Every industry is unique when it comes to marketing. And the intricacies that law firm marketing strategies present are no exception.
Gone are the days of relying on walk-ins and word of mouth to propel your business to the next level.
In this new digital era, where all the information you could want is at your fingertips, people are flocking online before spending the money on a consultation fee. Even lawyers who offer free consultations have their work cut out for them to capture the market before their competitor.
Like most industries, the marketing landscape has moved online – and you will too if you want to secure clients. Traditional marketing prioritized grabbing the audience’s attention to set them apart from the rest. In an age where reviews, testimonials, and hundreds of options for any business just click away, you will have to prove your worth to the customer first. Not just grab their attention.
When people are looking for legal counsel there are usually two paths they take.
- Going straight to the lawyer. In which case you need to be highly visible and present yourself as the best option.
- Doing independent research online.
By establishing a robust digital marketing plan that incorporates the law firm marketing strategies we will discuss, you will be setting yourself up for future success. Not only will establishing an online presence create a sales pipeline. But it will also promote your business as a highly credible firm.
And as you know, in the law industry, credibility is everything.
SEO for Lawyers
Let’s begin the discussion about the most effective law firm marketing strategies with SEO.
According to a Google Consumer Survey, 96% of people will flock to a search engine when searching for legal advice. Being amongst the first few results can do wonders for your business. And that is where SEO comes into play.
If you are unfamiliar with SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of tuning your website to achieve higher rankings on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This translates to higher visibility in the unpaid results section of Google and increased organic traffic to your business’s website.
By making SEO a priority among your law firm marketing strategies, you will gain a competitive edge over your competitors.
It comes down to understanding Google’s algorithm and what they value out of a website. More importantly, the algorithm is always changing. Staying on top of SEO will surely put you ahead, especially when only 1/3 of law firms have updated their website in the last 3 years.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 people will not make it past the first page of a SERP?
That is a substantial falloff in organic traffic if your website cannot make the cut.
SEO is an investment into your future pipeline and will take time to see results. However, as far law firm marketing strategies go, it has one of the best ROIs. The main components of SEO include technically optimizing your website, creating targeted content, and generating backlinks.
As far as technical optimization goes, here are a few things to keep aware of:
- Your website needs to be mobile friendly. Half of all internet traffic is mobile. And that figure is only rising.
- Responsive design that keeps your website intuitive & navigable from device to device will help your website rank higher. Law research takes time and people will likely be switching devices all the while.
- Fun fact: Users will judge your law firm in about 0.5 seconds once the website loads. Yes as a matter of fact, studies have shown that 75% of users stated that the law firm’s website is the number one factor they consider when deciding whether the firm is credible or not. And because of this, all the elements of your website should be tailored to deliver a sense of trust, credibility, professionalism, authority and at the same time, friendliness. The same goes for the UI, ensure that it functions well.
- Page loading times are a huge factor in bounce rate, an active component in Google’s algorithm. Avoid fancy elements and keep page loading times under 2 seconds if possible.
- Have clear and concise titles and meta tags for your web pages, especially your landing page. 60 characters for a title and under 200 for a description are good standards to go by.
If you know that Search Engine Optimization is a pain point for your business, and you would like to know what can be done to get your business to rank higher on Google. Our experts have helped many law firms attain their traffic goals through law firm SEO services.
Local SEO & Directories
Local SEO is a branch of law firm marketing strategies that will help drive conversions in your business’s area of operation. Actionable people who are ready to find their next lawyer will be the sole focus of local SEO.
The goal is to tie your location to your business to solidify yourself as a local authority. On your website you should include information such as your areas of operation, your address, and possibly even a map to your firm.
Another way to accomplish this is through keyword research. Which is more likely: someone simply searching ‘attorneys’ or ‘tax attorney in Portland?’ When it comes to incorporating keywords into your titles, meta tags, and even content, think about the audience that is ready to convert rather than largest reach possible.
Directories are also another means to an end for clients. While attaining the top position on Google’s first page of results is the main priority, taking the time to fill out your information elsewhere will help bolster your rank. Directories help fuel your local SEO because they are typically sorted by location and host your address.
Perhaps one of the first ‘directories’ you should look towards is actually Google. You would be surprised by the sheer amount of companies, let alone law firms, who do not claim their business.
Here is what I mean:
You have probably seen these panels anytime you Google a business. But the amount who neglect it is astounding. Be sure to include all the information you can on these panels, including but not limited to: address, business hours, phone number/contact information, and most importantly your website.
