Law Firm Marketing Trends: Attorney Marketing Guide
Feb 22, 2019
29 min read
Why Online Marketing for Law Firms is Competitive?Legal Services is one of the most competitive yet profitable niche in the digital industry. According to Statista, it was listed as the 3rd most profitable niche in the United States in 2017: With such a great profit ratio, this industry is constantly getting over-saturated. More and more people are investing into the legal services. The revenue of legal services is also constantly growing year over year:
Traditional vs. Digital Marketing for Law FirmsA business without a customer is nothing but a well without water, and for acquiring customers you need to adopt versatile marketing strategies. The digital media and advertising has taken a great edge over the traditional marketing activities in terms of leads generation. There are various reasons behind the downfall of traditional marketing, including:
- Lack of interaction with the targeted audience
- Cost is usually high compared to digital marketing
- Inaccuracy of ROI measurement
- Lack of customer feedbacks
- Poor conversion rate
- Lack of personalization
- No long-term benefits
What is Legal or Attorney Marketing?If you own a law firm and want to generate leads for your business, then it is recommended that you opt for digital marketing instead of burning all your investment on traditional marketing. Before proceeding into the depths of attorney online marketing strategies we must learn what exactly it means by legal or attorney marketing. In simple words, Law Firm Marketing can be defined as:
Law Firm Marketing is all about utilizing all the online marketing channels to brand your legal services achieving your goals in terms of website traffic, engagement and lead generation.But, before kick starting your first law firm marketing campaign you need to know the following crucial factors:
Digital Marketing ObjectivesSetting up marketing objectives is one of the basic and prior needs of your digital marketing strategy. Working hard with your marketing plan won’t help your law firm if it’s being done in the wrong direction. It is mandatory to set up your legal marketing objectives and goals so that you can easily track whether or not the strategy is working out for your law firm. Digital marketing objectives could be:
- Conversions or lead generation
- Increase website traffic and engagement
- Brand awareness
- Community building
Competitive AnalysisOne of the great quotes of Sun Tzu applies really well in order to analyze the real importance of competitive analysis:
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.If you are running a law firm, it is important for you to know who your competitors are in the digital landscape. Once you succeed to find the right competitors who are doing really well with their online marketing campaigns then it would be an easy task for you to craft an effective digital marketing strategy for your attorney website as well. Because competitor analysis helps you understand:
- Which law firms are performing well on which digital marketing channel?
- How to prioritize your digital marketing activities?
- How an ideal law firm website should look like?
- Where your brand is currently standing and how much time will it take to get an edge?
- What are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
- How to allot your marketing budget among different channels?
How Competitive Analysis can be done?Each of the marketing medium has a different way of performing competitive analysis. The following comprehensive hierarchy chart will give you a better understanding of competitive analysis on each of the aspects of marketing:
Execution Plan a.k.a Marketing PlanLet’s move forward to the execution stage once you are done with the competitive analysis on all the grounds of online marketing for your law firm. Following are the areas that you need to dive in to in order to bring qualified traffic and leads to your attorney business.
UX Design Trends for Law Firm
Law Firm User Experience Design refers to a process of designing a platform where attorneys cater the users’ problems by offering them best-in-class online experience.So, UX is not just a website instead it’s all about designing online experiences for users. Majority of the lawyers consider it as just an online company profile. They are totally unaware of the hidden benefits of a user-friendly legal services website. You might get shocked with the fact that in this digital era, around 40% of the small law firms don’t even have a website. If you are compromising on having a user and conversion friendly website, then you are missing a big chunk of a targeted market.
Source: Profitworks.caHaving a legal services website helps your law firm in accessing potential customers who are looking for legal services online. Nearly 70% of law firms have earned potential law cases through their online presence with a website.
