Legal and attorney advertising has relied on traditional media channels for a long time — think TV, radio, billboards, and YellowPages. But that’s all set to change within the next few years, with the field experiencing disruption after disruption as it transitions towards an increasingly digital-first marketing ecosystem.

In today’s legal marketing world, digital channels like PPC and organic search have become an effective and reliable source of outbound leads. As a result, the path to purchase is becoming increasingly complex in a field that straddles the line between traditional and digital media. Mastering the ins-and-outs of digital marketing is a clear-cut way for your firm to increase its visibility and stand out from the crowd.

Don’t neglect your web presence

This one’s a no-brainer for anyone looking to improve their firm’s marketing performance, but it bears repeating: Google reported in 2015 that 96 percent of prospective clients who are seeking legal advice use a search engine for research. This means that your firm’s website is a crucial first point of contact for your prospects.

You don’t need to break the bank on this one with a total overhaul of your site design, but you should make sure the essentials are covered: Do you have a clean and attractive “About Us” page that gives a human-centered look at your firm? How about a landing page with contact forms where clients can request a phone consultation? Consider topping it off with a “Testimonials” or “Reviews” page where you can put a spotlight on the excellent work you’ve done representing your clients.

Strong SEO is crucial as well: It’s important to ensure that potential clients who are searching for legal representation can find your site. Make sure your blog and web pages are optimized with relevant, keyword-rich content so your site is more likely to rank at the top of search results.

Your website and landing pages will often be the first time prospective clients interact with your firm. Make sure that your web presence reflects the excellence for which your firm is known, because good impressions are critical.

LinkedIn is king at driving traffic for firms

As the real estate group Law Firm Suites revealed in 2016, an astonishing 45 percent of all website traffic for law firms was driven by LinkedIn. In addition, 80 percent of users surveyed reported that they used LinkedIn to help with research and decision-making when searching for legal representation.

LinkedIn’s status as one of the fastest-growing and most-viewed social networks — along with its proven effectiveness at driving new B2B and B2C clients — means that it’s a critical part of any legal firm’s advertising strategy. Engaging with prospective clients on LinkedIn has the added benefit of providing further visibility to client interactions, which can go a long way in making your marketing efforts feel more authentic and personable.

If you haven’t already, make sure that your firm (and every attorney who works for it) has registered their LinkedIn page.

Advanced call tracking illuminates the path to purchase

Legal and attorney advertising is a phone-first business, and for good reason: Prospective clients rightfully want the reassurance of speaking with a real person when it comes to discussing sensitive legal matters. But just because phones are still front-and-center in legal advertising doesn’t mean the path to purchase has stayed the same. A client may catch your direct-response ad via TV or radio, but odds are they’re going to pull out their smartphone and do a search before making a call.

As is the case in many other industries, prospective clients increasingly turn to digital channels first before making a call: According to a Google /  FindLaw Legal Services study, 74 percent of prospective clients research firms and practices online before making call, and 69 percent of prospects use a smartphone to make their search.

This increasing interconnectedness between phone and digital speaks to why sophisticated call tracking is more important than ever for legal and attorney advertising. In addition to determining which marketing channel drove a call, advanced call tracking can also reveal key insights about their path to purchase, like the keywords a customer searched for and the pages they viewed before making a call.

This attribution clarity will, in turn, help you make smarter choices about how to allocate your ad budget by determining which channels are most effective at driving new leads and delivering a positive ROI. For attorney marketers, advanced call tracking and analytics can give you a decisive edge over your competitors.

Proving ROI for attorney marketing

We recently spoke with the legal advertising firm Whitehardt, who adopted CallRail as a way to bring attribution clarity to the usually murky reporting around attorney marketing. Whitehardt knew that their digital-first approach was returning solid results for their clients, but they needed the analytics to prove it.

After implementing their own call tracking system, Whitehardt needed hard data to back up their hunch. Through careful monitoring of their call analytics, they determined that 80 percent of their clients’ inbound calls were driven by mobile click-to-call and text ads.

That’s the kind of attribution not just to a marketing channel but to the actual ad dollars, which then lets us make very clear determinations around how our efforts are doing, so we can demonstrate serious ROI to our clients and prove the value of our marketing,” explained Will Fox, Director of Digital Marketing at Whitehardt.

Make reviews a priority

Like most customer-centric businesses, reviews and referrals from previous clients are a big part of driving new ones. Reviews are especially critical for legal firms and attorneys — clients will often come to you for assistance with sensitive or life-changing issues, and they’ll want reassurance that they’re making the best possible choice.

Reviews and client testimonials are an effective and easy way to provide prospective clients with this much-needed peace of mind. If there isn’t one in place already, be sure to create a high-profile spot on your website for customer reviews. Ideally, a glowing testimonial should be one of the first things a new visitor sees when they arrive.

And once you’re finished successfully representing a client, don’t be afraid to solicit a review from them. Your firm probably just made a big difference in their life, so they’ll be glad to return the favor with a positive review. Real testimonials from real people lets prospective clients see the human stories and faces behind your practice, which in turn inspires confidence in both your brand and the services you provide.

With the right approach to analytics and some tweaks to your digital strategy, your law firm will soon be outperforming your competitors. Learn how call tracking and advanced analytics can be part of your firm’s marketing strategy: Request a demo of CallRail today or start your free 14-day trial.

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