As law firm marketing has evolved, SEO has become an integral part of the marketing plan for all law firms. SEO involves getting your law firm website in front eager prospects who are searching for law firms in their cities.
Nowadays, most businesses are after that coveted first page on search results. Why is that? It could be because people are too lazy to even scroll down and will just click the first URL that pops in front of them.
The truth is that people trust Google to sort out all the information contained in the World Wide Web about the topic they are searching, even when they search for a law firm in their area. We all know that the first few results by the top website, whether your law firm competitor or not, will probably answer any question we have about a product or service.
Online marketing has become a constant search for techniques and strategies to show Google that we are more than capable to provide answers for what people are looking for. However, it all seems surrounded by a thick shroud of mystery as marketing gurus tend to speak and write in an obscure and vague language that only seeks to discourage you from attempting to promote your law firm business without their help.
We believe in transparency and want you to know what an effective law firm marketing campaign implies and how to put one in place for your law firm.
The first thing you must do is create a marketing plan for your law firm.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it is crucial if you really want to know the true worth of your efforts and their true impact, or lack thereof. Many small law firms start spending money left and right on marketing efforts and end up digging their own financial grave in the long term.
This is the first question you should ask yourself when starting with your law firm marketing. The answer seems obvious but, believe me, it is not. Goals should be quantifiable so you know if you’re hitting the marks or not with your law firm marketing plan. Avoid phrases like “Making more money” or “generate a hefty client base”. While both phrases reflect desirable outcomes, they are only product of wishful thinking.
Good examples of quantifiable law firm marketing goals are:
Reach the first page of search results for “Work Injury Lawyer in Seattle”
Generate X new client leads every month
These marketing goals allow you think about how much you would like to spend per new lead, or how much being on the first page of SERPS is going to cost you. They can also be tweaked as per your law firm needs. Maybe the keyword you are aiming for has too much competition, or the initial amount of desired new leads for your law firm was unrealistic. You can move these goalposts with ease without having to throw your whole law firm marketing plan away.
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Here you start articulating your monthly results. You might not be able to reach the desired marketing goal for your law firm during the first quarter of the year, but it does not mean you never will. Set worst-case and best-case scenarios for all your services marketing, define your target audience, when creating your law firm marketing plan, and put some levels in between. This will allow you to see the progress of your campaign in a clear-cut way.
For the keyword example, you could type in the keyword on Google and see where you rank. Your law firm is maybe on the fifth page of search results, right where nobody will ever go. But you have a clear starting point. Ideally, you want your law firm to come first on search results on the first month. However, we all know that is not going to happen. So you must articulate your law firm marketing goal. Personally, I would be happy if my page went up 10 or 20 spaces per month, depending on the niche.
For the lead generation example, I would set a goal based on how other law firms in the same specialization are faring. Articulation is key here as well. As it prevents you from becoming frustrated if your goal is not fulfilled during the first few months.
One benefit of this marketing approach for your law firm is that it allows you to revise your strategy if your goals are not met. Or find out what works through trial and error. This might sound ominous as mistakes are costly. But unless you are a seasoned law firm marketer yourself, they are bound to happen.
When designing our law firm marketing plan we must know how much our goals are going to generate in terms of income for your law firm. At first this is guesswork as we do not know for certain how much each lead will represent money wise. This requires a bit of research. And, again, it heavily depends on the niche.
We must do this so we have clear spending limits in our marketing campaign. Of course, these numbers will change with time as you start feeling the effects of your campaign. For lead generation, you must measure how many of those new leads actually become clients of your law firm. And if your Return on Investment is high enough to continue spending on marketing efforts. The same applies to the Ranking example. It is important that the time and money you put into your campaign actually result in an increase of revenue for your law firm.
This part is a little tricky as inexperienced law firm marketers might not have enough solid data to create a realistic marketing budget. But it is really important to have a close look to your cash flow and bottom line. Law firms that went bankrupt because of wild marketing spending while chasing rainbows is not unheard of.
