Maximizing Your Law Firm’s ROI
Many companies offer legal marketing websites that employ a broad spectrum of online marketing tools, including SEO programs, online legal directories, legal matching services, peer evaluations systems, rating systems and innumerable permutations of these types of programs. While there is no shortage of companies offering legal marketing, the programs vary dramatically in price, effectiveness and function. Our legal marketing consultants at Jumpem advise clients regarding the strengths and weaknesses of these programs and assist clients in making marketing decision that maximize the benefits of such programs.
Our consultants have experience with some of the most popular legal portals on the Internet, so we can provide insider information when you are deciding how to invest your law firm’s marketing budget. While some programs might cost only a few hundred dollars, other legal marketing programs can be thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. The wrong decision by a law firm can undermine a law firm’s entire marketing plan. Because we are not directly connected to these marketing programs, we have no financial incentive to provide anything other than candid feedback and advice about these programs.
While most companies that operate online legal marketing portals will not guarantee a particular return on investment, some programs genuinely function better than others. At Jumpem, we can provide assistance in evaluating the full spectrum of legal marketing programs, such as the following:
Legal Directories: This type of law firm marketing site really amounts to an electronic version of phone book advertising. Some directories permit more information to be provided than in a Yellow Page display ad, which might include links to your law firm website or even the publication of short articles. While legal directories are becoming dated in some instances, they can provide value for some law firms depending on their pricing and presence in search results. A significant disadvantage is that once you are no longer listed, you retain no residual benefit from placement on the directory. By contrast, investment in your own law firm website or blog provides a long-term benefit because they provide your law firm with a permanent presence on the web.
Attorney Rating Programs: This type of program offers the benefit of a third party evaluation. While many consumers do not necessarily understand the basis for such ratings, the ratings appear to provide some level of legitimacy from an objective third party entity. If you can include your rating or designation on your website, the ratings have more value. However, you website needs to communicate to consumers why the rating has significance within the confines of your state bar rules.
Legal Matching Programs: These programs are in some sense a variation on rating programs for attorneys. The companies claim to “screen” potential attorneys to determine that they are qualified. Some rating programs and matching services are justifiably criticized because the primary “qualification” is the ability to pay the fee. These programs are really referral services that skirt state bar rules, so they can avoid mandatory registration with the state bar. These programs can be very expensive, so extensive due diligence is important to determine your estimated return on investment.
Mass Website Building & SEO Services: Some of the most popular programs build attorney websites for hundreds of attorneys in a single market. A key drawback to these programs is that the companies are responsible for optimizing so many websites in a single market that the programs only tend to work for those paying the most money. These programs need to be carefully evaluated based on the level of competition and cost. If you are in the bottom ten percent in terms of fees on a website that is optimizing hundreds of attorney websites in your market, you should not expect to be optimized on the most desirable terms. The company essentially has its clients competing against one another for SEO on prime key terms.
While the diverse number of legal marketing options provide law firms with a broad spectrum of choices, attorneys also are faced with far too many options that are essentially worthless. Our legal marketing team can help you maximize your investment in law firm marketing. We have worked with many of the popular attorney marketing programs, so we know what works. Our consultants also can advise you on what information you should expect in terms of anticipated return on investment. We can also advise you about programs that offer limited trial programs.