For many attorneys, the ultimate goal of their marketing is to bring more clients into the business. But this common goal between law firms doesn’t always mean there’s a one-size-fits-all strategy to accomplishing the task. That’s because each firm has a different target audience, a different “right” client for their overall strategy.

So how can you target your right potential client?

If you really want to use your marketing and narrow in on those potential customers that can help build your business, you’re going to have to pay to play.

Organic marketing – creating a website and social media pages to help search engines index your law firm and recognize its presence – absolutely has a role in your firm’s overall strategy. And that’s step one. But to zero-in on those right clients, you’ll need to back up those initial marketing efforts with some dollars and cents to give your organic results a boost.

Here’s how to first setup that organic traffic:

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your firm’s website through organic search engine results.

What does this mean? You spend a great deal of time creating content for your website, explaining who you are, what your practice has to offer, and (hopefully) pages tailored to the legal areas your practice specializes in, and what prospects have in store with their legal needs.

Developing and executing a sound SEO plan means attracting targeted traffic – that right audience. It’s done through keywords, informative content, and savvy linking tactics.

Focusing on SEO when creating your law firm’s website, it has a better chance of rising to the top of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) at just the right moment and in front of the right audience. But really, it can only take you so far when used as a strategy on its own.

If you’re really interested in diving into the nitty-gritty of SEO for law firm websites, FindLaw has a guide on the key ingredients to SEO success.

Once your organic SEO strategy is set up, it’s time to put some money behind it and boost results.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Like SEO, there are many facets to Pay-Per-Click advertising that you should be aware of before jumping in head-first. And if you’re interested in all the finer details, be sure to check-out this on-demand webcast.

But here’s what you need to know about PPC and targeting the right potential clients:

By now, you likely know that PPC is a marketing model where a business bids on keywords and phrases in search engines. The goal is to have a PPC ad created for your firm be served up when a potential client conducts a general inquiry, and a fee is paid each time a searcher clicks on that ad. PPC is what shows up ahead of SEO on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

The value here, of course, is not only prime real estate at the top of a search page – a valuable commodity online – but is also the ad’s targeting capabilities.

Depending on your practice area, your location, your firm’s name, and other common client characteristics, you can bid on precise keywords and phrases that you know your perfect prospect is searching for and ensure your firm shows up in the results.

When done right, PPC is a fantastic marketing tool, but it’s also complicated and time-consuming. It’s highly recommended that you consult an expert before beginning a keyword bid or campaign – it will surely save you time and (possibly a lot of) money in the long run.

Paid social media

It’s no secret that search engines are no longer the only place potential clients are looking for a lawyer. Having a strong social media presence can be just as important as having a website.

But, when you’re advertising your firm on social media, how can you be sure the right people are seeing your message? After all, if you’re an estate planning attorney, you don’t want to pay for exposure to high schoolers.

Social media advertising lets you target your posts to just the portion of viewers who are likely to become a client. You can choose qualifiers such as age, location, income, gender, and much more. (As a marketer, the type of targeting that social platforms, like Facebook, can provide is very useful. As a human, it’s a little frightening how much they know.)

And the best news: social media advertising is typically a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising (billboards, media spots, phonebook ads, etc.).

Curious to learn more about paid social advertising? Read about how paid social media delivers for your firm.

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When you’re looking to target just the right clients online, the bottom line is this: organic results are hard to come by. Boosting your website and social media presence with some paid advertising can really help your firm identify and locate those online searchers who are more likely to connect.

If you need a helping hand, FindLaw is here.

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