Law firms in 2022 will be spending a whopping $5.5 billion on digital marketing to attract and retain new clients, according to market research company Emarketer. Google and other online advertising sources know that law firms pay a lot of money for ads. They recently rolled out other new advertising features in the Search Engine to make lawyers pay more.
I am a capitalist, so I don’t see a problem with Google making money off of ads. However, many law firms struggle to create positive ROI when paying for all the ads. To make matters worse, this system favors the big law firms that can simply pay more for ads, choking out the small firms.
In this article, I will give you 4 steps for a small or medium size law firm to not only survive but thrive in today’s digital marketing environment.
While digital marketing is complex for attorneys in 2022, the following four steps can help any law firm stand out in the market for 2019 and beyond.
Define Your Ideal Clients, aka Customer Avatar
- 1 Define Your Ideal Clients, aka Customer Avatar
- 2 Research Your Geographic Area (local, county, state, nationwide)
- 3 Research Your Target Audience Online Behaviors
- 4 Review Your Law Firms Competitors’ Strategy
- 5 Paid Ads PPC and Display For Lawyers
- 6 SEO Lawyers (On Page, Off Page, Local SEO, Reviews & Google Maps Directory)
- 7 Social Media marketing for lawyers
- 8 Bonus – Setup An Engage Email marketing campaigns
- 9 Setup A Content Creation & Schedule
- 10 Client Intake, Operations & Automation for law firms
- 11 Build a written digital marketing strategy for your law firm
- 12 Review, Test & Optimize
Once your law firm has a basic idea of your ideal customer and you’ve written down key information about them in your marketing strategy for your new firm, you’re halfway to having a realistic idea of where your law firm can find new clients.
Knowing your customer’s circumstances is important for the search for new clients. For instance, if they’ve just moved from another jurisdiction (involving family law, immigration, and criminal cases) and they’ve got the means, they should certainly keep in touch with your firm to ask for assistance with their cases.
The idea that potential clients need a picture of themselves and what they stand for is not just a marketing tool, but it’s essential that it’s backed up by research and practice. Clients need to feel like they’re the ones setting up a meeting for them to walk away from.
This is where having a potential customer avatar comes in; it’s key that you are as specific as possible and include a clear picture of who they are, their brand, their service level, and their goals.
You don’t want to rely solely on your past marketing efforts. Research and real data are key here as well. For instance, many law firms don’t have any digital marketing whatsoever, yet they can consistently rank first place among their competitors.
Research Your Geographic Area (local, county, state, nationwide)
Now is when the hard part comes into play. You will need to research your goals and target area, and then map out where you want to get there in the future. You will need to know where to go in terms of physical distance, time, and cost of travel.
Knowing your target area will guide you on where to start and will help you achieve the ultimate result. You will also need to research the best routes and equipment that are best for you as it pertains to your target area.
This will be where you will need to research and compare to your competitors. Once you are able to understand how others get to their target area and how long and costly each of those routes is, you can better judge which route is best for you.
Research Your Target Audience Online Behaviors
Internet marketing for lawyers is significantly more complex and competitive than traditional internet marketing. While it’s true that you can’t rely on search engines to find qualified traffic, you can still find qualified traffic online if you’re willing and able to research and understand who’s visiting your website.
This will be where you will need to research and compare to your competitors. Once you are able to understand how other’s get to their target area, and how long and costly each of those routes are, you can better judge which route is best for you.
This is especially true for online marketing for divorce lawyers. Consider the following: Do they search for custody and parental rights? Do they search for law firm content? If not, you should probably not invest time and money into marketing your law firm online unless you are qualified to do so and have some time and focus left for marketing your divorce lawyers.
Use Google Trends to lead new clients to your legal services
Google Trends is invaluable for learning about who is searching for legal services in any given region. You should always ask yourself the key question: Does my region have a search volume for services for lawyers? If there is not, you should certainly look at outsourcing your marketing efforts to the region.
Consider the following when marketing your divorce lawyers online: Did you know? Google’s First page of search results for search terms is overwhelmingly dominated by law firms. Over 90%.
