Setting and following through on a legal digital marketing strategy does not differ radically from other efforts you will undertake to grow your law firm’s business. You do, however, need to understand that digital marketing for lawyers is not the same as putting together an advertising initiative.
First, you are not paying for TV time or billboard space. When you do digital marketing, you are investing in and improving the ways you connect with potential clients. Added to that, you need to rely on technology and tech services to a greater degree than you are accustomed to.
Legal firm cannot detail every step toward developing and carrying out a successful legal digital marketing strategy here but follow us as we outline four key principles.
Start by Setting Measurable Goals
This step is simple. Your primary goals should be
• Increase traffic to your law firm’s website.
• Increase the number of visitors to your website who request consultations and decide to hire one of your lawyers.
Both goals are easily measured. Additionally, the actions you must take to achieve these overarching goals will constitute many of the milestones you must reach as you progress through your written digital marketing plan.
The very beginning of the planning process is also the time to establish realistic timelines for when you want to accomplish certain tasks. For instance, since it can take a full year to redesign and relaunch your website, setting a six-month deadline for doubling the number of unique monthly website visitors is probably unreasonable. Your existing site will not immediately attract more clicks just because you type out “more clicks.”
Make Your Website the Focus of Every Part of Your Plan
Everything you do in the name of digital marketing for law firm should be done with the intent of attracting visitors to your website, keeping visitors on your website, and convincing them to pick up the phone or click into your online contact form. Ways to do these things include, but are not limited to,
• Creating and regularly adding high-quality web content in the form of practice descriptions, explainer articles, videos, and blog posts that showcase your experience and answer questions potential clients will have;
• Offering a quality user experience in the form of readable text, intuitive navigation, and a pleasing color scheme; and
• Displaying impossible-to-miss contact information.
Designate a Digital Marketing Lead and Commit Resources
Make legal digital marketing a priority. Even more importantly, make legal digital marketing one senior staff member or attorney’s priority.
Posting new content, tracking and analyzing visitor/client data, and keeping the website up and running 24/7 takes time and attention that people working in a law firm can just as easily spend serving existing clients. Do not let digital marketing tasks become the things that get done when there is nothing else to do.
In the same vein, add digital marketing lines to your budget spreadsheets. Some tasks will go under operations (e.g., content management, data analytics) and others will count as capital expenses (e.g., server upgrades, website redesign). You do not need to break the bank, but you must make sure funds are available when you need them.
Do Not Go It Alone
Yes, legal digital market involves computers and coding and social media and copy writing and a whole slew of other activities that fall well outside the job descriptions for lawyers, paralegals, and clerks. At a minimum, make hiring an experienced, collaborative, and full-service website development firm one of the earliest steps in your digital marketing strategy. It will benefit you even more to partner with a website development firm that offers marketing consulting services.