Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Search Engine Optimisation - How Do you Do It?

Latimer Hinks is undergoing a website revamp. It’s a lot more time consuming that I initially thought it would be. At the moment we’re looking at layouts and applying the right tone to text.

We want to look professional, on the ball etc but don’t want to be condescending. Keywords need to be considered as well as search engine optimization (which sounds like a disease akin to swineflu)! It’s all a bit gobbledegook to me!

However, I’ve recently been contacted by Adam Smith, an SEO specialist.

Did you know that contrary to belief social networking doesn’t guarantee google rankings?

Adam is hopefully, going to advise me on the best way to optimise a couple of Latimer Hinks specialist services for search engines – Inheritance Tax Planning for High Net Worth Clients, Alternative Energy Negotiations (windfarms, telecommunications etc) and Succession Planning for Agricultural Clients.

I’ve tried bookmarking press releases and sharing this information on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. Any new advice will be greatly appreciated. I shall keep you informed.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Alan Milburn's Mobility Study - Findings Don't Apply to Latimer Hinks

Former minister Alan Milburn has chaired a social mobility study for the prime minister on widening access to high-status jobs. Among its conclusions, it says those entering careers such as the law and medicine are increasingly likely to be from affluent families, despite efforts made to open up the professions.

Not according to Latimer Hinks Solicitors who have for quite some years been breaking down recruitment barriers highlighted in the report.

Partner Anne Elliott said: “At Latimer Hinks, where we have a rolling programme, which involves taking on several trainees a year, we have always believed that opportunity should be open to all.

“Here, we appoint on merit and are interested in the personalities and strengths of the candidates and what they know and not where they come from. Since the turn of the century we have employed a mix of people all from different backgrounds most of whom have been state educated.”

None of the youngest partners, Andrew Way, Mark Clayton, Nicola Neilson and Claire Farrell, were privately educated. None of the recent intake of three trainees and none of the five former trainees (all of whom have all been retained as solicitors on qualification) were privately educated.

All of these individuals have worked extremely hard and been self supporting. Because of the expense of training and qualification four of them studied for their final exams on two year part time courses at the College of Law involving weekend study during which period they held down full time positions with us. We have huge admiration for their resolve and sense of purpose and tenacity – their success is purely down to character, personality and hard work and it is just not true to say that law is still for ‘rich kids’.

“Our experience at Latimer Hinks over the past 10/15 years is quite the opposite to that as projected by Alan Milburn’s report – our solicitors are much less likely to be recruited from so called ‘affluent families’.”
Photo: left to right - Natalie Palmer - Solicitor, Nicola Neilson - Partner, Gillian Perkins - Solicitor, Nadine Sweeney - Trainee, Kelly McLoughlin - Trainee, Vicky Moremon - Trainee, Rosanne Green - Solicitor

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Long Term Care - Government's Proposal For Change

road sign elderly people
Originally uploaded by Theo Pronk
The Green Paper on long term care was published last week with details of the Government's proposals for changes to the current funding of long term care costs.

As reported in the Telegraph on the 18th July 2009, these proposals remain just that - proposals. There will be four months consultation and still no parliamentary timetable to turn any recommendations into law.

With a general election looming next year, the Telegraph reported that campaigners for the elderly believe the issue will once more get kicked into the long grass.

The earliest any changes could become law is likely to be 2014 and it is estimated that in the meantime 400,000 will need care within the next 5 years.

It is understood that the Government's proposal concern only health care related support and fail to consider the residential living element.

The proposals still do not solve the fundamental problem and issue namely, if you have assets, particularly a house, you may end up having to use or pay out of your own resources your care costs whereas if you do not have assets, financial assistance will be available from the state.

Andrew Way, Partner at Latimer Hinks Solicitors has produced a fact sheet summarising the proposals and how they impact on people, particularly the elderly.

Proposed Changes to Funding for Long Term Care

Thursday, 16 July 2009

New Marketing Trends - an easy way to keep up to date!

A "social networking" friend passed on a link to a very interesting and informative website... and in the spirit of social networking I thought I'd share this knowledge with you.

Trend Watching - visit the site and subscribe to their RSS feed, follow them on Twitter or have their briefings sent directly to your email address - and all for free of course!

Other services offered are shown below:

» All previous Trend Briefings (2002-2009)
» Trend Tips
» Presentations
» Spotters network
» In the Media
» 'Premium' (annual Trend Report & Database)

There are loads of links in their briefings so you're able to view indepth info very quickly.

This month's briefing is an opverview and covers:
Foreverism, Innovation Jubilation, SellSumers, Eco-bounty, Generation G....


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Jackson Child Custody Case Highlights Problems with Parental Rights

No-one likes to consider their own death. Will you have led a full life? Will you die prematurely?

It is extremely important, no matter what age you are that you make a will. By doing this you plan for your future and your family's future. It is essential that you seek the correct legal advice.

Michael Jackson's recent premature death has highlighted the issues of what can happen to dependent children.

Judith Middleton of Latimer Hinks Solicitors advises on english law surrounding these issues - Jackson Custody Case Promts Questions

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Using Social Media to Increase Awareness

Yesterday I attended a presentation on Social Marketing by James McRoy of The Images Group.

Many of us are aware of/members of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, You Tube etc - BUT do we know how they can be used to improve the profile of your business, generate sales, create awareness and direct traffic to your website.

James took us through a speedy overview on the power of social marketing on the internet.
Social marketing:

  • Drives traffic
  • Increases depth of a website visit
  • Boosts conversion and ROI
  • Turns the customer/Client into a sales person (they share your promotions with their networks)
  • Enables you to stand out from the competition
  • Provides interactivity for Clients
  • Can be tracked and monitored for effectiveness (check googleanalytics for your website)

Here at Latimer Hinks we engage in a variety of social marketing activities. Our website includes social bookmarking buttons and an RSS feed.

We blog, have a Facebook and LinkedIn presence (but not a Facebook Business Page), we bookmark. We have also recently joined Twitter.

I'm not quite sure how successful Twitter is going to be for Latimer Hinks but we have had a few hits from Twitter directed to our website.

James McCoy gave a few tips on using Twitter. Here are a few of them as well as links to Tweet related sites.

  • Twitter Search an easy to understand video about Twitter Search from Common Craft (excellent videos)
  • Search Twitter - type in the box what you wish to search for and hey presto loads of Tweets appear!You can also search by using # then whatever you wish to search for
  • Here you can search for people
  • Tweetlater - productivity tools for Tweeple, many of which are free to use.
  • Tweetburner - you're only allowed 140 characters per tweet. Tweetburner will shorten these urls for you, quite handy!
  • AdCause - you can also advertise on Twitter from only $1

James also suggested that Tweets be limited, 30 per hour is far too many and you could have your account suspended.

Don't keep trying to sell, sell, sell - give something back to the Tweet community.

Join as a personal Tweeter as well as a Business Tweeter (you are allowed more than one account). Try to keep your business Tweet name as close to your business name as possible. Perhaps you have diffreent products to promote - open a tweet account for all of them!

Obviously social marketing is time consuming, BUT the majority of sites/applications are free to use. Develop a strategy (trial and error) and if it works, stick with it!

Happy Tweeting - why not come along and follow my tweets.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Advice for Divorcing Couples Hit with Recession

The depressed housing market and current economic climate is taking it's toll on divorced couples. Unable to sell their property and "move on" many couples have made the decision to "live apart, together".

Judith Middleton, partner at law firm Latimer Hinks comments on new on-line advice and provides tips on how to "live apart, together" (there's even a wikipedia entry for it!)

Below you'll find further articles on this modern phenomenon: