You know that you need to be building a strong web presence because the vast majority of consumers looking for a product or service use the internet for research.
But web marketing, SEO, blogging and social media are technical and intangible – and can be confusing for someone who doesn’t do these tasks for a living. You want to take advantage of digital marketing, but it’s overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start.
As a result, many law firms decide it’s easier to continue with the status quo, relying on advertising, referrals and word of mouth to grow the business.
Sure, those are important sources of business for law firms. But just imagine how much busier your firm could be if you had a well-optimized web presence and it was easy for qualified prospects to find you online.
Why web marketing matters
Most law firms have created a website and a minimal web presence because they “know they have to.”
It’s just part of doing business today. But that’s where their digital marketing efforts end, which is a missed opportunity.
Three out of four people looking for an attorney use online resources.
The firms that have invested in a digital marketing strategy are in an excellent position to capture traffic, leads and sales through their website.
Many entrepreneurs have written-off internet leads as advice-seekers and bargain hunters. But the latest industry data shows that SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather invest in a strategy that matches the way consumers buy services instead of sticking with the status quo.
If you’re ready to shift your thinking and put some additional effort into your digital marketing, you can take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Internet with these tips.
Start blogging with targeted keywords
The best way to improve visibility on the internet is to blog with the right keywords – emphasis on the right keywords!
I’m pleasantly surprised to see how many law firms blog on a regular basis – again probably because they “know they have to.”
But I let out a sigh of disappointment when I read the title and skim through the article. Where’s the focus? What is the point of publishing this article?
Your content is only valuable if it improves your visibility and educates your prospects, and in most cases I doubt that is happening.
In order to succeed with a blogging strategy, you need to make sure you use the right keywords. Keywords form the basis of a search query. For example “when do I need an estate plan” or “what to include in an estate plan.”
You have to understand that some phrases get more searches than others. You don’t want to be using phrases that get only 10 searches a month when you could be using phrases that get hundreds of searches per month!
So do some keyword research and make sure you using phrases that will improve your visibility.
Become more active on social media
I’ll let you in on a little secret about millennials – we like the internet a lot!
And when we see a dismal attempt at maintaining a social media account, we think you’re out of touch and you don’t understand us.
You might be the best at what you do! But millennials prefer to work with someone who appears to be tech-savvy and understands how we like to communicate.
And don’t think that social media is full of teens and 20-somethings. Keep in mind that 70% of online Baby Boomers have a Facebook account.
Building a solid presence on social media websites is a smart move because that’s where your current and potential clients are likely ‘hanging out.’
If you want to be visible among your target market, you need to get out of your comfort zone and start interacting with them on social media.
Provide e-books or white papers on your website
If your website has been around for any length of time, you’re probably already generating traffic and perhaps a few leads. Your call to action is probably something like “request a consultation.”
That’s perfect if a prospect has done their research and is ready to hire you.
But what about the prospects who are aware that they have a legal problem, but they aren’t ready to talk to an attorney yet? Is offering them a consultation the best move?
Prospects who are not ready for a consultation need some basic information as they move through what we call the buyer’s journey.
This is what they buyer’s journey looks like:
This is why white papers, e-books and tip sheets are so important. It allows you to provide something of value in exchange for some basic contact information – name, email and maybe a phone number.
Once you have their contact information you can follow-up with additional resources through email that position you as the expert and help them make their buying decision.
Remember that most of the people who visit your website are NOT ready to buy. You need to demonstrate your expertise, convert them into a lead and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
Using blogs in combination with downloadable offers will make your website a much more valuable lead generation tool.
Publish video content
YouTube is now the second largest search engine. It’s bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL combined. An estimated 100 million internet users watch videos online every day
Consumers are clearly obsessed with video! Humans are visual, and anything that can be demonstrated visually is appealing to us.
Obviously this presents a slight challenge for law firms because legal services are intangible – it’s not like going to the store to buy a new shirt.
But a good video development company can help you film videos that are engaging and will position you as an expert resource.
Success with digital marketing starts with building good visibility through blogs, video, SEO and social media. Good visibility can help create a steady stream of leads who are serious about hiring you.
Make sure that you have a strong sales strategy in place, in combination with marketing automation to take full advantage of your website traffic and leads.
Have more questions about law firm web marketing? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!