In just a few short weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has upended all businesses across the world. Countless law firms have shut their doors, ordered telework, and continue to operate virtually. Fortunately, many courts are continuing to hold hearings by telephone and video conference, ensuring some measure of business continuity for firms. Regardless, the disruption to the system has been monumental and many firms will experience revenue losses in the coming months. We’re here to advise you on ways you can continue to drive growth through specific law firm SEO and marketing tactics, despite prevailing business and economic conditions.
Keep Calm & Optimize On
First of all, shutting down marketing operations is not the answer. In times like these, law firm leaders may be tempted to cut back on SEO and other legal marketing activities all together. These panic or “knee-jerk” reactions can actually set your firm up for an uphill struggle towards recovery once the pandemic ends.
Rather, this is the time to stay the course and tackle all of those potentially impactful search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing tasks you’ve had on your back burner. Read on as we dive into the SEO and marketing tasks you can turn to in order to help you fight through the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ways your law firm can use SEO and marketing to combat the impact of the coronavirus:
1. Interview Your Lawyers and Clients
By interviewing your lawyers and clients about their knowledge and service experiences of your law firm, you can generate rich sources of insider information for your blog posts, social content, email and media releases for the coming months. Use video conferencing and communication tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts to host calls and record your videos. To transcribe the audio, you can use tools like Rev or Otter.ai.
2. Conduct a Mini Content Audit:
A full-fledged audit might take up too much time, so go for a mini-audit of your law firms’ online content. Analyze your existing digital footprint by examining webpages, email, blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, videos, podcasts, etc., and critically evaluate their performance based on:
- Which blogs and/or videos can you repurpose for other channels?
- Which pieces got the most social shares? The most backlinks?
- Which ones get the most traffic on-site?
These may all be opportunities for:
- Updating outdated eBooks with fresh content
- Optimizing blogs with new CTAs and keywords
- Adding internal links to new services
- Repromoting when business picks up again
3. Plan Webinars:
With no geographical barriers, webinars are great digital mediums for reaching and educating a wide audience. In fact, 91% of professionals say that webinars are their top learning format in the business world. We recommend using polls and Q&A to further engage your live audience. are particularly great lead generation magnets. See: How to Plan and Promote a Law Firm Webinar.
4. Conduct an SEO Audit of your Law Firm’s Website:
By conducting analysis, you can clean up 400 errors, ineffective backlinks, internal and external links as well as weed out service contracts that are no longer available but are still mentioned on your website. All these affect your law firms’ SEO rankings. You’ll lose potential leads if they come to your website and do not find the information they are looking for.
5. Target your Content for SERPs:
The current search engine results page (SERP) trends are in line with the realities people are faced with right now. People are conducting searches for topics related to employment law, business law, and real estate law including keyphrases like sick pay, tenancy rights, bankruptcy law, etc. You should use these trends to influence your content development efforts. We suggest using Google Keyword Planner to identify high-search volume keywords to use in your content to boost SEO rankings.
6. Start Pumping Out More Videos:
With social distancing and isolation becoming the new reality, embedding a video in a blog post or in your newsletter will help to humanize your lawyers and your firm. Adding video to your law firm’s website is also an ultimate rankings booster. Videos can help you rank for targeted long-tail keywords, help you appear in relevant YouTube searches, and even trigger some featured snippets.
7. Create an Online Review Strategy:
When people search for legal services online, reviews or recommendations from existing clients can influence them to pick up the phone and call your firm. An online review strategy should include everything from email templates that you can send to satisfied clients asking for a review to to templated responses to your Google reviews. Did you know that responding to Google reviews is almost as important as receiving them?
8. Manage your Online Presence by Updating your Google My Business Profile:
Take the time to update your law firm’s Google My Business (GMB) profile to highlight how you are adapting to restrictions due to COVID-19. If you’re operating remotely or on different hours, you want to make sure to convey this information to those searching for your firm. Furthermore, Google has rolled out a brand new post type that highlights COVID-19 related announcements in search results so that they can appear more prominently at the top of your GMB profile.
9. Improve your Backlink Profile:
Backlinks are the lifeblood of SEO today and it is the quality of backlinks that counts – not the volume. In fact, irrelevant backlinks can hamper your law firms’ SEO ranking. So you must obtain backlinks from websites that are themselves, trusted authorities. Links from other reputable firms, law society websites, legal publications, or business magazines, etc., can boost your site’s visibility and improve your law firm’s search engine rankings.
10. Consider an Outreach Strategy:
This is a difficult time for everyone so get creative and think of ways you can offer reassurance and education to your contacts – through personalized phone calls, webinars or emails. Don’t focus on being salesy, but rather focus on providing poignant legal expertise so that when the situation normalizes, and people need legal support, they’ll think of your firm and how helpful your advice was during the crisis.
In addition to targeting specific practice areas that are seeing heightened demand, your law firm should adopt a growth strategy that has a higher probability of driving revenue in this environment. During this time, focus on boosting trust among current clients and look for ways you can generate new leads you can market to in the future. This way, you can hit the ground running once things normalize again.
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