Sign Up for
Wendi's Thoughts

Global Guide to Divorce Available at your local bookstore,  amazon US, amazon UK
Jack Jack the Cat

Online Marketing Strategies for Legal Professionals

Online marketing has risen in prominence over the past 15 years and is now one of the most important marketing channels for any business, but with so many options; from search engines and email marketing to video and social media, it can be difficult to know where to start.  

Did you know that 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine to find legal information? This statistic highlights the importance of being found online, making online marketing an essential part of any law firms marketing strategy.  

Before you begin to plan and execute your online marketing strategy it is important to understand some of the core principals of marketing as these principles can be applied to whatever marketing strategy you choose.  

Core Marketing Principals 

Thought Leadership 

Thought leadership involves ensuring that any content you publish, whether that is a blog, social media post or email newsletter, revolves around establishing yourself as an industry expert and an authority in your professional field, which is of the highest importance given the competitiveness of the legal sector. 

An Integrated Approach 

This is key for any type of business, but is especially important when marketing a law firm. An integrated approach means ensuring that your company ideology and tone of voice is consistent across all your marketing activities. This may seem obvious but can often be difficult to maintain, especially across both online and offline marketing channels. If your message is consistent across everything you do, it’s much easier for the customer to identify with your brand.  

Be Intelligent and Strategic 

All marketing activities should have a clear focus and as a law firm you should understand your customers and competitive landscape before undertaking any online marketing. It is also beneficial to set specific goals for your marketing efforts to ensure you aren’t spending your marketing budget without a clear objective of what you are trying to achieve. 

Measurement 

Once you have a specific goal in mind it is essential to have a method of measuring that goal. Effective measurement of a campaign can help highlight the obstacles that may be preventing success. This is often the most difficult part, especially for law firms who are often always occupied with other business activities and various clients.     

Digital Marketing Strategies 

Now that you understand the core marketing principals, you can start to identify which online marketing channels to use, such as PPC, SEO, and social media. It’s important to understand that any marketing campaign is only as effective as the website you are pointing them to. 

Website Development 

Successful online marketing stems from a professional website as that is what potential clients will see if your marketing is successful. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as 75% of people judge a firm’s credibility based on their website design. 

User experience is key to delivering online enquiries so you really have to think about what type of customer you are trying to attract and what their journey should look like as they browse through the website. 

Keep your content useful and straight to the point and provide users with specific call-to-actions to encourage them to make an enquiry or ask a question. 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 3 seconds or under so make sure your website is quick to load and works consistently across all device types (desktop computers, mobile phones and tablet devices for example).  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 

Once you have a professional website, the next step is ensuring that your target audience can find it via search engines such as Google and Bing. Organic search engine traffic is usually the highest traffic source to a company’s website and tends to deliver the best Return on Investment (ROI) from any online marketing channel.  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website to appear in the search engines for relevant keywords that will drive traffic to your website. When SEO is done correctly, it will help you to achieve higher rankings, more website traffic and an increase in online enquiries. 

SEO is divided into two main parts – On Page SEO and Off Page SEO. On page SEO is the art of improving your website by optimising certain areas of the website code and most importantly, your content for relevant keywords you wish to rank for 

Off page SEO often refers to the process of increasing the number of websites that link to yours. Each link back to your website is seen as an endorsement in the eyes of the search engines and can help to rank your site much higher than your competitors. Quality is far more important than quantity, so rather than trying to obtain as many links as you can, try and earn industry related links from credible sources by producing and sharing great content that is worth linking to.  

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) 

Whilst it can take a little time to build up your website’s authority through SEO, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising can give you instant results and allows you to target a more specific audience. 

PPC advertising through platforms such as Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising works on an auction based system where businesses bid on different keywords in an attempt to gain the top ad position.  PPC, however, isn’t based on bid alone and it is important that your website content, campaign keywords and adverts are highly relevant to the user if you want to obtain the top ad spot. One of the biggest advantages of PPC over SEO is that you have more control over the type of user you are targeting and when/where they see your adverts.  

Everything from geographic location, gender, age and interests can be defined for your target audience, as well as what time of day your campaigns run and on which devices, meaning that you can have a highly targeted campaign focused around your ideal potential customer.  

If executed correctly, PPC advertising can help your firm gain a competitive edge and for the legal sector this can be a huge advantage given the competitive nature of this industry 

Social Media 

Social media marketing can be highly effective for 2 main reasons – creating brand awareness and engaging your target audience. A strong presence on social media can put your brand in front of the right people at the right time and allows you to build a voice which you can use to sell yourself to potential clients. 

As well as this, people are using social media more to consume content and engage with businesses that they may want to work with or buy from. Therefore, having a strong social media presence allows you to communicate with potential customers  directly and convert them into prospects. 

Summary 

Hopefully this article gives you an insight into the different types of online marketing channels and gets you thinking about which one is right for your business. There is no right or wrong answer in terms of which strategy to choose, as the decision has to be based on your overall business objectives and what you are hoping to achieve.  

As with all forms of online marketing, the process can often be a lengthy and technical one so if you don’t have the knowledge, expertise or the capacity to carry out these strategies within your firm, using an experienced agency can make the whole process far easier and much more successful.    

Author Bio
Peter Scully is the Marketing Director at Digital Chambers, an agency specialising in online marketing for the legal sector.   

Peter has worked in Digital Marketing for the past 15 years and has been helping law firms to grow since 2011. With a keen interest in UK law, Peter writes weekly legal blogs for clients and has built good relationships with a number of key legal publications.  

For more information or to arrange a free online marketing review, please contact Peter on 0800 689 4694 or email pete@digitalchambers.co.uk