Author Topic: Please critique my wife's website  (Read 1783 times)

cja143

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Please critique my wife's website
« on: February 19, 2019, 10:33:00 AM »
Hello Mustachian entrepreneurs!  Jumping in with my first post after lurking in the MMM forums for years.  I want to say thank you to all posters as these threads have been a really useful resource, my life would be worse off without you!  Little changes like OTA TV, Google Fi, and insourcing have improved life for my family.  A heartfelt thanks to MMM and the MMM community. 

All this financial freedom has allowed my wife to recently quit her comfortable government job as a USPTO trademark examiner and launch her own law firm specializing in trademarks.
If you have a chance, please let me know what you think of her website https://www.cmatrademarks.com/

I'm especially interested in comments regarding:
- the overall look of the website
- the pricing model

Thanks!


 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 10:34:34 AM by cja143 »

lexde

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2019, 12:00:21 PM »
I can't really speak to trademark law specifically (for the pricing model, etc) but I do have some critiques of the overall website. Note: I am viewing on desktop with Chrome.

Take my opinions with a grain of salt.
  • The scroll down is fluid and looks nice.
  • That said, how the website scrolls to reveal her photo from the bottom up is NOT flattering. You need to move this, maybe put a static photo in the "contact/about" sections instead.
  • Her logo looks off centered, too high and too far left. Spacing between letters is odd, may be the serif, but not pleasing to the eye. Generally not a good logo, needs rework.
  • Is there a particular reason that she is an LLC and not a PA? As an attorney?
  • If she is operating as a firm/business, "we" and not "me" is the more professional and polished pronoun. Even for solos.
  • I would focus on the business/firm itself on the homepage. Again utilizing "we" and what CMA can do, not just the founding attorney. It talks about her too much, and that should be in the "about/meet our attorneys" section. Homepage should focus on (1) identifying customer needs, (2) how CMA will meet those needs.
  • I like the slogan, but again need plural. "Let our experience be your success!"
  • I would consider having an info@ email address to make the firm look bigger/more prestigious. You can forward all mail from info@ to courtney@ for now until she grows. She is aiming for prestige doing trademarks, I assume, so the less obvious it is that she is a solo, the better.
  • Services - Pricing seems reasonable, but why are you advertising prices? I don't see that most firms do that. Most TM firms are flat-fee, but don't outright post their prices, and it can make people skittish to see that number outright. Let her sell her services with the site, and then give pricing once someone reaches out. It's a bit more work on the front-end, she'll have a number of people dip out after she gives the number, but I think overall retention is better if you don't display service fees outright.
  • I would take out "Reasonable Flat Fees" on the Additional Trademark Services and leave it just with the list of services.
  • Consider listing a consultation option, do not list a fee on that, charge customarily.
  • Super nitpicky - the jacket she is wearing is a bad pattern for photos, it warps on screen (like taking a photo of a computer screen has visible pixels). A solid color would be more website-friendly.
  • In the "About" (About Us) section, I would put her name and picture first. Or in line to the left or right. It doesn't flow as well with her name and photo last. And the copy that's in the "About" section seems to be mostly the same thing that is in the "Home" section. Again, use "Home" for the company, and "About" for the attorney. I'd also consider a one-paragraph blurb and then Education/Admissions bullet points below that, with a caveat that she can perform services in all 50 states etc. included in a bullet point, just to make it easier to digest.

HERE is a sample homepage (they also do litigation, so you can ignore that). While I like your wife's homepage better (it is cleaner), you can see how they focus on the customer instead of the practitioner. "Do you have an idea? We can help. Why spend $X hiring an attorney? Because REASONS." Talking about your qualification is great, but in the end, clients really only care about furthering their own goals and don't give a hoot about the attorney so long as their needs are met.