Review Your Law Firms Competitors’ Strategy
Once you fully understand your ideal client and market, you can look at your competitors. If you are a new law firm, I would be very cautious in just trying to copy the big named law firm’s strategy, but it may provide insight into what is working in your market. It will also give you an idea of how competitive the market is.
I would recommend starting by beginning a search on Google. Start a spreadsheet or Word doc with the firm’s name, website, ads, social media platforms, and positives and negatives. Online marketing tools like Ahrefs, SpyFu, and Semrush will help, but doing the search in person will give you a better idea of the user experience and feel. You can always use the tool after the search.
Name: John Smith & Associates
Google Ads: Running Google search ads, Google display ads & Google screened lawyer ads
Local Directory SEO: Has 567 5 Star Google reviews, Ranked #1 for Personal injury lawyer in NYC, #3 Car accident law firm.
Google Organic: Has 2k organic results. Top Keywords Personal injury lawyer NYC
Social media platforms: Monthly posts on Facebook and Twitter. No videos. No paid ads
Desktop Website Experience: Fast loading website, chat feature, many calls to action, unique selling position (USP) is 100 years of experience, and over $1 Billion recovered.
Mobile: Mobile version was slow, and the phone number was not clickable. Chat covered phone after a minute.
Strengths: The firm dominates the local search for personal injury in the center of NYC Diamond District, Midtown South and Murray Hill.
Weakness: The mobile app needs help; not showing up in Google maps in Midtown West or Lenox Hill
Paid Ads PPC and Display For Lawyers
Attorney online advertising and pay-per-click. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is when an advertiser pays a host (like Google, for instance) to place an ad on Google or a publisher’s website. The host charges a publisher’s advertisement to its Google Ad Auction, meaning it will cost money (in exchange for ad placement) if no one buys the ad.
For attorney online advertising, PPC advertisements will cost you, meaning PPC has a downside. However, there may also be a downside to pay-per-click. Consider the words you want to use when it comes to attorney online advertising and PPC. Do not forget to check Google Search Console to determine which words are most relevant in your region.
SEO Lawyers (On Page, Off Page, Local SEO, Reviews & Google Maps Directory)
When I think of Search Engine Optimization, I think of the organic (non-paid results) someone finds when they search Google. The results are categorized as maps and truly organic search terms. For many “lawyer” search terms, Google maps is going to be the biggest traffic source.
Unfortunately, SEO for lawyers is getting more and more competitive. In reality, Google is squeezing the organic search results more daily, forcing lawyers to pay for the results. The bigger
Website Onpage SEO
Your law firm’s website onpage SEO is the building block for getting results. It can also help you rank on Google and get backlinks from other sources. This is a very important subject as it directly relates to SEO. Law firms with incompetent websites fall flat in search engine results and lose out on scores of potential client leads and money!
I recommend law firms clearly define their unique selling position online, and why the services they offer are superior. This could include your experience, level of service, and any unique selling proposition (UPS or whatever they’re selling). Your UPS should not simply be “free advice from a law firm. They should have some qualifications to back up what they say. If you’ve never explored law firms’ pages (or are not qualified enough), there is little chance you’ll gain valuable insights from them
SEO Off Page For Lawyers
Off-page SEO refers to the tactics used to improve a website’s search engine rankings that don’t involve modifying the website itself. Common off-page SEO tactics include link building, social media engagement, and local directory listings (Google Maps). Local SEO strategies are critical for many law firms that focus on local services like bankruptcy and criminal or family law.
Off-page SEO is important because it helps search engines understand what your website is about and how popular it is. The more popular and relevant your website is, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are many factors that can affect your website’s off-page SEO, including the quality and quantity of your inbound links, social media activity, and local SEO found in directories.
Why Local SEO Is Crucial in the Legal Business
Local SEO refers to optimizing your website in the geographic location you want to rank in search engines like Google. Google gathers information from social profile pages like Facebook posts, tweets, and publicly available online links (like on Linkdex). This data is used in determining which social profiles to rank first in a search.
