Why Should I Focus On SEO For My Law Firm Instead Of AdWords?

SEO vs AdWords

Although Google AdWords marketing is a very successful tool which is essential for most online and many offline businesses, it isn’t as good for lawyers and law firms. In fact, a lot of people go as far as saying that as a law firm, you shouldn’t waste a cent of your money on AdWords.

Now, this may be true if you have a small marketing budget, but it isn’t always the case. Using AdWords for law firm related keywords can be extremely expensive, with some keywords costing upwards of hundreds of dollars per click. As you can imagine, this sort of cost can quickly drain the budget of a small law firm, which is one of the reasons why you should focus on search engine optimisation (SEO) instead.

SEO Offers A Much Greater Return On Investment

Although it will take longer to get results when you spend money on SEO instead of AdWords, you will thank yourself in the long term. Working to get your website to the top of the search engine rankings for your chosen keywords might cost you a bit, but you will be able to remain near the top with minimal work once you’re there.

This means that you will continually be getting new clients from your investment in SEO, while an investment in AdWords will only get you a predetermined number of clicks on your ad.

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Your Financial Planner Can Be Beneficial To Your Health

Financial Planner

Ever heard of the phrase ‘Prevention Is Better Than The Cure’? It can apply to many things in business issues but none more so than your health. If you have money worries they can negatively affect your health, so you’ll most likely visit your doctor for treatment. Whilst they can prescribe all sorts of pills and potions to treat the symptoms, they can’t take away your financial woes. This is where a financial planner such as andep.com.au comes to the rescue, as they not only ‘cure’ many of your financial woes, they can prevent any further deterioration.

The negative impact on health caused by money worries is well documented. There are several physical, and psychological ailments that worrying about your finances can produce. Here are four of the most common.

Chronic Stress: Stress can be the catalyst to a whole catalogue of illnesses, and in recent years its impact on health has become more and more obvious. Stress can lead to eating disorders, heart conditions, respiratory conditions, upset digestive system and low immunity. Nothing will reduce your stress more than allowing a financial planner to assess your finances and create a sensible workable plan to get everything manageable for you.

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Workplace Harassment – Fundamentals and Beyond

Workplace Harassment

The past year has seen an explosion of harassment claims in the employment marketplace.  No business sector has been left untouched:  Hollywood, Las Vegas, Professional Sports, the Education Sector as well as well established businesses have all seen high profile, highly toxic revelations about misconduct in the workplace.  Commercial lawyers will tell you this is dangerous territory for a company.

A few examples stand out:

Hollywood: Hollywood, particularly the revelations about Harvey Weinstein has been the focal point for many of the claims.  Celebrity newscaster, journalists, movie makers, musicians and even chefs have all seen their share of upsetting revelations.  To name just a few: Matt Lauer, Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman, Geraldo Rivera, Steven Segal among many others.

Las Vegas:  The gaming industry has not been immune to its share of harassment claims, Steve Wynn, the CEO of Wynn Resorts and perhaps the most high profile figure in Las Vegas suddenly stepped down as Chairman and CEO after allegations surfaced chronicling a years-long pattern of abuse.

Sports:  The University of Arizona fired coach Rich Rodriguez after sexual misconduct allegations.

Automotive: Raj Nair – Ford’s president was ousted for unspecified inappropriate behavior.

Politics:  The number of offenders in this category are almost too numerous to mention, but a few names of those accused of misconduct are: Bill Clinton, Senator Al Franken and Judge Roy Moore.

Unfortunately, the phrase sexual harassment has been so co-opted into our modern vocabulary that it sometimes leads to erroneous idea of what “sexual harassment” actually is.  To clear things up, let’s go straight to the law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

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What Is A Farm Management Deposit And Should I Use One?

Farm Management Deposit

When it comes to accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses, one of the hardest things to control is your profits and losses for the year. This is especially true for businesses owners like farmers or fishermen who can earn highly variable incomes.

Luckily, the Australian government has made a number of allowances for people who own businesses like this to make it easier for them to keep their taxes in order. One of the more popular things that they have done is introduced something called a farm management deposit.

What is a farm management deposit?

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), farm management deposits are designed to help primary producers deal with the effects of having a highly variable income. For example, in drought years, a farmer may make a complete loss, meaning that they don’t have any taxes to pay. However, in a good year, a farmer may make more than enough money, pushing themselves into the top tax bracket. In this case they would pay a lot more tax than would necessarily be fair.

