Follow these simple tips to learn how to attract and retain clients with digital marketing and our practice management solution.

Anyone reading this probably doesn’t need to be convinced about the potential of legal practice management software to increase productivity, improve the customer experience, and grow law firms.

But no solution will work unless you have the right strategy in place.

To grow your firm, your practice management software should have a solid digital marketing strategy behind it.  This will help you reach out to more of your target audience; attract new leads, and convert more prospects into paying customers.

Referrals are all well and good but relying on them as the foundation of any law firm marketing strategy is asking for trouble.

If you want to create a solid base for growth, it pays to be proactive in four areas in particular:

  1. Growing traffic to your website
  2. Nurturing leads
  3. Improving conversion rates
  4. Managing and marketing to clients more effectively

Below I highlight what to focus on in each category, with a few tips sprinkled in so that you can achieve some quick “wins”.

1. Growing traffic to your website 

To grow your firm through digital marketing, you first need to increase the amount of qualified traffic to your website. 

First, get very clear on what “qualified” means. Who are your target customers? This will vary for each law firm.

Then work on the following:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Building your social media online presence (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Investing in paid advertising (Google Ads, Facebook ads, etc.)

There are no shortcuts with any of the above. They all take a little time. 

The logical starting point is SEO but it’s usually most effective when all three work in tandem.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Don’t underestimate the power of getting your website to rank on the first page of Google for your main keywords.

To improve your chances, focus on the following areas:

  • Build a website for great user experience – Google will reward you for it.
  • Hire an SEO specialist to optimize your website structure and ensure pages are loading quickly.
  • Remove dead pages or old URLs that no longer work.
  • Create a clear value proposition and call to action from the homepage onwards.
  • Make your website mobile-friendly or Google will penalise you.
  • Target specific keywords and specific segments of your audience with your practice area pages.
  • Use multimedia (video, podcasts, infographics) to engage users and keep them on your site for as long as possible.
  • Gather 5-star reviews from past clients – especially Google reviews.

Check out our law firm SEO article for more SEO tips.

Social media

If you’re pushed for time, social media might take a backseat in your digital marketing strategy.

But neglecting it completely will cut you off from potentially huge numbers of your target audience. 

It’s especially important for customer-facing law firms, such as those practicing family law; commercial or corporate law firms may find it less so.

To drive traffic to your site, work on:

  • A Facebook fan page
  • A Twitter account
  • YouTube videos
  • An Instagram account (if you want strong visual branding for your law firm) 
  • LinkedIn marketing (for B2B law firms, this is a must)

Paid advertising

Facebook ads are one form of paid advertising for customer-facing law firms to consider.

Virtually any law firm can benefit from Google Ads too if you run optimized campaigns. It’s the most popular pay-per-click platform for good reason: the prominent ads that feature at the top of Google search pages can drive large amounts of traffic to your website.

But you need to get your Google Ads strategy right:

  • Look for specific ‘long tail’ keywords related to terms that suggest intent to hire a lawyer: ‘DUI lawyer Toronto free consultation’ is usually better than simply ‘DUI lawyer’.
  • Employ the use of ‘dynamic keyword insertion’ in ad copy: this allows your keywords to exactly match what users are searching for.
  • Define any search terms that you don’t want your ad to appear for: these ‘negative keywords’ can save you lots of unnecessary clicks – which cost you money. 
  • Are you targeting a specific geographical area? Use zip codes as well as city names in the ad copy.

If your Google Ad strategy fails, you’ll find it a very expensive way to generate leads. Learn how you can develop an effective Google Adwords Strategy and floods of new targeted traffic can hit your website.

2. Nurturing leads

Is all that traffic hitting your website? Some – but not all – of your leads will be interested in hiring a law firm immediately.

What do you do with those that are just gathering information? Those with questions and seeking out what their options are?

