Lead generation is the best way law firms can market and promote themselves to acquire a steady stream of new clients. Digitalization has changed the way consumers decide to purchase products and services.
The American Bar Association says there are about 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, making the law industry extremely competitive.
Knowing how to generate leads is the lifeline of any business to survive and increase revenues. On the other hand, a lead is a qualified potential client who shows interest in buying your product or services.
Lead generation is the process of attracting, capturing, and convincing leads to the use of different marketing strategies to buy your product or services.
Your law firm needs to have a steady flow of new clients to ensure your law firm's success. Lead generation processes aim to generate potential clients for your law firm.
Acquiring clients for your law firm has become even more competitive because of the growing number of law firms that have an internet presence, all in the pursuit to acquire leads and potential clients. The changing consumer behavior has also made obtaining leads more challenging.
Lead generation connects your law firm to the right potential clients. Generating qualified leads and potential clients has a huge impact on your law firm's revenues and success.
Stiff competition for legal online space has placed law firms battling for the attention of potential clients. 75% of potential clients use the internet to find law firms. Thus, the search results pages of Google and other search engines have become a battlefield for potential clients' attention.
Well-planned and executed digital marketing strategies for law firms separate winning and losing firms. Winning digital marketing strategies should satisfy Google's preferences in getting your law firm to the top of search engine results pages, which will help your firm acquire more qualified leads.
Law firms that thrive and survive in today's digital age are defined by how they adapt quickly and effectively to the latest trends.
Digital channels have been used to launch marketing strategies resulting in the rise of online marketing techniques. Generated Leads are then nurtured through the sales process and eventually converted into paying clients.
The digital age has changed the marketing channels from traditional channels such as print, radio, television, and word-of-mouth to the internet. The legal industry has likewise shifted to digital marketing for lead generation and client acquisition.
Attracting and generating new clients is the core of your law firm. The fierce competition in the legal market has made it more challenging to get new clients by relying solely on traditional marketing techniques.
While traditional marketing channels are still viable in generating leads and acquiring new clients, most potential clients seeking legal advice and representation rely on search engines.
Being visible to potential clients is essential to growing your law firm. The concept and strategies of generating new clients are as old as the establishment of the first law firm. As marketing trends evolve, techniques in generating leads and acquiring new clients develop too.
• Making potential clients find your law firm when they need legal advice and representation.
• To establish a connection between potential clients with legal needs to your law firm within the same or nearby location so that the potential client can have an initial consultation.
To grow your law firm, you need to have a robust online presence so potential clients can find you when they are searching online for a law firm. Without a strong online presence, your law firm is missing out on a huge chunk of business revenue.
It is important to note that whether you use traditional or digital marketing strategies or a combination of both, credibility is critical in the legal industry. Your strong online presence is creating a revenue pipeline and promoting your firm as highly credible.
Most law firms now have websites and jump on the best digital marketing practices to maximize lead generation and client acquisition. Many law firms compete for the attention of potential clients in a specific geographical location.
Although a personal referral is still universally used, most potential clients always rely on the internet when searching for a likely law firm.
Here are some of the best lawyer lead generation and client acquisition strategies:
Get your website to be up to date. If your law firm still does not have one, have a professional create a website that is a lead generating machine.
Potential clients will create a first impression of your law firm based on how professional it appears. A substantial internet presence will allow potential clients to find your website on the internet.
It is essential then for your website to have a top rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Websites in the SERPs of the Google Search Engines are ranked by an algorithm based on the following parameters:
• Receptive Design. Your website should display correctly and be easy to access on any device.
• Fast Load Time on any device.
• Intuitive Navigation. Content should be easy to understand and well-organized.
• Unique Content. Consistently posted, fresh content.
• Well-written Content. Content should be plagiarism--free and grammar flows.
• Call-to-Action (CTA). Content should include a strong call-to-action, and content should also point to other helpful resources.
• Valuable Content. A high-quality website successfully provides information to a searcher’s questions.
• Media for SEO Optimization. A high-quality website includes videos and images with alt tags to make it easy for search engines to crawl your website.
• Quality Links. Internal and external pages should link to the pages on your website.
• High-quality External Links. The value of a website is increased with the inclusion of external editorial links.
Given the parameters that the Google algorithm ranks a website on SERPs, it is therefore crucial for a well-designed website to have these qualities to ensure a top rank.
A high rank, preferably on the first page of SERPs allows your website to generate more traffic and thus more leads, potential clients, and paying clients.
• Aesthetic Appeal
Website design plays a vital role in first attracting and then engaging qualified leads. Potential leads stay only for a limited time on the internet; thus you only have a few seconds to impress your prospect to remain on your site and determine if you have the answers to their questions.
• Easy to Navigate
Your website needs to be easy to explore and, thus, user-friendly. Potential leads will not waste their time on your website if they find it difficult to find what they are searching for.
