This is the second article in a series called “Search Marketing Priorities” which focuses on what different types of businesses should concentrate most on when it comes to Search Marketing. As a business owner you know that you need to prioritize your time and money. It is important to understand that all businesses aren’t the same and that they should put their attention on some areas of Search Marketing more than others. This article will help guide Lawyers and Law Offices on what they should prioritize when spending their Marketing dollars on Online Marketing.
Paid Search – 10/10
Organic SEO – 9/10
Local Listings/Google Maps – 8/10
Website Quality – 8/10
Social Media – 7/10
For many businesses Paid Search is a necessary evil but for lawyers it is absolutely essential. The reason behind this is supply and demand as well as profit per new client. Many lawyer based keywords have a low search volume but have a lot of Lawyers that want that client to find them. There is also a potential very large payout per client (especially on some class action type lawsuits) causing the price of paid search to be staggering in many cases. You can be sure when you make a search on Google or other search engines that the Lawyers will be using every bit of paid ad space they can to get a potential client. This also limits the amount of page space from a search that is left for Organic and Local Listings. If paid is taking up most of the page and you aren’t on it you are potentially not being seen by 75% of the people making these searches. For most businesses paid search is not nearly as important as it is for Lawyers.
The reason why Organic SEO is so valuable to a lawyer is because their top way of gaining clients (Pay Per Click) is so very expensive. So if they can build a strong Organic SEO presence the cost effectiveness is great. If you are spending $35 a click via Adwords and you spend $500 a month on SEO and get 30 clicks a month from organic non branded traffic the cost effectiveness is twice as much. Plus being listed in both the Paid area, maps and right below in the organic would eliminate the potential of even more competitors being contacted. The fact is that most potential clients looking for a lawyer will contact several before making a decision. Therefore by being in as many places as possible when someone makes a search you will appear to be more of an authority or the leader in your field. This makes organic both cost effective and essential in your Internet Marketing Plan
Unlike some other local businesses clients will travel for many miles to find a good Lawyer. It is not unheard of for a client to travel an hour or more to their lawyer and to hire a lawyer who can practice law within the state that they reside as opposed to just the city. So in the case of Lawyers the local map listings are important but are not at the level for other local businesses. This doesn’t even mention that many types of law practice just require that the lawyer practice in that state and so someone looking for a lawyer in Oklahoma could hire a potential patent lawyer from Texas as long as they were licensed in Oklahoma. This doesn’t mean that all lawyers should not make sure that their Google Maps Listing isn’t up to date and covers their top areas of law. Lawyers should also make sure their addresses and phone numbers are the same across all Local sites so as to not miss out on business.
The ugly truth for Lawyers is that their website can be beautiful or just informative and it can likely achieve the same results from clients. When a person is looking for a lawyer they are looking for someone with knowledge and experience in their particular field. If they come across a website that isn’t super fancy but has a lot of content and a picture of the lawyer and he or she looks trustworthy they would likely schedule a time to meet with that lawyer. The quality of your website means a lot less than the quality of your experience and appearance. It never hurts to have a strong website especially if you are a large firm and you want people to be able to easily navigate to the different lawyers or separate areas of law you perform. Certainly if you are in a very competitive area you don’t want to have the worst looking website but you can languish with a very dated website for years as long as you keep the content updated.
Social Media for a lawyer is a tricky business. Due to all of the regulations and rules that a lawyer is under what they put out into the world needs to be double and triple checked. Having a general Social Media presence is important for Google Rankings as well as for your clients to see that your law practice is active. Social Media is not going to be a big powerhouse for bringing in new clients for most Law offices. Most people are going to make their decision from referrals, checking out the website and interviewing potential lawyers either in person or on the phone.
For your Law Office to succeed it needs a steady stream of new reliable quality clients and Search Marketing is a great place to find those. Lawyers have a unique opportunity to gain those new clients and by prioritizing where you spend your Marketing dollars online you will be able to ensure a steady flow of new business.