You have an amazing opportunity to seize a market by doing things right online, after working with many law offices and firms with excellent result, we thought it might be helpful to some if we put a post together with a few insights and techniques.
A warning for those looking for a quick fix, it doesn’t exist, online marketing and SEO, when done right, takes time and effort but the compounding benefits are astounding.
If you are left with any question or want our agency to work with you, just reach out to us, we’ll be happy to help.
Jump-start your law firm marketing
1. Create your law firms marketing DNA
Your law firm is more than just a business – it’s a brand than people and companies need to trust. Creating your brand DNA means getting up close and personal with your business, including who you’re trying to reach, what your core values are and what the primary goals of your business are. Identify your core competencies and develop a strategic marketing plan that works best with your schedule, resources and image.
2. Find your target market
Market research, a phrase that everybody uses but in the case of law firms, you already have the data and experience, nobody knows better than you who your optimal client is. Think about it, write it down. You can’t have an effective marketing strategy without a target market.
3. Plan your roadmap / strategic plan:
Once you know who your marketing efforts are aimed at, you’ll know which content, ads and platforms are right for your legal business. Depending on your situation and the time frame you have for each goal, PPC campaigns might not be a wise investment, we always bet for content marketing as it is the best mid and long term investment you can make, specially for law firms.
SEO Tips for Lawyers & Law Firms to Grow
Apply the tips that resonate with you, it’s better to take your time and do them right than to just run through them. As an agency we would obviously recommend getting help, especially if it’s with us 🙂 but in any case, if you decide to do it yourself, read this article, do more research and don’t hesitate to send us a question, we will gladly provide you with resources and a professional answer/opinion.
I tried using very little Technical Jargon, but there are a few concepts and acronyms that you have to get confortable with so I used them but tried to put them in context so that you know what they mean, if I failed, please just search for the term or acronym + SEO and you’ll get an answer right there on the SERP, probably as a rich snippet (yes, this last three are examples) so here we go.
– Target Specialized Keywords
Keyword research and variations are a whole subject within online marketing and SEO, but the important thing to keep in mind is basically that they are the words or sentences that search engines will associate to your website.
In the beginning, forget about conquering generic terms like “law firm”, instead try and focus on specialized keywords. Targeting specialized keywords is an amazing strategy for you to appear in search results for specific queries by potential clients.
- Location-specific keywords: Keywords based on location can be a powerful force in catching web traffic, the high usage of mobile devices and the need for immediacy has made location based keywords a king for lead generation. People trust what they can relate to and what is within reach. This is specially true for most law firms and legal services.
- Practice area keywords: People don’t search for “lawyer”. We all are way more likely to search for what we need, like “divorce attorney in Zurich” or “Seed funding lawyer”. Make sure you have a list of plausible and likely keywords, make a list, use incognito search to see what other people see when they search your keyword in your country, city or town.
- Intent keywords: There is a lot of information you can extract from the queries people make and intent is one of the most important. In the client acquisition cycle, we can distinguish low-intent or information searching and high-intent. There is a vast difference if you rank for “What does an immigration lawyer charge” or for “Best immigration lawyer in Tel Aviv”. The second one will without a doubt, get you more clients.
There are many many tools out there that can help you figure out what keywords to target in case you’re unsure.
– For SEO, Content is king
Demonstrating your expertise through the internet is a difficult thing to do, people are programmed to doubt everything so they look for clues that will put them at ease and allow them to trust. That’s why every eCommerce website has testimonials, reviews, stars, images from trusted third party providers to assure people that the payment is secure, etc.
For a Law firm, the bar is higher. Besides having a nice website that looks and loads well, an “about us” page with all the awesome people that work there, etc. The most important indicator of trust for a lawyer is its content.
When looking for a lawyer, everybody wants the best, the most knowledgeable, the person that you will trust with your problem or project, the one who is going to interpret this messy world and the one that will be in your corner through thick and thin. Pardon my boxing hyperbole but you get the point, as a low firm, you need to show me that you know what you are talking about – That’s through content: Blog posts, FAQ pages, videos, social media posts, etc.
- FAQs: Google now supports structured data for Q&A pages (explained a few point down) which makes this type of content very important. On one side, you can incorporate question based keywords that target every step of the client acquisition funnel for any of your services and if the odds are in your favor, thanks to the inclusion of feature snippets, your answer to a searched question will be shown directly on the SERP, positioning you at the very top for that keyword.
