A solid lawyer marketing strategy is more crucial than ever in today’s competitive online landscape. Gone are the days when you could just buy billboards and Yellow Pages ads to have success. Many young adults today don’t even know what Yellow Pages are. Due to the incredible amount of competition that exists in the legal field a law firm cannot afford to leave anything undone when designing a marketing strategy. In this post, we will point out some common mistakes made by law firms and how to avoid them.
Keywords drive search online and this should be obvious to anyone but it is one of the most overlooked aspects of a law firm marketing strategy. In addition to choosing the right keywords for your legal practice, it is also important that you also use “geo-modifiers” that include local municipalities you want to rank in. Examples of this would include keyword phrases such as “Schaumburg divorce attorney” or “divorce lawyers in Chicago.” Utilizing terms like these in your content can go a long way to helping you rank for areas of practice you specialize in for a specific geographic area.
Very few lawyers are adept at online marketing and even if they are they do not have the time to perform it properly, nor should they. In business, one should occupy their time with the tasks that they are best at that bring in the most revenue. Like other aspects of lawyer marketing, keyword research should be entrusted to professionals with years of experience that have the knowledge and tools to create a database of optimum keywords for your law firm. Choosing the right keywords is the basic framework for content writing and SEO for lawyers.
When performing site audits one of the biggest issues we see on the majority of law firm websites is a lack of quality content or what we call “skinny content.” In many cases, we have seen great improvements in rankings just from increasing the content. In this article from Yoast, “Word Count And SEO“, it states that longer posts tend to rank better because Google is able to better understand what the post or page is about.
Obviously, if Google understands a page better it is going to help it rank better. Longer content also helps you to include more relevant keywords and semantically related phrases that Google’s AI also recognizes as related to your main keyword phrases. A mainstream example of this would be a page written about golfing that includes references to Tiger Woods. Google would recognize that Tiger Woods is relevant on a page about golf.
At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing we employ legal scholars to write quality content for lawyers we work with that includes references to their state statutes and laws to back up the subject matter of the posts and pages. When we perform a site audit we will make suggestions on pages that need to have more content as well as possible geo-specific pages. We will also make recommendations on blogging depending upon your marketing budget. The law firms we work with that have been the most successful post at least one blog of over 1,000 words per week.
As mentioned in the last sentence above, the most successful law firms post quality blog posts at least once per week. Not blogging at all or posting blogs of less than 500 words won’t help you improve your ranking positions in the search results. Again, this is one of the methods we continually use to outrank competitors and help our law firm clients to rank highly for their chosen keywords.
Another important technique to utilize in your blog marketing is internal and external linking, this is important on your main pages as well. Internal linking refers to linking to relevant pages and posts within your own website. This link “Blog Marketing For Lawyers” is an example of an internal link. An external link is when you link to a website that is not on your website. We utilize these to give references to back up content as well as to give relevance signals such as linking to a local municipality.
SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. This career field is older than some people realize and it pays to partner with an SEO expert that has many years of experience over someone fresh out of school. Our SEO Director has been performing SEO professionally for well over 20 years.
When I perform site audits for potential clients it is mind-boggling to me when I see law firms that have spent thousands on their website, spend thousands on marketing, and have done little or no SEO. By this I mean, no title tags, no META descriptions, lack of proper keyword selection, no internal and external linking, etc.
Many law firms don’t understand that SEO is a long-term play, search engine optimization is an ongoing and long-term strategy. It requires knowledge in several areas including keyword research, competitive research, content creation, on-page optimization, building backlinks, and technical aspects including website structure. Hire an SEO Agency with decades of experience.
This is another area that continually surprises me. When taking in a new client we often find that they either do not have analytics tracking set up or it is not set up properly. This is one of the most important components of your online marketing strategy. How can you tell where to focus your efforts if you don’t know where your traffic is coming from and what is converting the best?
Our analytics team will make sure that events and conversion tracking are set up properly and that the appropriate tracking codes or “tags” are set up on your website. This way we immediately begin collecting data that will help us better optimize your website as well as tweak any advertising you may be doing. Without analytics set up properly, you are literally flying blind.
Not tracking phone calls is as big a marketing sin as not tracking website traffic and conversions. It is imperative to not only know where the calls are coming from but also how they are being handled. This is why we use a call tracking company that not only tracks where the calls come from but also records the calls so that you know how they are being processed.
Call tracking helps you to not only know where you can make improvements to increase calls but also identify areas of your internal process that may need to be tweaked.
This one I understand lawyers not being adept in or even educated about, most people are not. Backlinks are links to your site from other relevant but non-competitive websites. When we perform our initial research on a potential client checking backlinks for their website and their competitors is one of the initial tasks we perform. We then set up a schedule to continually add backlinks to your website because backlinks are an important ranking factor.
On-page optimization consists of several components including proper keyword selection and density, optimum headings, semantically related phrases, internal and external linking, title and META info, and more. Again, this is not a task for novices. Failure to perform on-page optimization can not only make your website look amateurish but will have a negative impact on your rankings. Our SEO Director considers this to be so important that he personally performs on-page optimization for every law firm client we have.
Advertising can be beneficial or it can be costly. If you are seeing a substantial return on investment from your advertising then it isn’t costly, if your advertising is losing you money, then it’s costly. I personally find online advertising to be easier to track and increase revenue than offline advertising. When we talk about online advertising we are mainly speaking about pay-per-click and Google LSAs or Local Services Ads.
An inexperienced PPC manager can run through a monthly budget in hours. Someone that is adept and experienced in running successful PPC campaigns can create high-performing campaigns that can immediately increase a law firm’s revenue. The head of our PPC Management department has many years of experience and is Google Ads certified.
Not only does an outdated website make your law firm look bad but it is also looked upon poorly by Google. With Google’s new mobile-first indexing it is more important than ever to have an updated responsive mobile-friendly website. When we perform our initial site audit for a potential client this is another key area we analyze. If we believe you need a website update we will tell you and we will build it for you. Internet users have also become much savvier in recent years and if you have an outdated website that doesn’t render well on mobile they won’t even think of doing business with you.
We have also had potential clients that we have turned down because they refuse to update their site. This is an integrity issue for us. We know that we cannot accomplish the marketing goals we have with a poorly designed and outdated website.
Whether you employ PPC campaigns, buy leads, or some combination of the two, having a continual inflow of quality leads is essential to increasing your law firm’s revenue. Our focus when we take on a new client is to generate leads through email contacts, online forms, and phone calls. Everything we do is a component that leads to lead generation. If you need a quality lead generation strategy contact us to discuss options that will work for your budget. We also recommend that you check out our sister company, Legal Locator, which specializes ONLY in generating leads for lawyers.
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.
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.