SEO, Social Media, Other Marketing Tactics for Lawyers and Firms – The National Law Review

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Whether you’re a personal injury attorney, a criminal defense lawyer, a family law office, or anything in between, you offer a valuable service to your clients and community. And while the demand for legal services is high, attracting new clients isn’t always easy.
Competition in the market can make it difficult to stand out from other law firms. Legal marketing is often a “pay to play” game, and some tactics are more effective than others.
A recent legal marketing survey conducted by Justia asked law firms which marketing channels their firm used most in 2021. The results revealed:
78.2% of firms used a website to attract clients
58.2% used online directories to market their firm
43% used social media marketing
23% used paid Google Ads
3.6% invested in billboard marketing
7.3% ran print ads (as in newspapers or magazines)
5.5% utilized podcasts for marketing 
These statistics show a strong preference for online marketing methods over traditional methods. This makes sense, as more and more clients are using the internet to find legal services. 
Your law firm’s website is one of the most important assets your business has when it comes to attracting clients. Not only can it actually bring clients to your firm (via traffic), but the content on your website plays a crucial role in communicating what your firm is about and why clients should work with you.
A professional, interactive website puts your business’s best foot forward. At the same time, a high-performing website – one that’s fast, user-friendly, and built for conversion – will be one of the most impactful marketing tools for your business.
Once you have a website, you want to make your website (and other marketing platforms) readily discoverable by potential clients.
For your website, this means implementing a good search engine optimization strategy to get your site found in Google Search. You should also launch a Google My Business profile in order to rank high in the local “map pack”.
The goal here is to be where your ideal clients are looking for services like yours – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Submitting your business information to law firm directories (like Avvo or Findlaw), creating a business Facebook page, and posting videos on YouTube are a few ways to help users find your business. 
Great content is the cornerstone of any successful law firm marketing strategy. Your content not only describes what your business is about but can actually work to attract more potential clients via social media, search engines, and other platforms.
Your law firm website should have descriptive, well-written web pages – including your homepage, about page, and services pages – and, ideally, informative blog articles. Use these opportunities to describe your services, answer common questions about your practice, provide valuable information, and tell website visitors how to reach you.
Here are some content best practices to follow:
Conduct SEO keyword research using tools like semrush.com to find web page and blog article ideas
Offer valuable and accurate information; either be the topic expert or hire a topic expert to write your content
Include internal links in your content to related pages or posts on your website
Use headings and subheadings to organize your content
Speak to the interests of your target audience; spend less time talking about you and more time talking about their needs
Experiment with different content types like videos, images, PDFs, and email marketing
SEO is a marketing method that involves optimizing your website to rank in search engines – namely, Google – and drive traffic back to your website. SEO is important for law firms because most potential clients are searching for lawyers and legal services on Google over any other platform.
There are 4 essentials to SEO for law firms: Technical SEO, Content Strategy, Link Building, and Local SEO. All of these components work together to make your website more crawlable (by search engine bots), indexable (by search engines), rankable (in the search results), and user-friendly.
Use SEO to attract new clients to your law firm – organically – and save money on paid marketing. 
Social media marketing isn’t a heavy hitter for the legal niche but it can still be valuable in building trust in your firm, earning reviews, and attracting clients. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube are great platforms for lawyers looking to increase their brand presence.
Every social media platform has its own strategy and it can take some time to figure out what works best for your particular audience. For example, some brands do well with Facebook posts or live videos, while others may drum up more attention with YouTube videos or LinkedIn articles.
Try to engage on at least one social platform to increase your law firm’s online presence. Ideally, choose a platform that allows you to earn client reviews so you can build trust with your new followers over time. 
Paid advertising (e.g. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and LinkedIn Ads) can be super effective for law firms looking to attract new clients quickly. Paid advertising is often best used alongside organic methods like SEO and social to ensure both long- and short-term gains.
But paid advertising for the legal niche can be expensive. In fact, “lawyer” and “attorney” are the two most expensive keywords on Bing Ads, costing over $100 per click! 
With this in mind, it’s best to work with an ads pro who can set the right parameters for your ads, target the right keywords, and make the most of your advertising budget. A data-driven strategy is the best way to reach new clients without wasting your ad spend. 
Lawyer directories like Justia, Lawyers.com, and Super Lawyers allow you to publish your law firm business information, making your law firm easier to find. Some directories even help with direct lead generation, by directing users to your website, contact form, or phone number.
Keep in mind that not all directories are created equal, though. Look for directories that seem to have a positive reputation and great website interface. “Low tier” directories can often be an invitation for link spam or spam traffic to your website. 
There’s a saying that “The best compliment to a business owner is a referral” and this is especially true for lawyers. Nurturing positive relationships with your clients is one of the best ways to earn referral business.
After a contract ends, don’t let the relationship run cold. Instead, first ask the client to leave you a review on Google My Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, or your directory platforms. Then, follow up with them on a quarterly basis or so, again thanking them for their business and keeping them up-to-date on any events or offers. This can help keep your law firm top of mind.
At the same time, legal industry events like meetups and conferences can be a smart way to earn referrals from other lawyers. Come ready with your business card and be prepared to start some conversations. Authentic professional relationships can drive leads to your firm for years to come. 
Rattling off your accolades only goes so far in terms of building trust with your audience. What potential clients are really looking for is that you know your stuff, are able to communicate your expertise, and are conversational enough to offer a positive client-lawyer relationship.
This is where thought leadership content comes in. Use your blog, social media platforms, guest posting opportunities, speaking events, and more to provide expert-level content. This may be “how-to” content, case studies, informative guides, legal resources, or other types of content that provide value to your audience.
Great content speaks for itself. There’s no need to tell people you are the “best” when you are able to effectively communicate your knowledge and share your stuff. 
Finally, all of the above marketing methods are fruitless if you don’t close the deal. And before you do that, you’ll want to follow up with new leads in a timely manner. Every day that goes by without a response (to an email, form fill, or phone call) increases the chances you will lose that lead for good.
Make sure to train your team and employees to follow up with leads quickly. This may be through email, phone, or automated software. Your goal should be to follow up with leads within 30 minutes or less.
Next, follow your usual process to book that first potential client conversation. For most firms, this takes the form of a free consultation. After the call, follow up with the lead again thanking them for their time, sending them the contract (if applicable), and letting them know next steps.
Every law firm’s marketing strategy looks different based on the niche, audience, and market. The strategies above are general recommendations for attracting new clients but expect to put your own spin on this process based on what works for your ideal client audience.
My top recommendation would be to start with a single marketing strategy – ideally, SEO – and see it through so you can begin seeing results. Then, you can expand to new platforms and try new strategies. Master one client-generating method and you’ll be ready to win on multiple platforms. 
About this Author
Jason Hennessey is an entrepreneur, internationally-recognized SEO expert, author, speaker, podcast host, and business coach. Since 2001, Jason has been reverse-engineering the Google algorithm as a self-taught student and practitioner of SEO and search marketing.
 
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