Building a Holistic Online Strategy for Promoting Your Law Firm

Whether you are extremely late to the party and just considering establishing an internet presence, or you wish to improve your web exposure, there are a multitude of options.  Unfortunately, some of the available internet marketing options are ineffective and others must be evaluated based on your specific market and objectives.  When law firms attempt to develop their own internet marketing strategy without assistance from online marketing professionals, they are generally about as successful as individuals who attempt to take on prosecutors or insurance companies without legal representation.  While many law firms ask whether they can afford an internet marketing campaign, the more appropriate question might be can they afford not to have a dominant web presence.

Our attorney internet marketing team at Jumpem has over a decade of experience analyzing the objectives and needs of law firms, so we can deploy effective online law firm marketing campaigns.  There are so many strategies for promoting law firms online that selecting and customizing the right internet marketing techniques to fit you firm’s situations can extremely difficult.  Some law firms decide to employ a pay per click strategy despite having an insufficient budget to make this type of program productive.  Other attorneys build law firm websites that are not optimized properly or promote their firm on a legal directory without information on the company’s renewal rates or other measures of performance.

At Jumpem, our web marketing team has a proven record of success crafting marketing campaigns that include some or all of the following tools: search engine optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) management, promotion on legal directory sites and more.  We have provided an overview of some of the considerations that must be weighed when evaluating these strategies.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization provides a lasting and cost-effective internet marketing strategy for lawyers.  PPC marketing and online directories only provide a benefit as long as you continue spending marketing dollars on these approaches.  By contrast, SEO efforts involving your law firm website and/or law blog provide long-term residual benefits.  As soon as you decide to reallocate your online marketing budget away from PPC campaigns and online directories, your presence immediately disappears.  Even if you have poured tens of thousands of dollars into this type of online marketing tool, your choice to move in another direction is akin to “turning the power switch off”.  When you use on-page optimization and publish quality legal content on your firm website or attorney blog, you retain the links, Meta-tags, content and other features involved in the optimization even when you lack money to invest more resources into your website.

Another benefit of investing in efforts to optimize your law firm website or blog is that you are investing in your own intellectual property.  When you expand your website by adding pages of unique and insightful content, you are building out your own website as opposed to investing money that is used by Google or a company running an online directory to promote its own website.  The information you provide to the public in the content published on your website has long-term value in terms of optimization, and as a firm asset if you eventually sell your law firm.

While search engine optimization can provide many benefits, this approach to internet marketing is more of a long-term approach.  When evaluating SEO companies be cautious about representations that sound too good to be true.  An SEO campaign based on organic optimization takes time to generate results, so you should be skeptical if you are advised that you will start getting calls and emails from prospective clients immediately.

Legal Directories: Many attorneys in the late stages of their career are most comfortable with legal directories because they are similar to traditional print advertising in the Yellow Pages, newspaper and magazines.  These options can have appeal because they often are affordable and allow a law firm to establish an immediate online presence.  However, they can be extremely ineffective, so return on investment can be a serious issue.  

We generally recommend that you ask the sale representative for such a product to provide real metrics like renewal rates, performance criteria for similar attorneys in your market and the number of attorneys already listed in your market/practice area.  Our legal marketing advisors emphasize that ROI must be closely scrutinized with this type of marketing tool.  Since you receive no residual marketing benefit from a directory once you are removed, the value of these directories is simply fees generate less the cost of the program and time and money invested handling cases retained through the program.

Pay Per Click

Pay per click campaigns offer a mix of advantages and disadvantages that constitute a middle ground between SEO and directory type advertising.  PPC campaigns can offer immediate results like a legal directory, but skilled management of your PPC campaign is essential.  Many search terms are prohibitively expensive, so they do not justify their cost because they do not produce high conversion rates.  Sometimes long tail searches can generate higher conversion rates particularly in highly competitive markets.  Unfortunately, PPC advertising is like legal directory marketing because you receive no residual value from your investment once your have exhausted your PPC budget in a given month.  It also can be very frustrating to pay $100 to receive a click from someone who wants to sale you marketing services or other products.

Admittedly, these are only a few examples of legal marketing options that a law firm can use to promote its legal services.  Our internet marketing team at Jumpem has been designing and implementing effective strategies for promoting the web presence of businesses for ten years.  We offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your current online marketing presence, analyze your competition and develop a holistic approach to achieving your goals of reaching new clients, increasing revenue and branding your law firm.  For more information on SEO packages with Jumpem, we invite you to call us at 1(800) 293-5867.