As an attorney, you know that becoming an expert in your field takes your most valuable resource: time. This is why efforts to get clients need to make efficient use of it. As 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine, and 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action, focusing efforts on search engine results is a must. Here are the essential implementations to focus on.
Source: National Law Review
1. Use Local Keywords
If your practice is local, use local keywords in your branding and site language. And start with a smaller geographic region where there will be less competition (neighborhood, city). After a few months when you have established a digital presence for that area, you can begin to tackle a larger region.
2. Design your Site Around the User Experience
Design your site around the user experience. Think like a prospect and design a path that would be easy to navigate, and then inspires confidence in your practice. A good place to start with this is to segment your site by practice areas. Once segmented, subdivide your segments so that prospective clients can find their particular case type.
For example, A segment would be Criminal Defense, with subdivisions of DWI, Assault, and whatever other cases you work with. It may also make sense to include general catch-all subdivisions like Misdemeanors and Felonies to cover all of your bases. If one of these subdivisions makes up a significant part of your practice, make sure to include language about it earlier on the site, perhaps with a direct link to the applicable page.
The benefit of this is twofold: the most obvious is that an intuitive user experience will result in higher conversion rates. The second is that Google tracks the time users spend on site after selecting your page from the search results page. If users bounce back from your page (i.e. return to search results and instead look at your competitors’ sites), Google will assume you are not providing what users are looking for and your site will be shown further down the results over time.
3. Utilize Online Directories
Establish your Firm in online directories. The king of directories is Google MyBusiness, and if you have not already listed your firm there, do so right now. It will allow you to show up in regional searches. You will also want to solicit reviews from happy clients, which will drive your ranking up and inspire more site visits.
Your own personal brand also needs to be established, monitored, and optimized. When prospective clients are in the sales pipeline they will search your name and read related results. Perform a search of your name and include terms like “attorney” and geographical locations of where you are based. One notable site you will come across is avvo.com which compiles attorney profiles. Claim your profile and solicit a few positive reviews. This will go a long way. Remember to always keep an eye on any reviewed sites where you are listed– make a calendar task reminder every few weeks to do a quick review.
Blog with quality content. When most people have a need for an attorney, they first research their issue on a search engine. Write articles that your prospects will find enlightening, trustworthy, and speak to what they are likely searching for. Lead them to a call-to-action that allows them to easily get in touch, but make sure the content does not feel like a sales-piece. Blogging will increase your visibility on search results pages and even though your positioning will take months to become ranked, you will be thankful once leads start coming in.
Doubtful that you have time to write blog articles? Use the law and explanation sections from previously written briefs as the foundations of articles, then tweak for tone and purpose. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. And if you are worried about giving away your valued research, understand that you are establishing yourself as the authority, which is much more valuable.
5. Establish Yourself on Social Media, Forums, and Respected Sites.
Establish firm pages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But don’t sink a lot of time into posting. A few posts/month is sufficient for an active presence. Paid ads on Facebook can be an inexpensive way to target prospective clients and quickly drive leads to your firm. See our article on how to do this here.
If you aren’t familiar with Quora, get to know it. Quora is a site with over 200,000 users where questions are posed and answered by the community. Good answers rise to the top, and this is a great opportunity to establish yourself as the authority on legal questions posed by users. Drop a 100-200 word answer with your site link, and repeat for other valuable queries on the site.
Contributing to respected sites is also a great way to gain backlinks that lift your authority. This can be done through Bar articles, CLE organization materials, and any other website that is well established. See how this works here.
Want to know how to similarly take advantage of Web Design, Social media, or Display Marketing for your law firm? Or have questions about implementing these techniques? Send us your questions or requests–we’ll be happy to share our insights.