Every law firm owner wants to know the secret to online success, but most times the “secret sauce” is no secret at all – it comes down to the fundamentals. Without a solid foundation, even the latest and greatest marketing strategy can still fall flat. That’s why you need to set up the core pillars of your marketing plan from the very beginning.
For law firms looking to generate more organic traffic and leads, these pillars are based on how potential clients are searching and interacting online: on Google, on social media, with paid ads, and with engaging content.
So, to succeed in the competitive space, your firm needs to have 4 components at the core of your legal marketing plan. Let’s discuss what those are.
Why Does Every Law Firm Need A Digital Marketing Plan?
First, it’s important to discuss why having a digital marketing plan is essential to your law firm’s success. While many lawyers test out a few strategies here and there – posting on Facebook, running Google Ads, etc. – these attempts often end up blowing your budget (or wasting your time) if you neglect to figure out how they fit into a broader strategy.
Having a plan means taking the time to consider what your target audience is searching for, how they interact with content online, and what’s going to compel them to work with you. It involves examining which platforms are best for your particular business model and which strategies will give your firm the greatest competitive advantage.
In this guide, we’re getting down to basics so you know exactly where to start so you can set up your law firm for success from the very beginning.
Here are the 4 main pillars of digital marketing every law firm should have if they want to generate more traffic and leads on a consistent basis.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the primary source of organic traffic for law firms given the nature of the business. Simply put, clients primarily use Google – the world’s largest search engine – to find lawyers in their area. If you’re not on Google, there’s a good chance your firm will get drowned out by the competition.
SEO for lawyers is absolutely essential because the goal is to capture potential clients that are already searching for services like yours. For example, if a prospective client searches for “injury lawyer in Philadelphia,” and you fit the bill, you will certainly want your website to rank at the top of the search results.
Why it Matters
The legal field is highly competitive, even in some of the smallest of service areas, so you need a strong SEO strategy if you want to come out on top. Ranking high in the search results is one of the best ways to draw in new website visitors and turn those visitors into paying clients.
Tips for Success
At the foundation of any SEO strategy is keyword research – a process of identifying what key terms your target audience is using to search for law firms like yours. You can use SEO tools like Ahrefs.com or SEMrush.com to uncover these terms, based on how many searches they generate per month and how competitive they are.
Then, you will use these keywords strategically throughout your site to increase your chances of ranking for these terms in the search engines. Another best practice is to use location-specific keywords to decrease the competition level and to optimize your local listings (Google My Business, Bing Places, Yellow Pages, etc.) to generate even more traffic.
2. Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing
Pay Per Click advertising involved running paid display ads to drum up visibility and generate more leads for your law firm. As the name implies, you pay a fee for each user that clicks on your ads. PPC can be a bit more expensive than other types of marketing, but you’re likely to see much faster results and gain lots of insightful data in the process.
Why it Matters
Investing in SEO is key if you want sustainable growth for your business, but it can take a few weeks to a few months to start seeing your SEO efforts really pay off. That’s why many law firms invest in PPC simultaneously so they can start generating leads right away.
Also, for highly competitive markets, running Google Ads is a necessity, as they are often displayed above the organic search results. If you see that your competitors are running paid ads and these are burying your site in the main search results, it’s a good idea to consider running your own paid ads.
Tips for Success
Look to see whether your competitors are running paid ads and/or if the search results for your target keywords are being dominated by ads. You then may want to consider creating key landing pages on your website and running paid ads in order to generate more high-quality leads.
PPC can be a little fickle, so working with a reliable PPC expert is best. They will be able to determine the right keywords to focus on, set your targeting parameters, and determine your advertising budget so you know every cent is being put to good use.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one area of marketing that most lawyers are familiar with, but it’s still an area that is wildly misunderstood and underutilized. While there are countless social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and beyond – not all of them are created equal. The platforms you use will depend on who your target audience is and how they engage with content online.
Why it Matters
Social media marketing is a type of attraction-based marketing that, while users may not be actively searching for your business, can help your business get noticed by potential clients. By posting eye-catching content based on topics that are relevant to your audience, you can gain followers, build trust, and potentially attract more clients once they are ready to hire an attorney.
Users may follow and interact with your social media profiles for months or even years before they are ready to contact you. Therefore, your aim should be to nurture your audience so you become an obvious first choice if or when they are in search of a law firm.
Tips for Success
Don’t make the mistake of posting random cat means or pop culture articles thinking this is what inspires “engagement”. Instead, focus on posting on content that your potential clients would be interested in.
For example, if you are a family law attorney, you can post about family issues, overcoming the stress of divorce, what to do when dealing with a child custody dispute, etc. However, be sure to mix it up with some lighter topics and post thought-provoking questions to get your followers to interact with your content.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be on every social media platform at once. Choose one or two platforms to start, taking the time to figure out what works for your particular audience. Fine-tune this strategy until you are generating consistent leads from social media, then you can think about expanding to different platforms.
4. Content Marketing
It’s true that the best SEO strategy is all about content marketing. That’s because users are not only looking for law firm service pages but also answers to their questions in the form of articles and videos.
For instance, if someone searches for “how to file for a divorce,” they expect to find a comprehensive guide on the process rather than an attorney’s bio page talking about their legal services. This presents many opportunities for law firms like you to post interesting, SEO-focused content to generate more traffic and leads.
Why it Matters
Content marketing helps your firm attract more traffic from a wider audience that is search for questions related to the services you offer. Great content helps you drum up even more visibility, build trust, attract more followers, and, ultimately, generate more leads for your law firm.
“Content” can take many forms, such as blog articles, PDFs, ebooks, videos, or even email campaigns. You can use a variety of mediums to create engaging content and help your audience learn more about what it is that you do and how you can help them.
Tips for Success
To generate the best results from your content, consider identifying SEO keywords that might draw in more clients. These “long-tail” keywords are best suited for blog posts. Think topics like, “10 Steps to Filing for Divorce without the Stress” or “15 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident”.
You can then publish these articles on your blog and later share them on social media. You can even create videos on these topics and publish them on YouTube for added traffic. Finally, consider building your email list so you can send out this content to your subscribers every time you publish a new article.
Content marketing is also great for attracting high-quality links to your website, which will significantly improve your SEO. Consider publishing content other websites would be interested in and willing to link to. You can even reach out to these publishers directly to see if they would be interested in reading (and linking to) your content.
Follow the 4 Pillars of Digital Marketing Success
Creating your own digital marketing action plan doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. By starting with the basics – SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing – you have a great jumping-off point that will support all of your future marketing efforts. These 4 pillars are essential to any law firm that is serious about generating more traffic and leads on a consistent basis.
Implement one or all of these pillars today to start setting your law firm up for success. Over time, you will begin seeing ever better results and you’ll be grateful for doing the work to lay down a solid foundation at the very beginning.