The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Lawyers
by Chris Hunter
Chief Marketing Hero
What’s undoubtedly the biggest challenge that your law firm faces today? It’s getting leads into your firm on a steady basis.
If you can predict how many leads you will get next month, you can predict your sales and your growth.
Yet most businesses and law firms have no idea how many leads will come in next month and can’t accurately predict if they will make their overhead or not – much less grow.
You read that right – dominate your local market!
And the kicker is – your law firm doesn’t need to be a large one located in a big city! Maybe you’re just a one or two person law firm in a small or medium sized market here in Texas that is having a hard time trying to generate new leads!
We can help you turn that lack-of-leads problem into a preferred issue of having more leads than you can handle!
Case Study – Get More than 700 Leads Per Month
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how our system works, I’d like to take a few minutes to show you some results from one of our clients. This law firm has been with us for a little over six years and up until April of 2016, we had been steadily generating between 30-60 leads per month for them via SEO only.
Then, in April of 2016, we started working on implementing our 4R Marketing System piece by piece. We noticed right away that it was working very well as we started doubling the amount of leads they were receiving within a month.
In February of 2018, you’ll notice there was HUGE jump where the leads went from an average of 120-180 per month to 600+ per month.
What did we do to achieve that? We simply implemented something from our 4R Marketing System each quarter. Read on to find out what we did.
How CAN You Get 700+ Leads in A Month?
So how can we do this I hear you ask? First – it takes time. We’ve worked on generating law firm leads for over a decade and in the past few years or so, we finally “Cracked the Code.”
You see, over the years, we’ve refined what we do into a system that we call the 4R Marketing System.
This is an evergreen marketing system that we can simply plug in different channels and services as they come along into each of the four pillars: Reputation, Reach, Resell, Referral.
Now we add every law firm and small business that we work with into this system and guess what? It works!!
Heck we use the 4R Marketing System for ourselves – which is why you’re probably reading this right now!
What is the 4R Marketing System?
The 4R Marketing system is an evergreen marketing system that was developed to maximize all of the four pillars of marketing.
The 4 R’s stand for:
4R – Reputation
What are people saying about you? Reputations take a long time to build yet can be badly damaged with just a few stray comments from unhappy clients. We combat that in a few ways:
Where do you think people go to research you? If your website is dated (read older than 3 years), then it automatically hurts your reputation. Websites are like clothes. Styles change and more importantly technology changes.
You wouldn’t wear a suite from 10 years ago when you meet with a potential client would you? NO!
So why would you let your website get looking old?
But it happens. I and my team audit websites all day long and the biggest trend I see is that law firms generally will let their website sit there for up to 10 years before they do something about it.
Yet technology changes – dramatically.
To put that into perspective, as of the time of the writing of this (May 2019), the iPhone was a little over year old 10 years ago. The web design community was not even thinking about designing websites for phones.
Yet right now, across close to the 1,000 websites that we manage, we see that traffic from phones (Apple and Android) is sitting right at 80%.
Let me say that again – 80% of the traffic to our sites is mobile!
But I run across law firm websites that haven’t been updated since 2008 (I have ways to check that – muhahaha!)….
And since websites are one of the first place that clients go to research your firm, why would you let it get that old?
So, the simple solution is to update your website every three years just like you would with your wardrobe.
Your website is your employee that’s working 24 hours per day for you, so why not give it a refresh every so often?
When someone says something about your firm, you want to be the first and not the last to know, right?
We add each of our clients to our Reputation Monitoring system, so they know right away when anyone says anything good or bad about them online and respond accordingly.
To me, Reputation is the very foundation of all online marketing, so it makes sense to at least monitor what people say about you every day and every minute.
A Reputation Engine is simply a system that helps you get reviews. Typically, only really mad people leave reviews.
Yet very few law firms actually have anything in place to get those reviews.
So, we’ve developed a system that will systemically get reviews from your clients. This system will work with either email or SMS messages to have your clients tell you how you did.
And the beauty is – all you have to do is give us their emails or mobile phones and the system will take care of the rest!
I left this one for last as it’s something that, just like asking for reviews, is one of the items that I see neglected dramatically by almost every law firm.
There’s been a shift in the past four to five years on how people educate themselves about law firms and services. They have every bit of information they can find literally in the palm of their hand.
