Proper Use of Keywords Can Make or Break Your Law Firm Website Rankings

A successful law firm relies on a constant supply of new cases to continue operations and, hopefully, keep expanding and accumulating a positive reputation. One of the catalysts for this continuous supply, particularly for smaller firms, is a robust digital marketing strategy that puts your firm’s name and website in front of people who are looking for the services you provide.

One shortcut is to simply pay for traffic with PPC ads, but legal keywords are notoriously some of the most expensive in the PPC industry. For example, the term “car accident lawyer long beach” will cost you as much as $350 per click. Ouch!

The good news is that you can avoid this costly form of advertising by focusing on the right keywords throughout your website. There are also some dangers of keyword overuse that could derail your legal marketing efforts.

The Importance of Legal Marketing Keywords

Your keywords are the words or phrases that someone will use to look for your services on a search engine such as Google. They can be single words like “lawyer,” phrases like “personal injury attorney in Mobile,” or even questions like “what’s the penalty for a 2nd DUI in Virginia?”

The better job you do of selecting and optimizing your website (called search engine optimization or SEO) for your keywords, the more likely someone that is looking looking for a firm like yours will find it at the top of the search results and end up on your webpage. So, the keywords you choose as part of your legal marketing strategy must be directly tailored to fit what you’re offering and consider the needs of your target audience. Your keywords should focus on several areas.

Consider Your Unique Brand

One of the first things you should consider is your law firm’s brand. Maybe you have a mission that sums up your firm’s values, such as fierce advocacy for accident victims. You can create some words and phrases associated with your brand to incorporate in your company’s digital content.

If you aren’t sure about what defines you, think about the type of client you wish to serve. What cases do you consider your specialty? What is the most common question you receive from new and current clients?

Location is Vital for Attorneys

According to Hubspot, nearly half (46%) of all Google searches are seeking local information. As an attorney, it’s safe to argue that almost all of your traffic will come from local searches, such as “family lawyer near me” or “motorcycle accident attorney Montgomery.”

When you choose your keyword phrases, it might be tempting to just focus on one or two, but having a broad range is likely to get you better results. Some of the ways you can target geographic keywords for your legal services include:

  • Cities and towns
  • Neighborhoods
  • Points of interest such as universities
  • Geographic regions such as the Gulf Coast

Emphasize Your Services

Most laypeople don’t have an interest in learning the intricacies of your state’s legal code. So, they won’t be searching for legalese or complex legal jargon related to their issues. Instead, they’ll want to know the potential consequences of a recent arrest, what they should do after a slip and fall, or how much they might recover after an accident with an 18-wheeler.

Someone that is suspicious of attorneys will search for one that is “trustworthy” and a person that is detail-oriented with look for a lawyer that is “thorough.” While you can’t claim to be the “best” attorney or an “expert,” you can certainly emphasize other aspects of your unique services with the right keyword choices so that you attract more clients.

Where Do the Keywords Go?

Choosing the best keywords and phrases for your legal marketing strategy is only the first step. You’ll need to use them appropriately and effectively to get the results you want and beat out the attorneys that are trying to do the same.

Simply put, you’ll use your keywords and variations of them in content that you publish on your website as practice area pages and blog posts. The best way to get the most mileage out of your chosen topics is to continually post new material that answers questions and provides additional value to current and potential clients.

The Dangers of Overusing Keywords

Similar to many areas of life, too much of a good thing produces diminishing returns. When it comes to overusing keywords, Google’s response can be brutal. In the past, “stuffing” keywords into a website would garner positive results. This is no longer the case.

Cramming the term “Colorado DUI attorney” into a blog post 10 times makes for clunky and unnatural reading. Google’s algorithms will also notice what you’ve done and could penalize or even deindex your site.

Keyword selection and use is obviously a pain point for many law firms. A lot of work not only goes into choosing the right keywords for your business, but also using them effectively so that they engage with the right audience, get you more clicks, and bring in additional clients.

If you believe you could use some help marketing your legal services online, Sundown Legal Marketing has you covered. We specialize in helping law firms develop individualized digital marketing plans and then executing every aspect of those plans so that you can focus on what you do best.

Contact Sundown Marketing Group today at (800) 864-1764 or online for a free law firm marketing assessment or with any questions.

Do You Have A Marketing Plan?