Farm management deposits provide something of a compromise, and help primary producers pay something of a fairer amount of tax. Basically, on very good years, you can make a tax deductible farm management deposit, which will reduce your taxable income. You can then withdraw this deposit on a poorer year and pay tax on it then. Although the benefit of doing this may not seem obvious immediately, you will obviously pay less tax by keeping more of your income in the lower tax brackets.

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ATO Checklist for a Deceased Estate

Deceased Estate

When a person dies their estate must be ‘administered’ which can mean different things for a person who owned a business than for someone who did not.  If the deceased person was a business owner, it is important to seek advice from a lawyer immediately as there are many things to know about and to do, especially when it comes to tax compliance.

If the persons who has died was near and dear to you it may be difficult to focus on the administration of their estate, especially if it includes a business that is operational. If this is the case you may want to appoint a deceased estates lawyer as an executor. This will save you a lot of stress at a time you are least able to bear it.

Otherwise, it is important to know exactly what you should do as the executor of the estate. Here is an ATO checklist to help you.

  • Find out if the deceased had a Will and who they appointed as executor. You may already know this if it is yourself. If not, the public trustee in your state may be asked to act on behalf of the deceased.
  • If you have been appointed executor, you may need to establish your ID and authority in order to deal with the tax affairs of the deceased.

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How to Avoid Legal Issues in Business

Once you start running a business, whether it be a local plumber or painter, you are likely to find a whole host of legal issues that must be solved quickly to avoid fines, litigation and loss of reputation, amongst other things. The best way to do this is to have good lawyers on hand so you can get the advice you need quickly. Keeping the same business solicitors is best, because they will be familiar with your business and know exactly what is likely to be a problem and how to avoid it.

It is far better for your business and your peace of mind to avoid a problem than have to solve it. Working to solve a problem will take a lot of time and effort away from running the business, even though this must be done. Avoiding the problem in the first place will cost a lot less, even when you take into account paying your legal advisor.

Don’t let problems escalate

Many problems tend to escalate, especially if you don’t get onto them straight away. The end result can be litigation or having to appear in court for another reason; both scenarios are something to be avoided at all costs. Even a small business can suffer from legal problems, especially if no legal aid was sought in the beginning. It is common sense in business to surround yourself with professionals who can guide you through what appears to be a maze of legalities.

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How a Healthy Appearance Can Advance Your Career

It’s a well-known fact that psychologically speaking, people feel better when they are surrounded by a beautiful setting and in business, this includes the appearance of employees. Management in business usually understands this, which is why employees are chosen partly by their looks, especially for those positions that have to do with the public. Employees that want to make the most of their business opportunities often choose a Botox to give them a youthful and healthy appearance.

A Botox treatment can certainly give you a more youthful and healthier look by removing facial wrinkles. Wrinkles between the eyebrows and across the forehead not only make you look older than you are, they can make you look harassed and bad-tempered. This is not the image you want to project in the office.

Rather, you want to look stress free and in control, to project the image of a person at ease in their job; someone who copes well with whatever they have to handle. In this way you will give the impression of being in control while ensuring that there is no bad tempered look on your face, which can easily turn people away from dealing with you.

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Who Should you Use for Conveyancing when Buying a Business

buying-a-business

A commercial lawyer along with a business consultant is the best person to provide professional legal advice for any conveyancing work when purchasing a business.  Conveyancing is the transfer of a land title from the seller to the buyer and is the last chore in a long list of things to be done when purchasing real estate. Not everyone will need to purchase the land and buildings when buying a business because often these are leased and you just take over the lease in order to continue running the business.

However, in some cases it is necessary to also buy the real estate which consists of land and buildings, but is generally referred to as property.  Sometimes you simply purchase the property with no business and you then have to have a suitable building erected and apply to startup your own business there. Since these proceedings can take many months, most people prefer the property lease option.

If you do go the route of purchasing property it can be dealt with by a conveyancer, but they are not legally allowed to give financial advice or do legal work that is not considered to be part of the property transfer. What can they do?

  • Prepare agreements to do with the conveyancing
  • Complete transfers
  • Draw up leases
  • Deal with mortgages

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Just How Receiving Stolen Goods Is Illegal

Have you ever been offered the sale of goods that were just “found” by the seller? Maybe when you asked about the origins of the goods, or how the person came into possession of them, you were answered with a sly smile and told they “fell off the back of a truck”. While it might seem like a stroke of luck to be there at the right time in order to take advantage of these “bargain” items—it’s more likely that the law is being broken. Many people will be surprised to learn that receiving these types of goods is in fact illegal.

It seems like a harmless thing, buying some cheap goods that mysteriously turned up. The lawyers opine that after all, you don’t know where they came from, so how can you be culpable if there was any crime committed? There are many different aspects to this offence, so there’s no need to become suspicious of every single item that you see for private sale.

