As law firms became aware of the importance of SEO, digital marketing experts started sharing their tips and tricks to optimizing their legal practices. Some of these tips and tricks have turned small firms into local powerhouses, while others have not.
Sadly, the promise of instant success is an attractive one. Inevitably, this led to a real explosion of SEO guides, tips and tricks that guarantee immediate results for the small firm lawyer.
However, we’re here to talk some sense into you. As the old adage goes: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
That is not to say that search engine optimization can’t deliver remarkable results for attorneys. There is no doubt that a properly designed and executed digital marketing strategy can double or triple your business revenue. But these successes will not happen overnight.
SEO is a Process
The first thing that you need to understand about search engine optimization is that it is a continuous process. You can’t simply perform SEO once and just forget about it. That will bring little to no results for your law firm, and it’s not worth the trouble.
Instead, you should lay out a long-term SEO strategy that will positively affect your ranking in the search engines and generate more traffic and revenue.
However, before you start creating any specific digital marketing strategy, you need to take a step back. Search engine optimization begins with thorough and time-consuming research.
Research What Other Law Firms are Doing
In order for you to create a marketing plan, you first need to research your competition. You need to acquaint yourself with what they’re doing and what they’re not doing.
By researching what they’re doing, you’ll be able to see what content is attractive to your audience and what you should be aiming to replicate. But it’s arguably even more important to find out what your competitors aren’t doing, because it will allow you to identify all the missed opportunities that you can use to your advantage.
In other words, the importance of good research cannot be overestimated. This is the foundation of your future SEO strategy and everything that you do later will depend on it.
Don’t rush it.
Create Useful Legal Content
Once you’ve done all the necessary research, you need to start working on your law firm’s image. In other words, you need to start creating attractive content that your prospective clients will find useful.
For example, if you’re offering legal services, consider opening a blog that deals with the most common legal issues, such as problematic divorces, inheritance issues, personal injury questions, etc.
This step often means that you need to provide helpful insights and share your knowledge with your audience for free. Many lawyers are reluctant to do this, as they refuse to share their hard-earned knowledge free of any charge. However, this is a common mistake.
You should try to produce regular and insightful content, but understand that this content is only meant to provide your potential clients with a taste of what you’re offering. But even if you share everything that you know with them, they will likely trust you as an expert on the subject who is more equipped to handle their legal case than figuring it out themselves.
However, instead of writing everything you know, focus on laying out a few general tips and ask the reader to contact you for more information.
Start Building Relationships with Prospective Clients
This points expands on the previous one.
If you want your law firm to succeed, you need to start building relationships with both your clients and your competitors.
Firstly, you need to allow your clients to create meaningful bonds with you. You can do this by sharing personal stories in the form of a blog or by acquainting your prospective clients with your employees.
The benefits of this digital marketing method are multi-layered.
Your employees will feel more valued and respected within the firm and they will be encouraged to continue their good work in the firm. This can create a ripple effect and boost the morale of the entire workforce.
In addition to that, when you write a blog about an employee and his journey to the current job with your firm, it’s very likely that the employee will share the article with his or her friends and family. It’s possible that they will mention the piece to someone they know and that process can go on and on. Eventually, a short piece of writing can bring you many new clients.
Talk to people
Another easy way to bond with your clients is to just talk with them. You’d be surprised how few lawyers know anything about their clients other than their legal case.
Allow your clients to feel attached to your brand. Let them know that their thoughts and opinions matter. Make them feel like they’re a valued member of your community. Even if they don’t actually work in your law firm.
Good relationships with potential clients are invaluable to a law firm that’s only starting out. You should understand that people are likely to share their positive (and negative!) experiences with others. That’s a form of free publicity that is especially important for lawyers.
Now, it’s true that it is almost impossible to assess the precise value of word-of-mouth marketing. However, that’s an area that most business owners simply do not use enough to promote their business.
Invest your time (and money) in digital marketing
We mentioned earlier that there are a lot of shady SEO companies that promise instant results. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from investing in professional SEO or digital marketing services. There are many qualified digital marketing companies out there, and I’ve previously given my personal recommendation.
Unless you employ inexperienced SEO experts, your investment will probably pay off in the long run. As we mentioned earlier, search engine optimization is a process that can last months and months, but it’s proven to work.
You just need to be patient, and invest your time and money. However, even if you can’t afford to spend money on professional SEO services at the moment, you can still improve your firm and generate more traffic to your firm’s website. But that means you will need to spend more of your time on it.
If you can’t invest in SEO or you don’t want to invest before you try it out on your own, check our blog next week. We will present you with a more advanced guide that explains how you can perform SEO on your own, with little to no financial investments.