What Are You Doing to Promote Your Criminal Defense Law Firm?
If there’s one word to describe the legal marketing world, it’s “change.” Change is constantly taking place, but it’s no reason to get discouraged. By tapping into the future of search engine marketing and conversion optimization tactics, there’s no reason to panic over any changes that might come your way. With a little research, precaution, and proactive marketing, these changes can go so far as to improve the marketing and business development of your criminal defense law firm.
Let’s look at some of the changes predicted by Larry Bodine (Editor-In-Chief of Lawyers.com) to influence the legal industry in the near future:
The law firm’s website becomes the primary marketing tool – Online marketing allows for the opportunity to track prospect
engagement down to the specific page viewed by a browser. According to
Hinge research, 77% of professional firms get business leads online.
TAKEAWAY: Your website must be able to effectively define your business model, convey your core principals, and convert leads into clients. How will you present yourself online? What makes your defense practice better than the competition? These are questions that need to be answered on your website if you want to attract and convert visitors to your site.
Potential clients will engage through social media – Social media is a global trend – make the most of it for optimal
marketing success. Potential clients expect to see updates, news, and
information from a prospective firm.
TAKEAWAY: Engage with your potential clients on platforms other than your website. When they see you and interact with you on social media websites, they’ll be more likely to remember you when they need a defense attorney in the future.
Law firms drive potential clients back to the website with a newsletter – A newsletter should be sent out to contacts on the firm’s mailing
list. Contents of the mailing list are retrieved from the free content
download or from those opting in to receive communications.
TAKEAWAY: Stay in front of your audience – they could become future clients. Even if they don’t need a defense lawyer right now, when the unexpected DUI arises, they’ll be much more likely to remember your firm and make the call.
Conversion takes place through sign-ups or free downloads - Conversion takes place when a potential client interacts with the website,
such as submitting a form or downloading a content PDF. With this tactic,
the firm will receive the prospective client’s name and email address,
which they can then use for further marketing purposes.
TAKEAWAY: Make sure it’s easy for a potential client to contact you – throwing in a free, downloadable eBook or offering a complimentary consultation could make the difference for a potential client who is on the fence about picking up the phone to call your office.
Rise of long-tail searches – Consumers and search engines have moved away from keyword searches. Non-branded
keyword searches (e.g. “Miami personal injury lawyer”) are
steadily producing more non-relevant results. Long-term searches (e.g.
“Miami criminal defense attorney for DUI”) create more on-point results.
TAKEAWAY: Keyword research is essential to the success of your online campaign. Make sure you’re showing up for the terms people are searching for. Look at what key terms your competitors are using; get inside the mind of your typical client – how would they search for your services online? These are the types of keywords you should be targeting.
Law firms must closely maintain review sites – Consumers, even those in search of legal services, look to review sites
before making a decision. People tend to trust what their peers are saying,
which means that having zero reviews can be just as detrimental to your
business as having poor ones. Review sites to keep an eye on include Avvo,
Yelp, Google Plus, and Facebook.
TAKEAWAY: Without positive reviews from past clients, you could be losing out on major business opportunities. Consider reaching out to former clients who were happy with your services and asking them to leave a review.
Implement New Strategies Into Your Marketing Practice
As new technologies develop, law firm marketing will continue to see great changes. This will affect the way communication takes place internally and externally. It will also affect the way ROI is assessed. Having effective strategies in place will allow your firm to maintain an edge over the competition.
Criminal defense firms that use these untapped resources will become the trendsetters, while others will be forced to follow in their footsteps. Recognizing and implementing the appropriate changes can improve the operation and effectiveness of your marketing strategy.