Characteristics of a Marketing Centric WebsiteImagine a client comes onboard and you miss the commitments, what’s gonna happen? He will bounce back, right? Similarly, it happens the same way when your marketing strategy is driving traffic to your website but it’s unable to meet the users’ expectation. Most of the people value their website no more than a business profile. It’s actually a lead generation machine if it is properly utilized. If you are building a website, it must contain the following characteristics from a marketing standpoint:
Mobile OptimizedAfter the Google’s Mobile-First Indexing update, mobile websites have become a center point of attraction for the business owners. According to which, the mobile version of your website will be given the priority over the desktop while indexing by the Google. So make sure that your mobile’s website structure is user and search engine friendly. Additionally, the mobile traffic of the website in most of the niches is increasing drastically. According to a data by Stone Temple, Legal Services or Law Firm niche is among the most mobile-centric industries.
AccessibilityHaving a creative website containing captivating visuals does not consider as a user-friendly website. Accessibility is one of a major factor of user-friendly website. Your website design should be capable to cater users’ problem within the matter of milliseconds. According to a study, a user takes 50 milliseconds to make an opinion about a website. So considering the fact that the first impression of a user is a crucial one since it will decide that whether or not he/she is willing to proceed the journey. While designing a law firm website, you need to follow certain rules of accessibility. The best way is to consider the ADA Compliant Website checklist which will give you an exact idea on what needs to be done in order to make it accessible for all sorts of audience.
Conversion CenteredA website without conversion centric elements is like a product without a manual. It actually helps customers in a positive ending of their journey. According to HubSpot, following are 7 principles of a conversion centered web design:
EncapsulationThis technique is mainly used to bring the attention of a user to a certain spot of the website where your CTA is placed. It could be done via using contrast colors or dynamic shapes. One lawyer website, WACHP.com did a really good work with the encapsulation technique. Main tagline along with a CTA is being placed on the torn part of the box.
Contrast and ColorIt simply refers to playing with contrast colors. When you use a totally different color on your call-to-action button compared with its background color, it will automatically bring the user’s attention. Here is another great example of a law firm website, “Malman Law”, who played around the contrast and color strategy.
Directional CuesIt refers to visual indicators which are normally used to direct a user towards a certain call-to-action button. YLaw Group is doing really well with this technique. As shown in the above screenshot that the dog ear is in contrast color and is pointing towards a call-to-action button to generate more phone call leads.
White SpaceWhite is a color that can make any color pop up. When it comes to CTA placement white spaces usually help them in making them stand out. Take Bighorn Law as an example and see how they utilized their white spaces in their website design.
Urgent and ScarcityThis rule is mainly used for e-commerce or SaaS business. But it could be done in several ways, like:
- Offer free consultation for a certain period of time
- Download a free resource i.e. e-book and whitepaper
Try Before You BuyOffering a free trial to your clients can even generate massive leads for your law firm. So, if you are looking to expand the growth canvas then this is something that can surely bring an impact. West Coast Trial Lawyers are really doing well with this free trial strategy.
Social ProofIt basically refers to showing a crowd around your brand in order to build trust among the customers that other people are engaged with your business. This could be done by showing certain numbers, statistics and demographics of users who are currently engaged with your business or may have hired your services in the past. This is how you can also do it with your law firm website.
Pay Per Click Marketing Trends for Law FirmBefore digging into the pay per marketing strategies for attorney’s website, it is important to know the basic function of different paid campaigns for sure success: When investing into the PPC, you need to be very careful since its one of an expensive niches. According to an infographic found on WordStream, law industry has the highest average cost per click in the search ads. So here are some core pay per click marketing techniques that can help you make an effective paid campaign:
Ruling Locally with a Proper Geo-Location TargetingLaw firm marketing is mainly dependent on the local keywords so it is mandatory that you are targeting the right region in your campaigns. Around 36% of the Google searches belong to certain region/location. This seems to be a very basic factor but still many of the law firms avoid it and as a result they ruin their PPC budget. It is a fact that if your business is mainly designed to cater the local audience then your marketing efforts need to be focused towards generating local leads. It doesn’t even matter how much you are specialized in your industry, a person belonging to another region won’t come to ask for your services. Set the radius where you can actually serve your audience.
