The marketing landscape for law firms is not what it was 5 years ago. So, if you’re still doing things you did in 2013, it may be time to throw out your whole playbook.
But how does one know what tactics to embrace? How do you sort out what’s just trendy right now from what is going to become the new best practices?
That’s where we come in. We’re here to sort out the buzz from the bankable. We’ve listed the top 13 law firm marketing tactics that you can start using tomorrow. And many of them are free or cheap!
So here is your law firm marketing plan to-do list for the next year or so.
All of your competition is very local. You’re all fighting for the same space on the front page of Google, so local SEO is where this war will be won and lost.
The first thing you need to do to put your law firm above literally half of the business out there takes five minutes to do and it’s free: Make sure your Google My Business information is up to date and complete.
Make sure they have your correct:
It’s amazing. This takes five minutes to do, costs you nothing, and yet about half of the businesses surveyed out there admit their information is outdated or incorrect.
That’s half of the businesses out there immediately taking themselves out of the game.
Now you can use the rest of these ideas to build your local SEO clout.
You need to use the law firm marketing keywords tactics that Google is looking for today not what people were doing in 2008.
There are a few outdated notions out there about keywords. First of all, you don’t really need to worry about keyword density anymore. In the past, a keyword density of around 2.5% was good. Now, it’s more about quality, not quantity.
Second of all, you don’t need to ruin your copywriting or blogging anymore with exact match keywords.
In the past, people would write “best pizza Chicago” in a blog or webpage, because that was the keyword they were focusing on. Now, Google will allow you to write the more natural “best pizza in Chicago” or any other variation.
Again, they want to see the natural and organic use of keywords. Not “stuffing.”
These keywords are growing in popularity and importance. They need to be central to your law firm marketing plan.
Long-tail keywords are longer queries that someone may enter into Google or ask Siri. People are now searching for complete questions and expecting a complete answer.
You need to focus on them too, so you can be that answer. These questions could include:
How much does a divorce lawyer cost?
Can I sue if I’ve been hit by a city bus?
Take the questions that people ask you every day, in person, in your social feed or in emails. Now turn these questions into blog titles and headings on your service pages.
Don’t change the wording they use, even if it’s not the exact proper verbiage. For example, in Canada, there is really no such thing as a prenup. It’s called a cohabitation agreement.
But, Canadian lawyers should still focus on the keyword prenup, because that’s the word people are searching for. Very few people would search for the words “cohabitation agreement.”
This is another way to really stand out in law firm marketing. Most lawyers want to stay professional in their blogs and web copy, so they assume their writing style should be stuffy and boring. That’s not the case.
Your blog title is what’s going to win you Google’s respect (as we mentioned above), but it’s also what’s going to capture your audience’s attention when they see your blog in search engine results, or when shared on social media.
If you’ve earned their click with the title, you then need to keep their attention with a strong lead. When writing your lead, you need to hit their emotional pain point or pique their interest somehow.
Most law firms are aware of the pain points their clients face, but merely acknowledge them, instead of focusing on them. That’s not how you stand out in law firm marketing.
For example, when writing a blog about divorce over the holidays, most would go with the lead:
“Divorce over the holiday season can be extra stressful.”
That’s boring and merely identifies the pain points. A better lead would be:
“Are you worried about feeling alone during your first Christmas after a divorce?”
That’s far more impactful and more likely to get your audience to keep reading.
This dovetails from the previous point. You need to avoid boring or cookie-cutter images from stock photography websites. You need to be a bit bolder or even abstract.
We know, as a law firm, your tendency is to play it safe to make sure you come off professional.
But imagine a would-be customer is scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook. What’s going to make them stop scrolling? A strong headline and an interesting image.
If you don’t put much thought into it, why should they?
This is no longer a “great to have” in the world of law firm marketing. It is now a “must-have.”
Google has announced that they will soon start looking at your mobile site before they look at your desktop site. A shift towards mobile first indexing means your mobile site has to actually be better (and more optimized) than your desktop.
Keep this concept in mind right across your website and you will convert more traffic into leads: Attention ratio.
Quite simply, every page should only have one goal and one call-to-action. In law firm marketing, nine times out of ten, that call to action should be to contact you to book an appointment or consultation.
So that “Book an Appointment” button should be the only call-to-action your user sees. If you add a “Join Our Mailing List” button, your “Book an Appointment” button is now getting 50% of the attention it should be getting.
Now, if you add a “Download our Ebook” button, your Appointment button is only getting 33% of the attention it should.
See how simply adding two buttons to a website can crush your conversion rates?
You’re seeing more lawyers try this, and for good reason. YouTube is actually the world’s second biggest search engine, not Bing or Yahoo!.
A smart law firm marketing plan includes using YouTube and social media videos as a way to target the long-tail keywords we mentioned above.
And make sure these videos look and sound great. Because an unprofessional video is going to do way more harm than good and turn people off of your brand right away.
A few years ago, businesses could get away with using spammy link-building tactics, like “link farms.” Or any other exact match keyword, in the exact match anchor text, on a completely unrelated site.
The Google Penguin update is helping fight this. Now, if you have one of those links out there, you’re being punished for them as we speak. But if you take them down, you will be rewarded almost immediately.
This is a simple one. Make sure your website loads quickly.
And one of the best ways to have a slow website is to use a free or cheap website builder. Avoid the illusion of value.
These builders often come with a lot of bulky coding and cheap hosting that can slow your load speeds.
Keep in constant contact with your existing customer base with a regular and professional e-blast.
You can also combine this with great automation tools to use your e-blast as a way to nurture and remarket website visitors who need a bit more education before converting.
Yes, in this list of modern-day law firm marketing tactics, we’re going to recommend a bit of old-school direct mail.
Too many businesses have declared direct mail dead. And it’s for that reason you’re going to embrace it. While everyone else zigs, you’re going to zag.
People’s mailboxes are just filled with bills and pizza coupons these days. So the opportunity to stand out there has never been better.
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