It’s irrelevant what your job title is, we give the same advice to everyone looking to expand their business via digital marketing: in order to grow your firm, practice, business, etc., you must think of yourself first as a marketer and second as your profession.
We’re going to bestow on you a piece of information you are already aware of: the market for legal services is grossly oversaturated. It has been for years and will probably continue to be. The competition is fierce, and having the best law practice in town isn’t enough to be successful these days.
We hear the same complaint over and over, “My firm can’t find enough decent clients,” or “I’m not getting enough phone calls.” Does this scenario sound all too familiar?
Keep reading to learn the key legal marketing trends that your law firm needs to be aware of.
What is Law Firm Marketing?
Law firm marketing is a way for legal firms to stay in front of their target audiences at all times. It’s delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. Law firm marketing gives lawyers the ability to position themselves not only in front of potential clients but also in front of potential new talent to be recruited, as well.
The best law firm marketing strategies no longer require throwing money at a billboard or advertising via a 30-second spot on local news stations. The times have changed, and the marketing efforts you’ll be competing with are much more effective than this.
Digital Marketing Strategy for Law Firms
If you still believe that billboards and newspaper ads are going to do the job for your law firm marketing plan, you are mistaken. Digital marketing is the number one way to reach potential clients. Lead generation for lawyers involves multiple channels and can be direct as well as indirect. Now, we understand that this is not the same landscape as it was when you were in law school, however:
- Your responsibilities for your clients have not changed.
- People are still in need of attorneys.
The only difference today is with how you attract them and how you communicate with them. Fast forward to the present, the average adult in the US now spends 5.9 hours a day consuming digital media.
Consider this: Who is more likely to be in need of your services? A person driving down the road and seeing a billboard, or a person searching for “Chicago medical malpractice attorneys?”
Your prospective clients are not going to the Yellow Pages and looking for advertisements. They’re pulling out their cell phones and doing a quick Google search.
Professional Legal Website
Not only should your website appear first, but it should act as your own personal on-call sales representative. In short, this means that your law firm website has the potential to be your number one marketing asset. All roads should point to your legal website, and it needs to be a professional tool for your firm.
In order to compete in the legal industry, your site should be:
Your legal clients will expect your site to load in 3 seconds or less. If it doesn’t, the user will explore other options. In the snap of a finger (or not), you lost that client just that fast, and in a market this saturated, you can’t afford to make that mistake. You need to take every step you can to keep the clicks you receive.
Your website should be user-friendly across the board. Over 63% of searches come from smartphones or tablets. If you think for one second that potential clients are going to try to navigate through a poorly constructed legal site on their phone when there are hundreds of other options available, you are sadly mistaken. They will click “back” and move on to the next, just as easily as if your website was slow. Moreover, Google won’t index your site if it’s not tailored for mobile as well. Sure, you’ll appear for law firm brand traffic, but you can kiss any new customers finding your legal site goodbye.
People form an opinion of you based on your law firm website. People can be judgemental, but hey, you work in the legal industry, so you’re all too aware of this. (Is this the oldest legal joke in the book, or what? We had to). In all seriousness, your site should flow well, and calls to action should be easily findable on both desktop and mobile devices.
The thing about a website is you can’t just order one off eBay. Websites are a series of moving parts and intricate layers. Optimizing a website for mobile isn’t a simple switch you are able to flip. Here, we offer more information on Web Design Best Practices.
We can make two assumptions when it comes to the average legal marketing strategy: Your law firm is local, and you provide a need-based service.
This brings us to our next point, SEO (search engine optimization) is going to, by far, give you the best return on investment than any billboard or TV commercial will.
Mobile First Website Design for Law Firms
Mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, have taken over the desktop computer as the kings of digital technology. Your customer is likely going to be searching for and communicating with you on a mobile device. More Google searches take place on mobile devices than computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.
Adapt your new digital marketing efforts to mobile devices. Understand that most of your target audience is going to be viewing your website on a small screen. So having a responsive website that looks perfect on a mobile device is critical. Make sure to size your automatic communications and design them for a mobile user.
When it comes to interacting with your clients, most of them want to communicate through their mobile devices.
And that doesn’t mean they want you to call them. Actually, the opposite is true.
Text messages, iMessages, emails, and Facebook messages are the preferred methods of communication. There have been over 4 billion downloads of messenger apps. Make sure that you can communicate with your clients via message on almost all digital channels.
Don’t forget to integrate digital communications into your internal communication as well.
There are many apps and programs available that can help you run your operations online. Apps, like Slack, help you and your employees communicate and share files in real time. It can be a lifesaver if you are in the courthouse and need a document from the office as soon as possible.