When I talk about social media with law firms, I typically get, “My target audience isn’t on that platform.” when they’re talking about Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter.
My response is typically, “What does that matter?”
You see, they’re typically thinking in generalities. So if they’re a B2B law firm, they believe their audience isn’t really on Facebook or Instagram. But yet they are. They just aren’t looking for your services there.
However, when they research your law firm, where do you think they’re going to go? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & LinkedIn.
So I coach my clients to put educational materials on all of those platforms that when someone is researching them, they look like experts in their area.
The last thing they would want to see is your Merry Christmas post from two years ago and that’s it.
The point is – don’t neglect your social channels. Add relevant content to your services every single day.
There’s a lot more that goes along with Social Media, but that’s a high level overview.
If you do all the above, your foundation will be set for the rest of the pillars.
Step 1 – Update your Website
Step 2 – Monitor Your Reputation
Step 3 – Ask for Reviews
Step 4 – Add content to Social Channels Regularly
4R – Reach
This is where most marketers spend their time – and for good reason! It’s important to reach out to ensure that more people know about you today than yesterday!
What do we normally concentrate on? See the following:
- SEO – This is the long term strategy.
- Google Maps – With the recent changes to the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), it’s important to dominate for the keywords people are searching for.
- Google AdWords – This is the short term strategy and is important so we could test out the keywords that people are actually converting from.
- Facebook – The targeting aspects of Facebook are just hands-down unmatched.
- Video Marketing – This ties all aspects together and amplifies them by 10!
I’ll outline what we do for each of the above:
SEO which is short for Search Engine Optimization is the art of optimizing pages to get them to the top of the search engines. I’ve personally been optimizing my own sites as well as my client’s sites since 1998 and in that time, I’ve developed a system that I call SEO SuperGlue.
First – this is what I refer to regarding organic SEO. The highlighted area is considered the organic area, which by the way is the most trusted area to be in. That’s why it’s so hard to get there and stay there!
Here’s an overview of the Marketing Heroes SEO SuperGlue system:
Before I get into what all the above means, let’s agree that Google is the search engine to concentrate on. It’s the leader in the US market; Bing and Yahoo have trailed and will continue to trail unless they majorly improve their technology.
Google cares about content, right? Yes – they do indeed. It’s what the backbone of the entire Internet is all about: free content.
The more you write and post to your site, the more love Google gives it. I call Blog posts Spider Food simply because it attracts the search engine spiders if it’s shared correctly – I’ll get to that soon.
So with that being said, we have content in the form of blog posts as our foundation of SEO and each blog post then links to either a landing page or several of them.
Personally, I like to leverage content and I like to sprinkle links throughout blog posts. If fact, if you look at the links in this post, you’ll see that’s exactly what I’m doing here.
It’s important to add blog posts on a regular basis as Google just doesn’t like stagnant content and will always reward the websites that add content.
I personally like 2-4 blog posts per month; however, I know some websites that add a blog post every day and completely dominate their SEO.
Landing Pages are pages that are optimized for one keyword or a set of keywords. They are your sales pages as well because they will be the pages that people click on.
So, it’s important to have pages that are not only optimized for SEO but also designed to get people to take action.
Here at Marketing Heroes, we’ve developed a tool in-house to help generate landing pages for us and our clients.
Before we developed this tool, we were limited in a big way how many pages we could write and honestly, most SEO Agencies are still limited by this.
We now have this tool to help us generate up to 1,000’s of pages.
What does this matter? Imagine that your website is a spider web; the more landing pages we have, the more strings we have out there and the wider the web gets.
Oh and did I mention that we add more every quarter? Yes, we add more landing pages on a scheduled basis to ensure that Google always sees your website growing!
Almost ten years ago, I read an article by Michael Campbell who is one of the very first marketers I ever followed about how he was dominating rankings by using a particular backlinking strategy he called “Jiggle the Web”.
The short story is that every time that you post to your blog, you should immediately share the post out on your social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and others. By doing it in this fashion, it attracted the search engine spiders in such a fashion that our blog posts got an immediate boost in the rankings.
So, we tested this strategy and sure enough, it helps! In fact, we have built it into our tool to get the post immediately shared on not only our client’s social channels but the other 300 that we own which sends a massive social signal to Google.
