ONLINE LAW FIRM MARKETING: SKYROCKET YOUR PRACTICE
In addition to your regular duties as a lawyer or an attorney, you may have to worry about marketing your law firm. This can seem like taking the bar exam all over again. Getting clients through your doors is the goal.
Your time is valuable and already scarce with the rest of your work including client meetings, appearing for court proceedings and completing other daily tasks.
How to Market a Law Practice
It’s easy to market retail products. You can advertise these items on social media, on websites and in pop-up ads.
If you put products in front of people, many will impulsively purchase them or will at least consider buying them. However, it’s a lot harder to market your law skills unless someone has recently been sued, wants to write a will or has some other immediate need for an attorney.
Competing with online legal institutions such as LegalZoom.com has put a wrench into things as well. You are continually vying for eyeballs in your local area and competing against these online ventures that sell people needing legal tasks on expedited, affordable processing. Nothing beats the experience of using a personal lawyer; the question, however, is can you get that message across to consumers inundated with other ads? Can you compete with other local attorneys online also vying for top local search engine placements?
Your marketing campaign content and ads need to be available on search engines when potential clients decide that they need a lawyer. They need to be sharp, influential, and well-tested.
Since nearly 75 percent of the population uses Google to find answers to their questions, that’s where you need to make yourself and your firm visible. If you aren’t in the top few listings in your region, you’re losing the battle to your competition.
Most prospective clients will spend a fair amount of time doing online research before choosing an attorney because they have a lot at stake in their selections.
Whether it’s the money involved, the person’s reputation or even the possibility of legal and physical freedom, your potential clients are worried about choosing the wrong lawyer. They want someone who will do everything possible to win cases, so you must effectively market yourself to this idea.
The goal is for your firm to catch the attention of possible clients and to get those people through your door for consultations.
If you get these prospective clients into your office, your skills will be able to retain them and thereby increase your revenue. This is why your marketing is so vital to the success of your firm.
1. Focus on Website User Experience
Statistics show that the vast majority of people head straight for a law firm website when they want to learn more about them.
It is vital to have a website that is well-designed and highly effective.
I find that using a law firm web design specialist is the right option. While their service may come at a cost, it is worthwhile if it will give your practice an edge. If your website is going to serve you well, it should be smart, professional and easy to use and navigate.
If your site is not user-friendly, you will lose clients. One lost client could be six figures.
2. Incorporate Video Marketing In Your Design
In 2018, video is huge for lawyers to connect with prospective clients.
While in previous years video was seen on some more innovative websites, this year it is all about video content.
Video content offers a unique user experience which is innovative and exciting. Plus, 10 seconds of video can convey a message much faster than text can, which is partly why this form of content has gained such vast popularity.
The world is a busy place; people do not have time to waste, which is what has made video content so successful as a marketing method.
For any law firm that wants to boost its marketing efforts and ensure that they remain on-trend, video is an area that’s worth focusing on.
3. Use Testimonials on Your Website
Include client testimonials on your website. Think of them as more detailed reviews. You can choose to get written testimonials from clients. Or, you can film client testimonials and post them on your website and social media.
Video testimonials are helpful because internet users prefer video content to written content. Your testimonials do not need to be fancy. All you need is a decent camera, good lighting, and excellent sound.
The content of your testimonial can be guided by questions from you. You may want to provide clients who agree to film testimonials with a list of questions to answer. (You can use the bullet points in the section about reviews as a guide.)
The goal with a testimonial is to give people who visit your website a clear idea of what you do and building trust. The emphasis should be on the problem your client had and what you did to solve it.
4. Website Speed is Key
If you ever searched a page on the web, you understand why speed is so important. Whatever you do, don’t forget speed – your website needs to load in three seconds or less.
The speed of your website is the link between success and failure. In fact, for higher SEO rankings, faster loading websites are a must.
Other factors that come with a fast loading website are the following:
Higher Conversion Rates
Lower Bounce Rates
Longer Visitor Durations
Better Overall User Experience
So, as you can see, it is in your firms’ best interest to ensure you have maximum speed by using the best website tools that will aid you in achieving optimal performance.
