If you are a lawyer considering getting started in digital marketing for your law firm, you likely feel completely overwhelmed. In many cases, hiring a marketing agency to manage your website, blog, social media and email list can prove financially impossible. If you have the time and are willing to learn, however, you can make a lot of progress on your own. Here are five free things you can do to get going on your digital marketing plan.
1. Maximize Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most important and powerful SEO marketing tools that exist, and it’s completely free. Not only is it the place most online potential clients will find your law firm, but Google integrates the information it obtains from your GMB page with your online presence throughout the internet to gain a clearer picture of what legal services you provide. This helps the Google bots understand your law firm better, and helps you gain traction to the top of the search engines.
GMB gets the No. 1 spot in your digital marketing plan because it also links directly with your Google reviews, making this a powerful business card for your firm online. Your reviews and ratings are then linked to your GMB profile, making it easy for potential clients to see your legal services. You can also place articles (blog posts) on your GMB page directly, which helps Google and potential clients understand your law firm, your accolades, recent successes and more. Additionally, with a strong GMB listing, your law firm becomes eligible for placement in the coveted 3-pack of Google’s search results.
Do not overlook setting up and building out your GMB page as much as possible. For more detail on how this digital marketing tool can help your law firm, check out this “Ultimate Guide to Google My Business for Lawyers” article.
2. Update to Voice Search
Now more than ever, people search with their voices instead of their keyboard. Voice searches are gaining in popularity, and with some free steps, you can optimize your law firm to be found in voice searches through Alexa, Siri, Google, Echo and more. Make sure that you have updated all of your law firm’s information on all available platforms, such as Google. Consider adding descriptions to your location that would connect you to a specific geographical location or area. Use phrases such as “personal injury attorney near me” in your descriptions, meta tags, meta titles and internal linking. Make sure to optimize all your “rich snippets,” which are just detailed information gathered from your website and online presence. Consider using Schema to optimize for these rich snippets. Test out your law firm voice search on different devices to see where both you and your competition rank. Many law firms are not yet working on gaining traction in voice search, so you can edge out your competition here for free.
3. Get Creative With Social Media
Does your law firm have a Facebook page? A Twitter account? A LinkedIn page? An Instagram account? While many of these platforms do tend to favor players that pay for advertising, you can gain a large following and provide an incredible amount of value to potential clients on all these social media platforms for free.
Consider getting creative with your social media. You may have a Facebook account for your law firm, but can you create another Facebook group that will help you generate leads? If you are an avid motorcycle rider and practice personal injury law, perhaps you can create a Facebook group for motorcycle enthusiasts in your area. The Facebook group will act as a way for these like-minded individuals to gather and discuss their passion, but also provide you a captive audience that will ultimately use your legal services if they are ever in a motorcycle accident. Think outside the box when it comes to social media by creating new Facebook groups. Use these platforms to consistently provide free and valuable content.
People do business with people, and when people are looking for an attorney, they will remember you through your social media posts and interactions.
4. Build an Email List
If you don’t already have an email list for your law firm, you should start to develop one immediately. An email list is a collection of warm, prospective clients or previous clients interested in your law firm. Take advantage of this by sending a weekly or monthly newsletter. You can include recent accolades or court cases your law firm has won, or even your firm’s recent charity work. Many email service providers offer a free startup package.
Curious how to get people onto your email list? Create a valuable “opt-in” that prospects can only receive in return for giving you their name and email address. (Be sure to educate yourself on how to do this so that you aren’t perceived as a spammer.) For example, if you are an estate planning firm, provide a checklist of everything you should talk to family members about during the holidays. If you practice business law, provide a small booklet on the differences between business entities to help new entrepreneurs understand their options. A reliably solid opt-in is an FAQ booklet that helps answer clients’ most common concerns. Once you have these potential clients on your email list, be sure to send emails regularly to help them remember you.
5. Publish Blog Posts Regularly on Your Firm Website
The best way to gain online visibility is to publish consistent and valuable blog posts on your law firm’s website. Blog posts alert Google that your firm’s site is providing consistent content to potential clients and is not stagnant. Blog posts also give you something to visit with your potential clients about on social media and in your email list. Find content ideas for your website that will help your potential clients with their frequently asked questions by making sure you find keywords that are optimized for SEO. If you have a WordPress site, installing Yoast SEO is free. Yoast can help you make sure you are developing good SEO practices and strategies for your blog posts to be seen by the Google bots and indexed correctly to get you to the top of Google.
Finally, make sure to include social media icons on each of your posts so that your readers easily share it on social media.
Digital Marketing Action Steps
If you want a more comprehensive digital marketing plan for your law firm this year, start with these easy and free steps:
- Set up and optimize your GMB page.
- Make sure your law firm can be found in voice search.
- Develop a social media strategy. (Start with just one social media platform.)
- Create an email list, gather subscribers through a valuable opt-in, and email them regularly.
- Create a blog for your law firm’s website.
More Good Digital Marketing Ideas
“How to Set Up a Private Facebook Group for Networking and Referrals” by Laura Ernde
“Five Steps to Starting an Email Newsletter” by Laura Ernde
“Protect Your Referrals: Claim and Optimize Your Directory Listings (Starting With Google My Business)” by Mark Homer
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