Small and mid-sized law firms rely on a steady stream of incoming clients. The key question guiding your firm’s digital marketing strategy is usually, “How do I drive more traffic to my website and get site visitors to contact us?” Unfortunately, most law practices approach marketing from a fractured and haphazard perspective, bringing in only mediocre results. If you are looking to implement a new digital marketing strategy in the new year, it’s time to consider the advantages of client journey mapping. While this term may sound vague and time-consuming, it offers a comprehensive and holistic approach to understanding the client journey and providing site visitors with a seamless, client-focused experience. Potential clients will appreciate your focus on the user experience, making it more likely that they will follow through and contact you for a consultation. This post will outline the benefits of client journey mapping and offer practical steps for integrating this approach into your law firm’s overall marketing strategy.
What is Client Journey Mapping?
Many firms approach digital marketing as a series of discrete strategies aimed at boosting client engagement and attracting new clients. For instance, a law practice may want to focus on racking up more online reviews from clients, so they would identify and implement a specific strategy or campaign to achieve this goal. Although focusing on individual goals and strategies can provide your firm with valuable insights and even help you receive a greater volume of inbound traffic, the efforts can feel scattered and disjointed. Client journey mapping offers a more unified approach to digital marketing, as it explores all strategies from the perspective of a website visitor or potential client. By examining how the typical visitor would experience each interaction with your law practice, you can identify ways to make their time with you smoother and more responsive to their needs. Taking the time to see what each step of the onboarding process with your firm looks like from the client’s perspective, from that first visit to your website to building an ongoing relationship with the client, will make your digital marketing strategy more comprehensive and effective.
From Discovery to Decision
Most client-centered marketing strategies recognize five phases of the client journey: Discovery, consideration, decision, engagement, and loyalty. The first three phases refer to an individual’s initial impressions of the law firm and address what prompts a potential client to hire the attorney instead of working with another firm in the area offering similar legal services. The last two phases, engagement and loyalty, help law practices identify strategies for building lasting and ongoing relationships with their clients. Let’s look at what occurs during each step of the client journey and some strategies to make the entire process as smooth as possible for potential clients.
Discovering Your Law Firm
To understand how clients find your law firm, consider how your SEO efforts have shaped your rankings among the search results. Most people who end up needing legal services start their search with a question about a practice area, so make sure your website anticipates and addresses common client questions and concerns. Creating content that’s responsive to what your clients typically search for makes your website more visible to search engine ranking algorithms, as they interpret your website as relevant to common search queries. It’s important to include your location in headings and subheadings to ensure that the search engine algorithms display your website to searchers in your community. You may also want to consider launching an advertising campaign for a specific amount of time to gain traction and become more visible to those in need of legal assistance in your area.
Considering Whether to Enlist Your Services
Once a potential client lands on your website, you want to take steps to increase the likelihood of them using an online scheduling tool or calling you to make an appointment. Evaluate your current website from the client’s perspective. Does the site load quickly (ideally, under three seconds) on desktop and mobile devices? Does the content display correctly? Is the layout calming and easy to read? Are the navigation tools visible and intuitive? A clean, well-organized website containing content appealing to common client concerns will make site visitors more likely to move forward with your firm.
Deciding to Work With You
Next, take a look at how a potential client can contact you. Firms that offer online scheduling tools often find that potential clients are grateful for this option, as it allows them to make an appointment at their convenience. More introverted clients appreciate that they can schedule an appointment without the hassle of making a phone call. This is also a great opportunity to examine how you communicate with potential clients—how can you present your law practice as trustworthy and responsive to your clients?
Forging Ongoing Relationships With Clients
The client journey does not end once you’ve helped someone resolve their legal matter. Even if the client does not need your assistance in the future, they can write you an online review that can attract more clients to your firm. Consider having a social media presence or emailing a newsletter to your current and former clients to remind them of your services. The next time a legal issue arises for a former client or someone they know, they will look to you for help.
Want to learn more about client-centered marketing strategies? Give LegalRev a call today at (800) 893-2590 to discuss your law firm’s marketing goals.