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Review and Compare

Scorpion Legal Websites

This article reviews Scorpion Design and compares it to LawLytics with the goal of helping attorneys decide which model is best for their law firm’s website.

Scorpion Design Review For Lawyers

Scorpion Internet Marketing (aka Scorpion Design) is a full-service digital marketing agency that serves multiple industries, including legal, healthcare, franchises, home services, and small businesses. 

According to its website, in addition to law firms, its clientele includes Smoothie King, Wing Zone, SportClips, The Cleaning Authority, Sunshine Plumbing, Eco Plumbers, Bloomin’ Blinds, and St. Joseph Hospital. In fact, Scorpion has been ranked the number “#1 Franchise Marketing Supplier” two years in a row. Scorpion also sells websites, online legal marketing, and paid online advertising to attorneys. 

A review of its website shows that Scorpion was founded in 2001 and has offices in California, Texas, and New York. It manages a huge amount of pay-per-click ads, qualifying the company as a Google Premier Partner. In 2018 it reported $253.9M in revenue and 653 employees to the “Inc 5000” competition. This amount is up significantly from the $26.1M it reported in 2014. As of April 2019, Scorpion’s website states that it has 10,000+ clients.

Scorpion vs. FindLaw and Internet Brands (aka Avvo and Martindale)

For law firms that are not cost-sensitive, don’t mind spending heavily on pay-per-click ads, have large online marketing budgets and want to turn over control of their marketing to an agency, we think Scorpion is a better bet compared to agency market leaders FindLaw and Internet Brands (which owns Avvo, Martindale, Nolo, Lawyers.com, and others). 

There are two reasons for this opinion.

Scorpion has invested in building its own website technology, while the others sell WordPress websites. WordPress is free, open-source, general-purpose website software. Unlike marketing agencies that use WordPress, you can rest assured that you won’t be sold a modified WordPress template and a bunch of unnecessary maintenance if you’re with Scorpion. For more details on why attorneys should be cautious about WordPress, read our discussion about WordPress for lawyers.

There are plenty of internet marketing companies that are willing to accept significant sums of cash from law firms. If your firm is planning on spending a lot of money each year on a marketing agency, and you are willing to accept the limitations and compromises of working with an agency, Scorpion offers one additional advantage over the other two big players, Findlaw and Internet Brands. In addition to the WordPress factor, the other significant advantage of Scorpion Legal Websites vs. Findlaw Law Firm Websites and of Scorpion vs. Martindale or Avvo Law Firm Website is that Scorpion does not own a legal directory business. 

This is material because it means that, unlike the other two, Scorpion does not compete directly with the websites owned by its law firm clients. For further information on this material conflict of interest that Scorpion avoids, see our guidelines to protect attorneys who do business with online legal directories, and our reviews of FindLaw and Internet Brands.

If you’re set on using a marketing agency, if you’re willing to spend significant money on pay-per-click ads, and if you have the budget to support it over the long-term, Scorpion is worth considering. On the other hand, if you’re exploring alternatives to Scorpion Design, the next part of this article will explain the fundamental differences between Scorpion and our platform in terms of organization, technology, deliverables, and costs.

What types of lawyers and law firms are a good match for websites with Scorpion versus LawLytics?

Based on hundreds of conversations with Scorpion customers and former customers, we believe that Scorpion is an option worth considering for law firms that:

  1. Have very large marketing budgets; and 
  2. Can commit to increased spending to remain competitive; and
  3. Are comfortable spending significant amounts on pay-per-click ads; and
  4. Like the idea of delegating control to an agency.

 On the other hand, we believe we are a better fit for law firms that:

  1. Want to contain their costs to maintain healthy operating margins; and
  2. Want to be in control of their website; and
  3. Want to build their website into a long-term revenue-producing asset; and
  4. Do not want to become dependent on PPC advertising.

Review of Scorpion’s website technology vs. our technology as each applies to lawyers’ websites

Like us, Scorpion Web Design built its own website marketing technology. At the core of both technologies is a content management system (CMS), which powers their customers’ websites.

Scorpion’s technology is called “CMS 8” and our technology is called “LawLytics.” Both systems are capable of hosting beautiful websites. Both systems are capable of providing analytics and reporting.

Where the technologies diverge is in their purpose and focus. Our technology is built exclusively for law firms, while the Scorpion CMS must work for all of the business types that Scorpion serves.

Lawyers have unique marketing needs. Marketing a law practice is different than marketing a plumbing business or a food or haircut franchise. 

