When it comes to law firms, there is no doubt that the industry is a competitive one. With more than 160 thousand law firms, it can be hard to stand out from the competition. However, a great way to attract more customers and gain a leg up on the competition is to get familiar with web marketing for lawyers.
With the help of online marketing geared for law firms, you can establish your expertise, get more leads, and turn those leads into customers. If you’ve been wondering how to market your law firm on the internet, you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’ll discuss internet marketing mistakes lawyers need to avoid as well as share web marketing strategies for lawyers that'll help you increase traffic, pull in leads, and grow your business online.
Six Law Firm Web Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Before we dive into online marketing strategies and tips for lawyers, let’s address the mistakes every law firm and attorney should avoid when marketing their law firm.
1. Not Having an Online Presence
The first mistake is not having an online presence at all. Nowadays, the majority of people turn to the Internet not only to stay in touch with their friends and family but also to work, shop, read the news, and find solutions to their problems.
If your potential clients need a lawyer, chances are the first place they'll look is the Internet. Without an online presence, you won’t show up in their search result and as a result, you run the risk of missing out on a substantial number of leads and clients.
2. Letting Your American Bar Association Membership Lapse
Membership in the American Bar Association is one of the best opportunities for professional networking. When you network with your peers, you increase your chances of getting referral clients from other lawyers and attorneys who might not have the bandwidth to work with more clients than what they already have.
What’s more, if you make sure to display your ABA membership on your website and social media profiles, you add another level of credibility to your services and expertise. This increases the trust in potential clients and signals that you not only know what you’re doing, you’re also staying on top of all the legal best practices.
3. Not Giving Back to the Community
Pro bono work is a great way to give back to the community, but it also has a couple of extra benefits. First, you can get paying clients for pro bono work because your pro bono clients can refer you to someone else who might need your services.
Second, pro bono work is also an excellent tool to work on your PR which leads to more visibility and more work. To make the most out of it, make sure your social media profiles mention pro bono cases and have a section for pro bono work on your website.
4. Ignoring Marketing Trends
While you don’t need to be a marketing expert, it pays off to stay on top of the latest marketing trends and use them to your advantage. Like all industries, marketing trends change and evolve over time. For example, in the last few years, video has been gaining in popularity and many law firms are already using it to their advantage.
Without keeping tabs on the marketing trends, it'll be harder for you to know what's currently working and create a marketing strategy that'll help you achieve your business goals. Additionally, you run the risk of losing money if you spend your marketing budget on a strategy that’s no longer effective.
5. Not Caring About Your Brand Image
First impressions matter and you can quickly ruin your brand image if you don’t dress to impress. Even if you’re working for a smaller firm or you’re just starting out on your own and want to adopt a casual dress code, it’s important to appear professional in front of your clients as well as in the courtroom.
6. Not Learning About SEO
Lastly, make sure to get familiar with the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engines for certain keywords and it is beneficial although long-term strategy for any business.
Doing keyword research, using those keywords on your website along with knowing what matters to the search engines like Google, increases your chances of appearing in the results when someone searches for an attorney or a lawyer in your area.
Eight Effective Online Marketing Strategies for Law Firms
Now that you know what to avoid when it comes to website marketing for your law firm, let’s reveal the strategies that'll help your law firm get noticed.
1. Create an Effective Website
The most important strategy on our list is to create an effective website. As we’ve mentioned above, without a website, you can’t market online effectively because your clients won’t be able to find you.
The good news is that you can create a website easily with the help of an HTML template and there is no shortage of high-quality, premium templates for law firm website.
If you’d like more control over your site without having to manipulate the code to change the appearance or add more content, then you should build your lawyer website using WordPress. You’ll find plenty of law firm WordPress themes that are easy to use and offer all the functionality you’d need for a lawyer website.
Once you’ve found the perfect WordPress theme for your site, you’ll need to set it up and customize it to reflect your brand.
