Internet Marketing has taken over traditional marketing. To grow your law firm, you will need to bring your marketing efforts to your potential clients. The internet is where they are, and the trend has shifted to Internet Marketing.
What is Law Firm Internet Marketing?
Law firm internet marketing is a strategy law firms can use to be in front of the target market. Internet marketing allows law firms to deliver the right message to the right potential clients at the right time.
Legal marketing has shifted its focus from billboards, TV, and radio, and print advertising to be highly visible on the internet. Surveys and research show that the internet has become the best solution to finding a law firm.
Law firm internet marketing has helped generate new leads or potential clients for many successful law firms. How can you leverage the internet to promote your law firm, acquire more potential clients, and grow your law practice?
1. Create an Effective Law Firm Marketing Plan
A law firm internet marketing strategy should always start with a plan. Your marketing plan should include the direction of your law firm and how you can get there. Jumping into the succeeding strategies without a definite plan is a total waste of money and time.
2. Build an Appealing Law Firm Website
Your law firm website is the core of your law firm’s internet marketing. It is the hub of your firm’s online presence. This is where all your internet marketing efforts will lead your target audience. Therefore, your firm’s website needs to be easy to find, easy to read, and easy to navigate.
Your law firm website needs to have these elements:
• Fast page loading
• Informative and well-written Home Page
• One page per practice area
• News/press release section
• Blog Section
• Built-in security (Https)
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The more relevant content your website has, the better as long as the content is well-segregated. For instance, the practice area page can be broken down as:
• Practice Areas
• White-Collar Crime
• Driving Under the Influence
The more precise your Practice Area pages are, the easier it is for Google to rank your pages. A top rank for your website pages, the more your website visitors will find what they are precisely looking for.
3. Website Optimization
Website optimization entails using tools and strategies to improve the performance of your law firm’s website.
An excellent website performance on the internet will generate more traffic (potential clients) and increase conversion (acquire paying clients), leading to more revenues. Website optimization makes it easier for potential clients to find your website on the internet.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most essential aspect of website optimization.
• Search Engine Optimization
You need to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your website to gain comprehensive visibility on the internet. Google ranks web pages on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) through a sophisticated algorithm.
To get a good rank on SERPs, you need to have your page indexed adequately, so your potential clients easily find you on Google.
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• Research on the right relevant keyword/s
SEO entails using strategies to ensure your website gets a high-rank Google search result page for its relevant keyword. To be successful in SEO, you will need to research the right relevant keyword for your law firm.
If you are a family lawyer in California, your relevant keyword could be; family lawyer California, divorcelawyercalifornia, or child custody California. When your website has a top rank on SERPS, each time potential client types in those keywords, your website will appear on the Google search result page.
• Content Marketing
SEO is unpaid advertising on the internet. This means you do not need to pay Google to show up on its search results pages. SEO though takes time and a lot of effort.
Content makes Google decide which law firm website gets a top rank on its search results pages. Google always aims to provide internet users with highly relevant content. Therefore, the best way to get a top rank on Google search results pages is to regularly post fresh and high-quality content about your law firm’s practice areas.
Fresh and high-quality content published regularly (once or every two weeks) will, over time, make your firm’s website appear in the organic section of Google’s SERPs that will translate to more visitors to your site. It would be best if you had a regular schedule on when to publish blog articles.
Videos are great to build authority, educate and connect with your audience, and generate potential clients. Videos add a lot of value to your website, too. You can embed your videos on your website (appropriate area of practice page) or upload them to your firm’s YouTube channel.
• Link Building
Link building is getting other websites (law firm websites or not) to link back to your website. This is often done by writing a guest blog and then including somewhere in the article a link to your firm’s website.
Link building also involves other websites mentioning a link to your website in their blogs/articles. Link building establishes you or your website as an authority and lets Google know that your website is worth mentioning.
• Easy to Navigate Website
Website optimization ensures that your firm’s site is user-friendly and easy to navigate on PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
4. Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay-per-Click (PPC) is an advertising medium on Google (Google Ads). In PPC, you advertise within the Google search results pages by bidding keywords relevant to your website. When someone types in those keywords, your website ad will show up. You pay Google for every user that clicks on your ad and gets directed to your website.
