Are you employing all the latest Internet features and tools for your law firm marketing? Nothing stays static in the world of digital marketing, so you need to be continually reviewing your website, SEO and PPC practices to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your marketing buck online.
Here’s a checklist of what’s working online now:
Fast load times. Check your Google Page Speed Score. It should be over 90 for both desktop and mobile.
Implement AMP. AMP stands for “accelerated mobile pages” and is a signal to users that a site is mobile-friendly. Implement AMP on your website and blog to improve your search results.
Security. Add security features to your website so it displays HTTPS for your users, a signal that your site is trustworthy.
Review plug-ins. While plug-ins can add functionality to a website, they can also slow it down and introduce security risks. Evaluate your plug-ins to ensure you really need them and if they’re costing you anything on the speed or security fronts.
Video. Adding a video to the home page of your website helps you connect immediately with visitors. If you can add client testimonial videos, this is even better. No other medium allows attorneys to give prospects a true feel for what it would be like to work with them.
Real photos. Time to say goodbye to stock photos. Instead, populate your website with real photos of your staff and offices.
Contact form. You should incorporate a contact form on each page of your website and it should be designed to stand out. Have a clear call-to-action, such as the offer of a free consultation or e-book.
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. This helps create trust.
Phone number. Your phone number should be at the top of every page — preferably on the right side as part of your header.
Live chat. Law firms that utilize a live chat function on their website typically see an increase of up to 30 more leads per month than before they implemented this feature. These leads are usually considered “hot” leads, meaning someone needs an attorney immediately. Having one of these on your website when your competitors don’t can make you an easier choice.
Badges. Include badges from awards or honors (Super Lawyers, Avvo, etc.) you’ve received on your website as another trust-creating feature.
Content. 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 so. Hopefully you already have a blog in place that helps you with keeping that fresh content coming. If not, then add a blog to your site.
Your content must also 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 Google instead of your target market. You could even get penalized by Google 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).
In addition to your web pages, develop a Legal Resources page that includes educational content and links to other trusted websites that would be of interest to your audience.
Mobile-first indexing. Google knows that most people are searching on a mobile device these days, so they have moved their ranking systems to evaluate mobile pages first rather than desktop pages. The best practice for law firms when it comes to mobile marketing is to be sure your visitors have a seamless experience, no matter what device they are using. This can be accomplished through using responsive design for your website.
Local search. It is critically important for Google SEO that your NAP (name, address, phone) listings are consistent across all platforms — 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.
Social media. Google also places weight on social media signals, another reason for you to participate on platforms where your potential clients can be found.
Blog. Blogging has always been 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 on a regular basis in order to reap the SEO benefits you want.
Backlinks. Having relevant backlinks from trusted legal-related sites like Nolo, Findlaw, HG.org and Avvo can help move your site up in local and organic search results.
Rich content. Beyond text, your website should also feature video, photos, infographics and other rich content that are optimized for search.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. While competition can be fierce for certain keywords, making it prohibitively expensive for smaller firms and solos, you should at least experiment with paid local search ads. Don’t expect to see massive results right away — performance typically improves over time, especially if you integrate your paid ads with your organic and local search marketing campaigns.
Keeping your website and other digital marketing properties fresh and up to date will help ensure potential clients will find you online and your digital marketing spend will provide you with the greatest possible ROI.