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For lawyers who have trouble figuring out how to successfully market their firm online - understand it's something every firm has struggled with at some point or another. Accord has helped hundreds of lawyers hammer out their marketing plan and few know quite how to tackle the internet.
The 39 ideas for lawyer internet marketing that will be explained below should help give you a head-start to help you find the success you've been looking for.
#1: Website Optimized for Conversions
Simply having a lawyer website won't be enough if that was your intention when starting to think about marketing online. What every lawyer truly needs is what we call a website "Optimized for Conversions". This is the kind of website that encourages potential new clients to contact your office directly.
Many lawyer websites nowadays have been stuffed full of legal information. Potential clients will not choose you based on your philosophy, long CV, or how many legal facts you present them. Clients will select a lawyer based on your appearance, your office's buildings, and if you have enough reviews to be worth a call. It boils down to this, if you can get potential new clients to Know - Like - And Trust you and your firm,. your chances of success increase dramatically with the right approach.
There's little doubt that setting up your conversion optimized website is one of, if not the first lawyer internet marketing avenue you explore.
#2: Correctly Optimized Website
This specific lawyer internet marketing topic alone is another that few lawyers can quite grasp. I can't blame lawyers in the end, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has sort of turned into a bastardized term that every agency claims to understand but few approach the right way. Ultimately, be wary of anyone who claims there is only one way to do SEO and make you jump through a non-sensical number of rabbit holes that will supposedly help you reach your goal.
SEO is multi-faceted field, it might be easiest to think of good SEO as "juice" that you can add to your bucket. While throwing a page into your site or tweaking a few tags here and there is in some sense "SEO", your site - it's only the tip of the iceberg.
As with any field, the best SEO is done by the experts. SEO was easy to manipulate about a decade ago. Akin to many of other areas of the web, Google search rankings were somewhat insecure and vulnerable to manipulate. If you knew what strings to pull to employ through various cheats and black hat tactics, you could rise to the top of the rankings just about overnight. Over the years, Google has had the smartest people in the world perfect their algorithm. This isn't to say that the algorithm is perfect in the sense that it is impartial and fair. Instead, it is perfect in obfuscating the hundreds of ranking factors that make it so that nobody, not even Google, knows who will take the top spot. What it takes to rank well then is plain domination of your competitors for a given search term Google. Of course, the algorithm is not meant to be random either, so the experts in the field know how to to track the ebbs and flow to capture trends and capitalize on them through diligent work.
The best advice when it comes to navigating the waters of lawyer SEO is to contact our team at Accord. Our team has world class expertise in the area of SEO, constantly keeping an eye on the Google's pulse and where they're pivoting to in the future. If you give our team a call, I guarantee you'll hear a fresh perspective that can help you understand the intersection between SEO and new clients for your firm.
In a nutshell here are a few very surface level points that you should never overlook if you want to have a high ranking lawyer website:
- Responsive design
- Quick loading speeds
- Smooth performance
- Properly formatted meta data
- Proper Optimization On-Page
- Proper Optimization Externally
Idea #3: Call-to-Action
By now you should know that every lawyer marketing piece should have an easily visible call-to-action. You wouldn't believe the number of lawyer websites in existence that fail to have a call-to-action or have one that is stuffed into a corner.
It comes down to this, potential clients will in most cases only take 5 seconds to glance over your website. If there's nothing that captures their attention in those first five seconds and you don't compel them to take action, you can kiss that potential lead goodbye. There are only a couple of precious seconds that you have when a person lands on your website and if your site doesn't prominently display a call-to-action or it's hard to find, you're losing new cases.
Idea #4: About Us Page
After the home page, your team page will be the most visited page on your lawyer website. Potential new clients will want to know who their new lawyer might be, so some may quickly check out the team page to learn more about you.
Carefully consider what you will display on your about page. One way to draft out what you might say is to avoid trying to talk about what you're interested in and think about what your potential clients would want to know. Attempt to preemptively provide answers to concerns that a potential new client may have from the start. This will convince the client that you have what it takes to help them instead of bombarding them with irrelevant information about your past.
Do not forget, in most cases a person will only peruse the page for no longer than a few seconds. It will be impossible to expand upon your life, professional or otherwise much at all. In short, keep your about page short, format it with bullets, and use eye-catching pictures for best results.