- Blog posts: Optimized content that help you build a relationship of trust with your audience which will give a boost to your online credibility and allow you to attract more leads per click.
- Video: Weather you host it in your server, youtube or vimeo, even a simple “common questions” video presented in a nice way can bolster sharing, trust and leads. Videos can be one of the most impressive pieces of content if looked from an SEO ROI stand point but do them right, nice quality (easy with today’s smartphones), good description, links and good editor to put it together so it looks the way that matches the look or brand you are building.
– Get on Google My Business
Google My Business is a way of listing your law practice or firm as a local business so that it appears on local searches with snippets like reviews, address, contact info, etc.
When signing up, you can select a primary category which should be used for you particular branch of practice if there is one:
If you have a particular specialization, take advantage and select that so that you dont compete with the general terms like “law firm”, “lawyer” or “attorney”. Owning a niche, if you have one, is far better than trying to compete with everyone. By qualifying your law firm based on your specialty gives you a better chance to attract potential clients.
You can add a ton of information in Google My Business:
- Law Firm description: keyword rich and long (200-300 words)
- Phone number
- Business hours
- Average reviews
- Specials, coupons, and updates
- Photos of the team and offices
- Social Media links
Whenever possible, take advantage of your happy clients (hopefully all of them) and asked them to write a review, this allows you to be considered “more important” in the eyes of google and adds to your credibility and trust.
– Focus on Link building
Having important, heavily trafficked, top domain websites can be a game changer for you by giving you what its called “Domain Authority”. There is a ton of information to unwrap within this topic but, the gist of it is, getting linked from a popular page is like getting praised by the most popular guy/gal in school and Google likes popular websites.
The link building strategy can be slow and annoying, but it has proven to work time and time again since the beginning of Google times. But it’s important that this links are from respected, not spammy websites.
And if you combine this strategy with content marketing, the results work beautifully. Guest posting opens many doors which is why so many people want to write articles for magazines, publications, blogs. Each article that you post or that you collaborate with should have a link back to your website.
Another way of getting links is finding respected legal directories and submitting your firm. This way you get listed, linked and prompt up as a player in the field. Here you can find a list of more than 100 US focused places: reputable online directories but if you need for any other market, search on google or get in touch and we’ll send some awesome links.
And one last resource for creating links, even though most of the links you get are “no follow” which means that the source page doesn’t share domain authority, its still a valuable source of traffic and reputation when used correctly: Yelp, FourSquare, and Yellow Pages.
– Structured data or Schema Markup: the rising star
Schema markup (the structured data) allows you to show and provide google with the information it needs to use your content in rich snippets of information directly on the SERP. Its an amazing way to stand out and is becoming more and more accesible for no-code humans like must of us.
Schema has a whole array of options and some are a must in law firm websites:
- Legal Services markup: This identifies law firms as providing legal services.
- Review markup: This allows you to showcase reviews in the form of a star rating and author.
- NAP or Name, Address, and Phone Number markup: This can help your contact information be more easily identifiable by google directly from your website (different from Google My Business).
As an example:
Even though is still a complicated implementation even for web developers when dealing with already made websites, there is an increasing offering of easy tools that will help you. If you are using WordPress, the very famous plugin yoast now has an easy way of identifying a page or post with a schema markup (it’s not perfect but they will get there). And you can also find tools that will help you with your schema markup generation like this one from technical SEO.
– Reviews, the social proof everybody needs
Reviews, good reviews to be precise, are the easiest way of telling the search engine and you potential clients that you mean business, that you are not only very good but so amazing that people take the time to write about the experience the had with you and your services. I might not know who you are but if five hundred people are publicly saying that you are the best law firm in town, the most dedicated and the fastest most energetic and auspicious lawyer or law firm in town. Then I just might want you in my corner!
Reviews also help you rank higher in the local SERP and it makes since considering all of the above.
- More than Google: Google is very important but remember that google has eyes everywhere, E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E, so instead of asking every client to leave you a stellar and honest review on your Google My Business, take into consideration other platforms where you have little presence and take the opportunity to boost your reputation there. Give your client options, maybe they’ll leave more than one review!
