As someone that has been marketing online since the beginning of the internet, I have seen a lot of changes, especially in regard to marketing law firms. Marketing online is competitive but law firm marketing is extremely competitive, especially in larger metropolitan areas. To set your law firm up for success read on about the top law firm marketing trends for 2023.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO as it is commonly known in the industry has always been an important cornerstone of any online marketing strategy. SEO for lawyers isn’t going anywhere, if anything it’s becoming more focused, especially locally. In general, law firms focus their legal practices in specific cities or geographic regions. Local SEO is crucial for helping to increase rankings and traffic. To drive home the point of why rankings matter consider this, the top search result may get as much as 40% of the clicks while the third result could be under 10%.
The same keyword phrases you will likely want to rank for would cost a fortune in PPC ads with some bringing as much as $1,000 per click! SEO for law firms levels the playing field so that even small boutique law firms and individual attorneys can compete with larger firms.
In order to optimize for local SEO we want to write content that includes names of local landmarks and areas in the city and also use geo-targeted keywords for anchor text. An example of this would be Galveston drug possession lawyers.
With the focus of search results being more and more mobile-centric, it is crucial to appear at the top of the map results. We will get more into this when we discuss Google Business Profile optimization. If you haven’t noticed, Google shows different results for mobile than for desktop. For mobile, the user’s proximity is more important and the search results will show the closest business that matches the result. This is why “near me” searches have exploded in recent years.
By now almost everyone knows that if you have a business Google gives you are free Google Business Profile page. Formerly known as Google My Business, these pages give you even more exposure and when optimized properly will show at the top of SERPS as well as improve your website’s ranking.
Below are the main steps you need to take to optimize your Google Business Profile.
N.A.P. stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. This information must be correct across the internet and the N.A.P. details on your website must match that on your Google Business Profile. If the address is abbreviated in Google Business then it must be abbreviated on your website and on other sites you may be listed on such as Yelp. Make sure the phone number being used is correct and that the primary business number is being used.
Near the bottom of the info tab you will find the business description section. Here you want to write a good keyword-rich business description that includes the date it was founded, areas of practice, and other information on why someone should choose your law firm. You also want to add local cities nearby that you serve. Select all of the relevant categories for your law firm and add any additional service areas you can. Google uses all of this when delivering search results so the more complete you make it the better chance you have of being at the top of the results. For more thorough details see our post on Google Business Optimization.
To see all of the reviews for your law firm click on the Reviews tab. By default the most recent reviews are listed first, click on Haven’t Replied in order to sort by reviews you haven’t responded to. Reply to all reviews no matter whether they are good or bad. Google pays attention to how long it takes businesses to respond. They consider faster responses to indicate a better experience for potential clients as well. As with your business description you want to add relevant keywords. With Google, everything is powered by keywords so it’s a good practice to utilize them where they make sense, just don’t overdo it.
Use the terms people search for when they’re trying to find your products on Google. Click on “Services.” Once there, add a product category. Once you have selected your category, add services that fall under the same umbrella. With services, you can add a custom description. Be sure to integrate keywords in this description. The screenshot below shows what this looks like in the search results.
Go to the “Photos” tab. Look at the “Cover” and “Logo” images. If these are blank, then take your logo and upload it to a colored background. You can use a site like Canva and create a new image with a pixel size of 250 x 250. Select a solid-colored background, upload your logo, and export it to your desktop. Finally, upload the logo to GMB.
Next, select a photo for your cover photo. You can use Google My Business to crop the image in your browser or use a tool like Canva to size your image to 1024 x 576 pixels. Once done, upload your image to Google My Business.
Lastly, upload any relevant photos of your business. Be sure to include the front of your business, photos of the inside of your business, staff, and a variety of other relevant photos to prompt engagement. You should add relevant business photos on a regular basis.
Tips for business-specific photos on your Business Profile
In the attributes section add any of the following relevant attributes below:
Is your law firm black-owned?
Is your law firm woman-owned?
Is your law firm veteran-owned?
Are you LGBTQ+-friendly?
Do you provide your customers with a gender-neutral restroom?
Is there wheelchair-accessible seating?
Is there a wheelchair-accessible bathroom?
