Editor’s note: When marketing or advertising your law firm, whether online or in print, always be sure to adhere to the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and your state bar association’s specific code of ethics regarding marketing and advertising and client confidences.
1. Create videos
The Internet today is rapidly trending towards videos more and more. In fact, Cisco predicted that in just a few years, videos will make up over 80% of Internet traffic.
How can you capitalize on this? Produce videos that explain complicated processes in simple terms. Make a video explaining the best way to fight a traffic violation or explain what happens in divorce proceedings. In today's online world, many people will watch a video before they read an article. If people feel like they can trust you to keep things simple, they'll trust you with their business.
2. Ramp up your social media presence
On average, there are over 800 million people on Facebook every single day. That's a lot of potential eyes. Make sure your law firm has a presence on social media. Give people a reason to "like" your page. Update consistently, and interact with people through the page. Also, use Facebook's advertising to your advantage. You can create advertising that specifically targets people in a location you choose.
3. Make content that's shareable
This tip sort of combines the first two on this list. If you create content that users find valuable enough to share, that's more inbound links to your web page (something search engines like). But this doesn't have to just be videos. Create blog postings that explain tough to understand content or ones that have lists like "The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About A Speeding Ticket in Your State." Want to make this easier for your users to share? Make sure your website includes share buttons.
4. Be Analytical
Use a SEO tool like Google Analytics. This tool tells you what online search terms people used when they found your website. Capitalize on that. If a user doesn't find specific information they're looking for on your site, they'll likely move on.
5. Optimize your web page
The inner workings of a web page can be confusing. If this isn't something you're familiar with, hire someone to help you out. Target specific keywords on your website, and make sure that your meta titles and descriptions are not only filled out, but that they don't look "spammy" to search engines.
It sounds simple, but make sure your website is clean and functioning properly at all times. If it ever goes down, that's potential customers that can't reach you.
6. Make everything unique
Think of every page on your web site as a door to your business. The more unique entry points you have, the more ways customers can find you. Give every web page a different title that accurately describes what's on that page.
7. Be responsive
For this tip, we're not saying that you should be responsive in a business capacity, but that your website should be. This just means that your website knows what sort of device is accessing it (desktop, tablet, phone, etc.), and displays your content appropriately. A huge percentage of Internet traffic today is from phones and tables computers, so you want to make sure those customers are able to see your content.
8. Stake your claim on Foursquare, Google Places, Etc.
You may have seen people "check in" to a place on Facebook. Usually, that's done through integration with an app like Foursquare. Make sure that your business is visible on apps like that. It not only lets people "check in" (which boosts your visibility on social media), but it pops up when users are simply looking for "nearby businesses." These apps even include options like "find the closest law firm to me." With use of smart phones booming recently, expect more users to find locations via apps. They can't find you if you're not there. A recent study showed that over 60% of local business listings on Foursquare were incorrect! Over 50% of searches for local businesses don't come from traditional search engines, but from these directories and mobile apps.
9. Reviews Matter
Customers are using websites like Yelp to find everything from lunch to a place to shop for a new car, and law firms are no different. Especially to a smaller firm, reviews matter. Encourage your customers to leave reviews. People shopping for a law firm will follow other's reviews. Online reviews also help boost your profile with sites like Google Places (which we addressed in the last tip). Don't generate false reviews, but if you have family or friends that have utilized your services, there's nothing wrong with asking them to share their experience online. Google actually takes online reviews into consideration when ranking web pages in their search.
10. Don't copy content
Just like when you were in school plagiarizing is a bad thing. Only now, you'll get punished by search engines for it. But even taking an article and giving appropriate citation is still bad for your website. If you see content on another web page, instead of copying it to your own page, simply link to it. Google and other search engines actually penalize web pages with duplicate content.