Businesses in some industries can thrive indefinitely using paid ads to bring people to their websites. Some businesses can rely on catchy marketing copy and flashy graphics because they sell things that are purchased with low risk and low impact decisions that consumers can make on the fly. Haircuts are cheap, and bad ones grow back. What causes a consumer to buy a haircut will not cause him to hire an estate planning lawyer.

Our technology is built exclusively to address the business realities of small law firms and solo practitioners. It is not limited by a need to work for any other type of business. This focus enables us to build, maintain, and evolve our technology in a way that is optimal for law firm owners, without having to compromise.

Google distinguishes between low and high-impact decisions, such as getting a haircut versus hiring a lawyer. The search engine treats legal websites and ads for lawyers differently than it treats most consumer goods and services. 

Legal search terms are extremely expensive to buy (see below for more on PPC ads for lawyers and a review of Scorpion’s legal marketing strategies vs. ours). Therefore, a legal-specific approach is necessary for online legal marketing. Our technology is built to leverage best practices for lawyers, making it easy for lawyers to participate effectively in their firm’s marketing.

Solo practitioners and small law firms can compete effectively with bigger and better-funded competitors when they build smarter practices that leverage the right systems. The best software does this while preventing small firm lawyers from overextending their budgets. The best law firm software in each class works and plays well (and often natively integrates) with other law firm technology.

We specialize in legal software that is optimized to grow sustainable and efficient law practices. Our technology provides integrations with some of the leading law firm management technology, including Clio and Practice Panther, for a seamless experience for attorneys and their clients.

Review of Scorpion’s legal marketing strategy and how it compares to ours

In addition to differences in technology focus, we believe that there are fundamental differences between Scorpion’s business model and ours.

These differences inform the strategies each company utilizes on behalf of law firms. The points of deviation between the companies are most evident in their approaches to:

  1. The role that pay-per-click ads (PPC) should play in driving traffic to a law firm’s website.
  2. The balance between search engine optimization (SEO) and PPC.
  3. The approach to law firm website design.

We will review each of these in turn. But before we do, let’s quickly review the commonalities. Reviewing Scorpion Design’s website and having conversations with Scorpion Marketing’s customers and former customers over the past eight years, we believe that we share the following beliefs:

  • The law firm’s website should be the centerpiece of the firm’s online marketing.
  • Technology innovation is important.
  • Design and user experience are important.
  • Responsive design provides the best user experience.
  • Law firm websites should be secure.
  • Websites should be search engine friendly.
  • Each page should have clear and easy-to-understand calls to action.
  • Reporting and analytics are important.

All of the above are “table stakes” when it comes to online legal marketing, and both companies provide attorneys with these essentials.

If you’re an attorney trying to decide between LawLytics and Scorpion Marketing, let’s examine the three critical points of difference.

Review of Scorpion Design’s stance on PPC ads as compared to ours.

The two companies differ fundamentally when it comes to how much solos and small firms should be spending on their marketing, and what they should be spending it on.

The biggest difference involves the purchase of pay-per-click ads to bring traffic and potential clients to the law firm’s website. (This is referred to as SEM, which stands for “search engine marketing”.)  

Unlike free search engine traffic (called “organic” traffic), SEM displays search results marked as ads. The law firm pays each time one of their ads is clicked.

Scorpion produces significant revenue selling pay-per-click ads that bring visitors directly to the websites owned by its clients. Conversely, we eschew selling pay-per-click ads in favor of helping attorneys avoid becoming dependent on pay-per-click ads to support their websites. 

PPC ads, when used to drive traffic to a law firm’s websites, are often very expensive. They cannot build lasting value because once someone clicks on the ad, the money is gone forever. But PPC ads can and often do create dependence on continued spending as well as vulnerability to competitors.

Scorpion is a viable choice for attorneys who are convinced that significant spending on pay-per-click advertising is the best source of traffic for their websites and who don’t mind paying management fees on top of the cost of the ads. While attorneys may pay a premium for Scorpion’s services as compared to some PPC provider alternatives, they’ll do so knowing that they are working with an established company. 

Attorneys who adopt a PPC-based strategy for their firm’s website should be prepared to increase their ad spend over time as competitive bids increase. This is true whether the attorney buys ads through Scorpion Design, through another agency, or directly from Google. Attorneys who adopt a PPC-based strategy should budget for sudden and reactive increases in ad budget as new and existing competitive bidders drive up the cost of client acquisition.

