Incorporating Law Firm Review Stars on the Search Engine Results Page

Online reviews really make a difference in how your law firm is perceived by prospective clients. With 84% of consumers stating they trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend, reviews are significantly impacting the way people find service providers — including attorneys. You already know that it is important for your firm to carry a high star review rating, but how important is it for that rating to appear alongside your search listing?

Schema star ratings, or stars with review snippets that appear with your search engine results, are a great at-a-glance marketing tool that is becoming increasingly important to searchers and how they choose which sites to visit. A recent research study suggests there is a 35% increase in click-through rates when review stars appear in a company’s search engine result listings.

Companies who have a four- or five-star rating appearing directly within a Google search is going to get a higher click-through rate, but the star system also makes a great first impression. Consider this: Before the prospective client even gets to your site, they already trust the value of your services based on the schema star rating that is available directly within their search.

Ratings Rules: The Dos and Don’ts of Adding Star Ratings to Your Listing

So, how do you get these valuable stars to appear beside your Google search listing? There are a couple ways to streamline the process, and as it always will be for technically adjusted website options, there are rules.

The proper technical approach for getting the aggregate schema rating to appear on your Google search listing was designed by the search engine giant themselves. And it comes with several rules that must be followed, otherwise you risk being penalized by the very powerhouse that helps prospective clients find you.

First, Google has rules about what can and cannot be listed as part of your review snippets.

  1. Review snippets must be independent to your site, and cannot be taken from a third-party like Yelp, Facebook, or Google
  2. Testimonials/reviews where the snippets are pulled from must appear in full on your site
  3. There must be an active field on your site that allows unfiltered reviews to be posted

Simply put, if you do not have a section on your website that accepts and lists unique-to-your-website reviews, you are going to have to start there (more on this soon).

Second, do not cut corners or you will be penalized.

  • Do not use the aggregate approach on your home page, as it may send a spam signal to Google
  • You must have the reviewer’s permission to publish their words on your site
  • Use well-linked/trafficked pages to host the reviews, so they are well-received with Google and have a better chance of increasing your search engine star potential
  • Although third party reviews are allowed on your website, and may already exist there –you cannot mark them up to be rich snippets that add to your star rating

How Do I Get the Star Rating to Appear within My Search Listing?

Getting the highly coveted stars to appear alongside your search engine results listing can happen in one of three ways: Software, plug-ins, or code.

Option One: Software

The easiest way to get star ratings to appear on your search engine results page, alongside your listing, is to purchase the software that will do it for you, and Review Builder is a perfect solution.

Since Google is the premier search engine, staying on their good side is the only way you are going to be found by the masses. Review Builder, designed by the Attorney Marketing Network, will do the work for you, so you aren’t in any jeopardy of having your law firm targeted for penalties from Google.

Maximizing your star rating with software means you are simply paying the cost of the service to reap the benefits of the starring system, and its effectiveness alongside your listing.

Review Builder will:

  • Positively solicit reviews from actual, satisfied clients
  • Optimally place the reviews on your site
  • Automatically adapt the schema-rating
  • Target the data, allowing the star system to appear alongside your listing

Option Two: WordPress Plug-Ins

If your website exists in open content management like WordPress, you can download a plug-in that will mark up the values within your reviews, so you do not have to do it manually. This is incredibly helpful, but circles back around to the initial need: Reviews that are directly left and located on your website.

Again, you cannot use third-party reviews to assist in your star-ratings boost. The reviews must appear on your site and cannot be pulled or copied from other sites. This is where the Review Builder software comes in. Not only does it solicit the reviews for you, but it ensures that you are not cutting corners or jeopardizing your Google ranking.

If you are starting from the beginning, step one is the process of collecting reviews on your website. Plug-ins like Universal Star Rating is a great option to assist in your gathering process, if you prefer to do on your own.


If you already have the reviews on your website, or once you have started collecting them, look to programming plug-ins like WP SEO Structured Data Schema plugin to begin coding the reviews for schema ratings.

Collecting reviews and programming them to work in your favor is going to take time. Be patient with the process and know that the starred results are going to be worth it.

Option Three: Write the Code Yourself

If you already have existing reviews on your website, writing the code to wrap the schema rich information yourself is an option. And while it may appear more tedious than the software or plug-in options, there is a method that Google recommends, and it is the JSON LD.


Follow the instructions fully to receive positive results from your programming actions, by wrapping your reviews in the proper coding, as follows – entering the information for each category as it pertains to each review.

Once you have wrapped the reviews for the aggregate rating, use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to check your work, and do not worry if you are prompted with a warning. Simply follow Google’s suggestions for correction and move forward. Do not disregard their warnings. It will end in penalties, and your ranking could drop immensely.

Make Intelligent Review Posting Decisions

Do not place reviews on every page of your site, and do not add them to the home page. Maintain the reviews on a page that makes sense, which — and this is ideal — can be a page that is dedicated to reviews, services, or information. Avoid adding reviews to your blog page or resource pages, or anywhere they obviously do not belong. The reviews should complement your site, not interrupt it.

