Digital Marketing for Lawyers
In one of the most competitive service industries today, many lawyers are asking themselves; “How can I market my law firm online?” and “How do lawyers get more clients?”. The answer; a digital marketing strategy that builds your brands and your book of business.
The list of tactics available to lawyers looking to grow their practice through digital marketing is endless. There are several benefits to digital marketing for law firms, however, without a consistently applied strategy, the work might outweigh the reward.
- By focusing your digital marketing strategy on the four main objectives of legal marketing, Attraction, Conversion, Branding, and Delight, you can select your tactics more intelligently.
- Search Engine Optimization, Web Design, Digital Advertising (PPC), Social Media, and Content, are all essential tactics comprising a successful digital marketing strategy for your law firm.
- With the ability to collect and interpret first-party data generated from digital marketing campaigns, lawyers can target their efforts through data, on audiences most likely to convert.
- With billions of dollars being spent on legal advertising in the US each year, digital marketing strategy equips your law firm with the ability to track the efficacy and ROI of campaigns.
The difficulties arrive when those funding the marketing have to prioritize the activities; what do you do first, in what order? Let’s dive into Four Objectives of Legal Marketing, answer some basics about digital marketing, and explore tactics like SEO, PPC, Web Design, and connect them to digital marketing strategy for your law firm that expands your brands and gets the phone ringing.
Four Objective of Legal Digital Marketing
A marketing strategy for your law firm that’s focused on objectives like Attraction, Conversion, Branding, and Delight, ensures digital marketing activities cover a spectrum, not just a slice, of what’s required to be effective, drive leads, and grow your business. (there should be an Image here, have not found it yet)
Marketing initiatives like digital advertising, lead gen campaigns, conversion-focused legal web design, and an engaging presence on social media, are just a few ways to fulfill the objective of Attraction.
While most marketers obsess about driving traffic, few have a solid plan on directing that traffic into meaningful and measurable patterns of conversion. Intake optimization, strong CRM, establishing & measuring ROI, and creating nurture streams with related content are a few ways to focus marketing efforts and objectives on conversion.
Dealing in the liminal spaces between promotion and perception, branding is an essential component of any serious legal marketing strategy.
Marketing initiatives like client experience optimization, SEO, evergreen content like case studies, and swag are all great ways to achieve the Branding objective. Your law firm’s brand is more than just unique colors and slogans. Over time, a brand becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in a crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value.
There are a ton of perspectives on marketing initiatives that inspire delight and loyalty in clients. Special partnerships that benefit clients, a focus on the client experience, solid service content, client gifts; all of these are fantastic ways to facilitate some delight in your marketing objectives. A lot of voices in marketing say focus on building loyalty and the new business will show up, and to a certain extent in legal services this is true, lawyers build relationships with clients.
How can I market my law firm online?
When developing a marketing plan for your firm, maybe you aren’t sure where to start, or maybe you just want to focus on practicing law and can’t find the time to market.
There are many lawyers who are turned off by marketing or unconvinced that it is worthy of their time. After all, billable hours come first and marketing strategies are time-consuming.
If you are a lawyer who is fully on board with your marketing plan, then you have most likely reaped the benefits. Some lawyers may think that if they devote all of their time to doing quality legal work there is simply no need to market – that the work will speak for itself. Others may be worried that marketing their firm will overwhelm them with clients and they won’t be able to keep up.
The simple truth is, whatever it is that is holding you back could be preventing you from taking your firm to the next level of success.
How do you attract legal clients?
At this point, it should be understood that having a video presence is an essential facet of your digital marketing strategy. According to Forrester Research, a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Will your video say the right ones?
Simply having video in your legal marketing plan isn’t enough to differentiate you from your competitors.
What can differentiate your practice, however, is the quality of your video marketing. One of the first steps to attracting new clients is to make them aware of your practice.
PPC for Law Firms
Pay-per-click involves bidding on keyword phrases that are relevant to your law firm’s target market. Your PPC display ad is shown on websites and with organic search results for related content. Based on your bid, you pay for each visitor, or “click,” that your website receives through the PPC advertisement.
Bidding for keywords among law firms can be highly competitive – and expensive. As a result, a poorly planned or mismanaged paid search campaign could end up costing your law firm thousands of wasted dollars.
However, if done the right way, PPC advertising will generate a reliable return on your investment. Key Areas For a Successful PPC Campaign:
Focusing your keywords
Careful selection of keywords (search terms) means everything in paid search advertising. Conduct thorough keyword research and make sure to tightly match your keywords to the specific types of cases you are seeking.
Reaching your target audience
Take a proactive approach to PPC. Study analytics and use that data to target the audience you want to view your ads. For instance, you can tailor your campaign based on:
- Age, gender, and interests
- Mobile phone use
- Peak conversion times during the day.
Another tip; there can be a wealth of information in the performance of your competitors’ PPC campaigns. Get with a trusted digital advertising agency to help you take advantage of competitive benchmarks.
Conveying a clear message in your ad content.
Your PPC landing page and other ad copy must be not only relevant to your keywords – but it must also lead to conversions. It must:
Communicate a clear, direct message
Be easy to navigate, feature a prominently displayed way to contact your firm. Develop multiple ads and continuously test and refine the copy until you get it “just right.” Additionally, in regards to ads that deal with dangerous drugs and defective medical devices, there may be extra approval time from Google Ads, so make sure to budget this time.
Carefully managing your bids and budget.
Your goal is to achieve the best cost-per-conversion rate for your firm. Start by determining the budget you will need at the outset of your campaign. The budget should cover enough clicks per day so you will be able to obtain helpful data. Then use that budget to make adjustments to your bids and your budget as you move forward.
SEO for Attorneys & Law Firms
Successful search engine optimization (SEO) for law firm websites requires consistency, coordination, and a lot of work. This resource contains some helpful advice on the topic but should not be considered an exhaustive list of marketing strategies or tactics.
HAVE CONSISTENT INFORMATION: Your online name, address, and phone number (NAP) should match your social business name on your business license and other business-related documentation. In addition, make sure that other information listed on various online platforms, such as hours of operation, URL, business description, etc., are consistent.
CLAIM AND VERIFY YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING: Utilizing this valuable resource will give you access to a custom dashboard that includes details about your business and access to managing your Google online reviews.
GAIN ONLINE REVIEWS: Potential clients typically seek online reviews before contacting a law firm. Ask your satisfied clients to leave your firm a review on sites like Google, Yelp, Avvo, and Facebook to help build your trust within your community. Remember to confirm that your approach when building reviews is in line with requirements and guidelines from applicable bar organizations and those of each online review platform.
CLAIM AND UPDATE ONLINE CITATIONS: Claiming business and legal industry citations help to verify that your law firm is valid. The more, and higher authority, citations you claim and update the better chance you have at ranking higher on search engines.
Local SEO For Law Firms
An effective local search campaign ensures potential clients in your geographic area can find your firm on the web. It also ensures your firm’s address and location show up in the maps that matter, like those used by Google and iPhones, and that apps on smartphones can locate you quickly and easily.
You may have noticed when performing a search on Google or another search engine that you’ll often see results that pertain to your city or area, without having to specify geography in which to search. Often, searchers will also see a group of results with a map showing the locations of various businesses.
Search engines can also provide ratings for businesses and organizations that clients and customers review using their platform. Searches performed on smartphones and other mobile devices are responsible for a large volume of searches that yield local results. All of these items have to do with local search, and all are of growing importance to all local businesses, including law firms.
With Google being the largest search engine in terms of volume, an updated Google My Business listing, and Google reviews, are both extremely important to law firms. Appearance at or near the top of the map results or “local pack” for specific searches can lead to more website visits, more contacts, and ultimately more cases.
Social Media Marketing for Law Firms
Choosing to develop your law firm’s book of business through social media marketing can be a decision, fraught with variables. Do you bandwagon on the latest platform? How does organic traffic, differ from paid? Is it possible to track social media ROI?
Recognizing that an effective legal marketing strategy achieves both short-term and long-term business objectives, your law firm’s social media must be focused on essentially two things; growing awareness of your brand, and generating leads/clients.
Let’s cover the basics of social media marketing for law firms, learn why you should partake, how you can grow your total addressable audience, and how you can track all this back to actual revenue.
Why should your law firm be on social media?
Marketing your law firm via social media is not a new idea, and it remains one of the easiest ways to establish an online presence.
According to the American Bar Association 2020 Websites and Marketing Survey, lawyers are overwhelmingly on social media but see varying results of success in regards to generating business.
In our own research and interviews with lawyers that use social media marketing to great effect, we’ve discovered a theme of pairing content with a way to track and measure effectiveness across a campaign, while appreciating the nuances of social media as a community-building platform. So the question becomes, how to grow your law firm’s online audience through social media, and where?
Best social media platforms for lawyers
You’d like to know exactly which social media platforms and advertising ecosystems your law firm needs to be on, right? You’re nervous you have to start lip-syncing and dancing and we totally get it; we won’t desert you.
The truth to an effective law firm social media marketing strategy isn’t to go “where the eyeballs are,” but rather research your own client database, their demographics, and media preferences, to discover where you’re most likely to generate client relationships that mirror the one’s you’ve already initiated.
After a simple but comprehensive client experience survey, like this, you may discover your most valuable clientele prefer Instagram to Facebook, that you don’t have to TikTok but Snapchat, or that clients prefer email marketing and listen to the radio.
You’ll never know the best place to look for new clients unless you know where your current ones came from.
How can I grow awareness for my law firm on social media?
Extracting value and ROI from social media has eluded most law firms, not because of lack of content marketing, but of lack of marketing strategy.
Law firms produce immeasurable amounts of organic posts, with no promotional budgets or straight selling ads to be seen, and wonder why they never see results on social media.
Legal marketers have to appreciate the difference between brand building vs sales activation when it comes to social media marketing.
If you need sales on Monday, no amount of organic content on social media is going to get you there. However, without a long-term plan to build an audience, particularly through content marketing, short-term sales alone won’t be enough to grow your business.
As discussed in our Legal Marketing Nutrition Guide, most legal marketing budgets are solely focused on, and measured by, short-term sales uplifts. Prioritize social media ad budgets to produce great content that’s focused, not only on lead generation but also aligned with a consistent brand strategy aimed to win online market share.
Legal Content Writing / Content Marketing for Lawyers
Well-written, high-quality web content enhances both visitor experience and search engine rankings. Engaging content is more shareable through social media and more likely to attract links. Put the web to work for you, and bring clients to your door through law firm content marketing.
Creating high-quality, client-focused content takes time. Time lawyers probably don’t have. That’s why a dependable partnership with a legal content marketing provider is essential to success.
You need content that engages visitors on your site, demonstrates your extensive knowledge and unique values, and generates case leads. You have to ensure that your website is highly visible in search engine results and converts well. Detailed content that is specific to your practice areas and the questions your clients are searching for online is critical. Law firm marketing content is a chance to highlight community involvement (demonstrating local relevance), and showcase notable achievements (demonstrating your authority).
With every piece of content you craft, show potential clients why they should hire you. In the end, that’s the true measure of your web marketing efforts — the cases you sign. Recognize that, and your content is focused on delivering results.
What Counts as Law Firm Marketing Content?
Practice area pages
Authoritative practice area pages display your knowledge and command of the law and help prospective clients understand why they are best served by contacting your firm. Informative, educational supporting pages, building a comprehensive site that search engines recognize.
Craft regular blog posts on topics relevant to your practice areas, providing fresh content for your website, increasing viewer traffic, and enhancing the authority of the site. Insightful, engaging blog posts that are regularly get shared through social media, can extend your reach and provide valuable links.
Attorney bio pages are some of the top-read pages on law firm websites. Well-written biographies allow prospective clients to learn about you and your legal qualifications and values. Biographies personalize you, and they often provide your first opportunity to establish authority and develop trust with new prospects.
Informative, widely distributed press releases can be a valuable part of your online marketing strategy. Receive publicity for notable accomplishments and civic activities, and drive links back to your site.
With eye-catching designs and interesting statistics, infographics are a great tool for educating and attracting attention to your brand. Create content-rich infographics that are easily shareable.
Being active on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn increases your law firm’s name recognition, enhances search engine optimization, and brings word-of-mouth referrals.
When the Consumer Product Safety Commission announces a product recall or the FDA issued a safety alert about a dangerous drug, the Consultwebs’ content team can quickly get that information published on your website to reach those who may have been harmed. You can also share breaking news about significant decisions by courts and government agencies that affect your practice.
If you have ever seen a cool app, game, or data-packed resource that was tied to a specific brand, you know what a valuable tool a creative project can be. Creative assets are a great way to attract the attention of potential clients, media, and industry influencers.
Specialty content such as eBooks provides an opportunity to educate prospects and clients about issues that may arise in a given practice area. E-books allow longer engagement with prospective clients and a chance for them to print out helpful information that keeps your law firm’s name at the forefront when they are making a hiring decision.
Paid ad content
When you pay for an ad online, having content that converts is crucial. Otherwise, you are wasting your money. You’ve got to know what works (and what doesn’t) for paid advertising content. Constantly monitor your paid ads to ensure the content is closing the deal and bringing in leads.
Video content provides valuable information for your clients and great opportunities for branding. Hire local talent, or a legal advertising agency you trust, to script and produce web videos that introduce your law firm to clients.
Email Marketing For Lawyers
Are you communicating with your client base regularly? Are they updated about your latest news, events, and relevant information?
If the answer is no, then your law firm would benefit from implementing an email marketing strategy. Maintaining any relationship requires communication, email marketing lets you create opportunities to start conversations with your current and potential client base and funnel that conversation into a desired action or event.
Website Design For Lawyers
What does your law firm’s website say about you? Is your law firm website design responsive, easy to navigate and visually inviting? Does it emphasize your qualifications and recommendations from clients and peers? Is it clear to visitors that your results speak for themselves? And if a new client is checking your site from a mobile device, is it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for? There are many aspects to consider when evaluating your website design.
Components of great legal web design
Great design, for an attorney website, is about more than choosing a color scheme and some friendly firm photos (although that is important, too). It’s about showing prospective clients why they should choose your firm over your competitors.
A successful law firm website should:
Focus on the user experience
First and foremost, design your site, for your potential clients. Your audience should be able to quickly scan your site and find what they are looking for. They shouldn’t get bogged down in legalese and dark gray oceans of text. And they are not looking for flash and splash. They are looking for legal help.
Guide the users where you want them to go.
Conversion is proof that your website is performing as it should. That means a good lawyer website design should incorporate and highlight a clear path for users to connect with the appropriate people in a manner that is most convenient for them.
Strategically craft content and structure your site in a way that attracts prospective clients, guides them to the information they need, and leads them to connect with your firm. Increasing conversions should remain one of the key factors in design decisions.
Meet your clients where they are
Your law firm’s website design needs to be fast and responsive, meaning mobile-friendly. When your digital assets, like your home page, landing page, when web design blends seamlessly with your other marketing efforts, users, law firm, and search engines, all like it.
Stay ahead of the attorney website design curve.
Just as your clients trust you to anticipate legal hurdles that they could never see coming, a legal web design agency you can trust needs to stay on the cutting edge. The online legal marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Make sure your website design keeps pace with Google algorithm updates, and creating mobile-first strategies, and preparing your site for Google algorithm updates.
A law firm digital marketing strategy, when applied tactically over time, aligned with business goals, and measured for performance, is the most dependable way to grow your law firm online. Marketing needs to be based on objectives, not subjective feedback. By focusing your marketing efforts around the objectives you wish to achieve, rather than the tactics you can use, the job of marketing becomes much more simplified and focused.
Rather than wondering if you need to jump on the latest social media bandwagon, or if you need to blog or podcast, focus on the main objectives, work towards brand growth and conversions, and use a digital marketing strategy to weed out tactics to ensure business development online works for your law firm.