For attorneys who are not sure about PPC, but who want to keep the door open without going all-in, we have cultivated a network of strategic, ethical and reasonably priced PPC partners that provide exclusive discounts to our members, and follow our law firm PPC Guidelines (designed to protect law firms). This empowers our members to safely experiment with pay-per-click while building highly profitable and enduring client acquisition assets using our sustainable organic content-based SEO strategy. 

Review of Scorpion’s marketing stance on the balance of SEO and PPC as compared to our marketing stance

Both companies acknowledge the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of causing a website to appear prominently in the search engines for relevant queries by potential clients without having to pay the search engines. 

When done according to Google’s content-focused guidelines, SEO is the most cost-effective and sustainable way to drive potential clients directly to a law firm’s website. With the right investment of either time or money, it produces more highly qualified potential clients than pay-per-click.

A review of Scorpion’s website reveals that it recommends a “healthy balance” between SEO and pay-per-click to drive traffic to business websites. We disagree with the “healthy balance” approach because we believe, for most lawyers, there is no safe long-term balance between SEO and pay-per-click as co-existing channels of traffic to a law firm’s website. 

Instead, we believe that solo practitioners and small law firm owners should strive to minimize (and ideally, to completely avoid) using pay-per-click ads to drive traffic to their law firm’s website. We believe attorneys should focus as much as possible on the content-based SEO strategy preferred by search engines.

Scorpion’s “healthy balance” approach may work well over time for franchises, plumbers, and other non-legal service providers that sell transactional and low-impact goods and services. But the math of pay-per-click economics may preclude it as a viable source of traffic for the websites of many solos and small law firms in many jurisdictions.

The high cost for each click, the wasted money from non-qualified clicks, and the vulnerability to unexpected and aggressive bidding wars converge to make it difficult for most law firms to achieve lasting marketing stability while attempting to balance PPC and SEO for traffic directly to their websites. 

We believe that reliance on such a strategy renders the firm’s cost per client acquisition and, therefore, marketing viability perpetually vulnerable on the PPC side. Furthermore, we believe that the diluted content-based SEO effort is highly likely to disadvantage the firm’s ability to compete without continued PPC spend, thus perpetuating the law firm’s reliance on PPC.

For solos and small firms that need to watch their marketing expenses, shooting for a “healthy balance” may set a law firm up to fail. Taking a “healthy balance” approach may preclude sufficient investment in sustainable content-based SEO. The potential exception would be for law firms that choose to spend money on PPC ads while simultaneously investing effort into writing a large amount of their website’s content.

After reviewing Scorpion’s website, it is not clear what a “healthy balance” means in terms of dollars spent on PPC vs. dollars invested in SEO. But for some jurisdictions and practice areas, a “healthy balance” likely means spending a lot of money. To illustrate, let’s look at a few examples:

Let’s say you’re a DUI attorney in Seattle. According to SEMRush, as of this writing, you would expect to pay the following:

  • $75.68 per click for searches for “Seattle DUI attorney”
  • $97.56 per click for “best DUI attorney Seattle”

Taking the average value of $86.62 per click, that means that an attorney reliant on bidding for these types of phrases would spend $1,000 for every 11.54 clicks. 

Let’s say that the firm set a $1,000 per day budget to drive traffic to its website. The daily $1,000 PPC budget could get consumed, and the ads disappeared for the day, before noon under the following scenario:

  • Three current or former clients click on the firm’s ad because that’s how they found the firm in the first place and that’s how they think about going to the firm’s website; and
  • Three competitors of the firm click on the ad;
  • Two solicitors who see that you’re spending big bucks on ads and want a piece of your action click on the ad (and later cold call the firm);
  • Three actual DUI defendants click on the ad, but two are public defender clients, and one already has representation.

These 11 clicks would cost the firm roughly $1,000, exclusive of any applicable PPC management fees, but produce no revenue for the law firm. Multiply that by a whole month, and the math gets scary for most solos and small firms.

Here are the prices for similar clicks in Los Angeles:

  • $98.90 per click for searches for “Los Angeles DUI attorney”; and
  • $145.50 for “best DUI attorney Los Angeles”

And for Phoenix:

  • $124.71 for “Phoenix DUI attorney”; and
  • $119.87 for “DUI attorney Phoenix AZ”

For other areas of practice and other jurisdictions, it’s even steeper. We’ve seen average bids of upwards of $200 per click for personal injury, medical malpractice, and mass torts related keywords.

Determining how far your money will go by conducting a review of your Scorpion ad spend vs. your investment in content-based SEO

If you are a small law firm owner or solo practitioner and you’re trying to quantify whether Scorpion is a good fit, we recommend reviewing your budget and mapping out what it will buy you. 

