly speaking, do you use this term, have used it for years which is like “does your website resonate with people?” And so, I think that’s a really clever way to look at websites. So, what does that mean? And if a law firm website doesn’t resonate, how can you fix it?
Jeff Lantz: Yeah. So, you don’t want to have what I call the leisure suit website. You know the website that once looked cool a long, long time ago but now looks extremely dated. Just like you wouldn’t want to show up in court in a leisure suit today in most places. You also don’t want a website that looks really outdated.
So, what looks good today is using a lot of white space, nice, fresh, not too much text. Think about really doing those kind of things and that’s really going to give you the best positive resonation. One of the things that you can do for resonation, a lot of times, that is completely overlooked is of you haven’t done so already I would highly recommend installing Google Analytics. And when you go to Google Analytics you can drill down as much as you want, but there’s a lot of very high-level things that you can look at.
Probably, three things are the average timeline site, the average numbers of pages viewed per session, and the thing called the bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percent of time that a user comes to your website and only sees one page and then leaves to go back to presumably some place outside Google or wherever else they might want to go on the web. And the bounce rate is typically around 50 to 60 percent. It’s pretty decent for a website, a law firm website. But if you have a bounce rate that — the higher the bounce rate the worse that it is. So, if you have a bounce rate that’s like 95 percent, that means in 95 percent of the cases people are leaving your website after only seeing one page.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s not right. So, you’re telling me I should get rid of my leisure suit? Does that include my Neighborhood jacket as well? Because I’d like to keep that if possible.
Jeff Lantz: No, you look really good in that Jared. You definitely don’t want to get rid of that.
Jared Correia: I appreciate that. Lime green, not everybody can pull that off.
Jeff Lantz: Exactly.
Jared Correia: So, I want to dive in a little bit deeper into this analytics piece just so people know. Google Analytics is free, right?
Jeff Lantz: Right.
Jared Correia: It’s available. So, you just need to put the plug in on your site. And then it’s got a whole host of data that’s available to you. I want to talk a little about this too because I don’t think a lot of law firms focus on this necessarily, but there’s a key point here and that you want to be aware of the analytics, the data surrounding your website. And then you actually want to act on it too. So, once you know whether or not these things are happening for good or ill, you got to make moves in one direction to either fix it up or lean into what you’re doing well, right? Like this is data and then data application.
Jeff Lantz: Exactly. So basically, the way you can think about it, it’s kind of circular. So you do your website, you maybe create some nice blog post and some other content that you think is good, then you launch your website and then you look at Google Analytics and try to find out how they’re using your website. What pages are they seeing? Are they going to a lot of different blog post that you’re writing? If they go to the blog post, are they staying on? Does it look like they are reading your blog post? And you call that by how long they are on the page. Or do they just get your blog post and leave? And then once you start to getting that feedback then you can use that feedback to create new content and to make other types of changes on your website.
Jared Correia: And we’re talking about the average time, just so people know. Because you could look at a page, right? So, it’s like the average time of this person spends on this blog post as X, which is really helpful data in the aggregate. So, in terms of this notion of web presence, which is why are then just the website which you talked about as well. You refer to this as an integrated marketing platform. So, what does that mean? How much more than a website are you building out to get the most paying for your buck in terms of web presence?
Jeff Lantz: You really want to think about your website, other key places. One of the key places that people don’t really appreciate is Google My Business. Google My Business is great not only because it’s the number one place to go to try to get reviews for your firm which you can then use on your website which is really critical. But you can also add blog post or promote blog post on Google My Business as well, which will actually help your Google My Business listing to show up higher in the search results or to be shown more frequently in what’s called the Google 3-Pack which are the three listings in the maps section.
So, if you think about your platform as being your website, Google My Business, other key social media places like Facebook or LinkedIn, could even be Twitter and a whole host of other places. What we encourage law firms to think about is that is their platform which is a lot different than thinking about “my internet presence is my website and then just occasionally I might make a post to Facebook or LinkedIn” or something like that. So, it’s how you use it together.
Jared Correia: Yeah. Google My Business is completely underutilized. Didn’t they just change it to Google Business Profile or something, right? Isn’t that the new name for it?
Jeff Lantz: Yeah. They’re changing it again. I mean, it used to be Google Places and for some reason they changed it every few years. I don’t know why but they like to do that.
Jared Correia: Just to confuse people?
Jeff Lantz: Yeah, it really is.
Jared Correia: That posting information is really interesting because I don’t think a lot of people are aware that you can actually make post to that to expand your profile a little bit.