Has gender-neutral restroom
If your business is hosting an event or wants to share information, utilize the posts section. To start a GMB post, go to the “Post” tab. From here, click the blue button on the bottom right. Select the category of your post and write the necessary copy. Add a photo and any other relevant fields and click on “Publish.”
Now you can promote your upcoming and current events directly on your Google listing in Search and on Maps. It’s a great way to let your customers and potential customers know what’s happening at your business and gain their interest. Similar to offers, you’ll need to set the timeframe for your event, which may be a day, a month, or even longer.
Offers should be used for limited-time promotions. Upload a photo or video to support your message and draw attention to it. You’ll have the option to set up your offers for online redemption or with a coupon code for in-store visits. You’ll need to specify the time frame for your offer, which is the time the offer post will be live on Google.
Previously, posts on Google My Business only lasted for seven days. Now, they don’t expire at all. However, be sure to provide specific dates and times for your events.
Business Profile posts content policy
About posts for your Business Profile
You can create and publish a mobile-optimized website to represent your law firm via your Business Profile on Google. Google will automatically use the information and photos from your Business Profile to create a site that you can customize with themes, photos, and text. Your site will automatically update whenever you change your business information or post new photos and will also be optimized for display on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices.
Below is an example of what a Google Business Website looks like:
Get started on a website with Google – Google Business Profile Help
How to edit websites made with Google – Google Business Profile Help
There are questions that your law firm is asked over and over. If you don’t already have an FAQ page on your website you should create one. Once you have created an FAQ use this to add questions and answers to your Google Business Profile.
There are no official guidelines on what can and can’t be posted on the Q&A feature on Google Business Profile. However, there are some tactics that I would recommend sticking to when using GBP Q&A:
Answer questions as the business owner as often and as quickly as possible:
The quicker and more often the business owner answers questions within the Q&A panel, the less likely it is that unhelpful or inappropriate responses will be left.
The search engines’ main function is to index content so that it is found by users searching for information. Bearing this in mind, all businesses should realize that they are now publishers of content. Writing regular, quality content is one of the best things you can do to increase rankings and traffic, it also helps establish authority.
It is good to keep in mind that poor-quality content is more harmful than helpful. Research we have done shows that longer content tends to rank better in general with content containing over 2,000 words ranking best. You should have a blog platform set up on your site and a strategy for posting regular content.
There are many ways to utilize video marketing in your overall law firm marketing strategy. We have attorneys that create short videos that describe their areas of practice that act almost as short commercials to sell potential clients on why they should choose their law firm over their competition.
We have other attorneys that are doing Facebook Live Sessions which we then download and upload to YouTube. We take the video and create a transcript of it so we can embed the video and post the transcript as a blog post. Video is a great way to add additional content!
Social media platforms have begun placing an overabundance of ads in users’ feeds. This is causing many people to complain about it, myself included. This is why it is good to use social media in a way that is entertaining and informative instead of looking like you’re trying to sell something. There is an old saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” So, you want to come across as a likable and trustworthy person.
The best social media marketing strategy is to include a variety of different types of posts such as blogs, videos, infographics, and humorous memes. There are social media management programs that help streamline the entire process and allow advanced scheduling. Learn more from our Social Media For Lawyers page.
Online marketing for law firms matters. It’s a competitive market, and having expert advice gives you an edge. Here are some examples:
Our goal is to learn your law firm marketing goals, then help you achieve them. Please contact FORWARD Lawyer Marketing at (888) 590-9687 at your earliest convenience to get started with a no-obligation consultation. For some real-world examples of what we do and how it can impact your practice, feel free to check out a few of our case studies.
This case study shows how a single-attorney family law practice started attracting more high-asset, financially complex divorce cases.
Click here to read about a family law firm that increased caseload five-fold in a few months.
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At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing we believe in taking a “leave no stone unturned” approach when it comes to our legal clients. With that in mind, we employ extremely experienced people in the industry. Our SEO Director has been marketing online for well over two decades and oversees all SEO tasks including editing content and performing on-page optimization as well as internal and external linking. Our specialty is law firm marketing and SEO for lawyers at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, call us at (888) 590-9687 to discuss how we can increase the revenue of your law firm.