Law Firm Marketing: How To Dominate Your Local Market
Law firm marketing is all about getting local results to drive traffic to the office and make the phone ring. Unless you’re a national megafirm, you probably want to dominate a distinct territory.
That means that your marketing strategy needs to focus on geospecific locations to be effective. You don’t want leads from California if you’re an Illinois law firm. This article will show you a few ways you can focus your message and start generating leads that convert.
We’ll look at the following topics:
- Marketing basics for the legal profession
- Generating local search results through SEO
- Boosting specific demographics and topics with PPC
- Building credibility and lead generation with a pro-level lawyer website
Understand The Basics With These Marketing Tips For Lawyers
There’s a lot to know about marketing, but it basically comes down to defining your business. You have to know who you, who your clients are, what gives you the best return, and so on.
It’s an exploratory and analytical process. At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, we use a host of high-tech tools and advanced techniques to make attorney marketing more efficient and effective.
We also have direct experience with a wide range of law firms, including criminal defense, personal injury, family law, estate planning, and more. Here are some foundational techniques (no technical skill required):
- Identify Your Best Clients: Defining your market is key — the more specific, the better. What past cases did the most for your business? Which cases would you be best equipped to handle?
- Build Community: Building community off- and online (social media, follow-up conversations with clients, referral generation) generates web marketing success.
- Be Interactive: Active management and interaction increase engagement and generate leads. There are plenty of tools and services to make this easier to manage.
- Have Brand Integrity: Your website and social media presence should reflect the real-life experience of your business. In fact, for better or worse, most people will assume that what they see online is what they get.
- Invest In Your Message: You don’t have to sell the farm, but you do have to invest. You get what you pay for when it comes to online marketing. We focus on accountability, so we can show you exactly where your budget is going.
Dominate Local Web Search Results With SEO For Lawyers
If you want local business, you have to get local attention. That means you have to be where people are looking.
It’s highly likely that your best potential clients are out there right now using Google to look for lawyers. In fact, basically, everyone’s using Google to look for everything. Social media also plays a part in SEO, so you can capture leads from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, too.
In any case, you have to appear pretty high up on the search results list to get attention. You don’t necessarily have to be first, but you at least want to be on the first page.
Online marketing for law firms is what we do. We have used SEO to help attorneys rank on the first page for hundreds of keywords, generating traffic to their websites and leads to their businesses. Call FORWARD Lawyer Marketing for a consultation if you’re ready to get started.
What Is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization is a collection of web-design practices that help you appear higher in search engine results.
For local SEO, there’s a specific focus on targeting geographical locations. We do this by including information about your business, linking your website with specific databases, and other techniques. This helps search engines match your law firm with two main location-based data points:
- Places names that people search for, such as “divorce lawyer in Las Vegas”
- The physical location of the searching device, such as a person on a cell phone in Las Vegas who searches for “divorce lawyer”
Beyond that, we also use general SEO techniques to help you climb the ranks for selected keywords. Some of the basic ideas and practices include:
- Site rank analysis: We look at your site’s current rankings, including the status of any ongoing SEO campaigns you have.
- Keyword analytics: We identify keywords that your potential clients are using to find lawyers, or that other lawyers are using to find more clients online.
- Website design: We look through your site to look for technical SEO opportunities and we suggest/implement changes.
- Content marketing: We write helpful, high-quality articles that include your target keywords and publish them on a regular basis.
- Cross-linking: We create an internal and external link network that increases the ease of site navigability and makes your website more credible to search engines.
How Long Does SEO Take To Get Top Ranks?
Local SEO for lawyers can start working quickly with the right strategy. That said, our main goal with SEO isn’t usually speed. It’s to get you to the top of the search page and keep you there.
There are other local advertising options for law firms that want top-ranked exposure fast. PPC is a good example, and we’ll look at that later on in this article.