Understanding Search Intent with respect to BudgetSearch intent is now becoming a very crucial part of both organic and paid marketing. Search Intent refers to understanding the core intention of a user’s query. Before proceeding with this discussion let’s learn the common search intent types:
- Branded Keywords: These are the queries when you are very much in the market and users are aware of your brand name.
- Informative Keywords: These are also known for problem solving queries. When a user seeks information using search query on Google.
- Transactional Keywords: These are actually money making keywords helping you generate more qualified leads for your business.
Magnetizing your Ad CopiesYour ad copy actually decides whether users will continue their journey with your website or choose an alternate one. Consider following these ad copywriting techniques for an optimum quality score:
- Keep it relevant with the targeted keywords and landing page content
- Personalize your ad copies by serving 2nd person instead of 1st person
- Include facts and figures to gain the trust i.e law case winning numbers or number of clients, etc…
- Interrogative headlines sometimes do wonders in terms of increasing CTR
- Discuss the users’ benefits like ‘Free of Cost Consultation’
- Play around the ego-bait technique to grab the user’s trust and attention
Keeping your Audience Near to your Brand with Near Me KeywordsAdding near me to your main service based keywords is now becoming a trend in the online marketing industry. It is actually getting hype and businesses are making dollars out of it. Here is a 5 years comparison of near me related keywords in the law firm industry: As you can see that near me related user searches are increasing over the span of last five years. Make sure that your pay per click strategy contains near me related keywords.
Optimizing your Landing Pages EfficientlyHere we need to understand a fact that PPC landing pages are different from regular service/product pages. Once a user lands on your website’s landing page, make sure to display only that content which is relevant to his/her search query. Following are some crucial factors:
- Avoid using unnecessary menus in the header navigation that can lead users to other pages
- Add a video which can help grabbing users’ trust either it could be testimonials, service overview, success stories, etc…
- Content relevant to the targeted keywords along with attractive visuals
- Add elements that indicate social proof around your brand
- Include phone number, email address, live chat and contact form for an ease to contact
- Mobile design should be user-friendly
Effective Social Media Platforms for Law FirmsLinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the 3 top most preferred social media platforms in the marketing strategy. Most of the law firms underestimate the power of social networks because they are unaware of the hidden benefits of this medium. Let’s learn how to promote your business on various social channels.
Embracing LinkedIn for LawyersSince, LinkedIn itself is an entirely a professional network, it works both the way i.e. create a personal profile and create a business page.
Using Personal Profile for LinkedIn MarketingI won’t dig into a general discussion by listing down steps to create a LinkedIn account. Let’s proceed on how to brand a law firm on the most lawyers’ preferred social media network.
- Never let your LinkedIn profile be a resume by just listing your core skills, qualification and employer history. Instead make it look like profile of a thought leader by including the following elements:
- Add a professional profile photo and cover photo in order to grab optimum number of views. According to LinkedIn, a profile with a profile picture can have 21 times more views and up to 36 times more messages.
- Add all the niche related publications i.e. Blogs, E-Books and White Papers in your profile so that users can know the level of your expertise.
- Add your past achievements in your profile in order to retain the trust among the users.
- Get endorsements and recommendations from your clients and industry’s experts.
- Start adding relevant and potentials users to your account. Use a LinkedIn search feature to discover lawyers with in your niche and location. You can also add different niche lawyer belonging to a different geographical area. It has numerous benefits including potential referrals, builds community which can actually support your content. Once you are done with adding people of the same profession, then also consider adding people who could be a potential customer. Let’s say you are a Tax Lawyer then your potential users on LinkedIn could be CEOs, CFOs, Entrepreneurs and those who own any company within your geographical location.
- Once you found that you have a decent number of potential users on your LinkedIn account, then proceed with sharing your knowledge and experience in the form of posts, articles, videos or even slideshares. It is considered as one of the finest content distribution channel.Try focusing on crafting some unique, in-depth guides, how-to’s and listicle posts. Here are some jaw breaking facts about content marketing on LinkedIn:
- 45% of the LinkedIn article readers are in top-level positions including managers, VPs, and Directors (Source: LinkedIn)
- Maximum number of shares are acquired by long form content. (Source: OkDork)
- Even influencers are adopting this distribution channel and according to statistics 30 most shared content of 2015 & 2016 on LinkedIn were composed by LinkedIn Influencers.
