What Smart Lawyers Know:
Attorneys often know the importance of law firm marketing but need to gain understanding of where to start and which forms of online marketing are the best investment. Some web-savvy lawyers make headway on their own toward putting in place digital marketing programs. But, the strategies invariably miss many components necessary to accomplish the most effective legal firm marketing online.
There are a variety of ways attorneys can market their legal practices. Below is some information to help lawyers gain a better understanding of what is involved in successful law firm internet marketing, including advantages and disadvantages of online marketing, average costs, ROI and expected results.
Why You Need to Market Your Law Firm
Some lawyers believe that their professional skills and reputation are sufficient to maintain a steady number of new clients coming in. However, effective online marketing can raise your law firm up through the search engine rankings, which can increase your prospect traffic and profits. It also helps law firms distinguish themselves from the others in their markets. Because your competitors are likely to have lawyer marketing activities underway, it is even more important for you to also have a strong program to attract prospective clients to your firm’s services.
Internet Marketing and Its Advantages for Law Firms
The advantage of online marketing for a law firm is that it puts you in front of prospective clients (and new talent). Once they’re directed to your website, they’ve entered your sales (or recruiting) funnel. That’s, of course, the first essential for success in acquiring new clients (and new hires).
Online exposure reaches many multiples of the number of target prospects than is possible for attorneys in today’s competitive environment than attempting to operate a law firm without taking advantage of any digital resources.
Online marketing can be expected to cost some money and time, as does any other form of marketing. So, the only disadvantage to marketing online is that competing firms that do online, and possibly other digital marketing, may have a more effective comprehensive program than yours. If so, then you may find that stepping up your efforts to outrank them in the search engine results pages (SERPS) is necessary to compete successfully online.
Competition notwithstanding, the average ROI from law firm marketing is significant enough that the ABA recommends that law firms budget around 2.5% to 5% of revenues for marketing and business development.
Understanding Your Market / Audience
Today’s prospective legal client is someone who, like the overwhelming majority of all modern consumers, prefers to shop for services (and products) using digital tools. Hence, the replacement of the Yellow Pages paper directory with its online version and Google search. In fact, 93 percent of U.S. American consumers now search online for the services and goods they need. That makes the internet the primary marketing resource for law firms.
To further understand how to approach digital marketing for your law firm, consider what you know about your clientele in terms of demographics, interests, lifestyles, service shopping habits, web use habits and other information relevant to their likely decision process in selecting legal and other services.
Types of Internet Marketing
There are a wide variety of types of lawyer internet marketing that can bring law firms a strong ROI. Depending on whether yours is a B2C or B2B law practice, and on other factors that define your target market, some of the marketing types discussed below may be more or less effective in generating prospect traffic for a law practice. Use available analytics to help you evaluate the practical likelihood of success from each, before you undertake development of your firm’s web marketing program.
Your law practice’s website functionality, design and user experience need to be among the most generally compelling that your prospective clients can find. To be worth having, law firm websites need to make a big impression. To accomplish that, your site must be:
Easy to locate
Your law firm’s site needs to appear in the top Google search results in order to be effective. Users typically do not look beyond the first page of organic search results.
Having excellent written content is only part of the formula for an optimally effective law firm website. Eye-catching, appealing visual elements are also necessary. The human brain has been found to processes visual data many thousands of times faster than it can process text. Plus, 90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual.
Nobody want to hire an attorney that doesn’t inspire confidence in their status as an authority in their field. What the text and visual quality of your website says about your legal practice makes all the difference in your site visitors’ decision to, or not to contact your law office.
We’ve all known the frustration of having our time wasted while waiting for a poorly designed websites’ pages to load. Struggling to get the information a site visitor needs is the fastest way to send them clicking over to a competitor. So, optimize your site for fast scrolling and access through internal and external links.
Accessible for mobile
Over 60 percent of online searches in the U.S. are done either on mobile devices like tablets or smartphones, or on desktop computers. When you access a bad website for mobile, the text can be too small to read and buttons too tiny to click, or the design elements can become jumbled on a small screen.
A well-organized marketing campaign doesn’t have to be expensive in order to generate visitor traffic and sales conversions faster than SEO can. Coordinating ads between multiple sites and other online ad spaces that your prospective clients frequently visit is the most effective approach to online advertising. Placing your ad in multiple locations increases your visibility and viewers’ retention of your message.
Create a variety of ads with different content, to determine what works best. An effective online display ad should grab attention with language that answers the user’s search query. The ad copy should be as close as possible to the search terms the user types, to increase liklihood that the prospective site visitor will click on it. It should also build trust, for example, by offering important options, such as a free, and/or confidential legal case evaluation.
Pay Per Click
Another option that lawyers may consider is Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). You may produce all of the revenues your site has the potential to generate, by using your online real estate to generate passive income.
Law firms need a social media presence. To give people a sense of who you are on a more personal level, you can post information about you and your firm’s participation in civic, charitable and community events, etc.. The social platforms you focus on should be based on the kind of law in which your firm specializes. Having a social presence can also boost your SEO by:
• Increasing your firm’s online visitor traffic.
