It used to be so easy to get business as a lawyer. When someone was looking for a law firm they turned to the local Yellow Pages. You remember those big books filled with phone numbers that were a staple of every household? A lot of people don’t. Like the phone booths they used to hang from a chain in, the Yellow pages are a dinosaur of a bygone era. Peoples’ fingers have walked on by to do the talking, and texting all by themselves.
Today, it is very likely that when a person finds themselves in need of a lawyer, they will turn to the internet first – specifically the mobile internet.
According to a study in 2015, more than 17% of people aged between 18-24 and 21.4% of people above the income of $150k a year look for lawyers online. These statistics are from a survey in 2015. Further research indicates that more than 75% of the people who hired a lawyer in the last year, used online resources in order to find and retain legal services. Though most people primarily rely on word of mouth for finding legal representation, there is an upward trend of people who are using the web and mobile devices for finding a lawyer.
Even in instances where a lawyer was referred to by a satisfied client, there is a tendency of conducting research on these referrals before committing. This provides an opportunity for law firms today to create an online persona that exhibits their authority in their field of specialization be it workers’ compensation, medical malpractice or personal injury.
Why Should a Lawyer use a Web Marketing Campaign?
There are four basic reasons why individuals turn to the internet when they are considering any type of legal actions:
- First, to use resources online in order to determine what types of legal actions might be of benefit to them.
- Second, to use the internet to find a lawyer who is qualified to handle their case;
- Third, to use more internet sources to check out their lawyer to determine if they are reputable.
- And finally, to use any type of legal professional will end up with legal representation as a direct result of an internet search.
This data simply underscores how important it is to have a solid digital marketing campaign. A successful marketing campaign will help clients find the right lawyer to handle their legal needs, converting those Google searchers into new clients. So how does it work? Here are some core marketing tips that will help your law firm increase its return on investment through easy, common sense digital marketing strategy!
How to be Found Online by Your Potential Clients
In the majority of the cases, a person would start out by searching for information on a legal issue. And today, there is a sea of discussion, opinions, and information regarding most cases that you can find by typing in the issue online or searching on legal forums.
If you have a law firm or are a solo practitioner, you’ll need to establish your authority and online presence by having a website and creating content that is beneficial for your prospective clients. Whether you are a personal injury lawyer or a criminal defense attorney, you need good, user-friendly, digital marketing assets. It’s the online equivalent of high-quality customer service. Regularly participating in forums and helping out information seekers with accurate legal advice can also help you brand yourself as an expert.
Having a sound SEO strategy can help establish your authority and also help your website rank on the first pages of search engines.
Digital Marketing for Law Firms
What you need starts with web design, but branches you into so much more, landing you into a Google search of the term Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a broad term that is a part of a greater digital marketing strategy. If done right, your digital marketing efforts it will have long-term benefits for your legal services and the traffic on your law firm website and help prospective customers find you easily in Google, Bing or Duck Duck Go search results. SEO is important law firms and you should consider utilizing it for your own law firm’s website.
A few pointers that you should keep in mind when designing your SEO strategy:
Today content marketing does not mean self-promotion. Online marketing with content at the core is used to build trust and subtly imprint authority of the subject. Blog and social media posts should paint a picture of the same. Therefore, spending time on analyzing your ideal customer and what would help them will help you define a content plan that will eventually establish your authority.
Creating a range of relevant content in easy to digest formats will add credibility of your brand. This means you need to serve up content in the form of blog posts, articles, social media posts, and new pages that fit smoothly into your website design. This also has the added benefits of your law firm’s name being the first to pop in the minds of people when they think of legal services.
Backlinks are one of the top 3 factors that Google uses to rank a website. To establish your legal service offerings as an authoritative one you will need links from other credible sources to land upon your website. This can be achieved by guest blogging, forum submissions and being a part of local directories that list legal services. Link building strategies are one of the hardest marketing tactics, but they reap the biggest rewards.
Building trust through social media marketing is a challenging exercise, especially for a legal firm. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, being active on a social media platform is integral to your internet marketing. Most social media posts for businesses are impersonal and informational in nature. A shift from the traditional way of doing things and making your page more personal can help build trust and increase conversions.
Lawyer bio’s or interesting snippets about the members of the law firm, live webinars that answer questions posed by users and videos educating users on aspects of certain laws will make your law firm stand out in the crowd.
Online Reputation Management:
Your online reputation can make or break your long-term success. Unfortunately, people tend to believe negative reviews over positive reviews. If you are a business that has no online reputation at all, that can be detrimental as well. A good online reputation is essential to big and small businesses alike.
Thanks to the world of social media and online review sites like Yelp, Avvo, and eAttorneyQuotes, a law firm can build its business a positive online reputation very quickly. Similar to public relations, a stout Online Reputation Management service has been shown to help small business owners create and maintain a positive online presence. These positive reviews, when handled through an online reputation management service, make it so when people look your law firm up, they can find relevant information about you, your practice areas and your capabilities. This helps prospective new clients decide right then, while online, whether or not they would like to take you up on your free consultation.
Search Engine Advertisements:
PPC for various search engines gets your firm’s name in front of people who searching online to hire a lawyer. Though this is a comparatively expensive way to find clients in the legal industry, it’s effective. Google AdWords works exactly the way the Yellow Pages used to work before the internet. You pay for an advertisement and people who are searching see it and get your website or phone number to contact you.
Getting it right could take some experimentation with keywords that best match your service and also several factors like intent, demographic, high search volume etc. Though you’ll go through some trial and error it is the fastest way to land clients.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Your Targeted Digital Marketing Strategy
Web, SEO, and PPC are the staples of digital marketing. In the age of mobile devices, social media, voice search, these staples of digital marketing techniques are all intricate yet perfectly puzzled together to help your law firm grow and address its online needs.
With increasing competition, you’ll need to stay ahead of the game in order to survive. The experts at Results Driven Marketing can help create and implement a high-quality digital marketing strategy for your law firm. We are a digital marketing agency with years of experience running successful campaigns for law firms. If you would like to learn more about our services, contact us at (215)-393-8700 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Note: This article was originally published on September 18, 2017 and has been updated with new content, strategies and techniques.
Director of Search Engine Optimization for Results Driven Marketing, Managing Editor or TAPinto The Mainline, and the artist behind The World’s Friendliest Superhero, Steve Myers is a creative force in the digital marketing industry. Dubbed “Doctor Digital” by his colleagues, he takes a light-hearted approach to Search Engines and how they work, mixing in comics, hip-hop, and popular culture to help explain the complexities of AI, algorithms, and structured data.