The law firm marketing space is quickly becoming crowded indeed, as more and more law firms are becoming aware of the return potential of marketing for lawyers done well. While that might not be news to you, there is every indication that this will become more clear and pronounced in 2017.
In other words, 2017 will be the year to ask, “Am I keeping up?” more than ever.
After all, it’s no longer enough to have a website, to be active on social media, or even to write loads of content.
Lots of firms are doing these things now, upping the ante and forcing each other to take their marketing more seriously – at least, if they plan on it helping them build their brands, grow their firms, and get real results.
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How Can I Advertise A Law Firm?
So should you hire a lead generator?
Regardless of the potential quality and ethical problems, many lawyers do hire lead-generation firms, and it seems to work quite well for many of those that do. I think it is far better to build your own referral network, which doesn’t (shouldn’t) come with referral fees. Relying on lead generation to grow your practice means committing to paying for leads. And while you may build a small referral base from former clients, it won’t be anything like what you can build if you actually focus on getting out and networking.
But let’s not ignore the potential quality and ethical problems. Quality you can overcome. If you can make enough money from the quality potential clients who filter through, you can probably hire a lawyer to do your screening for you, and still turn a profit. If you are solo, you would need to choose your lead generator carefully.
And those ethical problems are a concern. To help avoid them, stick to more well-established lead-generation companies, and do some research into their practices to make sure you are comfortable putting your stamp of approval on their methods.
Even if you do decide to engage a lead generator, do not ignore networking. Paying for leads does not build a book of business. Only good lawyering, a good reputation, and lots of networking can do that.
Ads and marketing copy must comply with ethical rules, whether they are online or offline. Make sure they are accurate, and that they do not set unrealistic expectations or make inaccurate claims about your services. Make sure they don’t suggest things like “specialties.”
What sort of linkbuilding does the company engage in? If its strategy includes blog posts or comments, ask to see some examples. Does it write posts about vaccuum cleaners just to embed a keyword-rich link about lawyers? Does it post on spammy websites? Does the company buy text links?
Link spamming and link buying are on search engines’ no-fly list. Even if they result in short-term SEO gains, they result in long-term damage to the sites on both ends of the scheme — including yours, if it is involved. Plus, getting involved with spammy marketers makes you look like a douchebag.
What Is Personal Injury Attorney Marketing?
If you aren't sure how to get started with local search engine optimization, then it's a good idea to be sure you understand the five most important ingredients of your ongoing campaign:
- Location keywords. As you probably already know, Google and the other search engines "read" the text and other content on your business website to determine where it is and what it's all about. That means you need to have location keywords – like your city, state, or neighborhood – sprinkled throughout different pages on your website. Then, the search engines can take these in conjunction with other information and match you up to buyers in your area more easily.
- Dedicated geographical pages. Although adding a few keywords to your site is a good start, you'll want to go much farther, especially if you have multiple locations. In that case, it makes sense to set up dedicated webpages for each of your stores or addresses. That way, Google and the other search engines can see that you operate in more than one area, and can send traffic from each specific city or neighborhood to your site.
- Local reviews. More and more, search engines are indexing information from local review sites (like Yelp) and incorporating them into search results. That means the reviews customers leave for you could help you to be more visible to new buyers. And, it goes without saying that these reviews can do wonders for your credibility and reputation, as well, meaning they can have a strong impact on your sales. So, make sure you're registered with popular local review sites and encourage satisfied customers to spread the word.
- Local inbound links. In the same way that local keywords make your business easier for search engines to identify, so too do links from other local businesses (particularly if they have location keywords in them). For example, having a reviewer link to your site as the "best dui attorney in 'your city'" makes it more likely that searchers who enter that exact string will find you. And, it helps Google and the other engines to identify where you are located.
- Mobile compatibility. Because a lot of customers look for lawyers on smartphones and tablets, especially while they are on the go, having mobile compatibility in your firm's website should be a no-brainer. Plus, Google prefers mobile-friendly sites because there is less chance that someone they send there will be disappointed with your formatting. The bottom line? Make sure your site can be viewed on mobile devices if you want local search traffic.
Who Does Marketing For Law Firms?
The legal markets in the metro area are highly competitive. There are countless lawyers and law firms in and around, and many of them spend a great deal of money on legal advertising. To penetrate the markets, you need to understand the local communities and what drives legal consumers to take action. You also need an aggressive and innovative approach to uncover hidden opportunities in the marketplace that can help accomplish your growth goals.
FindLaw brings decades of legal industry experience and extensive local expertise to the table. Our market-leading integrated legal web marketing solutions are flexible and can be customized to fit the needs of attorneys and law firms of all types and sizes. Our premium attorney websites project a professional image with quality content developed by industry experts. Our highly-searched Legal Directory has the potential to bring instant targeted leads to your firm. Our cutting-edge blogging and social media platform delivers a steady stream of content to your target market – positioning you as a thought leader in your area(s) of practice. These and other integrated solutions work synergistically to help Chicagoland law firms effectively compete within the local marketplace.
At FindLaw, we have local specialists that understand the ins and outs of the legal markets. Our specialists know which of FindLaw’s top integrated legal marketing solutions work best to attract more clients to area law firms. We live in the area and provide personalized service to each client. We conduct in-person meetings on a regular basis and are always available whenever you have questions or concerns. FindLaw has partnered with nearly 20,000 legal professionals throughout the nation. Attorney web marketing is all we do, and we can create a customized solution that helps accomplish your goals and maximize ROI.