Law firms are as common as clinics. With more than 50,000 firms in existence, people have plenty of choices when they need to find legal representation. Setting yourself apart from others in your area is necessary.
Today, we’ll give you a proven plan for using technology to drive traffic to your website. Then we’ll show you how to use that website as a sales representative for your office. This sales rep will work 24 hours per day, on weekends and holidays. Law firm marketing isn’t any different than other businesses. The tools and the basics are the same.
Follow our step-by-step plan below and see your law firm marketing strategies pay-off in ways you’ve never seen before. Boost traffic to your website and it will find its way to your front door from there. In a relatively short amount of time, you can take your law firm from average to over the top.
What law firm marketing strategies can you use to attract new clients?
Here is a step-by-step guide to walk you through a marketing plan that is rock solid. Implement each step and you’ll begin to see it paying off with traffic to your website and clients reaching out to you.
1. Have your website designed professionally.
It should be streamlined, easy to use, and most importantly, look just as good on a mobile phone as it does on a desktop. More people use their mobile phones to seek information on a whim, so make certain your website is mobile-friendly.
Also, ensure that your website loads quickly. Too many things trying to load at the same time on your page can slow it down. Most people will only wait a few seconds for the page to load. When it doesn’t, they click away to another page/site.
2. Ensure your website is properly optimized.
Every word on your website should be written by someone who is an expert in SEO. This means Search Engine Optimization. SEO is based on a process of researching the words used by people who visit your competitions’ websites. The words typed into the search bar that took them there are called keywords. An SEO expert will utilize those keywords, woven into the content on your page. This helps begin to direct some traffic to your pages for those topics.
When Google crawlers (bots that look for keywords and categorize them to rank websites) find your website, Google will begin to show your page in these searches. Page ranking is then determined by several factors with websites positioned on the first page of the search results in the order that Google has ranked them. To get the most traffic, you need to appear on the first page.
People are typically in a hurry and will only click on the first three links to find their answers. This means that 75% of people never search past page one! So, your goal should be to appear in the top three. How this is done is based on an algorithm that Google and other search engines tend to guard closely. We do know that it is based on keyword utilization, the amount of traffic your site is getting, the length of time people spend on the site, and more. This brings us to the next point.
3. Create prospects through a blog.
By now, you know that you need an SEO expert to tackle this research and the content for your website. While your pages for “home” and “about” information should be concise, you want people to stick around a bit longer to help your rankings. How do you do this? The answer is blogs. These are longer articles, usually from 500 to 1,500 words, that will keep people engaged for longer.
Google is the main search engine in use today. For this reason, Google is the benchmark for how websites are now designed and written. Google prefers content that is relevant and authoritative. We also know, as mentioned above, that the longer time people spend on your site, the higher it will rank.
Adding well-researched articles about specific things that are targeted to potential new clients is the top way to keep people reading and coming back again and again. When you add new content regularly, people will come back often to read new articles. Update content frequently as well. This is referred to as content marketing and is like free advertising when used properly, along with search engine optimization.
4. Provide something for free.
Many websites offer promotions as soon as their page loads. “In exchange for your email address, we will send you this free ebook.” This is an excellent way to build an advertising list that you can use to reach out from time to time and send information or invitations for future marketing using direct mail marketing.
These ebooks don’t need to be very long, but they should include a lot of photos to draw the attention of the reader. People like to absorb visual information. You can also opt to put together a short video presentation rather than an ebook. Either of these works well and keeps people engaged.
It doesn’t have to be much but it can open doors. People love to get anything at a discount or free. An initial consultation is often offered free anyway, where the law allows. The hours can be charged to your marketing budget and taken as a loss at tax time so you stand to lose nothing while potentially gaining clients.
5. Use social media to your advantage.
Create business pages on Facebook and stay engaged on social media. Post something at least three times per week, even if it is a link to your blog on your website when a new one is available. This helps drive more traffic to your website to read your blogs.
Being accessible to people via social media is important. When someone complains about your office, address it. When someone compliments you, thank them. When someone has a question, answer it. You should be open and engaged. Some of the most successful businesses today have found ways to utilize social media to help them stand out against their competition.
Many businesses hire someone to handle all of their social media accounts and digital advertising. Being active on social media is a great way to brand yourself and have new clients thinking about your services first when they need help. It’s free to have these sites set up and essentially a must-have for any business today.
6. Integrate chat platforms on your website.
Chatting is a fantastic way to speak in real-time and set up an appointment immediately, while the lead is hot. Too many times, email responses are too slow and clients have already moved on, possibly to your competitors. Lead generation is important but not responding to them quickly can make them useless.
Gaining trust is an enormous part of your business. Clients must feel at ease with your expertise. A blog comment section is a wonderful start to building that relationship. Utilizing a product such as Podium will allow you to chat with potential new clients when they have a specific question or comment about your content. Podium’s Webchat feature isn’t just chat – it’s supercharged chat. It turns traffic on your website into leads as they text you in the Podium platform by allowing your business to take advantage of conversational marketing.
7. Reviews are the key to new clients.
Don’t forget that reviews are important. Podium reviews allow your customers to rate you and give you 1 to 5 stars so that new viewers can see your reputation. This gives you more control over your reputation. Plus, having loads of great reviews will also help you get ranked higher over time.
People do look for services and businesses that are more highly rated in their areas too. As many as 90% of consumers look at reviews and use them to decide where they’ll do business. If your reviews are fantastic, you’ll automatically receive far more business calls. Did we mention that Podium is free?
How much should law firms spend on marketing?
While it varies depending on the niche of your practice, most law firms will spend between 2%-10% of their total revenue on a marketing budget. Once you’ve set aside your budget and determined what you are comfortable with setting aside toward this expense, you’ll need to determine how it is spent.
Typical law firms will set their budget up as follows:
- Consideration (20-50% of budget) – This is the money that you set aside toward the marketing that you know will be the first touch with leads that are merely shopping at this point. They may not turn into clients, but they are interested in finding out more information.
- Awareness (10%+/-) – This refers to money spent building your brand awareness. This will include any advertising done on social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter advertising campaigns.
The rest of the marketing budget will generally be spent on things in print, local newspapers, and business cards. Some firms will spend some money on television advertising in their area on local programming.
Most firms will spend as much as 65% of their total budget on internet marketing and their websites in total. There is a great variation between large firms and small firms, but most law firms spend most of their marketing dollars on internet marketing which largely includes their website and digital marketing programs.
Ensuring you gain clients over your competitors is vital especially during the current circumstances. With proper budgeting and tact when implementing these marketing strategies, you will see the results your law firm needs. Don’t take our word for it! Test it out for yourself by spending a few minutes to sign up for Podium’s free marketing products for law firms.