2. Create a Google My Business Profile
Take some time to create a profile for your law firm using Google My Business. This increases the chances of your law firm showing up when someone searches for a lawyer in their area. It also allows you to control which information shows up such as the links to your website, social media profiles, opening hours, and contact information.
You can also enable reviews, which will then display in the search results. Use those reviews to build trust with potential clients and establish your credibility.
The process of signing up for Google My Business is straightforward. You’ll need to provide details about your business and then Google will verify your information. Once you receive the verification code from Google, you’ll need to go back and enter it to complete the signup and verification process.
3. Establish Presence on Social Media
Being active on social media allows you to build your authority because you can curate law news and other content that would be relevant to potential clients, but also your peers. It also allows you to build relationships with other lawyers and potential clients.
While you might be tempted to create a profile on every social platform out there, keep in mind that this will only dilute your marketing efforts. Take some time to find out where your clients are most likely to spend their time when it comes to social media and then works on establishing a strong presence on that platform.
A good place to start is Facebook, given the number of users. If you’re looking to build professional relationships, then LinkedIn will be right up your alley. The main takeaway is to start with one or two platforms and establish a following before moving onto the next social media platform.
4. Use Keyword Research to Optimize Your Site for Search Engines
Considering the number of law firms, using simple keywords like lawyer, attorney, law firm, and similar is no longer enough to stand out from the competition. You’ll have to broaden your scope to include your location, the area of the law that you specialize in as well as other terms that are associated with the legal industry.
As such, it’s worth signing up for Google Analytics as well as for Google Keyword Tool. You’ll want to install Google Analytics on your site and monitor what terms are your visitors entering to land on your site. You can then use those keywords throughout your site and to create articles on the same topic.
You’ll also want to use Google Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas for the legal industry and use them not only in your website copy, but also in your ads.
5. Consider PPC Advertising
If you’re just getting started with building your online presence and using online marketing for your law firm, you should consider PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising.
With PPC advertising, you can select specific keywords that trigger ads about your law firm and if the amount you bid is the highest, then your ad will show up before organic results in search engine result pages.
Even though PPC advertising can be costly, you’ll be able to see the benefits almost immediately. Once your advertising campaign is active, it can send qualified leads to your website and boost your views, inquiries, and revenue.
6. Blog Regularly
Another effective marketing strategy for law firms is to start blogging regularly. Not only does this allow you to establish your expertise by sharing your knowledge, you can also build trust with potential clients.
Share case studies on previous wins, explain legal terms that are common in your branch of the law and write articles that would be helpful to your potential clients.
Keep in mind that you’re not limited to posting articles alone. You can also share videos, audio posts, infographics, whitepapers, and any other type of content that comes naturally to you.
An added benefit of the blog is that your website will be updated on a regular basis and search engines love sites that publish new, fresh, and quality content which means blogging can boost your search engine rank.
7. Start an Email List
Email marketing can be a lucrative and cost-effective online marketing strategy for lawyers. Collecting email addresses allows you to stay in touch with potential and current clients and keeps you top of mind for when a situation arises in which they need your legal services.
You should send regular email campaigns to your subscribers and offer practical and helpful advice, resources or explanations that further establish your authority and position you as someone they can trust.
Make sure to include a call to action in each email that invites them to check out your website or get in touch with you.
8. Sign Up for an Attorney Directory
The last tip on our list is to sign up for an attorney directory. This strategy is particularly effective while your website is still new and potential clients don’t know you exist.
Sites like Martindale.com, Lawyers.com, and Super Lawyers.com often show up at the top of the search engine results when people search for lawyers so it’s worth paying the fee and creating your profile there.
Be sure to list your law firm website, contact information, and a short biography that lists your credentials.
You can also see if there is an attorney directory specific to your geographic location and list your law firm there as well.
Use These Strategies to Market Your Law Firm on the Internet
Online marketing for your law firm may seem daunting, but it’s not as hard once you know your goals and you understand the strategies you can use to market your law firm on the Internet. Use the tips in this article to help you get started with your law firm web marketing and grow a successful legal practice.