2017 is finally here and if the past year is any indication of what’s to come for law firm digital marketing, we’re in for a very interesting year. Many of us have probably joined in on that age-old tradition of making a New Year’s resolution or two. The idea of course is to set goals that propel you forward despite any failures the year before. Maybe your resolution could be to read those law books in your LexisNexis library or to decorate the office wall you face for hours a day to have a view of something other than a computer screen? Whatever your resolution, setting goals for yourself is a great way to plan for the year ahead.
What about professional resolutions? Have you taken the time to plan for any goals you’d like to see your law firm achieve? Now that I’ve got you making a mental checklist, I’m going to assume that, “Get more clients,” is at or near the top of that list. The question now is, how? If “improving digital marketing efforts” came to mind, you’re off to a great start.
Here are a few essential digital marketing resolutions law firms should make to get more clients and stay relevant in 2017:
- Update and Refresh Your Website
This is first and foremost the most important task you can’t afford to ignore anymore. As we’ve mentioned before, 75% of all potential clients use the Internet to either: a) find a lawyer, or b) research a lawyer they’ve been referred to. Every one of those potential clients has an expectation already in their minds of what they want from your website, and something as small as a home page taking too long to load can lose you that opportunity.
Digital marketing evolves so quickly that even if your website is only two or three years old, it’s likely that the site isn’t working for you today like it was back then. That’s why this resolution is so imperative to tackle first. If your website isn’t successful, your other digital marketing efforts aren’t going to be either.
- Invest in Trustworthy SEO
By now, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of search engine optimization and have a generalized idea of what it is. Do you know how it’s working or should be working specifically for your firm? If you’re not sure, start asking. Take some time to get to know your SEO provider and get to know how their efforts are helping you gain more traffic and clients.
SEO is an essential part of any great law firm website, and if it’s not helping you get more business, you need to start asking why. You may realize that your expectations were off and need to give it more time or you may realize that your current provider just isn’t a good fit for your firm.
- Take Your Content Seriously
If you’re investing time and money into a new website with great SEO but forget about the importance of your site’s content, you’re doing it wrong. That would be like making a White Russian without the Kahlúa and expecting it to taste just the same. Having high-quality, valuable content is key to a successful law firm website, and that fact isn’t changing in 2017. Google and other search engines are constantly crawling the web looking for great content to provide to users when they search. Google’s Andrey Lipattsev revealed last year that content is one of the top 3 search ranking factors. It’s simple. If you’ve got bad content, it’s not going to come up in search results.
The outcome of “pushing content just to push content” will always be a waste of time. Having a professional writer/marketer produce content for your site is the best way to refresh and enhance your content. Aren’t you ready to see some real results in 2017?
- Develop a Real Strategy for Social Media
Even though you posted content regularly, got likes and follows, shared content from other pages, and joined in conversations, by the end of the year there was nothing to show for it. It’s frustrating to think you’ve figured out the trick to social media success, especially after you researched exactly what to do and read countless articles, only to realize it hardly made a difference.
There’s a lot that goes into having social media success. In fact, an industry report done by Social Media Examiner in 2016 revealed that, “63% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more and 39% for 11 or more hours weekly.” You need to do more than ever to reach your audience and then some to see actionable results.
If you don’t have a detailed social media strategy in action for 2017, you’re going to end up right back to where you started. Trying to do the many tons of generic tips, trends and suggestions as you can find is only going to confuse you more because it’s hard to know how to apply that information to your unique situation; what works for some may not work for you.
Law firms must understand the what and why before even a single post and then again after you’ve gained some momentum. What content is or isn’t working and why, and how does knowing your audience help you determine that? If you can’t definitively answer those questions, no wonder social media isn’t working– you’re basically taking a shot in the dark with every post. It sounds overwhelming and that’s just the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming with the right kind of help.
If your firm is ready to hit the ground running in 2017 and is searching for dedicated professionals who understand the legal industry and who value your firm’s time and resources by getting the job is done right the first time, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re hesitant to take the leap, contact us and share your concerns. We’re happy to walk you through our process and break down any information that may be confusing. You don’t want to end this year in the same place you started, and we don’t want that for you either. Tell us your digital marketing resolutions and we can help you achieve them.