A strong online presence reinforces your law firm’s brand and helps you gain the credibility that you need to attract more clients. In the increasingly remote environment created by the pandemic, maintaining your online presence has never been more important. Keep reading to learn how your law firm can both build and protect your digital presence, at a time when it matters more than ever.
Along with making your law firm readily accessible, a strong digital presence gives your prospective clients an easy way to find out more about what you have to offer. What people find online about your law firm is what will entice them to reach out to you – or not.
Follow the Online Relationship Management (ORM) lifecycle:
Take steps to create a brand presence online. Begin by understanding your audience, creating a consistent posting schedule (perhaps through an editorial calendar), and engaging regularly online across multiple platforms.
Once your firm has showcased an established digital presence, you need to encourage reviews and social proof. From there, you’ll manage feedback by answering client questions and immediately addressing negative feedback.
Make it a point to monitor your reputation online regularly. You can use tools like BuzzSumo or SentiOne. You can also simply set up Google Alerts so that you get a notification when your firm is mentioned online.
How do I build and improve my law firm’s digital presence?
A strong online presence helps you to establish trust, highlight your successes, and even accomplish goals before you meet a prospective client in person.
Keep your website up to date:
You should constantly be measuring your website performance to discover where you can improve the experience for the end user. Make sure your website is secure, loads quickly, is client-centric and includes updated information. Don’t forget to take down partners who are no longer part of the firm!
Create high quality content:
Content is king, and thorough, valuable content is the best way to highlight your expertise and improve your firm’s search engine optimization (SEO). As you continue to share informative content, you’re providing value, building trust, and creating more of a brand for yourself and your law firm.
Apply search engine optimization (SEO) best practices:
While many marketing methods can bring your law firm traffic and leads in quick bursts, SEO provides a slow and steady stream of potential clients that will grow over time. Keep on top of SEO and make sure that pages from your own website stay in the top results when people search for your law firm’s name or the name of one of your attorneys.
Tip: Take the 2 minutes to run a free SEO audit of your site so you can see where you stand on search engines and get a clear picture of the on-site issues you may want to fix in order to rank higher.
Be proactive about gaining reviews:
Place an option on your website or social media pages for your visitors to review you. It can do wonders for your online presence and reputation. This way, they can also share feedback with their friends, family and associates that will help get the word out there.
Optimize your social channels:
Don’t overlook your law firm’s social media profiles! Fill them out thoroughly. Include a description, include a link back to your website or content, and use branded imagery for your profile and header pictures.
Once you’ve established a digital reputation, you need to protect and manage it.
Following the steps above will help you to create a digital presence. In the legal field, reputations are key, as social proof is essentially today’s “word-of-mouth”. Take care to consistently manage and repair any negativity associated with your firm.
One of the best places to measure sentiment around your brand is through reviews. We mentioned a couple resources above, and there are plenty of tools to help you. If you come across a negative review, make sure to address it promptly and professionally (don’t get into an online debate by disputing the review on social channels). Having a perfect score isn’t the idea – in fact, that comes off as inauthentic. Having a very positive score, with real client feedback, is the goal.
You also want to keep track of location-specific information, such as how you come across in local online directories and listings. Run a free Yext local listing scan to understand how you are listed in directories. Incorrect business information across any local directories can impair search engine rankings.
Now more than ever, law firms must build their online reputation and then manage it diligently. With more people spending their days online, it’s essential that prospective clients can find your firm and that what they find is favorable and credible.
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