The internet has become one of the first tools used by anyone seeking legal advice or representation. Because of this, it has become essential for law firms of all sizes to establish a website. However, simply slapping information on a webpage will not win you those coveted new clients.
Law firm marketing in this digital age can be complex. Even just skimming the internet in an attempt to learn the best law firm marketing strategies can be overwhelming. Luckily, the experts at 51Blocks are here to help. Below, we explain how to go from where you are to where you want to be.
Whether you already have a website or you need to build one, law firm marketing starts with three basic principles. These include defining your goals, evaluating your approach, and budgeting for success.
Defining your goals is how you establish your measures of success. For a budding website, these goals may be rather general. For example, you may strive to attract a certain amount of visitors each month, build a stronger connection with your local or legal communities, or generate some specific number interactions every week. For any law firm, however, the biggest goal is to increase your clientele. In the digital world, this is known as a “conversion”.
It is important to keep your goals realistic. In your first month, your goals may include attracting 100 website visits and one conversion. As your website becomes more successful, you should continually re-define your goals to encourage continued growth. While this may seem like a rudimentary process, setting goals is an essential piece of the website puzzle.
It is important to ask yourself how you can realize those goals. If you are not quite sure how to start your marketing campaign, start with a simple Google search. How do similar or competing law firms market themselves online? Are they successful? At the end of the day, your law firm’s website will need to stand out from the rest. After all, what makes you different from the rest is what will help clients choose you. However, this basic research can help provide a strong foundation based on already methods that you can see are already working.
You may also want to incorporate the use of social media into your online presence. After all, this is a great way to encourage conversations and interest in your firm. However, if you are new to law firm marketing, it would be wise to keep your digital marketing strategy to a website and one social media platform for now. (This will help prevent you from spreading yourself too thin while trying to master the art of digital marketing.)
As with your goals, it is important to continually re-evaluate your approach. Learn from your mistakes and successes. Continue to cultivate your voice amongst the thousands of other legal firms trying to do the same.
Your website's success will be impacted by the budget you set. While that does not mean that you have to spend every penny on your website, it is still an investment that is worth careful consideration. There are plenty of potential fees when it comes to a website, including domain registration, hosting, pay-per-click marketing, and more.
Google employs the use of an ever-changing algorithm to respond to search queries. Based on several different factors, which we will discuss below, this algorithm helps Google to determine how you rank against other websites that are relevant to the initial search query. Known as your “Google ranking”, it is essential to your website’s success. After all, if you are not at the top of that list, let alone on the first page, it can be harder to encourage site visitors. Without site visitors, creating conversions can be next to impossible.
Simply creating a website does not cut it in today’s digital world. If your website has not been as successful as you had hoped, it might be time for an upgrade.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a new concept. In fact, it is probably one of the most dynamic and talked about components of a thoughtful digital marketing campaign. SEO does not specifically refer to any one tactic; it is made up of several different pieces that help to enhance your overall strategy.
Finding the right keywords for your law firm requires a bit of research. You will want to use a mixture of short-tail and long-tail keywords to attract visitors to your law firm’s website. Short-tail keywords are those that are more general, often consisting of one to two words. These keywords are likely to bring in a larger volume of traffic, however, the conversion rate is typically much lower. “Lawyer”, “attorney,” and “criminal defense” are all examples of short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are those that are more specific. “Nassau County criminal defense lawyer” is an example of a long-tail keyword. Because these keywords are more specific, they are more likely to result in a conversion.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (E-A-T) is another factor that will affect your Google ranking. This is especially important for law firm marketing. Using attorney schema, for example, helps Google to recognize that your content is related to the legal profession. In addition, listing your credentials, affiliations, and other professional information clearly on every page to help assert your E-A-T. Relevant content, quality backlinks, and professional associations all help foster a trustworthy environment that keeps visitors returning.
Your website should be scalable and flexible. This means it is optimized to resize itself to fit on all devices and browsers. It should remain readable, easy to navigate, and provide room for expansion. Failure to optimize your website for mobile phones, for example, will result in a lower ranking.
A call to action (CTA) is an important aspect of any website. An effective CTA will encourage visitors to take a specific action, such as calling your firm or filling out a contact form. Typically, a CTA is found at the end of the page’s content. However, for lawyers, the CTA should be located “above the fold”. This means your CTA should be placed above the point at which a visitor would need to scroll to read more. Your contact information should be clearly listed on every page as well. Law firms are encouraged to have multiple means of contact, including a phone number, email, and contact form.
Refining and upgrading your SEO may be the key to increasing your Google ranking if you already have a website.
When you work with a client, one of the most important aspects if your ability to safeguard their confidential information. Every website is stored on what is known as a “host”. This remote server can help to keep your website and clients’ information safe. That is why is essential that you opt for a secure hosting service if you want to increase your digital footprint on the legal market.
A reputable secure hosting service, like that provided by 51Blocks, should go beyond the basics. It should not only keep your data secure but also support and encourage fast load times for all of your web pages. WordPress core, theme, and plugin updates should also be included, as these will help increase your security by fixing any bugs that may allow for hackers to corrupt your website. Malware and uptime monitoring, site performance, and real-time backups are also essential features when selecting a secure host for your website. (At 51Blocks, our secure hosting packages are scalable. Each provides the highest quality secure hosting and support for your website.)
Upgrading your host may help improve your Google rank simply by accelerating your load times and safeguarding your website.
If SEO and secure hosting do nothing to increase your ranking, a full website upgrade may be necessary. If your previous design was not bringing in more clients, you may want to consider hiring a professional website design company, like 51Blocks.
By increasing your Google ranking, you can use the search engine itself to help market your law firm. After all, a better ranking means a higher chance of attracting visitors. However, you can leverage Google even more through effective advertising and local marketing.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one of those items you should budget for. The more money you can invest in PPC, the more likely your ads will be commonly featured. This may sound like a gamble, but PPC advertising can increase your return on investment (ROI) substantially when used correctly.
As a lawyer, you practice within a set geographical region. This means you need to make the most out of your local digital footprint. The best way to help boost your local Google ranking is to ensure all of your information, such as phone number, hours, and address, are up to date. Encouraging happy clients to leave positive reviews is also important to your local ranking. Experts also advise that you do the following for increased local rankings:
Designing a website and developing a successful law firm marketing campaign can be overwhelming, especially when you have a full caseload to manage. Hiring experts, like those at 51Blocks, can ensure every part of your digital marketing campaign is a step in the right direction.
As a legal professional, you know how disastrous it can be for an individual without a legal background to self-represent. The same is true for website development and marketing. You take care of your clients. We can take care of your digital footprint.
If you would like to learn more about the services 51Blocks can provide to your law firm, contact us today!