Maxwell is the owner of eMaximize, one of the top digital marketing and PPC agencies in Los Angeles.
Building a law firm is much like many other service-oriented businesses. You constantly need to build your clientele. It’s even more important for law firms because repeat business from existing clients doesn’t happen as quickly as, say, an accounting firm. For some reason, many law firms are still slow to adopt a digital marketing strategy. Over 50% of law firms don’t have an annual marketing budget. This is very surprising in the legal industry. An effective digital marketing strategy for law firms is critical to building a successful law practice.
Based on my agency’s experience handling marketing for law firms, I will share some effective strategies to help you position your law practice for growth and success. Buckle up!
1. Define your law firm’s brand.
Many successful businesses adopt the old saying of “stay in your lane.” Devising a successful marketing strategy for a law firm involves determining your lane. What makes your law firm unique? Branding is a promise to your clients. It should be ironclad and permeate through your team, your services and everything you present to clients. Your brand should also be reflected in the elements on your website and all other forms of digital marketing.
2. Give your website a makeover.
I always tell our clients that you can’t invite people to your party unless you clean your house. The same holds true for marketing law firms. You can’t invite visitors to your website via digital marketing unless your website is in tip-top shape.
We work so hard to drive targeted leads to our website; we cannot drop the ball on the goal line. We can’t have a website that takes 10 seconds to load. We can’t have a website that does not display well on mobile devices. We can’t have a website that does not present qualifying information in an organized and easy-to-navigate manner. Astonishingly, nearly 65% of law firms say their website is mobile friendly. That means almost one-third of law firm websites are not mobile friendly. This presents an easy opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
3. Continually curate your email contacts.
Running a successful law firm is much like any other professional services business in that you must maintain relationships. One way to keep your law firm top of mind with your clients is to send them an email each month. Email marketing is a critical piece of any successful digital marketing strategy for law firms.
Unlike many other digital marketing strategies, email marketing is low-cost and typically has the highest engagement rate. Over the past few years, Facebook posts have declined drastically in reach, down to 2%-3%. This means if you have 1,000 followers, Facebook will show your post to approximately 20-30 followers. Why let them decide who sees your published content when you can send to everyone via email?
4. Optimize your GMB account.
Google My Business (GMB) is the portal that allows you to control your Google Maps business listing. Google will create a generic listing from the information it can scrape off the web, but it’s up to you to take ownership of this listing and add information.
Google will always show three map listings when you are searching for professional services (e.g., “lawyer in Los Angeles”). It’s here in your GMB account where you add your services, contact information, team photos, manage reviews and more. Having a current and well-managed GMB account will also increase your SEO.
5. Set up social media channels.
Before you start driving leads to your website, it’s a good idea to set up your social media channels. As I mentioned, email marketing is a much more effective digital marketing channel but that doesn’t mean you should ignore social media. With over 53% of the world’s population on social media, your law firm will certainly get some exposure on these channels.
Setting up Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts gives your website and law firm additional credibility. Google will see backlinks from these extremely reputable sites and add that to your overall domain authority, which can give you a boost in rankings.
Additionally, many consumers use social media channels as a qualifier for businesses, similar to Yelp. According to one study, over 70% of respondents indicated that social media influences their purchasing decisions. Having an active social media account is critical to a successful digital marketing strategy for law firms.
6. Set up your blog properly.
I believe this is one of the most important aspects of law firm marketing. A new generation of adults that grew up with Google is now firmly rooted in the workplace. A quality law firm website needs to cater to their needs and provide information regarding your firm, case history and legal advice. Many people search for a lawyer online. Creating a well-organized blog with great content might land them on your website.
7. Start advertising.
If you have completed steps 1-6, then the house is clean, beverages are chilling and appetizers are on the table. It’s now time to start inviting visitors to your website. You do this by creating highly targeted and effective PPC campaigns. I would recommend Google, Facebook and LinkedIn for law firms. In my opinion, it’s best to hire a reputable marketing agency for this. Advertising platforms have become incredibly complex in recent years. Simply checking the wrong box can inflate your spend and result in a negative ROI quickly.
As you can see, there is a lot of work in marketing a law firm. You are going to need help. My advice is to align yourself with a quality digital marketing agency that will create a winning strategy and do the monthly tasks needed to continually generate leads.