Using Company Page for LinkedIn MarketingMake sure that your official LinkedIn page is active and contain fruitful content for your targeted audience instead of just promotional stuff. The content mentioned above could also be shared on your company page. Follow the valuable company page management techniques guided by LinkedIn .
Empowering Facebook Ads for Law Firm MarketingLet’s talk about the 2nd most preferred social media channel among lawyers. It is a common misconception that Facebook ads are only for promoting your product and services. Most of the business owners focus on a user-group who are in the purchasing phase.
Source: VendastaThough, that particular group of users can definitely offer the best ROI but it could be further improved if users from the previous groups are also being served. In this regard, your Facebook ads could be run for the following purposes:
- Blog Ads: Write a blog post on a common problem being faced by the audience in your niche and promote it on Facebook.
- E-Book Ads: In-depth content in the form of an e-book or whitepaper could be a value added asset for your business. Bring engagements on your assets effective ads campaign.
- Free Consultation Ads: Offering something free of cost to your users could increase the chance of optimum conversions. It must be a part of your Facebook ads.
- Video Ads: Video content could help users in getting their problem solved with in a matter of a minute. So, it is recommended to boost it on your Facebook to empower your video marketing.
- Legal Form Ads: Once you feel like users are now under your trust, start promoting your services. Lead ads are usually expensive than the rest of the campaign types so you need to make sure that users have a strong belief on your business.
- Retargeting Ads: Users who had shown certain interest in your brand could be a greater prospect. Don’t forget to show your upcoming ads to them using ads retargeting.
Utilizing Twitter for Law Firm MarketingWhen you talk about Twitter, it doesn’t even matter which industry your business falls in. It is a powerful source of branding, community building and lead generation for any business. Here are some quick tips to boost your law firm marketing using Twitter:
- Follow the right people: Most of the people just randomly start following accounts regardless of knowing the niche of that person. It is recommended to follow people from the same niche or could be with in the arena of law industry. Initiate by tweeting to them or responding to their tweets to build a relation. In a longer run, it will definitely pay you out with referrals.
- Law isn’t about being too formal: it’s a myth that law industry is a serious and formal niche. Most of the law firms twitter accounts seem to be boring. Don’t be too formal instead share memes, GIFs and videos which are relevant to the context. It actually helps in digesting the information easily than a dry content form.
- Participate in trending hashtags: When you find a trending hashtag in your specific niche, start tweeting and participating in it. These trending hashtags can assist you in sure-shot visibility on Twitter.
- Run a custom hashtag campaign: Make sure to run your own custom made hashtag campaign with time to time. Make sure that your hashtag contains your brand name.
Search Engine Optimization Trends for Law FirmThis is something where your major focus should be. It’s an ongoing process that offer long-lasting returns but you need to make sure that all aspect of your SEO campaign are properly aligned. Most of the SEO agencies cater each project the same way regardless of knowing the trends in that specific niche. Such agencies are considered as Bunny-Bread agencies that tend to implement the same techniques on all niche projects. There are various aspects in law firm SEO where the techniques vary or are different compared with the rest of the niches.
What is Attorney SEO?Attorney SEO refers to a process of bringing your website’s ranking on the first page of search engines by adopting search engine friendly techniques resulting in qualified organic traffic and conversions.
Effective SEO Strategies for Law FirmLet’s dig in each of the aspect of law firm SEO in order bring qualified organic traffic and conversions for the website.
Keywords Research and AnalysisWhen we talk about keywords research, there are majorly 3 types of keywords:
- Primary Keywords
- Secondary Keywords
- Tertiary Keywords
Source: Neil PatelNow, here a question arises that how can someone explore the long-tail keywords? My simple opinion would be to strengthen your research skills and find commonly asked questions over the internet. Here’s how you can do it!