Having clarity as to the purpose of the monthly checks you’ll write will shed light on whether Scorpion Design is the best match for your law firm’s website.

How much does Scorpion marketing cost?

Parts of your payment to Scorpion may go to pay-per-click ad spend (and parts to pay-per-click ad-management fees or commissions). Other parts of your payment may go to building and designing your law firm’s website, updating the website, maintaining the website, creating content, and assorted other things that Scorpion may classify as SEO.

Looking at small periods of time (months or quarters) can obscure reality and cause attorneys to underestimate the “time-value” or “compounding power” of content creation. For that reason, we recommend doing the math and translating it from months to quarters, and then to one, two, and three year periods. 

This will help you assess not only how much money you are spending or going to spend with Scorpion Marketing, but the portion that is an investment (in content) versus the portion that is an expense (in ad spend and PPC management fees). 

In other words, after your check has cleared the bank and the month is over, how much of the money that you paid was allocated to the creation of high-quality content that was added to your firm’s website? 

We recommend thinking about this in terms of words added, rather than pages or blog posts added, because pages and posts vary in length, while words are fungible.

We recommend breaking your spend down into the following categories:

  • True PPC costs: How much money are you spending directly on ads? This amount is the money that goes to Google, Bing, and any other ad providers to pay for the clicks attributed to your firm.
  • PPC management fees: How much are you paying Scorpion to manage your PPC ads? Is it a percentage of your total ad spend? Is it calculated based on the net amounts paid to Google and others? Or is it extracted from your budget first, and the remaining amount is then made available to spend on Google? 
  • Technology costs: How much of your budget with Scorpion is earmarked towards hosting, updating technology, accessing their technology, and maintaining your site in good working order? In other words, if you wanted to strip your Scorpion account down to just these things, would you have the option to do that, and what would your monthly bill be? 
  • Support costs: How much of your budget with Scorpion goes towards support, strategy, and advice? What if you wanted only this plus the things mentioned in “technology costs” directly above?
  • Content creation: How much of your budget with Scorpion Design is earmarked for the creation of original content for your law firm’s website or blog? How much content do you get for that? Again, it’s helpful to break it down into words published per month. Blog posts and pages can be of variable size, so simply getting a blog or page count is not sufficient to know what you’re getting.
  • Non-content related SEO: How much of your law firm’s monthly budget with Scorpion is to be applied to search engine optimization efforts outside of creating content? This amount may include on-site optimization and cleanup. It may also include off-site activities such as link-building and social media posts. (To better understand the true value of such services, see our law firm SEO primer).
  • Website design and design changes: How much of your initial budget will go to the original website design with Scorpion? How much of your monthly budget will go towards design changes?

Armed with an itemized breakdown of how your payment is allocated, you’ll be able to forecast months and years into the future. You’ll know if, and to what extent, you’ll own a sustainable law firm website once the payments have cleared.

Review of Scorpion Marketing’s law firm website designs vs. our designs

A review of Scorpion Design’s page on law firm website design reveals that the company believes attorney websites should be beautiful and professional looking. We agree. In fact, with both companies, you’re going to get a professionally designed website. Both companies use the following best practices:

  1. Beautiful designs. Your website is the first impression that potential clients will form about your firm, and both companies excel at creating websites that make the right impression.
  2. Responsive designs. Responsive design technology ensures that websites are viewable with full access to the firm’s content on all device types and sizes.
  3. Easy contact methods. Calls to action to contact the firm, along with touch-enabled phone numbers, are placed in optimal locations to catch your potential clients’ eyes without getting in the way.
  4. Horizontal navigation. Legal websites should have intuitively located horizontal top-level navigation. This type of navigation is what most potential clients expect, and it makes it easy for them to locate the resources they are looking for.
  5. Appropriately sized fonts and images. Fonts on a law firm website should not be so small that they are difficult to read or understand. Nor should they be so large that they look goofy. (Some WordPress designers have recently started using oversized fonts on law firm websites, which is not a good idea.) Similarly, images on a law firm website should be crisp and easily understood, but should not overwhelm or take away from the readability of the content. Both companies strike a healthy balance in the sizing of both of these important items.

We believe that most Scorpion legal websites offer well-designed experiences that make law firms look good. But, the one place where we diverge is in the way Scorpion approaches some animations and style elements.