Other directories you should maintain would include any social media platforms, Yelp, Bing, and even legal website directories. A good rule to go by when updating your profile is to remember Name Address Phone Number (N.A.P.). Keeping this things identical across all profiles helps search engines aggregate the information as one business.
If you are successful when it comes to local SEO you may even find yourself in Google’s local pack, the first 3 businesses that come up for a specific search in your area. Having your business optimized to reach this coveted spot does wonders for visibility.
Case Studies & Testimonials
When it comes to choosing the next lawyer to represent them, testimonials, case outcomes, and case studies are one of the leading deciding factors for clients.
There is no doubt that you are a reputable lawyer who has served clients well. But others need to know that before they are comfortable hiring you.
A few ways promote your victories (with client confidentiality in mind of course) could be:
- Hosting testimonials on your website. Being one of the first things people see would instill confidence in your abilities.
- Have clients share their opinion of your services on your Facebook page. A business who is actively engaging with customers will promote more customers to jump in.
- Asking your clients to leave you reviews, especially on Google. People highly value Google reviews’ ratings as well as the volume of them. People also put more weight into each other’s opinion rather than listening to the business themselves.
Help Yourself by Helping Others Through Content Marketing
You are the expert.
As an attorney, you may deal with dozens to hundreds of cases a year depending on your specialty. The average person may only need a lawyer or have a handful of run-ins with the law in their entire life.
Because law is an industry that is founded upon trust and reliability, you are going to have to prove your worth to the client well before they even need you. You have to get your name in their head so that you are the lawyer to call when the time comes.
You are the people’s first line of defense, so they will come to you seeking knowledge. And rather than allow them to be carried away by informational law websites, why not publish the information yourself?
After all, you are the expert. Capture the audience early while they are still in the awareness phase of the conversion funnel.
Modern marketing still revolves around standing out, but for different reasons. By cementing yourself as a voice of knowledge, you will be the helping hand people turn to in their time of need.
Publish easy to digest articles that are understandable for the people who are not as literate with the law. Educate people, even those who are simply curious about your area of expertise. Content marketing does the work of lead generation for you, even when you’re not at work. It is probably one of the highest ROI law firm marketing strategies you can utilize.
Here an example:
Notice the navigational element on the page as well. This is an example of a business that is taking all the best practice law firm marketing strategies to heart. The main menu at the top includes
- GA Criminal Lawyers
- Case Wins
- Our Lawyers
- DUI Defense
The secondary menu on the side lists all practice areas and gives the reader and entire page of legal information devoid of heavy jargon. This gives the reader confidence that their practice can walk any offender through all the steps without confusion.
As far as blogging goes think about these types of topics:
- Quick run-downs of the legal process in your areas of expertise
- Case studies. This is especially enticing for people who find themselves in particular scenarios.
- New laws in your area and how you can comply.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be exclusively in the form of blogging or thought pieces. In fact, video is actually one of the most effective forms of content marketing because it shows off production value and is more engaging to the audience.
Here’s some stats on law firm marketing strategies that include video sourced from Local Lawyer Guide.
- Over 95% of businesses that attach a video to an email receive a website visit.
- Your website is 50x more likely to find itself on the first page of a SERP if it includes a video.
- 3 out 4 executives are watching work related video each week.
- Nearly 80% of people surveyed watched a business/work related video at least once a month with almost half taking action after viewing an ad.
If those stats don’t convince you, then how about these:
- Law firms with videos on their landing page increase consumer email signup by 127%.
- Split testing has shown that emails that include video have a 137% higher click through rate to your website.
Video can host the same content that would find itself in a blog. Video marketing finds itself to a leading law firm marketing strategy because it is much easier to have a real person break down the law than sift through articles. In fact, 25% of people researching legal topics visit YouTube during the process.
Content doesn’t just have to find itself on your website either. Post it on all your social media channels. Include articles in your email list. Put your videos on all platforms including YouTube. You put work into your content, so maximize its visibility!
Content marketing isn’t just about providing valuable information either. It is also about tying your face and your business to the helping hand.
To make your content especially conducive to conversions, be sure to add Call to Actions (CTA). These are your ‘schedule an appointments’, your ‘Call Now’, and ‘Reach Out to Us.’ Without the intuitive ability to take action, you may just come across as informational and lose your audience to someone who has clear and convincing CTA’s.
