Gone are the days attorneys could advertise in the Yellow Pages, regional television ads, and local billboards and keep business coming in. While traditional advertising still works, legal marketing today revolves largely around the web.
When a potential client needs a lawyer today, they’re likely to turn to Google. That makes it vital for law firms to have visible brands online if they want to be found, build trust, and land new clients.
Let’s look at three essential elements of successfully branding your legal practice on the web.
1. Professional Law Firm Website
Your law firm’s web design and content must make a good impression. Your branding, including your specialty, should be clear. Your message should be convincing. And your overall image should convey trust.
Instead, your law firm website should look professional, be easy to navigate, and contain content that answers your potential clients’ questions.
This probably won’t be a DIY project. Instead you’ll want to bring on a professional web designer and copywriter to make sure you put your brand’s best foot forward.
2. Law Firm SEO
Having a professional website isn’t enough. You have to get potential clients to visit. And one way to do that is through law firm SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the act of making your website display highly in search engine rankings.
In other words, let’s say you specialize in divorce law in Los Angeles. If a potential client searches Google for “divorce lawyers in LA,” you want your website to rank within the first page of search results.
SEO is how you do that. It’s a complex process that involves everything from knowing what kind of content to create (by knowing what your potential clients are searching for) to building links to your law firm’s website from third party sites.
There’s even a specialty known as “local SEO” which specifically helps you rank well for searches tied to your location.
For example, a potential client might search for “divorce lawyers near me.” Local SEO would make sure they find your law firm listed, a map to your office location, your contact information, and even reviews from prior clients.
While you might be able to handle basic keyword research and content creation yourself, legal SEO is incredibly competitive. So consider hiring a professional who specializes in law firm SEO to help you improve your brand image and rankings in search engines.
3. Personal Branding & Thought Leadership
Not all content you share is about SEO. Some is about portraying yourself, or your firm, as a thought leader. It’s more online PR than marketing, focused on enhancing your reputation as a leader in your specialty.
This can include anything from posting relevant industry commentary on social media sites to publishing legal case studies or long-form guides on your website.
One of the best forms of thought leadership publication that can help you stand out is releasing a report based on original research related to your target clients.
For example, you might conduct a survey related to divorce proceedings in your city or region, then release the results. The idea is to show you aren’t “just another lawyer.” You help potential clients feel better-informed, and you’re at the top of your game – the very kind of lawyer they want to work with.
When it comes to branding your legal practice on the web, remember it ultimately comes down to three things: visibility, clarity, and reputation. Help clients find you. Make it clear how you can help them. And show them you’re a law firm they can trust.