5. Be Mobile Friendly
Today, 85 percent of internet users choose to use their mobile devices to search the internet. This is a core component to effective law firm marketing best practices.
Whether that is surfing the web for leisure or work, potential clients rely on their mobile devices, rather than their laptops or PCs.
What you should take from this is that it’s more vital than ever before that your website is mobile-friendly.
If your website design is fully responsive, then it’s a mobile-friendly site.
If it’s not responsive, then you should consider having your site updated.
6. Provide an Online Booking Option
One of top law firm marketing ideas is to add an easy way to book a consultation. This is an excellent conversion rate optimization technique.
There are four main reasons why your law firms website needs an online booking option. A simple contact form is not enough.
First, you are missing out on potential clients who cannot contact you during standard business hours. By the time they leave a message, and your receptionist gets back to them, it may be too late. They already have an appointment elsewhere.
Studies have shown that an online booking option lowers the number of appointments that are canceled or not shown up for. These cost your law firm money, as that time could be spent on a paying client. The overall client experience is improved since existing clients can book an appointment quickly and easily.
Finally, you need to capture younger clients. Many of these clients, including Millennials, are much more likely to schedule an appointment online. They prefer not to pick up the phone and call.
7. Track Website Metrics With Google Analytics
It’s all well and good putting a large sum of money into your marketing for attorneys.
But if you are not monitoring how successful your marketing methods are, then doing so is pointless.
This is why it’s so vital that you make an effort to track your results.
That way you will be able to see what methods of marketing are yielding the best results and which are not as effective as you hoped they would be.
I urge you to take advantage of Google Analytics and learn how to use it.
It’s vital that you track your efforts via a tool like Google Analytics.
8. Use Call Tracking
A good law firm marketing plan includes information about how to track its success.
Law firms include their phone numbers in every ad so that potential clients can reach them and make an appointment. Call tracking numbers make it possible to count these incoming calls to determine the success of each marketing campaign.
This is a four-step process that starts with inserting a different phone number extension in every advertisement. In step two, each phone number goes to a different line of your business. The calls are tracked to see which leads turn into clients. The tracking mechanism allows you to create a report that connects the phone calls to the ads.
High-quality content is vital; your legal messaging may be too ‘Legal.’
You got through law school because you speak the language of the law. Some call this language “legalese” as slang. Others just call it “confusing as heck.” If your website is full of legal jargon that no one can understand, your services aren’t primed to be sold.
The information on your website needs to be both digestible as well as focused on potential customers.
For most law websites, both of these facets are overlooked. This is because when you, the lawyer, read your website, it all makes sense.
However, what if your local weather only regarded barometer readings over the course of a 5-day forecast and left out the “it is going to rain on Wednesday” part?
You’d be confused. I’d be confused. We’d both end up umbrella-less and drenched.
Your content needs to be written for consumers, not for other attorneys and local judges.
They aren’t going to need you, so don’t write content for them. Your website content also needs to focus on keywords that consumers actually search when they are seeking legal help.
Whether or not you accomplish this yourself, or via outsourcing the writing work, you need to make sure it is done.
You don’t want to dumb down your website to the point that consumers don’t trust your services, but you do want to make sure that potential consumers understand what your services offer.
9. Develop High-Quality Online Legal Resources
Blogs used to be entirely separate to professional websites, but that has all changed.
Now, blogs are a vital aspect of every company’s marketing, or if they’re not, they should be. If you want to ensure that your law firm is marketed as efficiently as possible, it’s vital that you install a blog on your website. Why?
Because a blog is a highly effective marketing source and one that every business should take advantage of.
When a blog is appropriately designed and implemented and features high-quality content, it draws people to your law firm’s website.
Establish a blog with an authoritative tone of voice that shares exciting and informative articles. You can use this tactic as one of your go-to legal marketing strategies.
Not only could a blog boost your website’s page views, but it could also increase your site’s domain authority, and thus its search engine ranking.
Turn your legal website into the place for people to go by filling it with legal resources.
Search engines reward websites that are run by experts in their fields. Combine good SEO practices with interesting legal resources to show this expertise. This content can go both on your blog and on your website, and it should be in the form of written and video content.
