As we already know, it’s 2018 and the times are changing. No longer is your website just an online brochure you want potential clients to only go to only when they see your website URL on a billboard or in a TV commercial. In 2018 and beyond your website should be a powerhouse lead-generating machine.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. To turn your website into a powerhouse lead-generating machine, you need to invest time, energy, and yes—money. You know the saying. It takes money to make money.
I’m not going to tell you it’s an easy road to turn your website into more than just a brochure. You may think your website is serving your law firm just fine, but if you’re reading this and in search of more client leads, there’s room for improvement. Maybe you’re close and your site needs fine tuning. Maybe you’ve been investing in digital marketing efforts but your website just isn’t seeing traffic.
Whatever shape your site is in, you’re here for one goal—to grow your law firm in 2018. How do you do that? Let’s dive in.
Your Law Firm Needs a New Website
Not everyone fits in this category, but from my experience most law firms seeking client growth do. There are many reasons as to why you may flat out need a new law firm website. Here are a few reasons:
It’s not mobile friendly – News flash—It’s 2018. Who doesn’t have a mobile device? Not only does grandma have a mobile device who may be looking for a nursing home abuse lawyer, but mobile-friendliness is an actual ranking factor when it comes to SEO (we’ll discuss more on SEO soon). There is no excuse to not have a mobile-friendly website. It’s mandatory.
The design is not great – Let’s face it, people love beautiful things. Your website is a direct representation of your law firm and what it stands for. If you want to be taken seriously, take the design of your website seriously. Make sure your website is as visually pleasing as a slice of cake (or pie if that’s your thing). Clean, great imagery, great colors, easy to read, and looks like cake*. Got it.
*Disclaimer: It shouldn’t literally look like a piece of cake. Just delicious like one.
The user experience is terrible – Where am I? Is your website a comic book shop? Oh wait, that’s just a lawyer looking like Superman. Is that the message you want to send? The user experience is everything. As soon as a new user visits your website, they should instantly know you’re a law firm (yes, design plays a role here). A user should be able to navigate your law firm’s website both easily and intuitively. Make it easy to get in touch with you. We’re trying to grow your business, right? Accessibility matters.
It loads too slowly – Help, it’s taking forever! A slow website is like a Dodge Charger Hellcat with an engine from a Dodge Dart. Ridiculous, right? You can’t expect your potential clients to wait around for your website to load. A lot of things can cause slow websites, and I won’t get technical on you, but you can check out this great tool to see how yours rates: https://tools.pingdom.com. Google also just announced that in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.
Your Law Firm Needs SEO
You’ve likely heard about search engine optimization, most often referred to as SEO. SEO is technical jargon for doing everything possible to rank higher in organic (not PPC, or Pay Per Click) search results for specific keywords and topics than other websites, i.e. your competition.
Here are a few things we’re talking about when we talk about SEO (here’s a hint—nearly everything revolves around the user experience):
Site architecture – We already touched on this a bit. Things like website navigation, URL structure (i.e. website.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/ and not website.com/?pageid=324), and the overall structure of website elements matter.
Content – The content on your website is the most important part of your website. Google’s goal is to show users the absolute best content available for every user’s specific search query at the top of the SERP (search engine results page).
External links (backlinks) – You want as many high-quality links pointing to your website as possible. You need links from reputable websites that already have an audience and are trusted by Google and seen as an authority. Not all links are created equal. You want quality over quantity. Check out this article on becoming a link building hero.
Mobile-friendliness – We already covered this. It’s a significant ranking factor.
Many more – There is a whole slew of things to be concerned about when it comes to SEO.
Maybe your law firm is in a small geographic area with minimal competition and competing firms that don’t invest in SEO. This would make it easier for you to outrank your competition. On the other hand, maybe your firm is in a large geographic area with a large amount of competition.
Either way, you need to invest in SEO. Per a survey done by FindLaw in 2014, 38% of people use search engines to find a lawyer. This number is surely much higher today. Gone are the days of relying on referrals to grow your business.
SEO for law firms doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process—a fight to constantly stay ahead of your competition.
Your Law Firm Needs Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… everyone uses these platforms, right? So, why don’t you? Or maybe you do already have your profiles but aren’t utilizing them to their fullest potential.
Whether you do or don’t, you should. Social media is constantly growing in usage and is an important piece of the digital marketing picture. People are sharing stories, sharing experiences, asking for advice, and researching.
It’s also a way to bring a human element to your digital marketing and interact with others online. Then when a potential client is researching you they can have an insight into your law firm and the folks behind it.
Social media is a low-cost way to gain exposure for your firm and should be taken seriously.
Your Next Step to Grow Your Law Firm in 2018
Essentially, the first step to growing your law firm is to have a new website created, fill it with incredible content, work on SEO, and maintain strong social media profiles. That sounds like a lot, right? It is.
There are a lot of guides on the internet that will tell you how to do SEO, how to write awesome content, how to manage your social media, and how to build links, etc. Most of these guides are decent starting points, but none tell you what needs to be done when you’re starting from scratch or want to completely revitalize your lead- generating potential.
The fact is, unless you’re experienced with everything we’ve just discussed (let’s face it—since you’re still reading this, you’re not), you can’t do it alone.
You need a team like my team at Legal InSites to help you.
You need to be practicing law.
Ready to take the next step? Great. Fill out the Get Started form below. Let’s grow your law firm this year and beyond, together.