Where Should a Small Law Firms Marketing Strategy Start?
Small Law Firms Marketing Strategy
For small firms, your marketing strategy may not be as involved as it would be for larger law firms, but there are some things you must identify. Here are some things to consider for your law firms marketing strategy.
Pick the right Vertical
This may sound silly, but this is a problem at times. You may want to specialize in two or three areas of law. There is absolutely no problem with that, but if you have a limited budget, focus on one core area first.
This will help you define a target audience, your law firms content strategy, and your paid budget for advertising. The last thing we want is for you to split up a limited budget across four practice areas because you “need leads.”
They will come and they will come with more consistency if you are committed and clear on your primary practice area.
Prioritize PPC vs SEO
We will dive into these areas in more detail later. For the moment though, this will be a decision that is important. I believe your strategy should have both, but if you are tight on a budget you have to be realistic.
I would advise that the first priority is SEO for your law firm.
As we get deeper into this topic, we will cover strategies that cover both SEO and PPC and make the best use of your content in the process. In the interim, ensure that your SEO is based on Local SEO and content development.
Identify your Key Performance Indicators, but keep this simple.
Pick the top three items most important to your marketing. I would suggest looking at goals for driving SEO such as how many keywords are in the top 3 spots in local search on Google. Pick the top 3 keywords you want to show for and get to work.
This will involve some keyword research for legal keywords and phrases.
Another KPI should center around your PPC campaign, if you are ready to move into PPC. One that we always start with is being at or below the industry average in the legal vertical. This will obviously depend on your keyword costs. The legal vertical as a whole is expensive in keyword costs, or so we are told.
I have seen keywords in some legal verticals around $1.50 per click, and those clicks have converted into phone calls and paid clients. It is possible to run a shoestring PPC campaign so do not be afraid of committing resources. Your location and keyword competition will be a driving factor in this decision.
Just ensure that you have a clear goal in mind.
What Else Should I Consider
Some other things to consider in your law firms marketing strategy:
- Digital Marketing Budget by Property (Website, Social, etc.)
- Branding vs Generating Leads (pick one)
- Marketing Schedule (hours per week)
Keep your law firms marketing strategy and plan simple. Do not overthink it and do not be afraid to scrap it after a few weeks and start over, if necessary. Conventional wisdom was that advertising campaigns will take months to show returns.
That still holds true for some campaigns but for the majority of digital marketing campaigns you can see a return in a matter of weeks.
Remember that effective marketing involves constant testing. You can only make these decisions based on the data provided to you.
The data is readily available on most platforms you will use and you will be able to see very quickly if changes or tweaks must be made.
Where is My Data?
Data is going to be just as important in the smaller firm. You cannot commit more financial resources based on “gut” only feelings.
I am firm believer in trusting my gut, at the same time however, data should guide your law firms marketing strategy and lead conversion plan.
There are resources available through the various Google, Bing, and Facebook properties that you should look at weekly.
Google Business Page Data
For the local law firm, your Google Business Page data should be a priority early on.
Go to Google and type in: google my business insights report
Here you will find guidance on how your customers view your business page in search, how many are finding you in Google Maps, the number of phone calls you receive, etc.
The tips will clarify how potential clients interact with your business page and with that data, you will begin to start forming a clear line of how your digital marketing efforts impact your phone ringing.
Here is a screenshot from one of our clients. From this data we can clearly see that their Google Business listing is driving traffic and phone calls. Keep in mind, one of the ways to encourage phone calls on your GMB listing is your online reputation by way of the reviews left.
Having a strategy in place for your law firm’s reputation management is an undervalued piece of Local SEO. As a consumer, we make decisions based on the “herd” mentality. Having positive reviews provides a level of comfort with your law firm.
Facebook Business Page Data
Having a presence on Facebook will become an important part of your marketing goals over time. If you have not started already, not a problem. Login to your Facebook account and select Create Page.
The setup is very straight forward from there.
There will be tons of data that you can derive from Facebook under your Insights tab. Here, you will be able to break down factors such as demographic information, the best time your audience is online, and what posts they are engaging with the most.
Do not fall for buying Facebook followers though.
Sounds like common sense, but believe me, it happens. Your law firm will look foolish if you are based in Los Angeles, but have a following based on followers from Minnesota. If you have an office there, outstanding.
If not, it should not be a surprise why your law firms social media strategy is suffering with engagement and phone calls.
The redheaded step child of search right?
According to Statasia (2017), Bing/Yahoo account for 9.09% of the search traffic in the U.S. combined. That may not be significant to you, but to someone that looks at data and its impact on marketing daily, it could bring you 5-10 more calls per week.
If one of those converted calls brings in case worth $3000, is that worth taking a look at least?
In the case of small law firms the answer is YES!
That means you should probably sign up for your Bing account today as well.
Keep in mind, when you sign in to Bing, you are also submitting information to Yahoo. You will set up your local business page just as you would to Google Business.
They will want to verify you via snail mail to confirm you are actually a business.
After all that is done, Bing/Yahoo should be a weekly check-in on data as well. Their algorithms differ from Google, but they are just as important in understanding how your potential clients are finding and interacting with your firm.