In planning your 2018 law firm marketing program, it’s all about digital marketing — mobile, social media, email — with a strong focus on lead conversion.
You should take it as a given by now that legal consumers are doing their research online, so having a strong online presence is a must-have for your practice. Not only are your potential clients doing their research online, they are rarely going past the first page of Google search results.
In fact, research shows that 90% of consumers won’t go past that first page. So it’s not enough to simply launch a website and declare yourself a digital marketer. There is much more to it than that.
The six key elements every law firm marketing program must have in 2018 include:
- Website with Blog
- Mobile marketing
- Branding program
- Email system
- Conversion system
- Social media marketing program
Your online presence begins with a professional looking and functioning website. This is your virtual storefront where you showcase who you are, what you do, where you are and how potential clients can reach you.
If you don’t have a website or it’s been awhile since you updated your site, it’s time to move to a site that is built using responsive design. This means that no matter what device people are using to find you — smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop — your website will provide them with a seamless experience. Ever look up a website on your smartphone and have to pinch and stretch the pages in order to read them? Responsive design eliminates that problem.
Google gives heavy ranking weight to fresh content, so if it’s been awhile since you updated pages on your site, you need to do this as well. Your content must be relevant for the search terms people are using to find you. It’s no longer a best practice to pepper your content with your keywords — in other words, writing for SEO instead of your target market. Google could even penalize you for keyword-loading.
You must focus on key messages that attract your core audience and write in-depth content on those subjects since Google also rewards you for longer form content (as long as it’s relevant).
It is also critically important for Google SEO that your NAP (name, address, phone) listings are consistent wherever you are on the web, including your website, social media pages, directories, etc. Google views consistent NAP listings as a trust factor, so make sure your NAP listings are exactly the same wherever they appear.
Another trust factor that Google relies on is online reviews. Prominently display your online reviews and client testimonials — not only on your home page, but also have a full page dedicated to testimonials on your website.
When integrated with your website, a blog is great for SEO purposes since Google rewards fresh, relevant content, but consistency is key. You must be posting quality content that is relevant to your target market, using the keywords they are using to search for you on a regular basis in order to reap the SEO benefits.
Your blog performs another important function as the hub of your social media marketing efforts. Once you create a post, you need to cross-market it on your social media networks, driving that traffic to your blog post.
- Mobile Marketing
A majority of online searches today are conducted on mobile devices, so all your online properties — your website, your blog, your e-newsletter, your landing pages — must be optimized for mobile to give consumers a seamless experience with all your online properties. Google also looks for mobile-friendly sites, and you will be penalized with a lower ranking if your sites are not mobile-friendly.
- Branding Program
You need a consistent brand identity in order to look professional. If you don’t already have a logo, hire a professional to design one. Use the same colors to brand your website and all your law firm marketing materials. Create a memorable tagline that will stick in the minds of consumers.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the other three must-haves for your law firm marketing program in 2018.