Mistakes are never good – except when you can learn from someone else’s to drive more successful efforts for your own firm. Here, we’re explaining the 6 common digital marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them. We’ve worked with lawyers and legal marketers for decades and have consistently seen the same issues cause problems over and over. Technology has significantly broadened the legal industry’s marketing capabilities – but this new digital landscape can also challenge even the most savvy marketers.
1. Outdated website
When your website looks ignored and outdated, it sends a message to your visitors. It becomes difficult to convert website visitors into prospective clients when the content is old, the site is hard to navigate, or it is not mobile-friendly, among other things. Depending how long ago your website was created, you might have considered it an online brochure and it may not have been designed to drive leads. Even more common, many law firms don’t have the time to consistently draw insights from their website analytics and make changes based on what they’re learning. You might think that having a website that’s “up and running” is good enough, but your goal should be to use the website as a marketing tool. That means constantly tweaking based on new information and even implementing conversion rate optimization strategies to generate more leads.
2. Not having buyer personas
One of the biggest digital marketing mistakes lawyers make when marketing and advertising is not having their ideal client identified. The old-fashioned methods of marketing to anyone who will listen and hoping something sticks simply doesn’t apply. Today’s digital avenues allow highly targeted marketing – the opportunity to reach individuals who are in need of your services, at the right time. Take the time to put together buyer personas based on different stages of your target client’s decision-making process. Then, make sure you’re keeping those personas top of mind when creating any digital strategies.
3. Not understanding SEO
We get it, SEO is tricky. The constantly changing algorithms can feel like a moving target, but at a basic level, a search engine’s job is to return web results that address the searcher’s query. The higher that you appear on a search engine’s results page, the more visible your law firm becomes. Content is king when it comes to SEO. That doesn’t mean simply creating content is going to help you achieve your goal. Develop a content strategy, keep your audience in mind, and do thorough keyword research to incorporate the right terms and phrases that can help you rank on page 1 of Google. There is certainly a science to this process, which is why many firms find that it makes sense to use a legal marketing partner like Good2BSocial to handle their SEO.
4. Ignoring social media
No matter your personal thoughts on social media, it’s a necessary component of any legal marketing mix. Ignoring it, not putting thoughtful effort toward it, and not tracking it are all things that will hurt your online marketing. Again, working with a trusted expert will help if you’re uncomfortable managing social media.
5. Refusing to request (or document) positive feedback
Word-of-mouth is huge in the legal world. In the old days, it’s how marketing was done. Today, those referrals still play a big role – but many of them happen online. Think of positive reviews, testimonials, and digital referrals as an updated conversation between friends. It’s important that you put in the time to gather feedback. Seek it out at the end of service provision with clients, and consistently ensure ongoing clients are happy with your work. Then, build case studies and add the favorable testimonials to your website. Getting positive reviews on your Facebook or Google pages also helps build credibility.
6. Making decisions without data
You’ve likely heard the term “data driven decisions”. That’s a hot button in marketing for a reason. Yet, many firms do not use the data available to them to improve their efforts. On a regular basis (we suggest quarterly), you should pull data from your Google Analytics account, any social tools, inbound marketing programs, and paid campaigns. Track progress against any objectives you’ve set, and look for trends. There will likely be areas where you find more resources should be spent, and things that aren’t working as well. Remember to test everything from email subject lines to PPC ad copy. Then use those test results to dictate your next steps.
In today’s online business environment, understanding these 6 common digital marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them is a winning strategy. We hope you can learn from these common digital marketing mistakes and correct course – or, even better, not make them in the first place. When you avoid these mishaps, your law firm should see an improvement in online lead generation. Contact us if you need help with your law firm’s digital marketing.