Marketing has never changed so much for law firms as it has in 2019. Gone are the days of white pages, bench ads, and billboards. As a society, we’ve turned our attention online when it comes to finding, vetting, and communicating with businesses. Having a strategy for building a solid online presence, while using the robust tools that going digital provides you is the only way to stay relevant in 2019. But having a law firm website is just the first step—you need an online marketing strategy for long-term success.

1.    Optimize Your Law Firm Brand for Local Ranking

Your online presence won’t matter unless you’re consistently appearing in search results. If you’re a law firm in Boise, Idaho, it stands to reason that you’d expect to appear in the search results of someone from Boise who’s typed in “law firms nearby” or even “law firms”, thanks to location tracking. But it’s not that easy—you need to ensure your website is optimized to appear highly ranked in local results, as ranking outside of your service area isn’t going to get you clients. Double down on your Online Reputation Monitoring to ensure you rank.

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2.    Track Your Metrics, It’s Easy

It may not have been easy in the days of yesteryear to track and survey your clients. It’s tough to burden your customers with surveys—who wants to bother them? But with the power of Google Analytics, you can easily track your clients and even gain some insight into what they’re interacting with when on your page. With analytics, you’ll be picking their brains without intruding.

3.    Provide Online Appointment Booking

Maybe you don’t agree with it—but we’re in an age where a lot of us don’t care for person-to-person contact right from the start. Calling a business or coming in to set up an appointment will seem old fashioned to much of your new client base. Providing a way to book an appointment online will get you more appointments—it’s that simple.

4.    Ensure Your Law Firm Website is Responsive

It’s not as easy as just having a website these days. We browse the internet from a wide variety of platforms in 2019. A website browsed from a laptop will not perform the same as on a smartphone. With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure your website it “responsive”. That means your page will adapt to whatever device it’s viewed on so it looks good regardless.

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5.    Make Sure Your Website is Fast

Analyze your website with a free tool from Google, Think With Google. Our attention spans have shortened dramatically in the digital age. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure when a client browses your page that they’re treated to a fast and snappy experience. If something takes too long, you’re going to lose business. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to manage your site’s speed; maintaining any caching plug-ins, monitoring your web server performance (and shopping around if it underperforms), and even hiring an expert to fine-tune your site are all things you need to be doing.

6.    Focus on User Experience

Just imagine if the front door of your law firm led to a maze of hallways and dead ends. Think of how frustrated your clients would be before they even spoke to you. An unintuitive website is just as impactful to your customers. Ensure your website is easy to navigate and concise in the way it represents your services. If you do this well, clients and potential clients will be impressed with you before they even see you.

7.    Use Your Website as a Hype Machine

There’s no better feeling than building a successful relationship with a client. After all, that’s what you’re really trying to do—build lasting connections with clients that will come back to you time and time again. You’ve already done the work to build those relations, so use your online presence as a platform to display then. Testimonials are an integral and tactful way of providing some real-world context to your services. What better way to show them off than to dedicate a section of your website to them?

8.    Make a Blog & Keep it Up-to-Date and Thoughtful

Websites can become stale. Letting your website stagnate is the same as leaving a bunch of mail and old newspapers gather at your front door—it shows a penchant for neglect and isn’t a good look. Keeping an active blog is a great way to keep your site fresh. Not only that—making it a thoughtful space will highlight your knowledge of the industry. You’ve been practicing law for a while and you’re full of insight and advice. Let others know while keeping your brand fresh and intelligent.

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9.    Build Backlinks

Once you’ve built and maintained a robust blog, it’s time to share those posts with other websites that are already well-established. You’ve gone through the trouble of writing these posts, let the rest of the industry know about you. Getting your posts published elsewhere will drive traffic back to you and rank you higher in searches. The SEO industry calls this “backlinking” and it’s the most effective tool for driving traffic.

10. “Claim” Your Business Online

Whether you submitted the listing or not, your business is going to populate on all of the business review sites online. This includes the highly visible ones like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook. You’ll want to “claim” your business on all of these—it’s an intuitive process in most cases. Once claimed, you have some control over how your business looks and can even respond to comments and reviews from the public.

11. Give Each Team Member Their Own Brand

Your firm isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have team members that specialize in different aspects of the law, and even team members that focus on different clients and personalities. It stands to reason that you’d want to use your website to advocate for each one of your attorney marketing plans. Your overall brand is your firm, but each of your attorneys should in turn have their own personal brand, which you can highlight effectively on your website. It’s classy, fun, and a great way to warm up to potential clients before they even reach out.

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Your Website Is Your First Impression

Like it or not, we live in a culture where our first impressions are often derived online, before we even speak to each other. With business directories like Yelp, we’re vetted without even realizing it. These days, your online presence will make or break you. It’s best to get ahead of it, control it, maintain it, and give it the same polish you’ve given your successful law firm. You’re proud of your business, so make sure your online presence conveys that.