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Web Profile of Chris Small, the Traffic Ticket king of Seattle (and DUI Guy too)

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Seattle DUI Guy Chris Small

I really like the look and feel of Chris’s website – It is clean and informative

Last week, I requested nominations of a young attorney that built their own website using WordPress. I had five criteria that I used to weed out the entries.

I did receive a number of replies, and I appreciate the input of everyone that emailed me. However, there was only one candidate that met the 5 criteria that I requested initially.

That lawyer is Chris Small of Seattle, Washington. I’m going to mention a little about Chris and what he is doing with his websites, and then I’m going to provide you with the answers to my questions that Chris gave me.

Chris was the only response that followed instructions and answered all of my questions. Furthermore, Chris met the criteria I laid out in that he:

  • Is a practicing solo
  • Has a website that was launched on WordPress
  • Drafted most of the content
  • Spent less than $500 to build the website initially
  • Is ranking well in Google for his niche keywords

What Chris is doing right

First, Chris is doing a great job with his web presence and marketing in general. Chris is a traffic ticket and DUI lawyer and has two separate “niche” websites, and Both of these websites are different in that they cater to different markets. In other words, people that get traffic tickets don’t necessarily get DUI’s (although I’m not sure the reverse is true).

As a quick aside, there have been a number of changes to Google over the past year (including a complete overhaul of their search Algorithm in September).  One of the impacts of this is that you should no longer have multiple niche websites.  Doing so will lessen the impact of each individual website in the eyes of Google.  Even if you are practicing in multiple niche’s, you should have one, authoritative site for your law firm.  Chris may be the exception to this.  If he is creating a lot of good, quality content on both websites, then he will do fine.  However, I suspect that content that is good on one website (i.e. “Can a police officer search you when they pull you over?”) would also be good on the other.  So even if he posts it to both websites with a few tweaks, Google will eventually figure that out and the impact of both websites is diminished.

Enough of my rant – more about Chris.  His websites are clean, informative, and provide a lot of useful and informative content to a prospective visitor to the website.  This is one of the most important things that Google want’s to see these days – useful and relevant content that is written with the visitor in mind.  Chris is doing this.  In addition, I know that Chris is creating content on almost a daily basis that is going to continue to help him rank well.

The responses Chris gave to my questions

Here are the responses that Chris gave to the questions I asked in my request for nominations:

Did you (at least initially) do all the work on your website yourself or did you hire someone?  If you hired someone, where did you find them and how much did you spend?

Here is a quick rundown. No, I didn’t do any of the web design. I hired a guy off of I think I paid about $100 each for the initial designs, maybe a little bit more, and the for each iteration I’d pay $75-100.

What I did do, though, was take the time to learn marketing, learn about web design (from a marketing standpoint) and sit down and think about what I wanted going on with my site.

If you originally did the design and build on your own, have you since hired someone to do the layout and design or did you just customize a premium WordPress Theme?

Eventually (because I have a ton of different projects going on, not just these two sites, I hired a VA. She’s a bad ass web designer and also knows how to work with photoshop and some other stuff. What having her on staff allows me to do is make real time changes whenever I want without worrying about time or fee structure. I think I hired her in May of this year.

The layout is based off a Thesis theme, though lately my VA has been asking if she can do something from scratch. Your web design should be like anything else – a constant stream of iterate and test. I’m always changing small things on the site, and she thinks it will run better and be easier to manage if she just builds it. I don’t think anyone needs to start with a custom site. That’s ridiculous.

What do you think has most contributed to your success online?

Biggest contributions to success have been putting in the work for SEO, taking the time to learn the basics of adwords and implementing that and iterating and testing everything. Making it a priority makes a big difference. You can’t just outsource it and wait for the money to roll in. If you don’t understand it you can’t know if you are hiring someone that can actually help you (or do it on your own).

If you were starting out again as a solo on a limited budget, would you do your website yourself or hire someone?

I would do exactly what I did before. I’d go to elance, pay someone a couple hundred bucks to make something that looked the way I wanted, and I’d focus all my time and energy on making the content on the site awesome and on getting traffic to the site.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you have a killer site if you don’t get anyone to see it.

And, there is no way it’s a good use of your time to try to figure out how to move the header image up 30 pixels to everything fits together (and that thing can sometimes take you hours). Spend time when you start your firm on activities that will generate income. I don’t know that website design is one of those.

I’d like to thank Chris for his comments and insight. Even though the window is officially closed for nominations, if you or someone you know is a solo lawyer and you would like for me to profile your site in a future post, please review my criteria here, and send me a short email that responds to the questions I asked and explains why you meet my criteria. I’d love to review websites as a normal part of my process here.

If you have any comments about this article or have reviewed Chris’ websites and would like to provide some additional feedback, feel free to leave a comment below.

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