Mobile Stats for Law Firms
- 15% of American adults are smartphone-only internet users. (Pew Research 2023)
- On average, most people spend around five hours a day on their smartphones. (Luisa Zhou 2023)
- Americans check their smartphones an average of 96 times per day. (Zippia 2023)
- There are 6.8 billion smartphone users globally. (Oberlo 2023)
SEO for Attorneys
Law firm SEO is the practice of creating content and optimizing your website so that it shows up higher on organic search results.
The trends for people pulling out their phones and doing “near me” searches have exploded over the last five years.
According to Oberlo, “Google gets over 89.3 billion searches a month.” And 27% of the population is using voice search on mobile to find local products and services.
This means that gaining your new client today is going to start with a simple Google search, which means that SEO is among the top legal marketing trends today. A website filled with information, FAQS, a chat bar, and blog posts allows you to reach your clients at any time of day.
Take a look at this post on 20 Internet Marketing Ideas for Lawyers if you’re not sure where to start.
While you or your firm may be unfamiliar with the digital marketing landscape, it isn’t new. We can all agree that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising for lawyers is still very important; we can also not ignore the fact that 55% of all clicks go to the first three organic search results.
A few aspects of law firm SEO you should be focusing on include:
- Adding schema for attorneys
- Optimizing your landing pages for conversions (CTAs clearly visible)
- Placing relevant keywords in titles and H1s that you want to rank for
- Optimizing images with relevant keywords you want to rank for
- Content marketing for legal services
- Offsite SEO
Try this: open up a tab in incognito. Search for a legal service in the city you’re located in. If your firm doesn’t show up where you want it to, contact Digital Logic about professional SEO services – because law firm SEO isn’t something you just “do yourself.”
As we said before, people are going to judge most law firms based on their online reputation first. So that means your website, both visually and literally, should tell your story.
When was the last time you browsed your own website? Is it easy to navigate? Does it help sell you?
Content Marketing for Lawyers
We want you to have the biggest online presence possible. If that presence appears amateurish or robotic, you’re actually at a disadvantage. Ensure that your blog posts and website content are helpful to an audience seeking legal help or legal information.
When you are drafting your blog posts, automated emails, and other communication, make sure it sounds like an actual person wrote it. Personalize it in such a way that every recipient believes it’s been drafted and sent for them. Don’t focus too much on technology and changing the landscape. At the end of the day, what matters is that your client feels as though they matter to you.
When a person seeks out legal assistance, it’s not usually for something pleasant. During the course of a case, you’ll get to know some intimate details about your client’s personal life. Being available for your clients can grow your relationships and make you more successful.
If you post content to your website, make sure that the content is going to be informative and add value to a visitor’s experience. If it’s not, it doesn’t need to be there. One good thing to remember is that every interaction a client has with your digital marketing channel is like an interaction the client has with you. A client will test you when you meet face to face, and they are going to check the quality of your digital communications. So take the time and seize the opportunity to make a good impression through online advertising first.
If you have something published that would embarrass you to say or express, get rid of it. Don’t put anything online without your seal of approval.
At Digital Logic, we take a lot of time to understand our customer’s needs, goals, and business. We do this so that what we do on your behalf is in line with your marketing goals. If you haven’t given it much consideration yet, you can even follow this guide on how to write a marketing plan.
Local SEO for Lawyers
Your clients will be different from someone else’s. It depends on the type of cases you handle, your geographical location, and your area of expertise. Competitive firms are now testing and discovering which digital marketing efforts are going to bring in the most clients.
Local SEO for legal firms means getting your firm at the top of the search results for your local area. This information is pulled from your Google My Business Profile. Because of this, it is imperative that you claim your Google My Business Listing and optimize it for local SEO.
After this, you should make an effort to find relevant online directories and claim listings there as well.
PPC Advertising for Lawyers
If your goal is to raise brand awareness and pump some juice into your personalized marketing efforts, we recommend PPC for your law firm. Pay-Per-Click ads for lawyers are fairly simple: you pay when someone clicks on them. PPC ads will always have a prominent position in Google search results. When someone searches for things, the top few listings are typically Google AdWords advertisements.
On average, 68.7% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on the search engine results page.
This is according to FirstPage.com.
Remember earlier when we were talking about how oversaturated the legal market is? Well, this makes a huge impact on the cost of your paid advertising. One way around this is through law firm remarketing services.
Social Media for Lawyers
Social media is another great tool that many law firms can use to attract potential clients. But we’ll talk more about that later.
First, let’s look at a few social media usage numbers:
- 63% of consumers expect businesses to offer customer service through social media
- 69% of marketers use social media platforms to build brand awareness
- 54% of internet users turn to social media to research products or services
- 61% of those investing at least six hours per week in social media marketing saw improvements in search engine rankings.
Now, we don’t mean you have to dive in face first on this. It’s ok to start small and where you start depends on the type of practice you have, customer demographics, and style of marketing. The sites and platforms you use are going to change based on these factors.
