It is common to have questions about marketing as you plan on taking the next step with a digital marketing agency. Take a look at this list of our frequently asked questions, and let us know if you have any follow-up queries about legal marketing, web design, SEO, organic content, or any other services we provide.
Why do I need to market my law firm?
Marketing is often the single greatest lever to financial success. There are many ways to market a law firm, including email campaigns, pay-per-click (PPC) and automated content creation. Some law firms may use television or checkbox commercials, as well as physical mail and print advertising. While all options may have a positive net effect, the fastest-growing trend is, by far, digital marketing. Investing in your website, your blog content, and your paid advertising efforts is an investment in your law firm's financial health. This is not short term planning either. Posting content now is important in the long term competition with regional or national firms who may come into your area because the longevity of your web site and content is a key determinant in long term Google rankings.
Before embarking on your digital marketing project, here are three suggestions for getting your name in front of more potential clients.
- Write content. Organic content is time-consuming to produce, but it is a critical component of any long-term marketing campaign. What do you want your clients to know? When you create compelling content that resonates with both readers and the Google algorithm, you will see an increase in clicks, shares, and conversions. Take your time and make it count. One great blog can go a long way.
- Seek referrals. Staying in touch with your clients, peers, and other community members to keep your phone ringing. Encourage them to write online reviews. Keep in touch with a holiday card or birthday message at least once a year. These little efforts can have huge long-term results.
- Stay consistent. What does your law firm website look like to a first-time user? How does your home page copy compare to your latest blog? Do you have business cards that match the logo on your stationary? These may seem inconsequential, but high consistency leads to better conversion rates. It’s easy to become complacent here, as brands naturally change over time; this is why it is valuable — seek outside perspectives to avoid marketing blind spots.
What is the best way to attract law firm clients?
How do I get more clients? Word of mouth can only account for so much. From there, you need a strategy to keep your digital presence competitive. Here are a few strategies we use at Trial Guides Digital Marketing to attract law firm clients:
- Maximize reach. This means running a full audit on your existing website—including site speed, webpage hierarchy, traffic rates, and a usability analysis—as well as crafting your messaging with an eye toward search engine optimization (SEO).
- Do your research. Who is your ideal client? What sort of cases do you want? Where do your target clients go to find out about their legal options? A comprehensive customer research analysis will help you plan your next marketing steps, and keep you from wasting time on dead leads.
- Write great content. Your potential clients—and potential jurors!—want to hear from you. From current events, recent verdicts, and local news to topical legal matters, include a variety topics to maximize your reach. (Many successful law firms outsource this process entirely.) Email, blog, and video campaigns can help get the word out.
How much does a website cost?
Your website is the modern equivalent of your business card. Except that it is available to potential clients who have never met you. Unlike a business card it allows potential clients to learn about you and comparison shop between you and your competitors. So, a finely tuned law firm web site is a critical investment in your professional success.
Because this is such a critical part of your brand and professional identity, a high-quality website will vary in cost, depending on the scope of work. We meet with each client to understand their firm, the scope of what they wish to achieve and the requirements of the work and then provide a quote. Trial Guides has always dedicated itself to providing the highest quality products, and this commitment is no different in our marketing services. As noted above, there are significant problems that can arise from doing things incorrectly, but it can be much less expensive. It can also result in a well ranking web site losing critical Google ranking in your practice area through bad programming and broken site links. A saying appropriate to legal services also applies to digital marketing - "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." To do things right, it takes much more time and significantly more effort and this in turn costs more. Part of our customer selection process will depend upon your law firm's commitment to doing things correctly to achieve the best outcomes possible. The reason why is that without doing things correctly from the beginning, makes achieving your goals considerably more difficult or impossible.
How does SEO work?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a digital marketing strategy that improves your website's ranking position in search results. One of our clients said it best - SEO allows you to "own" the terms by having content on your web site, while Pay Per Click is paying money to "rent" those words for a short period of time and often for a significant amount of money. You can earn search traffic "organically" by creating high quality content for your web site. PPC can create traffic quickly but the downside is that it is very expensive. By contrast, you can create content on your web site for free, but it takes much longer and takes more effort to earn organic rankings.
Search engines such as Google or Bing, consider hundreds of variants to generate results, and SEO strengthens your site by incorporating these factors. Every time your site gets crawled or indexed, a search engine analyzes your page against other competing pages. Some considerations include:
- Site loading speed
- Links to, from, and within your site (known as backlinks, outward links, and internal links, respectively)
- Mobile friendliness
Successful SEO campaigns have several components, including keyword targeting, content creation, and site-speed optimization. In tandem, these efforts will increase your visibility by improving your rank in search results. Although search engines do not publish their ranking factors, sophisticated software can reverse-engineer the algorithm and offer suggestions for how to improve your organic search results.
