Internet Marketing for Lawyers

March 27, 2012

The web is revolutionizing the way small companies operate, even for companies that are not web-based in their product or service. This is an important fact to remember. We talk with so many professionals who say that online marketing isn’t all that important for them because they don’t work on the web.

But this assumption is a huge mistake. Even if you’re not in the technology industry, your clients are still using the web to find information about you. Simply put, all companies are in the Internet industry now.

A great example of this is the legal profession.  Internet marketing is crucial for all law firms, whether your firm specializes in personal injury, bankruptcy or corporate litigation. In this blog post, we’re going to explain how your law firm needs Search Engine Optimization to reach new clients and grow its business.

SEO: A Quick Overview

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows you to build your website in order to rise to the top of organic search results. This is essential, because if you’re not on the first page of search results, it’ll be harder to be found by potential clients. With 97% of customers researching online before making a purchase, you want to have the best ratings possible.

SEO is such a valuable resource for your firm because of the lifetime value of your client base. For lawyers, as well as doctors or accountants, the value of each client is potentially thousands of dollars. So if you can earn 1 or 2 new clients a month from your online advertising, you’ve profited tremendously. In fact, the average ROI for all SEO campaigns for law firms is 7-1.

SEO is a huge boom for all law firms. Here are some tips on how to leverage SEO to find new clients.

Content is King, More Than Ever

To get ranked at the top of Google you need to create a valuable website. Thanks to Google’s Panda Update’s many algorithm changes, your website’s content is more important than ever. Creating quality content is essential for your business to be considered an authoritative website. Since Google’s search rankings are based on the authority and value of your site, the better your content, the more exposure you’re likely to get on the web.

It’s not just about quality content. It’s also about generating informative, helpful, content on a regular basis. In other words, creating a blog and posting good content regularly is going to shoot you up Google’s rankings and drive much more traffic to your site.

While the importance of content is bad news for some, your firm should be thrilled. As lawyers, you have years of experience crafting articulate, informative content. Now it’s important to leverage your writing skills for online marketing. Rewrite your website content. Start blogging and engaging via social media. Provide helpful legal advice on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. This is extremely helpful from an SEO perspective, because if users are interacting with you and finding your content valuable, Google will love you and give you much more exposure on its search results.

Local Search Attracts Local Clients

The rise of local search is changing SEO and online marketing. Google is now segmenting searches with geo-targeted search when the algorithm deems them to be for local products or services. For instance, if you search for “employment lawyer” you will find local results targeted for you because Google knows that you’re not interested in finding employment lawyers in New York or Miami.

So the rise of Local Search makes Local SEO very important. Again, this is good news for your firm. Since your firm is a local business, you have a great opportunity to optimize for local search and drive targeted local clients to your website.

To optimize for local search, you want to make sure you have an optimized Google Places page and your local listing is correct so you rank at the top of Google Maps. You also want to generate local citations and content with your NAP (name, address, phone number) so Google sees you as a local authority. Also, create a mobile optimized website so your firm can target clients on their iPhones, Androids and iPads.

Reputation Management is Huge

Reputation management is a great compliment to SEO. Even if your firm generates most of its leads offline—say, from a referral program or word of mouth—what’s the first thing a prospective client will do? He or she will Google your firm to see what people say about you. With your reputation on the line, you want to make sure you aren’t being hurt by negative content. 80% of people cancel a purchase if they see a bad review or comment, so you know that your online brand is directly impacting your business.

To protect your conversion rate and to ensure clients aren’t getting scared off by slanderous content, you should think about investing in Online Reputation Management. ORM can drown out negative content and push it off the first page of Google’s results for your branded keywords. This is huge, because only 5% of users search past the first page.

Again, it’s all about the lifetime value of a client. How much is just one client worth to your firm? For that reason, investing in reputation management is a prudent choice.

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