One big problem that can hinder a law firm’s success is assuming that an online marketing effort is optional. Even a practice that begins to put forth such an endeavor may determine that online marketing is the first thing to be cut when the belt gets tightened. The thinking goes that the website is up and isn’t really going anywhere, so it’s best to stop putting money into it, at least for a little while.
That’s an unfortunate line of reasoning, as it fails to do justice to just how important an ongoing internet marketing campaign is, the operative term there being “ongoing.” This isn’t a one-and-done sort of thing; it’s a strategy that needs to be applied in earnest for as long as your law firm is in business. If you can keep going back to the online marketing well again and again and again, you’ll find that the bucket you send down brings up a consistent supply of clients.
Today, we’re going to show you why marketing in this manner is no longer optional. Whether your law firm is the new kid on the block or you’re part of a practice that’s been around for years, investing in digital marketing will be the key to ensuring your business remains successful for a long time to come.
It’s a good thing to have established visibility within your community. You want to catch a person’s eye with billboards, advertisements in the local paper, and television commercials that draw in a person who might be in some sort of legal jam.
But there is one huge drawback to having this kind of success with traditional marketing, and that’s letting it act as a complete stand-in for more modern marketing channels. Many a law firm has run into trouble by figuring that the traditional channels that carried them for so long will be sufficient in this day and age.
The problem with that way of thinking is it underestimates the way that modern client prospects make their legal decisions. Even if someone sees your billboard around town, you have to realize that they’re not automatically going to give you a call, even if they are in the kind of trouble that you could help with. No, before they do anything, they’re going to go online and conduct some research.
It’s possible that the individual in question is going to seek out your law firm specifically, but even then, they’re usually not going to type your web address in and visit you directly. Instead, they’ll probably go to Google and type in the name of your law firm. But even that isn’t a typical response; no, a typical response is that they’ll go to Google and look for the type of lawyer who could help them. If they’ve been hurt, they’ll type “personal injury lawyer,” or if they’re being charged with a crime, they’ll search “criminal defense attorney.”
When they do this, they’re going to be exposed to a lot of law practices that aren’t yours. Even if you’re the attorney they were thinking of hiring initially, if they don’t find you right away, they’ll click one of those other results. Out of sight, out of mind after all.
This is why online marketing and Search Engine Optimization aren’t optional in the modern age. That client journey we described is not atypical by any means. It’s how most people are initiating a search for an attorney. Maybe they once used a phone book or sought out recommendations from a friend; today, a search engine has taken the place of those old ways of doing things. Traditional marketing won’t get you where you need to be because people are combining a traditional journey with a way of doing things that’s anything but traditional. If you only have one half of that journey sewn up, you’re not going to be able to acquire the clients you need. Please don’t make that mistake.
Right now, maybe you’re thinking that you’ve done the work necessary to connect your traditional advertising with a digital marketing effort. You’ve created a website and filled it out with some pretty awesome content. With that ready to go, perhaps you dismissed the marketing team because you figured that the web domain will remain there and be good to go for a long time to come.
That’s sounds great in theory, but it fails to take into consideration the myriad changes happening to the legal world on a regular basis. You need to keep your content marketing effort going in earnest for all those times that a new court decision is reached, that you help a client gain a monumental victory, or that you think of a new Frequently Asked Question that people want to know the answer to. If you’re not creating this kind of content constantly, you’ll be unable to rank highly in a search engine, and even the people who do visit your website will feel underserved because they’re not being provided with the information they sought out.
And that’s just one aspect of online marketing. Many law firms aren’t willing to venture outside the bounds of their own web domains, but that’s what needs to happen in order to meet a client in all those other spots where they’re conducting a search for a lawyer.
That’s the thing: it’s not just Google where an individual typically looks for an attorney. People are also using Avvo and other directories to not just seek out any random lawyer but to seek out a lawyer who has great reviews and a consistent track record. You need to take the time to boost your standing on such sites in whatever way you can. This extends to Yelp, the Yellow Pages, FindLaw, and wherever else a person might go for help in making their legal decision.
You then have to give consideration to those places a person may not be searching out a lawyer but that you can enter their orbit through, namely social media and the sites they frequent on a regular basis. You can achieve the former via a hard-working social marketing effort, while the latter may require you to purchase ads that reflect a person’s interests as based on their online activities.
Online marketing isn’t just an option anymore; it’s the only option. Don’t let anymore clients slip through your fingertips.