Digital marketing for law firms: 4 steps that will help your firm stand out

Digital marketing for law firms

For a law firm in 2021, getting seen on the internet is not an easy task. LinkedIn is already full of legal business influencers, Google’s search algorithms are becoming more nuanced all the time, and the internet is drowning in great (and terrible) content. Are the times of DIY digital marketing over? Not really.

In this guide, we will take a look at four steps that law firms can take without any outside help to promote their services online. You can use this guide to build a steady, sustainable marketing activity for your law firm and see it drive more clients to your doorstep. So, let’s see how your law firm can benefit from digital marketing, step by step.

Things you will learn in this article:

Before you start, consider these questions

The first step you need to take is to determine key goals you want to achieve with digital marketing. With focused and realistic goals, you can set the direction for standing out in the market. The following questions will give you an idea of where to start:  

  1. How much money your firm is ready to invest in digital marketing?
  2. Who are you marketing to? (Understanding a client persona).
  3. What are the initial goals your law firm strives to achieve with digital marketing?
  4. What is unique about your law firm? Which strengths can you bring to a digital marketing campaign?

Now, after answering these questions, you can better understand where to start and which digital marketing instruments should be a priority in your case. Let’s move on to the key tips. 

1. Let new clients find you with effective SEO.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice applied to “stay visible” and attract more visitors to your firm’s website. Let’s imagine that a person googles “legal advice Ohio.” It depends on effective SEO which firm’s websites will appear first in the search results. How many pages do clients open while googling specific information? For sure, if they find what they’ve been looking for on the first pages, they’ll stop clicking on other links. 

Efficient SEO is what helps you get on top of the first page and let new clients find you. If SEO is working, search engines include your website in relevant searches, increasing its ranking position to the top. Remember that search engine results can drive the most qualified clients to your firm because the clients are already interested in the services you provide. In fact, 70% of law firms land new cases through their website. A website in any business is the central hub for your search engine optimization.  However, while investing money in SEO, you shouldn’t expect immediate results. It takes several weeks or months to see the progress. 

Now, let’s see how you can optimize search results for your law firm:

  • Target organic keywords and keep them updated. Keywords are requests which people actually type in to search for legal advice. Consider which keywords are relevant in your region and for your audience — if a law firm operates in New York, for instance, keywords popular in this region will not have the same power when it comes to promoting your services in Seattle or Miami. To create an organic keyword list, you can just google “searches related to” or just type your topic into the search bar and see which keywords Google suggests. You can also use such free tools as Keyword Tool, QuestionDB, WordStream, etc. It will be also useful to check Google Search Console to see which words are already sending clients to your firm’s website. Here is a basic guide on how to use Google Search Console for SEO optimization. 
  • Use Google Trends to lead new clients to your legal services. Google Trends is a valuable tool for learning about search trends relevant to your firm’s practice area. It is simple in use and helps optimize blogs, websites, and social media profiles to reach more customers with SEO optimization.
  • Make your website easy to navigate and read. Technical SEO isn’t easy, let’s look at it in layman’s language. Such technical things as a website’s speed, system of navigation, and placement of website’s blocks can make a huge difference in increasing the ranking of your law firm in search engines. You need to ask for professional help to get higher rankings and make sure that clients enjoy visiting your website.

2. Build a strong online presence to stay in touch with your clients.

Establishing a strong digital presence is what helps law firms not only find new clients but also maintain strong relationships with old clients. 

  • Make a simple user-oriented landing page for your law firm. A landing page is the most important card of any business because it is a page that leads your clients to specific services your law firm has to offer. There are many guides on the internet on how to create an efficient landing page and you can check out some easy no-code website builders like Wix or Squarespace. The thing you need to remember is that landing pages are a great opportunity to make a truly positive impression on your clients. 
  • Create strong social media profiles. Social media are essential tools when it comes to building online presence. You should always invest enough time and attention to keeping your profiles in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn active. Choose the right networks for a specific purpose. While LinkedIn may be useful for formal connections, Twitter is great to build more informal relationships with your audience. Special tools, like Social Report, can help you to build optimal scheduling for new posts and monitor the flow of followers. Strong social media profiles will also help your SEO since they have a good overall impact on ranking of your law firm. Clients may also share posts with their followers making your firm visible.

However, you should invest time mindfully when it comes to social media. Jay Harrington, a lawyer and business coach, listed his main insight on digital marketing: 

“If you only have 15-30 minutes per day to devote to marketing, and you’re spreading those minutes across multiple platforms, it will be difficult to gain traction, build a skill set and develop meaningful connections on any one — Jack of All Trades, Master of None.”

