October 2015 Newsletter

October 2015 Newsletter


By Andy Lunsford

server farm

I’m sure most of you are aware of the stark differences in pricing between hosting providers. There are hosting providers that offer “unlimited hosting, disk space, and bandwidth” for only $1.99 a month, while there are hosting providers that provide business-level plans that appear to offer the same benefits for $249 a month.

Even though it is tempting, we strongly discourage you from going with the “shared hosting” solutions provided at bargain bin rates. Even with the promises of “unlimited” everything, there are many things that are important to keep in mind when choosing the best hosting option for your law firm. The three most important factors when choosing a hosting provider are site uptime, performance, and support.


Site uptime is an extremely important factor to consider when choosing a hosting provider. Anything below 99 percent is unacceptable for most businesses, as this would allow over 7.2 hours of downtime for your site each month. Imagine being unable to reach out to clients or work for them for practically one whole business day each month! One thing you will never see promised with cheaper hosting providers is a very high guaranteed uptime percentage.

Even if you are guaranteed a higher site uptime, you still have to look at the fine print. For example, an uptime of 99.9 percent guaranteed by webhosts such as GoDaddy & Hostgator are better options than the value hosting packages that are out there, as ideally this would only allow 45 minutes of downtime each month; however, server maintenance isn’t always accounted for in the fine print of these guarantees, and your site may go down longer than expected. [Read more…]

September 2015 Newsletter

Stop Worrying About Ranking—It Doesn’t Matter

By Chris Homer

analytics mockup

Rankings are dead. They don’t matter.

The truth is that rankings haven’t mattered for a while now for law firms. Before you call me crazy, let’s think about it. Search engines are providing individualistic results. Results are based on location of the searcher, previous searches, and matched intent. What this means is that if I do a search for “car accident lawyer” sitting at my desk, I will see results of law firms that are near the GNGF office. When I leave work and go home to resume my research and search the same thing, my results will be different. I will see the law firms closer to my home, as well as the websites that I previously visited.

Over the years, the way people find information online has drastically changed as well. People just don’t search on their desktop anymore. With mobile devices, which boast features such as Siri and Cortana, users can now search the web using only their voice. These voice searches rely heavily on the searcher’s location and offer a newer type of search behavior: semantic search. Here is an example of semantic search: Let’s say you were to ask Siri: “When was George Washington born?” After Siri gives you the answer, you could simply search, “Who was his wife?” and Siri will give you Martha Washington. With voice searches, Google and other search engines use past queries to figure out what you want next.

Users are also searching on other platforms besides a search engine. The other day, I wanted to use some of the leftover chicken I had in my fridge before it went bad. I was tired of the usual grilled chicken and wanted to do something different. Instead of Googling “fried chicken recipes,” I went onto YouTube and searched for videos showing me how to make it. Why? I didn’t feel like sifting through search results for homemade fried chicken when I also had to sift the flour for the breading. I wanted a very visual representation of what I would be cooking, along with a step-by-step guide to how to prepare the dish. YouTube is not a search engine, and yet it is the second largest “search engine,” out-ranking Bing and Yahoo. The content is the same as before, however it is the behavior of the searcher that is different. [Read more…]

8 Divorce Law Firms Leveraging Ashley Madison Leak

These divorce lawyers are wasting no time looking to capitalize on the recent release by hackers of the Ashley Madison data breach. Here are eight attorneys that have gotten ahead of the curve and created content to attract spouses that may be impacted by the issue.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows. One thing is true – they are putting their law firm high in the search rankings for people that may have questions about how this specific situation.

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August 2015 Newsletter

Why is Avvo Important for your Law Firm?

Avvo infographic


It is a safe assumption that the majority of the legal community has heard of Avvo. In their own words, they are “the largest online legal marketplace connecting consumers and lawyers.” Over the last several years, we have come across thousands of attorneys, and while most know what Avvo is, it is not a priority to them when it comes to their online marketing. The attorneys that fall into this category need to make Avvo a priority—now.


It’s almost a guarantee you have a profile: According to Avvo, 97 percent of U.S. lawyers are rated by Avvo. [Read more…]

Miss GNGF’s Live LexisNexis Webinar?
Watch the Entire Presentation Now

How can your firm gain an edge in an increasingly competitive legal marketing ecosystem? GNGF CMO Jabez LeBret was recently invited by LexisNexis to speak on that very subject, presenting a webinar that explored advanced marketing tactics for lawyers.

