Marketing for lawyers today has become more competitive than ever before with the evolution of internet marketing opportunities. While digital marketing has brought more opportunities for law firms to get in front of more potential clients it has also created the need for more online marketing professionals. In the old days, it wasn’t extremely difficult to have billboards designed and lease them in high-traffic areas. This along with running Yellow Page display ads used to get law firms plenty of phone calls. Those days are long over.
Today the marketing landscape is far more difficult and requires expertise in a wide range of disciplines including the following:
Most law firms tend to have attorneys that specialize in particular areas of law due to the fact that it is difficult if not impossible to master a wide variety of legal specialties. Even a cursory look at the list above should be enough for anyone to understand the same regarding lawyer marketing today.
Each one of the skills above requires a special skill set. Even though one can have an understanding of how many of these areas of expertise are performed, being an expert is a horse of a different color. Let’s take a closer look at what these different professions entail.
In the 90s when internet marketing first got its start, website designs overall were very simple. They didn’t require a lot of technical expertise for the most part and because search engine algorithms weren’t as advanced a website could rank well by spamming keywords. Website builders would simply stuff keywords on pages and they would rank at the top of search results with hideous websites and dubious content.
This is not the case anymore and in fact, even web design now requires a team of people. The components involved in building a website require completely different mindsets. The actual creation of the design calls for someone with a creative mind in order to create a design that is aesthetically pleasing.
On the backend of the website, coding and programming are required which is dependent on a technically minded professional. Part of this process involves coding the web design to be responsive and display optimally on any device and screen size. It is extremely rare to find an individual that is well qualified in both aspects of web design.
Writing quality content for online consumption is far different than writing articles for an offline magazine or a book. In addition, writing online content for lawyers requires incredible attention to detail, legal knowledge, authoritative references, knowledge of search engine optimization, and more. When writing content for websites and blogs the writer must not only write for the potential visitors but also for the search engine algorithms without it being obvious they are doing so.
So, writing online calls for an additional level of skill above creative writing because one also must be cognizant of the technical side of it. The content needs to be written with headers to separate longer content and links to both external websites and internal pages of the website the content is being posted on.
Writing legal content for law firms requires writers that have legal knowledge, at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, we contract legal scholars to write quality content for our attorney clients. When writing about specific areas of law our writers will include reference links to specific laws both for visitors and to show relevance to search engines.
Although blog marketing requires content marketing it is still a standalone skill. Not every writer knows how to write blog posts and optimize them for online consumption, especially not on multiple blog platforms. Blogging must be done on a regular basis in order to be effective. In addition, blog posts should be longer content to rank better.
According to search experts, the longer the content, the better it ranks. We recommend a minimum of 1,000 words but writing 1,500-2,000 gets far better results in search engine rankings. The blogging platform of choice for the majority of companies is WordPress, which has been in existence since 2003.
SEO may be the most complex of all of the online marketing professions simply because of the breadth of knowledge needed in order to be proficient and the constantly changing landscape of SEO. Not only must an SEO professional be an expert at on-page and off-page optimization, but they must also know how to utilize the appropriate anchor text in internal and external linking, writing META descriptions and title tags, and more.
Search engine optimization is an ongoing and neverending process, not a one-time task. This is why choosing who will deploy your SEO strategy is so important. Someone that doesn’t know what they are doing will not get results and even worse, they can have a negative impact. Our SEO Director at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing has been involved in online marketing since Steve Case was shipping AOL CDs from his garage. That’s a long time!
For most local service businesses including law firms, local SEO is one of the most important components in their marketing strategy. The reason for this is that the search engines, and Google specifically, have evolved to be able to display search results based upon the location of the searcher. This is why you will get different results when you are on your home or work computer than what you get on your mobile device when out driving around.
The optimal search rankings that we are shooting for are at the top of the maps results. These appear above the top organic rankings and tend to be the most clicked on and interacted with. There are many factors that influence these rankings including obtaining directory citations, local backlinks, writing locally optimized content, optimizing your Google Business Profile, and as aforementioned, the distance of the searcher from the business.
Without good data, you are flying blind. It is impossible to know what is working for a website without having analytics set up properly so this is one of the first things we audit with new clients. After doing this for a number of years we have found that many businesses do not have proper tracking set up. Analytics tracking codes enable us to collect important information such as:
From our comprehensive post on Google Business Profile Optimization Best Practices:
Many businesses fail to even claim their Google My Business pages and lawyers are no exception, this is a huge mistake. Your Google My Business is basically free advertising from Google. It is like having your own full-color Yellow Pages ad back in the day when they actually worked.
All you have to do is claim your GMB page through Google via a phone call or postcard. Once you have your page claimed, you then must optimize it. This post goes into detail on what you need to do to optimize your GMB page.
Most lawyers are incredibly busy and do not have the time nor the inclination to get involved with social media posting. Depending on the demographics of your potential clients you may want to have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TickToc, and more. We usually recommend posting at least on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but we also have clients that are creating regular video content and having success with YouTube.
In addition to posting frequently on social media, you also have to reply to comments and questions from followers. This is why it pays to have a social media agency handle all of this for you. Doing it right requires far more knowledge, expertise, and time than most business people have to spare, especially attorneys.
Everyone wants good reviews but it takes work to obtain great reviews and keep bad ones at a minimum. Communication is key when it comes to getting the best reviews and preventing the ones you don’t want. A solid reputation management strategy will include at the very least monitoring the major review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, but also any others that may be specific to your business.
Responding to reviews is also a Google ranking factor and they factor this in when ranking your website as well as your Google Business Profile. We monitor all of our clients’ accounts so that any reviews, whether good or bad, are replied to in a timely manner.
Under the larger umbrella of Pay-Per-Click, we find Google Ads, Bing Ads, Yahoo, YouTube, and more. Google has also introduced Local Services Ads. While these ads, also known as LSAs, are more expensive than conventional Google Ads, there is a reason. LSAs are for local businesses that have been vetted by Google and deemed reputable. Google LSAs also appear at the very top of a search results page if there are ads for the search term, even above maps results and other paid ads.
Anyone that spends any time at all on Facebook or Instagram has invariably seen ads in their feeds. Ever wonder how and why Facebook and Instagram know what you want and are showing you ads for items you have been searching for elsewhere? Enter tracking codes.
The Facebook pixel tracking code is utilized by both platforms and collects data from website visitors that can then be used to market to them on social media. When setting up these tracking codes properly a visitor can be marketed to at any stage of the buying process.
You can show ads to people that have visited your homepage, people that have visited a specific page, submitted a contact form, and many other conversion goals. These ads are very successful and tend to be less costly and more targeted than Google ads.
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.