Many of the Scorpion websites we reviewed contained motion graphics. We believe these motion graphics are potentially counterproductive on law firm websites. They can distract potential clients and make it more difficult for them to find and absorb information on a law firm’s website. Some examples that we’ve seen in the past include sub-menus that take over the entire screen or that dramatically slide in from the top. We’ve also seen Scorpion sites in which sub-menu items inexplicably have arrows that appear and point away from the item when someone hovers over the item.

We take a “simpler is better” approach to law firm website design because there’s a simple formula that works. We know how potential clients and referral sources consume information on legal websites. We know how they decide to contact and hire a law firm. That science is baked into all our designs, so attorneys don’t have to worry about the design elements of a high-converting website.

Conclusion

If you’re willing to spend the money and if you’re comfortable handing over control of your firm’s future to a marketing agency, then you might be a good fit for Scorpion. 

On the other hand, if you want to spend less money and easily control and understand your website with software built exclusively for lawyers, then LawLytics is likely to provide you with a better experience and better long-term ROI.

Comparing Budgets and Benefits

We invite you to compare what you will get with LawLytics with what you get with Scorpion. Dollar for dollar, at all price points, we’re confident our platform and services compare favorably to Scorpion, and deliver more long-term value, more freedom, more control, and more flexibility for your law firm.

For a quick pricing reference, use our instant price calculator. If you’d like to experience what our platform can do for your law firm, schedule a personalized 20-minute demo.

Experience the differences with a brief no-obligation demonstration.

We guarantee 100% privacy.

Moving your law firm website from Scorpion to LawLytics

Our process makes the migration easy and safe, resulting in:

No downtime

No "orphaned" content

No loss of ranking

No loss of PNC conversion rate

No loss of organic traffic

No loss of PNC time on site

FAQs about moving a law firm website from Scorpion to us.

The following are common questions from attorneys who are considering moving their law firm’s website(s) from Scorpion Internet Marketing to LawLytics, along with our answers. And, when you’re ready to explore further, to schedule a demo so you can experience the differences and we can answer any other questions you may have.

What does it cost to move my website off of Scorpion Design to LawLytics?

Most migrations can be done for under $700. 

When should I cancel my Scorpion Marketing website?

If you make the choice to switch your legal website to us, you should arrange to keep your Scorpion Design website active and online until the time that we launch your new version. Once your new site is live, you will no longer need your Scorpion account for that site. Depending on your contract term and any contractual notice requirements, you should plan ahead for the move.

What if I’ve already cancelled my law firm’s Scorpion account?

If your Scorpion Design website is still live but you’ve already given them your notice of cancellation and have a date on which your site will go offline before you first talk with us, please make sure to let us know that date so we can advise you whether there is enough time to go through the setup process and launch your website in time before your Scorpion account is deactivated.

If you’ve already cancelled your Scorpion account and your website is currently offline, it would be very helpful if you have your site files so we can pull any content that you own and that is worth saving. If you don’t have access to the files, we may be able to recover some or all of your site using various internet archives and caches.

Does Scorpion Design own my law firm’s website?

Your law firm’s website consists of many different components. There’s the domain name, the design, the code and structure, and the content.

The technology: Scorpion Marketing has a proprietary content management system that is used to build, edit, and host your website. When your relationship with Scorpion ends you will likely no longer be entitled to use their system. That’s normal and nothing to worry about. If you switch to us, our platform will provide the hosting and code infrastructure.

The content: The question of whether Scorpion owns the rights to the content on your law firm’s website is a matter of contract. We have never seen a situation where Scorpion did not cooperate with the attorney in the transfer of their content. However, it is up to you to review your contract and, if ambiguous, resolve any open questions of content ownership with Scorpion.

The domain: We have never seen a situation where Scorpion asserted a right to a law firm’s domain. If you aren’t sure whether you own your domain name or not, it is easy to check. The easiest and fastest way is to simply call your Scorpion representative and ask. If you are uncomfortable doing this, or if you receive a confusing answer we’re happy look into it for you. Regardless of whose name your domain is currently registered under, we strongly recommend that you secure registrar-level domain ownership. We can help you do this during the setup process, which will put you in ultimate control going forward.

The design: The styling of your Scorpion legal website is easily changed. When lawyers switch their websites to us, there are sometimes things that they really love about their Scorpion designs. We can typically keep the preferred elements (typically images, fonts, or color palettes). If the images on your Scorpion site are stock photos or illustrations, there is a good chance that we’ll be able to find and use the exact or similar images in our stock image library. If you like your logo, you can typically keep it. However, if you don’t have a professional-looking logo, or just want to rebrand, we can create a new logo for you (it’s included at no extra charge).

