Law Firm Marketing Online: How To Get Your Law Firm A Solid Online Presence
December 12, 2018
It’s a fairly common thought that being in the legal field can be lucrative. However, with fresh, inexperienced graduates passing the bar admission every single year, the competition has been tough and finding potential clients have only become increasingly difficult.
The situation has been like this for several years now, but this doesn’t seem to deter folks from getting into the profession. People who want to stick their toes into the water tend to be bright eyed and believe that they are the exception.
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the field has definitely become over-saturated. Every law firm partner or attorney who has been in the game for a long time will tell you two things; there aren’t enough good clients to go around and it’s getting harder to hire new talent.
So we see these law firms racking their brains, trying to improve their private practices by acquiring clients who can show the big bucks.
If you’re new in the game and decide to get more clients by opening up a criminal defense practice, don’t expect the state to shoulder your fees if you play Good Samaritan. Obviously, clients who can pay will opt for more established lawyers, leaving those who are lower in the legal food chain to work pro bono.
Well, that won’t do at all. So what’s the best way to save your firm from this situation? Law firm marketing online.
Back in the old days, you could just set up a firm with your buds from law school, put up a sign, and folks will come to you. Nowadays, it’s like playing in a different ballpark.
You’d have to be the best of the best to be considered by a prominent law firm and potential clients will scout around for the best deals because there is no shortage in legal services anymore.
What is online law firm marketing?
The concept is pretty straightforward. This is the necessary step you have to take in order to give your law firm an online presence.
Nowadays, most people find what they need on the internet. Obviously, it follows that you would want the name of your law firm to be on the top of the list if anyone ever searches for the services you provide.
Not only are you making yourself more visible to potential clients, you’re also attracting fresh grads who are looking to get recruited by a reputable law firm.
This is the most efficient way that anyone could get information about your firm and inquire about your services if they’re interested.
Unfortunately, this is not a secret tactic that only law firms that keep up with the times share. Even online, there is a substantial amount of competition. It’s your job to outperform them and this where the strategizing comes in.
How can we get started?
We’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve listed five fundamental marketing strategies that you need to put into action if you want to reach a bigger audience.
By implementing these strategies, you can expect to rake in more clients and attract new talent. We’ll delve into each one, so that after reading this list, you’d have learned the basics and can decide what to do first to be ahead of the game.
1. Look into SEO and invest in a good content marketing department
Whether it’s one or two persons or a whole team, you should invest in content marketing as a separate department in your firm. Why? This is going to be a full-time occupation.
First, let me explain what SEO is. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of building up your online presence organically. This will not happen overnight and it takes a lot of effort, so a team dedicated to doing this for you would be a smart business decision.
This can be done by loading your content with optimal keywords and leaving backlinks to your site for your potential clients to find.
SEO done right ensures that your website will show up on top if people use a search engine like Google to look for the services you offer.
More than half of leads come from people who click on the first three organic search results, so establishing your name online through SEO is something you should focus on even though it takes a considerable amount of time and work.
If SEO is done correctly, you can expect your visibility to increase exponentially. As we mentioned before, people just go on the internet to look for things that they need. So it’s more likely that they will find you by scrolling through search results on their phone than actually visiting your physical office.
Hire a content marketing team with a law firm specialization
Make sure that when you look into building up a marketing department for your law firm, select a company or individuals who are knowledgeable about the field.
People’s first impression of your law firm is essentially going to be tied to your website. How your website looks and what the quality of its content is will determine whether they will avail of your services or not. It’s that simple.
So investing in content marketing that is specifically for law firms will do you a world of good in the long run.
Now, what are the things you should expect from an online law firm marketing team who knows what they’re doing? As your team builds your site, these are what you should be looking for.
The services you offer have different landing pages
It’s common for a law firm to offer a wide array of legal advice. Criminal cases should be separate from family law matters. This will help narrow down people’s searches because they’re likely going to be looking for something specific.
The use of appropriate keywords and images and making sure that the titles and headings relevant and professional-looking.
I’m sure you can spot a sketchy website from a mile away. Over the years, you’ve probably learned that it’s better to stick to websites which companies have optimized and have been made to look clean and professional. Your potential clients will do the same.
No skimping on descriptions
Loading descriptions with optimal keywords will make your website more visible.
A schema for attorneys is included.
A schema is a structure that essentially organizes your database, making it more efficient for search engines to utilize.
You have your own blog.
Reputable companies usually have their own blog that is linked to their main website. Here, attorneys who work in your firm can write about topics that come up from frequently asked questions.
A blog can make a massive difference when it comes to your authority in the industry and it lets your clients know that there is a team of well-versed competent lawyers behind the law firm’s name.
2. Make your website an online salesman
The great thing about in online marketing is that you get a sales rep that never rests. Anyone who has an internet connection can find your firm and learn more information about it without ever leaving their houses at any time of the day.
