This post is the second of two on the law firm marketing tactics you need to put into practice now to build your practice for the future. Part 1 was published on 6/21.
- Website speed. Page speed is one of the main factors Google uses to determine which sites should be served up first in search results so make sure your site loads as quickly as possible. Even trimming off a few microseconds can improve your ranking. Some ways to accomplish this include compressing site images, compressing code, removing slow scripts and optimizing mobile content using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Google’s Page Speed Insights tool can provide you with any other technical changes that may be necessary to increase your page speed.
- Online reviews. Not only do you need good/great reviews, you need them on a consistent basis, since most people only rely on the most recent reviews to form an opinion. The best way to get reviews on a consistent basis is to make it a part of your firm’s client management process. Mention the importance of reviews to your firm at intake. Create a form on your website that allows your clients to submit reviews but qualify them first by asking the question, “How likely are you to recommend our firm to a friend or family member?” Those who check the “Very likely” or “Likely” box would then be directed to your firm’s profile pages on Avvo, Google, Facebook and LinkedIn to leave a review. Those who give a less than satisfactory answer would be directed to another page on the form that asks them to provide feedback on what they would change about their experience with your firm.
- Voice search. According to comScore, 40% of adults use voice search every day, and half of all searches will be voice searches within three years. Optimizing websites for voice search is different than traditional search since voice queries are typically full sentences and questions rather than keywords. In addition, the artificial intelligence driving personal assistant devices is constantly evolving to comprehend the intent of the user and the context of the search, taking into account past searches and location. Most voice searches are done by people looking for immediate information. Therefore, your site content needs to feature answers to questions these people are most likely to ask. Remember to include Q&As for both types of queries — those who are just doing research may ask something like, “What does a car accident lawyer do?” and those who are closer to hiring an attorney may ask, “How much does a car accident lawyer cost?”
- Email marketing. Email marketing remains one of the most effective and least expensive ways to maintain contact with current and former clients and to generate new leads for your law firm.
- Mobile optimization. Marketing your law firm effectively on mobile begins with understanding your target market and any unique behaviors they may have that you can capitalize on to get your messaging in front of them. How people access your website and email messages will probably depend on the type of law you practice. Generally speaking, PI and criminal defense attorneys tend to have higher incidences of mobile use since their clients usually have an immediate need for legal services and that is how mobile is typically used — for quick searches. It’s easy to determine how people are accessing your website and email. For your website, you simply need to review your site’s analytics to learn the percentage of desktop vs. mobile users. If you are using Constant Contact or any other email service for your email marketing, there will be information on what devices your email recipients are using to open your messages for every email you send. The best practice for law firms when it comes to mobile marketing is to be sure your visitors have a seamless experience, no matter what device they are using. This is because a lot of people use both mobile and desktop devices to conduct research and they want access to the same content across platforms. Since you shouldn’t spend your time guessing what device every potential client is using to find you, your best bet to cover all the bases is to be sure your website has been designed using responsive website design. This ensures that your content is served up correctly on whatever device people are using to access it.
- Beefy bios. Attorney bios are the most frequently visited pages on law firm websites and are one of the first things prospects look at when researching you online. Unfortunately, many of them are as dry as the desert. Your bio is a great opportunity to showcase what you have to offer potential clients and convince them to reach out to you for a consultation. Be sure your bio reflects all your good qualities, not only on your website but also on your social media profiles. Load it with keywords that prospects use when searching for a lawyer who practices the type of law that you do. Your bio should: (1) explain who you are and what you do; (2) tell your story in an engaging manner, relating any personal anecdotes that have led you to the practice of law; (3) include any community activities, hobbies and charitable work; (4) have some personality; and (5)include a good photo.
- ROI measurement. You know that old saying about how you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been? It applies here. Unfortunately, very few law firms take measuring their ROI seriously. To get a handle on your ROI, first determine the different ways clients are finding you — your website, your PPC campaign, your newsletter, social media, etc. Then you have to track them all the way through the process to becoming a client — tracking your total number of leads, how many contacted you, how many set up appointments, and how many signed. You need to assign a lifetime value by determining what your average client is worth and how much it costs your firm to get them to the point they become a client
- Brand development. As the Internet space becomes more crowded with legal services offerings, it becomes more critical for you to build your brand online. Your brand is more than just a logo and a tagline, it is how you communicate who you are and what you do. Your brand is your reputation. To build an effective brand for your law firm online, you need to own your niche — your primary practice area. Your USP needs to be clear and communicate exactly why you are different than your competitors. Then you need to deploy all these tactics I’ve discussed in this series over time to build your brand online.