2021 ultimate guide to law firm marketing

Helen Cox Marketing Consultant London Kent UKFor any law firm, marketing presents a major opportunity to increase your client base and retain your existing clients. So it’s important to understand the best approaches for your firms’ success. In this guide, I’ll break down some key marketing strategies for firms to consider and outline techniques and tactics you can use in your firm to generate more leads, land new clients, and engage with your existing ones. 

Part 1: Make your website work for you

Connecting with clients online has never been more important. And when done right, your website can be a useful tool to generate new leads. Potential clients are seeking out legal advice online every day and your website is the centre of the universe when it comes to capturing new leads online. I’ve pulled together a few elements to take into consideration in order to convert your website visitors into clients. 

Focus on quick and clear messaging 

Your website should communicate quickly about the area of law you practice and the services on offer. Visitors will often judge your website in less than 5 seconds, and chances are, if they can’t understand your firm’s offerings, they will leave and search elsewhere. Your website should also present information about your services clearly, avoiding the use of complicated legal jargon. One way to judge quick and clear messaging on your website is to ask a friend or someone outside your firm to look at your website and see if they can quickly grasp your firm’s offerings. 

Optimize your website for mobile

An estimated 70% of people will search for legal services via their mobile device. So it’s important to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile. Your website can easily fail the 5-second rule if it doesn’t load quickly on mobile. A couple of areas to consider when it comes to mobile optimization:

  • Make sure the website is loading quickly across a range of mobiles. Are the images working properly? Is all the text easily readable?
  • Is the menu working effectively? Can you navigate around the site through the menu?
  • Are there clear calls to action? Is your contact information easy to spot?

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly? Check out Google’s mobile friendly test.

Emphasize your authority and expertise

When looking to engage with a firm, potential clients will often search for one with a large amount of expertise. And a high degree of authority in their specialised area. It’s important to ensure you’re communicating about your services and expertise clearly. But to take this even further, add testimonials and reviews from past and existing clients to your site. Hearing an unbiased opinion of your firm from a client can go a long way to reach new clients. And increase the chances of them connecting with you. 

Part 2: Use SEO to give your website a boost 

To take your website up another notch, consider SEO (search engine optimization) marketing. Which involves deploying strategies, techniques, and tactics that can move your website up the rankings on search engines. In terms of web searching, the higher up on search results, the better the chances that a web searcher will land on your site. In order to capture those utilizing web research to find a law firm. There are a few things you can do to move your website up on search engine rankings. 

Invest some time in keyword research

To get SEO to work for your firm’s website, keywords are important. SEO relies on the use of keywords that a search engine picks up. So the best keywords that will work for your firm, are the ones your clients will type into a search engine to find you. Try to think about this in niche terms and avoid casting the net too wide. The more specialised your keywords are, the better the chances that you’ll bring your target clients in. With law firms, that will likely be your area of expertise as a firm and your location. 

Produce keyword rich content

Once you’ve identified your specialised keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into the content on your website. It’s important not to overdo this, as search engines may blacklist your site if they think it’s keyword stuffing. Add your keywords to the top, middle, and bottom of your page content and into titles and meta tags which you can find through your content management system, or discuss this with your web developers. 

Investing some time into well considered, top-notch content for your website has a range of benefits for your firm, and search engines will respond well to quality content. If you don’t already have a dedicated blog space on your website. Consider making one offering authoritative and useful advice to clients and add your keywords into your blog posts thoughtfully (more on content marketing in part 3).

Add links

Google’s algorithm will respond better to your website and thus rank you higher if your website includes links to external sites. And also backlinks, where other websites point to yours. This link-building represents a “vote of confidence” from one site to another, which can have some real benefits for your SEO. When considering which websites to link with, take a look within your immediate network and when relevant and appropriate speak to them about linking to your firm in blog posts, website pages, or social media posts. Another option is to offer to guest blog on reputable sites that offer legal advice. To really maximise your influence when it comes to guest blogging. Take some time to find websites that speak directly to your target audience. 

Part 3: Produce content that connects with clients 

Good content can do more for your law firm than just improve your SEO. It can also draw in new clients across a variety of platforms and maximise your reach. As a law firm, your content will get maximum impact if it informs, rather than promotes. When done right, your content can prove your credibility and win the trust of your target audience. Here are a few suggestions to craft content that connects with clients.

Focus on quality 

High quality content will build trust and authority in you and your firm and will find your readers coming back, and eventually turning to you when they engage with a firm on legal matters. One well thought out and well-crafted article will have a far bigger impact than a dozen poorly constructed short articles.  

To make sure you’re getting the most from your content, craft your content with the aim to help your audience solve problems and steer clear of hard sales pitches or outward promotions. Take some time to think about questions your clients are asking and build your content around this, providing valuable advice whilst making your readers keen to come back for more. 

Carefully consider your distribution

Once you have a well-written piece of content, there are many options on how to get this information in front of your clients. 

  • Email marketing: Keeping the communication going and reaching out directly to your clients is important and one way to use email marketing to do this is through an e-newsletter. Your newsletter can showcase new content, and can communicate on developments within your firm. A strong feature of email marketing is that most platforms provide valuable analytics so you can monitor engagement with clients and track which content and information are most effective, through click throughs. Read some dos and don’ts of email marketing on my blog here
  • Social media: The use of social media has immense benefits for law firms, and can be a useful way to establish thought leadership. Build your social media with content that demonstrates your expertise in your area of law and use that content to direct clients back to your site. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a few good options, but rather than spreading yourself thin across social media platforms, aim to choose one and build that one. Find some more tips on social media best practices here.
  • Vlogging: Remember, people love videos and for many, it’s their preferred way to gather new information. You can take your same written content and turn it into a video. This allows you to inject your personality into your messages, giving your followers a better sense of who you are. When considering your video content, pay attention to trending topics and interesting discussions in your field. Read more about vlogging here

Part 4: Pack a punch with PR

Harnessing the power of PR can give your firm a serious boost, and when done correctly, can help establish thought leadership in your area of law, increasing your credibility and recognition. Often PR activity serves as a perfect complement to marketing and can enhance the impact of your integrated marketing campaigns and lead generation efforts. When considering PR activity for your firm, I’ve pulled together a few recommendations that can get you going in your interactions with the media.

Establish your firm’s main objectives and messages

At the outset, it’s important to establish your firm’s main objectives when it comes to what you’re hoping to achieve from your PR activity. Also, ensure you have pinned down key messages you’d like to showcase around your firm. Evaluating PR opportunities against this criteria can help direct any discussions you have with journalists and support you in determining whether a particular media piece or outlet is right for your firm. 

Cultivate relationships with journalists

If your aim is to become a trusted media source, focus on cultivating relationships with journalists and support them with information on trending legal topics and stories of value. Journalists will appreciate information that’s presented as a story and often, PR is very much about storytelling, so aim to approach journalists with stories that are relevant to their outlet’s target readers. As with any other relationship, keep working on building that relationship and keep communication open to ensure that you’re their “go-to” source for legal commentary. 

Repurpose your PR efforts

A lot of time and energy goes into earned media and often, media mentions can easily be repurposed in other forms. Cite your media mentions on your firm’s website, blog, social media, and newsletters and promote sound-bites and quotes which resonate well with your followers. This tactic also has benefits for your SEO through link building and can work wonders for your website by increasing referral traffic.

This guide features just a few ideas to incorporate into your marketing and business development efforts for 2021. For more support on your 2021 strategy and planning, feel free to book a 30-minute discovery call with me. 

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