One important marketing goal of a law firm should be to build a strong online presence that conveys a professional message and supports your firm’s mission. Unfortunately, if a website is your only presence, you are missing out on a lot of great marketing opportunities.
What are the best ways to create a strong, professional online presence for your law firm? Here are a few thoughts.
Have a Complete Website
First and foremost, your site should be current and relevant. If it has been a long time since the site was updated, make revising your website your first priority. Your firm’s site should be current from both a content AND a software perspective. Most people choose to update the content with a blog. Add new and relevant content on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis, but make sure it is consistent. The great thing about a legal blog is the amount of material with which you can work – there are always topics and stories that are timely and relevant to share with the public.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a branding tool, not a sales tool. Too many business owners dismiss social media as a viable way to grow a business online, but this is changing fast. It is important to explore your social media options and determine the best course of action based on the needs of your firm and where you are now.
If you are currently absent from social media, choose one platform and spend a few weeks focused on building a campaign. Once that is consistent, add another platform. For instance, set up a Facebook page and begin posting to it daily. Once that is part of your regular routine, create a Google+ page, then a Twitter account, and so on. The key is to have solid, consistent campaigns for each platform.
In addition to having these social media accounts and keeping them active, there are other beneficial things you can do. For instance, those with Google+ accounts can take advantage of Google Authorship. This links all the content you publish online with your Google+ account, giving you greater credibility and making it easier for people to find your work.
Online videos are one of the most consumer-friendly methods for marketing. As a matter of fact, the video content site YouTube reaches more consumers age 18 to 34 than any cable network. Six billion hours of video are watched every month on the site. Though a lot of that is entertainment, YouTube has also become a destination for research and learning.
If you have not yet considered using video to enhance your online presence, you should add it to your list of goals for the year. Video is truly the key to taking your firm’s marketing to the next level. It puts potential clients at ease and helps them feel familiar with you before they even step into your office. Videos also show you are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to educating people about your field.
Claim Your Directory Listings
There are free listings for your law firm now on all Internet Yellow Pages, local search pages and directories, including vertical legal directories. Typically these are basic generic listings, name firm name, address and phone number. By claiming these listings you can build out the details to include email addresses, website URL’s hours of operations, photos and practice area information. This makes for both a more robust listing for those potential clients seeking legal guidance as well as an extended Internet footprint which the search engines appreciate.
Solicit Reviews and Testimonials
This seems simple enough, but not enough business owners are taking advantage of it. Consumers trust the opinions of other consumers, especially if they are connected to that person in some manner. Asking happy clients to review your services is one of the best ways to build an online reputation. Referrals are as important (even more so, really) online as they are in the offline world. Find a way to link your social media efforts with soliciting referrals and you will create a great system for reaching out to potential clients at a very personal level.
Looking for more ways to enhance your firm’s online presence? Give us call!