Lawyers willing to utilize digital marketing are a step ahead of those who are not. Like it or not, digital marketing is more effective at reaching customers than most traditional marketing methods. People live in a digital world. Lawyers need to communicate with them there.
Like everything else lawyers spend money on, digital marketing cannot be approached as a financial free-for-all. Budgets need to be developed and maintained. And where the former is concerned, developing a workable budget means figuring out how to best allocate limited financial resources.
Webtek Digital Marketing is a Salt Lake City digital marketing and SEO firm serving a variety of industries including healthcare and law. They operate a second office in Austin, TX. Their experts say that law firms need to allocate digital marketing resources in a slightly different way compared to organizations in other industries.
1. A Strong Emphasis on Local SEO
Law is an industry rooted in local service. The vast majority of lawyers work with clients living and working in the same general vicinity. Even law firms with national recognition operate local offices where staff attorneys do their work. Enter local SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a collection of strategies implemented to ensure that websites or individual pages rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs) for a particular set of keywords. Local SEO follows the same principle, but with a focus on reaching local residents first and foremost.
Lawyers Near Me
The whole point of local SEO is to capture the local audience during routine online searches. Picture yourself in need of legal representation after being sued by your neighbor. You go to Google and start typing. What words will you choose? If you are like most people, you will enter something like ‘lawyers near me’.
The ‘near me’ phrase tells Google algorithms to look for attorneys within a certain radius of your location. Google is more likely to show you results from the top ten local attorneys than return results from attorneys on the other side of the state. That is local SEO.
A large percentage of a lawyer’s digital marketing budget should be allocated to maximizing local SEO. Ignoring locals only gives the competition an advantage.
2. Ongoing Website Development
The next most important element for attorneys is website development. Given that the Yellow Pages are now extinct and TV advertising doesn’t have the traction it once had, a law firm’s most viable marketing tool is its website.
This suggests that a good portion of a firm’s digital marketing budget should go to maintaining a website that is fast, responsive, relevant, and continually updated. Keeping a website technically updated will make Google happy. Making sure content is updated draws in potential clients.
3. Ongoing Keyword Research
Keywords are still the main tool through which search engine algorithms determine page content and its relevance to consumer searches. In the legal industry, the list of productive keywords is almost limitless. Leveraging the right ones at any given time requires a fair amount of keyword research. Therefore, financial resources should be devoted to it.
Research may reveal that the most popular keywords are not necessarily the most productive. It might be better to let other law firms beat one another up competing for those keywords while your firm goes in another direction.
Either way, it is impossible to know which keywords are best for a given piece of content without adequate research. And because the content on an attorney’s website is so important, keyword research should not be ignored.
4. Content Marketing
In some industries, content marketing takes a backseat to social media marketing and paid advertisements. Not so in the legal industry. People in need of attorneys look for professionals they believe they can trust. They really do pay attention to content. They really do read blog posts and FAQs.
With this in mind, content marketing should get its fair share of financial resources. Law firms should be more than willing to invest in regular blog and guest posts produced by professional writers who know how to connect with readers. As strange as it sounds, attorneys probably should not write their own blog and guest posts if they can avoid it.
A professional writer knows how to connect with readers on a personal level. They know how to communicate in terms that readers understand. Lawyers, while experts in their fields, communicate on an entirely different plane. They have a tendency to create content that isn’t relatable. So in the end, content marketing is best left to professionals.
5. Digital Marketing Analytics
In the digital marketing world, analytics are used to track website performance, marketing campaign success, etc. There are some industries that can give marginal attention to analytics and still get by. That is not the case for the legal industry.
Lawyers should allocate some of their digital marketing resources to analytics, especially those analytics that explain consumer behavior. To understand why this is so, think about the difference between qualified leads and general visitors.
Showing Legitimate Interest
A general visitor pokes around a website, maybe does a little reading, and then moves on. They may not make any other attempt to communicate with the attorney. A qualified lead is different. A qualified lead is a person whose online actions exhibit an interest in obtaining legal representation. Qualified leads are not window shoppers or tire kickers.
Lawyers practice law. They aren’t sales associates. Therefore, they do not have a lot of time or resources to go out and drum up new business. They rely heavily on qualified leads they can easily convert to paying clients with just a single consultation. Putting marketing resources into developing those leads is a smart idea.
Law firms can utilize digital marketing strategies to bring in new clients. In light of that, a big part of success is allocating marketing budgets to those tools and strategies likely to produce the best results. Be smart about budget allocation and digital marketing can work wonders.