David Banon – We know that as the internet changes – and Google changes its rules with monotonous regularity – meaning that online marketing for lawyers requires careful adherence to some digital marketing fundamentals.
The fact is that law firm internet marketing is a moveable feast if done correctly, but a famine online if not.
Having almost 20 years’ experience at LawFuel dealing with lawyers seeking to ‘work up’ their internet marketing skills, many are still missing some basics that can see them generating high online traffic and new clients by doing – in some cases – minor tweaks to their website and their content.
Having said that, bear in mind that generating ‘organic’ traffic takes some work too. Essentially we always focus on developing great, relevant ‘epic’ content that genuinely provides value to your clients. Given that your content generation and optimization takes effort you might consider that handling that work equates, more or less, to the cost of paid advertising on Google, Facebook or elsewhere.
More or less.
It depends on many factors but for the smaller firm in particular who are looking for great lawyer internet marketing solutions, the best and most effective way forward remains the content generation efforts you put in, combined with some of the tips we’ve outlined here.
And so, with those thoughts in mind lets look at seven key tips that can help you move your online marketing efforts for your law firm up a gear and help generate more, targeted traffic.
Online Marketing For Lawyers Tip 1: Blog, Blog and Blog Some More
Blogging is a tried-and-true way to generate high traffic, but it is also subtly and sometime not so subtly changing.
Whether you practice in drunk driving law, bankruptcy, or mergers and acquisitions, the legal world changes to the point where you have plenty of scope to showcase your expertise with good blogging content that can help generate high online traffic.
One caveat here: ‘blogging’ is great and effective but it is – or should be – part of a broader strategy of developing an overall content marketing strategy which includes books, articles, guest posts, video content and the like.
Your focus should be on generate lawyer marketing content that will reach your target market with the one other essential element to successful marketing: epic content.
Reviewing legal developments and trends is fine, but you want to focus on adding some viewpoint that is genuinely of value and interest to your target audience (of which more below).
One of the keys to to try and write with a ‘voice’ and a plain English view on legal developments, which not only provides greater access to your content, but also helps build what online gurus might call ‘brand loyalty’.
Online marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family’s New Jersey wine store business from $4 million to $50 million in revenue per year, partly by developing a personal brand of “the wine guy that tells it like it is in plain English.”
You can also guest post on other blogs, which is a highly effective way to reach a wider audience and to build backlinks. While backlinks are important for ranking they can be a pain to work on when you’re a busy lawyer and, in my view, the natural results from quality content will be increased backlinking opportunities.
Quality – nay, ‘epic’! – content is the answer.
Law Firm Online Marketing For Lawyers Tip 2: Smart Keyword Usage
Keyword selection is important in any online content that seeks to target an audience, but there are some simple ways of achieving that without the need to agonize over tools and other techniques that seem to trouble so many.
We wrote about keyword research and the free tools you can use in our report here, which in essence explained about the ‘gimme keywords.’
The key here is to have an organized plan to use your selected keywords properly to help maxmimize the SEO benefits of using those words properly and to generate the best internet marketing for lawyers benefits.
Here’s what we said in our report:
Go to SEMrush’s ‘Magic’ Keyword Tool or the keyword tool at Ubersuggest or other tools and see what keyword suggestions arrive after clicking, as well as your competition for those keywords.
For instance you can use Ubersuggest to see our top competition as well as filtering and checking on the top pages they rank for and the keyword search volume.
You can also use the filters in tools like this to see what keywords you are missing out on – in other words the keywords you do not rank for and which you can focus your efforts upon to achieve great content ranking.
Selecting keywords, using a spreadsheet to record the keywords that can help drive targeted traffic to your site is a simple way to create that gold traffic you use.
Similarly, targeted phrases that focus on your professional area and your geographic area is important to work properly. You should also add these terms on the directions or About page on your site, as well as listing surrounding towns and cities you reach.
Law Firm Online Marketing For Lawyers Tip 3: Use Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ pages on many websites are the most popular and most used – why? Because they do something that many people – indeed MOST people online want: Answers to their questions.
By having a well thought-out frequently asked questions page you can generate some very important traffic and help build that all-important authority you seek.
It’s not difficult to list answers to key questions that might be asked of your legal specialty, because those are the very questions you’re answering regularly as part of your daily or weekly work.
But apart from answering precise answers in plain English you can also do something else very fundamental to achieving high SEO for your site – you can use all those keywords that help build traffic to your site.
Mixing legal terminology – not too much, please! – and well chosen keywords based on your search you are increasing your opportunity to get found in the search engines.
Attorney internet marketing is, after all, about providing authoritative and useful content for your readers and clients. It means providing the answers they need.
