Are you a shark in the courtroom? Do you have a knack for settling cases fast? If so, you're well on your way to attracting hoards of new clients.
You also need to market yourself to prospects. What does your current lead generation strategy look like?
Do you rely primarily on referrals? While referrals are great, they're not enough.
To rank in the competitive market of the 21st century, you need to incorporate online lead generation. There are nearly 4.4 billion internet users as of this writing. That's a huge market you can't afford to miss out on.
But online attorney lead generation takes a certain level of skill. There's a method to the madness – and we're here to make sense of it all.
Keep reading to gain a better understanding of how to use the world wide web to generate leads and build your clientele.
What is Online Lead Generation?
If you're new to the digital world, you may be wondering exactly what online lead generation even means.
In short, lead generation is initiating customer interest. It's the marketing efforts you use to encourage clients to inquire about your service or product.
When you apply this same principle to your online presence, it's called online lead generation.
The Art of Attorney Lead Generation
Now that you understand what lead generation is, let's see how it applies to attorneys and how to make it work for your law firm.
1. SEO Best Practices are a Must
Build a website and they will come. This is a thought that many business owners, e-commerce stores, and professionals used to believe. But it soon became apparent that simply creating a website wasn't enough.
If your law office has a website (and it should), you're already halfway there. Now, it's about designing your website with SEO best practices in mind.
SEO (search engine optimization) involves techniques to ensure that your website is ranking well with Google. When people head online to search for a lawyer "near me", you want to guarantee that your law firm is one of the first they see in the SERPs (search engine results page).
But how is it done?
Google "crawls" websites online to determine how useful and authoritative they are to visitors. The more value Google thinks your website brings to the table, the higher up on the results page it ranks.
Google considers things like:
- Quality content
- Keyword usage
The best way to show Google that your law firm's site deserves a spot at the top is to optimize it.
Here's how it's done.
2. Optimize Your Website
Optimizing your website is just a fancy way of saying applying SEO best practices to make sure you're ranking high on the results page. Did you know that the first page of Google captures anywhere from 71-92% of clicks?
We live in a world of immediacy. And if someone's searching for a personal injury attorney, they likely want fast results. Here's how to ensure that your site is one of the first they see (and click on)!
Make it Mobile-Friendly
Let's face it, it didn't take the introduction of Pokémon Go for people to realize that American's are addicted to their cell phones.
Nearly 60% of all online searches are done from mobile devices. That means your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
There are a few ways to ensure that when visitors open your webpage on their cell phone that they can easily access the information.
Step one is making your website responsive. A responsive site contains all the same information and content regardless of the device you use to access it but matches the display settings with the size of the screen.
This is an important part of the webpage design process. Other elements that guarantee clients can access your site from their smartphones and tablets include:
- Use large font and button size
- Avoid using Flash
- Include a "viewport" meta tag to the URL
- Compress the images
The good news is, once your website is designed for mobile use, users can access it from their desktop computer, phone, or their kid's tablet – meaning more chances for them to learn about your law firm and reach out for a consultation.
In the world of instant gratification, if your website isn't fast, you'll be left in the dust. It's recommended that your website loads in 3 seconds or less.
Anything more (even 5 seconds) could lead to clients ditching your site before they even read a single sentence, never mind contact you. So how can you make your website speedy?
Things, like minimizing redirects, enabling compression, and improving service response time, can all help boost page speed and keep visitors on your site.
Easy to Navigate
Remember, you work for your clients, not the other way around. So when it comes to your website, don't make them work too hard for it.
Create menus and a website layout that makes it easy for visitors to find what they're looking for. Make sure your contact information is clearly visible and easy to find on every page.
After all, if there's one thing you want your audience to do, it's to contact you for more information about your firm.
3. Build Trust
Sadly, there's often a negative stigma surrounding lawyer honesty. The best way to combat this is to show potential clients they can trust you. And believe it or not, this is something you can achieve through your online presence.
Create a website that offers valuable and relevant information. This shows potential clients that you're sympathetic with their situation and want to help them beyond the courtroom.
Build a blog (more on this later) filled with useful information like how to file a personal injury claim, types of injuries, and recent changes in state laws. Answer your client's most frequently asked questions to help establish your credibility.
Another technique for building trust is letting visitors leave comments on your posts. Just be sure to respond in a timely fashion.
4. Offer Self-Help Tools for Clients
Offering self-help tools to clients is another great way to not only build trust but show integrity. If you were just after your client's money, why would you provide them with tools to solve their problems? This shows you have their best interest at heart.
