Author: Sam Borrett | Date: 15 February 2019
Top 15 Legal Marketing Tips for 2020
Law firms are operating in an increasingly competitive market and this is even more apparent when it comes to digital marketing and getting more coverage and exposure online.
Generating work through your law firm website can be highly profitable – just look at what we achieved for Bott and Co (5th highest revenue growth of all UK law firms between 2014-2018).
But actually making it happen is not as easy as it might seem.
We’ve updated our legal marketing tips and advice to create a complete guide for your firm on how to get the most out of your marketing activity. Follow this advice and you will see the benefits on the bottom line.
The full list of the 15 key law firm marketing tips in guide are:
- Get your entire staff on board
- Review your client communications and user experience
- Have an active and engaged social media profile
- Employ a specialist legal marketing agency
- Start blogging
- Monitor your competitors
- Improve your website performance
- Pay experts for high ranking, high converting landing pages
- Thoroughly train sales staff
- Create videos to attract new clients
- Constantly analyse the data to find ways to improve
- Focus on the community you’re in
- Optimize your website for voice searches
- Focus on mobile searches and AMP pages
- Think about adding live chat to your website
Get Your Entire Staff on Board
Every person in your business has some role to play in the brand perception – both at work and in their social lives. Make them all your best brand ambassadors.
Your marketing team should make themselves known throughout the business and also make sure the business knows what they are working on. All too often we see marketing teams isolated and staff not sure what exactly they do.
Good internal communications helps here with proper flows of information. Encourage feedback from staff at all levels – we’ve managed several staff surveys using a system specially designed to create measurable metrics and give good qualitative responses that allow you to tackle common issues in the business that lead to improved staff morale.
This helps with getting people on board and believing in the company, not just working there.
Review Client Communications and User Experience
One of the most overlooked ways to increase profitability is to communicate better with your existing clients.
How many times does a client call or email in because they’ve received a letter or email that they don’t fully understand, or that has left them with more questions than answers?
That’s chipping away at your profit margins and increasing your overheads in dealing with those enquiries.
An existing client calling you to ask something is almost always a failure of your communications. It’s a failure to deliver the right information at the right time in a way that is understood.
And communicating effectively with clients does not mean ‘dumbing down’ (a phrase we’ve banned from being used by our clients) it simply means making communication more accessible.
Get your communications experts in the marketing team to review the typical client communications, template letters etc, and mystery shop your fee earners to pick up opportunities to improve.
Have an Active and Engaged Social Media Profile
All too often law firms have social media accounts which are just streams of their company updates. Spoiler alert – no-one cares!
If you went into a room full of people and only talked about yourself, you wouldn’t end up with many friends.
Social media should be about engaging and sharing information with other users. That means getting involved in the conversations.
This requires that your social media team have sufficient knowledge of the areas of law you practice and are kept informed of developments in the legal sector so they are suitably equipped to get stuck in.
But don’t just stick to the legal sector – think about what broader subject areas might appeal to your followers. You can analyse the types of followers you have using tools such as Audiense.com or analyse what social posts have worked well previously using the reporting in SproutSocial.com.
An active social media profile also supports the buying process – in that it helps the trust and authority signals for prospective clients.
Employ a Specialist Legal Marketing Agency
We’ve seen many non-legal (or generalised) marketing agencies not succeed with law firms because they don’t always appreciate the nuances of the legal sector.
In many cases (particularly in consumer firms) the act of hiring a solicitor is a distress purchase – this brings its own challenges around how you market your services.
Law firms aren’t always structured like other businesses and don’t necessarily have the same level of development in terms of the conversion funnel through the business.
So, it’s well worth looking up an agency or consultant that has experience in the legal sector to make sure they will be able to assist throughout the client journey, to increase new business and improve client retention.
A great way to engage with your readers is to start a blog that will be a part of your law firm’s website. Websites that feature integrated blogs like that generally do better on search engines, and the benefits of having one are quite numerous.
Through blogs, you can deliver new content to your prospective clients on a regular basis. This gives you a chance to cover topics that people find interesting and thus give your readers some solid tips that can help them out. Quality content is becoming increasingly important for the performance of your website, and the time people spend there is one of the most important metrics considered by search engines. Give people what they want and you will be rewarded.
Furthermore, this makes for a great conversation starter on social networks. You can post links to your blog posts there and ask people what they would like to read next or simply start a discussion to gain more visibility on the network.
Monitor Your Competitors
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. If you are not constantly monitoring what your competitors are doing then you’re missing a trick.
Let’s be clear, it’s not about trying to replicate what your competitors are doing – as you’ll always be one step behind. It’s about looking for opportunities, trends, and making sure you’re not missing anything.
Track competitors for the terms they’re ranking in Google for in SEMrush, and watch their social media activity on Sprout Social or Audiense (where you can see who’s following their account and target new audiences as a result).
Keep an eye on specific PR and marketing campaigns – you might get some ideas for your own activity. Also checking out who they’re following and what they’re talking about can give you an insight into their wider strategy.
Improve Your Website Performance
Don’t underestimate the power of online for generating new work – even for B2B firms. Your website needs to load quickly and be easy to use as speed and user experience indicators are key elements in how Google will rank your website.
Building your online brand organically is also adding value to the business. If you increase website traffic and new work as a result, then your domain and brand increases in value if you were ever in a position you wanted to sell up.
Increasing your conversion rate is a sensible way of making your marketing spend go further. Rather than tip more money into advertising – first you should maximise the number of website visitors who convert into leads.
