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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

5 Tips to Get More Clients Now and After the COVID-19 Shutdown

By Mike Ramsey

Last week hundreds of lawyers joined our webinar, “How to Get New Leads and Clients Now and After the COVID-19 Crisis,” hosted by Nifty Marketing and Attorney at Work. The program featured a team of experts from Nifty along with guest Billie Tarascio of Modern Law. If you weren’t able to join the webinar, don’t worry: Here’s a summary of the five tactics we discussed that should be part of your law firm marketing strategy.

COVID-19 is affecting everyone, but implementing these local marketing strategies will help position your firm for survival and success.

1. Fix Major Listings, Starting With GMB and Google Posts

Here’s why we stress that managing your Google My Business (GMB) listing is critical. Take a look at the screenshot below: 50% of the actions taken on this law firm’s GMB listing were done off the website (calls, directions, chats) — meaning the people who called or reached out for information never went to the law firm’s actual website. For some law firms, we have seen this number as high as 75%.

Customer law firm marketing strategy

Google Posts and COVID-19

Since people who find your GMB listing may never see your website, you must use Google to inform them of your COVID-19 office situation. How can you do this? Use a Google post to notify them that you are still open and can do things virtually. (Google posts allow you to add text and photos directly to your GMB listing.) Here is a sample Google post by a lawyer in Las Vegas.

We are open law firm marketing strategy

 

Also, Google has added a section in the GMB posts dashboard specifically for COVID-19 updates. This is another spot you can use to update potential clients about your current situation.

 

This COVID-10 update section does not allow you to include an image with your post, so keep that in mind. This is what that post would look like when live.

2. Make Reviews Part of Your Customer Experience

Reviews should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy (pandemic or not). The average law firm has 50 reviews on Google. This is a benchmark to compare your firm’s listing to.

At the time of this writing, the ability for new reviews to be published to your GMB listing is temporarily paused because of staffing issues.

We haven’t heard how long it will take Google to go through the backlog of reviews, or if they will even publish them once its staff goes back to work. We can’t imagine the latter happening,  but only time will tell.

If you haven’t built a system to encourage new reviews from every client you work with, now would be the time to think through that and get some steps in place.

3. Get Your Website in Order

The most important thing you can do with your website during the current crisis is to make it wildly obvious to prospective clients that your firm is open. This should be one of the easiest things to implement.

Idea No. 1: Get a banner on your site that tells people you are open. This should take no time at all to implement. We looked across a lot of law firm websites over the last two weeks and were shocked at how many firms didn’t have something like this implemented. Get this done today if you haven’t already.

Idea No. 2: Set up a dedicated page with more details on how you are available and the steps your firm has taken to continue providing top-notch service despite the pandemic. It is an easy way to connect with potential clients and really stand out in your market.

Here is an example of what Naqvi Injury Law in Las Vegas did.

 

4. Get Local Links, Likes and Shares

You need to be producing content that will generate links, likes and shares. This means better, relevant content. Ramos Law Group did just that with its blog post “COVID-19: Child Custody Possession Schedule Under Shelter-In-Place Order in Texas.”

law firm marketing strategy

The firm saw a need and asked themselves: What important questions are our potential clients asking right now? Then they put together a piece that added immense value for family law clients and published it on their site. To date, this piece:

  • Is in 23 featured snippets.
  • Has had 21,072 total visits (14,643 organic).
  • Has had 382 social clicks.

Those are fantastic results for a single piece of content. And the firm did it again with a similar piece that met another need and had similar, if not better results.

This isn’t a one-off, lightning-strike accident. You can do it as well. Start asking what your potential clients need most right now. What are their biggest fears now? What questions are they desperate to find answers to? Then answer those with great content — and make it easy to find.

5. You Must Start Paying for Traffic

Recently Nifty Marketing participated in a conference where Google copresented with us. The Google rep leaked the following stat: 50% of all clicks on Google go to ads.

Yes, 50%. What does this mean during COVID-19?

Across all our law firm clients, we are seeing a 28% decrease in organic traffic and new client leads.

Fewer people are organically visiting sites. But here is what we are seeing with paid ads.

Google Ads

  • 4% decrease in clicks
  • 22% increase in market share
  • 10% increase in leads
  • 1% increase in spend (total clients)

Facebook Ads

  • 16% increase in ad reach
  • 27% increase in ad clicks
  • 8% decrease in spend (total cost)

Ad buyers are able to get in front of more eyeballs, get more leads (on Google) and more clicks (on Facebook), all while spending pretty much the same amount of money as before.

As some firms panic and start pulling budget from ads, it allows those who stay in the space to stretch their budgets further. Ad inventory is also much cheaper than normal right now due to lower competition from reactive law firms.

Here are examples of ads we are currently running for some law firms in the past few days in response to the crisis.

law firm marketing strategy

Keep in mind that your ads’ wording can greatly slow down the approval process. For example, using “COVID-19” or “Coronavirus” in Google ad text typically flagged a disapproval, whereas in some cases using the word “pandemic” did get approved. Take note of Google’s notice below, and be careful and smart with the wording in your ads. (It’s worth noting that although COVID-19 and similar words cause ad disapproval, currently Google still allows you to use these words on the ad destination page.)

Remember, Data Is Essential to Sound Marketing Strategy

We will end with a quote from Harvard Business Review:

On average, increases in marketing spending during a recession have boosted financial performance throughout the year following the recession.

We aren’t saying to spend marketing dollars blindly. Rather, look at what’s working for other law firms, based on data, and spend marketing dollars where it counts.

SEO is a constant. We like to say it is a marathon. What you do now will continue to affect your site for months in the future. Keep that going. Google and Facebook ads have huge opportunities right now that can be capitalized on by those who are willing. If you aren’t taking advantage of these channels, it might be time to reconsider.

To view the recorded webinar, join the COVID-19 Facebook Group.

Watch the Webinar

Our thanks again to all those who attended our webinar!  You can view the recorded video, here.

In addition, Nifty Marketing’s Facebook Law Firm Support Group is dedicated to helping law firms navigate the current COVID-19 landscape. Click here to join.

 

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Mike Ramsey Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey is President of Nifty Ventures and founder of Nifty Marketing and Nifty Law. The Nifty Law team brings digital marketing, website design, SEO and content marketing to firms nationwide. He is the author of “Winning at Local Search” and a partner at LocalU, which provides conferences in the realm of local search marketing. A speaker at marketing events such as Avvo Lawyernomics, Mozcon and Pubcon, Mike has been featured on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz. Follow him on Twitter @mikeramsey.

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