Is there a financial penalty for cancelling with Scorpion?

It’s been years since we’ve heard any claim of an attorney having to pay a cancellation penalty (or “buy” their website from Scorpion) when leaving Scorpion if their relationship with Scorpion has been on a month-to-month basis. To be safe, we recommend reviewing the terms of your contract to determine your rights and obligations.

Can I work with you and Scorpion Marketing at the same time?

It’s fine by us. In fact, we welcome the direct real-world comparison. We have worked concurrently with Scorpion in the past (on separate sites) and we’re very confident in the objective value we provide.

Do you have references who have been on both platforms?

Yes.

What is your experience moving Scorpion law firm websites to your platform?

Over the past five years, we have successfully migrated many law firm websites from Scorpion Marketing to our platform. The migrations are typically single-site migrations, but we have successfully moved up to 10 Scorpion law firm websites owned by a single firm at the same time.

How long does it take to complete the migration from Scorpion?

The time from account creation to launch of your website can be as little as two weeksIn emergency situations, we have been able to migrate and launch in days.

When is the best time to switch from Scorpion Design?

There are several factors that affect the psychology, economics, and/or logistics of making the move. Let’s look at each one individually:

  1. Your bandwidth: While we will do all of the heavy lifting in moving your website from Scorpion, we will need you to be available to pick your design choices. As long as you have an hour to spend with us, in total, during the migration process, we can do the rest. However, it may be best to avoid starting the migration process if you are about to go on a long vacation, start a lengthy trial, move physical offices, or anything else that would prevent your participation.
  2. Contractual restrictions: You may be in a contract with Scorpion that obligates you to pay for their services through some future date. Regardless of when your contract expires, we recommend consulting with us as early as possible so that, should you decide to make the move, we can plan a smooth transition. When we talk, make sure to let us know when your contract is up. We can typically calibrate our terms so that you can start the migration process as early as you want without additional expense to your law firm.
  3. Financial burn rate: If you are paying Scorpion month-to-month and are looking to reduce your monthly marketing overhead by migrating to LawLytics, the sooner you start the process with us, the more money you are likely to be able to save. Keep in mind that the migration process needs to be done meticulously, and it’s better for us to start your LawLytics membership with sufficient time to do it right.
  4. Need for new business: If your current Scorpion website is underperforming, or if you know you’ll have the need or capacity for more new business in the near future, it is best to start the conversation with us as early as possible. Nobody, including LawLytics, has a magic bullet that can fix an underperforming website overnight, and it’s best not to wait until things become urgent. If you’re in a financial pickle with your marketing, let us know as we are often able to find creative solutions to get you through any transitional period and set you up for success.
  5. Weaning off of PPC spending: If you’re in a situation where you’re dependent on pay-per-click advertising with Scorpion, it may make sense to get started with a fresh LawLytics website (while keeping your current Scorpion site going) so that you can start building your organic traction. Having a new LawLytics site will not affect the performance of your current pay-per-click campaigns, and you’ll be able to build for the long term and wean your firm off of PPC ads as your LawLytics site gains traction. In that case, you’re best off adding LawLytics as soon as possible, and then you’ll be free to make a data-driven decision about whether and when to throttle or stop your PPC-driven legal marketing with Scorpion.
  6. Seasonality: Do your areas of practice or locations present enhanced opportunities at various times of the year? If so, it is optimal to plan the migration ahead of those busy times to best capitalize on them.
What are the top reasons attorneys want to leave Scorpion?

Attorneys discontinue their relationship with Scorpion Marketing for a number of reasons.

The most common reasons that we hear fall into these general categories:

  1. Insufficient return on investment: Lawyers believe that they are not getting a sufficient return on investment.
  2. Lack Of Control: Lawyers feel out of control because they don’t understand what is being done for them, and they are not given the information and tools to feel confident that their marketing is reliable enough to support their practice.
  3. Discomfort With Pay-Per-Click: Attorneys aren’t getting traction with Scorpion’s pay-per-click strategies, and that they are not comfortable continuing to burn that money over the long term.
How can lawyers determine whether they should stay with Scorpion?

Is it clearly going well? Is your law firm getting an excellent ROI for your marketing dollars spent with Scorpion? Is it predictable? Is Scorpion Marketing providing you with a clear line of sight to meet and sustain your business goals? Do you have a high level of confidence in their stewardship of your firm’s online marketing? Do you believe you are paying a fair price for what you are getting? Do they treat you with respect and take the time necessary to make you feel comfortable with the direction of your marketing? Do they understand the nuances of your firm and your practice areas? Do you feel like you have enough control over your marketing and enough transparency into how your money is being spent? Do you have the budget to continue with their campaigns without making sacrifices?  If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you should stay with Scorpion.

