Think of your law firm as your vehicle.
You’ve got sturdy wheels beneath you and nothing but the road ahead of you. You’re ready to drive for as long as it takes to get to your destination. You’re in this for the long haul.
But wait. Where are you going? And how do you even get there? These questions aren’t as simple as they sound. Before you can even pull out of your driveway, you need a roadmap: a marketing plan. When you know where you want to go and how long it takes to get there, you’re much more likely to get to your destination than if you just start driving aimlessly. To help you start your journey, we’re going to talk about what a marketing plan involves and what makes it so important.
Know Your Enemy
Marketing is a supersaturated environment for any business, and law firms are no exception. If you’re looking for inspiration to distinguish yourself from the crowd, it helps to know what competitors are offering to draw in new clients.
To start, choose at least two to three competitors to examine. They can be any competitors against which you’d like to compare your success, but here are some suggestions for which competitors to choose for the best results:
- Choose one or two competitors that are approximately the same size as your firm, possibly even practicing in the same areas, and research their online presence. This could include auditing their social media engagement or noting how active they are online. Average their online presence with your own to create a workable standard of how well a firm your size typically performs.
- Choose a competitor that uses marketing tactics you’d like to emulate. Perhaps they have a wider customer reach than your firm, or they have a very successful marketing campaign. Scour their online presence for the same kind of information you retrieved from the other firms you audited. This can help you establish realistic goals for your firm’s growth.
Key performance indicators – where are you headed?
Let the above averages represent your firm’s individualized key performance indicators, or KPI. Your KPI is the route you plan on taking to your destination, beginning with where you are and ending with where you want to be.
Your KPI can involve as many metrics as is helpful to your firm. If you want to increase online engagement, boost the number of successful client conversions, and increase your online visibility, you could include all of these in your KPI. The more specific your KPIs, the more accurately you can determine what course of action to take to reach your destination.
For example, let’s say that you want to boost your social media followership of 500 by at least 20% over the next quarter of a year in order to get ahead of your competitors. This gives you a concrete goal to work towards for the next three months – now you know your destination. With this in mind, you can begin plotting your route accordingly; perhaps you can run law tip campaigns that encourage social media users to follow your page for more information.
Once you’ve reached the end of the time interval, you can review. Did you meet your goals? Why or why not? Now, you can create new KPIs or update your old ones to continually set new goals for your firm. This can help you break your journey to success down into step-by-step directions.
SEO – speak Google’s language
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a practice that helps to increase your visibility on Google using certain algorithm-friendly tactics. The ultimate goal of SEO is to increase your search engine result presence, or SERP. Basically, you’re looking to get your firm to the top of a relevant Google search page.
Google ranks web pages based on their relevance to your search, and it usually determines a page’s relevance based on the presence of certain words in the body of the website. If, for example, a person is looking for an attorney who specializes in auto injuries, they’re likely to Google “auto injury lawyer.” The top result of that search is likely to be a website with a title that has these exact keywords in it. Given that people typically click on the first few links on a Google search page, this is a highly coveted spot.
SEO focuses on optimizing a page to include the most relevant keywords possible, thus increasing the likelihood that Google will present that page as the top result. Some keywords are obvious, like the example above, but for more in-depth optimization, you may need external tools that provide you more insight into trending keyword usage.
Alternatively, you could hire a marketing agency that has access to these tools already. They could provide you with an SEO consultation, where they diagnose your website’s current SEO-friendliness and any potential changes you could make to improve it. You could also allow them to craft your copy so that it’s highly optimized for relevant keywords to your firm’s practices.
If you get lost, ask for directions
This stuff isn’t easy. You’ve already got a law firm to run and client cases to review, so it can feel daunting to have to learn a whole new set of skills just to make Google happy. That’s why 1GS is here to help with your digital marketing needs. While you’re working hard winning cases for your clients, we can offer our website design and SEO services to ensure that the right clients can find you when they need you.
For more information on how we can help build a successful digital marketing strategy for your law firm, contact us today for a consultation.