Stop pretending you’re a web designer.

Do you have a background in design? Do you have years of experience designing and developing websites for lawyers? For business? For anyone? Stop pretending you do. Stop telling yourself that your sites are “good enough.” Stop using crappy stock legal imagery. Stop blending in with all of the other do-it-yourself legal websites. Stop telling us about how hard you’ll fight and how passionate you are. Stop trying to turn your website into another law firm television ad.

Stop pretending you’re a blogger.

Do you have something to write that’s actually worth writing about? Do people actually subscribe to your blog? Do you even know? Would even know how to figure that out? Do people talk about your blog? Do they share what you’ve written with others? Has anyone ever emailed one of your posts to somebody else? Stop churning out regurgitated news stories. Stop creating posts for every iteration of “your city” + “your practice area(s)” + ‘lawyer or attorney or law firm.”

Stop pretending you’re an SEO.

Do you know the fundamentals of user experience, information architecture and conversion optimization? Do you know the best practices to help search engines find, crawl and index your web pages? Are you familiar with the webmaster guidelines of major search engines? Is your best SEO strategy figuring out the right keyword density of your pages? Are you familiar with the most recent major Google algorithm updates? Do you know who this is:

A picture of Google's Matt Cutts

Stop pretending you’re an SEO. Stop wasting time and money on article and directory submission software. Stop buying hundreds of legal domains and linking them altogether. Stop being surprised when your sites get a major penalty from search engines. Stop using content scraped from other sites. Stop creating pages for the purpose of ranking for a particular keyword. In fact, stop focusing on your rankings altogether.

Stop blaming Adwords.

Are you Adwords Certified? If I said “enhanced campaigns” to you, would you stare back blankly? Stop blaming Adwords. It’s not Google’s fault that you’re broad matching every legal term you can think of. It’s not their fault that your ad copy is weak. It’s not their fault that your landing pages suck, are slow to load and don’t respond well to mobile devices. It’s also not their fault that you’re not tracking, measuring and optimizing your campaigns to increase conversion and lower your average CPA (that’s cost-per-action to you).

Stop blaming your marketing consultant.

You’re a grown-a** lawyer. Stop blaming your marketing consultant for your crappy web marketing. Stop blaming them for hurting your reputation and causing ethics violations. Start taking ownership of your decisions to hire web marketing consultants. Spend some time vetting the people you work with. Understand what they’re planning to do on your behalf. Hold them accountable for acting without your permission.

Stop pretending you’re listening.

Stop pretending you’re listening. Stop commenting, sharing, liking and re-tweeting these posts and then going out and leaving blog comment spam, publishing spun and scraped content and sending unsolicited emails for links.

Stop incessantly nodding like some creepy bobble-head, only to go out and create another crappy website and pouring time and money into “tricking Google.”

Stop doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Stop it!