Jay Harringtona business coach, consultant, author, thought leader and lawyer
  • Optimize contact information. Give your potential clients an opportunity to contact you in any way they want/feel comfortable. Specify your phone numbers, email addresses, other social media links, your website URL. Don’t forget about a call-back button on it that will help to lead a potential customer to the desired action.
  • Engage in informed online discussions. Participating in different thematic online forums and joining different discussions can attract new followers to your firm’s social media profiles. It’s another way to increase online activity and attract potential clients.
  • Respond quickly to clients’ comments and feedback. Clients may feel anxious and unmotivated to use your services in case they don’t get a fast response to their requests online. For 90% of customers, an immediate response is important when it comes to the decision to buy a product. In case your clients get the answers and feedback from you immediately, it secures high-quality user experience.

3. Produce great content to build trust.

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The words and other types of content, such as images or videos, are key drivers of audience engagement. Every piece of content, either on social media or website, can make a difference. The primary rule you need always remember – the content should fulfill user intent. 

  • Prioritize quality over quantity. The internet does not need more mediocre articles. Making a new post of high quality in a blog once a week can be much more effective than posting once in two days. Based on effective SEO strategy implementation, create articles that clients will find useful and valuable enough to share with others.

Jay Harrington also mentioned that “The objective of marketing is to build a loyal audience over time. The starting point is a question: Where is my audience? Once you’re clear on that, it’s all about developing the skill of delivering ideas that build trust. Focus on one content type. Deliver it on one platform. Gain traction.”

  • Post only authoritative content with credible information. Make sure that the information you post is based on credible sources. Always make sure that the sources you use are reputable. Prioritize popular legal journals for referencing and websites ending in .org and .edu
  • Always keeping in mind the value customers may get from any content. The primary question you need to consider while posting any type of content is not “Which goals do I want to achieve?” but “Does the information hold any value to clients?” Regardless of the type of content you create, it should always be client-oriented.
  • Creating relevant FAQs. Find your target clients’ FAQs (you can use Reddit and Quora) and publish expert answers to the most common questions. Let people know you have expertise on their issues.
  • Make personal success stories a part of your content. Secure that personal success stories make a significant part of the overall content posted to bring real-life value to your clients. 62.6% of the marketing survey respondents said that case studies (real-world examples of how you were able to meet your clients’ needs) are effective in generating leads. People need to hear about your personal case studies to increase their levels of trustworthiness. 

4. Widen your firm’s audience with digital ads.

Effective branding through ads is one of those things that’s easy to overlook, especially if your law firm has no much time to market your services while working on client cases. However, appealing ads are what helps your business stand out among all other law firms.

  • Analyze competitors to see concrete steps. The first step you need to take before going into search ads is making competitor analysis. Knowing how other law firms are represented in search engines, which keywords they target, which unique selling propositions they use in their search ads can help you gain valuable insights to apply effective advertising strategies. You can use instruments like SE Ranking, SEMRush, Ahrefs, SpyFu to identify which keywords can become winning for your advertising campaign and how to outcompete your competitors.
  • Drive clients to your website through pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Contrary to SEO strategies, PPC strategies can show you the progress just after you’ve started your ad campaign. There are two ways to create PPC Ads – via an online advertising platform Google Ads (for ads in Google) and via Microsoft Ads (for ads in Bing). Do you wonder which one is better? Well, both advertising platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses. While Google Ads make you enjoy the biggest part of traffic, Microsoft Ads provide cheaper traffic sources. Besides, there are more chances that your competitors are not represented in Bing search ads, and it can become a competitive advantage.
  • Start an email newsletter. Another way to engage with clients is through emails. Using emails is a great instrument to share valuable insights with your clients and share most important updates and news. Creating a new email, ask yourself the questions “Which value it brings to customers?”  Make sure that your emails are always engaging and to the point.
  • Measuring Ads’ performance. Don’t forget to measure your ads’ performance to use your digital marketing budget efficiently. Install Google Analytics on your website (it’s free) and you will see all incoming traffic on your website separated by traffic sources, users’ devices, their demographic parameters, and many more breakdowns. Connect Google Ads Account with Google Analytics and you will see how traffic from Google’s search ads behave on your website. If you want to see traffic behavior from other sources (Microsoft ads, Social Media ads, partnerships with other websites, etc) you should use UTM tracking – a very simple tracking method, and very insightful.

Make the most of digital marketing: stay critical and reflect on your progress every month

For sure, it takes time, effort, and expertise to become a true specialist in digital marketing. However, don’t be afraid to make the most of your mistakes. Always look with a critical eye at what you’ve already achieved. Prioritize customers’ feedback while doing reflections. Effective marketing is no longer about pushing information to your potential clients, but about creating a dialogue with them.  

And always remember – success in any sphere comes from curiosity, perseverance and the power of self-criticism. Good luck!

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