Idea #5: Office Pictures
Easily one of the best marketing ideas for lawyers is to invest in professional photos of your firm. When a potential new client visits your site they usually are interested in what your firm and its appearance. Readily providing great photos throughout the website instantly increases credibility and familiarity with the visitor. Without any photos, it's hard to make a website look anything but generic. Moreover, weaving photos into your website's content is a good way to further optimize your site. This is especially true when the photos themselves have been optimized to display the properly formatted alt tags.
A good way to get more bang for your buck is to publish the same photos on mediums like Instagram and Pinterest. Properly formatting and optimizing the posts on those platforms can be a neat, little SEO boost. The positive effect is only magnified if you have already built a following on those social media platforms.
Idea #6: Mobile Friendly
Surprisingly. there are many lawyers who have yet to update their website to properly show up on mobile devices. At Accord our lawyer's websites have been responsive and are built that way from scratch. The importance of having a mobile friendly website cannot be understated due to the amount of traffic being generated facilitated through mobile devices.
Having a responsive website design on it's own is also not enough. The same principles of a full desktop sized site apply to a site you see on a mobile device. This means it should be easily navigable, have a clear call to action, and still build on that trust by showcasing you - the lawyer who can help.
#7: Website Load Speed
Another important aspect of lawyer internet marketing is to minimize the load speed of your site on any type of device your site may show up. Ideally, your website should be display above-the-fold within three seconds. A quick cursory lawyer websites in your area will likely show many that don't quite make that cut.
Google understands that people will not hesitate to leave websites that take too much time to load. As such, they don't reward sites that fail to load fast due to the poor user experience the site will provide. This isn't to say that load speed is the most important factor. Think of it more as an important benchmark to meet. If your website falls below the mark, it will suffer greatly in overall search rankings until it improves. On the other hand, if the site's speed is up to snuff, the site will be allowed to better stand on it's other merits.
Evaluate your website's load speed
#8: Attorney-Client Privilege Page
This seems like a fairly straightforward tip but many lawyers overlook it. Sometimes potential new clients are wary about seeking well and it's always a good thing to assuage their concerns in any way possible. As such, having a page on your site that clearly defines and explains Attorney-Client Privilege is a good idea.
In simple terms, a sitemap is a table of contents for your website. Every lawyer website should have a sitemap. Some websites display a sitemap prominently as a means of navigation but that really is more of a job for the menu and overall website design. A sitemap nowadays really serves to show Google and other search engines an easy way to crawl and understand the structure of your website.
In the great array of ranking factors, sitemaps would have to rank near the bottom in terms of importance, but if you're taking the effort to rank well it only makes sense to have all your ducks in a row.
Click here to learn more about sitemaps and how to make one for your site.
#10: Terms of Service Page
#11: User Metrics
User metrics are made up by the number of visitors to your website and the types of actions they take. The more favorable your user metrics, the better your website will perform. It would not be far-fetched to claim that user metrics are one, if not the most, important ranking factors. There are no shortage of websites that appear to be doing all the wrong things and yet manage to dominate the search rankings due to their excellent user metrics.
In a nutshell, try to get potential new clients to visit your website and do positive actions while on the page. Our team can't give away all our secrets, but the importance of user metrics is hard to overestimate.
Call our team at Accord to improve your user metrics for the purposes of dominating your local Google search.
#12: Video Marketing
Video Marketing as an internet marketing tool for lawyers can be tough to execute, but when done right it can work.
Successful video marketing for lawyers will usually entail the following strategy:
You compile a number of video testimonials from previous cases with clients you have found success with. You utilize Facebook paid ads to put that video in front of a specific demographic in a radius around your firm. When an individual clicks on your ad, you will want to take them to a specific landing page that is offering a service that is tied in with the original videos's messaging. An offer should also be prominently featured on the page for the best chance of success.
This may sound simple and straightforward at first glance, but to run a worthwhile campaign will more time and money thank lawyers often realize. Moreover, even if your campaign starts off hot, your work will often need to be retooled as the ads burn out through your demographics. The unfortunate truth is that if you're being a charged an arm and a leg by a company who says they specialize in this kind of marketing, you will be lucky to see a good return on investment.
