Online marketing is an important part of advertising for all law firms, regardless of your practice area. A strong digital marketing plan will help you bring in new potential clients, increasing your chances of conversion. Given the importance of the internet in daily life, it is impossible to ignore digital marketing when creating your overall advertising strategy.
Your law firm’s marketing may not always go according to plan, however. This is especially likely if you attempt to take care of all the marketing in-house and your team is not properly trained in marketing. Explore some of the potential reasons your law firm’s online marketing plan may not be achieving the results you want.
1. Your SEO Strategy Needs Work
Any law firm’s digital marketing strategy should include SEO (search engine optimization). Search engine optimization is a set of strategies that help your company rise in the listings on search engines, like Google. The higher your company is listed, the more likely you are to have your link seen, and the more likely you are to notice an increase in traffic.
While most law firms understand the importance of SEO, the number of moving parts within an SEO strategy makes it hard to tackle alone. A strong SEO optimization strategy will help your business in the long term, as the efforts you put in remain in place.
Your SEO strategy should involve content marketing, with a focus on creating high-quality content that is unique and fills a need among your clients. This could be via a blog promoting tips for your clients or describing information your clients would want to know. For example, you could define key terms or tell them what they should know or do before contacting a lawyer.
For the best results, your SEO strategy needs to target relevant keywords for your practice. Instead of general law firm keywords, focus on those for divorce, family law, estate law, accident law, or whatever type of law you specialize in.
Not Outsourcing Is a Common Problem
While there are exceptions to the rule, the average law firm simply does not have the time, resources, or experience to handle SEO in-house. Depending on the size of your firm, this could easily be a full-time job for one or several people, or even a full team.
Instead of taking your existing team away from important work, consider outsourcing to law firm marketers that specialize in SEO. They will stay up to date with the latest search engine algorithms and know the best strategies to help you boost your rankings. They will also be able to craft the content for your marketing strategy and handle everything else.
2. Not Targeting Properly
As you create your SEO strategy, you also want to take care to avoid the problem of not targeting your audience properly. This goes back to the importance of choosing the right keywords. If you just target “law firms” but specialize in family law, you may waste time and effort accidentally attracting those in search of personal injury lawyers. But targeting comes down to more than just choosing the right keywords.
You may also not be targeting properly with your paid advertisements. Most ad platforms now let you target clients based on age, income, marital status, interest, gender, housing situation, and other factors. You can use this to focus your efforts and avoid wasting your efforts to attract people that will never need your services.
3. Not Using Social Media Properly
Another reason that online marketing plans for law firms may not be performing as hoped is a lack of attention to social media. Social media is yet another way to boost your company’s online presence. It not only spreads your name but also shows prospective clients that you are serious.
If you just have social media pages but never update them or interact with potential clients on them, your strategy will struggle. Instead, make it a point to regularly update social media with posts that are relevant to the industry. For example, you could tweet basic tips for clients or a daily “Did you know?” post. In this way, you want to use social media to help show your law firm as a trusted industry expert, reassuring clients that you are knowledgeable.
You are also missing out if your marketing strategies do not incorporate client engagement via social media. Make sure potential, current, and past clients know they can reach you via social media. Respond to comments, tweets, and messages in a timely manner.
Better yet, go out of your way and engage with others in relevant topics. If there is a high-profile news story that somehow relates to your practice areas, use the trending hashtag, and contribute your input. Make sure that not all of your interactions on social media promote sales. This will come across as too pushy.
4. Not Having the Proper Mindset for Advertising Properly
Even something as simple as not having the right mindset for advertising can you put your law firm at a disadvantage. The most common example of this would be focusing on the digital equivalents of traditional advertising methods. So, instead of advertising on the radio or TV, you stick to paid advertisements. You may even be hesitant to budget for solely digital strategies, such as SEO.
While those will produce results, you need to combine them with unique digital strategies, such as SEO and incorporating social media. Online reviews take the place of references, and social media engagement takes the place of knocking on doors or directly interacting with potential clients. Those traditional advertising methods still play a role, but if you forget about the unique approaches for digital advertising, you will be left behind.
After all, your law firm will be near-impossible to find online if you do not work on your search engine rankings.
5. Not Taking Full Advantage of Podium Reviews and Inbox
Word of mouth has always been a major advertising strategy, and in digital advertising, this comes via reviews. The problem arises from the fact that many clients are unlikely to leave a review unless they have a particularly bad or good experience. This is less than ideal, since the more reviews you have (ideally positive), the better you will be seen.
When you have plenty of reviews online, you are more likely to appear in local search results, directly working into your SEO strategy. From there, reviews have a strong impact on whether a potential client will choose to work with you.
Asking clients to leave reviews is helpful but not enough. For the best results, you need to take advantage of automation and tools like Podium Reviews. This system automatically texts your clients to remind them to please review your law firm.
Of course, you cannot control how many positive and how many negative reviews you get. As such, you need to monitor the reviews to make sure you improve when necessary, with actions such as reaching out to satisfied clients to share their experience. Podium Reviews includes in-depth reporting for reviews, letting you easily fix issues. You can even analyze sentiment to see how you could improve your law firm.
6. Without Webchat, Website Visitors Feel Ignored
All of your online marketing efforts bring potential clients to your website, but what happens when they get there? A common mistake is not having a method for clients to contact you and feel as if they get a prompt response. Even webchats are not always ideal since many potential clients prefer communications via text.
Podium Webchat helps with this by automatically converting a message sent to the webchat into a text message. Clients can input their phone number, name, and message, then you contact them right away via text. If it is outside of business hours, the autoresponder can take care of it for you and let clients know when you will follow up with them. You can even set up automatic responses to the most common questions.
This type of webchat is particularly useful, as clients get to communicate in the form that they prefer. Clients will appreciate the ability to continue the conversation on the go. At the same time, you get contact information right away, without any need to waste time fishing for the information in the future. Podium Webchat even includes reporting to help you track inbound leads.
Conclusion: Why Online Marketing for Law Firms Matters
Every single modern business needs to have a digital marketing strategy, and following these online marketing tips for law firms will help you bring in clients and build your reputation. Your online strategy should include multiple components, from bringing clients in via SEO and reviews to converting them by being there via webchat when they arrive at your website.
With a strong online marketing strategy, your law firm is likely to see a growth in leads, helping your practice grow, as well.