If you’re one of the top 200 law firms as ranked by The Lawyer UK200 then check out where your website ranks on our Legmark Legal Sector Website Performance Index.
Pay Experts for High Ranking, High Converting Landing Pages
A solid base of website traffic through organic search listings (i.e. not paid clicks) will give you the most return on your investment. But it takes time, and a lot of knowledge, to do this effectively.
Anyone can write content – but can you combine content that will rank at the top of the Google search results, and give you good conversion rates? Consideration needs to be paid to natural use of keyword search terms, calls to action on the page, content type and format, among many other elements.
If a page ranks at the top of Google for a key search term and converts very well, giving you tens of thousands of pounds in revenue each year (or maybe more), what is that page worth to your business?
Thoroughly Train Sales Staff
All your marketing spend can be for nothing if you’re not effectively capturing leads when they call or email in, or contact you through webchat.
The staff dealing with new client enquiries need to be well versed in overcoming objections, have a detailed knowledge of your areas of law and of the business process, and above all, be incredibly personable.
You might not be surprised to discover we often see that solicitors don’t fit all those criteria above.
We’ve helped law firms establish dedicated client first response teams (and gone on to win awards on the back of this) to deal with the influx of leads and enquiries.
These teams should consist of staff that understand the legal sector and are skilled salespeople – able to get across your firm’s USPs and turn leads into clients.
Create Videos to Attract New Clients
Videos are an incredibly effective tool when it comes to marketing. Simply, when people watch videos explaining to them the benefits of a particular product or service, they feel more connected to the brand, more confident and are much more likely to make a purchase. It also helps that they can connect the service you’re providing with a friendly face. This brings them much closer to you.
Videos are a perfect way to explain the basics of your field and to introduce your services to your potential clients. They are especially good content for various social networks where they can be easily shared to expand your reach.
Apart from doing some sort of introductory videos intended to present you and your law firm, you can also create some simple tutorials helping people find their way in the legal system. Things like this are bound to get traction online.
Constantly Analyse the Data to Find Ways to Improve
Ongoing optimisation is where you can wring every bit of efficiency (and profit) out of the marketing activity.
You should be regularly monitoring your rankings (preferably in comparison to your competitors), and the wealth of data in Google Analytics and Search Console telling you how people interact with your website.
In addition, constantly reviewing the social media metrics to see what’s performing and areas you can adjust (if a certain type of post, or one sent at a specific time of day isn’t getting any response, then save your time by not scheduling it).
Make sure your goals are set up correctly in Analytics and then use the conversion rates as a key metric to improve. Be mindful that if you change the type and volume of traffic to your site (such as running a display campaign or email marketing) you may well reduce the conversion rates but increase overall conversions as the traffic quality changes.
Focus on the Community You’re In
The community you’re based in is exceptionally important, especially if you’re located in a small town. Helping people out in a place like that can go a long way in securing your referrals because people will then spread the word about you and your business. And if you see that you have a solid source of referrals, make sure that the source knows you appreciate their effort.
Try to build a meaningful relationship with the people who live around you. Participate in local events and think about sponsoring local organizations to create a firm network of prospective clients.
Additionally, it is good to have the same approach with your digital marketing efforts. Talk to your legal marketing agency about focusing on local SEO and creating campaigns targeting only your surrounding area so that whenever people near you type in a term from your area of expertise your website is first to appear.
Optimize Your Website for Voice Searches
Voice searches have been surging in popularity over the last couple of years, and it is expected that they will form more than half of all online searches by 2021. Therefore, you will want to start thinking about optimizing your website to accommodate those types of searches.
This means that the content on your website should be of a more conversational nature because voice searches are quite different in form from typed queries. Furthermore, a huge portion of voice searches focuses on the user’s immediate vicinity, so local content is very important. People using voice searches are usually in need of something and need to get results as soon as possible. Often these are directions to places like the nearest restaurant or salon, so having something like Google My Business can help the user get all the information needed.
Additionally, you may want to pay special attention to how your website works on mobile devices because voice searches are mostly done that way.
Focus on mobile searches and AMP pages
Since we’re on the subject of mobile devices, it should be noted that focusing on the way your website looks on mobile devices is something exceptionally important for your success.
There are two main reasons for that: more than a half of all Google searches now come from mobile devices, and about one half of all users believe that if a mobile version of a website doesn’t look or function well on mobile devices the business behind it doesn’t care about it at all. So, the chances are that you will need a good mobile website to leave a good first impression on your potential client.
One way to do that is to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), which improve loading speed significantly. This speed is one of the most important ranking parameters used by Google when ranking websites, and it is even suspected that the search engine favours that kind of mobile pages. So, don’t let your clients wait while your website is buffering – it could cost you a lot.
Think about adding live chat to your website
Having the ability to immediately respond to a query from a potential client can be immensely beneficial to your business. If someone needs legal advice immediately, they will very much appreciate the fact that they can talk to someone in just a few clicks. Helping people like that with small things will lead to them returning to you when they face bigger issues because they will remember that you helped them quickly. Plus, once you have them on live chat, you have the possibility to turn that inquiry into a very solid lead.
However, this is not something that requires your non-stop attention because agents can be trained and even bots can be programmed to provide answers to the most popular questions. This makes you available 24/7, which is certainly a good reason for a potential client to turn to you.
We hope you find these useful – let us know what’s worked well for you!