Include a list of relevant and high-quality sources that are linked to each post to improve your online marketing.
Many people seeking legal advice don’t know much about the field. They need content that is approachable, yet informative, and are more likely to seek out help from an attorney offering this information.
10. Not Everyone Understands Their Legal Needs
Believe it or not, there are lots of potential clients out there just waiting to be told they need an attorney.
Every day, consumers search for solutions to problems on Google that they’d be better off resolving with the help of an attorney, rather than the aid of some random forum thread. Your local legal business should display as a top result of these issues.
Your site should be the solution the consumer is looking for. Otherwise, your competition is likely sucking up that business, leaving you out in the cold.
Take it from someone who has seen how useful, high-quality, valuable content cannot compare to low-quality content.
If you want to ensure that your law firm has successful marketing, you need to be willing to invest in it.
Don’t compromise when it comes to quality, be willing to invest to ensure that your law firm’s marketing is of the best quality possible. You want to work with specialists who know how to create content that is interesting, unique and relevant.
Search Engine Marketing
Invest In Online Marketing For Your Legal Firm
11. It’s all well and good having a website that’s smart and professional, not to mention easy to use. But marketing a law firm takes more than just a site.
It’s vital that you invest in SEO for lawyers.
SEO – AKA search engine optimization – is what helps your website to rank highly in search engines.
Do you want your website to come up in Google when someone types in ‘law firm near me’? Then you need to ensure that your online marketing is on point.
This isn’t something that you should attempt to do yourself. Whether you are in a family law, personal injury, or any other practice, it’s best to hire a law firm SEO company or consultant.
It’s all about balance when organic search traffic.
12. Competitive Analysis, Know Your Competition
One of the most crucial parts of developing marketing for a law firm relates to understanding the methods used by your competitors.
The last thing you want to do is ignore your competition. That is because those brands spend a lot of cash on promoting their services just like you. So, it is possible that you could save money and identify techniques and methods you might have overlooked by assessing rival sites.
Competitive analysis assists me in creating attorney SEO plans that work. Nothing is wrong with replicating marketing ideas for attorneys used by competitors. In fact, it is often the most valuable way to identify the way in which your brand should approach search engine optimization.
There is a reasonable chance that other companies in your industry pay for competitor analysis and assess your website and approach. So, now is the best time to employ me and turn the tables.
If you want to beat your law firm’s competition hands down when it comes to your digital marketing and SEO strategy this year, look no further.
13. Build Links to Establish Authority With Google
Link building is the concept of getting other authoritative sites to post backlinks to your law firm’s domain.
I do that by creating high-quality content and submitting it to relevant blogs and websites. Once those domains publish the posts, your Attorney SEO campaign strategy should skyrocket. As I never engage in black-hat techniques, there is no need for any client to worry about getting a penalty from Google. I stay within their guidelines when it comes to building your active link profile and ensuring your law firm’s SEO efforts get the best results. Google and many other search engines use various factors to determine popularity when highlighting sites within search listings.
The number of backlinks pointing to a domain is one such consideration.
Link building is one of the best ways to reach the top of a search results page on Google without paying for pay-per-click advertising.
While you could engage in link building without the assistance of an SEO specialist like myself, the process is somewhat of a minefield, and there is a reasonable chance you might end up with a penalty from Google. Trust me, employing my services is the most straightforward and reliable option on the table.
14. Submit Guest Posts To Relevant Blogs and Publications
Guest blogging proves that you are an authority in your field of law.
It also drives traffic to your law firms website and adds to its SEO by linking back to that site. Plus, that one post opens you up to many potential new clients. You cannot guest blog on any website that allows it. Instead, you need to find one that is relevant in your exact field of law and has a good reputation. This enhances your status in the area and proves your expertise.
Check the website’s Google page rank, Alexa rank, and domain authority.
You need to check the website’s social media accounts to see how many followers they have. Once you have found a trustworthy and popular site, make sure that the content of your guest post is both timely and relevant.
15. Optimize for Local Search
Law firms need to optimize their websites for local search results. This requires the use of local keyword data and a Google My Business page. Your site needs to be listed in local directories and has links to and from other local businesses. A Google My Business page is a separate listing on google.