In terms of this integrated marketing platform, that makes sense to me. Take advantage of Google, right? Build a good website, get on to social media. The question everybody asks is, “Okay how do I get to the top of the first page of the Google rankings, right? That’s what everybody’s advertising for. So how does that approach help firms do that? Like rise in the rankings, be more visible to consumers?
Jeff Lantz: Are you asking about the benefit about being their top of the rankings, or are you asking about how more, about how to do that?
Jared Correia: Why don’t you do both? Tell me about the benefit and then let’s talk about how a marketing platform allows you to do that better than just focusing on a website.
Jeff Lantz: Sure. Okay. So, the benefit about being in the top of the rankings in Google is somewhere around 35 percent of the time and this is across all Google searches, but about 35 percent of the time when a user does a search on Google, they will click on one of the top three organic listings. So, if you think on a normal Google page there’s —
Jared Correia: And some people know the organic listings are under the paid listings, right?
Jeff Lantz: Exactly. They’re under the paid listings and there also under the Google My Business listings which are the ones that are in the maps box.
Jared Correia: Right.
Jeff Lantz: So, if you just think about the statistics, like 35 percent of the time people are going to click one of the top three organic listings probably around 50 or 60 percent of the time they’re going to click some place on the first page of the search results. So, if a link to your law firm website is not showing up on the first page of the search results, at least half the time no one’s ever going to get to the second page so they’re never going to see your firm, your firm’s not going to be considered. That’s the answer to the benefit question.
The how to question, is really in depth for search engine optimization. There’s a lot of technical things that you can do on your website around creating all tags, title tags, a lot of other types of things to get high rankings.
But one of the things that is probably underutilized is writing FAQ content. F&A content or frequently asked question content is basically addressing questions that a lot of potential clients may ask like, “What happens if I die in Massachusetts without a will?”
Jared Correia: Right. You’re screwed, go on.
Jeff Lantz: Jared in here, it’s all your money so let’s work. That’s the correct answer.
Jared Correia: Yes, I wish. Now, go ahead, keep going.
Jeff Lantz: So, if you can think about questions like that and not just write like one paragraph or something like that, but maybe a 12,000-word blog post that goes into a lot of detail on that. There are a couple things that will happen. Ideally, Google will display a link to your page at the top of the search results when a user or potential is searching for that particular question.
Jared Correia: Right.
Jeff Lantz: The other thing that can happen to when you write this nice page about, “what happens to your state if you die without a will.” You can also do what’s called FAQ schema which is code that you can put in to your page. And the benefit of doing that is we all probably seen when you put a question in Google. Sometimes what Google does in addition to just showing the links, sometimes they’ll show either a short answer directly, or they’ll a bunch of questions and like a little box thing under that and you can click on one of the questions and it will open up and show more content.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Jeff Lantz: So, those are called Google answer boxes. And if you create that type of content within your blog post then ideally, Google might also take that content itself also with the link to your website and show it an answer box.
Jared Correia: Cool. That’s good tips as always. I would encourage people to reach out to you if they have questions. Jeff will you hang around for the next segment? You got time?
Jeff Lantz: Absolutely.
Jared Correia: Okay. We’ll take one final sponsor break, so you can hear more about what our sponsors can do for your law practice. Then stay tuned for the rump roast. It’s even more supple than the roast beast.
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Hi, welcome back every here we are at the rear end of the Legal Toolkit. The rump roast is a grab bag of short-form topics, all of my choosing. Why do I get to pick? Well, because I’m the host. Jeff, welcome back.
Jeff Lantz: Thank you Jared.
Jared Correia: As I said before we’re friends. Hopefully, that’s the case we do this segment. Your last name is Lantz, which you’re probably aware of?
Jeff Lantz: Yes.
Jared Correia: So, in honor of your appearance on the Legal Toolkit Podcast today, I’ve created a whole new game just for you. I’m calling it “Lance-A-Lot”. Your only job is to identify other famous Lances throughout history, and we’ll see how you do.
Jeff Lantz: Okay.
Jared Correia: I think you got this. So, you’re ready to roll?
Jeff Lantz: I’m ready.
Jared Correia: Now, the clue is “Lance-A-Lot” so keep in mind Lance. Okay. First questions/statement, this vehicle appearing under the Dodge brand first appeared in 1955? Your answer sir.
Jeff Lantz: Will that be the Lancer.
Jared Correia: Yes, yes, correct. You can you see the theme I’m going with here, Dodge Lancer. Three actually unrelated models of the Dodge Lancer, one in the 50s, one in the 60s, and one in the 80s which is kind of crazy.
