In 2020, your law firm has likely had to make a lot of changes that you didn’t see coming to keep going and providing legal assistance to your clients.
We all had to find new ways of doing things last year, and we’ll probably need to continue making adjustments in 2021.
Despite all this, digital marketing has continued to be useful for businesses and is more important now than ever.
Here are some digital marketing tactics and channels your law firm needs to use in 2021.
1. Solidify Your Brand
When you want to improve your digital marketing efforts in the new year, the first place you should start is with your brand.
Without strong branding, nothing else you do will be as good as it can be.
This is more than just updating your logo, although this can be important.
Your brand is how you want your law firm to be represented to the public. It is part of how you get your message out to prospective clients.
Many law firms that practice the same type of law can end up seeming exactly the same, especially to those who don’t have experience searching for lawyers.
You know the unique value that your law firm has but on the outside, it might just seem like every other law firm in your area.
This is where you need to use digital marketing and good branding to set yourself apart.
What makes your law firm different from and better than your competitors?
You also want to build the right brand for your law firm because you want potential clients to feel like they can trust you, which, as you know, is extremely important when looking for legal help of any sort.
2. Optimize Pages for All Practice Areas
You need to be sure that your website includes all of the information potential clients could need.
At your law firm, you may be able to help clients in different areas of law. Any service you can provide to people should be covered on your website and be easy for users to find.
Maybe you already have a comprehensive website that covers everything you offer, but are they fully optimized for SEO?
If not they could be going to waste, and all the work you’ve already done won’t pay off.
Ensuring that every page on your website includes valuable information about your services and is SEO-friendly will help you bring in the traffic you need.
Keep in mind that your law firm services more areas than just your exact location.
Using keywords specific to your location and the locations you serve will give you a better chance at ranking highly for these terms.
These long-tail keywords will have fewer people competing for them, but they’ll also have people who are more likely to become your clients searching for them.
3. Regularly Publish Content
No matter what type of law you practice, you understand that your clients are going through a serious challenge and have a lot riding on the help they need.
Most people will do a lot of research before they settle on the law firm they think is best.
According to a 2020 study, 86% of study respondents said they would use Google as their resource for researching a lawyer online.
The second-largest majority, 9% of respondents, said they would use Yelp reviews.
Due to how many people are actually looking at law firms online, you need to be prepared to show potential clients that you can help them.
The best way of doing this is by producing content for your law firm that answers all of their questions.
You likely already know the questions your clients are likely to have, but you need to be the place they go to to find the right help.
Content helps you show that you’re the best place for them to come to for help.
Prospects want to see that the law firm they’re looking into has the knowledge and resources to help them.
It’s up to you to show that your law firm is the best answer with the informative, valuable content they’re looking for.
4. Start Using Email Marketing
It’s important to keep in touch with your potential clients as much as you can.
By getting started with email marketing, you can make sure that you’re staying in their minds as they decide on what help they need.
A newsletter is a great way of distributing all of that great content your law firm is creating.
Newsletters are also a great way of sending your potential clients content and information that pertains to their specific situation and keeping it personal, without having to do this individually.
You know that not all of your clients need the same assistance.
They’re not all at the same place regarding whether or not they’re ready to work with you.
Rather than sending all potential clients the same email, segment your email list into groups.
This allows you to directly send your content to the leads that need it most, so you can have a better chance of getting it seen.
Regularly sending out newsletters and emails doesn’t need to be a huge amount of work, either.
A lot of the time, you can use new content you’ve created, older but still relevant content that hasn’t been recently shared, and any important updates about your law firm.
5. Get on Social Media
Every business needs a good social media presence.
You don’t need to create accounts for every social media platform.
Think about the platforms your audience is using the most to avoid wasting time and effort on platforms that won’t get you anywhere.
The study I referenced above also showed that Google, Yelp, and Facebook were the most popular platforms for researching and engaging with law firms online.
If a law firm doesn’t have a presence on these platforms, it’s missing out big time.
Having a Facebook page for your law firm is a given, but you also need a LinkedIn account, and maybe even Twitter and Instagram.
Being active on the right platforms can help boost awareness of your law firm, so the people looking for the services you offer will know you’re out there.
It isn’t enough to just create these accounts and only check in on occasion.
This is something you need to constantly monitor and allot time for.
Social media is a valuable and easy way to connect with potential clients.
Check on accounts regularly so that you can stay engaged with potential clients and share your content and any updates from your law firm.
6. Utilize PPC Ads
Many digital marketing strategies will help you bring in more organic traffic, but you can do more than that.
With paid ads, you can expand your audience and reach even more people than you would otherwise.
This allows you to target a wider audience and define who your audience is, so all the right people are getting exposed to your law firm.
While PPC ads can be great for bringing in new traffic, they are also a great choice for any type of digital marketing budget.
You have a lot of control over how much you want to spend and it’s easy to track how effective your ads are, giving you important data to make informed decisions.
Don’t forget that you can use paid ads on social media platforms, as well.
7. Get Into Legal Directories
Legal directories are a huge digital marketing asset for law firms.
Getting listings in online legal directories can provide a few benefits for your law firm, and it’s relatively easy for you to do.
Being listed in directories is important because they’re a reputable source of information for potential clients.
However, directories also provide some SEO benefits that will be an added boost to the rest of your digital marketing efforts.
You want your law firm to be one of the top results for those looking for lawyers in your area.
For this to happen, search engines need to know where you’re located, and local listings in directories are one more way of doing this.
A listing in one of these directories will also help with link building, which is an important part of SEO.
These listings ensure that you’ll get backlinks from websites that you know have good authority.
8. Become Mobile-Friendly
You can’t talk about digital marketing anymore without also bringing up the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.
Ultimately, any improvements you make to your website won’t have that much impact if it doesn’t help mobile users.
Anyone without a mobile-friendly website is already falling behind, and this will only grow going into 2021 as Google transitions to the mobile-first index.
You’ve probably looked at a website on your phone that wasn’t mobile-friendly, so you know what a negative user experience this is.
This can cause distrust in an instant, especially when someone is looking for something as important as legal assistance.
9. Show Social Proof
There are plenty of things that your law firm can do on its own to show people that you can help them.
However, telling them yourself isn’t always enough.
We all know that businesses are marketing themselves to us and they want us to use their services, so we tend to be skeptical about taking their word for it.
People want to hear from others like them that your law firm helped them out during a tough time.
This just emphasizes what businesses today should already know: reviews matter.
Recent research reveals that a whopping 98% of respondents say reviews matter to them when researching law firms.
As far as where those reviews are located, 90% of people said they would look to Google first.
Then, 69% would use Yelp, 35% would use Facebook, and 13% would use Avvo.
Therefore, strong reviews can carry a lot more weight than many other marketing tactics you use.
On your website, you need to show social proof that your law firm is reliable. One common and easy way of doing this is by getting testimonials and reviews from your past clients.
This shows your potential clients people who you’ve actually been able to help.
You can also use case studies to help demonstrate exactly how you’ve helped clients in specific situations.