Are there unanswered questions? Do you believe that you are getting an acceptable, but not great, marketing ROI? Do you wonder whether your marketing dollars could go further, or whether you could reduce your costs and pocket the savings? Are you uneasy about inconsistency in the results your marketing is producing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should try to get clear on them. If you’re unable to get clear answers, perhaps it’s time to start exploring alternatives to Scorpion.

Are you afraid? Sometimes the decision to stay with a provider is based on unfounded fears. For example, one attorney told us that he delayed the decision to cancel Scorpion because he was afraid that Scorpion was doing something behind the scenes that, when stopped, would cause his web presence to collapse. This fear turned out to be unfounded when he finally made the switch but caused him to needlessly spend a significant amount of money Scorpion beyond the point when he first considered canceling.

When should lawyers supplement their Scorpion website with an additional website on another platform?

You should consider adding a LawLytics website while keeping your current Scorpion Design site active if your Scorpion website is not producing a reliably good return on investment and you are either:

1) Stuck in a contract with Scorpion Design, or

2) Afraid to leave Scorpion cold turkey, but also afraid of the outcome for your practice if you continue with the status quo.

In either of these cases, your new LawLytics site can start to grow and get traction while your Scorpion site remains active. When your contract expires, or when you see your LawLytics website clearly succeeding, you can then make an informed decision about the future of your web presence that is not based on obligation or fear.

Will my website lose ranking if I move away from Scorpion?

While we can never guarantee what any third party –including search engines — will do, we have never had a Scorpion website that we’ve imported into our system lose organic ranking. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite.

Our approach to the import process is geared to make sure that no intrinsic value is lost. We meticulously plan the import before starting to make sure that we don’t miss any pages.

If your Scorpion website site is not secure (the address in the web browser doesn’t always start with “HTTPS”)  at the time of the migration we will advise (but not require) that we convert it to a secure site immediately because it is a better practice for both the search engines and your clients. If we add a security certificate at launch where none was there before, it typically takes the search engines from a few days to a couple of weeks (depending on how active and authoritative your site has been recently) to reindex your site using the secure pages. During that process, you won’t miss traffic, as your old non-secure pages will be forwarded to your new secure pages. You may notice some jumping around in rankings for various search queries. In our experience, this is a worthwhile process that typically results in a stronger website that is long-term-evolution ready.

Will Scorpion Design do anything to hurt my marketing if I leave them?

No. But this is a very common concern that attorneys have about Scorpion. Attorneys tend to think in terms of worst-case scenarios and try to anticipate potentially harmful actions others might take when making a decision. Rest assured that we have never seen Scorpion do anything whatsoever to harm a law firm that chose to exit their services.

Looked at from a practical business and interpersonal perspective, it is important to understand the following:

  1. Scorpion is a large company. A business doesn’t become a big company by reacting emotionally or vindictively to the departure of a customer.
  2. Actively sabotaging your law firm not only comes with a huge risk of exposure but is also a time-consuming process with no potential financial upside.
  3. Scorpion is owned, run and staffed by good people. Just because your firm is not a good fit for their model doesn’t mean that they would want you to fail.

It is important to understand that it is not easy to sabotage a law firm’s website. In fact, the only cases of sabotage we’ve seen are small-time website operators (usually WordPress resellers) who have gained control over the law firm’s domain name and either stolen it or pointed it to an unrelated web property.

Is Scorpion doing anything behind the scenes that, if stopped, will cause my legal website to lose organic ranking?

While it’s certainly to the benefit of an incumbent website provider to assert (or imply) that they add value that you are unable to see, we’ve never seen any evidence of this. 

I’ve been dependent on pay-per-click ads with Scorpion. If I switch, will I have to quit PPC cold turkey?

We understand that it’s frustrating for attorneys to waste many thousands of dollars a month on disposable PPC ads. Still, the switch away from pay-per-click dependency can be scary. Don’t worry — you won’t have to quit PPC cold turkey if you don’t want to. In fact, you can continue to do PPC ads once you switch from Scorpion to LawLytics.

