Online Marketing for Law Firms: 9 Essential Strategies

by | Online Marketing

You want to get more law firm clients online, right?

And preferably, you’d get those new clients in a way that scales and doesn’t require a ton of your time and effort, right?

Then the online marketing strategies I’m going to lay out below are where you need to focus your efforts.

Online Marketing Strategy #1

Add More Pages to Your Law Firm’s Website

When you have a business like a law firm, you must capitalize on search traffic through the use of search engine optimization (SEO). There’s no better time or place to get in front of your ideal clients than when they’re searching for exactly what you offer.

The first way you can capitalize on SEO and get more search traffic is to create more pages on your law firm’s website. Not just any pages, but specific pages related to specific search terms people are searching for.

Since a typical web page – especially a services page – can only rank for one important target term, you need to add additional pages if you want to rank for additional target terms.

When our SEO experts took a quick look at many of the local law firms and then compared that to the overall search ranking potential, it became clear that 9 out of 10 law firms are not publishing nearly enough pages on their website to rank for the terms they need to be ranking for.

Consider the following:

Law Firm A has a page dedicated to:

  • Personal Injury Attorney

Law Firm B has a page dedicated to:

  • Personal Injury Attorney
  • Auto Accident Attorney
  • Truck Accident Attorney
  • Motorcycle Accident Attorney
  • Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
  • And so on…

Which law firm do you think is going to win the search visibility and search traffic game?

How many pages should I add to my law firm’s website?

It depends on how many services you provide, how many local areas you service, how many locations you have, and so on. In general terms, though, most law firms we looked at would see a tremendous increase in search traffic by adding a half dozen to a dozen more pages. Sometimes we advise law firm clients to add up to 50 additional pages to their site. Of course, this shouldn’t be on you to handle – it’s something a good SEO agency will take care of for you.

Online Marketing Strategy #2

Add More Content to the Pages on Your Law Firm’s Website

The next mistake most law firm’s are making is the “thin content” mistake.

Thin Content is a Google/SEO term for a page that is very light on content, both in total number of words and the depth of the content or coverage of the topic.

While a page can typically only rank well for one target keyword or head keyword, it can rank for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of sub-keywords.

Of course, it can only rank for all these keywords and bring you all that awesome free traffic if the content of your page actually covers the topic deep enough to include all those keywords.

This doesn’t mean you should just add random content to your page and stuff it full of keywords. That’s precisely the WRONG thing to do. That would create a terrible user experience and leave you vulnerable to a penalty from Google.

The right strategy is to have an SEO agency run the proper SEO research and then provide you with a page-by-page set of content outlines. A good SEO expert will tell you which target keywords to go after and then provide you with all the content sections that page needs to cover to rank for all the additional sub-keywords.

This isn’t just a tactic for ranking and getting search traffic. When done properly, it provides a much better user experience for visitors by giving them a complete, in-depth understanding of your service (this is why Google prefers deeper content coverage) and typically increases the conversion rate of your pages and your website.

How much content do I need to add to each page?

There’s no hard hard and fast word count to go by and it depends on the goal of the page in question. The principle is simply to cover the topic in as much useful detail as possible. Sometimes this means adding 500 words and sometimes it means adding 2500 words. Again, while this is a lot of work, it’s not work you have to do yourself. We do page buildout and content creation for clients as part of our SEO services all the time because clients don’t have the time or bandwidth to do it themselves.

Online Marketing Strategy #3

Create Teaser Videos for Each Core Service Your Law Firm Provides

Video is the future of online marketing, but hardly any law firms we audited are using video. At most, there was a generic video introducing the firm in general, but most didn’t even have that.

The unique advantage of video for online marketing is that it greatly helps with search engine optimization. If you’re trying to rank your law firm for “personal injury law firm,” for example, it would be tremendously helpful to create a “personal injury” page on your law firm’s website and then create a “personal injury law firm” teaser video.

Once the video is created, you’d publish the video to your law firm’s YouTube channel and then embed the video on your “personal injury” page on your law firm’s website.

Here’s a great example from a law firm in Florida…

Since YouTube is a search engine … and since YouTube is owned by Google … you’re now targeting that keyword in two powerful, highly-trafficked, and linked search engines. That’s precisely why I found that video example by searching “personal injury lawyer” on YouTube.

When someone searches for “personal injury law firm” your video may appear in the search results even if your “personal injury” web page doesn’t. Eventually, they’ll both rank and you’ll have two separate listings on page one. That’s huge!

By the way, that video has 835k views after only one year (as of the time of this writing). Imagine the leads that have come from that!

What does my teaser video need to say?