Your firm’s profile pages should be filled out with all of the pertinent information, including address, phone numbers, website, and law practice categories.
Local directories, such as Yelp, are an essential part of your local marketing efforts. Adding your legal website to these directories increases your visibility. Some of the most common online local directories are Yelp, YellowPages.com, Facebook, your local Better Business Bureau, and Manta.com. While these websites have a national presence, they are broken down by location.
Other local directories include those run by your local bar association, your city, and any other organizations, including Rotary groups and business administrations. To add your business to some of these directories, you may have to join the organization.
16. Target Hyperlocal Keywords
Optimizing your site for local keywords is a must.
Local keywords may include your city, state, or neighborhood. People are more likely to search for legal services using local terms. It is also easier to rank for local keywords as well.
Best practices include the title tag and using your location in an H1 heading or tag. Sprinkle local keywords throughout the copy on your website, ensuring that it sounds natural. Use them in your image alt tags, and set up your law firms URL to include your location. For example, “Cleveland Accident Attorney.”
17. Create Listings in Online Legal Directories
The goal of internet marketing is to make it easy for prospects to find you. Even if you have a great website, you should look for ways to expand your reach and visibility.
One way to do that is to create lawyer profile pages in online law directories. There are several major lawyer/attorney directories to consider. For example:
National Law Firm Directory
Creating a listing is easy and free.
Here are some key things to remember as you create your listing.
Be consistent. Just as your NAP listings must be the same wherever they appear, your profiles must be too. You should use the same information everywhere.
Make sure to include your:
URL of your website
Keep a list of where you’ve posted your information. Then, if anything changes, you’ll be able to go back and update everything.
While some people might do a Google search to find a lawyer, others are likely to turn to the sites I’ve mentioned here.
By keeping your listing current, you’ll be sure that people in your area can find you when they need to hire an attorney.
18. Claim Your Business on Review Sites
You probably check online reviews before you visit a new restaurant or business. The same is true of almost 90% of consumers. That means that you must claim your law practice’s listing on online review sites. That way, anybody who searches for you or your firm will be able to read reviews of your services.
Some review sites to consider are:
Google My Business
Claiming your listing is easy.
Just type in your name (or the name of your law firm.) If you already have a listing, you should see a button labeled “Claim My Listing.” Follow the steps to claim your listing.
After you’ve claimed it, you should take the time to set up your profile. Add photographs, hours, and a list of services you provide. You can also add the URL of your website.
You may have reviews even if you have not claimed your listing.
If any are negative, respond to them. You want to show people that you care about your clients’ experiences. We call this reputation management.
Online Law Firm Paid Search Advertising Ideas
19. PPC Advertising
Paid search ads or PPC Advertising are available with Google Adwords and Bing Ads.
If you decide to advertise there, make sure you know what you’re doing.
You may also want to consider paid advertisement on social media. For example, Facebook has excellent legal marketing tools for use. You can use their targeting to identify prospects by their demographics, including age, gender, and income.
Likewise, they also have psychographic information. These targeting options include interests, hobbies, and other relevant data. Used correctly, they can help you narrow your target audience. It may take some trial and error to land on the right targeting.
Once you create PPC campaigns, make sure to track your results. For search engine ads, you should track clicks and conversions. On social media, make sure to monitor your cost per click. A cost that is too high may indicate a problem with your targeting.
20. Facebook Ads and Remarketing
ou may know the statistic that says it takes seven to 10 “touches” from a brand before a consumer is ready to buy.
That number applies to law firms, too.
People may visit your website more than once before they book a consultation. Hiring a lawyer is a significant expense. You might have perfect search engine optimization that brings qualified leads to your site. That doesn’t mean you can assume that a first-time visitor will become a client.
The solution is remarketing.
Remarketing allows you to target potential clients based on their behavior. For example, you can use the Facebook pixel to reach site visitors on Facebook. Someone who looked at your firm’s page for divorce law might respond to a targeted ad on social media.
