The longstanding way to grow a law practice is through word-of-mouth referrals.  Leveraging your network is a smart strategy, one that you should continue to use to drive business.

But it shouldn’t be your only source of business.  It’s scary to think how many companies rely on only one source for new leads.  You only have so much time in a day to run the business, serve clients effectively and manage employees – all while maintaining referral relationships.  If those relationships slip, then your leads will too.

Add to this the fact that we live in a highly connected world.  Consumers have smart phones and tablets at their fingertips.  They are searching for solutions to their problems on the internet because it’s fast and effective.  If you don’t appear as a search result, then you’ll never have an opportunity to earn that business.

A multi-channel approach to your marketing is no longer an option, it truly is a necessity.

Why law firm SEO is important

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play.  SEO encompasses the steps and best practices used to make your company more visible on the internet.  It’s not enough to just have a website.  You need a strategy to ensure that you’re found on the internet.

“I already have enough business from referrals.”

Ok, perhaps you’ve built a solid referral network.  That’s awesome.  You’re wondering if investing in a digital marketing strategy is a good use of your marketing budget.

I’m guessing that you’re taking on a lot of clients who are convenient instead of optimal.  Convenient clients are those that fall into your lap as a result of a referral from a friend, family member or existing client.  You didn’t have to do much to “acquire” the client.

But there is a big difference between convenient clients and optimal clients.  Let’s be honest, many of those convenient clients help pay the bills but they’re not your A-level clients or cases.

On the other hand, an optimal client is a great fit for the services you offer.  They see the value of your service and understand how you differ from the competition.  Optimal clients generate more revenue for you and tend to refer other optimal clients. 

How does SEO fit into acquiring optimal clients?

SEO helps capture the attention of individuals who are actively searching for legal services.  They have a problem and they are looking for a solution.  Many business owners get hung-up on the fact that some consumers are “window shopping” or looking for free advice.  No, not every click to your website will turn into closed business, and that’s OK.

When you have the right systems in place (i.e. – a good marketing and sales strategy) you can nurture your leads through the buyer’s journey, and convert a percentage of them into those optimal clients that you want.

Consider these stats from HubSpot:

  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
  • Inbound leads cost 60% less to acquire than outbound leads.
  • SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.

SEO is all about having a well-optimized internet presence so you can attract potential customers to your website.  If you want to read more about some of the technical aspects of SEO, check out this recent blog article.

Law firm SEO ultimately fits into a larger marketing strategy.  We are proponents of inbound marketing – a strategy where you attract potential customers to your business rather than bombarding them with advertising message that don’t interest them.  These outbound marketing techniques are becoming costly and less effective as consumers shy away from advertisements.

The success of your law practice depends on your ability to acquire quality clients and cases.  If you are willing to invest the resources into developing an SEO strategy, then your business has the potential to grow exponentially.

Have more questions about law firm SEO?  Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond.

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