Technically, it is an offence to receive stolen property if you are aware that they were actually stolen. There is absolutely no question about what this is, and no grey area to think about. If you’d like to get technical and see the actual offence guidelines, taken from the Criminal Code 1899 of Queensland, here they are:

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New Crowdfunding Laws Might Affect Startup Capital Raising in Australia

crowd funding

Legislation changes have been passed to allow public companies, which are unlisted, to use crowdfunding to raise money from small time investors (otherwise known as “mum and dad” investors). This legislation has been successfully passed in the lower house of parliament.

There was a lot of criticism of this bill from the opposing parties. The bill will allow companies to raise as much as $5 million, even if they are not listed, and have a combination of assets and turnover that is less than $5 million already. This can be done once per year, using the highly popular method of crowdfunding.

Those who are wondering what exactly crowdfunding is, might need to consult experienced commercial lawyers or do some research on the subject. But a basic explanation is, crowdfunding allows people and companies to ask for money from potential customers and investors, for products, services, and business ventures that have not actually come into fruition yet. This type of thing is commonplace in countries like the USA, so many people see no issue with bringing that kind of practice to small businesses in Australia. After all, small companies are typically in need of the most help from legislation. However, there are some deeper issues to look at.

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What You Should Know About Liability Insurance for Directors and Officers

Liability insurance for directors and officers has typically been viewed as a routine thing, in the past. It’s just one of tasks things that needs to be done, and many people give it little thought. However, it is important to understand what the implications of this “box ticking” activity really are.

Here are some of the most important aspects of these insurance policies, as well as the potential problems that might be encountered. These pitfalls should be carefully noted or get some expert advice from lawyers, to avoid falling to them.

Notification Timing

Different policies will typically vary, regarding what will trigger a notification. That means directors and officers will not always be notified by the same events, depending on their company and the policy it holds. If an insurer is notified, it is important to be aware that proceeding events might not actually be covered. This will, of course, run the risk of exposing directors and officers to potential claims, even though they believed they were covered.

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Squatters and Property Title Claims

You really don’t need to be any sort of expert to know that Australian property prices are incredibly high, even compared to other affluent countries around the world. The dream of owning one’s own home seems to grow further and further for the average Australian citizen, but what if there were an alternative? Getting familiar with this little term might help: “adverse possession”.

While this type of talk might be little more than hyperbole for the typical person, it’s a rather interesting law and one can gain understanding of it, though not expertise of lawyers, which is worth learning more about.

What Is It?

Simply put, adverse possession relates to a person gaining title over a property that they have been living at for a certain length of time. The truly interesting thing about this law is, the “squatter’s” title to the property might actually grow greater than that of the real owner.

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My Not So Fair Share – Trends in Family Provision Claims

The personal and often emotional issues that arise when people’s expectations are not met by the decisions of a will maker often give rise to thoughts and actions premised on entitlement and occasional avarice. However, the usual “pub talk” that follows can be a slippery slope of disaster and it is worthwhile occasionally reviewing what the Court’s attitude is towards the genesis of a family provision claim rather than just relying on commonly held beliefs.

Courts will frequently ask the wills lawyer to present the nature of the estate such as its size and the composition of its assets and liabilities as well as the financial position of the parties. In Darveniza the Queensland Supreme Court awarded $3m out of a $27m estate to a son who had performed significant amounts of work in the deceased’s business relying on certain promises of provision.  Similarly, in Mead the Western Australian Supreme Court ordered $25m paid to the daughter of a relationship between the testator and his former wife, from whom he was divorced.  The estate was agreed to have a value of at least $1Bn and the testator, who was in his third marriage at the time of death had some obvious issues with the daughter and left her approximately $3m inside a trust that made it almost impossible for her to actually receive the money. The case is currently on appeal.

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Overly Accommodating – The Utility of Life Interests

Once the weapon of choice for wealthy land Baron to provide for a surviving spouse while keeping the land asset in check, a life interest is used by lawyers as a tool to balance different interests between beneficiaries. An example of a modern use of the tool is to counter the surviving spouse remarrying, where there is a competing need to provide for a spouse as well as a need to preserve or quarantine the asset for the benefit other beneficiaries.

In those circumstances the life interest is regarded as beneficial to secure the property so that the children can be raised in it; and subsequently it can also be passed to them once the interest of the surviving spouse has ceased.

The use of a life interest is also prone to some down-sides in the form of its inflexibility and are frequently the victim of inadequate drafting, particularly the life estate agreement.

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