At Sundown Marketing Group we have helped law firms market themselves for over 15 years. From big markets to small markets, there has always been one constant; law firms with a well thought out marketing plan, get more cases than firms that do not have a plan. In the days of the yellow pages, firms with the best positions in the most books typically received the most calls and often secured the most clients. We have moved on from those days, but the concepts remain the same.  Get your name and your message in front of as many people as you can while sticking to a specific budget. In today’s world of sensational, in your face, advertising your marketing message must be concise, clear and visible.   Whether it is radio, billboards, TV or the internet you have just a few seconds to get someone’s attention and sell yourself.

With that in mind, we have come up with 10 tips you can implement today to help your firm achieve its marketing goals and dominate your competition.

  1. Decide who will oversee your marketing program and who will have the final decision about all things marketing. Although getting input from other members of the firm is important, the decision on how to proceed should be kept to as small a group as possible. Often, as the group gets larger, less gets done. Paralysis by analysis really comes into play here.
  1. Decide what type of cases your firm wants to attract and prioritize them. This may seem unnecessary, since the firm may practice in several areas, but it just isn’t worth advertising for some types of cases (i.e. real estate closings). This type of work usually comes through relationships or referrals. If your budget is limited, you should mention all your practice areas on your website but save your advertising dollars for the types of cases that require name and brand recognition. Examples of these would be car accidents, criminal defense or divorce cases. There are always case types that are more profitable than others, so you should prioritize them.
  1. Create a budget and stick to it. Marketing of any kind carries a burden of uncertainty. Have a budget that the firm can afford, even if there was a zero return on the money. That is not likely to happen with the right plan, but it should take pressure off the firm. Also, stay away from every “new” idea that comes along. We see this a lot. Stick with the proven methods but give them time to work. Jumping from one plan to another wastes a lot of time and money.
  1. Determine your “total” current investment on marketing. If you have a person at the firm dedicated to marketing efforts, what is their true cost? What is their cost in hourly pay, benefits, education etc.? You must then add in the amount you are spending on marketing outside of your internal human cost (i.e. Google Ads, Facebook Advertising). This will be your actual marketing investment. You then need to determine if your marketing person is as effective as someone who specializes in law firm marketing. In the long run, it may be less expensive to pay an agency, whose job it is to work for you, as opposed to paying an employee to do a similar job.
  1. Know your competition. If everyone in your area is spending $5,000 per month to market their firm and you are spending $500 per month, your program won’t get the same results. Your law firm is your biggest investment, bigger than the stock market or a new car, so invest in it regularly and wisely.
  1. Decide on firm involvement. Determine how much of the firm’s marketing is going to be done internally (dedicated person or people) or externally (agency), or a combination of the two. The first step is to build the best website in your area. This is your calling card and your initial impression on prospective clients. The next step is to get that website found. Digital marketing can be the hardest marketing to do, because the rules are always changing. But it is also an area where you can work with someone else to complement your efforts, with the least amount of time taken away from the firm.
  1. A digital presence is the cornerstone of any business. Everyone has a website, but to really stand out, you should be covering as many of the digital bases as possible, website, video, social media, reviews, internal client referrals and paid ads.
  1. Be consistent. That is the hardest thing for firms that handle their own marketing. A successful program, in the eyes of Google, will have a website that is content rich, has fast load speeds, few errors, proper tagging, quality back links, videos, social media links and the website is updated with new content on a regular basis. Consistency also comes in the form of social media updates on firm activities, community involvement and helpful information for the public.
  1. Build your brand. Be consistent with your firm’s message. Create a steady stream of branding opportunities and stick with them. If you have a tag line, use it on everything. Some of the most successful marketers, in any business, have a great tag line; you should too.
  1. Build up your reviews and testimonials. For most prospective clients, reviews are one of the primary deciding factors when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Facebook, Google and legal directories are all great places to show people how good you are. Don’t be afraid to ask a happy client for a review. You can count on the fact that your competition is doing it.

If you need help with any of these ideas, call our office today. We provide a no cost marketing analysis and can get you headed on the right track in no time. Contact the experienced legal marketing team at Sundown Legal Marketing at (800) 649-1764 or through our website contact form.

Transitioning Your Law Firm’s Future Client Interaction

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every industry and part of American society. This country’s law firms have been facing unprecedented challenges with no clear end in sight. Like other industries, lawyers are innovating ways to continue serving clients from a distance by leveraging technology.