Try adding an injury claim calculator or a workman's comp FAQ page. Doing so is a win-win for both you and your potential clients.
By providing them these tools and information upfront, it saves you the time of fielding countless phone calls about the same, common issues. You're also providing visitors with valuable information and resources, which may encourage them to contact you for further assistance.
5. Start a Blog
We've already stated that content is a big part of your online lead generation strategy. Without a blog, your website is lacking a few key elements for optimization and for attracting new clients.
The first way a blog brings in new leads is by offering visitors valuable information. Maybe they start by reading informative articles. Next, they use some of the helpful tools mentioned earlier.
Before you know it, they're calling to schedule a consultation.
But beyond this, your blog is filled with content, which is one of the key factors Google crawls for when ranking sites. Make sure your posts include keywords relevant to the subject and ones you want to rank for. Just be sure to avoid keyword stuffing.
6. Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
Two different concepts, both equally important for lead generation. The answer is in the name.
Outbound marketing involves projecting a message or image to a wide audience. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is about attracting prospects to you. In short, inbound marketing is another way to describe lead generation.
A healthy combination of the two efforts will help make your law firm more visible to prospective clients while converting website visitors into customers.
7. Get Those Likes and Shares
These days, your social media presence is just as important as your online presence – maybe even more important. You might be thinking, "Why does my law firm need a Facebook page?"
The answer is simple – 3.2 billion people use social media. And there are no signs of slowing down. Approximately one million new social media users are created every single day.
This is a huge market and customer base that you can't afford to miss out on. But when it comes to social media marketing for attorneys, there's a fine line.
Social media platforms are often a breeding ground for drama and controversy. It's important you find a happy balance between promoting yourself on Facebook or Twitter and spending countless hours either scrolling or getting into tiffs with keyboard warriors.
Maintain a certain level of professionalism and keep in mind that some social media leads may not pan out. A good strategy is to promote and re-purpose your blog content on these platforms.
8. Email Marketing is NOT Dead
With so many new marketing efforts out there people tend to think email marketing is dead. This simply isn't the case.
The basic principles that made email marketing so popular in the past are still relevant today – it's personal and direct. What better way to connect with prospective leads than by contacting them directly through their email? Especially in a world where most people get emails directly on their smartphones.
Focus some attention on building an email list. There are a few ways to achieve this. Offer incentives or special offers for website visitors who provide their email. Access to special content is another great incentive.
They can also add their email address when requesting a consultation or filling out a lead form (more on this later). In a perfect world, you'll convince visitors to opt-in to receive regular emails from your law firm.
The biggest thing to remember is not to abuse the power of your email list. Avoid sending multiple emails a day or ones that offer no valuable information but are clearly a sales pitch.
People won't be fooled and are more likely to unsubscribe – the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
9. Paid Advertisements
Sometimes, you just need to throw money at the problem. There's no shame in using paid advertisements for lead generation.
Not only are most online advertising campaigns reasonably priced, but they're also measurable. You can gather data to show you exactly where your traffic is coming from and if your campaign is producing the desired results.
You can also target very specific audiences through online advertising. This lets you isolate your target market, which means less wasted time chasing empty leads. Facebook uses customer demographics and popular search terms to help hone in on your ideal clientele.
The most popular form of paid advertising is PPC (or pay-per-click) where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Paid ads are a great way to drive more qualified leads to your law firm.
10. Set-Up a Lead Capture Form
One of the most important things to keep in mind when generating leads for your law firm is to make the process as simple as possible for clients. After all, if they're seeking a personal injury lawyer, they're already dealing with their own set of problems.
Your website needs a lead capture form. The good news is, this is a simple plugin available on most platforms. It's similar to a pop-up asking for someone's email address but can also gather additional information.
In addition to asking for things like the person's name, phone number, and email address, leave a portion for comments. Here, visitors can leave details regarding their case and ask questions relevant to their individual situation.
This gives you valuable insight into what the client needs before responding. You can do research specific to their case and call them with personalized advice. This helps build that oh-so-important trust mentioned earlier.
Attorney Lead Generation is About Building Relationships
Above all else, your potential clients want to feel valued. They want to know that you're there for them at this difficult time and that you have a vested interest in the outcome of their case.
Keep these factors in mind when creating an attorney lead generation strategy. A user-friendly website that offers plenty of valuable information and self-help tools helps establish trust from the onset.
Need more help generating quality leads for your personal injury law firm? Contact us today and find out how we can help.