Law Firm Marketing Tips For 2018
When it comes to digital marketing, most law firms find themselves lost and confused. You got into this business to help clients, not please Google. At the same time, you understand that most, if not all, of your potential clients, are going to find their attorneys after researching online. Here are four keys to keeping your head above water and positioning yourself as a legal authority on the web.
- Go Narrow & Deep, Not Wide & Shallow
Find a niche and excel in it, rather than stretching yourself thin. That’s especially good advice for smaller firms who haven’t yet built a reputation. You’re entering a market that’s becoming more competitive by the day.
The vast majority of small businesses have now invested in websites, which is particularly true for law firms. And the vast majority of these firms, at least from the client’s perspective, look identical. But we don’t all have to fight over the same set of tired Google searches.
Instead of sprawling over multiple practice areas, and gaining traction in none, it might pay to develop a strong web profile within a single issue. You don’t have to limit yourself, though. One option is to invest in multiple websites, each one tailored to a different practice area, then focus on presenting specialized knowledge on each topic that other firms aren’t providing the public.
- Ads Still Matter
Don’t sleep on PPC. Pay-per-click ads can still be a great investment, even though many firms shy away from them. Targeting potential clients isn’t tacky; it’s a good strategy. Google is pushing more and more searchers toward advertisements, and away from traditional SERPs.
Today, organic results for high-value phrases (like “birth injury lawyer”) probably don’t even show up above-the-fold in most cases. The key to effective PPC advertising is to remain targeted. Don’t send users to your home page unless you’re paying for an ad optimized for your firm’s name. If you’ve shelled out big money to show up for a niche search term, set up a dedicated landing page that covers the relevant practice area or litigation in-depth.
- Diversify Your Strategy
Organic search results are still extremely valuable since many users (myself included) make a point of skipping the ads. The assumption is that sites who rank well organically have earned their place by offering quality content.
Whether or not that’s true in practice is an open question, but that’s the perception. At the same time, Google is working hard to devalue organic results, in favor of paid ads and local listings. To succeed in this environment, you’ll have to diversify your approach.
- Remember Who You Are
Don’t go too far. Some firms expect digital marketing to be the holy grail. That’s understandable. The web may well be the most powerful lead generation platform the legal industry has ever encountered, but it can be easy to get carried away. In your zeal to optimize, don’t forget that, at the bottom, you’re still a law firm.
You’re not the Huffington Post, or Buzzfeed, no matter how effective content marketing can be. Your clients don’t want you to be the Huffington Post, either. They’re looking for an experienced advocate who’s willing to hear their story and consider it carefully. And most of all, they’re all people with questions who are looking for answers.
But today, the web is putting more and more prominence on a visual medium, which can be difficult, since the law is something of a linguistic endeavor. You’ll have to strike a balance between gloss and substance, splashy graphics and deep information.
Laurence Banville, Esq. is the founder and lead attorney at Banville Law, a personal injury firm based in New York City. You can learn more about Laurence’s practice at BanvilleLaw.com.