“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” -Charles Darwin
Law firms that thrive, and not only survive, in this age are characterized by their ability to adapt to change easily and effectively. The digital age has changed marketing channels forever. And the legal industry, with all its intricacies, is experiencing major shifts in the way they do business.
Whether you’re an independent lawyer or a partner in a firm, attracting and acquiring new clients will always be the lifeblood of your business. But leads are getting much more difficult to generate by relying alone on traditional marketing techniques like print ads, speaking engagements and referrals.
According to Google Consumer Survey, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine because they would rather do their independent research online first before spending their money on a consultation fee.
Credibility is critically everything in the legal industry. And when you establish an online presence, you are not just creating a sales pipeline, but you are also promoting and positioning your business as a highly credible firm.
With the highly competitive legal market in the country, your private practice won’t last long if you ignore what earns your business revenue.
A successful lead generation for law firms is basically establishing the connection between people with legal needs to lawyers specializing in that area of law practice and are in a nearby location so that they can make an appointment for an initial consultation.
Effective lead generation campaigns allow potential clients to find your law firm when needed. And as a lawyer, you should take advantage of the opportunity to be found whenever your leads are searching online. And if you take that chance for granted, you are unconsciously missing out on an incalculable amount of business revenue.
Thus, to put yourself up for future success, it is essential that you create a robust digital marketing plan that integrates the law firm marketing strategies that we will discuss below.
#1. Building and Optimizing Your Website
Before the digital era, the Yellow Pages is a go-to resource when people seek legal counsel. Today, the worldwide web comes to mind whenever they need the service or advice of an attorney.
So, your make-or-break moment will be when people see your website for the first time.
Your customers won’t give you a second chance to make a first impression.
Believe it or not, your website is your virtual law firm – their first, most lasting impression of who you are, what makes you stand out above the rest of your competitors and how well you can solve their legal problems. It can also serve as your 24/7 marketing representative.
A well-designed law firm website usually has all the following characteristics:
Site design plays a crucial role in attracting and engaging your ideal clients by communicating your intended message.
And how important is a visually impressive site?
Because your window of opportunity is very limited on the internet, you only have seconds to persuade a prospect to stay on your site and explore what you have to offer. Therefore, your website’s form and substance must be appealing enough. And you just don’t want to fall short on this item.
A successfully designed website also has no issue with page loading. If your law firm’s website does not load quickly, especially on mobile devices, users will leave and look elsewhere due to innate short attention spans of humans.
Easy to Navigate
Not every prospective client is Web-savvy, so it is important that your site is straightforward and easy to explore. You can test the user-friendliness of your site by determining whether a visitor can navigate your site effortlessly without clicking the “Back” button.
Reflects the Firm’s Brand
Establish a remarkable brand through your website. Convey a consistent message to your prospective clients by the way words, images and colors are designed across all your marketing materials. Provide a seamless experience for your prospects when they see your name in a print ad and then visit your online site.
Increases Conversion Rate
Getting potential clients to contact you is the end goal of a well-designed law firm website.The best law firm websites will appear to be available 24/7, even if their lawyers are not, and they do it through a 24/7 live chat service.
Your phone number should be easily seen and clickable on mobile devices for a convenient way of contacting you. You also have to provide an easy contact form for those leads that are more comfortable with email correspondence. Displaying testimonials, whether video or written, also help encourage clients to contact you.
Visit NewStar SEO if you want a website design that is aesthetically appealing, speedy, easy to navigate, reflects your image and helps you generate more clients for your law firm.
#2. Search Engine Optimization or SEO
Establishing your online presence does not end with a well-designed website. Having the best-designed website in the world does not guarantee that you will be found in the legal market when your leads are looking for your service.
SEO makes your website essentially visible.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of increasing the organic (natural) visibility or ranking of a Website in a search engine using a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics.
SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.
Why SEO is Important
SEO is vital for your business profitability since the ultimate objective of SEO is to make your website easier to find by your prospective clients.