Similar to the above, she may also want a section on WHY a trademark is important. It's hard to think like a non-lawyer, but you need to convince these people that your services are worth the money. So you sell your services: why they need them, and why YOU are the person to give them. The bottom line should always be, "I will protect you[r idea], and save you time and money." While she may think that "duh, everyone who is coming to my site already knows what a trademark is and why they need one for their idea," that is NOT the case. Explain, in lay-friendly terms, exactly what a trademark is (most people only have a vague idea of it) and why they need one to protect their creation.

P.S.- Message me and I will be happy to invite her to a networking group for female attorneys. I am a member and it has been an invaluable resource to the development of my practice. She can expect to receive referrals, answers to questions, etc. It is not advertised because we try to keep the quality up, but I'd be happy to have her join if she is interested (and it's free).

lexde

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 12:06:10 PM »
As another nitpicky addendum: Have her just use the photo in the home page (blue dress? it's hard to see with the cut-off of the script) as her photo across the website. The coloring (makeup, blue dress, jewelry) is more flattering overall and it's a really great picture. The one in the "about" section is good, but the jacket pattern on screen at normal zoom is distracting (apparently the pattern distortion goes away when I zoom out, but why even bother with that if you don't know what the customers' screen resolutions are), her smile isn't quite as big in the jacket-photo, and the photo isn't as symmetrical. Still good, but in the interest of putting her best foot forward, I'd go for the home-screen picture across the board.

Daley

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 01:23:39 PM »
Lexde makes some good observations.

I'd add, the site needs a footer, with contact info and basic sitemap. With that addition brings attention to a somewhat ironical issue that's been left unaddressed. It's a legal website with a feedback form, yet there is no legal terms and conditions or privacy policy. Also, I know that it's not directly targeted at anyone in the EU, but given the reference to being a global representation before the USPTO (the slug line there might probably be moved to the footer, too), a GDPR with cookie consent wouldn't be an awful idea, either. The general terms are not legally required (though recommended), but the privacy policy definitely is.

Edit: The responsive design for mobile size screens needs some work, too. The header/menu really needs to be made short (in height - currently with the logo, it takes up a quarter of the screen when it's visible) and sticky it at the top to help keep the brand visible, and add a quick scroll to top button in the lower right corner. Otherwise, you're going to irritate your users when they want to navigate to another page, potentially losing them.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 01:35:40 PM by Daley »

Dogastrophe

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 01:34:29 PM »
The logo is almost identical to the logo of my legacy accounting designation (Certified Management Accountants, Canada).  Font direction is different but otherwise same look (see an example here: http://www.sources.com/Releases/NR1225.htm)


frost7777

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 01:43:59 PM »
Just a thought about having your prices listed on your website.  Any business that is willing to publish their rates online automatically gains respect in my book.  I wish all  firms would do that. 

cja143

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2019, 08:33:24 AM »
Thanks for the feedback (keep it coming). 

Lexde thank you for the in-depth review, I've messaged you regarding your group. 

Dogastrophe - T&C are in the works.  Funny that your accounting logo is similar, my wife was going for something simple as attorney logos are typically conservative.

Interesting to hear different perspectives on the fee structure, it seems that in this segment of the legal industry fixed fees are popular and I think people like the transparency.

Smokystache

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 10:02:58 AM »

HERE is a sample homepage (they also do litigation, so you can ignore that). While I like your wife's homepage better (it is cleaner), you can see how they focus on the customer instead of the practitioner. "Do you have an idea? We can help. Why spend $X hiring an attorney? Because REASONS." Talking about your qualification is great, but in the end, clients really only care about furthering their own goals and don't give a hoot about the attorney so long as their needs are met.


I agree with the above. One way to think through how to craft the website so that it speaks to the viewer's/potential client's needs is to use the Storybrand format. It's worth giving them an email address to get their worksheet and some videos on how to craft this with their needs in mind. https://storybrand.com/. While your wife's credibility is a one of the viewer's concerns, there are many more that aren't being engaged with the current content.

Best of luck!