• Fast-loading Page
A professionally designed website should not have any page loading issues. If your website loads slowly, potential leads will not bother to wait for your website to load. They will look for the information they need from other law firm websites that load quickly.
This is also true when accessing websites through a mobile device. Potential leads and all website visitors for that matter have short attention spans; thus, a quick loading website is extremely essential.
• Establishing a Brand
Your website should be able to establish a good brand (your law firm). Words, colors, and images should convey a consistent message to your potential clients. A high-quality website would reflect a good-quality law firm.
A well-designed website is available 24/7, even when the law firm's physical office is closed. Additionally, a well-designed website should show your target audience that you care about their excellent experience and thus make you stand out from the competition.
To make your website a lead generating machine, you need to include landing pages, call-to-action-buttons, and contact forms.
A well-designed website will not only be useful to Google to give your site a top rank in SERPs, give your site an excellent online presence, and, more importantly, create a good first impression to potential leads
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works to boost the rank of your website in SERPs. SEO helps your website generate web traffic through non-paid searches. Along with paid searches (Google Ads), SEO improves the quality score of your website for search engine ranking.
When a potential lead searches the internet for information, seldom does he go past the first page of SERPs. This is the very reason why your website should make it to the first page of search engines so it will be in front of potential leads.
As a lead generation strategy, SEO places your website at one of the top ranks on the first page of search engine results.
SEO techniques for lead generation must always be up to date because search algorithms frequently change.
The best SEO strategies for lead generation include:
• Knowing the search terms used by clients. It is important to understand using generic words such as “divorce attorney” will not help your law firm website rank high on search result pages. “Divorce attorney in Las Vegas” is what will rank better in search results pages.
• Making your web pages accessible. Easily accessible web pages allow search engine crawlers bots to index and parse your web pages.
• Making your web pages secure. Web pages are made safe through secured socket layer (SSL) encryption and with an SSL certificate.
• Online Branding. An appealing URL or domain name, web page title, and Meta description that appear as the SERP excerpt helps boost SEO.
• Registering a sitemap. Registering a sitemap with the text-based search engines. Your website should also request that it be indexed.
• Quick load times. Your website must have fast load times because the attention span of potential leads is short. Your website should also have a responsive look.
• Authority. Your website needs to have authority thus, you should work on authoritative mentions and links on social media.
• Schema markup. The addition of a schema markup instructs search engines of new content. Schema markup is descriptive information within the source code. It describes the content of the web page that is indexed by search engines. Schema markup is invisible to web users.
SEO efforts are not a one-time effort, albeit it should be an ongoing effort. Generating new links and posting content updates should be part of an ongoing process.
Search engine optimization, in general, increases the rank of your website in search engine results pages. Good SEO efforts allow your website to be visible to potential leads who are seeking your legal services. How do you optimize your law firm website?
As mentioned, targeted keywords work better for SEO. The keywords "divorce lawyer in Las Vegas" works better than "divorce lawyer." This is known as Local SEO. Local search results are better provided by search engines through local content, links, profiles on social media sites, as well as citations.
The legal industry reaps the most gains from local SEO. This is so because when a potential client searches for a legal counsel, they are most likely to look for one within his locality. This makes your website having a top rank in local search results, an effective lead generation strategy for your law firm.
Online reviews will improve the local search ranking of your law firm website. Most local potential clients rely on online reviews in deciding whether your law firm is good or bad. Therefore, it is right to say that online reviews can either have a good or bad impact on the search results rank of your law firm.
Most customers trust online reviews, and in the same manner, they trust personal recommendations from friends and family. Most customers are also willing to write a review to commend a good experience, or when they have a terrible experience.
You must capitalize on your happiest clients. Make sure to ask for a review that you can post on Facebook, Google, TrustPilot, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and your website.
Positive online reviews can boost your law firm's online reputation, which in turn can attract more new clients. The more positive reviews your law firm has, the higher your law firm will rank on search engines because Google is biased to law firms with the highest positive online reviews.
Google My Business is an online list that can help your website have a top rank in the organic results of Google when potential leads are looking for a law firm in your specific geographic location. Google My Business allows your law firm to appear on a map with your website, business details, and reviews.
Local search engine rank is best done by creating a page on Google My Business (GMB) where you can provide resources that can increase your web traffic.
Google’s local-3-pack (top 3 ranks) is linked to Google Maps. They are highlighted and are the first websites a user views after clicking AdWords ads for targeted keywords.
A well-optimized Google My Business will appear at the top 3 of the search results pages. Failing to optimize your GMB page affects your law firm's visibility on Google Maps and Google Local Search results.
Managing the online reputation of your law firm increases its visibility on the internet. It builds your brand’s equity (credibility) as well.
