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Susie Hood

Marketing for Solicitors: Six Tips to Increase Effectiveness

In many ways, marketing for solicitors and legal organisations has never been more challenging in recent memory. Traditional marketing methods have been losing their effectiveness for some time, and despite the many benefits of networking or attending events and exhibitions that help deliver business leads and forming beneficial relationships, COVID-19 has put paid to in-person interactions for the foreseeable future.

With digital marketing now being the leading channel for professional services like legal support, it can be tricky to get your firm to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace. The good news is that the changes to the ways that solicitors can market themselves leads to a world of new opportunity; the downside is that law firms which haven’t yet embraced digital transformation can feel like they are way behind the curve. For law firms that want to attract new clients, extend their reach and grow their business through online marketing, we’ve come up with some tips to improve the strategies and activity you’re already running with, to help you get better results and a more tangible ROI.

The digital marketplace for UK solicitors in 2021

The digital marketplace for solicitors in 2021 is a very crowded place. So many firms are battling for attention that it can be really difficult even knowing where to start approaching your legal digital marketing strategy, unless you already have a household name and a strong online presence.

Our research shows that every single month in the UK, there are more than 465,000 Google searches carried out for solicitors. Some of the most common key themes that we found are:

Brand searches

A significant number of people search for solicitors by Googling the name of the firm. It makes sense; you see an advert on TV, online, in a magazine, on a bus shelter, or hear a radio ad and you’re going to make a mental note of the name to look up the solicitors’ firm later. It’s therefore essential that you are front of mind to people in the market for services like yours. Your online content needs to reflect your organisation. The most popular brand search we found was “Thompson Solicitors” with 6,600 searches a month. If even a small percentage of those searchers eventually becomes a client, that’s a huge opportunity for any law firm.

Geographical searches

People often look for a solicitor in a specific area close to where they live. “Law firms in London” garners 4,400 searches a month and 40,500 people look for a “solicitor near me” each month too. This is because people often want something as important as law advice in a face to face situation. Or they want the reassurance of using a local law firm where they believe they will get a good level of service, rather than opting for a big national firm where they don’t think they’ll get the personal attention they want. Making sure that your website appears for local searches in the area you are based, whether you have one office or 50, can be a real trust signal for potential clients. You may operate nationally, but having clients that are local to an office or your HQ will always be something worthwhile too.

Service/Specialism searches

People generally have a particular legal service in mind when looking for a solicitor. “Conveyancing solicitor” gets 14,500 searches a month and “family lawyer” gets around 8,100. Highlighting your specialisms on your website with great content, including case studies to show previous successes and client testimonials to back this up can have a big impact on the conversions that you get through your website. Profiling your experts in specific fields can also be a good trust signal – helping potential clients to put a face to a name has value to bring what can be a cold online search into a warmer and more personal footing.

Question searches

If people have a question about the law, they’re not likely to call their local friendly solicitor up straight away; they’re going to use a search engine to find out the answer. “When to instruct a solicitor when buying a house” isn’t strictly a question, but it’s asking about an important process and gets 320 searches a month. The top 100 questions we found for law-related queries account for around 9,400 searches every month – which works out at 112000 searches a year. By ensuring that your website answers the common questions your clients ask, professionally and succinctly, you can be found more easily by people looking for the answers you have. Answering more complex legal matters through blog posts or via your other digital channels can also attract the right kinds of traffic to your site for years to come too.

Recruitment searches

While people looking for a job in the legal sector aren’t necessarily likely to become fee-paying clients, digital is the key recruitment channel for law firms. More than 1,000 searches happen every month for “solicitor jobs”, so making sure that your website (and every social media channel) looks like a firm that you’d like to work for is a good measurement of how you’re selling yourselves to those looking for a solicitor as well as those looking for the next step in their career.

1.   Working up a more effective plan for your legal marketing efforts

Messaging and content

Focus on your strengths and specialisms with all of your digital communications. People appreciate straight talking about legal matters, rather than vague and fluffy content that doesn’t really explain what you do or how you do it.

People look for law firms with specialist expertise so it should be an aim to be a leader in every niche that you serve. If you’re a full service law firm, focus on specific areas to push rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to be everything to all people. Prioritising areas of your business at different times means you can focus on a really profitable area whilst making smaller steps on other specialisms too. Being a leader in your locality is also a good milestone to aim for and can really help with your regional SEO for solicitors. Publishing detailed, rich content that is designed to engage your target audience is key to long term success in this area.

Have clear brand guidelines and a defined tone of voice

Your brand guidelines and tone of voice parameters will mean that your messaging is consistent across all channels and can help you cut through some of the noise. Being controversial or quirky in these areas can be a risky choice, but it can work really well to simply be human and not too caught up in legalese.