I had a client call a couple weeks ago. She said “John, I’ve watched our traffic over the last few weeks and it seems to be down”. I asked her if the calls were still coming in. She said,” Oh yes, we’re getting calls, just not as much traffic”. After we hung up, I thought to myself “It’s happening”. Anyone who follows Google as closely as we do know that Google is repositioning itself to be an answer engine rather than just a search engine. - John Moffitt, OnlineMarketingInc
Answer engine optimization for the search engines (AEO) is similar to SEO optimization in writing content generally. The difference is specificity with your ‘question’ (and answer). When people type a question, brevity is a factor, they ask the question in as few words as possible.
Online Marketing for Lawyers Tip 4: Optimize For Voice Search
Voice search is growing fast. In fact it is predicted, based on the growing use of voice search, that 50 percent of all searches will be made via voice search technology in 2020.
That is massive and it’s not something any law firm’s internet marketing efforts can ignore. Your firm needs to be featured in voice search results because voice is being used purely for search purposes, just like the computer or phone has done previously.
So how do you adjust your market to accommodate voice search for law firms
Having your law firm in a featured snippet for “near me” searches could be very beneficial to your attorney internet marketing efforts.
This “near me” featured snippet recites to the user the top local results for their “near me” voice search. So, rather than typing in the search on Google and reading results like those below, voice search will read those top results to the user.
Here’s where focusing on your local search can benefit you even more! No longer is local search limited to finding results through a computer or on a phone screen, but now they will result when someone is searching through voice search.
Search Google For LawFuel’s ‘Stealthy Keyword’ Tactic to Boost Your Law Firm Traffic Within the Next 30 Days – Guaranteed
Online Marketing for Lawyers Tip 5: Have a Law Firm Call to Action
Have a well designed call to action (CTA) on your law firm website is a key step in generating targeted returns from your clients, or potential clients.
There are a variety of CTAs that can be used, ranging from invitations to call, free consultations, contact forms and the like. The design and nature of the CTA is vital for success.
Simply inserting a ‘submit’ button or a ‘contact us’ section is insufficient and yet too many law firms do just that.
To be effective, the CTA should be clear and invite a positive reaction.
There are some traps with the CTAs however that you need to be aware of when using this tool as part of your lawyer online marketing efforts.
Messages can often be confused – which form should I use? What information is needed? What will I receive? Who am I contacting?
Also, the timing of the CTA and its position on the website can create obstacles in the course of seeking conversions. If it’s too early, it can turn visitors away. Some websites will alienate those who might otherwise be hot prospects by immediately having their ‘Can I Help You?’ popup box appear, which can be intrusive and annoying.
The design of the form and the reason for seeking its completion by a potential client is key to getting that targeted list ready for your online marketing.
Try and use words that encourage action, such as for a free book or report to guide them through a particular issue, rather than simply asking them to ‘click to download’ etc.
Here is a CTA that’s reasonably typical for law firms –
The CTA here is non-specific and bland, without providing information about quite what it can or will provide. Even the social media buttons, the same colors as the ‘Send’ and ‘Contact’ messages tend to confuse the issue for the web visitor.
Here, for instance, is a great call to action for a law firm providing a free book to clients dealing with a very specific issue –
Online Marketing For Lawyers Tip 6: Get Reviews
We can’t overstate the value of having reviews for your law firm – they’re online gold and to have them online for others to read is undoubtedly the Holy Grail so far as building authority and good conversions.
But they go further than just providing added credibility, they also impact your law firm rankings. By asking for reviews (after providing great service) you are hitting a number of key high points in lawyers’ online marketing in one hit.
Many clients seeking lawyers will first “Google” your name and having good reviews there will be a major asset in your ability to get the client to sign on.
Be wary of using ‘reputation management’ agencies and others who undertake to solicit reviews. The best way forward is to do a great job and simply ask your grateful client if they would mind putting a review online. They’re natural, they’re honest and they’re a major advantage every time and without doubt remain a key asset in the arsenal of internet lawyer marketing.
Credentials are important, too. Highlight your image with a host of reputable recognition plaques to win additional trust from your prospective clients or customers.
Online Marketing For Lawyers Tip 7: Get In Directories
It may seem old hat, but directories and the review sites still work in terms of online marketing for lawyers because your clients are shopping around and looking for lawyers and directories can be the first port of call.
The fact remains that directories can – and usually do – have high backlinks and authority, as well as providing the review advantage. And as your clients are going to be searching online for the best lawyer in your geographic or area of specialty, the directory factor should not be overlooked as one of the key ingredients to achieving fast and easy online exposure when researchging the best online lawyer marketing options open to you.
Conclusion – Online Marketing for Lawyers’ Key Rules
As we stated at the outset, the online marketing for lawyers landscape changes, but it some respects it remains the same with its focus upon achieving authority (good content), achieving access to your visitors (organic links, directories) and achieving a fast access option (good call to action pages). Your law firm internet marketing will move in leaps and bounds if you work to these fast seven online marketing options.
David Banon is an online marketing specialist who provides advice for law firms and others, as well as writing for LawFuel and other publications about online marketing for lawyers.