There’s one big positive about marketing in the digital age that the traditional method of advertising will never be able to touch, and that’s the cost. While it’s going to take a little money to buy a domain and start a website, it takes nothing to actually put content on that website. You create it and it’s there, and you can keep adding content for as long as you want.
The same goes for Search Engine Optimization. You might pay somebody to conduct the work of SEO, but you don’t have to pay Google in order to establish a ranking. That’s a world away from the traditional advertising world, where you have to pay somebody to produce your ads and commercials and then pay whatever company is hosting those ads and commercials. That money adds up quickly, but now, you don’t have to pay a dime to successfully market content and conduct SEO.
But here’s the dirty little secret: what you gain in money you lose in time. SEO takes quite awhile to pay off. If you’re on the 20th page of the search results and your ultimate goal is to reach page one, you may need to put in months and even years to get the results you want. You need clients in the meantime, which brings you back to square one: paying to get your ads featured.
That’s not a bad thing, and the great news is this will still be cheaper than traditional ads. A new article in the Financial Brand highlights some digital marketing tactics that are worth a business’s time, and you should check that out. Once you do, come back here, as we’re going to examine those ad strategies that we’ve found pay off well for law firms. If you couple these paid techniques with more organic marketing strategies, your practice will be set up well for the future.
If you pay any kind of attention to the traffic to your web domain, what you’re likely to find is not all of the people who visit your site are calling you or filling out a consultation form. That’s not necessarily a slight against the content on your site. Nowadays, people do a lot of research before they hire a law firm. They’re visiting six, seven law firm websites before they ever pick up the phone, and they’re gathering opinions through Avvo to determine who’s going to get their business.
As a result, a person highly interested in your legal representation and who spends a long time on your law firm’s website might go elsewhere, and they may not contact you for a couple weeks, even if they have every intention of calling you.
This time between visiting your site and actually getting in touch with you actually becomes the absolute most important period for your ability to field a new client. Many lawyers think they’re somewhat helpless during this time, but they’re not. Thanks to a strategy known as retargeting (or remarketing), you can keep your law firm in the front of a person’s consciousness until they’re ready to hire you.
Here’s how it works: a person visits your site, maybe because they’re looking for a car accident attorney. They look around then decide they’re just not ready, so they hit the back button and continue on with their lives. But then, over the next couple days and weeks, they start seeing ads for a law firm, your law firm. The message says your firm can help anyone who’s been unfairly injured in a car accident and invites the reader to take advantage of a free consultation.
It’s like the ad was reading the person’s mind! Well, it kinda was. What you’re doing after they visit your domain is coast along with their internet usage, appearing in little ad windows across the web that have been set up just for this purpose. You may have seen this technique and not even realized what was happening.
The person sees the ad, clicks, and is taken to the law firm that they may have forgotten about in the intervening timeframe. Now, newly confident about their decision to hire an attorney, they give you a call. You just netted a client that you might have lost if you didn’t take advantage of this extremely useful service for businesses.
Maybe your problem isn’t that you’re dropping people once they visit your site; maybe it’s that you’ve been unable to get people to your web domain in the first place. That’s a completely different can of worms, but there is an answer.
With many search queries, you receive a couple different types of results. There’s the organic results, those listings that have gotten there through old-fashioned gumption. This is what SEO is all about. You’re not paying anyone for those positions; instead, you’re creating content and developing a link profile that earns your spot in the results.
But then there’s another section of results both above and to the side of those results. Those spots are not organic; they’re ads, and people pay to be featured there.
Law firms that are having some trouble reaching the top of the organic results ought to give serious consideration to these Pay-Per-Click ad results. That way, while you’re biding your time trying to make an organic dent in the search rankings, you guarantee there’s a steady stream of people who will be exposed to your firm inorganically.
When you’re producing ads of this type, realize that the copy you write shouldn’t be identical to what would be featured in an organic listing. You can make more of a pitch. Whereas an organic listing might have a headline that simply reads, “The Boston Car Accident Lawyers of Such And Such Firm,” the PPC listing could read, “Injured In A Boston Accident? We Can Help!” You’re trying to catch the prospective client’s eye in a more advertorial manner, stressing the fact that you’re ready to offer your expertise to a person’s case at once.
Paying The Piper
As a law firm marketing online, you need to be seen, and that sometimes requires a little bit of payment. Use the above strategies and you could draw new clients in no time flat.