The internet is a great tool for generating new leads and cases because consumers continue to use search engines as a resource for information.  Law firms that pay close attention to building and maintaining a strong web presence are in a great position to capture new business.

Having good visibility on the internet means you’re more likely to be found through a Google search, and thus generate website traffic.  Unfortunately, many business owners try to take shortcuts with their internet marketing.  Or, they get started with a strategy but don’t see it through to a point where they begin seeing results.

Internet marketing is a long-term strategy, and it requires attention and adjustments along the way.  If you’re not seeing the results you want from your web presence, then consider these common mistakes and how to fix them.

Mistake #1 – A poorly designed, outdated website

If the last time you updated your website was a few years ago, this is a major problem you need to address immediately.  Potential clients want to see a professional, educational and engaging website – not a site that looks like it was built in the late 1990s!

Search engines won’t rank a static or outdated website.  And if your website isn’t mobile-friendly then consumers won’t like it either – mobile searches represent as much as 15% to 20% of search queries.  The navigation should be easy for the visitor to understand so they can find exactly what they are looking for.

The solution here is to invest in a well-built website by a professional marketing agency – one that will be able to write quality content, create good graphics and will consider your overall marketing goals.  Consider this investment as a foundation for your internet marketing strategy.

Mistake #2 – Lack of a keyword strategy

You can have the best looking website that’s easy to navigate.  But if you’re not using the correct keywords then your site will remain buried on page 10 of search results where no one will ever see it.  It is estimated that 33 percent of the traffic for each keyword goes to the site in the number one position.

Using keywords that consumers are actually using is incredibly important.  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.”

By incorporating the right keywords and phrases throughout your website, you are more likely to be found.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking any content is good content.  Take the time (or hire a professional) to research keywords for your niche of law.  Understand what keywords get the most monthly searches and evaluate them based on their difficulty to obtain a first page rank.

Working with a professional who has insight into a keyword strategy is tremendously helpful.  They can guide you in the right direction and help you set goals based on your business objectives.

Mistake #3 – An inactive blog

We’ve mentioned that search engines such as Google don’t rank outdated websites in search results.  We can’t stress this point enough!  Search engines are constantly scanning the internet to find new and interesting content to rank.  Given the choice between a static website and one with plenty of fresh content, search engines will favor sites that are updated frequently.

Actively blogging is the best way to address the need for content for both search engines and consumers.  According to HubSpot, 46% of people read blogs more than once a day.  Consumers can’t get enough content!

Many attorneys scoff at the idea of maintaining a blog, claiming it takes too much time and effort.  But an active blog is a must-have if you want to rank organically on search engines.  Every blog article you publish is a chance to be found through a search.  The more blog articles you publish, the more opportunities you have to be found.

If you are serious about building a strong web presence that will generate leads, then you need to commit to blogging twice per week with the right keywords.  Creating that much content can seem overwhelming, but there are planning tools such as content calendars you can use to stay organized.

Mistake #4 – Lack of lead-generation on your blog

Actively blogging with the correct keywords will improve your visibility on the internet.  So what do you do once people are visiting your site and reading your content?  Every blog article should have a call to action (CTA).  A CTA is an instruction that will provoke a response from the reader.

The intent is to capture their contact information and move them from a ‘visitor’ to a ‘lead.’  A CTA can take a variety of forms, such as a white paper available for download or an offer for a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation.

You need to include CTAs in addition to your “Contact Us” page.  Many visitors will be in the research and discovery phase, and not quite ready to speak with you about your services.  Offering them a white paper for further reading keeps them engaged, and you can follow-up in the coming days and weeks.

Mistake #5 – No process for follow-up with leads

It’s all about the follow-up!  But many companies have no process for following-up with leads in a timely or consistent manner.  A sale doesn’t occur the very first time someone visits your website.  Consumers take their time to research all the options and understand what’s available to them.  You could be missing out on profitable cases because you didn’t take the time to follow-up with leads.

Remember that a lead doesn’t have to be ready to buy your services immediately.  The person who downloaded your white paper for further ready is a lead you should keep in contact with.  Since it’s difficult to manage this follow-up efficiently, you need to use what’s known as marketing automation.

Marketing automation is software that helps automate your marketing campaigns.  It’s designed to help you streamline all the tasks needed to run a successful campaign.  Once you capture contact information, you can automate the follow-up.  This will help ensure you’re not wasting time with poor leads, and that you give your time and attention to the leads that will be most profitable for your law firm.

Check out the typical path a consumer takes as you convert them from a stranger to a promoter of your business:

Mistake #6 – No local search engine optimization

Ranking organically through blogging is very important for your internet visibility.  You can be found by people regardless of where they live.  But remember this takes time and dedication to blogging consistently.

One way to give your business a quick boost on search engines is through local search engine optimization.  This involves optimizing as it relates to your geographic location.

Geography is factored into search results.  If you live on one side of town, your search results can vary from someone searching on the other side of town.  These local search factors built around your office location can improve your visibility.  So make sure you have your business optimized for local search.  Moz is a great tool to help coordinate this.

Mistake #7 – Inactive social media profiles

Many business owners dismiss social media as a waste of time.  But rather than look at it as a time suck, you need to understand how it can fit into your digital marketing strategy.

You need to be visible where your potential clients are.  And many of them are actively using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  The time you spend on social media can improve your visibility, and you’ll start to build trust and credibility.

Make sure you build both personal and company profiles on the major social media websites.  Update your profiles frequently and interact with other users as much as possible.  You don’t have to spend hours and hours a day on social media.  Just 10 to 20 minutes three time per week is a great place to start.

Wrap-up

If you find that you’re making some of these marketing mistakes, don’t feel like you have to fix them all at once.  These take time to address, plus you’ll want to carefully think through your strategy to ensure you target the right audience with the right message.

Have more questions about law firm internet marketing?  Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

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