BlueHouse

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2019, 02:30:10 PM »
Just a thought about having your prices listed on your website.  Any business that is willing to publish their rates online automatically gains respect in my book.  I wish all  firms would do that.

I agree with this.

I would consider adding a page on how to do Trademark and wordmark as DIY.  Provide links to the USPTO.gov website and a simple set of instructions.  People will do this anyway and will then determine whether or not they want to do it themselves.  But if you provide the information, not only does it draw people to the website (great google fu), it provides trust and credibility that you offer something above and beyond what they can do themselves.   Will she lose some business to people who want to DIY?  No - those people would do it anyway without ever having heard of CMA. 

MoolahLula

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2019, 07:55:13 PM »
I donít know the first thing about trademarks but I think the website looks professional and classy.  I agree with others that listing prices upfront is preferable to me as a researching consumer.  May I suggest that as time goes by, she updates her photo with current pics?  Itís annoying when Iím expecting to see a dentist/doctor/accountant Iíve researched who looks 50 years older than their website photo. 

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 08:05:45 PM »
It seems like itís missing the quintessential ďAttorney AdvertisingĒ caveat language that is required to comply with professional ethics rules... you might want to investigate that as itís a real easy way for lawyers to get in trouble and a real easy thing to avoid.

lexde

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2019, 08:05:02 PM »
Also ensure that your wife's website is formatted to be read by the blind. This has recently (in the last week or two) cropped up all over my state.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawsuits-surge-over-websites-access-for-the-blind-11550415600

12321

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2019, 01:30:52 PM »
Is there a reason the phone number isn't callable? Relatively easy to implement with <a href="tel:+1-800-555-5555">

In general, the copy could be more customer focused. Brand Story is a great resource for taking a customer as the hero and showing them how your product/service will save their life.

No image on services page? Wall of text is kinda blegh.

Massive blank spaces on mobile view. Most internet traffic is on a mobile device these days, so be sure to check how it looks on smaller screen sizes.

the URL of the about page is schedule-appointment-1? lol probably need to fix that

page titles are fine but could be more SEO friendly e.g. Services ó CMA Trademarks, LLC to Trademark Search & U.S. Registration Services | CMA Trademarks, LLC | Your Catchy Slogan Here!

again you need to define your marketing objectives; Catchy Slogan Here could be something like Protect Your Great Idea, Invest In Your IP, Quick and Painless Trademark Registration, etc. then cram it wherever you can.

most pages are missing a meta description and h1 which are still useful for google crawling. h2s could also be improved.

clearly this was built in squarespace, but i don't see any analytics or facebook pixels. you'll want to set those up if you point any ads to track conversions and traffic. also consider a brief explainer video of the process or some other multimedia.

best of luck!


profnot

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2019, 09:44:52 AM »
As on poster said "focus on the customer instead of the practitioner."  The way the website is worded, it is all about the attorney, not the client.  This is one reason why people dislike attorneys. 

Potential clients want to see if the business does what they need - and in a few seconds of scanning.  So use the Services page as the home page.

Put the phone number at the top and bottom of every page.

M0ntana

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Re: Please critique my wife's website
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2019, 06:41:32 AM »
As someone in the legal biz myself, I see nothing wrong with advertising prices. The fact that your wife is in an industry that can reasonably do flat fees also makes this a good idea.

As for the overall site, I do believe it depends whether your wife wants to market herself as a solo selling personal attention and expertise at a reasonable fee or as a boutique high-premium professional. In the former case, I think the site does the job, but would benefit from the tweaks suggested by Lexde. In the latter, I'd consider getting a cleaner look (and especially for mobile) and higher quality images to sell that premium vibe.

Clients are vain and cannot rationally make a decision based on talent and/or experience, therefore making us lawyers having to spin the shiny-golden-object at them until they bite. You can choose to go the "reasonable price" route or the "premium service at a premium price" one. I chose the latter.