Have a single plan that covers all channels and activity

Having a single plan that integrates all marketing elements helps to ensure you’re staying on message across the board and not wasting time or resource on things which aren’t contributing to your overall goals. Most marketing plans for law firms will include:

  1. Content marketing
  2. SEO
  3. PPC
  4. Social media
  5. Remarketing
  6. Email marketing
  7. PR
  8. Events

2.   Monitoring and measuring your law firm marketing plan

Working out what to monitor and measure with your marketing plan can be a challenge. Our advice is to dispense with vanity metrics that don’t actually have an impact on your business and focus on the things that make a real difference to conversions and lead generation.

Setting up digital tools to capture and automate what you can is always advisable. Marketers are busy people and having to manually check dozens of metrics on a daily, weekly and monthly basis can get in the way of you doing more worthwhile and effective things.

Important things for law firms to measure are likely to include:

  1. Audience acquisition – where are your visitors coming from, what are they looking for and what do they engage with?
  2. Your lead conversion funnels – what patterns are there? Where are people dropping off?
  3. Measure phone calls that come in from your website (via call tracking plugins) to help link up your online activity and the phone leads generated
  4. Measure your competitors and their monthly output and performance to help gauge your standing in comparison and to help identify weaknesses and opportunities. You can look at things like:
  5. The new content they have published
  6. Their keyword rankings for terms you both target
  7. Reviews and customer feedback

Monitoring your own reviews across any digital channels is essential, along with any social media accounts that act like customer service touchpoints. Keeping track of how your social media broadcast posts are responded to and engaged with can also be a very useful metric for how well your content is resonating with your audience. Ensure that you respond to email enquiries promptly, even if it’s a holding message just to let the sender know that you’re working on it.

Using your website analytics to track important metrics is a vital way of monitoring your marketing performance in a range of areas. The exact things to measure can vary somewhat, depending on what your marketing strategy and activity specifically involves, but are likely to include looking at:

  1. Which content on your site is attracting visitors (both new and returning visitors)?
  2. Which content has high exit rates that show people leaving the site after being on that page?
  3. Which content generates leads?
  4. Which content generates the best quality leads?

3.   An inbound marketing focus for law firms

We’ve looked at the huge number of searches every month for legal-related terms and questions. This shows that the demand for information is out there. Not everyone looking for information is ready to become a client of yours, but through adopting the principles of inbound marketing, you can nurture the potential leads through their journey towards that point to maximise the number of pre-qualified leads that you bring in through digital channels.

You can complement your informative and useful content with:

  1. Compelling calls to action that lead to definable goals/objectives that move users down the funnel
  2. Relevant case studies to show proof of what you’ve achieved
  3. Customer reviews and testimonials

Build an email list by encouraging site visitors to opt-in to marketing emails. You can segment this by theme to ensure you serve them with the most relevant follow-up content.

Using retargeting, you can also get further opportunities to reach people who have visited your site with relevant ads. You can serve them a reminder of the exact page they visited or the subject they used your site to research, to encourage them to come back and pick up the next stage of their journey towards becoming a quality lead.

4.   Building trust is vital for conversions

There are many things you can do to help build trust with potential new clients. Most of these work on a subconscious level, but the more trust signals you can build into your marketing plan, the greater the chances of relevant conversions. These can include:

  1. Getting reviews on your website – including third party ones e.g. Trustpilot and displaying the logos and rating clearly
  2. Getting listings on the popular third party review sites and monitoring these closely so that you can respond quickly to any reviews that need action
  3. Encouraging clients to leave reviews after dealing with you
  4. Encouraging your existing clients to refer you to their networks. This can be incentivised with a referral reward scheme

5.   Upskill your in-house marketing team

Legal firms often have a real mixture of people and skillsets on their marketing teams. There could be highly experienced people with a fairly traditional marketing background, comms and PR expertise or at the opposite end of the scale, people in their first marketing role. Digital skills are essential for the modern marketer and it’s important that the whole team is on board with this, along with having the knowledge and understanding to ‘sell’ new ideas to stakeholders and those who decide on marketing budgets. Important areas include:

  1. Investing in training
  2. Forging partnerships with agencies that will share knowledge and build the confidence of the internal team
  3. Learning how to best communicate new digital marketing ideas and activities to stakeholders and partners
  4. Reporting in a way that is easy to understand for those without a digital background
  5. Using those good results to change opinions internally

6.   Appoint specialist agencies to work as an extension of your team

Utilising the expertise of marketing agencies can be a great way to start generating results quickly whilst also upskilling your internal team at the same time. A law firm marketing agency with specialist legal expertise and proven track record of helping solicitors bring in new quality leads can make all the difference and help you to hit the ground running. Working closely with an agency means that they can essentially become an extension of your own team with all parties very invested in your firm’s success.

How to make marketing for solicitors more effective

As a digital marketing agency, Hitsearch have 15 years of legal marketing expertise and we’ve seen first-hand how digital marketing for this sector has evolved over time. We understand what it takes to get results in this highly competitive marketplace and our case studies show some of the ways in which we have helped our clients to meet and exceed their objectives.

We offer a free, no obligation 15-minute consultation to UK law firms with one of our experts, during which we will provide tailored marketing insights to help your business grow online.

Call us today on 0800 011 9715 to set up your free consultation today.

If you have a business in the retail, finance or legal sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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