SuperGlue links are high powered backlinks that point back to our clients’ websites and landing pages. We call these SuperGlue links because they are so high powered.
What is a backlink? I get asked this all the time: it’s simply a link from one website to another.
For instance: This is a link to Google.
Google’s main part of their algorithm is how websites link to each other. In the early days of Google, it was about how many links you had coming back to your website.
They got wise to that as SEOs figured it out and simply created tens of thousands of backlinks.
It’s a much different story in modern times; it’s more about quality than quantity.
As of December 21, 2012 when the first Penguin Update was released, Google actually penalized over backlinking from low quality websites.
For instance, they recognized that a spammy site with a lot of links in it that are unrelated wouldn’t be a quality link.
So back to SuperGlue links, which are the cream of the crop links. They are high quality links that we get for our clients and can come from a wide variety of sources, although we focus on quality over quantity.
We typically only build a few SuperGlue links per month.
They are also local directories such as the Chamber of Commerce or any other affiliations your business or law firm might have.
These links are typically 98% of the backlinks that we help to build each and every month.
OK – so that’s it! We concentrate on sets of 10-20 keywords then wash, rinse, and repeat the above five steps each month until we get to the top of the rankings.
Once a keyword is number one, we move on to the next one in our prioritized list.
What happens when you’re all out of keywords? Impossible, I say. There are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of keywords we could identify for every business we work with.
Keep expanding those keywords and landing pages and you’ll have a never-ending supply of leads coming in!!
Google Maps is a different story than SEO. It’s now placed in what’s called the “Three Pack” on almost every SERP or Search Engine Results Page.
Below is what it might look like if you did a search for “Lawyer in Houston TX”
Maps optimization takes a slightly different tactic than Organic SEO.
We can only concentrate on a few keywords so we have to pick and choose them and then only proceed with the ones that are our “Biggest” searched ones.
Second, backlinking is different as we will only use the Citations mentioned above.
We like to first claim and optimize the Google listing, then start with building Citations.
Building them are similar to the above backlinks so it makes sense to combine both backlink strategies into one.
The Google ads platform is called Google Ads and we like to use it to learn what keywords and landing pages are working better while we wait for SEO to come along as it can sometimes take upwards of six months to a year to get ranked for competitive keywords.
Instead of guessing which keywords are going to convert, we get that data from the Google AdWords campaigns.
The other benefit is that we can help drive leads into our client’s business almost immediately – at least in days versus months.
Facebook’s advertising platform is nothing short of amazing. If you need to get your ads in front of a newlywed couple that’s expecting a baby, you can do that.
If you want to target ads to executives in Houston that have are recently married, you can do that too; however, the great thing about Facebook isn’t the Ads, although that’s pretty cool – it’s the fact that you can sponsor posts.
We like to use the blog articles that we write for our clients and put ad budgets behind them.
For instance, if we write an article entitled “10 Things to Know Before You Start the Divorce Process,” we can post it to Facebook and then “Boost” the post aimed towards our target audience of potential divorcees.
Using this strategy, we help not only boost traffic to that blog post, Google also sees what’s going on and boosts up that post in the organic listings.
See how this is all fitting together?
But wait – there’s more! Lots more! The next one below is one of my favorites, so keep reading!
According to CISCO, online video accounted for 64% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2015 and is expected to rise to 69% by 2017 and 79% by 2018. Video is important, almost crucial at this point.
If you don’t have a video strategy, you’re already falling behind your competitors.
We like to use video marketing for several reasons:
SEO – Google loves video; they own YouTube for a reason. We’ve noticed a trend in rankings for videos that are optimized and it you combine a video on a blog post, it’s just magic.
Facebook – Facebook loves video. In fact, they love it so much that the clicks we usually get for around $1 to $1.50, we can get for $.03 to.05 if there’s a video involved, it’s that good.
What that means is that if you have a video post versus a text blog post, for every 1,000 eyeballs on that content, you’ll pay $50 for video versus $1,500 for text. It’s a HUGE difference!
Here’s the video marketing strategy:
Create the video (I like education videos) that is no more than 3 to 5 minutes long.
Create a transcript of the video for the blog post.