That’s why having an excellent website made for your firm is the smartest investment you can make today. At its base value, it’s a virtual pamphlet and calling card, but it could be so much more than that.
Through a website, you or your personnel can engage with potential clients and reel them in through first-rate customer service.
The qualities of a good website
These are the things that you and your team should look into when building a website that suits your law firm.
It should have excellent to decent page speed
First of all, the whole point of the internet is convenience, so you can’t expect potential clients to wait around for your website to load. The average online user will only wait for up to 3 seconds.
These days, it’s all about fast transactions. Missing that 3-second window is not a mistake you can afford to make, considering how many law firms you are competing against.
It should be constructed with the user in mind
Design is key here. The “look” of your website should be consistent all throughout. Why? When was the last time you stayed, exploring a website with tacky fonts and stock photos, and poorly-written content? Can’t remember? That’s what we thought.
Your law firm is a brand, so that means deciding on the visual aspects that people will associate with it require considerable thought.
Your team must build a website includes components that elicit trust, expertise, and approachability. This can be done by something as simple as picking the right color scheme.
Aside from these choices that will subconsciously induce these feelings in your potential clients, it’s a given that your website should have the basics covered.
Make sure that is easily navigable and the layout is clean. It should also be simple to contact you if ever a potential client might have inquiries about your services.
It should be compatible with mobile devices
The number of users who would rather go online on their smartphones rather than their desktop setup is steadily growing higher.
What we can take away from this information is that your website should be mobile-friendly to get the best results.
Again, this is about design. When a website isn’t optimized for a smartphone, the layout usually doesn’t make sense. Things are in the wrong position. Pictures are off center. The text may be too small to be comprehensible. The buttons are not clickable.
3. Stay on top of analytics
Your marketing department would be rendered useless even if they’ve come up with a brilliant marketing scheme if no one is there to track their activity.
Performing routine reports on your marketing campaigns should tell you what the next steps to take are anyway. Marketing has always been and always will be run by numbers. You can’t expect to know what to adjust if no one is doing the research and recording the results.
Return on marketing investment (This weighs what you spend on marketing against your gains from it. Very important.)
How much you book from calls
Average cost per lead (CPL)
Total amount of revenue
4. Take advantage of social media platform and branch out beyond your website
Your SEO endeavors shouldn’t just stop with your website. You must take advantage of everything that is available to you. That means claiming your space and taking up as much online real estate as possible.
Practice local SEO
What is local SEO? This is the process of getting your site to show up within the search engine’s local pack. This is the small window that previews Google Maps with the business that you searched for within your area. With normal SEO, your local service area is not targeted.
To be featured in the local pack, you have to sign up for a Google My Business Account. Your marketing team should be able to handle this and put in the right information like your firm’s business hours, contact number, address, and reviews.
Look into Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
First, we have to establish the difference between SEO and SEM. Search engine marketing makes use of pay-per-click ads (PPC), which means that you pay a fee when someone takes an interest and clicks on it.
While this may seem like a workaround to SEO, that’s hardly the case at all. This is something that should aid your SEO efforts, not replace them.
The reason why SEM would be a smart move, especially if your firm is just starting out with online marketing, is that you can pay to get a higher rank for your ad. Your current reputation would not be a big deal because you can get on first page of listings regardless. That is, as long as you pay for it.
The downside to PPC keywords for attorneys and other legal services cost quite the pretty penny averaging upwards of $50 per click. That’s a lot of money.
So you have to weigh in your available funds for marketing and whether it’s worth it to pay for this kind of advertising.
A simple workaround to this, though, is asking people for their contact information and then showing them your ads.
Stay present in people’s inboxes with email marketing for lawyers
People are likely to avail of a legal service more than once in their lifetime. That said, there is a chance to build up customer loyalty with every client you take on. That means that if they were satisfied with the service you provided, they’re more likely to recommend you to a friend or family member.
How do you keep in touch with former clients? We doubt that anyone wants to be pestered with sales calls, so the best (and most economical) way to do this is by sending emails.
Before anything else, you have to ask your client if they want to be included in your mailing list. Unsolicited emails usually just take up spam space in our emails and that is not where you want your emails to end up.
If they agree to this, you can send them updates on your firms and deals that you may be offering for a time period. More than 90% of the US adult population use email and most of these people have, at some point, made use of a discount or promo from some form of marketing email.
The good news is, this hardly costs anything at all. Just an internet connection and paid competent employee from your marketing team to design and write these emails, and you’re all set.
Stay visible on social media platforms
Having social media accounts is not beneath any company these days. In fact, we guarantee you that any prominent brand out there has at least a Facebook page. Therefore, you should have one too.
Of course, it’s necessary to keep up with the times. Everyone from millennials to Gen X’ers to seniors expect companies to have a Facebook page. Why is that?