Now we get out of the realm of speculation and enter the good land of action. This section contains everything we will do in order to achieve our law firm goals. We will refer to this section when setting our law firm marketing budget. There are plenty of strategies for achieving differing goals. If we keep the two examples we have been using we can set for a simple strategy for each.
Marketing By Focusing On Quality Leads For Your Law Firm. If you want to generate leads fast, there are two law firm marketing techniques that work like a charm, if you know what you are doing. Using Pay Per Click To Support Your law firm marketing. This is plain old advertising but done at the Search Engine level. Have you seen the top links that appear on top of search results? The first few are marked as AD. This is because companies earn their position there by paying straight to Google every time someone clicks on the link to their law firm website.
The more they pay, the higher their law firm will rank. The cost of this type of law firm marketing campaign is based on competition for keywords that you want to target for your law firm. You choose the keywords you want your law firm to rank for. And see how much competition there is for those keywords in your area. If there are other big firms in your area, chances are that you´ll be running a costly campaign. Here, Google Adwords is a great tool to find out how much competition is there for your specific keywords and how much are people bidding for them.
It also gives you keyword suggestions that might work better for your very specific law firm niche. For example, say your law practice specializes in settlements after an accident has occurred. You might thing that competing for specific Keywords such as “Accident Lawyer” is a good idea. You then go to AdWords and start comparing the hard data for that word. You will find that a lot of people search for that word, but competition is fierce with $174 dollars a pop. But you will also see that “Injury Lawyer” has twice the search volume and competition is a lot lower at $78 per click. That´s pretty much the Pay-Per-Click campaign essence. Of course there are a few more details and number crunching, but they must be covered in detail in another piece.
This is a slower path, but it is a lot more efficient in the long run for your law firm. Here, Law Firm Marketing needs to be focused on generating organic traffic. Here, we have to make sure we are really offering Google and our visitors what they want. If done well, this beats Pay Per Click campaigns. If your page truly complies with all of Google´s requirements. And builds authority, you won´t have to pay a dime for your law firm to be on top of searches ever again.
But, how is that possible?
People want their questions answered, and they want it now. The best way to do it is by creating content. Not any kind of content, but relevant and well-crafted combinations of text, graphics and video on your law firm website that actually give the information the users are looking for when they perform their queries regarding your law specialization.
Your website should be created in a way that the first people see when they open it is a clear definition of what they want to know. Or a direct solution to the problem they want to solve.
There are many ways to do this.
Intuitive and eye-catching website design on your law firm website is certainly desired. Most people will bounce off from a poorly executed law firm website. In fact, 94% of people would never trust a law firm site that looks outdated or stale. One other thing is that it should offer a clear path to conversion. If people have dig too deep into your law firm website´s link structure to get answers or buy your product, they will probably leave and look elsewhere.
Then there is content. We cannot stress this enough: Content is king. Yes, even for law firm websites.
This does not mean having well written content. That certainly is a must. But the content should be fresh, relevant and engaging. And also does the marketing for you. Here is where the real competition.
For good or ill, Google has created an environment where shallow content is punished. Truly informative and detailed content like an informational newsletter is the only way to really survive.
Why do they do this? Well, they have their own customers in mind. They are the most used search engine in the world because people KNOW it is going to show them the best answers for their queries. Ergo, those who offer what Google wants to give their users, will be awarded with privileged positions in their rankings.
We are sure that you as top notch law firms, with your expertise as attorney allows you to really clarify legal matters to those who come to you for advice and solutions. Your law firm website must reflect that and, if possible, do it even better than you ever could. If you still doubt the power of content, you should know that 75% of users will only take action after visiting other law firm websites. It means that you REALLY want to be among the most trusted sources of legal information.
There are other elements for a successful Law Firm Marketing campaign focused on rankings such as backlinks, but they would take up volumes to explain. If you really want to dig into the world of SEO, or have more specific questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
We Are Certified Google Partners As Certified Google Partners, we play by the rules. We work with you to give Google and other search engines exactly what they want. To help your website recover from penalties, rank higher in search, and get more customers for your business. And if you found us after searching in Google or another search engine, you’ve proven for yourself that our SEO methods work.
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