Content marketing entails the creation of material useful to potential clients. Freely distributing this content builds client confidence in the services of your law firm. For many law firms, content marketing, as well as blogging, has regularly generated leads.
Legal content aims to position yourself as an expert in your area of law specialization. Good and quality content informs, educates, and helps potential clients understand your legal services. It also helps a law firm build up its online reputation and thereby attract new clients.
Your legal content should include a call-to-action (CTA), so potential clients can engage with your law firm. Legal content can come in the form of:
• Blog posts
• Videos on your website
• Facebook Live Sessions
• Live Webinars
Each of these forms of content should be posted where your target audience is. Content should be about a specific legal issue and should include answers to queries and questions.
The easiest way of determining what content to create is to answer frequent questions you get from clients. You are an expert in your field thus, it is essential to write like an expert in your area of specialization.
• Write about a publicly recorded case or a recently won case. These are excellent and professional blog content.
• Create helpful descriptions about legal ideas that can generate engagement from potential clients. An estate lawyer can write about the benefits of having a will and, therefore, generate potential clients.
The distribution of created content depends on where you feel you can find the best engagement from potential clients. It is important to post your content on the right places or platforms.
Your content needs to have catchy titles to generate curiosity from potential clients. The content you create allows you to connect with potential clients on your website or social media sites. Content complemented with excellent SEO will ensure your website gets a top rank on search engine results pages.
You can leverage your content marketing campaign through Remarketing campaigns. A remarketing campaign entails sending potential clients who engaged your law firm through posted content, similar content that made them interested in your previous content. This can be continuously done until the prospective client reaches out to your law firm through form submission or phone call.
To stand out from the competition, you must create timely and informative content on your website. It is also vital that you share your content on your social media sites and other websites to generate links back to your websites.
Creating the right content is vital to generate leads and acquire new clients successfully.
Online reviews from happy clients on Google, Online Directories, and Social Media create good content.
Paid search such as Per-Per-Click (PPC) effectively generates leads and acquiring new clients; however, you should be willing to invest in click prices based on keywords that can generate valuable and qualified leads.
PPC has the potential of getting between 500%-1000% return on investment with the right professional PPC management and proper tracking.
To start a PPC campaign, you need to bid with Google AdWords (sells advertising web traffic) for keywords relevant to your legal services. Google AdWords awards the targeted keywords to the highest bidder while also considering your Google Quality Score (based on SEO).
The cost of PPC can be high and risky for law firms. AdGooRoo says that extremely valuable search terms such as "Divorce attorney Los Angeles," can have a bid cost of $100 - $300 per click.
If the divorce rate in Los Angeles is high, it is work taking the risk to generate divorce cases for your law firm. The cost per click in Google AdWords depends on the current trend in the legal industry.
A paid click is worthless unless a stranger is converted into a qualified lead and eventually into a paying client. Conversions are measured based on a potential client requesting an online quote, a call, or an appointment with your law firm.
PPC is measured through successful conversion – how many inquiry forms were generated, number of phone calls, and the number of new clients generated by the paid search. The numbers will determine the actual cost per new client acquisition.
Law firms usually generate qualified leads and potential clients from those who only need to drive about 20 minutes to get to your physical law firm office. SEO efforts, a keyword phrase, including the name of your locality, will be able to generate locally-based leads.
PPC can be professionally tracked and measured based on:
Geo-fencing uses the physical location of potential leads when presenting relevant content. Geo-fencing is defined as a means whereby web-based services use WIFI, RFID, GPS, or cellular system data to target persons across a limited geographic location.
Localization is a critical component in Google's relevant search engine results. Google has an Application Programming Interface (API), allowing developers to use geofencing to target potential leads and clients in a specific geographic location.
Geo-fencing improves lead generation and client acquisition.
Online display ads are not as effective as search ads in lead generation and client acquisition. Display ads (online banners) help with brand recall and overall branding. Search ads, on the other hand, are driven with intent.
Many internet users tend to ignore banner ads because they feel they are annoying. Banner ads, however, continue to pop-up because a "cookie" is added to a user's browser, which can be interpreted by other websites related to the first website accessed by a user.
Stand-alone display ads have a low average click rate. Re-targeted advertisements that continuously appear to the same users have higher click rates.
It is important to note that native advertising is one of the best forms of advertising for lead generation and client acquisition. Native advertising blended with relevant content generates more leads and potential clients.
Social media marketing can give you free exposure to law firms on the internet. Social media sites are highly effective tools to generate leads and acquire new clients. The American Bar Association says that about 40% of law firms with social media presence have been able to acquire new clients through these platforms.
An effective social media strategy is important to build a strong social media presence and convert potential leads and potential clients into paying clients. Your social media strategies should focus on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, where most of your potential clients are found. You need to build an effective community composed of your target market. You also need to make sure that you optimize your social media pages.