For lawyers who do have the desire to go through with video marketing, and have the time and money to spare, there's a slightly better chance of success by diving into them alone with the above guidance. Honestly, of all the lawyers we have worked with, only a select few have the capability and the right market around them to have success with Facebook ads. We know of no company out there that is running a kind of campaign that we would feel comfortable recommending.
#13: Rank for Keywords
Not a week goes by that a lawyer doesn't call our office and ask about going all-in to rank for a specific keyword. Keywords are not labels that you can just slap onto a website and have them rank for. They are a part of greater picture that Google is looking for.
A lawyer website looking to rank for a specific keywords should take the following steps:
- Pen a great article on the given topic
- Strategically place keywords into the article in a natural fashion that makes sense given the context
- Record a video about the given topic and publish it on YouTube
- Embed the video into the article
- Share the article throughout all your social media channels
There are a handful of next steps that would be good to utilize depending on how set you are on ranking for a keyword but in most cases you need to position yourself in Google's eyes as being the best source of information on the topic.
The more widespread your article is across the web, and the richer it is, the more likely it is that your article will dominate for a given keyword. After all, Google's main goal in the search results is to connect the user with the best source of information that can give them the answer they are looking for.
#14: Landing Pages
Landing pages are a fairly well-known lawyer internet marketing idea and our office receives call about them almost daily. For the most part these landing pages are being inquired about with the intention of using them for Facebook advertising. However, as was previously mentioned, landing pages for Facebook rarely work without the right marketing mix set up around them.
Landing pages can be used as a starting spot for an audience who has already been targeted through external marketing efforts. For example. suppose you are offering free consultations as a divorce lawyer in your area. One avenue you might explore is to place advertisements in the newspaper. Now, when a potential clients comes across, they'll need somewhere to go - a call to action. While a phone number is a good call to action, it is always a good idea to place a website address as well should they be seeking more information. Some firms may just then place their general website address there and call it a day, but having a targeted landing page for these kinds of situations often is much more effective.
Landing pages are certainly useful in a variety of use cases, but by no means are they the holy grail of marketing. There are plenty of marketers out there who claim your firm will have to live and die by the landing page if you are to have success marketing your firm online. These landing page gurus will often tout their ability to have landing pages that will collect leads on auto pilot that you can then turn into clients. This is an enticing proposition, but it's just not reality for lawyers.
#15: Google Reviews
Google reviews are an important lawyer marketing topic. Lawyers seldom have a strategy for addressing their Google Reviews. If you can show potential clients that you have the most extensive and best reviews in your community, you easily get a leg up on the competition. In most cities, there are a couple of lawyers who are hawks for good reviews. Failing to have a plan will put your reputation behind the 8-ball.
There are no shortage of reviews programs that we attempted to help our lawyers at Accord to execute within their office. Ultimately, most firms don't have the right people in place or just don't have the time to make it work.
To ensure all our lawyers still had a reputation program that worked for them we implemented a hands-free reviews program. This allows our lawyers to easily collect reviews while filtering out bad ones painlessly.
#16: Yelp Reviews
Yelp has only become a force to be reckoned with due to the way they can dominate the search results in some cities. It's not uncommon to come across a search result pull up a slew of Yelp listings. Tread carefully when dealing with Yelp. One negative review can leave a permanent blemish on your practice due to the fact that they are near impossible to have removed.
An approach for a firm when dealing with Yelp is to:
- Create your listing and complete it with accurate information
- Add photos of yourself and your office, if possible
- Attempt to identify clients that use Yelp regularly and ask them to leave you a review
- Do not attempt to advertise through Yelp unless you absolutely must. Most firms fail to generate any new cases from this kind of advertising. Do not believe the smoke and mirrors show that Yelp salesmen will give you when ringing up your office incessantly.
Here's an article that will shed some light on the risks of dealing with Yelp.
#17: Facebook Reviews
Collecting reviews on the popular review directories can be an integral piece of your online reputation. Of course, Facebook reviews will play a role in how potential clients view your firm.
By default, Facebook allows individuals to review your firm using a star system. By having a simple review system, more individuals are encouraged to review your firm - for better or worse. Generally, having more Facebook reviews doesn't hurt. For firm's struggling with reviews, turning off reviews entirely on Facebook is an option. However, this does little to build trust with potential clients.
