Proven Tactics for Success
How are family law firms staying ahead of the curve in today’s legal arena? Read the before and after case of a family law firm’s digital transformation here.
If your law firm already has a website, you’re in good company. Statistics show that the percentage of respondents who indicated that their firm has a website rose from 77% in 2018 to 94% in 2021. Another big change is who is managing those websites. The bar chart shows another significant transformation that occurred in those 4 years: it is increasingly rare for lawyers to manage their own websites
The trend today is for firms to not only invest in website creation, but also to hand it over to marketing professionals. Why is that? The rapid development of the internet means that just having a website is no longer enough, and there are now many factors that play into getting new cases from website traffic. To get the most out of your website–and to keep up– other strategies, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and Local Services Ads (LSAs) with Google, as well as other marketing techniques, have become essential for attracting new clientele.
To build on their website presence, many firms opt as a critical first step to focus on legal SEO to begin ranking on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other widely used search engines. By using this tactic, firms are taking advantage of the opportunity to:
- Reach more users.
- Generate quality leads.
- Boost credibility.
- Maximize additional digital advertising efforts like legal PPC campaigns.
- Stay ahead of the competition.
A law firm that partnered with us (Consultwebs) is a case in point of the positive long-term rewards of investing in internet marketing.
Please note: to protect the firm’s identity, it will be referred to just as ‘the firm’ throughout the case study.
Fortune Favors the Bold Firms
The firm practices family law in Raleigh, North Carolina, offering legal advice and representation on issues related to:
- Domestic violence
- Child custody
- Asset – division of property
- Digital asset – division of property
- Legal separation
Naturally, clients of a family law firm are often in emotionally charged situations, and the firm wanted to focus on being where their clients were most likely to be looking for help, and that of course includes Google and other search engines.
Because of the firm partner’s awareness of the internet’s power, he made this point during a one-on-one chat with us:
He added, “People really identify with what you put online as if they’ve already met you,” which makes it more comfortable for them to contact you, particularly in very sensitive situations.
Although business was going fairly well, the firm wanted to reach more prospects in need of family law services. As an early adopter, the firm began advertising online in the early 2000s. As the partner recalls, “I started back in 2000-2001. I was looking to build my practice, and being online was something new and historically different than what was being done to advertise a firm.“
He was also quick to see the inherent opportunities possible with legal digital marketing as another path to expansion and growth. And he was willing to bet on its success, so he partnered with Consultwebs, specifically for SEO services.
A Recipe for Everlasting Legal Success
This firm is based in a geographic area that is experiencing rapid growth in law firms across the legal spectrum. According to ABA, North Carolina in general is seeing record increases in the number of lawyers, landing among the top 10 states for lawyer growth in the past decade. The map shows how strong competition has become, in certain areas of the state, and the Raleigh area specifically has a very dense concentration:
Being located in one of the state’s most heavily populated legal sectors has not prevented the firm from experiencing its own phenomenal growth. The firm’s SEO investment and 22-year relationship with Consultwebs has historically and to this day continues to pay dividends in this firm’s growth.
Increased Organic Traffic to the Site
Specific dividends for this law firm include the increase in organic traffic to its site through SEO. While PPC efforts focus on boosting paid traffic, SEO focuses on promoting organic traffic to a firm’s website. Because of its investment in SEO, the firm is seeing its organic traffic steadily increase:
Increased Number of Users to the Site
Another notable benefit seen in a recent year-to-year comparison is that the number of users is also increasing – a solid 24.57%, to be precise:
The uptick in users creates a domino effect: with the increased number of users, the firm also sees an increase in:
- Sessions: the period of time a user is active on their site.
- Page views: the total number of pages viewed.
When comparing a recent year to year, the session length increased by 30.53%, and the number of page views increased by 27.65%.
Although there may not be a one-to-one correlation to case numbers, eventually the combined marketing efforts do pay off. When the firm’s partner was asked how their digital investment had impacted business, he responded:
The domino effect is real. With the increased number of users, the firm also sees an increase in:
When comparing a recent year to year, the session increased by 30.53%, and the number of page views increased by 27.65%.
This may not directly translate to profit but eventually, the combined efforts pay off. When the firm was asked how their digital investment impacted business, they said:
More Qualified Users Within the Firm’s Legal Jurisdiction
Because every firm practices within its legal jurisdiction, it’s critical the traffic coming in through the website is looking for legal services within the corresponding jurisdiction. In this case, the firm’s users are qualified.
When comparing recent years, the firm is indeed attracting 20.89% more users in North Carolina! The heatmap speaks for itself:
Ranking for Relevant Top Keywords
Keywords have also played a big role in helping the firm expand, as they connect a user’s search intent to relevant findings. Where you are in the ranking matters in terms of where you are in the list generated by the search. In this case, the firm ranks for relevant keywords their prospects are searching for, including:
- Domestic violence attorney
- Alimony Attorney
- Restraining order NC
- Child support calculator NC
- Divorce in NC
Going Digital Is Pushing the Firm Forward In Other Ways
The firm’s continued investment in digital marketing is not only yielding more calls and cases, it is also changing how the firm operates in the digitized working arena of today.
- Reducing traditional office space and increasing technology use
As with many businesses, what started as a response to the pandemic has resulted in some long-term changes in priorities. According to the partner, “[Because of COVID-19] we started working more remotely, and clients are actually often more comfortable with that. Since pretty much everybody has a phone or computer at their house and is able to do Webex
at their house, we’ve essentially reduced our need for traditional office space. On the other hand, we’ve increased our need for technology to be able to sustain people working at home.“
- Reducing and controlling the firm’s paper waste
The partner uses the recent John C. Depp, II v. Amber Laura Heard trial to exemplify how law firms going digital can reduce paper waste, “[As a firm] we are always going to be paper intense, but now it’s less paper intense. In the Johnny Depp trial, all documentation was in the computers, and I think that will be more common in the field of law in the future.”
The firm is already working toward being less paper dependent, as the partner notes, “[Now] we have all the exhibits and everything else electronically stored when we go to court, but we also have a paper copy to hand around.” The paper copy is still necessary to be in compliance with court mandates, which require hard copies. As with many other businesses, the landscape of the practice of law is evolving in response to rapid technological change as well as external influences like the pandemic. This makes keeping up with technology crucial to a law firm’s growth. This firm does not plan to keep still while technology advances.
Planning and Growing A Legal Business Ahead
The partner says that, as a family law firm, it is now experiencing, “…explosive growth, with people needing all kinds of help–from struggles within their families, to individual parents whose personal struggles cause depression, anxiety, and anger issues.“
While keeping the business picture in mind, the firm also focuses on the human picture, seeing itself in a unique position to provide a service to those who need help with what are sometimes highly sensitive personal issues. It plans to continue its partnership with Consultwebs to continue its outreach, and remarks on the value of the transparent partnership they’ve had with us:
This family law firm has a proven track record of success investing in marketing with Consultwebs, but it isn’t the only one.