How long SEO takes depends on multiple factors, such as the keywords you choose and the amount of competition you face. You can rank for low-volume keywords relatively quickly if your website is designed correctly. More competitive ones usually require a more involved campaign.
In short, it depends on your situation and your goals. We’ll discuss potential timelines during our first meeting with you, but most campaigns take somewhere between a few months to a year to start showing high ranks.
Is SEO Worth It For Attorneys?
We believe SEO is great for law firms. Besides getting your business to the top of the Google search pages, optimizing for search engines means:
- Creating quality content that people can use
- Designing your website so people spend more time on it
- Adding multimedia (photos, videos, downloads) that represents your brand
- Establishing your website in a larger information network
- Connecting your web presence with other authoritative, credible information sources
All of these compliment your high search engone ranking. They make you more credible, they make people more likely to contact you, and they set the right type of expectations for people who contact your firm.
Laser-Target Your Best Potential Clients With Custom Law Firm PPC Campaigns
We don’t constantly run PPC campaigns for all of our clients except the ones that have the budget for it. However, they are great for specific events, practice areas, and, of course, local exposure. PPC is also a great way to get immediate traffic while building long-term organic traffic through SEO.
PPC and local attorney advertising go hand in hand, especially using Google’s new Local Services Ads. The more you focus your ads, the cheaper the ads become. You lower your budget requirements by getting more specific — which is exactly what you want to do when targeting a territory.
What Is PPC Advertising?
PPC ads are a pay-per-click format of online advertising. They’re based on an open-market auction system. To use them, you would choose a platform and then
- Select keywords people would use to find your business
- Write advertisements that appear near the top of search engine results pages
- Create pages on your website (or set up customized call tracking numbers) to link to those advertisements
It’s harder than it sounds. The most successful approach to PPC for lawyers focuses on narrowing down keywords, targeting audiences, and limiting geographical exposure, all of which take experience, specific knowledge, and technical expertise.
Is PPC Good For Lawyers?
Lawyers have the most expensive keywords on many platforms. Cost per click can top hundreds of dollars. Is it worth it?
When is it ever worth $500 for someone to click on your advertisement? Take a look at the list of priciest keywords and the answer becomes obvious.
The biggest price tags correspond to “serious injury” keywords. The potential for collecting fees on a single multi-million-dollar settlement and the chance that an insurance company will pay such a settlement out justifies the cost of a personal injury PPC ad campaign.
Personal injury attorneys spend big money on these ads. However, even other practice areas have high-cost keywords. We have tools that allow us to spy on the competition, basically, if you see a law firm running ads for particular keywords long-term, they are profitable.
The proof is in the price. A high cost indicates a high demand — which means someone is making money running these campaigns. In short, PPC gets results for attorneys.
The caveat is that you have to do it right. Contact FORWARD Marketing for a personal consultation to discuss your advertising goals.
Build A Brand That Works: Professional Website Design For Law Firms
Good websites are the core of online marketing for legal firms. Attorney websites need to look good. They also need to work well. Finally, the most elusive goal is that they have to align with the brand of the law firm.
Breaking that down, appearance comes first. Your law firm needs a website that has thoughtful user experience design, attractive graphic components, and well-written content.
Along with aesthetics, you need an architecture that works. Your site has to give people ample opportunities to contact you. Everything has to work properly on mobile and desktop browsers. You have to build the backend so search engines can index your site properly.
Finally, you need to have brand integrity, especially when you’re looking to generate local business. In other words, you need an online experience that’s similar to someone walking through the door to your office. The only way to accomplish that is for the website designer to learn your unique style of doing things.
We start every website design process with an in-depth analysis and consultation. FORWARD Marketing gives you the tools you need to succeed on your own terms.
Contact FORWARD Marketing For More Information
We’re a lawyer marking firm with clients across the country. We are Certified Google Partners. We have the skills, experience, and knowledge you need to dominate your territory. Contact us at your earliest convenience to get started.