Didn’t get a chance to catch the webinar live? No worries! We’ve embedded a video of the full presentation below. Simply get your notepad ready and click play.

[Read more…]

July Newsletter | Check Out Our New Site

What Makes a Good Practice Management Software?


When we speak at bar associations and legal conferences around the country, lawyers often ask us what tools we recommend to help a law firm run more efficiently. After talking with law firms and industry experts, we came away with the following must-haves of a practice management software.

Practice Management Software Must-Haves

Time Tracking: The majority of your profits come from your time; you’ve got to be able to track it. Regardless of your fee arrangement, you need to know the time you are putting in on each case and therefore the profitability of each case. You’re already doing the work—get paid for it.

Communication Tracking: Phone calls, emails, in-person meetings—legal matters require a lot of communication. This should all be in one centralized place—not in file folders, email inboxes, a hard-drive, or notepads. This allows everyone to keep a central eye on the case and reduces duplicate work or the need to wait on someone for an answer you already should have in the system.

Document Tracking: The more documents you create, the more you should have them matched to a central location where everyone who is allowed to access them can do so.

Mobility: You take your smartphone with you everywhere you go. I am sure you have looked at client matters on your mobile email, talked to clients on your mobile phone, or read research and briefs while away from the office. Practice management software should be right there in your pocket to capture your time and case-related communication and to access case-related information when you are out of the office. [Read more…]

Tres’s Beer:30 Spotlight: Madtree Brewing


In January of 2013, three friends came together to start a brewery to capitalize on the ever-growing market of craft beer, and they became one of the fastest-growing breweries in Cincinnati. With backgrounds in home-brewing, engineering, and even a defense contractor, they sought out to do what they love: providing quality craft beer for the people of this town and beyond. Their success is not only measured by the number of check-ins on Untappd (121,042) and the Beer Advocate score of 97 percent, but also by the rate of growth. Madtree is in the process of opening another brewing location, as it has maxed out at its current location, which produces 25,000 barrels of beer a year. This summer, Madtree brewed up an amazing beer called Sol Drifter, a blonde ale with strawberries that captures the pure essence of summer. It goes down quite easy while playing cornhole and watching baseball, not that I know from experience. So, as our Beer:30 spotlight Madtree Brewing would say, “Make like a tree and…drink beer!”

GNGF Update: Welcome Alex


Recently, we have been lucky enough to welcome Alex Schutte, Director of Operations, to the team. Alex inspires us all in how active he is—not only in the industry and the community, but physically as well. Alex did rings, high bar, and pommel horse for Arizona State’s Men’s Gymnastics team. Alex loves to support local businesses. When he’s not at work, you can find him at a local brewery, craft cocktail lounge, or new concept restaurant. Alex co-founded the Cincinnati Intern Network Connection, a program that connects interns and co-op students with other young professionals and experiences in the area. While he has vowed to only sing boy band songs during karaoke, many people still compare him to John Legend—that is, if John Legend had a great afro.

From the Desk of: Alex Schutte


As the new Director of Operations at GNGF, I will be in charge of overseeing our Marketing Services business line, constantly focused on improving operating procedures and technologies to ultimately improve the value we add to our clients’ business.

In the marketing world, there are so many tactics, channels, and slick new technologies popping up every day that it can be hard to separate out the fluff. Not a second goes by that a marketing leader or business owner doesn’t get sucked in by what I call “shiny object syndrome” and buys some new app, tries some new technology, or puts a ton of money into a new tactic because he thinks it’s cool, will magically solve all his problems, or even worse, because his competitor down the street is doing it.

But how do you prioritize what’s best for your business? The truth is, you don’t have to do everything under the sun—only the things that will have the most impact on your business. You don’t have a strategy until you can say, “No.” [Read more…]

Stop Working for Free. Get Practice Management and Increase Profits.

How much time do you spend each day managing the business side of your practice? Each month? How does this compare to the amount of time you get to spend on the bread and butter of your business: practicing law?

In a survey conducted back in October 2014, 58 percent of law firms surveyed said they spend too much time on billing—either one or two full days a month. For many of you, administrative time like this is not billable. That’s one or two days you are essentially working for free.

If you have the luxury of getting paid for this time, it is far less than you would make off of actual client work. Put simply, your time should be much better spent. Intaking, billing, making collection calls, tracking time, running reports, filing documents—these are all necessary tasks that can keep you from doing what you are in business to do: being a lawyer. [Read more…]