Here at Accord we understand it can be hard to have a system in place that helps firms consistently collect positive reviews on Facebook. As such, we have put together a reputation program that will painlessly filter out negative reviews while funneling positive reviews to where you want them.
Clients who are utilizing the program have been seeing great results.
#18: Collecting Leads
The conventional way lawyers try to collect leads makes little sense. The gist is that multiple pages are created for specific specialties and then traffic is directed to them. Afterwards, potential clients that get to these landing pages are then supposed to leave their name and phone number to receive a free brochure or some obscure information that it supposedly useful.
The truth is that lawyers don't receive near the amount of traffic for this kind of marketing to be worth it. Sure - if you're the kind of firm to spend tens of thousands of dollars to dedicate to driving traffic it could work. But is it worth the risk and is there better ROI elsewhere? It could be if the lifeblood of your business is concentrated on a certain niche that cannot be better served by marketing elsewhere, but that is rare.
Any marketing scheme that is built off "collecting leads" should be seen at best as a last resort and in most cases a non-starter. Accord has yet to see it be successful in practice but there's no shortage of hype-men touting it. Like anything, if there's firms willing to fork over cash for something that might work, there will be people selling it.
Every firm should have a page set up on Facebook. Google will want to see that your firm has page completed and verified. Having an active account will also work in your favor. However, simply posting stuff on a consistent basis will not have the desired effect. Your firm's page will want to have real engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares in order to enjoy the full benefits.
A common misconception among lawyers is that posting to Facebook will automatically result in more new cases for their firm. This is simply not the case since regular posts alone will not generate new cases.
To derive growth from Facebook, your firm will ultimately need to use Facebook Ads.
For the vast majority of firms, Twitter will not provide any real tangible value. Nonetheless, having your profile set up will provide a useful signal to Google. If your firms dedicates enough time to Twitter through relevant marketing campaigns it might be possible to eek out some new cases. Overall however, Twitter is just not built to facilitate growth for law firms.
It will boil down to this for most firms.
- Set up your firm's account in it's entirety
- Post something relevant and engaging every once in a while
- Devote time to other more fruitful marketing tactics
Another social media account every firm should have set up is YouTube. It's a worthwhile enough signal to Google to take the time to properly launch a channel. Here are a couple of ways firms have utilized YouTube to market their firm.
- The first method is to make videos about your firm's specialties. Properly optimizing your videos even gives you a chance of having the videos populate in Google search results.
- The second method is to run YouTube advertisements. Not every lawyer has the type of audience or are working in the right niche to make this work. With the right coaching - it could work. Give us a call if you'd like to discuss exploring this kind of marketing for your firm.
Pinterest took the idea space on the internet by storm in 2010. Pinterest for law firms though has never been a key part in their marketing firms and likely won't ever be. The user base simply is not geared to supply a firm with any useful leads or traffic. Still, it is again useful to have an account fully set up if nothing else but for the Google signal. If you do take the the time to post infographics and the like to Pinterest, having those links pointing back to your website can be positive as well.
Pinterest does have an advertisement platform available but I have yet to hear of a lawyer attempting a campaign there, much less have success. I'd be wary as a law firm to allocate any part of a marketing budget to Pinterest ads.
Hootsuite is the platform of choice for marketing agencies looking to streamline the way they manage their social media accounts. Hootsuite makes it easy to post to multiple accounts on different social media platforms through a central interface. For law firms, it can be a great way to save time and syndicate your marketing efforts.
This kind of marketing tends to attract the adventurous lawyers. Usually this consists of recording a kind of radio show format show that centers around a topic. Then, your aim will be to do the podcast regularly and increase your number of listeners over time.
This issue becomes however, the percentage of people who regularly listen to podcasts is small. The percentage of people who are interested in listening to legal topics at length is also small. Combine those two segments, and your audience has all but evaporated. Moreover, attracting listeners that are local and would be considering your office for legal help is a different story altogether. If your goal with podcasting is to grow your firm - I wouldn't recommenced it. Podcasting would be better suited as a brand building effort but even then there are other avenues that would be more useful.
Idea #25: Google Local Listings
A common reason for lawyers to not appear in map searches is due to their business listing missing or having inaccurate information. A lawyer or firm who has multiple listings that are unverified, verified, and in between can throw their whole online presence into a black hole where potential new clients can't find them.