This is where it’s handy to have an online marketing agency on your team. A good agency will study your market, your ideal customers, and your law firm and decide how to make the most impact in a 2-minute video about one of your services. Ideally, they’ll create a duplicatable outline that you can then use to quickly and easily create more videos for your other services.

Online Marketing Strategy #4

Start Publishing Search-Focused Content on Your Law Firm’s Website

When we looked at local law firms in our area, almost none of them were publishing search-focused content. This is typically done via a blog, but don’t think “blogging” or even “corporate blogging” when you hear the word “blog.”

When you hear the word blog in marketing, think “search-focused content.”

What is search-focused content? Well … you’re reading it right now.

We’re an online marketing and SEO agency and we’re publishing this article to help you, a representative of a law firm, better understand what you need to do to take advantage of online marketing.

A percentage of every law firm visitor to this article will reach out to us about helping them. A percentage of those people will then become clients.

This happens every week for years on end and the same thing can happen for your law firm. You just need a solid SEO-optimized content strategy, which is exactly what we give our clients.

Consider this keyword…

Think a good percentage of those people need a lawyer? Think they’ll reach out to you if they find your article really helpful? That’s exactly how it works and there are thousands of examples and opportunities for this in every industry.

Who produces and publishes this “search-focused content” for our law firm?

There are three ways we get clients results with search-focused content:

First, we can provide you with the content strategy and content outlines and you can produce, edit, and publish your own content. This is the most cost-effective strategy, but it’s a lot of work.

Second, we can provide you with the outlines and you can produce the content and then have someone edit it for the web and publish it. This is a little more expensive, but requires less work.

Third, you can have the entire process handled for you. This is the most expensive, but it requires almost no effort on your part.

Regardless of what strategy you choose, it’s important to understand that the ROI on search-focused content is insane and eventually creates a steady, never-ending stream of leads and clients.

Online Marketing Strategy #5

Tailor Your Calls to Action and Offers to The Type of Visitor On Your Law Firm’s Website

It’s harder and more expensive to drive MORE law firm prospects to your website than it is to simply increase the conversion rate of the prospects you’re already getting.

If you follow my recommendations above (creating more specific service pages and better content on those pages), you’re already going to improve your conversion rates because prospects are going to feel like you’re talking specifically to them.

One of the ways you can further increase the conversion rate of your law firm’s website is to create service-specific offers and additional types of calls to action.

For example, if someone is on a personal injury page, make your button text say “free personal injury consultation” instead of “free consultation” or “talk to a personal injury lawyer” instead of “talk to a lawyer.”

When people feel you’re speaking directly to them, they’re more likely to take action.

You can also give people more than one way to raise their hand. Do you force everyone to fill out a form to become a lead or do you offer live chat, text messaging, a phone number, and multiple other ways for them to get in touch so they can choose the method they’re most comfortable with?

A good online marketing agency will analyze your website and figure out how to funnel the most amount of visitors into leads. The good news is that once this conversion rate optimization is done, it continues working week after week, year after year.

Online Marketing Strategy #6

Optimize Your Law Firm’s Google My Business Listing

Google gives every business a free, official local listing page through the Google My Business section. What’s crazy is that over half of local businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing and many that have, have not optimized it properly and haven’t kept up with it.

When your Google My Business listing is properly optimized and managed, it helps your business show up in the Google Map Pack area of local searches. This will drive TONS of targeted traffic to your law firm…

online marketing for law firms on google maps

If your law firm has multiple offices in multiple cities, you’ll need a Google My Business listing for each location.

This listing is also where people can leave reviews for your law firm. In fact, you should be actively encouraging people to leave reviews for your law firm on Google to make your Google My Business listing far more appealing.

If one law firm has 3 reviews and the other has 75 reviews, who do you think people are going to choose?

Additionally, you should be actively engaging with reviewers on your Google My Business listing – replying to every single review. If it’s a positive review, thank them. If it’s a negative review, address it appropriately.

Online Marketing Strategy #7

Make Sure Your Business is Listed in All the Major Local Directories

If you’re going to do all the SEO work that I’ve recommended above, you’re going to need more domain authority to help you rank.

Domain authority or “domain rank” is achieved primarily by acquiring links from other trusted websites. These links are referred to as “backlinks.” It’s important because the more domain authority you have, the easier it is to rank for key terms.

For example, if a local news station does a story on your law firm and links to you in the story, that’s a backlink. Since the local news station is a trusted website in Google’s eyes, Google decides that you must be relevant and important in some fashion (or else, why is that news station linking to you?) and some of that trust passes on to your law firm’s website.

