Digital Marketing for Lawyers: Major Avenues Worth Exploring
How to stand out when industry tenure and reputation are no longer enough
While becoming a lawyer was, and most likely still is, every parent’s dream career for their offspring, success in the legal field requires much more pavement pounding than it used to. This has been a reality since the industry was proclaimed over saturated about ten years ago. Since then, law firms not only have to work harder to attract talent and new clients, but they have to somehow outperform in the sea of competition.
While some still believe that their industry tenure and stellar reputation will be enough to rise above the rest and attract new clients, most law professionals are quickly realizing that old-school schmoozing and word-of-mouth reliance is not yielding the results they once did.
So, the question becomes, how do you stand out and find success as a lawyer in today’s overcrowded industry? The secret to this sauce comes down to how strong your digital marketing game is.
Now, if you’re a lawyer, you’re probably starting to sweat at the mention of digital marketing. Chances are, you’ve already explored or invested in this avenue and found your ROI to be disheartening. But, consider this: 85% of consumers now go online to find local businesses. This means that in order to build your client base and find new recruits, you need to meet them where they’re looking.
Here are a few law-specific marketing practices that will help you strengthen your online presence and overall digital marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as a general rule, is the practice of increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results. As you can imagine, a company interested in enhancing their overall SEO is primed to cast a very wide net.
Since law firms are generally interested in capturing the attention of local clientele, they are better suited investing in local SEO, a specific search engine optimization method that focuses on attracting visitors that live close to where your firm operates. Enhancing your local SEO will help you outrank your competition on search engine results and attract more visitors to your website.
The pie in the sky goal is to get your firm at the top of the search results in Google’s local pack, which is found under the paid ads and before the organic search results. Everything that is featured in the local pack comes from those businesses’ Google My Business profile, which has quickly become a crucial component to local SEO.
Even if you don’t make it in the local pack, 92% of searchers will only click on businesses found on the first page of local search results, so it’s first page or bust.
Create a beautiful website
Before the industry was bubbling over with eager lawyers vying for your clients, it may have been passable to have a less than stellar website. But today, even the best search engine ranking won’t win you new business if your website is anything less than top notch. Remember, almost all consumers go online to find local businesses these days, so your website is arguably your most valuable marketing tool.
Here’s what it needs to be if you want it to work for you:
Aesthetically stunning: Call it judgmental, but users will form an opinion about you and rank your credibility after just a few seconds of your website loading. This makes your site’s layout and design absolutely crucial. Make sure that all design components instill a modern sense of approachable professionalism by being intentional with your fonts, colors, visuals, and your site’s navigation.
Fast: Since most people searching for a law solution don’t generally have the luxury of time, you’ll want to make sure your website loads fast. Studies show that users will only wait for three seconds before getting irritated and moving on to the next site.
Optimized for mobile: Think about it. If users are only allowing three seconds for a website to load before shunning you forever, do you think they will tolerate tiny text or inoperable buttons after finding you on their mobile device? No way. Over half of all Google searches are being done via mobile devices, so your site needs to be optimized for devices on the go.
One of the best ways to win new clients is to position yourself as an industry thought leader or resource for those seeking law-related information. This is most commonly accomplished by providing generous and valuable content throughout your site. Once you’ve established yourself as the trusted authority in your field, potential clients will immediately turn to you when a legal matter arises.
Generous content can take on various forms, like blogs or Q&A sections on your website. Blogs, for example, serve as a highly valuable marketing tool, creating a platform to produce regular generous content which further solidifies your position as a thought leader. They also provide an ongoing opportunity to rank high in search results with proper use of keywords. Win, win.
Like it or not, we live in a time where making transactional decisions no longer looks like throwing spaghetti at the wall. Ninety percent of consumers say that they make purchasing decisions after reading online reviews, and a business with no reviews is as concerning as one that has bad reviews.
Since people trust reviews almost as much as personal recommendations, your law firm needs to start racking them up. Create a section on your site that is dedicated to reviews and send the link to past clients along with a customized note asking them to provide a testimonial about their experience working with you. You can also encourage past clients to leave their review on Google, or any other social channel where you have a presence.
Not only does this increase your chances of converting leads into clients, but it will also give you insight into what you’re doing well and where you can improve.
The best gift that you can give to yourself as a law professional practicing in the modern industry is to understand the importance of marketing yourself. The image that you portray online should be the same as the one that you present to those walking in to your office. Your clients expect you to make an impression well before they even contact you, and you have the tools to make it an exceptional one.