- Using keyword research tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
- Using Google Search
- BuzzSumo Question Analyzer
- Discover QnA platforms like Quora.
Onsite SEO Strategies for Attorney WebsiteFollowing are some onsite SEO strategies that need to be adopted in order to make your website up to the search engine standards:
- Optimize your title tags by incorporating your targeted keywords in it. Don’t spam, make it more natural for the search engines and users.
- Follow the same rule of optimization for the heading tags as well.
- Compress your website’s images and attribute them with appropriate ALT text.
- Avoid using duplicate content on the website instead create unique content for your business website.
- Proper canonicalization structure needs to be followed.
- After the Mobile-First Indexing Update, Google is now primarily considering your mobile version of the website. Make sure your website is responsive and its content is similar compared with the desktop version.
- Build a proper internal linking structure on the entire website.
- Publish blog post on the website actively to not only generate traffic but revenue as well.
Technical SEO Techniques to FollowFollowing are the crucial technical SEO factors that need to be considered while finalizing your website:
- Improve page speed scores of both mobile and desktop. Consider using Google’s latest Lighthouse Tool.
- Optimize the crawl budget by removing the unnecessary resources and redirections from the website.
- Include a proper XML sitemap and submit it to the Google Search Console.
- Upload robots.txt file to let Google know about the unnecessary paths to disallow.
- Implement Schema Markup of Local Businesses and Reviews on the website.
- Add SSL certification to your website.
- Eliminate the overall number of broken links on the website.
- Avoid using flash elements on the website.
- URLs should be search engine and user-friendly.
- Add breadcrumbs for a digestible website structure.
Source: SEO Expert BradGoogle Maps plays a vital role when your business is located in a certain region. It is mandatory that your business is accessible to your audience on the map results. The local search ranking is based on the theory of NAP+W. N = Business Name A = Address P = Phone Number W = Website It is important for any webmaster to have all the above information in order to rank in the local search results. Beside this, following factors have a strong impact on your website’s rankings in the SERPs:
- Number of Local Citations
- User reviews
Accuracy of Business InformationAccuracy is a core element of Google Trust on which it actually decides which businesses to index high in the local search results. Below image from Moz’s Whiteboard Friday will easily define the main factors that influence local listings’ accuracy:
Source: MozIn short, you need to make sure that the following information of your business should be the same on all the local directories over the internet:
- Business Name
- Business Address
- Business Primary Phone Number
- Business Hours
- Business Website
- Business Email
Number of Local CitationsGet your attorney featured on optimum number of business submission platforms. This will actually give signals to crawlers which will eventually increase your website ranking in the local pack search results. Your primary focus should be getting your business submitted on the following websites:
- Google my Business
- Merchant Circle
User Reviews AcquisitionAs you can see in the above screenshot that Google gives importance to the businesses having good customer reviews. Users prefer reading business reviews before hiring any law firm for their cases.
Source: Bright LocalHere are some best practices for reviews acquisition and management:
- Ask your clients to review your law firm on Google my Business
- Avoid posting fake reviews.
- Cater the negative reviews as well.
- Create a separate reviews landing page which can direct the users to your GMB page.
- Ask for reviews from industry experts and influencers in your circle who has different expertise than yours.
Link Building Techniques for Law FirmLink building plays a vital role in the overall Local SEO campaign. According to a statistic by Bright Local, 72% believes that link building is one of a very important task in their SEO campaign. There are numerous benefits of building high authority and relevant links for the website including:
- Increase page and domain authority
- Increase referral traffic
- Increase brand visibility and exposure
- Links from high authority websites increase syndication opportunities
- Increase website’s trust and credibility
- Edge over the competitors
- Domain Authority (DA)
- Domain Rating (DR)
- Page Authority (PA)
- Page Rating (PR)
- Spam Score
- Trust Flow
- Organic Traffic
Legal DirectoriesRelevancy matters the most when it comes to building links for the competitive niche. Directory submission that exactly falls in the law category could be very powerful for your organic search campaign. Avoid submitting your website on general directory submission websites since you won’t find any value in it instead it would be harmful in terms of website’s ranking in the SERPs. Here are legal directories which will definitely assist you with link acquisition.
