Free Resources To Grow Online Marketing For Law Firms
Growing your practice consists of 50% great service and 50% marketing. If your firm struggles with the legal marketing part of that equation, the resources below can help to grow your knowledge without spending a dime. Best of all, they’re hosted online, meaning you can access them whenever you find a bit of time in your busy schedule. Explore the following resources and become a law firm marketing whiz that makes clients come to you.
Where to Learn About Inbound Marketing: HubSpot Marketing Certifications
HubSpot is a marketing software platform that specializes in inbound marketing—marketing that draws audiences in rather than interrupting to get their attention (content marketing versus radio advertisements, for instance). The company provides free HubSpot Academy Certification courses on a number of topics, based on their best practices for inbound marketing.
Though not designed specifically for attorneys, these lessons are still great resources for lawyers looking to learn the ins and outs of inbound marketing in order to establish a solid foundation for their law marketing strategy.
- Synopsis: Introduces participants to the four general stages of inbound marketing.
- Ideal Attorney Audience: This course is perfect for attorneys who are marketing beginners and want to understand the basic process from start (attracting strangers) to finish (converting them into clients).
Inbound Sales Certification
- Synopsis: Covers the ins and outs of inbound sales, such as recognizing potential clients.
- Ideal Attorney Audience: Attorneys who are looking to nail down their client demographic in order to connect with, and appeal to, the right potential clients.
Email Marketing Certification
- Synopsis: Explores the need-to-know of email marketing, like how to segment lists and utilize analytics.
- Ideal Attorney Audience: Attorneys who are looking to gather leads, keep in touch with their audience via email, and improve their law marketing ROI.
These three courses are broken down into short modules that are ideal for attorneys with busy schedules, and each one comes with a study guide to help internalize important points. At the end of each course, you have the option of taking a final exam online and test your new knowledge (you’ll need to answer at least 75% of the questions correctly in order to pass).
Where to Learn About Gathering and Analyzing Data: Google Analytics Academy
There’s no denying that Google Analytics is a powerful legal marketing tool… if you know how to use it. Google Analytics provides raw data such as bounce rate, the number of people leaving your law firm’s website homepage without visiting another page on the site.
Gathering data like this can make a huge difference to online marketing for law firms and ROI. For example, a high bounce rate could be an indication of poor website design or unappealing content, meaning that you should update your website or change your content strategy. Yet, for all of its power and benefits, Google Analytics is not known to be the most user-friendly program.
Familiarize yourself with the most important functions on Analytics Academy, a free course (with study guide!) on data analysis tools. You can finish the program and test your knowledge using the Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test.
Where to Learn About SEO: Quick Sprout’s Advanced Guide to SEO
Quick Sprout is a pet project of Neil Patel, the founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. The company helps businesses increase their web traffic, and the Advanced Guide to SEO is chock-full of great information for law firms looking to make their site more SEO-friendly.
The Guide to SEO is a written resource that was designed to be visually appealing and organized. Each chapter touches on a different topic such as Keyword Research or Link Building Techniques, so you can navigate to the chapters most useful to your particular attorney marketing challenges. Let’s say that your personal injury firm wants to learn how to keep blog post links fresh—simply skip over the first few sections and head to the WordPress chapter.
Where to Get Marketing Advice Relevant to Your Law Firm: Blogs
A lot of lawyers find that the marketing advice out there doesn’t apply to them directly; it’s more about selling products or appealing to customers. The key to finding advice specific to the legal industry and your firm is to find the best legal marketing blogs.
Of course, Optimized Attorney’s blog is a great source of SEO, social media, and online reputation management tips. These are based upon years of experience crafting content, building websites, and integrating social media marketing into comprehensive law marketing strategies, for law firms of all sizes and types. Other legal marketing resources like www.attorneyatwork.com (filter for legal marketing articles using the “Topics of Interest” section on the right of the page).
