Selecting a Law Firm Marketing Vendor

Infographic of marketing strategies for law firms, featuring digital ads, networking, and testimonials.

Every law firm has unique needs and requires distinct marketing services depending on their practice area. This blog is intended to empower firms by offering clarity on which approach best fits their:

✅Budgetary constraints

✅Desired outcomes

✅Overall business goals 

Differentiating Your Needs and Your Wants

We understand that your law firm wants to achieve certain goals in a specific timeframe.

However, merely following your WANTS won’t suffice.

What does your firm NEED to compete, stay afloat, and most importantly, thrive in today’s market?

We’ll help you find the answers.

Because making significant decisions in the business world, like in law firms, requires: 

  •  Wisdom to take premeditated risks 
  •  Capital

Taking these essential aspects into consideration is key to better understanding what your firm NEEDS.

If you want more business, you will need to invest in assets that’ll help your firm get there. 

Like what? 

Start off by doing some research. 

  • What are your competitors doing that you aren’t? 
  • Where are they visible? 
  • How can you implement that strategy but get better results? 
  • More so, where are the clients searching for legal services? 
  • What kind of information are they looking for? 
  • If a law firm invests in a digital asset, e.g. SEO, to improve visibility – how can law firms assess the quality of such service?

For example:Seo-strategy

When searching for vendors to handle your law firm’s digital marketing, it is smart to interview multiple companies. After all, you’ll want to look through their web design portfolio, talk about search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, discuss their track record for return on investment, and ask for references from other clients.

While shopping around, it can be tempting to piece together different services from different vendors. Whether you are piecemealing to save money or because you liked different parts of different vendors’ proposals, beware: This fragmented approach will cause costly cracks in your online marketing campaign.

Even when vendors pledge to work together, even when they have a good relationship, even when they have the best intentions for your campaign, the disconnect will inevitably show. And your bottom line will suffer.

Sick reference party gifgif

This free checklist will help you with your due diligence: 

Questions to ask seo agency


Understanding the Interconnections Between Design, Development & SEO

Web design and SEO are often thought of as separate services, but to be effective, they should be considered a package deal. For law firms, the intent of a website is to bring in clients, so that should be the intent of the design. A beautiful website that doesn’t attract visitors and convert is a waste of money.

Designers should be closely consulting with SEO teams on user experience (UX), functionality, site structure, and paths to conversion. As a design moves into code, developers should also be working the SEO team to address factors that will affect the site’s rankings and conversions.

Common problems that pop up when SEO is not considered during the design and development phase include:

  • Poor mobile usability
  • Missing functionality
  • Minimal focus on conversion
  • Lack of site structure optimization
  • Poor site speed
  • Problems with image sizes
  • Improper usage of header tags
  • Incomplete NAP (name, address, phone) references
  • Too small font sizes (yep, that can cause a ding to your SEO!)

These are all problems that may not be immediately noticeable by looking at a beautifully designed homepage, but they can leave your new site dead in the water when it comes to bringing in business.

More Vendors, Less Efficiency & Ultimately Money Wasted

When an SEO team from one vendor works on a site that was designed by another vendor without optimization in mind, the team has to go back and play catch-up. They must fix site structures, create workarounds for problematic coding, and address problems of missing functionality. In some cases, this can mean additional money for recoding. In every case, it is work that could have been done before the site launched to ensure success out the gate.

In addition, if a problem arises with a site, your entire online marketing campaign can come to a screeching halt as you try to get to the bottom of what happened. (For example, changes from a design vendor can severely impact your SEO.) Once you identify a problem, you may see delays as the appropriate fixes are implemented by each vendor and intertwined issues are hashed out by representatives from different companies.

Exposing Bad Practices in the Legal Digital Marketing Industry

One of the most astonishing findings under ABA’s latest report is the number of lawyers in the dark about how their firm uses technology to attract clients. Around 47% of firms do not know whether they have policies regarding publishing on social networks, blogs, etc.

The report goes on to show that firms are hiring an external consultant to take on the following: 

  • Site design (50%)
  • SEO (28%)
  • Social media (25%)
  • Print marketing (14%)
  • Phone leads (9%)
  • Online leads (5%)
  • AdWords/PPC and directory listings (5%)
  • Direct mail (4%)

These tasks take time, effort, and skills, which is why many firms rely on the help of a legal marketing agency. But how can you find the best fit for your firm? What kind of ‘red flags’ should you be on the lookout for? 

We’ll start by saying no two legal marketing agencies are alike, but you’ll want to steer clear from snake oil salesperson tactics that promise a ‘quick fix for all.’ To help you better identify this, let’s look into 2 major bad practices in the legal marketing industry. 

Bad Practice 1: Backlink Strategy Focused on Quantity

A backlink refers to the link connecting one page to another. Here’s a basic overview

Backlink explanationA backlink may not mean much to the everyday Internet user, but backlinks are powerful for those investing in digital marketing. With a solid backlink strategy, you can:

  • Increase rankings 
  • Improve your visibility in search engines like Google 
  • Get more referral traffic
  • Boost your domain and page authority 
  • Drive more traffic, and thus more leads 

Although links are a significant factor in where your firm’s page and the site will show up, recent findings state Google finds backlinks have less impact on your rankings than before. In other words, more links do not mean better results, rankings, etc. In this case, quality will always beat quantity. 

Grant brott seo strategy quote

According to the Director of ROI Strategy at Consultwebs, Grant Brott, a good legal backlink should include the following:

  1. Broader industry relevance: Links related to your topic or have some standing in the legal field you’re in.
  2. Practice area relevance: Links are highly relevant by topic/ practice area. For example, a motorcycle firm getting a link from a motorcycle club about accidents is relevant to the practice area.
  3. Location relevance: Links that are specific to your legal jurisdiction.

Some agencies might want to shift their focus to quantity, but this is a slippery slope with Google’s helpful content update; its best that firms focus on creating content for people first. Again, this reinforces the previous concept that a good legal backlink focuses on providing relevance above all.

Bad Practice 2: Buying Engagement for Law Firms

Please note: Buying engagement refers to buying likes, clicks, and followers, which is entirely different than advertising. 

Grant brott social media strategy quote

Behind every successful digital advertising campaign, there’s a high probability there’s money involved. You have to spend money on social media to get it in front of people, which is possible through legal digital advertising.

Sadly, one of the most common social media mistakes is buying followers. Technically, purchasing followers, likes and shares is legal, but at best, this is just a quick way to make your firm appear more popular than it is, and ultimately it won’t impact your bottom line.

Firms starting on socials may be tempted to fall for such shortcuts, but purchasing engagement means:

  • Increasing spams 
  • Reaching bots (inauthentic, inactive audiences) 
  • Engagement is still not guaranteed 

Buying engagement is different from advertising. With advertising, you can promote your content and put it in front of audiences that need you. Clients using a mix of organic and paid advertising (SEM) see a higher ROI. Take a look at this case:

Sem vs seo leads trend

See How Firms Get 4X Leads with SEM

Takeaway: Get the Most of Your Marketing Investment 

Don’t let your marketing dollars go to waste.

To help you protect your firm’s investment, we have created a resource to facilitate your decision-making process as you search for the ideal legal marketing agency. It includes a list of 15+ printable questions related to: 

  1. Your budget 
  2. Your decision-making process 
  3. Your ideal results-based mindset

Download My Decision-Making Handbook

In addition to that resource, if you’re looking for the best ways to improve your firm’s overall health, then let’s take this conversation to the next level – feel free to schedule your 1-1 here.