5. Social Media Internet Marketing
Your law firm needs to have a presence in major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Social media platforms allow your law firm to promote your firm and engage with potential clients.
Your social media posts arouse the interest of potential clients to learn more about your legal services and, therefore, they go to your website to learn more.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing campaigns can have a significant impact on promoting your law firm. SEO, PPC, and other methods drive traffic to your website, but it does not mean that all website visitors will immediately hire your firm or are still not ready to set an appointment with your firm.
You will need to gather the information about your website visitors and make sure to stay top-of-mind until such time that they are ready to hire a lawyer or hire your firm for that matter. Email marketing ensures this happens.
Email marketing entails:
• Collecting email addresses and contact information of website visitors
• Regularly communicating with your audience.
Emails marketing should nurture these demographics to ensure your law firm remains top-of-mind when they need your legal services:
• Current and former clients who may again have a need for your legal services.
• Potential clients that you have contacted or engaged but have not yet hired your firm.
• Prospective and current referral sources that include other professionals and colleagues who can refer potential clients to your firm.
An educational weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly newsletter sent to your contacts database should include:
• Any news or press release about your law firm (provide links)
• Frequently asked questions (FAQs) from your target audience
• Recent court decisions or commentary involving your law firm or those related to your area of practice.
• Links or excerpts of your most recent articles and blogs.
The layout and style of your newsletter should match the look and branding of your website.
7. Online Legal Directories
Getting listed on Google is vital for your law firm’s website. However, there are other locations on the internet where your law firm can get listed and enhance its online presence.
More websites that link to your firm’s website can help in the SEO of your site because search engines will believe your website is an authority. This will, therefore, help your website have an excellent SERPs ranking.
The most popular legal directories you can have your website listed include:
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You can get listed for free in some online legal directories. In some, you can pay for a sponsor listing so your website can appear at the top of the website directory searches.
You can also consider having your law firm website listed on non-legal directories including:
• Local Chambers of Commerce
• Google My Business
• Google Maps
• Apple Maps
• Bing Places of Service
These directory listings are sometimes referred to as local citations because they show authenticity, relevance, and prominence. The aim is to let Google and other search engines feel confident about ranking your website.
8. Creating a Review Strategy
The internet has changed the buying behavior of consumers. Today, before consumers decide to buy a product, they often tend to search the internet for product reviews and feedback. The same is true before potential clients decide to hire a law firm.
To strengthen your online presence and generate more potential clients, you will need to implement a strategy on how to obtain positive reviews from your current and past clients.
Your review strategy should generate regular reviews from clients and post them on platforms visible to your potential clients.
You can have a review and feedback page on your firm’s website. You can also ask your clients to post reviews about their positive experiences with your law firm on these platforms:
• Google My Business. This platform allows your clients to leave a review within your law firm listing.
• Avvo. This is the most popular of all review platforms. Many potential clients read reviews on this platform when finding a lawyer. Clients can leave star ratings alongside your law firm listing for added value.
• Yelp. This is also a popular review website. This platform discourages law firms from requesting reviews from their clients. They also have a strict requirement for posting reviews.
Your clients can also write reviews on other review platforms. Your internet marketing strategy should include that you always make it a habit to ask happy clients to write reviews of their happy experiences with your law firm and direct them to the review sites.
9. Conversion Optimization
Conversion optimization entails offering free consultations to potential clients. It may also include obtaining cell phone numbers and email addresses for text advertising and email marketing. You can include a compelling call-to-action (CTA) to help increase brand awareness and leads.
10. Brand Management
Your law firm is a business and a brand. Effective brand management is done through high-quality content that keeps you on top of the competition. This can increase your law firm website’s online presence and authority.
The internet is where your potential clients are, and to acquire potential clients to grow your law firm; you need to be where your target audience is. Your firm’s website is the core of your online presence. However, you will need to implement an effective internet marketing strategy to attract potential clients in a highly competitive arena.