Most client journeys begin online with a client realizing they have a legal obstacle and then hitting the search engines for some answers. But, traditionally, lawyers’ transition to face-to-face contact for consultations and updates. While that might have changed temporarily due to COVID-19, there is a good chance that those changes will become permanent to help satisfy the wants and needs of their clients.

Focusing on the Client Experience

The “client experience” is a fairly new buzz phrase in the business world, but it is something that the legal industry should be paying particular attention to, especially in these trying times. According to Bain and Company, businesses that do well at creating an excellent customer experience grow revenues from 4%-8% above their industry average.

But just about every industry is feeling some sort of disruption due to COVID-19 and other related factors. This only makes emphasizing the client experience even more critical in the coming months and years.

How you represent your firm will impact its success. While you can distinguish yourself through a superior website and social media presence, you also need to deliver an exceptional and consistent client experience at every stage of your client’s journey.

While your firm might be struggling to adjust a remote work environment, your clients may prefer this approach over the traditional one. If you are going to transition to a more remote business model, what is the best way to do so efficiently and effectively so that you can satisfy the needs of your clients?

Tools to Interact With Clients Remotely

Since the pandemic began, courthouses and law offices have closed their doors out of an abundance of caution. Hearings and depositions have been postponed or adjusted, and in-person client intakes have stopped. The good news is that many law firms have continued to do a brisk business, thanks to technology.

Whether you have the resources in place currently or need to implement them, there are a variety of tools available to help your firm interact with clients remotely. If you haven’t started using these tools yet, it is probably a good time to learn about your options.

Scheduling Client Meetings

After potential clients learn about your firm’s services on social media and your website, the next step is to contact you to schedule a consultation. While they can still call, why not give them other options that are available 24/7?

One type of technology that many law firms have adopted is chatbots. Having Live Chat Services available on your site is a convenient and popular option. And this feature alone can increase conversion rates by up to 40%.

Another app you can use to schedule client meets is Calendly. This popular scheduling/calendar app will connect with up six of your current calendars, check your availability, and allow clients to schedule meetings in spots that you make available.

Video Conferencing Apps

For remote consultation and client update appointments, you can use video conferencing app like ZoomGoogle Hangouts, or GoToMeeting. Most of these apps will have an option to send automatic invitations and links to participants, which makes scheduling simple.

Digital Communication Apps

You can also use a digital communication app to stay in touch with employees who might be working remotely. A popular choice is Slack. The program works in real-time and integrates with other digital communication tools like Calendly and Zoom.

Best Practices for Remote Consultations With Clients

Conducting remote consultations might be an adjustment, but there is no reason they can’t work as well as a face-to-face meeting. The key is to create an environment of professionalism and trust. In most cases, you are already delivering convenience because virtual meetings save time and effort for your clients, which is why many favor them.

By implementing these best practices for remote conferences, you will be able to deliver a better client experience.

Learn and Test the Technology

The start time for your first online meeting is not the time to learn how to work Zoom or some other virtual meeting app. Spend some time watching a few online tutorials to get the lay of the land and then test out the technology on colleagues or friends before going “live.”

Set the Stage for Your Meeting

Don’t leave your client waiting. Make sure you are the first person on the call and pay attention to your surroundings and appearance. Do they look professional? It is a good idea for you to use the video feature on your call but give participants the option to use video or just audio.

Be Engaging and Relatable

Just because you are meeting virtually, it does not mean your interaction must be intimidating or dry. Ask them how they are holding up after an accident and in the face of the current health crisis. Share some brief personal insights before getting down to business.

Follow Your Agenda

Have a list of key talking points for your meeting so that you can stay on track. Explain any relevant procedures, such as using Adobe Acrobat and DocuSign, for retainer agreements. Make sure to outline the next steps to move a client’s case forward.

As you test and implement these measures for remote consultations, consider how they might continue to serve some or all your clients in a post-COVID environment.

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing Today

The legal industry is likely to be permanently transformed and move even further into the digital world by this latest crisis. As this pandemic ends, we can expect that law firms will have plenty of business to deal with through both new and old cases.

Law firms should continue to assess and strategize during the COVID-19 pandemic. These transitions and adjustments will put your attorneys in a better position and help you deliver a better client experience. And a large part of this is taking your digital presence to the next level.

Sundown Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms assess their current position and develop a strategy to reach more current and prospective clients through various online channels. Contact us today at (800) 864-1764 or online for a free assessment and to learn more about our services.