This issue is so widespread among the clients we work with that we have staff dedicated solely to ensure your information is accurate across your Google listings. The fact is, if we allow inconsistencies to appear across your social media accounts, we are failing you. It's mind boggling how many lawyer website agencies out there overlook or entirely ignore the accuracy of your Google listings.
Idea #26: Moz Local
One ranking factor for your firm's website is a measure of the directories who are referencing you around the web. Yext used to be the leader in this space but now Moz is just as good, if not better.
At an yearly rate, Moz will take your firm and list it in relevant directories. It is simply a must for any firm that seeks to show up in map and organic searches. Other companies such as Whitespark claim to offer the same service, but Moz is cost-effective and the most recommended service to use.
Idea #27: Bing Listing
Bing currently handles about a quarter of all search engine queries. Considering the overwhelming number of searches being done every year, it's a noteworthy number. As such, it would be wise to complete your firm's listing on their platform. While Google is still the king of search, it makes sense to not neglect the runner-up when 1 out of every 4 searches are taking place somewhere else entirely.
Idea #28: Angie's List
Angie's List took a leap forward in prominence a few years ago when they scaled back their pay-to-play approach. This meant that anybody could now read the reviews and business information from Angie's List without needing a paid account.
Just in case they take over other popular review sites like Yelp, it'd a good idea to take care of your listing now rather than later and establish your reputation there.
At one point in time, spamming meaningless blogs (or splogs), mentioning your website could vault your website to the top of the search rankings. That method died a long time ago and to have any real success with blogs now you need engagement. If you have a blog that your firm actually curates and people may find interesting, sending it your existing client list is the best way to generate traffic to it. It may even be worthwhile to have potential clients a reason to read your posts. It's never a bad idea to have more eyeballs on your website.
#30: Guest Posting
Guest posting in this article is only being mentioned due to it still making the rounds in lawyer marketing circles. Guest posting on another firm's website in an attempt to get a back link is an exercise in futility. Websites that are high quality enough to be worth posting on will rarely let you blog on their website much less place a link back to your website. It's simply not worth the time and energy unless you truly know what you're looking for in a high quality back link. The returns, even if executed to perfection, could very well not be worth the investment.
#31: Blog Comments
Commenting on any random spammy websites with your website's link is another antiquated method of SEO. Nowadays, this strategy is a waste of time at best and harmful to your marketing efforts at worst. However, if you take the time to leave thoughtful comments on forums or blogs related to the legal industry it wouldn't hurt. Having links from reputable sites in your industry is almost always a positive signal in Google's eyes.
#32: Educational Webinar
There are not a lot of lawyers who are trying to this as part of their marketing approach. The idea itself is decent in a vacuum but the amount of effort required to actually gather an audience for your webinar is enormous. If you can manage to get a faithful audience to listen to you, you'll have a better chance of succeeding. To that end, hosting impromptu Facebook Live webinars would be a better options.
#33: Local Sponsorships
Link building using other sites used to be a good SEO tactic. However, nowadays your links must come from authoritative, trustworthy websites to count for anything. For other niches, this can be easy - but how can a lawyer get links of this type?
The first place to look is your local community. Back links sourced from your surrounding community can be some of the most valuable. Target local sites that get regular traffic year-to-year - think fairs, schools, etc.
After you have compiled a collection of valuable sites, brainstorm ways to get your firm mentioned with a link back to your site. A good way to do this is to offer to be a sponsor. There's no shortage of organizations who regularly need funding that would be happy to give you a link in exchange for your sponsorship.
While this is a neat way to build your website's local authority, be wary of this common pitfall. The back link should only come from them. Many lawyers reach out to their local acquaintances and ask for a link in an exchange for a link from them. This effectively shorts your "link juice" and zaps any potential benefit from the link.
#34: Facebook Paid Advertising
There's is plenty of noise surrounding paid Facebook Ads for lawyers in 2019. The gist is that you target your ads to specific segments of your local community and then watch the leads roll in. As a lawyer, you can just sit back and pay an arm and a leg to an "expert" to run your ads with no effort on your part.
The truth is that doing this successfully will require you to make a multitude of high quality videos that target specific legal niches and then driving them to specialized landing pages. The key word here is, quality in every step of the process. Cutting corners anywhere will render your efforts useless. This kind of marketing is not meant for every office right out of the gate.
