[Author: Noreen Fishman]
Many people confuse digital marketing with web marketing. Digital marketing is the science of promoting services using digital channels such as search engines, social media, websites, apps, etc. Law firm web marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing: it’s the strategic promotion of your firm’s website to increase its visibility and attract relevant traffic. To do so effectively requires understanding what searchers – and your clients – really want and need. Here are the steps involved in creating an impactful law firm web marketing strategy.
Law Firm Web Marketing
1. Know Your Firm
What makes you stand out from other firms in the area? Why would someone work with your attorneys vs. others? Remember that when people search for topics online, they are looking for something specific. What is that information? Now is the time to perform research to understand what people are searching for and what they hope to find. Without this information, all of your efforts are based on wishful thinking.
2. Analyze Your Website
When a user visits your website, they want to feel as though they’ve come to the right place. Will they determine from what they see, feel, and read that your website is worth their time? And just as important, will they want to stay and explore? Can they find their way around easily? Do they feel that the website is credible and trustworthy? Obviously, you want the answer to all of these questions to be yes. Spend time looking at your website as objectively as possible. You can also ask others in your organization for their opinion or use third-party tools. It’s often worth the investment of working with an experienced partner to ensure the combination of words, images, and messaging is correct. A reputable agency will ask the right questions and provide expertise in color psychology, site design, SEO, content gaps, etc. so that you can improve your law firm web marketing strategy.
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3. Take Advantage of Search Engine Power
Traffic is essential to your website efforts, but targeted traffic is your real goal. People who are more likely to do business with you are your most valuable visitors. Google and other search engines play a powerful role in generating traffic. The elements you need to focus on to build a strong search engine strategy are:
- The right keywords – Words or phrases that are well-researched should be placed strategically in your content.
- High-quality content – Remember that content is what your visitors are there to see. It’s also the channel used to highlight keywords and drive traffic to a specific subject matter.
- SEO – Both technical and non-technical components that make your website attractive to users and more “findable” online.
- Important links – Links have the power to bring targeted traffic (or hurt your credibility). Too many of the wrong links can get you banned from Google, and an internal and back-linking strategy must be in place.
4. Create Valuable Content
If you follow our blog, this is something you have read a lot. High-quality content is easy to understand and offers solutions and helpful information. You need a plan and process for developing targeted content that will improve your law firm website marketing strategy. Plenty of valuable content not only builds trust but also provides a place for implementing your keyword strategy. You also need a plan for sharing your content. Even the best content won’t be found without promotion.
For a deeper dive into how to create a robust content marketing plan full of high-quality content, check out this free eBook: The Law Firm Guide to Content Marketing eBook.
5. Be Strategic About Social Media
The truth is that you don’t need to be active on every social media channel to benefit from social media marketing. The platforms you should focus on most depend on where your clients and prospects spend time. This is an area where data can guide your activity. Look at which channels drive the most traffic to your website. If the numbers appear low, with social media not generating much website traffic for you, then you need to develop a better plan for social media. Look at the frequency and quality of your social media posting. Consistent social media efforts that help build confidence in your firm will help future clients feel like they already know and trust you and over time improve your overall law firm website marketing strategy.
6. Include Email Marketing
You may occasionally hear that email marketing is a relic, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, email often has one of the highest rates of ROI – averaging $36 per dollar spent. Additionally, email is an important tool for building relationships and communicating effectively. To make email work for you, you need to grow your own list of email subscribers. Create email campaigns that offer things that people want (for example a guide to a common legal matter). You should also develop email content that actually answers questions for your audience. A good place to start is by asking your staff what questions they get most often – and then email content that answers those questions in a direct and concise way (while also driving to more in-depth content on the topic). Sending out valuable content via email that leads to your website is another way to optimize your law firm web marketing strategy.
7. Supplement Traffic with Paid Advertising
SEO and other digital channels often require a slow and steady approach. It can take months to see results, but there are tactics you can employ in the meantime to generate new traffic. PPC is an efficient way to reach a wide audience outside of SEO efforts. Additionally, paid ads can help you to know which keywords perform well for your space and provide valuable insights that you can apply in other parts of digital marketing. This is another area where it often makes sense to work with an expert when you’re just starting out. With an expert keeping an eye on campaigns, you’re more likely to see a higher ROI, and more quickly.
8. Conduct an Audit
Your website’s performance is linked to a lot of different variables beyond how well you can market it. There may be backend issues that are preventing your site from delivering a quality user experience. Start by conducting an audit of your website. This will give you information on what you need to improve, such as SEO issues or backend issues.
9. Google My Business
If your law firm hasn’t yet claimed its Google My Business listing, you should make it a priority to do so. It won’t take long to set up, and it can be an extremely valuable digital asset.
- Claim and verify your listing
- Answer everything google asks for
- Encourage and respond to reviews
- Be ready to answer questions
- Check in often and keep things accurate
Knowledge of your firm and your clients is the real foundation for an effective law firm website marketing strategy. From there you can drill down into these steps: revamping the site, optimizing for search, and investing in paid advertising. Each of these steps is important for building a compelling website that brings targeted traffic.