Jeff Lantz: I didn’t know there is ones before the 80s and that’s the only one that I was aware of.
Jared Correia: Just so the people know because I know people are going to be interested on this. Of course, the second version of the Dodge Lancer which came on the 60s was replaced by the Dodge Dart which people know.
And then the third version of the Dodge Lancer was replaced by the Dodge Spirit in 1989. And there was also a car called the Mitsubishi Lancer which has a kind of a million different offshoots. So super popular name for a car. All right, you’re one for one, I’m impressed. You’re ready for question two?
Jeff Lantz: Yes.
Jared Correia: Who created Woody Woodpecker?
Jeff Lantz: Walter Lantz.
Jared Correia: Oh! Man, you’re crushing it. Can you confirm for people that I did not feed you answers in advance of this session?
Jeff Lantz: You did not feed me answers to that. The only reason that I would know that is, when I was kid sometimes people would ask me if I was related to him
Jared Correia: Really! Okay, Walter Lantz, American cartoonist, animator, producer and director. And not only created Woody Woodpecker but had a Walter Lantz Productions which produce a lot of other cartoons as well. You’re killing it man.
All right, let’s see if I can make this a little bit harder. Question number 3, this company is known for a sandwich cracker variety packs which also made up 70% of my diet from the ages of 8 to 11. What company is this?
Jeff Lantz: I think it’s just called Lance, isn’t it?
Jared Correia: Yes. Yes sir.
Jeff Lantz: L-A-N-C-E.
Jared Correia: Three for three. Lance Snack Company. Did you ever have those like snack crackers? They had like the orange bread and the peanut butter and then they had like the white bread and the cheese. They have like 18 different types of snack crackers. They were delicious.
Jeff Lantz: I don’t think my mom would let me eat those.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I probably, my Lance crackers
Jeff Lantz: No, I’m just kidding. That’s totally not true.
Jared Correia: All right. Well, I don’t know if your mom listens but if she is listening, we totally know that you let Jeff eat Lance crackers back in the day. All right. Question number three, you’re three for three. You’re guaranteed 500 here. This famous knight is King Arthur’s right-hand man.
Jeff Lantz: So, we’re talking about “Lance-A-Lot.”
Jared Correia: Yes. Four for six.
Jeff Lantz: That was easy.
Jared Correia: All right. I got two more and I think these are going to be toughest ones. So, let’s see if you can keep your perfect score going. The model for Rosie the Riveter’s character may famous during World War II was actually named Geraldine Doyle. Where was she from?
Jeff Lantz: I’m going to have to go with Lansing.
Jared Correia: Yes, Lansing, Michigan. Wow! This is like easy for you, you’re smoking. Okay, number six, to retain the perfect score and to win nothing. This medical journal is popular in university libraries. The last time I saw it, it was on microfiche, if folks remember that.
Jeff Lantz: The Lancet.
Jared Correia: Yes. Oh! Man, wow! Sorry, that’s the sound of one hand clapping, but very impressive sir. The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is among the world’s oldest and best-known general medical journals. It was founded in 1823 by Thomas Wakley.
Jeff Lantz: Wow!
Jared Correia: Yes, an English surgeon who named it after the surgical instrument called the Lancet. Jeff, very impressive, you know your Lances.
Jeff Lantz: I do.
Jared Correia: You’ve done your name proud.
Jeff Lantz: Thank you very much.
Jared Correia: I don’t know more what we can do here. So, I guess it’s the time for me to say, very impressive. This may have been the first perfect score ever in the rump roast. So, thank you for coming on and will have to do it again some time.
Jeff Lantz: Yeah, my pleasure Jared.
Jared Correia: If you want to find out more about Jeff Lantz in Esquire Interactive, visit esquireinteractive.com. That’s esquire like lawyer and interactive, esquireinteractive.com.
Now for those of you listening in Surprise, Arizona, I’ve got a real surprise for you and it’s on Spotify. Our playlist this week, piggyback stuff, the name game we just played with Jeff. It’s songs about specific individuals, real or imagined. Check it out. Because I don’t really want to see Evan’s balls. Trust me, I don’t. I’ll be watching the new episode of Moon Knight solo tonight.
That will do it for now, another episode of Legal Toolkit Podcast. This is Jared Correia, reminding you of the Katz Stevens’ real name is Steven Katz. Actually, only the first part of that is true. And my real name is, well it’s Jared Correia. I don’t use pseudonym, but if I did, it will be Ron Mexico.