As traditional media declines in importance, digital marketing has become a critical component for any business. However, if you’re like most law firms, you’re missing out on the massive potential that comes with an effective online presence. Perhaps, this is because you lack the time, expertise, or resources to grow your business on the Internet.
But no need to panic. As a full-service legal marketing agency with expansive industry expertise, we’ve compiled creative digital marketing ideas to help you build a powerful online marketing strategy.
Invest in the right web design
Your website plays an integral role in any digital marketing strategy. It reflects your brand image and helps capture potential clients. As such, your site should be easy to navigate and offer a smooth user experience.
To facilitate this, your law firm website should be responsive, meaning the web design adapts flawlessly to a range of screen sizes and mobile devices, accommodating the various traffic sources of potential clients visiting your website. To further accommodate, the website should load within 1-2 seconds, for local prospects who are on-the-go or eager to convert.
Run a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign
SEO refers to the practice of making your website rank highly on search engine results pages such as the first page of Google results. The higher your website ranks, the more likely more people will visit your website. To optimize your website for a higher ranking, include the right keywords throughout your site’s content: keywords that include your legal practice area, your profession, and physical service location, e.g “personal injury attorney in Tampa, Florida”.
As a general rule of thumb, if a high number of legal websites are using a particular keyword in their content, this increases the difficulty of appearing highly on search results pages for the keyword. As a work-around, use less popular but still relevant keywords to minimize your competition. To find these alternative keywords, you can use several online keyword research tools that show you which keywords have higher/lower competition.
Leverage the power of social media
With 3.5 billion users, social media is an ingrained part of our lives and has become a powerful marketing tool for promoting businesses. Building a social media presence for your law firm gives you an opportunity to showcase your brand’s transparency,which attracts potential clients searching for dependable trustworthy law firms.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn also provide a channel to redirect traffic to your website, making it easy to convert a visitor into a client. Regardless of the platform you choose, you need to keep the platforms active and update them regularly with fresh content or by investing in social media ads.
Run a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign
PPC refers to a form of digital advertising where you pay each time your ad is clicked by a web user. Google Ads for instance, is a popular PPC platform. Basically, it involves paying for a particular keyword that your target audience will likely use in their Google search. This way, when the target audience ends up using the keyword, say, “personal injury attorney”, your website is listed as the first on the results page.
PPC complements SEO practices in that both work to help you appear higher on search engine results pages. In turn, your brand awareness increases as more traffic and leads are driven to your website.
Consider paying for premium directories
Search engines like Google strive to display the most relevant websites on their results pages when internet users search for a particular product or service. One of the factors that determines relevance is physical distance. That means if an internet user searches for a “personal injury attorney”, Google will list law firms that are within close proximity of the internet user.
That’s why you need to list your firm on local legal or business directories such as Justia, Nolo, Findlaw, etc. These directories play a critical role in ensuring that search engines will display your website when a local potential client searches for attorney services within the location of your practice.
While there are many directories that will publish/list your law firm business information for free, also consider paying for premium directory listings. Paid directories tend to be more credible and well-known online, giving you more exposure and opportunity to attract leads and clients. If you can, try to list your firm in a directory that is dedicated to law firms or a certain legal practice. Such directories understand law firms’ unique marketing needs and provide the necessary tools to improve the return on investment (ROI).
Retargeting recovers lost prospects
An estimated 97% of people who visit a website for the first time leave without buying a product or service. Unless you can bring them back, these visitors are lost forever. Retargeting is a type of marketing campaign that reminds these lost site visitors of your services after they’ve left your website. As such, you increase your chances of retaining these site visitors and converting them into clients.
To design retargeting campaigns, you need to work with a third-party marketer. These marketers integrate an unobtrusive code on your law firm website so each time visitors come to your site, this code deposits a tracking device, called a browser cookie that will deliver your law firm’s ads to your lost site visitors as they surf the Internet. A retargeting campaign keeps your business at the top of their minds and encourages them to reconsider your services.
In addition to using the cookie-based technology of retargeting, you can use a list of your existing leads’ contacts. Upload the email addresses of your leads to a retargeting campaign on your LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook platform. The platform will then serve your ads to users with those email addresses.
Don’t forget email marketing
Email marketing for law firms provides an excellent way of cultivating brand loyalty from existing customers and prospects using an automated email sequence. Typically, it involves sending a series of informative and engaging emails to your email contacts. You can include links to your website, social media pages, or contact information to ensure clients have easy access to your firm every time they need legal representation.