Guest BloggingGuest blogging is one of the most powerful content marketing technique through which you can acquire some high quality links for your attorney website. As per statistic found on HubSpot, 53% of the marketers believe that blogging is their top content marketing priority. Guest blogging is not about featuring your content on a general and ordinary blog in order to acquire link. Following factors does matter for successful guest blogging:
- Decent traffic (both overall and organic)
- Decent link metrics i.e. DA, DR, Spam Score, etc…
- Consider indexability factors
- Unique C-Block IPs
Scholarship ProgramsEducational or .edu domains carry its own worth in the SEO industry. There was a time when people were actively building links on .edu domains and as a result Google algorithms started ignoring a lot .edu links. If it is properly implemented, then it could be the best link acquisition technique for the difficult niches like law. Try introducing some authentic scholarship programs for the university students through which your website will get featured on an official .edu websites.
Link Bait AssetsThough marketing in a competitive niche is not an easy job so it is obvious that you need to think out of the box. By producing some unique and top quality link bait assets you can easily attract tons of backlinks towards your website. Here are some common types link bait assets:
- In-depth content like e-books, resources, whitepapers and case studies
- Visual assets like statistics, surveys, demographics and charts
- Videos with a captivating message
Roundup ParticipationThis link building technique could be sure-shot for your law firm. All you need to do is to find roundups opportunities over the internet and outreach them to feature your website. There are two common types of roundups in which you can participate:
- Experts Roundup – Place yourself as an influencer and people will approach you to get your opinion on a specific topic. Your feedback will be featured on their blogs along with your website address.
- Weekly/Monthly News Roundup – Try producing some quality resources on your website and outreach different niche related website which usually feature news and resources on their website.
Growth Hacking Trends for Law FirmsGrowth hacking simply refers to those strategies which are mainly focused towards the growth of the organization. When businesses are in its early stage and expect an instant growth then it could do miracles if it’s done right. Growth hacking doesn’t belong to separate digital marketing group but its actually a mix of all. Most of the marketing strategies have been discussed in the article which directly or indirectly relate to growth hacking. But here are some ways through which you can boost your attorney’s growth:
Video MarketingVideo marketing is a content marketing technique through which you can deliver your message in less time. Try creating some unique and emotionally attractable videos and get them posted on your website and other video submission platforms. Consider the following rules before making the video for your law firm:
- Keep it short and to the point
- Keep it engaging
- Attractive video thumbnail
- Video title that can influence CTR
- Should be mobile optimized
Email MarketingRegardless of any niche, email marketing has proven to be one of the best conversion acquisition channel. The average ROI from email marketing is estimated at 3800% or $38 on every dollar invested. Your email marketing campaign could be design on the following subjects:
- Offer free consultation
- Successful Case Story
- Recent launch of Resources on Website
- Blog post update
- News about an offline event
- Attractive subject lines
- Clear call-to-action buttons
- Well-designed landing pages
- Personalization Factor
- Short and to the point
Influencer MarketingInfluencer marketing is all about onboarding influencers and experts on an objective to promote your business. This could be done in both the ways:
- Paid Promotion – Hiring influencers to promote your business across various channels including blog, video platforms, social networks and more.
- Mutual Benefits – Come up with a deal which can benefit them as well like featuring them on your blog and asking them to share the blog post in their circle.
In a Nutshell:Law firm marketing isn’t about promoting your attorney online using ordinary and traditional marketing tactics. it’s among the toughest niches of all the time so you need to bring something extraordinary on the table to outrank your competitors in all the digital marketing grounds. Try executing the strategies mentioned in this article to boost your website performance in terms of traffic and leads acquisition. If you have a decent budget then it’s recommended to utilize it wisely. Paid and organic search marketing should be your prior focus. Spend some budget on money making keywords and if its generating conversions then consider them as main targeted keywords for your organic search campaigns as well. If you’re looking to increase your visibility and generate more clients for your practice, give us a call today.
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