As we discussed earlier, search engines like Google is now the go-to resource of someone seeking legal service. It is crucial for your law firm site to get to the top of the search results, or near the top at the very least, because more than 90% of people won’t go past the first page of search results. And the key to getting there is with search engine optimization (SEO).
The SEO process for a website may seem conceptually simple. However, it is more complex and quite difficult to properly execute without the help of a professional SEO provider.
#3. Local SEO
Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local prospects and customers. Search engines provide the most relevant local search results to users by relying on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links and other citations.
Law practice is one of the top 6 business types that reap the most reward from local SEO. It is highly anticipated that when people are in need of legal counsel, they will certainly look for an expert nearby. Therefore, appearing in the top local search results will be a very effective lead generation for law firms.
Two of the top strategies a law practice can do to boost their local rankings are the following:
Google My Business Page
Creating a Google My Business page should be the first order of business in improving your local ranking. It is a tool available that will allow you to provide resources in a way that makes Google more likely to send traffic your way.
Google My Business is an online listing that your firm can leverage in order to reach the top spots in Google’s organic results, when your leads are looking for legal help in your geographic area. It displays results on a map and lists other important business details like your contact information, website, and reviews.
In other words, a Google My Business (GMB) listing is a branch of local SEO that targets potential clients in your firm’s local area through organic search.
The most significant benefit is that law firms with a well-optimized GMB listing appear in the “local 3-pack” at the top of your target client’s search engine results page. The Google Local 3-Pack results are highlighted, linked to Google Maps and the first thing a user sees after the AdWords ads.
If you fail to optimize your GMB page, it will affect the law firm’s visibility on Google Local Search results and also on Google Maps. So, you have to ensure that the SEO provider you partner with has a proven record of providing results here.
One determining factor in improving your local search ranking is online reviews. Online reviews will either have a beneficial or detrimental impact on the overall ranking of your law firm website. 93% of local consumers read online reviews to determine if a business is good or bad.
Of course, the more positive reviews you have, the higher your law firm will rank. Studies have also shown that Google favors law firms with the highest reviews.
Therefore, law firms need to be intentional in generating client reviews on popular platforms like Google and Yelp. This can be a difference-maker that boosts local search visibility while building brand reputation.
Reputation Management can increase visibility, build up brand equity all while building your online reputation. Thus, you cannot take this for granted if you really want to boost online presence.
#4. Social Media Optimization
Word of mouth referrals is a traditional marketing strategy for the legal industry. It is the one thing that remains constant even in the internet age. What has only changed is how “word of mouth” is exchanged. And that is where social networking sites come in.
As Kevin O’Keefe, founder of the blogging platform LexBlog, says, “The internet and social media serve as accelerators of relationships and a lawyer’s word-of-mouth reputation.”
Social media is found to be a highly effective tool for law firms to attract and acquire new clients. The American Bar Association found that 35% of lawyers who use social media professionally have been able to gain new clients as a result.
To build a standout online presence and convert leads to clients, you need an effective social strategy.
Your social media strategy should tackle multiple platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. But of course, you have to take into consideration your target market and how you can effectively build a community in each platform. Accordingly, you need to optimize your social media sites.
Social Media Optimization, or SMO, is similar to SEO in a sense that both have the objective of driving traffic to your website.
Just as you want your ideal clients to find your website, you also want the same people to follow your firm on social media. Proactive social media efforts have minimized the need for lawyers to do public relations tasks.
The challenge with social media is that it never sleeps, which may make you feel like you have to monitor your accounts 24/7 year-round. A professional social media specialist can take it off your plate and let you focus on the more important matters of your business.
As lawyers, you have a noble calling and should therefore focus on serving your clients instead of working around the clock to improve your website’s traffic and generate leads.
As an expert in SEO, we can help you dominate the web, acquire new clients and increase your revenue despite all the restrictions and intricacies that come with legal marketing. It starts with you contacting us today!