Why “Set-It-and-Forget-It” Never Works for Online Law Firm Marketing
Why does your firm need a diverse marketing strategy (website, pay-per-click advertising, blog + social media, profiles, client reviews, etc.) now more than ever?
A recent study by search industry player Slingshot SEO indicated that click-thru rates (CTRs) — the percentage of people who actually "click" on the organic (or natural) rankings on a search engine result page — may be in decline.
Basically, that means fewer people — 52 percent of Google users and 26 percent of Bing users — are clicking on the first ten listings on a search result page than was found in previous studies.
So what does this statistic mean and why shouldn't a law firm put all of its online marketing eggs into a single basket?
Where Is the Traffic Going?
There's no simple explanation for why click-thru rates are lower in this study of organic search engine optimization (SEO) versus previous studies. Changes in how results are grouped, tweaks by the search engine algorithms (rules) that dictate how websites are ranked, more users using the "preview" function before clicking through and other factors are often cited.
However, one law firm marketing maxim still makes sense: Diversify your online marketing strategy to ensure success. Here are some suggestions for any sound marketing mix:
Actively manage your SEO strategy.
Having your website appear at or near the top of the search engine page is still a huge advantage, so work with your provider to ensure your SEO program puts you there and keeps you there.
Post consumer-friendly content, relevant to the area of law you practice.
Search engine algorithms reward fresh, relevant content, so keep your website content current and periodically add new material, written in a readable way that keeps site visitors engaged.
Embrace blogging and social media marketing.
Social media is not a passing fad for the legal industry. In fact, one great way to be rewarded by search engines is to blog regularly. Every blog posted is a fresh page of relevant content. Then extend that marketing strategy by sharing your blog content to your firm's profiles on multiple social media platforms — LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Strategically leverage pay-per-click advertising.
Talk to your provider about using pay-per-click (PPC) paid search advertising, which lets you advertise directly to a specific target audience, complementing your other online marketing efforts. Depending upon the ebb and flow of your firm's business, you can ratchet up or down your PPC spend to drive leads. And unlike organic results that build up over time, PPC enables you to immediately buy your way onto page 1 of the search results. However, unlike organic rankings that can perform better over time, your page-1 placement (in the special paid results section) disappears when you stop paying Google.
Your online marketing will never be a set-it-and-forget-it part of your law firm's business. Make sure you are tracking your results and use that data to periodically revisit your overall marketing strategy at least a few times per year.
Want to learn more about how you can leverage any of these marketing tools to promote your law practice? Schedule your free consultation with a Law Firm Marketing Specialist today!
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