By: Jason Hennessey, Founder & CEO, Hennessey Digital
Looking to grow your law firm in 2021?
While the legal industry presents some fierce competition, you have many strategies at your disposal to put your firm on the map.
When it comes to generating leads, traffic, clients, and revenue for your firm, there’s nothing better than Law Firm SEO strategies and effective digital marketing.
Here are 21 tactics you can use to grow your firm in 2021 and beyond.
Local SEO is one of the most effective strategies law firms can use to rank higher in Google and generate more organic traffic. This is because potential clients are using Google to search for lawyers in their local area. It’s just a matter of getting your firm to show up in the search results.
By optimizing your law firm website for the key terms your audience is searching for, you increase your visibility in Google search and drive more users to your website.
Local SEO for law firms involves:
Legal content doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it shouldn’t be! Your audience is searching for valuable information to help them navigate the legal process. This is your opportunity to help them out… and generate some leads in the process.
Begin your content strategy with keyword research to identify the key terms your audience is using to find law firms like yours. This can also involve “long-tail” keywords that relate to specific questions users have about the legal process.
Next, create a content schedule that includes publishing consistently on your blog, optimizing your blog content for Google, and distributing your content across channels. Email marketing, video marketing, and social media marketing are essential for law firms looking to reach users across a variety of platforms.
It’s a common saying in marketing that “The brand that knows the customer best wins”, and this is especially true for law firms. With so much competition, it’s important to know what makes your audience tick so you can market to them with the right content at the right time.
Use surveys and outreach to ask past clients or your social media followers what they are searching for when looking for a lawyer like you. Here are some other helpful questions to ask to give you insight into what your audience is looking for:
Your audience’s answers to these questions will help you create content suited to their interests and run campaigns that speak directly to the issues your potential clients are facing.
Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT) are three factors that Google uses to assess the authenticity of a website, brand, or business. Since Google wants to show the best possible search results to users, it places a lot of emphasis on trust, accuracy, and authenticity.
There are many ways to improve your website’s EAT. For law firms, this might include publishing case studies and substantiating claims, having positive client reviews, and publishing accolades to showcase your expertise.
Overall, users and Google are looking for brands they can trust. Lawyers should hold themselves to a high standard when it comes to publishing informative, accurate information.
Many law firms face stark competition in the organic search results. This is where it’s smart to run targeted Google Ads in order to rank at the top of Google search and generate viable leads.
Google Ads allows law firms to target specific keywords potential clients are using to search for lawyers in their area. You can set your advertising budget and pay a cost per each user that clicks on your ad. You can scale your efforts up or down depending on your budget and goals.
Your law firm should have search engine optimized landing pages for the services you offer. These landing pages can also be optimized for Google Ads, or you can have separate landing pages specifically for your pay-per-click campaigns.
These pages are important when it comes to turning passive visitors into potential clients. It may be best to work with a skilled copywriter who can craft compelling copy and enticing calls-to-action to convince users to get in touch with you.
Gated content is content that’s only accessible once a user provides their contact information (typically, their email address). The most popular types of gated content are ebooks, downloadables, free tools, resource libraries, case studies, and infographics.
You can create content assets and promote them in your blog articles, on social media, to your email list, or on your landing pages.
The key is to highlight content that provides unique value to your audience that they’re unlikely to find anywhere else. The more enticing your content is, the more likely users are to provide their information so you can follow up with them as a lead.
Linkable assets are another type of content asset that’s used to generate high-quality backlinks to your website. These links can improve your website’s authority and therefore increase your rankings in Google search.
Some effective linkable assets that are likely to attract backlinks are ultimate guides, ebooks, infographics, webinars/videos, free tools, resources, and how-to articles. You can promote these assets by optimizing them for Google or by conducting outreach to other websites in hopes of them linking back to you.
Your website isn’t the only resource you have for ranking in the organic search results. Local profiles like Google My Business and Bing Places also allow you to generate organic traffic.
Google My Business is a free platform where law firms can submit their information, photos, website link, and more with the goal of attracting more clients. You should update your listing with your business address, phone number, hours of operation, website URL, images, and client reviews to increase your visibility in Google search.
There are a variety of free and paid legal directories where you can submit your business information to drive more users to your website. These directories can sometimes (but not always) be a source of backlinks to increase your site’s authority as well.
Keep in mind that not all directories are created equal. You should be looking for high-authority domains that serve as reputable resources for both law firms and users alike.
Some of these reputable legal directories include:
Video marketing is a highly underrated form of marketing for law firms. Since lawyers often have the reputation of being “stuffy”, video content can help make your firm seem more approachable while providing valuable information to your potential clients.
Create videos related to the questions your audience has about the legal questions and common questions your clients ask while working with you. You can work with a videographer or video marketing team to create visually appealing videos your audience will love.
