You may be a wizard in the courtroom, but how do you translate your legal prowess into something clients and potential clients can find, use and engage with on your website? Do you know how well your website is actually doing in that regard? How do you know? The law and Internet marketing are both extremely complex vocations that require highly specialized education and training, but it’s likely you only have time to concentrate on the former. Nevertheless, you can’t ignore how important your website it to helping potential clients find you. So here are some critical Internet marketing tips for attorneys:
De-Jargon Your Website – SEO is Your Friend
76% of people searching for an attorney, use online resources to find one. So “search engine optimization” (SEO) is one of the top Internet marketing tips for lawyers. When a client searches for a lawyer in your town, your firm’s listing should come as close to the top of the search results list—or at least be on the first page of results of Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc. 90% of people never click to page 2 of the search results. The most relevant websites (as so deemed by the search engines) will always appear closer to the top; and that’s where you want to be.
HINT: If your site is full of legal jargon, this text should be rewritten. A potential client isn’t going to type in “premises liability lawyer” if they tripped on a wet floor at the mall. Do an informal poll of your clients and find out what kinds of search terms they used to find you. Better yet, get a Certified SEO expert to do this research for you and redesign your website so that the text, graphics, URL, back-end code and structure of your website attract positive search engine attention.
Premium Business Listings
Closely related to SEO success is how accurately your firm is listed with all of the premium business directories a customer might use when looking for legal services. When was the last time you checked your listing on Yelp, Yahoo Local, CitySearch or Google Places? Is your office listed with Apple Maps, Google Maps or MapQuest? If your office has moved, changed numbers, services or anything else since you first put your website online, it’s high time to make sure all of your contact information is consistent across all of these directories and registries. This is more important than ever now that a growing number of potential clients are probably searching for you via their phone or tablet. If you are correctly listed, a client in need can look you up on their map app of choice and find your phone number and click to call, or find directions to your office right then and there.
Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
Speaking of potential clients and their mobile devices, here is another of our Internet marketing tips for attorneys: Take your mobile device out and navigate to your firm’s website. How does it look? This should be a good indication of how potential clients are viewing your site from their mobile devices. If you find the text microscopic and menus hard to navigate, so do your potential clients. Even if you are the right lawyer for the job, potential clients may abandon your website for competing lawyers whose websites function better on their phone. So make mobile web design a high priority!
Back to the online registries for a moment; particularly sites like Yelp and others where clients can post reviews, true or not. In addition to making sure you have claimed your own listing in all of these directories, you must be aware of what people are saying about your firm. Unfortunately, a disgruntled client, opponent, or even an unrelated troll can go out and post a scathing review, fair or not. You need to be aware and implement smart reputation management practices.
Keep it Fresh: Try a Blog or Videos
One of the least used, but most important Internet marketing tips for attorneys is that you need to work on your website often to make sure the content is fresh, relevant and useful to your clients and potential clients. You can’t just throw up some content and call it good. Search engines tend to downgrade rankings for static websites while giving better rankings to websites that have fresh, regularly-updated content. So consider writing a regular blog that alerts clients to changes in the law, or even posting a video tutorial every so often explaining legal terms or other things a client might find helpful.
No Time? Hire an Internet Marketing Expert
If all of the above Internet marketing tips for lawyers sound time consuming and technologically intricate, you’re right. Most lawyers are too busy doing what they do best. So it’s important to hire an Internet marketing expert who is certified in SEO and can help you get your website in front of clients no matter what device they’re using, no matter what directory they’re searching, and no matter what terms they are using to find you.
Contact Affordable Web Design today and put a certified SEO expert to work for you so that your website will win the day!