Law firms rely on attracting a steady stream of clients. For decades, marketing tactics focused on attracting new clients by advertising legal services on billboards, at bus stops, or in the yellow pages. With the advent of the internet, digital marketing took off and continues to be the primary strategy for engaging potential clients. However, just because your law firm set up a website a few years ago does not mean people searching for legal services in your area are coming across your site. Digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; instead, it’s an ongoing and evolving process. Even if your law firm has set up a client-centered website, you may wonder why you’re not receiving the high volume of website traffic you expected. Below are some of the most common digital marketing mistakes to avoid so your law firm can continue to grow and attract new clients in the near future.
Mistake #1: An Old or Outdated Website
When you examine your digital marketing strategy, the first thing to look at is your current website. There are several elements to consider when evaluating your website, ranging from the loading speed to the visual impact of the layout. Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects to assess when determining how to maximize the impact and visibility of your law firm’s website.
How Long It Takes to Load
With the world at our fingertips, it’s more important than ever for your website to load as quickly as possible. People looking for information on a legal topic or who are visiting your website for the first time expect it to load quickly (ideally, within three seconds or less). If it takes longer than three seconds for the website to load, the searcher will likely abandon this endeavor in favor of a faster-loading site. If you discover that your website is taking too long to load, look for outdated or broken links and oversized images (these often take longer to load) and replace them with better-loading links and images.
Making sure your law firm’s website is optimized for mobile phones is essential for two reasons. First, more and more people are using their phones and tablets to search for information and services. If your site fails to display correctly on these devices, visitors will probably click away from the site in favor of a mobile-friendly website. Additionally, search engine algorithms like Google favor websites that make mobile-friendliness a priority, meaning that law firms with mobile-first websites are more likely to appear higher among the search results pages than the websites of law firms that do not.
Reliable and High-Quality Information
The legal landscape is constantly shifting and evolving, which means that your website should accommodate these updates as they occur. The last thing you want is for someone to come across your website and view outdated or incorrect information. Even if your field of practice has not experienced an amended or updated law, it’s still important to revisit and refresh your website’s content. Search engine algorithms reward websites for regular updates, as this practice signals to the algorithm that you are committed to providing the latest and most accurate information available.
A Clean and Enjoyable User Experience
When someone in your community is looking for information on a legal topic, they prefer short and accurate content to long-winded, dense paragraphs full of technical jargon. It’s essential to remember that your law firm’s content is for your clients, not for other attorneys. Build your website with your clients in mind—what do they want to hear? What interests them? Websites that overwhelm visitors with intimidating blocks of text engage far fewer clients than those that present straightforward and trustworthy content in a supportive and reassuring way.
Mistake #2: Neglecting Client Reviews
Setting up and maintaining a client-centered website is only one part of a successful digital marketing strategy. Search engine algorithms rely heavily on user ratings and reviews to determine search rankings. In general, law firms with many client reviews rank higher than those with only a handful of reviews. Make it a habit to check your firm’s online reviews, and try to respond to every review you receive. Taking the time to acknowledge positive reviews shows your clients (and the search engine algorithm) that you are genuinely invested in serving your clients. It’s also important to remember that a negative review is not the end of the world—in most cases, the reviewer just wants to feel heard. First, respond with a heartfelt statement acknowledging their post and try contacting the poster privately to discuss their concerns. Who knows—the act of reaching out may prompt the reviewer to remove the negative post after talking through their concerns with you.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Social Media
There’s no denying that social media marketing is a powerful tool. With the average person spending over two hours a day on social media, it’s essential to meet potential clients where they already are. Consider developing a social media account for your law firm, sharing posts about topics your clients are interested in (i.e., how to start an estate plan, tips for a drama-free divorce, etc.). As you craft your social media strategy, it’s important to understand your target audience. For example, if your firm is looking to engage an older demographic, consider focusing your efforts on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn (both of which are popular platforms among older professionals). Also, as more social media platforms embrace video content, consider incorporating short-form clips in your legal marketing efforts. Think of your social media efforts as a virtual extension of encountering your clients out in the community. Make a lasting and favorable impression on them by exuding warmth, authority, and authenticity. Even though they may not have a legal issue at the moment, they will likely remember your posts in the future when the need arises.
If you’re ready to explore digital marketing strategies for law firms that actually work, give LegalRev a call today at (800) 893-2590 to get started.