The difference is that we don’t act as a middleman for selling pay-per-click ads because:

  1. PPC dependence is a losing game for law firms over the long term. We help attorneys break free from dependence on inefficient and unpredictable paid ads, and managing your ads (and profiting from doing so) would misalign our values; and
  2. We choose not to be in a conflict-of-interest situation where we are in charge of representing more than one law firm in a bid marketplace (PPC ads are sold in a non-stop auction).

Therefore, we provide support around you having your own PPC account and/or working with a reputable third-party PPC management company (we partner with PPC providers who agree to the following code of ethics):

  1. They disclose any potential conflicts of interest; and
  2. They disclose the management fee they take from your ad spend; and
  3. They never lock you into anything more than a month-to-month arrangement; and
  4. They understand that PPC ads are a supplement to your firm’s long-term marketing strategy, not the central ingredient; and
  5. They will work with you (and us) to make your PCC budget go as far as possible so you’ll spend the least amount of money to get the most possible revenue, and
  6. They will work with you (and us) to wean you off of PPC dependence, and thereafter only recommend special opportunities where you can actually get clients efficiently using PPC that you couldn’t immediately get using organic content-based SEO (for example, spontaneous events that give rise to immediate causes of action that must be capitalized on in real-time).

If your overall goal is to get more clients while spending less money on marketing, we recommend using our organic growth strategies to liberate your firm from the never-ending treadmill that is PPC dependence as rapidly as possible.

How much money can I save by weaning off of PPC advertising?

We’ve helped law firms eliminate monthly PPC ad spends well in excess of $10,000 per month and end up with more traffic, more leads, higher-quality leads, and less marketing volatility.

Regardless of how much money you are currently spending on pay-per-click, whether through Scorpion or any other company, it can be replaced by free and predictable organic traffic. However, this does not happen overnight, and it requires a content-intensive strategy and a mentality of long-term marketing asset building.

Why would I want to get rid of PPC ads with Scorpion?

Depending on your market and practice areas, the cost-per-client acquired with pay-per-click advertising may result in losing money to take on the burden and liability of working a matter. While this is untenable for most attorneys, a well-funded law firm may choose to do this temporarily to eliminate a competing firm that is dependent on PPC from the market by outbidding the competitor for cases. If you’re the firm with lesser resources in this scenario and you’re dependent on pay-per-click marketing, your fate is not under your control. On the other hand, if you have a diversified stream of new clients, or better yet if all of your clients come from earned rather than paid impressions, then you are much less vulnerable to sudden shifts that can uproot your growth or even kill your practice.

Can I move my PPC (Adwords) account(s) away from Scorpion?

It is our understanding that Scorpion houses its clients’ pay-per-click campaigns in its own system, which can’t (or won’t) be shared with you and is not portable. However, the data about your PPC campaigns with Scorpion exists online and can be mostly recreated using third-party tools such as SpyFu.

Can I move my analytics account away from Scorpion if I leave them?

From what we understand, unless you have your own analytics account (typically Google Analytics) that you asked Scorpion to use and you remained in control of it, you may experience difficulty getting control over any analytics program that Scorpion uses.

What happens to my law firm’s email when I switch from Scorpion to LawLytics?

If you are using a third-party email provider such as Microsoft, Google, Rackspace, GoDaddy or others, your email will continue uninterrupted during the switch. If Scorpion is hosting your email, you’ll need to move to a third-party email provider (which may be a good idea even if you decide to remain with Scorpion).

We can help you pick a vendor and get established with your new email provider as part of the migration process. (We recommend using Google Mail (like Gmail but with your firm’s domain name sold as G Suite) or Microsoft Mail (sold as Office 365) as they are the industry standards and, we believe, make it more likely that you will be deemed to have followed the standard of care in the event of a data breach.)

What happens if my Scorpion site does not have a security certificate at the time of migration?

If you don’t have a security certificate with Scorpion, we’ll establish one for you at the time of the migration and maintain it for you going forward.

What happens to my websites security certificate if I move my website off of the Scorpion Marketing platform?

If you have a security certificate (SSL) with Scorpion, we’ll seamlessly transition you to our security certificate system.

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I have worked with Scorpion Design, and have also tried to build my own websites with WordPress. But once I discovered LawLytics my firm’s marketing really took off. LawLytics generates more cases, more reliably, and with a far better ROI than anything else I’ve ever tried. My first LawLytics website worked so well that I decided to invest in LawLytics, and eventually moved my Scorpion websites onto the LawLytics platform. Now that my websites are migrated to LawLytics, my firm’s business continues to grow, my marketing overhead is much lower and my flow of new case is more robust and predictable.

Richard Lawson

Attorney, Atlanta

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