Remarketing is also an option on search engines like Bing and Google. While retailers can use triggers like abandoned shopping carts, you will need to use different tactics. Here are some suggestions:
Target people who started to fill out your opt-in form but did not finish
Target people who visited one of your service pages but have not yet booked an appointment
Target people who visited your contact page
The key is to create ads that will appeal to people based on their prior behavior. The more specific your retargeting is, the more likely it is that it will be successful. This is not the place for an all-purpose ad like the ones you use to target local keywords.
You will need to track the same metrics for retargeting ads than you do for pay per click ads. That way, you can determine which ads are working and which are not – and change up your strategy as needed.
Online Influencer Branding
21. Each Attorney In A Practice Needs a Personal Brand
Every attorney in your firm needs to create their own personal brand online.
This is done through a combination of social media and blog posts with a byline. Your law firm has its own identity, but this not enough to evoke trust in potential clients.
The three hallmarks of these personal brands are authenticity, aspiration, and uniqueness.
Authenticity requires details that make an attorney more approachable and human. Including information about where they went to school and what they studied to create a background story is vital. The aspiration factor comes in by mentioning goals and being bold about what the attorney wants to achieve.
The last hallmark, uniqueness, requires each attorney to showcase their personality. They are not cogs in your lawn firms marketing machine. They are individual people.
22. Grow your online presence via social media
I know as well as anyone that when it comes to building a successful law firm, there’s more to it than having a website.
If you are serious about building a legal organization that you can be proud of, you need to grow your online presence further by utilizing social media.
Spend time claiming all of the online space that you can. Claim all of your properties, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram.
In addition to creating accounts for your business on these sites, you also need to take full advantage of them.
It’s all well and good creating these accounts, but unless you know how to use them, it’s pointless having them.
Curate Content on Social Media
You already know about growing your online presence via social media. One specific technique you can use is curating content. Curated content can be:
The key is that any content you curate must be relevant to your followers. People who follow you look to you for value. They want to read and watch things that help them with legal problems.
That means that you should save content that’s not directly related to your law practice for your personal page. It won’t help you build credibility if you share off-topic content.
Let’s look at some examples. A tax attorney might share:
An article from the Wall Street Journal explaining changes in the tax code
A video from a CPA about electronic filing of taxes
An infographic of deductions people should be taking on their tax returns
These are just suggestions. But, they should give you an idea of the kinds of things to curate. One easy way to curate content is to follow publications you like. They’ll share content that you can then comment on and share with your followers.
A word to the wise – if you don’t know what you’re doing, take the time to learn. Or, outsource your social media management.
If you want something done right, expert assistance is crucial. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Your law firm marketing needs to be spot on. Otherwise, it’s pointless spending money on it.
Reviews and Referrals
23. Encourage Client Reviews
Claiming your listing on review sites won’t matter much if there are no reviews for prospects to read. You can fix that problem by finding ways to encourage past and current clients to leave reviews.
One of the easiest ways to get more reviews is to ask for them. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
Email clients after a case has closed and ask them to leave a review
Include a link to your review pages on your website
Train your staff to request reviews when they interact with clients
Add a review request to the bottom of your invoices
You may want to consider providing clients with a basic review template. Written reviews are always more impactful than simple star ratings. Some clients may need guidance. You might suggest:
Listing the problem(s) they hired you to handle
Mentioning the quality of their interactions with you
Adding information about your staff and the role they played
Summing up their experience with your law practice
Thorough, positive reviews can make it easier for new prospects to contact you. Make sure you monitor your review pages. You must respond quickly to both positive and negative reviews.
24. Cultivate Customer and Client Referrals
The number one law firm marketing strategy I see overlooked is the power of referrals.
The majority of lead generation in the legal field are from referrals from colleagues, friends, or former clients.
While it’s fantastic that most law firms get their customers from referrals, what it’s vital to take into account is that these referrals don’t just happen on their own.
For a referral to occur, you need to cultivate them. So, where should you start with clients? Tell them that you are looking for new clients and new work. They may not want to add to your workload, so they may refrain from telling their friends about your law firm.
Make it clear that you want people to know about your firm. Remember, there are lots of ways to gain referrals and through customers is only one of them.