Your customers will generally be at one of the following stages of the buying cycle:

  1. Research stage
  2. Evaluation stage
  3. Buying stage

Your digital marketing strategy should look to cover each stage of this cycle: 

  1. Research: Include FAQs and other content designed to educate people and provide tips about their legal matter.
  2. Evaluation: Develop customer reviews, testimonials, case studies, awards, etc., which highlight your credibility, authority, and success in your practice area.
  3. Buying: Ads, emails or other content that encourage hiring your firm.

Consider these stages for your website content as you develop your “lead nurturing” strategies.

How you play this will determine how well you turn traffic and initial interest into a decision to choose your firm over the competition.

So how do you best nurture leads? 

One of the best ways is via email ‘drip’ campaigns. This is a series of emails that educate your target audience and encourage them to take the next step when they’re ready.

To do this most effectively, your practice management software should integrate with your email software, helping you automate and manage the process effectively.

3. Converting leads into paying clients

Traffic arriving at your website from SEO, paid advertising, social media, or through lead nurturing campaigns is no use to your law firm unless you can convert a proportion into paying customers.

What’s the first step you want leads to take?

They aren’t going to arrive with a credit card in hand so it’s usually a case of convincing visitors to call, email or fill out a form. 

Here are a few ways to ensure that your hot leads convert rather than going cold…

Build landing pages for conversion

Understand where your traffic is coming from and build unique landing pages that speak to the needs of these leads (hire a professional designer and a copywriter).

Optimized landing pages are typically:

  • Closely related to the language of the target audience: a Google Ads visitor clicks through from an ad using a search term like divorce lawyer free consultation. They expect to see a landing page relating to a divorce lawyer offering a free consultation. Sound obvious? It’s amazing how often firms get it wrong.
  • Related to a specific service, such as a free consultation for a DUI charge or a free webinar on divorce law in Chicago.
  • Clutter-free: high-quality landing pages only include relevant information and avoid distracting or confusing visitors.
  • Focused around the visitor taking a specific action – via a clear call to action button.

Optimize your contact forms

Your contact forms should be easy to fill out and encourage your target audience to get in touch with you from desktop or mobile.

This usually means:

  • Using easily readable text
  • Keeping forms clutter-free
  • Making them mobile-friendly
  • Populating fields automatically, if some information is known
  • Including a clear call to action button

Offer click-to-call 

Offering click-to-call on your law firm website makes it easy for those who are ready to hire a lawyer (or who have a question they’d rather ask in person) to request a call from you from mobile or desktop.

Don’t make potential customers wait or scribble down a phone number. They may forget to call you later or misplace the number.

Most leads go cold within 24 hours and it can be a challenge for busy lawyers to follow up. Click-to-call will automatically dial leads as a member of your team becomes available to talk.

This prevents leads from ‘perishing’ and is a simple conversion tool that could help most law firms.

4. Managing and marketing to clients more effectively

The law practice management software you choose is key to determining the level of service you can provide for new and existing clients.

It’s much easier to retain existing clients than find new ones so you need a system that caters to the needs of both.

Managing your client base becomes easier with a cloud-based practice management solution, which can help you:

  • Automate day-to-day tasks, improving turnaround times for clients
  • Manage contacts and communication more easily, improving the customer experience
  • Manage case records anywhere at any time on any device
  • Create and organize the documents you need and provide timely access to what you need when you need it
  • Boost productivity by freeing up time
  • Get more organized by setting appointments and deadline alerts 
  • Manage clients from intake to settlement – even remembering their birthdays!
  • Better track the ROI of marketing campaigns

When your cloud-based practice management software works alongside a well-considered and executed digital marketing strategy, it’s an unbeatable combination.

Together, they can help you increase traffic, leads, and conversions for your law firm; while also ensuring that servicing new clients doesn’t come at the expense of providing an excellent service to existing ones.

By: Calin Yablonski

Calin is the founder and lead strategist at Inbound Law Marketing.

Since 2009, he has been working with law firms to design websites and develop comprehensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Adwords Marketing campaigns.

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