Not only does this make it easier to engage with their customers to form a strong online community, this gives the impression that these corporations have a human side to them.
This will be especially useful for a law firm because, let’s face it, most people think of lawyers as heartless suits who will take you for all the money you’ve got to save you from your troubles.
While I’m not saying that all law firms are definitely not like this, it’s best that you separate your firm from the others and build an image that people can trust and admire.
Publish stories like doing pro bono work for those who can’t afford legal services, your company outing, or charitable outreach programs.
However, we warn you to be cautious about what social media platform you should be on. You have to take into account what branch of law your firm specializes in.
For example, if your firm focuses on divorce and family law, then go ahead and make an account on Facebook. This is the best way to reach individuals because, after all, this is a business to consumer (B2C) deal.
If, however, you focus on providing legal advice for corporations, then LinkedIn would be your best bet.
Aside from making your firm better than just a cold façade of a legal corporation, having a sound social media presence would positively impact your SEO efforts.
While this doesn’t really affect your rank in search engine results, this can still improve your SEO in a number of ways.
It establishes your authority in the legal field and makes your firm more recognizable.
Your content is more widely-distributed than if you just rely on your own site.
Your local SEO is boosted.
Your firm is a lot more prominent online and drives more traffic to your main site.
So even if this will cost you, a plethora of benefits does await you when you invest in social media marketing.
5. Use the reputation you’ve built up from your online presence to attract new talent
How do you build up your reputation? Testimonials from past clients, otherwise known as reviews. A great thing to include in your website is a separate page where people who have availed of your services and were satisfied with it can leave their testimonials and comments.
This way, they can attest to your skills and the good results they’ve gotten from your performance. Potential clients will then be encouraged because of this kind of proof.
I don’t know about you, but personally, we never purchase anything online if the product hasn’t been reviewed. Similarly, it discourages me to buy products if they’re reviewed poorly.
This is the best way to get the most of out of your clients, aside from claiming payment for your services. They essentially become living ads for your firm.
If this isn’t enough to convince you. Maybe these stats will.
88% of consumers rely just a much on online reviews as they do with information they’ve gathered in person from friends and acquaintances
72% of consumers find it easier to trust a local business if other people have left them positive reviews online
A staggering 90% of consumers will check out a business online and read reviews first before they visit a physical location
90% of consumers report that their decision to purchase anything relies on the product’s or service’s online reviews.
Consumers who read reviews have a higher rate of conversion at 58%.
Online reviews take up 10% of a website’s traffic value.
To gather reviews, automatically send out an email to clients after you have completed work for them with a link to your review page. If you’ve done particularly well with a client, ask them if it wouldn’t be too much for them to leave you a glowing review as an added incentive.
After some time and you’ve garnered a reputable image online, you can use this to attract new talent.
How can you use a solid online presence to attract new talent?
It’s quite obvious that no business can expect repeat customers if their employees are incompetent. The same goes for law firms. Finding the right lawyer is like finding the right doctor.
You have to be comfortable with disclosing sensitive and personal information to these people. On top of that, they have to be capable of troubleshooting these issues with you. That’s why recruiting new talent is an arduous process. You have to find the people that fit your firm.
Another fact that you have to consider is that the number of law graduates is increasing every year. While that might seem like there’s plenty of talent to go around, naturally, you want to hire only the best.
How can you get a leg up on your competition who are also looking to hire the best? Make use of your solid online presence.
Fresh and bright young talent fall under the demographic of the millennial now. You have to include this generation’s qualities in the equation. Specifically, you have to take advantage of the fact that young people find their information online and they spend a lot of time on social media.
For example, you can use Instagram to post photos from company outings, conferences you went to, important court cases you’ve handled, and reputable lawyers who work for your firm.
This will give potential recruits an insight into your work environment. You can show them what they can gain from working for your firm. This is going to be in the form of experience and nothing is better at illustrating this than photos.
Another site that you should be on is LinkedIn. This is specifically focused on professionals and networking. You can build an attractive profile by listing your firm’s principles and missions.
It would also be worth your time to make a profile on job search sites like GlassDoor. These sites usually offer information such as pay rate and employee satisfaction. Past employees can give an account of what the work environment was like in a particular company that they were a part of.
Obviously, a lot of glowing reviews attract more job seekers.
Our final word: Competence is key when it comes to law firm marketing
All these tips above point out that the main thing to take away here is to hire a good team behind your legal services. No matter how stellar your firm’s performance is, your competition is still going to be ahead if no one knows who you are.
Our expert digital marketing team can do that for you. At the end of the day, a law firm is a brand, a business, and you would do well to treat it that way and market it properly.
You’re only going to see a surge in potential clients and recruits if the team behind you has the know-how. Click here to take action today and lift your law firm off the ground.
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