While, yes, there are generalized best practices for online marketing strategies, following basic advice won’t give your law firm a competitive advantage. Kaleidico has worked with a number of individual attorneys and law firms–we know the ins and outs of what your specific business needs, that the general “online marketing” advice doesn’t cover.
So what do we work on with our clients, and what specifically should you keep an eye out for?
Creating a client-friendly website
There’s a common mistake that most business owners when they create a new site and put copy on it: they overestimate the average person’s knowledge of their industry. In general, this results in potential customers being confused and clicking away from your site. It’s not a good mistake to make, either way, but it’s an especially dangerous mistake for lawyers to make.
Typically, the clients we’ve worked with are in the personal injury, divorce, or business fields. A client who needs help in any one of those areas is likely stressed out, anxious, and in need of reassurance. If your typical stressed out, anxious, tired potential client winds up on the typical attorney/law firm sites that’s full of legalese and jargon, they’re going to get out of their–fast.
Instead, your site should:
- Use layman’s terms (without being overly casual–unless that’s a huge part of your branding), educating potential clients on what it is you do and how you can help them
- Be focused on putting their worries at ease and lowering their anxiety levels
- Encourage them to call you for a free consultation, to help put their mind at ease and show how you work
Walking the line between “professional” and “intimidating” can be hard to do, but it’s the best way to put potential clients at ease and get them to become actual clients.
On a more technical level, the website should also be featuring individual attorney profiles and optimizing them for search engines. Attorney names are often the top source of search traffic, because people typically refer their friends to an attorney, not a law firm. Make sure that the full attorney name is in:
- The URL of the page
- The title of the page
- One or two headers on the page
- Sprinkled throughout the body text
A side benefit of making this a feature of the website is that–as you’re probably aware–attorneys can be quite competitive, so once everyone at the firm is aware that they’ll be getting their own page (and potential referrals via search engine traffic), it lights a fire under everyone to get the website up and running quicker.
Optimizing everything for local search:
Local search engine optimization is one area often neglected by general online marketing advice. It doesn’t do much good to be optimized for your name or for general keywords, if you’re on the sixth page of results when someone searches for “divorce lawyer austin tx.” Here’s a few tips:
- Use AdWords Express to make sure you show up front and center when someone searches for local keywords
- Use Yext to stay on top of managing and updating your individual profiles in local directories (like MapQuest, Yelp, etc.)
Once your site is up and running, make sure to submit it and your contact information to the following legal specific directories:
When we work with attorneys and firms, we put a lot of energy towards search optimizing the listings that show up in local directories. These listings often rank well in local search results because the city and state name are in the URL of the site itself (and on every single page). By optimizing these pages as well as your actual site, you’re making sure that, one way or another, you’ll be on the first page of results.
Why all the focus on search? It might seem old school when everyone else is talking about social media, but if as far as driving online referrals from people who weren’t referred to you personally by a friend or colleague, search is the way to go.
Getting the most from Facebook:
People are now spending almost five hours a week checking their Facebook feeds, which means you need to make sure you’re showing up there. You can do this by:
- Advertising in the newsfeed–read our primer on social media advertising here.
- You can also upload your current client email list to Facebook and advertise to current clients, prompting them to like your page, so that you don’t have to start out in that awkward “my page has zero likes” situation.
- And once you’ve uploaded your current client list, you can use that to keep current clients from seeing certain ads, so that you’re not wasting your money on clicks or interactions from current clients (instead of new ones).
These tactics keep you top of mind for potential customers, and make it easier for your current customers to refer other people to you.
The other type of content marketing–videos and webinars:
If you’re busy running your practice, you might wonder how in the world you’re going to find the time to blog consistently. The good news is that in potentially intimidating industries like the legal field, video is often actually better than written content for showing personality and warmth, and reassuring potential customers. You can host a live Google hangout if you want, answer questions on the air, and then have it automatically upload to Youtube afterwards.
This is also great for search engine optimization, since Youtube is the world’s second most popular search engine (and, since it’s owned by Google, videos show up in search results right next to articles). People are often searching for questions, so make sure to title your video something like, “How do I set up an LLC?” or “What do I need to know before filing for divorce?” to maximize the search engine optimization of your video.
While all of this is very doable (and can boost your business considerably!), it can be a lot to take in and take action on. So if you need our help, give us a call or send us an email–we’ll get you ready to go and your time will be free to deal with all those new client inquiries.