Keyword research is a major SEO component when it comes to creating content and is one of the higher ROI law firm marketing strategies. Because your content will most likely be tailored to your handful of areas of expertise, you know the pain points people are having. What you need to focus on as well is how to deliver the content to the person.
Keyword research is all about figuring out what people actually type when searching for answers. It may be a gut reaction to include as many relevant keywords, especially vague ones, in your content or even in PPC ads.
But Google’s algorithm is getting smarter by they day with thousands of micro-updates a year. It does a good job of detecting helpful content that is written in a human manner. Not to mention, overuse of keywords, or use of overly broad ones, will not be very effective in targeting the converting audience.
Hallmarks of effective keywords include a blend of these traits:
- Decent to high volume
- Low Competition
- High Relevancy
What this means is that your website and content need to be highly relevant to your search terms if you want someone to click on you. Otherwise it will come across as spam to the audience and Google.
Keywords will find themselves on your website and in content in areas such as:
- H1 Tags
- Meta Tags
Law firms are just like any business in that they rely on conversions to stay afloat. Attracting people to your website is one thing, but you are trying to target the right audience.
The best way to accomplish using keywords is to use something called long-tail keywords.
Longtail keywords are search terms, typically 4+ words in length, that are much more specific than your average query. It is the difference between ‘law firms’ and ‘DUI lawyers near me,’ or ‘criminal law’ vs ‘can a class A felony be expunged?’
You can probably see how this produces a higher quality audience that is ready for answers. Doing keyword research will uncover these long tail terms that people are using and by targeting them, you will be the authority among a niche group of prospective clients.
Did you know that 40% of small law firms don’t even have a website. That statistic may seem incredulous, but you may have underestimated the sheer amount of competition that lies out there.
By reading this article you are already doing better than nearly half of your industry and have taken the first steps towards greater success.
With such a large fraction of law firms neglecting a website, it’s probably an even greater figure that do not own social media accounts for their business. No longer is social media an option for businesses of any industry, including law.
One of the larger pain points that law firms face is upholding brand image amongst a saturated field. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram help by creating social proof.
Social proof is the concept that the more engagement something like a business receives, the more likely people will want to join in on the conversation. Think of it as the inverse of the bystander effect.
These platforms are also the largest ecosystems of social messaging and the largest platforms for advertising. By being active on social media and being within arms reach of messaging, you instill confidence in the client and seem more personable to approach. In this day and age, people are opting for the instant message over picking up the phone and having to commit to a consultation.
Social media also serves as a content publishing platform where you can host the same content you are producing on your website. Remember, your website is the end destination of your sales funnel. Social media should be viewed as a necessary supplement to your overall image.
Be sure to include plenty of CTA’s in your content and even include links to your contact information as well as how to schedule an appointment. Again, keep all business information consistent to a tee on all profiles.
You may be asking, which social media platform should I be using?
This is a popular question that doesn’t have a simple answer because it is unique to the firm’s areas of expertise. Being safe rather than sorry, it would be a good idea to maintain accounts on a variety of platforms.
- Facebook has more than the lion’s share of users and should be the def facto platform for B2C and B2B businesses, alike.
- LinkedIn caters more towards connecting with professionals as well as other businesses. If your areas of expertise deal with B2B law, LinkedIn should be in your playbook. Publishing content here will establish yourself as a thought leader in your respective industry.
At the end of the day, social media serves a major purpose and that is to increase visibility. Not only does boosting your social media presence directly generate prospects, but it also establishes your online credibility and fortifies your overall SEO. Don’t ignore social media; it among the more highly effective law firm marketing strategies for companies of all sizes.
If maintaining a social media account is finding itself to be time consuming, or hiring a dedicated person is out of budget, take a look at our social media for law firms. Hiring a third party may not be as expensive as you think. And it definitely pays off in the long run.
Source Outside Help
Managing your digital presence can be technically challenging and time consuming to understand – let alone implement. Having an in-house marketing team can also be quite expensive. Think about onboarding experts to elevate your law firm marketing strategies so you can focus on what matters most, the client.
At LYFE Marketing, we have industry specialists that are well versed in the best law firm marketing strategies to get you in front of the client to make sure you are their go to attorney.
The best time to plant a tree was thirty years ago. The second best time is today.
Don’t wait. Today’s marketing plan, if implemented correctly, will translate into tomorrow’s revenue. Digital marketing strategies are predicated on quality and trustworthiness and building an online presence won’t happen overnight.
Start today. Contact us to schedule a free consultation so we can identify the pain points and help you reach your client goals.