Gathering information from blog sources that cater to law firms ensures that your practice receives the most relevant legal marketing information. For instance, you’ll learn exactly how your practice can create a top-notch referral system to grab more clients with less work, rather than yet another irrelevant article about “The Best Instagrammers for Your Business to Follow.”
Improving your marketing starts with building the right website. Ask about our affordable website design services! We’ll help you create the right online expression for your unique firm.
Google Drive is a content manager’s best friend. It enables you to:
- Collaborate easily with decision makers and team members
- Assign certain permissions to different users per document, such as the capability to view only or view and edit
- Edit documents in real time
- Track changes by user
- Access documents even from outside the office without having to email back and forth
- Record which users upload, move, and delete documents, and when these actions occur
- Store photos and videos such as media for blog posts
Every attorney who purchases a Google Apps for Work account at your firm will automatically receive 30 GB of storage.
Google My Business
Over the years, Google has improved its efforts to provide people with the information they need as quickly and effortlessly as possible. When people search for your law firm online today, they will typically see your free My Business page, similar to this one for Optimized Attorney.
A My Business page provides important highlights about your law firm such as:
- Your address
- A map with your location
- Phone number and website
- Photos of your building
- Brief snippets of reviews left by internet users
- Links to your firm’s social media profiles
If the information presented here is incorrect, it can really decrease the foot and phone traffic going to your firm, as well as your lawyer SEO. To correct any information, go to your Google My Business feature and click on the “Suggest an edit” link.
Stay on top of relevant news and potential blog topics using Google Alerts. It’s easy—simply visit www.google.com/alerts, create a Google Alert about a specific topic, decide how often to receive alerts, and Google will send you an email when it locates any new results about the topic per your instructions.
You can track your law firm’s name and your specific type of practice like “personal injury law.” Google Alerts can also spark blog topics. For instance, a personal injury law firm could set an alert for “car accidents in Michigan” or “celebrity car crash.” The marketing team could comb through the results to find a good story and write a blog article covering the current event that also showcases their personal injury law knowledge.
The go-to for law firms looking to analyze significant data points like website bounce rate, Google Analytics should never be off your radar. Sign up for free, collect data, and analyze the information at your fingertips to continually improve ROI little by little.
Google Search Console
Search Console goes hand in hand with Google Analytics by enabling you to improve your law firm website’s ranking and appearance in Google search results pages. Use both tools in conjunction to enhance your attorney marketing ROI, SEO, and audience engagement.
Google owns YouTube, and YouTube garners more than 4 billion views per day. If there’s any social medium out there that can turn your firm into a household name overnight, it’s YouTube.
Consider attorney James Casino who posted a 2 minute video to promote his personal injury law firm. Due to its engaging content and professional production, this video has now reached over 5.5 million views in less than a year. Not bad for a personal injury law firm from Savannah, Georgia.
Trends is basically a snapshot of what’s going on throughout the internet at any given time. This tool is ideal for discovering what kinds of keywords within your niche receive the greatest number of searches.
For instance, you can compare the number of times that the term “patent lawyer” was searched within the past 12 months compared to the terms “patent attorney” or “patent law firm.” Feature the best contender on your website and social media profiles to improve your law firm SEO.
Though Trends is not as powerful as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, the tool definitely pulls its weight and is free to use (AdWords charges for every successful advertisement).
How To Use Google Trends To Boost Online Marketing For Law Firms
Using Google Trends to Boost Your Law Firm Online
If your law firm has an online presence, people likely find you through Google. The majority of people use Google search to find services. Google Trends is a tool that records the way people are finding information. You can tap into the data collected by Google Trends and use it to optimize your online presence so that when people search for services, they quickly find your law firm.
How You Can Use Google Trends Data
Data from Google Trends can allow you to make informed marketing decisions regarding your website, Google My Business listing, blogs, and more. The tool will provide you with information about Google search trends over time and throughout any geographic area. You can use that data to structure the content you publish across the internet.
