It’s been barely two decades since attorneys have been allowed to advertise. But in that scant amount of time, thanks to everything from Twitter to Google maps, the art and science of online marketing has grown immensely in its reach and precision.
Still, you may be skeptical about the benefits of online marketing efforts – partly due to some stubborn myths that could be hindering your practice’s growth. If any of the following have kept you from moving ahead with a sound Internet marketing strategy for your firm, it might be time to forget the fiction and look at the facts.
Myth #1: A top search engine results ranking is the most important element of your marketing arsenal. This myth tends to be perpetuated by the owners of search engines, naturally, since selling search page rankings is a lucrative part of their business. But in fact, because search engines use personalized algorithms that consider a variety of factors including physical location, Internet search history and the device being used, there’s no “silver bullet” that will lock down the top search spot.
Myth #2: It’s too expensive and time-consuming. Website domains generally carry a lightweight hosting fee, and maintaining a Web presence via social media is virtually free. Odds are you spend more on coffee – and you could put together a flurry of tweets in the time it takes you to finish your Starbucks. Besides, ignoring social media makes you look like a fuddy-duddy.
Myth #3: Online legal directories are a scam. A placement in a good service directory will not only focus your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts, but directories are a direct conduit to consumers who are actively seeking legal help. While other marketing efforts (websites, TV, direct mail) can take time, a directory placement means immediate exposure to a well-qualified audience.
Myth #4: If I don’t get tons of site traffic daily, what’s the point? Online marketing isn’t a volume-based business, especially not for small and solo firms. With the right guidance, you can develop the skills and tools to catch the eye of the right visitors. Your online presence is intended to attract the people looking for your particular services, not the casual browser.
Myth #5: Nobody reads legal blogs, do they? They do if the blogs in question offer something of value. A meaty, frequently updated blog can be the perfect place to share your knowledge and opinions about your practice area, developments in the legal industry and lessons learned from recent cases. It’s an inexpensive, simple way to establish your expertise and place a personal touch on your marketing.
Myth #6: Isn’t this against the rules somehow? The ABA and most state bar associations have ethical guidelines regarding online marketing. But the fact is, as long as you make clear that you’re advertising a service, there’s no reason not to use a website, blog or social media to attract leads.
If you would like to learn more about how FindLaw can help your law firm with marketing solutions, please contact us for a free consultation.