Law firm marketing can create many hurdles for a lawyer to jump, in order to generate more leads and gain market share against competing firms.
The problem is, most lawyers don’t know the competitive benchmarks, like market share, that could help them make smarter decisions building their book of business.
The experts at Consultwebs, in conjunction with the latest marketing research, have compiled an easy set of instructions for lawyers & legal marketers, to use free online tools to get an approximation of their law firm’s market share, and engineer a “best-in-class” law firm SEO strategy. Let’s go!
Share of Search as a Leading Indicator of Market Share
First off, here is a definition of market share – “the portion of a market controlled by a particular company or product.”
As an example, here is a diagram, showing the market share percentages of the top supermarkets in the US.
So, how can we discover competitor’s market share if we don’t have full visibility into their financials?
Enter Google Trends.
Suffice it to say, that Google is one of the most powerful search engines in the world, and one of the things that makes it so powerful, is it’s an intention discovery tool.
People go on Google, and search for things they have heard about, and are interested to learn more, or take action on.
What’s so exciting, is that the latest research in marketing science has found a fairly reliable way to use Google Trends as a ‘leading indicator’ of market share.
Every year, the IPA, International Practitioners of Advertising in the UK, host a marketing conference on effectiveness, and one of this year’s lighting rod moments, came from Les Binet, at the 2020 EffWorks Global Conference.
By simply using Google Trends, and cross-referencing an abundance of actual revenue and sales data for 3 major verticals, Binet discovered share of search, and share of market, were correlated.
Digital advertisers have utilized search engine marketing, and intent, for as the internet has been around.
It’s why you see ads pop-up for a product or service, almost as soon as you search for it.
But Binet discovered patterns and a symbiotic relationship in search that hinted towards a relationship towards market share, and more excitingly, a potential way to forecast growth.
A brand’s market share impacts its share of search, because people are, most likely, searching for information on something in their possession (if you own an iPhone, you’re more likely to ask questions about it).
And when a brand has a high share of search, Binet’s research indicates that it’s about to grow.
Don’t believe us? Go read all this for yourself → https://www.contagious.com/news-and-views/share-of-search-the-new-most-important-metric-for-brands-google
So, how can you use this information to help your law firm measure market share?
Establish Your Law Firm Marketing Competition Via Keywords
The most important step to establishing share of search metrics for your law firm, is gathering the correct competitive set.
We used SEM Rush, an online visibility management platform, to identify the top common keywords for personal injury digital advertising and search marketing in a given location.
For this blog, we chose Minneapolis; here are the top searched terms.
If we total all the Search Volumes together, we get a sense of the average monthly volume of searches happening for these terms.
Here are the URLs with the most share of search for the associated keywords, and their share of the estimated traffic.
Once you’ve identified the top keywords for your practice area, established the search volumes per term, and properly labeled the big fish in the pond, you can start to see patterns emerge.
It seems like FindLaw is eating up a bunch of the traffic, but when you break down the URLs by keywords, even further patterns emerge…
It’s clear to see that certain firms are focusing on certain terms, while some are pushing for clicks across all terms.
What’s most exciting about this type of legal marketing research, is you can get a sense of the market share and competitors, but also a glimpse into their SEO strategies.
These graphs can help you identify the “low-hanging-fruit” opportunities for your SEO strategy to compete for share of search.
The key aspect to this, is that SEO & keywords are the main action point for a law firm to gain traction in online search engines, and thusly play an essential role in raising brand prominence and capturing market share.
Now, to measure the market share…
Establish Your Law Firm Marketing Share of Search Using Google Trends
Take the top ranking legal advertisers for your target keyword terms, and enter their brand names into Google Trends.
This is where the magic can happen.
In this example, it’s clear to see the dominant brand is Knutson+Casey. FindLaw, while ranking for top keyword searches, is not the dominant brand name in Minneapolis.
What’s so funny, is if you spell out the law firm’s name, without that ‘+’ the entire landscape changes.
The takeaway from this example is to make sure your marketing copy and SEO work, reflect the exact brand phrases people use in search engines to find you.
This very simple Share of Search marketing research exercise will help you get an approximation of your law firm’s market share, properly identify your competitors, and get a sense of the size of the search hill, and who is currently king.
So, what next?
Make Sense, Get Strategic, Gain Market Share
The point of this analysis is to answer the question, “how can I market my law firm smarter, to more potential clients, and measure & gain market share from competitors?”
By using SEM Rush, Google Trends, and a list of simple keywords, you can understand your true competitors and their approach to search, discover the size and your portion of the local market share, and identify the keywords and SEO tactics that can help you market your law firm, more confidently.
Have questions or are interested in a Law Firm Market Share Analysis for your city or state, or want more legal marketing info, Get In Touch, Subscribe to our Newsletter, and catch the latest episode of the LAWsome podcast!