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Want to stand out from your competitors in a crowded legal market? This post has five tips for making sure your law firm makes a strong impression in the digital space.
In the traditional business sense, the legal market is crowded. Outside of the most niche practice areas, clients often have numerous lawyers to choose from when seeking assistance for their legal needs.
At the same time, the way people look for lawyers has shifted dramatically in the past two to three decades. Legal marketing has become increasingly digital and law firms are working to create a strong online presence.
In light of these realities, it is more important than ever that your law firm finds a way to stand out from competitors, especially in the digital space. If you are looking for a few best practices for enhancing your presence in the digital marketing world, we have suggestions for you! Keep reading to learn more.
1. Invest in a Professional Website
A professional website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Today, your clients expect your firm to have a strong website. This is often one of the first places they will go to get a better understanding of your practice and whether your law firm is the right fit for their legal matter. Likewise, they will often visit your website to look for a way to contact your law firm, whether by phone, email, or contact form. Thus, a professional website is key!
What does it mean to have a professional website? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Speedy Load Times: Users expect nearly instant loading in the modern age. Be sure your website is fast on both desktop and mobile.
- Responsive Designs: As the numbers for mobile web traffic continue to increase, you need to be sure your law firm website is responsive and adapts to devices with various screen sizes.
- User-Friendly Structure: People need to be able to readily navigate your website and locate the information they need about your law firm.
- Appealing Designs: Be sure your website makes a strong first impression with nice visuals that fit within your brand identity. Remember, consistency is key to effective branding.
- Security Standards: Following established security protocols and best practices builds trust with users by demonstrating your site is safe. It also helps protect your law firm from hackers and can promote better rankings in Google and other search engine results.
- Web Accessibility: People living with disabilities often need legal representation too. Web accessibility involves prioritizing best practices that help people of all abilities access your website, while also remaining compliant with key federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Getting this professional website does not have to break the bank. For instance, Justia Elevate websites start at only $99/month and follow all best practices for the legal industry.
2. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
Having a strong website may be the first step in ensuring you stand out online but it is not the last! You need to help potential clients find your website (and your firm) too. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to be found.
You want to encourage visibility on the search engine results pages (SERP) by ensuring your website follows SEO best practices. What should you do?
- Prioritize Content: In the SEO world, content is key. High-quality, original law firm website content that is relevant to your targeted searchers is the best way to enhance your visibility on the Google SERPs. The same holds true for other search engines too.
- Utilize Strong Technical SEO: You also want to ensure your website follows technical SEO best practices and is well-optimized for Google’s crawlers to accurately analyze and categorize your content. A strong technical foundation also helps your website perform better in key metrics, such as Google’s Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed Insights.
A good legal website provider will ensure the backend architecture for your site remains updated. As you continue expanding your site, remember to maintain your user-friendly website structure, as this is good for both SEO and user experiences.
- Implement Schema Markup: Schema markup, sometimes referred to as structured data, helps describe your website content and structure in a way that is more readily understood by the leading search engine algorithms. In turn, this helps search engines better categorize your content and serve it to the right searchers for relevant queries.
3. Dominate Local Search
People are often looking for local lawyers to assist them with their legal matters. Dominating local search results with effective local SEO ensures your law firm stays in front of these users. You can begin optimizing your local search strategy by claiming and completing your Google Business Profile.
Then, focus on claiming and completing your profiles in local directories, business directories, and lawyer directories. Some services, such as BrightLocal, Moz Local, WhiteSpark, and Yext, help you streamline this process of claiming profiles across the web. As a bonus, the editorial links you receive in these directories may help boost both your local SEO strategy and overall SEO efforts.
While you work on completing your various profiles, it is important to remember NAP (name, address, and phone number) consistency. In short, you need to ensure your law firm name, address, and phone number all remain accurate and consistent across various platforms: from your website to your directory profiles, Google Business Profile, social media, and beyond!
Remember, effective local optimization can help your law firm stay in front of potential clients and further increase your overall online visibility. For example, with a strong presence on Google Business Profile and strategic local optimization, your law firm may appear both in the Google Local Pack (pictured at the start of this section) and in the traditional organic search results.
4. Implement Reputation Management Tactics
You will want to focus on reputation management to ensure your clients and potential clients see your law firm in its best light. In other words, you are working to control the messages they see and the impression they get about your firm.
Effective reputation management includes implementing tactics to better control your online namespace, such as PPC branding campaigns for law firms. It also means being proactive in requesting ratings and reviews on various platforms to help people see the positive feedback your law firm receives from your clients.
The efforts you undertake in other areas to help your law firm stand out, such as creating your Google Business Profile and claiming your profiles in lawyer and business directories, also help you manage your reputation and gain more control over your law firm’s namespace online.
When your profiles in leading directories are well-optimized, they are more likely to rank well in Google Search results and help you better control your namespace in organic rankings. As you fill out these profiles, be sure you maintain NAP consistency and write unique biographies to avoid duplicating content.
We offer an in-depth discussion on reputation management tactics, including optimizing directory profiles and social media for Google organic search results for your name in this Justia Onward post. You can also refer to our resources on tactics for social media reputation management.
5. Stay Active on Social Media
Standing out in the online space does not stop with Google Search results or your law firm website. You also want to be a part of the conversation happening online and interact with your clients in the spaces they already spend significant time.
Social media can help you do just that! Through social media, you can promote authenticity in your brand by giving insights into your law firm’s daily activities. You can also share your successes and introduce people to your team. You can engage in conversation on intriguing topics and even promote lawyers in your law firm as thought leaders!
The best part about social media is often that it offers opportunities for engagement and marketing for free! Your law firm does not need to invest significant financial resources into taking advantage of social media marketing.
However, you can further your social media marketing strategy and promote top-of-mind brand awareness with potential clients by taking advantage of paid social media advertising, such as Facebook remarketing ads.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
You want your law firm to be more memorable than your competitors when potential clients are seeking legal representation. With these five tips, you will be well on your way to ensuring your law firm stands out from the rest online!Related Posts
- Google Business Profile Algorithm and Ranking in the Google Local Pack (3-Pack)
- How To Claim and Complete Your Free Justia Lawyer Directory Profile
- Using Google Analytics to Understand and Improve Your Law Firm SEO