In this blog post and video, I explain the problem most attorneys and law firms are having when it comes to getting new clients from the internet, and how you can easily overcome this problem with a simple process.
Digital marketing can be an extremely effective way for attorneys and law firms to attract more of their ideal clients on autopilot, freeing them from the concern of where their next client will come from.
It can empower them to be more selective with the clients they choose to work with and to start charging more for their services.
If you’re an attorney who has tried digital marketing and you’re frustrated with your lack of results, or you want to start marketing your law firm online, but you’re confused and maybe even overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, then this blog post is for you.
The #1 mistake I see attorneys making when marketing their legal practice online is that they don’t have a cohesive plan or strategy.
I talk to a lot of attorneys who tell me they’re spending thousands of dollars on multiple marketing companies and online directories, all offering these different services, and that they’re just hoping that it’s all working.
What I can tell you is that getting new clients from the internet is not complicated and shouldn’t be overly expensive. It’s actually quite simple. Key to marketing your law firm online is to understand that “digital marketing” is made up of many individual components.
Things like search engine optimization, pay-per-click, web design, content marketing, social media, and others. What we’ve found, is that while each of these things can potentially help you get clients from the internet, often they are completely ineffective on their own.
To beat your competitors and market your law firm successfully online you need a comprehensive marketing strategy that works together.
This is usually the difference we see between an online marketing campaign that works and is ROI positive, and one that is a waste of time and money.
I see many law firms marketing themselves online as if it was a phone book. They’re spending a lot of money, but getting very few, if any, new clients from their efforts.
Here’s why that approach doesn’t work.
Unlike a phone book, which provided just a simple list of attorneys, the internet provides people with the ability to research an attorney before they ever make a decision to contact them.
People can now see your logo, your online reviews, read your bio and see details about your education and experience.
Your digital marketing needs to actively and intentionally addressed these things for it to work. You must consider how effective your online presence is at getting people to want to hire you.
The consequences of ignoring this are twofold. First, you will not be viewed as an expert by Google’s algorithm, making search engine optimization efforts less effective.
You see Google knows its users are looking for an expert to help them with their legal problem. If you don’t demonstrate expertise online, it is far less likely that Google is going to show your website to someone when they are searching.
Second, if you’re not demonstrating expertise to your prospective clients when they do find you, you’ll simply blend in with all the other attorneys in your area, decreasing the likelihood that they are going to choose you to contact for help.
So, to successfully start getting more of your ideal clients using digital marketing, you need to do two things.
First is to put yourself in a position to be found online when prospective clients are looking, and second is to then demonstrate to them that YOU are the local expert who can help them solve their legal problem. That’s it.
If you accomplish this, you will have new, prospective clients contacting you on autopilot.
Now that may sound overly simplified, but it’s important to understand that marketing your law firm online does not need to, nor should it be complicated. Just like anything else, if you put the right system into place, it will deliver results.
Our solution is a process made up of four key pillars designed to do exactly that.
It’s a process that we’ve been using very successfully for more than 10 years to help attorneys get more of their ideal clients and grow their legal practices using digital marketing.
We’ve proven that this process is replicable and highly successful at getting attorneys new clients in different geographic markets across the U.S.
The first pillar of our solution is to demonstrate your expertise.
You do this with your brand, content strategy and message.
At its core, your brand should position you as an expert and not just a service provider.
Experts can always charge more.
They will also stand out and convert prospects into paying clients at a higher rate.
You can do this by focusing on getting more online reviews, and creating high quality content designed to help answer prospective client’s questions through the creation of blog posts, web pages, and videos.
The second pillar of our solution is your website.
You can drive all the traffic in the world to your site, but if it lacks fundamental elements, you’ll likely convert little to none of that traffic into paying clients.
This is actually one of the reasons why many attorneys believe that search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing don’t work. If you’re sending good traffic to a bad website, it won’t convert, resulting in wasted marketing dollars.
For these reasons, it’s imperative that your website be built to convert prospects into paying clients before you spend any money on getting visitors to your site.
You want to feature reviews and client testimonials, anticipate and answer prospective client’s questions, and be sure the website is optimized for mobile devices and is very easy to use.
It should have features like click to call buttons, and simple contact forms.
The third pillar in our process of marketing your law firm online is visitors and website traffic.
Internet traffic is the lifeblood of any digital marketing strategy. You can be the most qualified, most experienced attorney in town, but if potential clients aren’t finding you online, you’re losing out on a lot of business.
If done incorrectly, getting prospective clients to your website can quickly cost you a lot of money with nothing to show for it. The key to making it work for you is to ensure you reach a positive ROI quickly. There are two main things you can do to make this happen.
First is to have pillars 1 and 2 in place before you spend any money getting visitors to your site. This will prevent you from wasting money getting people to your site that won’t convert into paying clients.
Second is to combine your traffic strategy to leverage both pay-per-click and SEO together. The reason for this is that while ranking on page 1 of Google through SEO can bring in a lot of new clients, it takes time.
So, if you’re only running an SEO campaign, you’re left paying for those services month after month without any return on your investment until you reach page 1.
Pay-per-click on the other hand is a more immediate way to start getting highly targeted prospective clients to your website.
The goal here is to begin getting new clients from your pay-per-click campaign right away, so that you are also covering any costs associated with your SEO efforts from the start.
The added benefit here is that by combining pay-per-click with search engine optimization you capture a bigger percentage of searchers, with the ability to be on page one of Google up to three times.
This includes the Ads position, Google Maps Listings (sometimes called the “3 pack”), and the organic results.
Also, by appearing on page 1 of Google multiple times, people tend to automatically assume that you must be the best option without you ever having to say so.
The fourth and final pillar in our system is conversion rate optimization or CRO for short.
At the end of the day, the most important thing about a marketing campaign is for it to be ROI positive, and you should be able to measure that return on your investment.
Building a brand, having a website, and getting more traffic is only valuable if it leads to an increase in paying clients.
What we’ve found is that many attorneys have no idea where their new clients are coming from. Often, most of your new client leads are coming from only one or two sources.
CRO ensures that you know and understand where your leads are coming from. It helps you know what exactly is working in your marketing strategy and what isn’t. You can track conversions using the free tools offered by Google Ads, Google Analytics, and paid third-party tools such as CallRail.
All four of these pillars play a critical role in the success of a law firm’s digital marketing efforts.
If you’re running paid ads to a bad website, prospective clients will simply click away without contacting you.
If you only run an SEO campaign it can take months before you start to see results.
If you only have a website and no traffic strategy, it could be the best website on the internet, but if none of your prospective clients are able to find it, it’s pretty much worthless.
To beat your competitors and market your law firm successfully online you need a comprehensive strategy that works together.
By focusing on and implementing these four pillars, you will have exactly that. You can now be in front of potential clients 24/7 365 days a year as they are looking to solve their legal problems.
It’s amazing to see that even today the vast majority of attorneys and law firms are still not implementing a complete digital marketing strategy like this, leaving a ton of opportunity for those who do.
You will no longer have to spend time trying to find new clients or compete on price because you don’t have enough clients.
This can empower you to start charging more for your services and being more selective with the clients you choose to work with.
Not having to constantly think about where your next client will come from will give you more time to focus on the business of your legal practice, enabling you to grow it at the pace that you want.
Chris is a digital marketing consultant and has been helping attorneys and law firms grow their revenue and scale their legal practices for the past 12 years. His areas of expertise are in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and conversion rate optimization (CRO).