Upload the video to YouTube and optimize it for keywords such as Divorce Lawyer Houston, Criminal Lawyer Houston, etc.
Create a blog post on your website with the transcript and embed the video in it. Make sure you have strong call to actions, such as “Call (xxx)xxx- xxxx for help with a Divorce Today!” Also make sure you create some links to your keyword rich landing pages, so you get some link juice from this post.
Share the video on Facebook with some teaser text that links to the blog post.
Boost the post with a $50 ad budget that targets who you want to target.
Wash, rinse, and repeat. I prefer to do this once or twice per month; some markets need more.
4R – RESELL
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Ever heard of the Marketing Rule of Thumb for Touches? You know, it takes 8-10 touches by Marketing until someone takes the action you want?
Well, if it takes 8-10 touches, why do the vast majority of websites not employ Remarketing? To me it just makes sense to get visitors back to your website to convert them, which is where Remarketing comes in.
Remarketing is a technology that until recently was only available to the “Big Boys” such as Amazon and Walmart.
We love to use Remarketing via Google Ads and Facebook to show ads to the people who’ve visited our sites to get them back to the website to take the action we want, typically either call or fill out a form.
In the examples above, let’s assume that because of our video, we’ve gotten a visitor to your website and then assume something happened while they were reading your blog or listing to the video blog post like they had to answer a call or leave their computer or phone.
If you have remarketing set up, you can get them back to that blog as a reminder.
Now let’s take it a step further and what if you show them another piece of content that might spark their interest?
In the case of the “10 Things to Know Before You Start the Divorce Process” blog post above that we’ve also created a video for, what if you have another post entitled “3 Things to Never Do if Considering a Divorce” and you run remarketing ads to get them to that post?
The possibilities are endless really. You can create a drip system of content posts using this technology to continue to get people back to your website until they take an action like filling out a form for you to contact them.
4R – REFERRAL
FACT: Referrals spend more and convert better and faster.
But there’s a catch: even if your clients love you, they’re not likely to recommend you to their peers unless you ask them to.
So the question then becomes: how do you get people to recommend you?
We do it through several strategies, most of which fit right into the above strategies.
Social media is great. The very nature of social media leads to referrals.
If someone likes your post, it’s almost like a referral; if someone shares it, well… it is a referral.
Then there are ways now to get a referral via social media.
For instance, Facebook Pages now have a “Share” button right in the top of their page. If you ask your audience occasionally, they might actually just share your page out!
Newsletters are really the lifeblood of your marketing efforts. If you grow anything at all, it should be your email list. And the best part?
If you run a referral campaign using your newsletter, you can combine it with a share and referral campaign on your social channels as well.
I’ll get into newsletters at another time as this eBook is about 3,000 words past what I intended.
For now, you don’t need to passively wait for your clients to spread the word about your law firm!
Be on the lookout for a new case study for how to use newsletters and email drip systems to dramatically grow your law firm.
Conclusion – Get GOING!!
Listen, this has been a lot longer than I anticipated. I sat down to write this and found that after a few hours, I had over 6,000 words and a LOT more to write!
In all of this, here’s what I want you to take away from this book: break all of your marketing into the four pillars:
Each pillar in the 4R Marketing System is extremely important and if you are taking action in each pillar, your marketing system will be unbeatable.
Be on the lookout for more articles where we’ll be taking a more in-depth look into a few strategies mentioned above that are working really well right now.
Need help marketing your law firm? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook!
About the Author
The core of Marketing Heroes (and myself really) is that because we believe in the American Dream, we grow law firms by leveraging technology.
If you’re interested to see if we can help you grow your law firm, you can connect with me on LinkedIn or call (979) 314-7067 to schedule a quick chat to see if we’re a fit for each other.
When I first hired Marketing Heroes over five years ago I knew nothing about websites or internet advertising. They taught me the importance of building and maintaining a strong internet presence to improve my business. By following Marketing Heroes’ advice my business has exploded. I cannot thank them enough. Each and every month I receive reports from them and suggestions on how to improve my marketing campaigns. The Marketing Heroes team is always extremely courteous, professional, and responsive to my questions. I Have grown to trust the Marketing Heroes team, and highly recommend them. They truly are my personal Marketing Heroes. If you are interested in growing your business there is no better place to start than with Marketing Heroes.