Do you still believe that if you build it, they will come? That all you have to do is hang your shingle, and you will get the law firm customers you need to succeed? That might have been true in the past (and might still be in very small towns) but the truth is, today, if you’re not marketing online, you’re invisible.
Think about the last time you looked for anything. Whether it was a Chinese restaurant or a car rental company, you probably did it online. Which is exactly where people are looking for lawyers. Probably at 2am on a Saturday morning.
Digital marketing for law firms isn’t just important. It’s essential. Here’s what you need to know.
Building Your Profile
When you offer legal services, you’re only as good as your reputation. The more cases you win, and the better the settlements you get for your clients, the better your reputation is going to be. But people still have to know that you’ve got a great track record.
As a lawyer, digital marketing is about telling people your firm exists, showing them what you’ve done, and how you can help them. It’s all about building your profile and developing a relationship of trust, and the internet is great at doing just that.
Digital marketing in any industry is all about answering questions and solving problems. People use the internet to find out how to do things, and when it comes to the law, there’s usually some urgency involved. They’ve got a pressing problem that requires professional advice, and soon.
To get the most out of digital marketing for your law firm, you need to ensure that your answers are the ones that come up when people answer those questions. If you can do that, then you will almost certainly get a steady stream of clients that need your service reaching out.
SEO for Lawyers
Chances are, you’ve heard about SEO, or search engine optimization in the past. You’ve probably heard some confusing terminology and technical jargon, and while there’s definitely some of that involved, in its simplest form, SEO is about making your content as visible as possible to search engines.
That means you create valuable, accurate and helpful content that contains key search terms and phrases you want to be found for. Posting this type of content consistently on your website or blog will make search engines notice your website, and when they do, you’ll show up in more search results.
Targeted and Qualified
The real beauty of digital marketing, and in particular what is known as “inbound marketing” is that it focuses on funneling people who already need the legal services you need to your website.
By including contact forms and clear calls to action on every piece you publish, you can take that pre-qualified traffic and easily turn it into highly qualified leads. Pay close attention to CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) and create easy ways to turn website traffic into new leads.
Better User Experience
User experience, or UX, is how your visitors experience your website. If it’s easy to use and navigate, and information is easy to find, visitors are more likely to stay longer. The longer your visitors stay, and the more content they read, the more likely they are to reach out and find out more about your law practice, and how you can help them.
User experience design doesn’t have to be complicated. It might be as easy as putting frequently searched information on your top menu, so it’s easy to find. Or linking to similar or related content from each piece on your blog.
The easier your site is to use, the lower your bounce rate is likely to be, and the more people are likely to come back to your site, looking for information. Since familiarity builds trust, the more they read your content and learn about your practice, the more likely they are to contact you.
Building a better website, creating a better user experience, and showing people your expertise in your content is a great start, but you still have to let people know that your website is a great resource. Social media is a great way to do this.
Sharing links to your new content on social media groups, using local hashtags for your city, or in the industries you serve are all great ways to get more people to visit your website. This can even be automated, so as soon as you post a new blog, it will be shared across all your social media platforms. So, it doesn’t even have to take up more of your time.
Anti-spam laws have made things like email marketing a little more complicated, but you can still get people to opt in for emails if you offer them something valuable in return. A well written and comprehensive e-book about an area of the law that you specialize in that requires newsletter or email marketing subscription is a great option. Or you might offer some kind of easy-to-use template related to an area of the law you specialize in.
Once people have opted in, share more of the same kind of valuable content with them in an email every couple of weeks. Don’t try to sell your services – you won’t need to! When people are ready to hire a professional, you will be right at the top of their list!
Being Seen Is Everything
The simple truth is that there are a lot of people out there, and even more websites and blogs on the internet. No one uses the phone book or yellow pages anymore, and they’re probably going to be searching for legal advice from their phone rather than in a library.
By positioning your law firm where they will see it online, using tips like these, you make it that much more likely that when they do need your services, you’re the first firm they call. It’s the best kind of marketing you can do, with the highest marketing ROI, because you’re only ever talking to people who already need what you offer. No hard sell required!
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