Networking, both in-person and virtually, is an excellent way to cultivate referrals. Don’t be afraid to share the fact you’re looking for referrals with other professionals.
Be open to the fact that you are looking for new customers. Send out emails, pass out leaflets, call your clients – the more open about this you can be, the better.
25. Learn How To Network
It’s all well and good attending networking events within your industry and the broader business sector. For these events to benefit your legal practice, it’s essential that you know how to network.
As an attorney, understanding what it takes to start a conversation about your practice. The approach is critical, balancing conversation with business and while speaking to other attendees at networking events is an art.
You need to learn how to approach these conversations with subtlety and confidence. Ensure that you and your business come across in the best light possible.
Always carry business cards when attending these events, because you never know when they will come in handy. Being able to hand out a business card is much more efficient, rather than merely writing your details down on a scrap piece of paper.
As an attorney, every person you meet is a potential future client or referral.
If you are keen to give your business the best chance of growing into a more prosperous and profitable brand, it’s vital that you take note of, and implement, the lawyer marketing tips above.
As a highly successful law firm marketer, I can attest to the fact that these tips are highly useful when it comes to brand success and are well worth implementing.
26. Get Active In Local Associations
Marketing efforts need to go beyond the boardroom and the internet and out into the real world.
A trade association puts you in front of people that are all potential clients. These future clients get to know you, and when they need legal advice, they will hire your firm.
To become active in one of these organizations, you need to start at the bottom by volunteering. Many of the organizations send out newsletters, have their own website, or hold regular gatherings. Someone needs to put these items together.
Seek out the president of the organization and volunteer. Over time, as people in the association get to know you, your profile will rise. The goal is to get on the board of the organization, where you will be seen as someone with expertise and authority.
27. Produce Video Guides For Youtube
Digital marketing practices for law firms start with high-quality content.
Once that content is in place, it is time to expand your reach. One of my best free law firm advertising ideas is to produce video guides for YouTube. These videos must show that you are an expert in your specific field of law. They also need to match the information already provided on your website.
They must look professional and contain essential information about your area of law. If possible, shoot them in your boardroom or an office. Find the most astute lawyer on your staff and have him or her host the video.
You can also embed them on your website along with matching content.
To find the best topics to cover, examine the results of your analytics. Start with topics that align with the most popular pages on your website and then expand as needed to other related ones.
28. Email Marketing
Creating a successful email marketing campaign includes several steps, starting with the list itself.
Your clients, referral sources, and potential clients are the first ones on that list. Find others by passing around signup sheets at seminars and conferences, and by giving out your business cards at meetings and presentations.
Next, you need to segment your email list into several groups. This allows you to target specific groups of people with relevant emails.
Then, send out email newsletters and create drip campaigns to convert the people on that list into clients. A drip campaign is one that is automated. It starts with an offering, such as a short ebook or webinar with basic legal advice.
Once a person signs up for your email list, they receive an automated series of marketing emails, including the free ebook or webinar.
Want to save yourself time and money? Automate where you can.
If your law firm is not already automating specific tasks, now is the time to change that.
Life is busy when you run a successful company, which means that you don’t have time to deal with every task yourself.
Take your company’s social media posting, while you could hire an expert to deal with this for you, it may be cheaper and more efficient to automate the task instead.
There are plenty of useful tools that you can use to automate tasks such as your social media or email marketing campaigns; it’s just a case of taking advantage of it, that’s all.
For instance, for social media scheduling and automation, tools like Hootsuite are priceless.
Or, for email marketing automation, tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact are vital. By choosing to automate specific services, you can not only save yourself time but also money.
Your law firm needs a strong marketing plan behind it that is affordable and effective, which is where marketing automation can be so useful.
Bring in a Legal Marketing Expert
Do you want your law firm to have every chance of success? Whether marketing for small law firms or large, I treat all clients alike.
If you are keen to give your business the best chance of growing into a more prosperous and profitable brand, it’s vital that you take note of, and implement, the marketing tips above.
As a highly successful law firm marketing agency, I can attest to the fact that these tips are well worth implementing. But, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Contact me today and let’s develop a legal marketing plan.