Email marketing requires three essential elements: an email list, informative content, and software for sending out bulk emails. Building an email list is simple: go through your social media contacts source for potential clients’ email addresses. Alternatively, you can capture contact details from prospects in exchange for providing them with free useful content through a newsletter.
Once you have built an email list, craft actionable and interesting content to send to your list. You can repurpose your most-read blogs or answer frequently-asked questions as part of your email marketing content. Once you have it all together, choose a reputable email marketing software that also helps you track your marketing campaign’s success.
Embrace video marketing
To showcase your knowledge and expertise as a lawyer, videos are definitely the right tool. Upload videos of your law firm explaining various aspects of your practice areas and post them on your website and social media channels, including YouTube. As a rule of thumb, keep your videos to 90 seconds or less. and at the end of the video, incorporate a call-to-action message that prompts viewers to reach out to your law firm.
Using videos helps you achieve two essential legal marketing goals: viewers see you and hear your story, thereby cementing their trust in your brand and due to your call-to-action, viewers are encouraged to provide you with their email address, permitting you to market to them via email campaigns.
Don’t overlook banner ads
A banner ad – a digital version of a roadside billboard – offers another effective digital marketing tool. Usually, the ad contains an image or a short animated video displaying a product or service. Once a viewer clicks on the banner ad, they are redirected to what’s called a “landing page”, a simple page designed solely to convert i.e. to collect a prospect’s contact information for a free consultation with your law firm, for instance.
A banner ad should be visually appealing to capture your prospects’ attention on the web. Create high-quality multimedia to use in your banner ad; if you use photos, make them sharp and unpixelated. Ensure that the font you use is legible, depending on your banner’s dimensions. Typically, an effective banner also contains the law firm’s logo to build brand awareness and a call-to-action button to compel viewers to convert/provide you with their contact information. Remember to communicate the value of your legal services in the banner ad by showcasing their benefits or selling points; for example, “evening consultations offered by appointment for convenience.”
Harness the benefits of an eBook
Writing an eBook for your law firm helps generate leads by providing prospects with free and valuable information in exchange for their contact information. Like a banner ad, you need to create a landing page for your eBook that solicits prospects for their email address in order to download your eBook.
To convince these prospects to exchange their contact information for your eBook, you must understand their client needs and questions, and provide useful answers in your eBook. Think about what your audience wants to gain from reading your eBook. Your ebook shouldn’t just overload readers with facts and information; provide insightful answers for popular questions about the type of legal services you offer and teach them something they didn’t know before. Most importantly, don’t succumb to the pressure of writing a lengthy ebook. Quality beats quantity.
Digitally showcase your awards and achievements
Law firms like to display their accolades in offices for walk-in prospects to see, but these accomplishments don’t reach a wider audience, defeating the purpose of an accolade. Display your awards digitally, on your website and social media channels, to showcase your expertise and achievements to a broader audience.
Remember, you don’t need to win high-profile awards to enjoy the benefits of brand recognition. A simple award recognizing your firm’s contribution at a regional or even local level can bolster your reputation and build credibility. Even without an award, something as small as celebrating your law firm’s milestones on social media can make a significant difference in the way prospects view your company.
Blogging increases your firm’s online visibility, thus winning you more clients and leads. This is because search engines like Google don’t just rank websites; they rank the most useful, relevant, and top-quality web content. As such, each informative blog post you craft gives you a new opportunity to appear highly in search result pages.
Your blog posts should reflect the fundamental values your firm stands for, as well as your personality as a lawyer. Moreover, keep your blogs customer-centric; they should provide insightful answers to questions often asked by your prospects. Doing this will encourage potential clients to share your posts. The result? You build your authority and reach as an industry expert and establish yourself as the preferred attorney whenever local prospects need legal counsel.
Engage in local marketing
Due to their location-based services, most law firm clients come from within the firm’s local community. Therefore, you should optimize your firm’s website and digital marketing strategies to build a local client base. Clients are more likely to trust a law firm located in their area since the attorneys will be more familiar with the region’s applicable laws and legislation history.
Also, remember that Google displays results that are most relevant to a user’s physical location. By optimizing your web pages and marketing efforts for your physical area, for example, getting listed on local directories as discussed above, you gain both web and foot traffic to your firm.