A Mini Marketing Strategy Guide for Growing a Lawyer’s Virtual Practice
The COVID-19 outbreak has been negatively affecting our economy for more than a year now and the legal industry has remained relatively unscathed. Why is that? This is due to the fact that the need for diverse legal services has remained strong. However, this does not mean that there hasn’t been a change with respect to how legal practices operate during the pandemic. Due to health and safety protocols and new consumer virtual demands there has been a need for lawyers to shift from the traditional person-to-person legal services to a virtual one. This means utilizing tools and technologies that may be a little foreign in the legal industry but are widely adopted in other sectors.
The pandemic has shown us that we can get our point across just as efficiently online as in person. This applies to lawyers and their (prospective) clients. But why stop there? Virtual meetings are just the tip of the iceberg of tech tools at a lawyer’s disposal.
A Quick Start for Lawyers Doubling Down on Digital
The concept of online/virtual marketing techniques is not new, but has been untapped by many lawyers. Since a vast majority of our population is working online due to the pandemic, it is crucial that you elevate your firm’s online presence. If you haven’t already, this is the perfect opportunity to start sharpening your marketing strategies in the online space.
Diving into a marketing plan can be scary. But as a start, remember to carefully choose marketing tactics that align with your firm’s goals and resources. Here are 3 options you can explore.
Be Easy to Find and Easy to Engage With
Click Click Click. The find-it-yourself/do-it-yourself culture is here to stay. Many people go online and do their own research on potential lawyers and law firms. Not having a strong online presence will be detrimental to your practice. In simpler terms, your firm’s website needs to be the top result when it comes to querying search engines. Increasing your firm’s visibility online will lead to faster client acquisition.
Where to start?
When you meet a client, you are looking to make a lasting, professional first impression; now that clients are soliciting your services online, your website needs to do the same legwork in terms of professionalism. Having your website as user-friendly as possible is key. Ensure that your website checks off the following:
- • Accessible and easy to navigate: When a potential client is on your page it should be clear where they need to click to find the information they seek. Make sure the site is not cluttered with pop-ups/ads or convoluted layouts. Simplicity is key.
- • Mobile friendly: Ensure that the website loads quickly and renders correctly across multiple screen sizes. A major pitfall for those foraying into establishing a web presence is concentrating on perfecting a desktop website whilst passing over other formats. All information should be available whether it be desktop, mobile or tablet – it’s hard to predict which platform the client will use so make sure you have all your bases covered!
- • Clear content: When a client is on your page you need legal information that will entice them. For example, FAQs and articles (aligning with your law firm’s brand). This will help with user engagement. Additionally, the content on your site should be keyword-optimized such that search engines can pick them up.
All of these aspects will determine if a user is able to find the information they need with minimal difficulty.
Don’t get it wrong, having high-quality content is very important, but it’ll all go to waste if there is a lack of website traffic and content engagement. Having a robust website is a crucial starting point.
Keeping it Local: Search Engine Optimization
While it is important that your law firm appears in general searches, it is also important that your local SEO is strong (especially smaller firms) since search engines nowadays are optimized by location. In order to do that, you need to make sure you are ranking high in local search results. Here are some tips:
- • NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) needs to be consistent. Meaning, this information should be formatted the same wherever you publish it (ex. Facebook, Instagram, your website, etc.) For example, don’t use “Dr.” in your address on some platforms and “Drive” on others. This miniscule detail can affect your rank in search engines results. .
- • Google My Business page. It is a good idea to set one up for your firm! Creating a Google My Business page will further bolster your firm in appearing in local search results. Make sure to include all contact information and website details
- • Keywords. To move up your ranking in local searches, insert local keywords in your website for example, “Toronto Family Lawyer”. It may sound obvious, but these are the exact keywords that a client would type into a search engine.
- • Positive Client Reviews. The public will, more likely than not, read online reviews before purchasing a product. They will also do the same when soliciting legal services. Having positive online reviews helps boost your firm’s reputation in addition to establishing credibility. Having no reviews is just as bad as having negative reviews. These reviews can be left on Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google My Business page, basically anywhere online. Always encourage clients to leave a review.
- • Backlincks. This would be the most difficult to attain. You want websites of authority to link your site in their content. This is valuable for SEO because another site is giving you their approval or in other words their vote of confidence for your content/firm.
Increased website traffic will catapult your firm forward in terms of rank in search results. Google is very transparent with what you can do to improve your technical SEO. Familiarize yourself with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.
Paid Online Search Advertising
This tactic may not be feasible for many firms, but definitely worth looking into. The most popular form of paid advertising is PPC Advertising (pay-per-click). This is an online advertising model that many implement to push views to their website. You pay per click. An effective tool is Google, use the Keyword Planner to attain data about particular keywords.
It goes without argument that social media is a strong tool across many industries, legal included. Screen time is at an all time high due to apps such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter etc. so why not establish a presence to capture the attention of these potential clients?
Through social media marketing, you can reach a large audience with minimal investment. It also allows for communication and engagement with potential clients and a chance to expand your network. This is your firm’s chance to be relatable and personable. LinkedIn is a great platform to showcase your firm by posting legal articles that are current and trending in the news in addition to posting blog posts on legal opinion. This will pique the interest of potential clients (stay relevant to the type of law you practise). Encourage people to comment on your posts by asking for their opinion. Show your potential clients that your firm cares. In other words build community and strengthen your brand.
These are only three of the many marketing strategies for lawyers. We have only scratched the surface of endless possibilities. Even though COVID-19 has been tough for our legal world, it has helped us reach new heights with working virtually and has pushed lawyers to explore online marketing.
Dates: February 2-4, March 16, April 13, May 11 and July 13-14, 2021
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Date: Sept. 28 – Oct. 1, 2021
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