Every site has a different level of trust in the eyes of Google. The more trusted a site is, the more trust it’ll pass to your law firm when you acquire a backlink.

The problem with getting backlinks is that it’s not easy (for the most part). However, there are a ton of low-hanging fruit opportunities your law firm can take advantage of. All you have to do is go to Moz local, put in your law firm’s information, and see which public directories are linking to you and which aren’t.

Directory listings like this…

online marketing for law firms using NAP strategy - screen shot.

Moz then offers a service for a small fee (well worth it) where it will submit your site to all the directories you’re not currently in, update your information in other directories that may not be accurate, and keep everything up-to-date for you going forward.

This one tactic can help you acquire dozens of backlinks, quickly boosting your domain authority and helping you rank a lot higher for your target keywords.

Online Marketing Strategy #8

Use Google PPC to Bid on the Most Important Keywords That Your Law Firm’s Ideal Customers Are Searching for

One problem with SEO is that it takes a while to start working. It’s certainly not an online marketing “quick fix” for getting more traffic, leads, and clients to your law firm.

The good news is that you can take the same keyword research that’s done for organic search optimization and use it for your PayPerClick efforts.

PayPerClick (PPC) is the process of bidding on keywords and then paying when people click on your listing. Go search “law firm near me” in Google and all the ads you see at the top are PPC ads…

online marketing for law firms PPC example

You can tell they’re PPC ads because Google marks them with an “Ad” badge.

To be effective at PPC, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Do the proper keyword research. You have to know exactly what keywords to bid on to get the most bang for your buck. A good SEO agency like ours will provide you with a PPC game plan along with your organic SEO game plan.
  • Do the proper “negative” keyword research. A solid PPC game plan includes a list of all the keywords you need to tell Google to EXCLUDE you for, so that you don’t end up paying for junk traffic.Line 3
  • Use proper bidding technique. There are different qualifiers you need to add to your keywords in the bidding process to declare them as “exact match” or “broad match,” among others. This ensures that you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck and the largest possible reach.
  • Send the traffic to a dedicated landing page. If you’re planning on sending PPC traffic to your general website or a general information page, think again. That strategy will waste a ton of your money. PPC traffic needs to be sent to a dedicated landing page with a specific offer.
  • Know your numbers and track your analytics. You need to be crystal clear on your numbers (e.g. Customer Lifetime Value, Cost Per Lead, Lead Conversion Rate, and more) and setup the proper analytics tracking to monitor your campaigns.

It’s best to have a ppc management company run your PPC ads. This is especially true for law firms since the keywords you’ll be bidding on are extremely valuable and not inexpensive per click. It’s easy to waste a ton of money and get nowhere when you try to do it yourself.

Online Marketing Strategy #9

Use Facebook Ads to Retarget People Who Already Visited Your Law Firm’s Website

Most of the people who visit your law firm’s website are not going to convert into a lead on the first visit.

This doesn’t mean they’re the wrong type of person or that they don’t need your law firm. There are lots of reasons why someone might leave without “raising their hand.”

The important point here is that if you’re not getting back in front of people who leave, they’ll likely never become a lead. There’s so much noise in today’s world, both online and off, that people who visit your site once and then leave almost never come back. They forget how they found you, who you are, what you do, and so on.

If you want to win at online marketing as a law firm, you need to be “retargeting” people who leave. For example, when someone visits your law firm’s website and then leaves, they should start seeing ads from your law firm on Facebook…

online marketing for law firms on facebook

To go one step better, if they visited your personal injury page, they need to start seeing personal injury ads on Facebook.

Make sense?

Retargeting is a really inexpensive and effective way to capture leads you otherwise would never have received. This is especially true – required even – if you’re spending good money on PPC advertising. You can go from converting 4% of your PPC traffic to converting 8% of your PPC traffic with retargeting, and the added cost to do retargeting is almost nonexistent relatively to the payoff.

Conclusion

Online Marketing for Law Firms: How to Implement These Essential Strategies

Some of these strategies, like Google My Business optimization, is fairly simple and straightforward and can be implemented by anyone on your team. However, it’s unlikely that your law firm has the time, talent, resources, or desire to implement many of the other strategies.

When we do online marketing for law firms, we’re almost always asked to run their campaigns for them to varying degrees, depending on the type and size of the firm.

This is the smart play. Just as you wouldn’t advise people to be their own lawyer, I wouldn’t advise a law firm to be their own marketing department. You win when you stick to your wheelhouse.

If you want to get the ball rolling and investigate the online marketing potential for your law firm, click here to get started or give us a call at 470-253-7817.