Unfortunately, most lawyer marketing companies will try to bill you first and think about producing measurable results later - if ever. Be sure you can see verifiable, repeatable results from a company you trust before jumping into bed with them.
Lawyer Internet Marketing Idea
#35: Google Adwords
Google Pay Per Click Ads, now called Google Adwords has been one of the most popular forms of advertising for some time. A few years ago they revamped the way they appear in the search results and made them much more useful for law firms.
- The ads have been redesigned to blend more seamlessly into the organic search. It's now almost impossible to discern ads from the regular search results at first glance. Before, people were much more wary of ads and passed them over quickly in search of the organic results. Now, Google takes measures to ensure those ad dollars keep rolling in.
- Another game-changer was Google allowing firms to pay for ads in the Maps listings. This is a relatively new addition, so some marketing firms are not quite sure how to approach them. Give us a call if you'd like to try some of our fresh ideas that are working right now.
As it stands, Adwords is moderately profitable for lawyers when set up correctly. In many localities, you're looking at spending at least a couple thousand of dollars per month to simply run your ads. Generally, this will result in 5 to 10 new case which may or may not make sense depending on your office's financial situation and how much you price your services at.
Google Adwords by no means an automatic source of large income every month, but if monitored correctly it can provide a reliable stream of new cases for your firm.
#36: Write An eBook
Before you go off and start penning the next great eBook, consider it carefully. While an eBook you write could offer some great legal insight into some poorly understood niche of the field, there's a slim chance anyone will ever read. Fact is, most of the value from an eBook will only come from you being able to put a nice photo of it on your website to boost your social proof and perceived authority.
Think of it this way, if your doctor were to to write an eBook, what are the chances you'll take the time to site down and read it? You probably wouldn't even take the time to download it, much less skim it. The same goes for any potential clients.
While writing an eBook is by no means useless, time is money. Will your time be better spent on promoting your firm or writing a book hardly anyone will read? Writing a book is usually better reserved for lawyers looking to to leave a legacy towards the twilight of their careers, not a burgeoning lawyer looking to grow their practice.
#37: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is useful for displaying how individuals who land on your website interact with it. What the numbers show for lawyers is that a potential client will only spend a few seconds at header area of the homepage, move on to your team page, and then either reach out to your office or bounce off the site. It's that simple every time.
Here at Accord, we don't recommend getting lost in the endless amount of data that your Google Analytics can provide. You'll end up looking for a pot at the end of the rainbow that doesn't exits. For a lawyer, a best practice would be to sit down and look it over annually and check if individuals are visiting the pages you think they are.
Then. when you have confirmed where eyeballs are looking, you'll want to make sure what's on those pages is simple, to the point, and puts your office in the best possible light. The best way to approach it is to think about the information you'd like to see in those spots if you were looking for a doctor. There's little chance you'd be eager to read their CV or the like.
#38: Google Webmaster Tools
You should always keep tabs on Google Webmaster Tools to ensure there's no glaring errors with your website. This is the mechanism by which Google can let you know there are critical issues with your website. This is also where you can submit your website to be formally indexed by Google.
Here a some ways Google Webmaster Tools can help you:
- Monitor your website's rank in certain searches
- Find help for issues with your website
- Get feedback on improving your website
Some of the finer points Google Webmaster Tools offers is vital to a marketing company, but not necessarily something you'll want to tackle alone, lest you miss the forest for the trees.
Remarketing through Facebook and Google has the potential to upgrade the way you run your marketing campaigns. However, be sure to recognize the situations in which they are useful.
Remarketing is essentially a way to identify people who land on your website. Then when an individual navigates around the web to other sites, Google will display your ads alongside their other content. As such, you will be able to "Remarket" your firm throughout the internet to individuals who have already visited your website.
While this seems like a great idea on the surface, it's not necessarily for every marketing campaign. In fact, remarketing rarely works for most law firms. The traffic to most firms' website is simply not substantial enough to make remarketing worthwhile.
On the other hand, if your firm is running a large-scale, extensive Google Adwords or Facebook Ads campaign it could be it could yield productive results. The key here is to not go down the remarketing rabbit hole if you are not pushing considerable traffic through your Ad campaigns.