More than one-third of potential clients start their search for an attorney online, making it imperative for law firms to have a strong digital presence. Not surprising, nearly 65% of law firms use a majority of their marketing budget to meet the current demand for robust online advertising.
That's a significant investment, and law firms must ensure they are using the funds to purchase the right digital solutions that will help them achieve marketing success and provide a high return on investment (ROI).
If you’re looking to meaningfully expand your digital footprint and attract more qualified clients, consider incorporating the following six online tools into your marketing strategy.
1. A professional website
For legal services, prospective clients are more likely to first research a company online before calling or stopping by in person. In fact, about 70 percent of law firms report having generated new cases directly through their website. You can’t overlook the importance of having a professional, user-friendly website that clearly communicates your brand. The top elements of an effective law firm website include:
- Easy navigation
- Responsive display
- Quality content
- Clean, straightforward design
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) and lead-capture forms
2. Digital advertising
In order to grow your legal business, you need to acquire new clients. The internet and social media have changed how that process takes place. Of course, to get started with digital advertising, you first must identify your target audience, define your budget and choose the proper channels. From there, you can explore a variety of modern digital advertising products to help you capture new opportunities within your target audience. These can include retargeting; keyword and behavioral targeting; mobile conquesting; digital promotions; and display advertising.
3. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a buzzword in the marketing world over the past decade, and for good reason. It refers to the process of getting traffic to your website from "organic" or unpaid search results produced by search engines like Google or Bing. The world of SEO is frequently evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the current best practices and tactics. In general, though, you can improve your SEO strategy and connect with potential clients by:
- Developing a mobile-friendly site
- Identifying the keywords you want your website to rank for
- Using site content to leverage your keyword strategy
- Claiming local listings
- Using paid search
With 33% of legal consumers starting their search for a local law firm through online resources, you should ensure your SEO and reputation management is up to par.
4. Online reviews
Another way prospective clients initially evaluate a law firm is through online reviews. According to a recent study, nearly 84 percent of survey respondents shared that they would only hire a law firm that had a rating of four stars or higher. There are plenty of sites where people can leave reviews, including Yelp, Google, Lawyers.com, Avvo, and even your firm’s Facebook page.
You should be monitoring these reviews using tools such as Google My Business to capitalize on the ratings current and previous clients have given your firm. Obviously, you can’t prevent negative reviews, but you can use them to cultivate a positive online reputation by respectfully responding to them and addressing the problem.
5. Social media
Social media has become an important marketing tool, even for law firms. In fact, according to Capterra, prospective law firm clients typically spend 16 minutes per hour on various social media platforms. Additionally, a survey of more than 100 law firms found that more than half of them increased the number of clients by enhancing social media engagement. However, to optimize social media as a marketing tool, law firms need to make sure they are using it appropriately and effectively.
Use Facebook to share valuable or educational information for potential law firm clients or to highlight the ways you are contributing to the community. LinkedIn also has become a powerful way for law firms to reach clients, as approximately 45% of all traffic to law firm websites is driven by LinkedIn.
A report from Cisco predicts that by 2022, video will comprise up to 82% of all consumer internet traffic, illuminating its value as a digital marketing tool. Online users can consume video more quickly than written content, and video sharing has become increasingly easy across digital platforms. In terms of the legal industry, video marketing can increase a firm’s organic search traffic by 157%, according to Hit Search Limited.
To make video marketing effective, center your video around a story, infuse emotion and make sure it has value to the viewer. Additionally, keep in mind that most viewers will click away within the first 10 seconds, so make them count.
Improve Law Firm Marketing with Digital Solutions
Each day, people spend hours online for both personal and professional reasons, and law firms can use these digital tools to meet prospective clients where they are. With the proper digital solutions, tools and products, such as those provided by Zimmer, you can enhance your online presence to boost your marketing success.