Google Trends data can help you:
- Determine the interests of people searching for your legal practice areas
- Analyze which legal issues need attention immediately
- Obtain diverse information about your potential clients
The raw data that is available on Google Trends can be used to address an array of wants and needs of potential clients. It will give you an understanding of what potential clients are looking for and how you can meet those needs.
Getting Started with Google Trends
The Google Trends interface is user friendly and free to all users. After navigating to the main page of Google Trends, you can use a search bar where you will be prompted to “Enter a search term or topic.” You can enter terms that are relevant to your practice to find out more about how people are searching for similar things.
You may also specify your search parameters by:
- Geographic area – This feature allows you to choose a specific country, state, or city from which your potential clients may be searching.
- Specific range of time – You may choose to look at historical information from 2004 to present or searches over the past hour. There is a large range of time periods from which you can review search data.
- Category – You may select a specific topic area that people may search within, such as “Arts & Entertainment” or “Business & Industrial.”
- Type of search – You may be looking for information from a standard Google web search, or you may want data from images searches or another type of search.
Once you set your search parameters and submit a search term, you will be provided with a line chart that depicts the interest of searchers over time in the term that you provided. You will also have access to related topics and related queries. This information can all be utilized to support your business.
Using Google Trends to Support Your Law Firm Online
Google Trends data can all be utilized to boost your law firm’s online presence. You can utilize they keyword data provided by the tool to understand the performance of your website, blog, and other online offerings.
Some of the most common terms you can search in Google Trends include:
- Your law firm name
- The names of attorneys at your firm
- Your primary practice areas
- Your primary practice areas + “lawyer” (i.e. criminal defense lawyer, child custody lawyer, divorce lawyer)
- Keywords related to your practice areas
- Specific laws and regulations
- Legal news and current events
All of these topics can result in keywords that can be used in your website, blogs, Google My Business listing, guest posts, and more. Google Trends will show you the performance of those keywords over time and among people in your specific geographic area. Thus, your potential clients search data will provide you with a means to create content that caters to their specific needs.
If there is a significant amount of interest in a specific keyword, you may want to use that term within your content. However, if there is not much search surrounding a particular term, you may want to avoid investing marketing resources into that keyword. You can create web pages and blogs with these terms. You may also integrate these keywords into your profiles online.
Understanding Google Trends in Specific Geographic Areas
One of the most useful characteristics of Google Trends is the ability to search in specific geographic areas. Most law firms have a specific geographic focus. You can structure your Google Trends data search to a specific state or other sub region. Language differences, weather, festivals, and more can impact the way people in a region search.
Google information concludes that people in different geographic areas search for different things at different times. If you search “divorce lawyer” in Georgia, the trends will be different in Atlanta when compared to Savannah. It’s important to know what people in your specific geographic service region are searching. You can create content that will address their wants and needs.
Knowing What Your Potential Clients Are Seeking
Google Trends provides you with a plethora of data that will help you understand your potential clients. People will search for things that they need and want. When searching for legal services, they will seek information that benefits them. Thus, when you are creating content, you should keep this in mind. Provide potential clients with what they want and need, and they will come to you for legal services.
You can learn about searcher interests as well as needs. For example, by running a news search, you will find out what kind of current events are keeping your potential clients interested. You can run a keyword search to determine what news searches are relevant to your practice areas. By providing people with what they want, they will be more interested in what else you can provide to them.
Using Google Trends to Create Content
Content makes up your website, blog, GMB listing, and other profile listings on third party websites. You can use the data you obtain from Google Trends to create content for those online locations. Thus, when people search those keywords, your content will show up at the top on Google.
Begin by searching Google Trends with a keyword that is related to one of your top practice areas. Use the search categories and make sure you’ll be looking at data from your potential clients. If that term performs well over time, you can use it as a primary keyword in a piece of content. You may find additional or semantic keywords in the related topics and related queries sections of Google Trends. Use as many related keywords as possible in one piece of content.