• Increasing your brand’s visibility and recognition.
• Elevating your status as an authority in your field.
• Widening your content distribution.
• Lengthening the lifespan of your content.
Success with social media advertising requires purchasing paid ads on social platforms. Without those, you can’t expect to obtain sufficient exposure for social media to generate a strong ROI.
If your firm specializes in a B2C legal service, like family law, Facebook is probably a more efficient platform for your advertisement than LinkedIn, for example.
If your law practice primarily serves small businesses, a B2B legal service model, then LinkedIn may be more effective for you than Facebook.
Google My Business
There are simple techniques you can implement for local Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to help your local prospects find your firm. These include efforts such as using local keywords and SEO plugins, to optimize your site for local searches. To take full advantage of this important Google ad feature, claim and optimize your listings, and make sure your office locations all show in Google’s local search results for your market area. Local SEO also involves managing your firm’s online consumer reviews and ratings and local social platforms activity.
The most cost-effective way to stay at top of mind for each of your clients and prospects, and build loyalty for your brand is through well-managed email campaigns and programs. Email marketing is the easiest and least expensive form of digital marketing. Email marketing for attorneys has been found, on average, to yield more than a 4,000 percent ROI.
Opt-in email marketing programs are among the most efficient of all ways to maintain contact with current and prospective legal clients. Email is used by over 90 percent of adults in the U.S., and it’s among the easiest to manage and most cost-effective vehicles for law firm advertising.
Reviews from past clients are among a law firm’s best online marketing assets. Today’s internet users rely on reviews to help in their decision-making about services and products of any and all types. Data has shown that:
• 90 percent of online consumers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.
• 72 percent of online consumers say they have greater trust for local business that have positive reviews.
To round out an online marketing program for a law firm, use available professional lead and referral networks. In addition to making sure your firm is included in any local online networks of services, some of today’s more popular national networks for finding legal services include:
Directories / Digital networks In addition to optimizing the Google My Business profile for your area’s local pack, your firm also needs to do SEO through making sure you’re included in online directories and by claiming your listing. Some of the most prominent legal citation resources include:
Lawyers US Legal
Highly relevant website content can raise your law firm’s ranking in search engine results. A content marketing / SEO specialist can optimize your law firm website by creating blog content, videos, SEO and other elements that can very significantly affect its search engine ranking. Investing in your law firm’s organic online presence can increase your visibility, and it can generate prospect traffic and conversions to new clients. For long-term competitiveness, investing in your law firm’s organic online presence can reduce overall costs per new client acquisition.
Providing blog content for your website visitors can increase the likelihood that your site will appear in search engine rankings by over 430 percent. To choose topics for your blog posts, just answer important frequently asked questions that new clients often ask you. Sharing information through in this way establishes you as an authority in your field, and it contributes very significantly to your SEO.
Investing in good SEO means utilizing strategies to improve your site’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Your law firm needs to be on the first page of Google search results for your local market. Otherwise, there’s little point in being listed at all. 55 percent of all clicks to websites are made to one of top three search results. If you don’t have time to self-train on SEO, get help from an SEO expert who can help you:
• Obtain greater numbers of organic backlinks by offering highly relevant content with CTAs inviting readers to contact your firm for additional information or consultation.
• Establish external links in your content to other high-quality websites.
• Include the most highly relevant keywords in your content and alt-text tags on images.
• Utilize plugins to evaluate the SEO potential of each of your website’s pages.
People prefer lawyers and law firms with which they have a greater sense of familiarity. Using video helps viewers gain that sense better than any other form of marketing. People process video content incomparably faster than written text. So, it’s a much quicker and simpler method of conveying important information about your law firm. Indicators are that prospects who view a well-designed video about a legal service may be as much as 85% more likely to become clients.
Tracking Your Digital Marketing Results
The success of a law firm’s marketing program relies on accurate results tracking and data analyses. Businesses that track results of their various marketing and measure ROI are more than 70% more likely to develop a marketing strategy that yields a higher ROI.
Avoid wasting resources on ineffective marketing by finding out which strategies are working and which need to be modified or replaced. Focus should be on the KPIs that most closely reflect the effectiveness of a firm’s digital marketing strategy, including:
• Total Leads Generated
• Scheduling Rate
• Cost Per Lead (CPL)
• New Client Conversion Rate
• Total New Clients
• Total Revenue From Marketing Sources
• Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
eProphet Media – Novi, Michigan
We specialize in building websites that perform well in search engines and trackable digital marketing campaigns to maximize ROI. eProphet Media helps all sizes of law firms maximize their results from their web presence and digital marketing and branding more broadly. Our creative team are experts at thinking outside the box to get law firms more clients and increase their brand awareness, using our cost-effective, targeted approach.
For More Information
For additional information about online marketing for your law firm, contact eProphet Media, Novi MI at (248) 923-4590 to arrange to speak to one of our experts in law firm marketing.