Almost every business and law firm has a Facebook page, and that’s not a bad place to start. 67% of Facebook users log into their Facebook account daily, according to DataReportal.
A good rule is to look at the type of clients you handle and go where they go. While you figure out how everything works, you can try out different social media platforms and decide which ones are best for you. You may discover that your customers enjoy seeing you on Twitter. Or your LinkedIn page may get more hits than you anticipated.
Be flexible, and go where the customers go. Try not to get locked into one way of thinking and get your heart set on a specific social media platform or profile.
Having a social media presence humanizes you. It makes your audience feel as if you care about more things than just money. Use your best judgment on which social media sites fit your firm the best.
If you’re a personal injury or a divorce lawyer, you’ll want to be on Facebook, but if you’re more of a contract or B2B type lawyer, LinkedIn may be a better place for you. Having a social presence can boost your SEO; even though it may not directly influence your ranking, it does give you increased authority and broader content distribution.
Email Marketing for Lawyers
Savvy marketing leaders like us place law firm digital marketing into three categories: owned media, paid media, and earned media.
Studies have shown that email marketing campaigns have an excellent conversion rate. This means how many sent emails it will take to gain one client. Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. (Econsultancy).
By automating your email communications, you can communicate with your leads as well as current and past clients. Actively using this new legal marketing trend can allow you to reach out and have a presence while remaining “hands-off.”
Automated emails and other communications can also give clients a good feeling. Even after their case is over and you’re paid, they have still been taken care of by you. They are much more likely to use you or your firm in the future because you’ve kept in contact with them.
Grab Attention with Videos and Infographics
Video Marketing for Lawyers
You’ve built your website, optimized it for local SEO, and started to expand your presence online through our provided tactics. That’s awesome, but everyone else has done this too.
It’s a saturated market, remember? What are you doing to stand out?
People tend to choose lawyers that feel like a good fit for their legal challenges, lawyers that make them feel like family. How do you make your audience feel like they know you? With compelling videos as advertisements.
In today’s era, it’s hard enough to get someone to sit down and focus on one thing at a time. Asking someone to try and read through a ton of blog posts and advertisements is time-consuming and require a lot of mental focus. With a solid video strategy, your target audience will be able to process your message faster while feeling as if they are getting to know you at the same time.
82% of consumers would rather look at photo or video posts about a product than read about it (Wordstream). So a great way to capture a wider audience is through creating compelling content.
It’s not a bad idea to take full advantage of video marketing. Why? YouTube, now owned by Google, is arguably the second most popular search engine today. You can bet if you aren’t on YouTube, one of your competitors is.
These short videos aren’t hard to make, even if you have zero internal online video skills. Turn an article you wrote into a 2-3 min animated video, and post it as part of your digital ads. You’re much more likely to get someone to watch it than you are to get someone to read a story about it. Don’t be camera-shy!
Original Graphics for Lawyers
A great way to become a marketing powerhouse is to create original graphics and post them on social media. They need to be simple and to the point. According to Buffer, “Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than any other type.”
A great idea would be to create an infographic that shows your win rate. If you’re doing personal injury lawyer marketing, the average award you get for clients is interesting. If you need help with making photo and video posts, we can design graphics and logos that stand out and reflect your firm’s brand as well as your accomplishments.
Let us know if your law firm needs help setting up any of these actionable law firm marketing trends.
Personalized marketing efforts lead to better rankings, higher organic traffic, and more sales across almost all digital platforms. Learn more about our Law Firm Marketing services, then contact our team today to get started.
Everyone Buys In, Everyone Recruits
As a lawyer, you’re not going to wait outside of the jail or in the courthouse hoping to catch someone in need of an attorney. In today’s market, and with such an overabundance of new lawyers, it’s vital that you and your entire team commit to going digital. As we’ve pointed out, this can be scary to some. But once they begin to see results and their paychecks get bigger and bigger, it will make more sense.
In terms of business development, this seems to be the case: the few that complain the most about “not getting this” or “not having that” are called the have-nots.
The “have-nots” are the most reluctant to change and utilize effective legal marketing trends. So, the challenge here is getting everyone excited to take on the new legal marketing trends. Keep in mind that employees who refuse to jump on the team and embrace the new direction are not going to help your firm grow.
Create a system to request online reviews of your firm from your happy customers. This should be a daily or weekly activity and will help your online footprint. Here are a few statistics for those who are reluctant to switch over to digital marketing:
- 90% say that their purchase was influenced by online reviews
- 90% read online reviews before visiting a business
- 88% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
Once you begin to see the data shift, you will then be able to leverage your following as a recruitment marketing tool. The more followers you have, the more you begin to look like the local authority for legal counsel, which will, in turn, recruit better talent.