Local SEO can literally make the difference from not being ranked at all or being in the top 3 organic listings when SEO is working for law firms in your area. Local SEO can also literally elevate the power of SEO in local searches and rank more authority websites that clients can trust for local information online.
Creating and Maintaining Profiles on Lawyer Directories & Google Maps
Another way that lawyers can connect with potential customers is through lawyer directories. Although lawyer directories are not new to the internet landscape, they’ve recently been adopted by some lawyer directories as an effective advertising method for generating potential customers.
Specifically, lawyer directories may attempt to connect with potential clients by featuring a potential lawyer’s completed profile. While such a feature can help drive potential clients to your firm by creating an opportunity to discuss a possible opening, such a feature comes with inherent risks. For one, potential clients are not necessarily evaluating the lawyer who is featured on lawyer directories and may be searching for another lawyer entirely. Furthermore, potential clients are not necessarily evaluating your lawyer to see if you are qualified to represent them in their case, they are simply searching for potential representation by your lawyer.
Social Media marketing for lawyers
Another important factor when considering digital marketing strategies is social media management. While lawyers are held to a high standard in terms of digital marketing, other industries may have less stringent requirements in digital marketing and online marketing for lawyers.
This makes social media management an essential component of any effective social media marketing strategy. Many legitimate businesses will have no idea about how to manage their marketing efforts online and on social media. This makes digital marketing for lawyers particularly challenging.
For lawyers with limited online marketing skills, social media management is the only way to go if they wish to maintain credibility online and with potential clients. Another critical component of online marketing is ongoing review and monitoring of the effectiveness of any marketing efforts made online for lawyers.
Bonus – Setup An Engage Email marketing campaigns
One way to build an audience is to through email marketing. Not all law sectors may be ideal for this, but if you have one like estate planning, it could be a great source to create more clients.
Establishing strong content marketing partnerships and working closely with content marketing and online marketing experts to ensure that your law firm website is full of high-quality, timely and useful content will help it stand head and shoulders above its competition for a number of years to come. It’s essential that lawyers operating in this field ensure that they are on top of any and all online marketing to which they are a party.
Publishing unique, high-quality information that can reach the ears of customers on any digital device. Gain new leads from email marketing and grow your law firm. Join Law Firm Referrals now for just $99/year and you’ll never pay another dime.
Setup A Content Creation & Schedule
The internet offers limitless opportunities for lawyers in almost every business. However, for lawyers in the legal industry, in particular, the internet offers the potential to connect with clients in an era of online marketing and self-serve marketing and share valuable insights with customers and firms alike.
In fact, research suggests that firms with digital marketing expertise – like HubSpot, for example – are likely to outperform their law firm competition for a number of reasons.
Client Intake, Operations & Automation for law firms
Please contact us online for more information on how you can get involved with our services. We also encourage our clients to explore our website www.digitalcriminalrecorders.org where we have many high-quality quality resources on how best to use our services.
Build a written digital marketing strategy for your law firm
The last step is writing everything into a plan and putting this into practice. Start by reading over your marketing materials and ask for feedback from any team that can provide valuable suggestions. Then you can decide on your goals to pursue in the coming year and start thinking of concrete strategies for accomplishing them in a way that will bring quality leads to your doorstep.
What does matter is having realistic expectations on how clients will perceive you as a lawyer. Knowing how clients will perceive you as a lawyer will also help with search engine optimization and help brand recognition for your law firm.
Set Digital Legal Marketing Goals
Even if you don’t have the legal expertise, there is still value in setting marketing goals and working on their long term because setting legal goals is one of those things that will grow with your law firm. Legal marketing goals allow your marketing strategy not to be all-or-nothing and allow new lawyers to contribute their insights.
Track Your Results, Conversions & Sources
One thing we see very often is that law firms don’t know what is really bringing in the clients. As a result, money and time is often wasted on paying for ads and creating content that is not bringing in clients. The first thing every firm needs to do is start tracking conversions.
Review, Test & Optimize
Effective branding, advertising, and cost-effective web design can help your law firm stand out among others. Consider the important questions you should consider when building an effective online marketing presence: Can I Afford It? What’s in Demand Now? Will It Work?