As someone who has been marketing online for over 20 years, it is mind-boggling how many businesses haven’t embraced Internet marketing, especially for law firm marketing. The ABA recently posted research that showed that only a little over 1 out of 10 lawyers are utilizing the Internet in their legal marketing strategies. One positive about this is that it means a large portion of your law firm’s competition in your area may not be internet savvy or maybe not even online at all.
Forward Lawyer Marketing has been performing lawyer marketing and SEO for law firms nationwide since 2013. Our agency owner worked for some of the biggest law firm marketing companies in the country early in his career as did our business manager and administrator. Our SEO Director has been online since 1995 and his skills have evolved with the internet. We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help law firms learn what they need to do to market their firms on the Internet.
Improving rankings on Google is dependent on numerous factors that are complex and ever-changing The key to a successful law firm marketing strategy starts with a well-designed custom mobile-friendly website. If your website is outdated it can also turn off potential clients, especially younger clients who expect your website to be up to date.
Secondly, you must actively add links to your website on a regular basis which is another area best left to professionals. If you don’t know what you are doing it can harm you more than help. Internal linking within your site is also part of this process.
With the exception of large firms, the vast majority of legal practices want to optimize their web presence to rank high in their local area. It doesn’t do any good for a Chicago law firm to rank well in Houston Texas for example.
One of the best tools for increasing rankings in your local area is by claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile and posting regular updates on it. Another part of this is soliciting good reviews from your clients. Good reviews are a top Google ranking factor for Local SEO. We handle Google Business optimization for our legal clients including submissions to local directories
The length of time it takes to start seeing an impact varies depending on numerous factors, not the least of which is how much local competition you have in your area. That said, we have seen most clients start seeing website visits, direction requests, and phone calls from their GBP within 60-90 days. It can take as long as six months to see your profile in the local three pack which appears above organic search results. These are the rankings we are always after for our clients because they have the greatest chance of converting into actual clients. All of this is contingent on how much time and effort is dedicated to this aspect of your marketing strategy – the more effort is put into it, the better your results will be.
For law firms that operate in specific geographic areas local SEO may be the single most important component in your legal marketing arsenal. In addition to optimizing your Google Business Profile as mentioned above, building targeting geopages for nearby areas has also proven to be successful in increasing search rankings.
If your law firm is based in Chicago but you want to get clients in outlying areas these pages are excellent for accomplishing this. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer, you could target a page for “Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer.” The page would be written to mention local landmarks and link to an official city page as well as focus on personal injury.
The first component is your law firm’s website. As previously mentioned, your site must be up-to-date, mobile-friendly, and optimized for your local area and areas of practice. In order to do this properly there are specific ongoing tasks that must be done.
Building a website for your law firm without employing SEO is like putting up a billboard in the desert, nobody is going to see it. Many people wrongly think that all they have to do is build a website – if you build it they will come. Nothing could be further from the truth. If it were that easy anyone could build a website for a particular product and just sit back and watch the money roll in. The fact of the matter is that other law firms have marketing and SEO teams like Forward Lawyer Marketing that do all of this work for them which makes it impossible to compete without SEO
You must make sure that there are no technical issues with your website and that each page opens quickly. This has become more important with mobile visitors as they are very impatient and will simply hit the back button and look for another law firm if your site loads slowly or isn’t mobile-friendly.
Write optimized content for each page that targets a specific keyword or phrase. Trying to rank for multiple keywords on a single page can result in ranking for none of them. In addition to your main pages, you must continually write fresh quality content on topics your potential clients are looking for. In these blog posts keyword phrases called “anchor text” are linked to practice pages and your main page in order to lead Google and other search engines to your pages. For many of our clients, their blog posts are some of their highest-trafficked pages.
While there are numerous advertising platforms online most attorneys and law firms focus on Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram. These are the main two that we implement for our legal clients as well. Google Ads tend to be the most expensive, especially Local Services Ads, but they also tend to be the highest-converting due to the trust factor they bring. Below we will look into each platform in more detail.
Many people are under the impression that paying for Google Ads can help your search engine rankings. Google Ads have absolutely nothing to do with website rankings. With Google Ads, you are bidding on specific keywords and phrases in order to get users to click through to your website. Local Services Ads are for businesses that have been vetted by Google and although more expensive appear above everything else in the SERPS.
Google also offers Google Call Ads that are shown to people using their cell phones for search. For these ads to be effective you want to set a specific radius so that you aren’t getting calls from outside the geographic area your law firm services. The call button connects the user directly to the number you provide allowing them to immediately talk to a live person. This is the best way to set these ads up, going to a voicemail is going to upset the searcher.
In our opinion, Facebook Ads are an excellent method for obtaining quality leads for law firms. Facebook offers a lot of flexibility in choosing who you target and ads can be shown to users based on demographics such as age and gender as well as specific geographic areas. You can also choose whether you want to send them to your website, a landing page, or your Facebook Page to build likes, or to send you a message.
Nobody should attempt to perform online marketing themselves. Just as practicing law is a profession that requires specific skill, knowledge, and training, so does law firm marketing and SEO. Forward Lawyer Marketing handles all aspects of online marketing for lawyers including the following:
Call Forward Lawyer Marketing at (888) 590-9687 for a free site audit of your law firm’s website and a free consultation to discuss how we can help your law firm beat your competition and increase your revenue.