Digital marketing is an extremely effective way to market any business and it has been proven to be particularly effective for law firms. However, the manner in which law firms are marketing their services has evolved over the last decade or so.
The explosion of search engines, paid advertising, social media, local SEO, smartphones and voice search has changed our lives in many ways and digital marketing has certainly been impacted by those factors. There are a number of trends in digital marketing of which law firms should be aware of.
If you were lucky enough to be a law firm online in the 90’s you likely received many leads with little competition. In the early 2000s, the online legal industry became saturated. What does this mean for law firms? It’s simple. There’s fiercer competition and it is harder now to get leads online than it was 10 years ago.
It all boils down to one thing. You need the best marketers who actually pay attention to your company. Going with a big firm doesn’t guarantee results. Especially if the specialist doing the work on your account has 15 other clients. Do the math. 15 clients divided by 40 hours means your firm receives a maximum of 2.7 hours of attention weekly.
When you decide to build out a proper marketing strategy for your law firm you can accomplish two things. First, you put yourself front and center for prospective clients to find you. Secondly, you allow people to go through your marketing funnel so that they can contact and hire you.
While this might all sound good, keep in mind that competition is high and you will have many competing law firms. That means that you need to have the best law firm marketing company fighting in your corner.
There are a few key components that you will need for a successful legal marketing campaign:
- Invest in SEO for your law firm
- Build a strong content marketing campaign
- Create and develop video marketing pieces
- Create a paid ads campaign (AdWord, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Develop your local SEO
- Manage your reputation
- Measure and analyze everything
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Critical
It’s no secret that SEO has become an important component of law firms’ digital marketing strategies. It’s even more important today because more and more law firms are using search marketing to connect with individuals who are searching online for legal services. As a law firm, you need to stand out in a large crowd of people and firms providing similar services in your area. Mindless SEO tactics can’t and won’t achieve those spectacular results for you. You need to optimize your website better than other firms. It is critical that you get high-quality links to generate the Web traffic you desire and deserve.
If you aren’t familiar with it already, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is one of the most important digital marketing tactics you can employ. SEO is a long-term tactic that can pay dividends. There are two basic principles. On-page and off-page tactics.
Some of the most important law firm SEO metrics could include:
- Fast load time
- Mobile-friendly website
- Appealing content
- Well organized site structure
- Optimized title tags and meta descriptions
- Authoritative references/mentions from other sites
By working with an SEO expert to optimize your website you can better position yourself to outrank your competition and increase the number of leads you receive.
Our marketing agency and top law firms may know by now that SEO is an effective digital marketing tool for different types of law firms. But, it could be particularly effective for certain types of law firms. For example, if you are a law firm specializing in personal injury law, you could use SEO to target customers who, for example, have been injured in a car accident or have been injured in a dog attack. Other types of niches include criminal defense, family law, medical malpractice, business law, etc.
Using Social Media as a Powerful Tool
There is absolutely no question that social media is an incredibly powerful tool, especially when it comes to digital marketing. It’s only natural that law firms use social media to connect with existing and prospective clients. Yet, we see that many law firms are not taking advantage of the power of social media as they should. Right now, a number of law firms are merely using social as a means to share content. Most are not spending much-needed time and energy on strategy and audience engagement.
If you are a law firm, you want to make sure that your social media engagement is resulting in conversions or new clients. Social media is not only a way for you to share your content. Rather, it’s a tool for you to get new clients. In order to accomplish this, you need a solid social media strategy. And that means you need to do your homework about what your target audience – or potential clients – want.
You may want to replace some of your blogs posts with other types of content that engages people. For example, you may want to do an opinion poll or post an infographic that provides useful information at a glance to your target audience. Give your audience an opportunity to engage. Ask them about their opinions or give people a call to action. These types of efforts could help your firm get more conversions.
But, it’s important to remember that a “conversion” does not only mean getting a new client. Other types of conversions may include getting people to register for an event or having people download other content from your website. You can also use analytics to keep track of your conversions, which helps you determine what’s working and what’s not. When you track your progress, you can really fine-tune your law firm’s digital marketing strategy.
If you are unable to track your results or don’t have the knowledge to do so, you can hire a firm to track your results for you. Tweaking your strategy to improve results helps ensure that you get a much better return on your investment. In fact, the ability to track results and know what you’re getting for your money is one of the crucial features that make digital marketing really unique.
Paying Attention to Mobile
Smartphones have changed our lives. They are little computers we hold in the palm of our hands that can do anything from paying bills to suggesting a place to eat lunch. They are easy to use, have extended battery life. And I am sure you wouldn’t be surprised if someone were to tell you that more and more people are doing online searches on their phone. What does this mean for your law firm’s digital marketing strategy? You might just need to change things a little so your website and content are mobile-friendly.
The website someone sees on their smartphone may not be what you designed or meant for people to see. It is important that your site is optimized for mobile. A failure to do so might result in your website going unnoticed, which would be a tremendous loss because most people are searching for things on their phones. What’s more, Google has even begun to phase out sites that are not optimized for mobile by ranking them lower in search engines.
Your content also needs to show up in a readable manner on phones. If your content appears unappealing on phones or is difficult to read, people simply will not read it. They might go to another site that actually works on their phone. So, in a nutshell, if you want your law firm’s website to get noticed and if you want to make the most of your site, you definitely need to go mobile.
Using Microsites to Your Benefit
A microsite is essentially a single Web page or a collection of pages that are designed to stand alone and function outside of your law firm’s main website. These microsites can live on a URL under your main domain, a subdomain or on a totally unique domain. These sites contain highly targeted content that showcases a specific marketing campaign or initiative. You may want to have your law firm’s branding as part of the microsite depending on what your goals are.
For example, if you are a medical malpractice lawyer who focuses on birth injuries, apart from your regular landing pages on your site, you may wish to have a microsite for families that have children with birth injuries and would like to form a support group. You can use microsites to bring attention to issues that matter to you or to enhance your advocacy efforts relating to issues that matter to you and your firm.