And with increased remote working, increased competition and with many clients more stressed and financially stressed than ever it will be even more important for your law firm marketing strategy to be effective.
However a combination of the Covid crisis and changes with Google have created a new world for online marketers.
For law firms it is important not to publish alarmist content, but rather to present a face of authority and reassurance. You can use the crisis to build valuable, long-term client relationships. Provide sound advice and service at a time when it is most needed and which will be remembered long after the crisis fear reduces.
And, more significantly than anything else, there have been significant changes made by Google, particularly with both algorithm changes and also the positioning of ‘snippets’ at the head of organic results along with the ‘People also ask’ box, thus pushing down the listings – but also making snippets a key feature to focus upon.
In addition, Google added paid ads to their ‘3 pack’ ads, made ads harder to identify along with a host of other adjustments – some important, some less so – but adding up to a more feature-rich and complex online enviornment.
So what do you need to do to get your legal marketing act together effectively in 2020?
Below are 10 key law marketing steps you need to be looking at to make your law firm marketing effective, efficient and economical.
Remember that Google is actually now more important than ever. It is estimated that the vast majority of those needing a lawyer go online – not to the Yellow Pages or the telephone, or the next-door neighbor.
And when it comes to online, it is Google that is far and away the most popular tool they use, as shown by iLawyerMarketing’s survey.
They will find out about your firm online and often from a mobile device too.
Put all those together, and there are key lawyer marketing strategies that will help you attract and convert new clients and new talent, as well as outperform and outrank competing law firms.
So you need to set-to with some key planning about your brand, your site, your offering and the ‘voice’ you want to communicate with your potential clients.
After the Covid crisis, still unfolding, there is stress and uncertainty. There is anxiety and new pressures. Your firm, in whatever area it operates, should be claibrated to be aware of these issues so that you can ‘speak’ to your online audience in a way that creates a connection.
Your website and your law firm brand are part and parcel of what will deliver this message and so make sure you have a clear ‘avatar’ of the type of client you are seeking to secure.
Your ideal client will differ according to the sort of lawyer and law firm you are – your areas of practice, your brand identity, your online assets (social media, video and others).
With a clear vision of the client you are seeking to attract you can integrate marketing to let you achieve the goal of estabishing not only credibility and authority, but a connection that translates into revenues.
In terms of prioritising where your law firm marketing direction should be, focus on the key sources of online searches –
It will help if you have a plan for how to get started. In this plan, you have to be clear about your goals and about the strategies you will use to attain your goals. You have to be optimistic about how long it will take you to see your firm in, let’s say, five years, during which period, your marketing techniques will expand and change, of course. In the meantime, define the methods that will benefit you towards achieving your goals.
You have to be particular about how the brand conveys what you will be practicing, including your firm’s USP.
In this step you will narrow down your target audience. You have to search for their demographics, income, employment, etc. Don’t adopt false ways that you won’t be able to deliver in the long run to build your brand image.
You need to consider what you do that makes your firm different or unique. Don’t overstate or misrepresent, but connect with you potential client with a story that builds your brand and credibility and also creates a connection that will translate to a connection.
Once you have a brand, there is much to be done to maintain its credibility. It does not have to be tough. It can be simple, and you can still reach your target audience if your message is strong enough.
Make sure your website works towards authority and credibility, including a key factor that can help massively in law firm brand building – reviews and case studies.
Just consider some of the powerful factors relating to reviews and how they can hugely assist your firm to create high client interest –
Having reviews and references will also add personality and credibility to your law firm offering. Take this example from the YLaw divorce and child custody firm in Vancouver –
Start developing a program to initiate reviews from clients. Ask them for feedback or provide a pre-formatted review form to complete. Then post reviews and references on your site.
Make sure that there is a clear navigation path for the prospect to follow directions to register or enter a chat situation with you.
Importantly your page should have a call to action requiring the prospect to call, phone or email.
The landing page should be properly optimized with terms like “legal advice for restaurateurs” or “corporate litigation practices”. Be specific and focus on triggering ta call to action from them.
Choose catchy headlines and precise keywords for your website landing pages and other key pages because most people are going to search for your firm on their mobile device. Providing too much information can also push away your potential client. You have to make sure that a first-time-visitor can gather vital information about your practices, other attorneys at your law firm, and your contact information quickly.
A couple of examples of great landing pages in different legal areas are shown –
Give prospective clients the easiest possible access to your services by having a clear, simple-to-follow means of making contact in the simplest possible way.
A recent survey from JurisDigital indicated that 47 per cent of people seeking legal services did some legal research on their area of ‘legal interest’ (as distinct from their law firm candidates) online.