In terms of promotion, you can include these videos in your SEO-friendly blog posts and generate traffic through YouTube SEO/marketing. The opportunities are nearly limitless when it comes to driving traffic and leads with video.
Make sure all pages on your website are optimized for mobile search. This means that when a user visits your website via a mobile device (like a smartphone or tablet), they’re shown an easy-to-navigate web page.
Mobile-first marketing is essential because you can lose out on potential clients if your website is hard to navigate on mobile devices. Work with your web designer to optimize your website for mobile so it’s easy for users to view your site and get in touch with you.
Press releases are still widely used in the legal industry to help law firms generate visibility and improve their online reputation. These are campaigns that can be submitted to industry-related publications and blogs.
Guest articles, webinars, and interviews are also content examples law firms can use to generate more traffic, authority, and visibility. HARO.com is another great resource for landing spots in publications and, sometimes, generating high-quality backlinks.
Do you keep your email list “warm” or is it just sitting there gathering dust? 2021 should be the year you stay on top of your email newsletter to keep your audience engaged and generate more leads for your firm.
You can use your newsletter to run promotions, conduct audience research, share updates and case studies, generate reviews, and share your latest blog posts to your list. Keeping up with your newsletter only takes a few minutes but can yield great results for your business.
They say “The money is in the list”… question is, are you making the most of your email list? If not, it may be time to overhaul your email marketing.
With email marketing, you can promote your latest content to your list, generate leads, engage your audience, and so much more. Plus, by growing your email list, you can retarget subscribers with engaging pay-per-click ads across a variety of channels.
Gated content is a great way to grow your list, as is promoting your regular newsletter. Don’t sleep on email marketing in 2021; use it to your advantage to land more clients for your firm.
Social media marketing is something most law firms dabble in and few get right simply because they are focusing on being “consistent” rather than posting the right types of content. If you learn anything from your audience research, it should be what your audience is and isn’t interested in.
Again, you should focus on sharing content related to the questions your audience has, the struggles they’re facing, and the goals they are wanting to achieve. This can take the form of blog posts, graphics, informative posts, images, memes, videos, and more.
Finally, don’t forget to respond to comments to keep your followers engaged and, hopefully, direct them to your inbox so they can work with you.
Improving your firm’s reputation and authority will have the huge benefit of generating more referral business. This can happen naturally but can also be spurred on by cultivating meaningful connections with other professionals in your network.
Online events and platforms like LinkedIn are great for connecting with other brands and growing your referral network. This might include linking up with law firms that don’t offer the same services you offer but are likely to refer business to you, and vice versa.
Attending in-person and virtual events will help you bump elbows with other professionals who might be interested in referring business to you, partnering on cases, offering you guest posting opportunities, and more. Also, speaking events can be highly effective in increasing your firm’s visibility and attracting new clients.
Have some unique expertise to share with the industry? Consider volunteering to speak at conferences, hosting live presentations, launching a podcast, or attending webinars. There are multiple ways to grow your referral network and attract new clients both online and off.
It can be difficult to respond to every client inquiry in real-time, especially if you are relying on phone calls and contact forms. With live chat, you can respond to messages on your website via your mobile device or enable AI-powered messaging to provide people with the information they are searching for.
Live chat allows you to collect user information upfront so you never miss out on a potential lead. This information can be added directly to your chosen Customer Relationship Management (CRM) so you can follow up with the lead later and turn them into a new client.
As you improve your digital marketing strategy, you’re likely to get loads of new leads. So how do you keep this information organized? Our recommendation is to use helpful CRM software to collect user information and allow easy follow-up with every potential client.
Salesforce, Zoho, and Pipedrive are all software solutions that allow businesses to organize users’ contact information, automate follow-up, change lead status, share important documents, and so much more. These will ensure you follow up with all leads in a timely manner and don’t miss out on potential business.
As a marketer in the legal space, I can tell you that effective lead follow up is one of the most commonly missed aspects of the sales process and results in tons of new business lost. It’s one thing to generate leads but quite another to turn them into new clients.
With the addition of a CRM and an effective follow up process, you’re less likely to miss out on potential business opportunities. Your follow up process should include checking contact form submissions (from your website), voicemail/phone calls, inboxes on social media, messages on live chat, and any new subscribers to your email list.
After you put all of the above law firm marketing strategies into place, you’ll want to take advantage of every opportunity. Fine-tune your follow-up process to improve your chances of turning passive users into new, high-paying clients.
About the author: Jason Hennessey, author of the book Law Firm SEO (August, 2021), is an internationally-recognized SEO expert, speaker, entrepreneur, and business executive. He is the founder and CEO of Hennessey Digital. Since 2001, Jason has been reverse-engineering the Google algorithm as a self-taught student and practitioner of SEO and search marketing.