Fact: It is more expensive, more difficult, and more important than ever to have an effective web presence.
When I was growing up, there was this amazing ski mountain that was a 90-minute drive from our place. At first, the road to the mountain had virtually no traffic, the lift lines were short, and the snow was incredible.
Years later, it seemed everyone had discovered this gem of a mountain. Traffic was crazy, lift tickets were more expensive, and lines were long. The snow was still incredible.
Just like the ski mountain, the online world for lawyers is no longer a huge secret. This is why things have become more difficult. Your competition is now pouring resources into their law firm’s online presence. This increase in competition has driven up the cost of achieving results for one simple reason: There is a finite amount of space online that produces results.
Because you need both traffic and conversion to be successful online, if you do not get the right traffic, you will fail to see results. Eight years ago, we just focused on ranking as one of the biggest factors to online success. Why? Because if you ranked well, your website got the most traffic. That is no longer the case.
Mike Ramsey from Nifty Law Marketing recently published a study on click-through rates and found that people are clicking local listings, listings below the local pack, and ads.
Unlike software that you create once and sell to many, services take ongoing action to accomplish results. In the end, there needs to be a lot of fingers on keys. This comes at a cost. At GNGF, we have continued to push more effort into every client’s online strategy every year.
Here are five things you need to focus on today that were not as necessary five years ago:
- VIDEO HAS TO HAPPEN.
You need video, just like you need a mobile-ready website. Years ago, video was nice to have; today, it provides you access to new leads online. Currently, we are shooting 50–100 content videos in less than a day. That is a lot of valuable content that can be used on social media, your website, YouTube, and more.
- YOUR CONTENT MUST HAVE A PURPOSE.
Five years ago, you could write content just for the sake of writing content, but that doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to write with the user’s experience in mind. You have to have a desired outcome for each piece. This takes time to research and, well, think. The best performing pieces of content out there on the Internet are above all thoughtful. Arguably, the best things that have ever been created were done thoughtfully.
- GET CREATIVE WITH MARKETING.
Just having a website alone will not drive results if you are serious about building a solid online presence. GNGF is creating a podcast series for one of our clients to drive brand awareness and traffic to the website. Getting creative will help you capture more market share.
- INTAKE PROCESS MATTERS.
Who answers the phone and how do they sound? We call law firms all the time and, too often, we hear a gruff “Hello, law offices.” That is the opposite of an inviting tone. Today’s prospect is going to hold you to a higher standard because there is a ton of easily accessible alternatives to your firm—all your competition on Google.
- SOCIAL MEDIA.
Four years ago, if you attended one of our many CLE programs, we said to post your content to social media but not to worry about trying to leverage social media for your law firm marketing for the time being—well, the time has now come to do just that. You should be developing a solid presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you wait even 18 months to start engaging on social media, you may find the cost to play has doubled. Now is the time to invest in your social media management.
As always, we encourage you to check out our blog and read the latest edition of our book Online Law Practice Strategies: 2015 for more information on how to achieve everything I have covered in this article. It is not easy to market a law firm, and over the last few years, it’s gotten a lot more difficult.