- Copy and Share in Testimonials: Check with your client first and copy their review on your testimonials page or section. This technique might be the push that a possible client needs to get on board and hire you.
- Make it easy for them: Its common practice to give one or two simple templates for your satisfy client to use on their review. I’ve had the situation that I would love to leave a review but its just so hard to come up with something different to write. Take the pressure off of them and give them a guide and tell them to just give you 2 minutes of their time. They will spice it up if they feel creative and have time.
- Time it properly: This is an obvious point but make the request at the appropriate time and to the right clients. I often see the request on a template that is used with every client, even though it might work, you also have the possibility of annoying a client that maybe is not as happy yet. Wait and ask when you know they are happy and grateful. Takes longer but the results are much better.
– Social Media, a strategic choice
Are your customers on instagram? on facebook? on twitter? maybe only on LinkedIn or Xing? Every social channel has to be evaluated for what they bring to the table. I understand that is nice to get the @yourlawfirm handle for every social media channel but where are you going to put the effort? where are you going what?
- LinkedIn is an amazing tool and very versatile, the best in my humble opinion, it allows you to participate in groups, comment on legal matters, post your blog posts, share what you teammates share and the law firm profile is a great way to present your services, location, etc.
- Instagram, Tiktok and still snapchat have a younger audience, if you like making fast paced, young and casual videos and want to attract a younger type of clientele, then you know what to do but its definitely not for everyone and the return on investment for law firms is extremely low. Specially with the last two.
- Facebook has become a 30+ audience and it has hundreds of groups where you can participate on. In every city there is a divorce group, a expat group, a business group, etc. Be there and try and find good places where to give advice and offer your services. Its also a very good place to create a law firm profile where to offer your services, contact information, location, collect reviews and post blog posts, videos, news, polls and anything that your ex clients, clients and future clients might find interesting.
- Twitter is also an interesting place to participate in conversations, share news, share articles and blog posts – Also recommended, specially if you have time and enjoy twitter. If not, there are tools that can automate reposting from Facebook or linked-in onto your twitter profile. Check IFTTT.
Every social channel has an audience and a way of communicating and participating in conversations. Find a way to be very good in your top 2 channels and automate the rest, but keep an eye on them.
This last text is a simplistic way of introducing marketing opportunities in social media without touching the advertising (Social Media Marketing) If you want to know more about social media organic reach, built audiences, re-marketing and all that wonderful range of possibilities that social media channels offer, there are thousands of websites and youtube videos on each of those topics. Its an ever evolving subject and a book could be written about it every two months.
– URL, your links matter
URL stand for Uniform Resource Locator, but lets called them web addresses. They are a very simple and important part of your SEO strategy because if you put them all together, they should be as effective as a book index.
Follow what we like to call a Silo Structure where everything is under the domain umbrella but each section and sub section is well named and makes since. For example, if you see this URL: www.mylawfirm.com/services/contractlaw/drafting, you intuitive know the website organization, and expect to see a page about this law firms drafting contract services. The same should be applied to every section of the website.
You can rank for more than one service or product if you create separate pages for each. This allows users to find a specific page more easily and increases the navigability of your website.
If you work in many locations and offer different services, consider adding the city name into the URL so that you can increase your ability to rank in multiple locations. i.e. www.mylawfirm.com/city2/services
A few last words
I left out many, many factors that contribute greatly in SEO for two reasons in particular:
- Obvious website requirements like having an SSL certificate on your website, you know if the website starts with http or https. In 2020 security is non-negotiable and thanks to tools like letsencrypt you can get an SSL certificate for free and must hosting services offer it as a 1 or 2 click installation.
- Things that are to technical, nuances or lengthy to be explained in a law-firm marketing and SEO overview. Landing page optimizations, script reductions, load times, A/B testing, analytics, search console, alt texts, image compression, and a myriad of big and small stuff that contribute in some way in your SEO. Some of these things are the reason you can find computer scientists and statisticians in any modern SEO and marketing agency.
But, don’t be discouraged, if your website is secure and works well (like most maintained wordpress sites) and you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you will most likely get amazing results over time. Whether you are trying to build your law firm from scratch or want to start taking advantage of the possibilities that the internet offers, SEO should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Marketing and SEO take time and effort but the compounding benefits are astounding.
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