Gone are the days when attorneys could count on new business by simply placing an ad in the yellow pages of their phone book. In today’s world, clients turn to the internet when they need legal help — and that’s exactly where your firm should be.
But if you hope to connect with these potential clients online, you are going to need a crash course on legal web marketing. So here you go. These are five things that are essential if you want to effectively market your law firm on the internet.
1. You need a law firm website
A website is the first thing your law firm needs if you want to execute a successful legal internet marketing strategy. After all, clients can’t contact you for help if they can’t find you in the first place.
But not just any website will do. A website is often the first thing potential clients see, so you need to make sure it looks professional and leaves a good first impression. Some of the hallmarks of a good law firm website include:
- An eye-catching, responsive design that is also mobile friendly — meaning it works just as well for people on their phones as it does for those on tablets or computers
- Well-written, engaging content that is easy to read and understand but also conveys your firm’s unique voice and brand
- An obvious call-to-action on every page (i.e. a clear way to contact your firm for help, supported by language of encouragement)
- Testimonials and reviews from past clients, which help build trust with potential clients before you even meet them
As long as you think of your website as the online face of your firm, you’ll be on the right track when it comes to legal web marketing.
2. You need law firm SEO so clients can find your website
Not sure what law firm SEO actually is? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. While often referred to as simply SEO, its full name is actually Search Engine Optimization.
Essentially, SEO is the process in which you optimize your website so individuals on the internet find it when using online search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. SEO strategies are numerous and often include:
- Authoritative content with strategic, well-researched keywords
- Credible links from other legitimate online sources
- Properly constructed webpages with optimized code and tags
- Speed — website speed is important to search engines, so make sure your site is fast
In the case of law firms, the main goal of SEO is to optimize and design your website specifically to target the ideal clients you wish to attract.
Simply put, law firm SEO can help make sure potential clients find you before your competitors when searching online.
3. You need to list your firm on a legal directory
Online directories are one of the most effective strategies for legal web marketing. In the most basic sense, a legal directory is an online listing of attorneys and law firms, often broken down by practice area and location. Potential clients visit these directories and search for law firms that can help them with their specific legal problem. And once a client finds an attorney or firm they like, they can then reach out for help.
There are many benefits to listing yourself on a legal directory, including enhancing your online presence and strengthening your brand and reputation. However, the greatest — and most obvious — benefit is that legal directories will connect you with clients you may not have otherwise found on your own.
4. You need pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Every month, legal consumers run literally millions of online searches. And the vast majority of the search results will include at least one pay-per-click (PPC) ad at the top, above every other result.
A well-designed PPC campaign will put your firm at the top of the results list for your ideal clients, precisely when they need you most. And if your firm isn’t listed there at the top, one of your competitors may be.
As an added bonus, if your firm is listed both at the top in a PPC ad and below as part of the search results (because your site has good law firm SEO), potential clients will see your firm mentioned multiple times on the same page. This makes it more likely that clients will see your firm’s website as an authoritative and trusted source — and more likely that they will call you when they need legal help.
5. You need to connect with clients on social media
With legal internet marketing, social media is often the one place many law firms overlook since they don’t realize just how effective it can be for attracting new clients. But if you ignore social media, you do so at your own peril. In fact, social media is oftentimes the main place the people will look when they want recommendations for services, including recommendations for legal help.
But you can’t just set up a Facebook page and forget about it. You need to post and engage with your readers and followers. In some cases, you will even want to use paid social campaigns, which you can use to target very specific social media users — who are also potential clients.
Getting the ‘right’ results takes time and effort — and often a little help
Legal internet marketing can seem easier said than done. But if done correctly, you will connect with your ideal clients.
Other than the time commitment necessary to achieve results, the one issue that many law firms run into when marketing their firms online is that they simply don’t know much about digital marketing. After all, you went to law school to be an attorney, not a web developer or online marketer.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. FindLaw can help you execute an integrated, comprehensive online marketing strategy using every tool listed above — among many others. Don’t waste time trying to figure out digital marketing for lawyers when the experts are just a click away.
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