How long does search engine optimization take to work?
Attorneys live in a world of statutes of limitation, court dates, and other hard deadlines. It can be hard to remember that not every project can be kept to a clock; SEO ranking is one of these factors. Because SEO depends not just on what you do, but also on what your competitors do—and what Google does in the meantime—it is extremely challenging to forecast SEO improvement on a timeline.
One thing that is for certain: improving SEO is your best long-term strategy for improving your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP), specifically Google and Bing. Even the most seasoned digital marketing team cannot guarantee a time frame in which your desired results can be achieved, however; algorithm changes, competitor efforts, and SERP volatility will all affect your search traffic volume. Your best long-term defense against these variables: regularly updated, diversely positioned, well-planned organic content. (And yes: we can help with that.)
While this may seem daunting, there is a real and lasting benefit to investing in your SEO mechanism; the longer your website remains active, accessible, and optimized, the better your rankings will be. Regular backend audits and content creation, supplemented with PPC campaigns, will help you realize your SEO goals.
How often should I write blogs?
Content creation is one of the most powerful tactics for improving your online reach, building your brand, and beating out your competition. Whether you prefer blogs, vlogs (video blogs), podcasts, or something else, organic content should be part of every digital marketing campaign. So long as your content is topical, accessible, and on brand, you simply cannot blog too much. Most experts recommend a blog or social media update at least once every two weeks—but more is always better. We recommend aiming for about one blog a week.
Wondering what to write about? The sophisticated software tools that Trial Guides Digital Marketing use will take the guesswork out of this process. Topics can vary from legal news and FAQs to case results, law changes, or local events. If you are working with our team, we can provide you a plan of the topics of greatest interest once we understand your practice and goals. Some firms also blog about sponsorships, scholarships, or community service events. When done well, organic content will dovetail perfectly with your marketing campaigns, offering a consistent voice for your brand, along with relevant content for search engines—and search engines reward consistency. The more consistent you are, the better your results will be.
How do I know when a marketing campaign is working?
There are several benchmarks to a successful marketing campaign. Some are noticeable immediately, while others may take months or even years to realize. PPC campaigns should have a relatively quick return while organic content, sitemap restructuring, and keyword tagging revisions may take longer to realize.
Here are some ways to tell that your marketing is working:
- An increase in keyword ranking
- An increase in site visits
- And increase in clicks, calls, and conversions
A competent digital marketing professional will be able to perform a full range of tests to understand what’s working well, what needs improvement, and what should be scrapped. Every campaign will need regular reevaluation to make sure that your content, PPC, and backend strategies are dialed in and working as intended.
How do I get more clients?
There are several ways to attract more clients to your legal practice, starting with branding and business cards, all the way up to PPC and social media. Here we will go over some of the most common techniques attorneys use to improve their client funnel:
Network in your Community
From joining your local bar association to finding and joining a community group or pro bono law group, there are innumerable ways to spread the word about who you are and what you do. We recommend attending local conferences and meeting other people in your field; this not only increases your likelihood of finding potential customers, but also improves the likelihood of getting referrals or co-counsel opportunities.
Maintain a Strong Online Presence
Most clients will check out their lawyers’ website first; this means your website needs to represent you exactly as you wish to be seen. An attractive web page—coupled with internet marketing campaigns—will help draw in traffic. Moreover, it is critical that you blog, create videos, or offer podcast options (ideally all three!) to keep your content at the top of your clients’ Google searches.
Social media—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others—are a great way to connect with potential clients. While we do not suggest relying solely on social media for client leads, this can serve to present you and your firm as approachable, relatable, and available. Make sure that your social media presence is an additional component to your digital marketing strategy.
Paid Advertising Campaigns
Paid advertising guarantees that your website makes it to the top of certain Google searches. While this may seem like an easy win, pay-per-click (or “PPC”) campaigns can be costly and fruitless when not done well. We recommend PPC for any firm that’s looking to dominate in a specific area, and that has a healthy marketing budget. When used in tandem with a strong website schema, targeted keywords, and regular organic content creation, paid advertising can be a fantastic way to reach more clients. Because this is a specialized marketing strategy, we recommend only undertaking PPC campaigns with the aid of a trained digital marketing team.
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