Search Engine Marketing for Law Firms
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing technique that involves strategies to increase visibility of a website in search results (SERP’s). In the past, it was used to describe search engine optimization (SEO), but now is used most often to describe paid advertising.
Why is SEM important to a Law Firm?
As trends shift in consumers, more and more people begin their searches for legal practices online. Typically, this is with Google which dominates the search market at 97%. This is not to say that other SEM marketing channels should not be used. As the volume vs savings in those channels can actually be a good thing towards your ROI.
So how do you market your law firm online?
We focus on the SEM aspect of digital marketing. There are six main components we consider when creating an SEM campaign for lawyers:
- Competitor Analysis
- Landing Pages
- Content Creation
- Analytics & Reporting
- Social Media Marketing
Keyword research – is the backbone of all SEM campaigns. It is important to understand where your target audience uses search to find information on attorneys or legal services in their local area. The most used method for key word hunting is a Google AdWords Keyword Tool that will help you uncover new and trending keywords to target.
Search Engine Marketing for Law Firms: Other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo are just as important to consider when undertaking a keyword strategy. Google, however, is the most used search engine in the United States and Canada so we make sure our research balances all three. For most law firms, the goal is to find keywords that are low or mid-volume. This will make it easier to get listed as a top result for your target clients and in turn, lead them to contact you for legal representation.
Google Trends: This is not only useful for identifying trending topics within the law practice industry, but also gives us an idea of when a particular audience is using the internet. By matching up your keyword list with Google Trends, we can finally uncover the best time to market your law firm online.
Search Keyword Examples: When doing research for keywords that will describe what you do as an attorney or in-house counsel within a business, we use this formula: attorneys + [your targeted city] + services.
For example, if I was marketing a law firm that handled immigration cases in Boston, my search query would be “immigration attorneys boston”.
For mid-size firms those with 3 to 5 attorneys we use this formula: [city & state name] + attorney + services (to find prospective clients) and follow that up with [city & state name] + attorney to find local awards and articles.
For solo practitioners, we focus on your own personal brand, but also use the following formula: lawyer + [your city of residence] or city where you do most of your work (i.e., “Boston Lawyer” vs. “Attorney in Boston”).
At the end of our search term, we add “lawyers” (i.e., immigration lawyers boston).
#2 Competitor Analysis
Competitor Research: As we review your competitor’s websites and SEM campaigns, we follow this formula to discover new opportunities for engagement. Searching for an attorney or law firm by their name will bring up direct competitors in the search results page. More often than not, these companies will have already purchased keywords that describe their business or services.
Using this information, we can narrow down your new keyword list and targeting to move them into more relevant areas on the site. If they are ranking well for a broad term such as “immigration attorney”, we look into if they’re ranking for any additional searches like “immigration attorney in Boston” or “immigration companies in Boston”.
A competing law firm’s website is a goldmine for SEO tools such as: Keyword Density, Top Competitors & Social Mentions. For instance, we use SEMrush to see what keywords they are using and target the ones you choose to pay for. If someone isn’t paying for a particular keyword, there is no need to waste your money on it either. You can even switch up one or two words from the original search term to see if that brings up more results for your firm.
Social Mentions: Lawyers, judges and clients are often talking about their favorite attorneys on social media. By using a tool such as Radian6 , you can find out what the public is saying about your legal practice. This will also help determine when and who to connect with on social media platforms that provide additional SEO value.
#3 Landing Pages
Your clients have about 0.3 seconds to decide:
- Do I trust this lawyer or law firm?
- Is this the practice area I need?
- What is their experience (Damages Awarded, Client Count, Legal Education)
- Will I fill out this form fill?
A landing page needs to be fully optimized and thought out before going into any SEM campaign. Not only technically, but using psychology that converts. A bad layout could spell trouble and no conversions. Will a team nail it right out of the park? Of course not, but that is what Analytics & reporting are for. To tell us what is and isn’t working.
#4 Content Creation
There really isn’t enough that could be said about content creation and its affect on your SEM campaign. There are many reasons why a PPC campaign may fail, or it could actually damage your SEO efforts if the developers do not know how to properly implement a landing page on your law firms domain, for instants, if they forget to not allow indexing, and then they target service + city, or practice area + city, this could have negative affects on your actual website where you would stop ranking organically for that location.
When we create content, we use tools and experience to avoid the what not to do’s. We focus on conversion rates on our landing pages to get the most leads possible.
#5 Analytics & Reporting
SEM Analytics and Reporting – this is where we will find out what keywords are being converted, what’s costing too much and additional insight into your lead generation campaign. We make sure to get SEM data is in a format you can understand – using SEMrush or Google Analytics.
We keep an eye on your conversion rates; it also tells you if the ads are working well together. If your having a hard time converting visitors into leads, there are other ways to generate leads that can be more effective with a lower cost per lead.
#6 Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: Currently, social media is the fastest growing channel for businesses to gain new clients. It also provides an avenue to increase your search engine optimization with no additional costs for SEO keywords. The goal here is to create content that attracts and engages a law firm’s current customer base as well as brings in leads from other sources like shared blog articles.
With Rocket Legal Marketing, you get a solid team of PPC SEM experts with 50 years of combined experience in PPC campaign, web development and marketing. On average, we run about half a million in campaigns per week. So, you know you are good hands. Start your SEM / PPC campaign today by calling us today at +1 (877) 216-2035 or fill out our free consultation form.