Content marketing is really story telling and the key to focus upon is to move the story from yourself, as the marketer, to them and the issue or question they are wanting answered.
In the Covid-world, consider the key issues involving areas like working from home, employment law, sick pay, tenancy rights etc. are all through the roof. Use your knowledge in these areas to be the business that provides the answers to the questions your clients are searching for to provide targeted content marketing.
Content marketing, if done properly, can not only create a strong link to your users/clients, but it will also help develop your law firm ranking better than any other single factor, other than your website SEO (and perhaps even allowing for that).
Keep in mind that you need to be not only on page 1 of Google to attract reasonable traffic, but ideally you want to be in the top organic searches.
A recent survey by Backlinko showed that thte top organic listing on Google received almost 32 per cent clidk through rates.
A firm purpose is required to generate great content. Some of the most common content purposes are:
Identify the purpose you’re providing content for and it will target our audience – your ‘avatar’ – with greater power and success.
Content marketing using blogs and other content marketing strageties is one of the keys to generating increased online presence.
It has been shown by Hubspot that businesses using blogs generate 67 per cent more leads using blogs.
The key with blog posts is to research the topics and ensure they are engaging and relevant to your law firm’s marketing strategies and your firm’s own areas of expertise. However checking with forums and related blogs you can soon identify a range of ideas to blog, as well as using other online tools like the Hubspot blog topic generator.
Develop a clear plan to create content that engages your prospective clients with content that will create a relationship based on well delivered, relevant information.
This tool lets you add all your business details, get reviews from customers (recommendations are still the number one way clients choose law firms) and make sure you update the hours if they’ve changed because of Covid-19.
For more advanced local search marketing you can also tailor some of your content and SEO for those in your local area and develop some localised Google PPC campaigns to narrow your focus now that your target customer base may have shrunk.
Google My Business can be created relatively easily, can generate high click through rates to your landing page (as above) and generate very good business.
You need to optimize for GoogleMyBusiness and you can check our earlier guide on doing so here. Your listing will appear in the Google Map Pack and local finder and once listed you are in a grat position to land local clients, particularly if you also post regulary with posts that will show up in the search results, as below –
Posts include events posts, expiring on the day of the event and general posts that last seven days.
Ensure your firm is in the GoogleMyBusiness pages with regular posts to a blog that provide heightened exposure in addition to the base, maps and business finder listings.
Just five years ago TikTok hadn’t launched, but now it features in the top 10 of the most popular social networks in the world. Understanding these differences in popularity and understanding consumer behaviour and preference when using different social networks is important when targeting specific audiences, particularly for law firms.
A page on Facebook that has all the essential details about your law firm, an account on Instagram that has all your achievements and awards showcased for the potential client, these are tiny steps that will make your law firm marketing fly.
There are a variety of online tools that can let you schedule your social media posts and boosting posts or advertising on Facebook or Instagram can pay significant dividends for your firm when properly handled.
Similarly, Twitter is a highly useful tool to help develop engagement, as well as reaching journalists who may be interested in an article or development with your firm.
Use social media channels to extend the range of your content by focusing on key channels and easy-to-use tools that assist efficient channel delivery.
While legal directory listings may be thought of as somehow ‘old hat’ they remain a key way to access those searching for legal help, as well as helping to generate backlinks to your site from high-value law websites.
There are other advertising messages you can send out also. Sending out printed holiday cards can be used as a reminder about your practice and may lead to potential clients. A catchy radio ad can get the attention of a future client too.
A recent infographic from video marketing firm Filmara suggests that firms or companies using video have a 53 times greater chance to reach page one of Google than those who do not.
If you can do some searching of YouTube to see which videos in your subject area are trending you can help to ‘piggy back’ your content off the hot areas of trending searches and give your law firm video a much greater chance of succeeding.
Certainly firms using YouTube are lifting their chances for high online visibility. Take a search for a Covid-related query – dominated by one small law firm –
The Canadian employment law firm Samfiru Tumarkin present a fun but chatty and conversational style that resonate easily with an audience to capture leads and generate leads.
By monitoring the flow of clicks on your website and future clients, you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
This may be something you outsource if you’re a smaller law firm but being able to monitor your traffic, where it is coming from, which pages are popular and which posts are attracting attention is something that will pay huge dividends in terms of targeting the correct audience (ie clients) for your firm.
Be very clear about your plan, your brand, and the strategies you would want to use to market your law firm. Once you are clear about all that, everything else will fall into action according to your planned marketing techniques. Just don’t give out or post any misleading statements about your law firm that you won’t be able to fulfill. The central focus should be to attract prospective clients via marketing that you can practice.