Use Google Trends to Improve Your Online Presence
Google Trends is a tool that can be used to improve your law firm’s online presence. Lawyers can use it to determine which keywords are being searched most often, assess which related terms may be searched at the same time by the same people, and compare popularity of keywords over time. This information can be used to structure your attorney SEO and content marketing plan, thereby boosting your law firm online.
The Simple Client Acquisition Tool You Should Implement Right Now
Imagine that you had an opportunity to attract and retain more clients simply by compiling a bit of research, making a few sketches, and consulting with a graphic designer. Sound too good to be true? Think again.
A client journey map can help your law firm move a greater number of prospects down the sales path to become clients. The following information explains exactly what a client journey map is, the multiple benefits of using one, and how to start sketching an effective map today.
What is a client journey map?
A client journey map is a lawyer marketing tool that outlines your client’s…
- Experience with your firm
Why should you create one?
A client journey map can accomplish several lawyer marketing goals.
- Identify your specific client profile
- Pinpoint the types of website copy and content that will appeal to your client profile
- Recognize pain points and wow moments
- Understand how to improve the client experience with your law firm
- Brainstorm ways to increase your conversion rates at various stages of the sales cycle
How do I make a client journey map?
Follow these steps to develop an insightful client journey map.
Because journey maps identify the types of people you’re trying to attract, their pain points, and ways to improve the entire client experience, you’ll first want to do your research on these elements.
For example, what have your clients complained about on your lawyer marketing surveys? What do they rave about in testimonials? Who typically utilizes your services and how do they find you? Be as specific as possible.
One helpful source for this information is your website back-end dashboard or Google Analytics dashboard. If you’ve been tracking analytics like bounce rates, you can determine where and when website visitors are falling off—possible pain points that you need to fix. Additionally, see what people are saying on social media. If five users commented on your law firm’s Yelp page that they love your firm because you always respond to emails within an hour, then you can tag that as an important differentiator for clients.
- Outline your sales stages
Create the general framework for your client journey map by outlining your sales life cycle. For instance, your divorce law practice may find that a typical person goes through these stages.
Research -> Compare -> Contact -> Consult -> Client -> Retain
- Research: After deciding upon a divorce, the potential client, Joe, researches legal services around him. He searches local firms’ websites, reviews attorney qualifications, and reads testimonials.
- Compare: He then compares the five firms to see which would be the best fit for his particular situation based on his research and financial situation, and decides upon your firm.
- Contact: Joe contacts your practice using the contact form on your website.
- Consult: Your case manager calls to consult with him before the other four firms, and answers Joe’s questions.
- Client: Satisfied with the case manager’s answers, Joe becomes a client.
- Retain: After resolving Joe’s case, your firm keeps in touch with him via email to ensure that he stays engaged with your practice and loyal to your brand.
- Recognize emotional triggers
People make decisions based on emotion and use logic to justify them afterward—that’s why some lawyer marketing pieces like testimonials are so valuable. Identify the emotional triggers that move people down the sales path or cause them to abandon it, and jot down these feelings at the appropriate stages in your outline.
The panic of having a family member arrested, for instance, is a powerful trigger for someone to start researching criminal defense attorneys. On the other hand, frustration about the inability to reach a member of your team for a consultation will probably cause potential clients to abandon your firm in favor of another.
- Identify challenges and goals
What are your greatest challenges to converting clients? A poorly designed website? Not enough staff to field phone calls? Identify these “break” moments and brainstorm solutions to fix them, and then set actionable and measurable goals.
For instance, if your criminal defense practice hears prospects and clients complaining about long hold times (more than 5 minutes) when calling your firm, your goal could be to reduce wait times to less than 2 minutes in the next 6 months and implement a live chat feature on your website to ease call traffic.
Mark these metrics, such as time spent on hold, down on your experience map so you know which data points to track in order to measure goal progress.
- Invest in a graphic designer
After you’ve completed the rough draft of your map and asked for feedback from your team, partner up with a graphic designer to make the client journey map simple, clean, and easy to digest.
Not seeing many leads from your legal website? Grab your free website evaluation today to find out how to get more clients!