Google will view sitewide ratings as an attempt at beating their system. And if there is one thing Google does not like, it is anyone trying to pull one over on them. Should you tamper with what is acceptable, you will receive a warning from inside your Google Webmaster Tools, and possibly even be assessed a palpable rankings penalty.

Google will have the final say in when the schema star system appears with your listing, and abiding by their overall rules, avoiding shortcuts, and staying above board with the review collection process will produce results sooner than later. The click-through rate that follows will have your law firm lined with prospective clients, as your search engine results listing stands out from your competitors.

Chatbots for Law Firms: Convert More Clients, Provide Better Customer Service

Technology has progressed mightily over the past decade, including impressive forward momentum in artificial intelligence communications. The popularity of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have changed the way people search for services and products. This is true for everything from purchasing laundry detergent to finding a Latin-focused restaurant nearby or locating the nearest physician – and, yes – finding an attorney.

In a world dominated by technology, people are searching for lawyers the same way they are searching for a movie theater: On their laptops, tablets, phones, and voice-activated devices.

Once a prospective client searches for a law firm, and locates yours, you want them to contact you, which isn’t the easiest feat – considering the search engine results will provide more than just your firm. Now would be an appropriate time to mention that being at the top of the page will help send the coveted traffic to your page. That’s a given. But how do you grab and keep them there once they arrive? Chatbots can help facilitate a conversion by answering questions, collecting contact information, vetting their legal needs, and walking the client directly to human contact: You.

Where’s the Value in Talking to Chatbots?

Chatbots are a computer program that allows a prospective client to hold a conversation with a program that can answer questions quickly and effectively. Simple questions like, “Does your firm work on a contingency basis?” can be answered online, without you or your office staff taking a phone call to provide the same answer.

When you are saving time in the office, you can focus on the clients you have in-house and allow your website or app to work for you by employing a chatbot.

Chatbots engage prospects in real-time, keeping their attention, expanding the conversation, and delivering value including:

  • Decreasing response times, answering questions in seconds
  • Vetting their needs, and actual claim parameters to confirm their case is one your firm can/will handle
  • Scheduling contact through a phone call, text, or email between the prospect and the firm’s attorney

How Many People Are Actually Participating in Chatbot Conversations?

An effective way to think about chatbots is to consider them as automated messaging services, which is exactly what they are. Their existence and effectiveness are driving client communication into an area where most online adults are already comfortable.

Research suggests:

  • By 2020, more than 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human
  • 60% of adults in the United States are already using online messaging, video, or voice chat services
  • For the first time, more people are using messenger apps than social networks
  • 72% of people are using seven or fewer apps each day, leaning more towards messenger apps to communicate
  • 90% of the most frequent questions asked by attorney website visitors can be answered by a chatbot
  • Chatbots remove the stigma of speaking with a human about uncomfortable circumstances, especially when talking about legal issues

As people move away from apps, and into online messaging, chatbots provide a comfortable transition for question and answers from service providers, including attorneys. When the chatbot is unable to answer the other 10% of inquiries, prospective clients can contact you directly, or schedule a contact preference. By the time you speak with the individual, you already know their needs, and can take the conversation from inquiry to a solution.

Popular Chatbot Services for Law Firms

Choosing the best chatbot for your law firm begins with choosing a service that helps, not hinders. Chatbots are converting more clients with each visit by simply providing immediate answers. Visitors have reached your website or landing page to fulfill a need, and the quicker they receive the answers they need, the quicker they can be converted to actual clients. Your target audience will help you determine which chatbot service is right for you. Here are a few options to get started.

Messenger via Facebook

The power of Facebook goes much further than birthday reminders and pictures of your friends and relatives. In fact, 79% of adults who are online in the United States are on Facebook. This makes a Facebook Messenger Chatbot a winner in communication lead generation.

Messenger chatbots allow law firms to make these conversations part of their marketing strategy, allowing attorneys to retarget users and drive conversion rates.

With 1.3 billion users dedicated to Messenger, chatbot developers have heeded the call to create bots that work with the platform, and there are over 100,000 compatible options on the market.

One of the most popular chatbots for Messenger is Chatfuel.


The simplicity of Chatfuel drives its popularity with law firms interested in building chatbots.

Chatfuel’s attributes include:

  • Intuitive, easy to use design features
  • Zero coding, simply copy and paste
  • Templates included in the service
  • Up and running on Facebook Messenger in as little as ten minutes

The real value of employing a chatbot in Messenger is that your firm will have direct access to Facebook users, their information, and demographic data. This will allow your law firm to target prospective clients through focused advertising opportunities on the site.


Botsify is a customer service chatbot platform that can be added directly to your website. This application is perfect for capturing visitors who have gone from search engine results to your legal website and allows them to access customer support in a single click and ask format.

Botsify provides:

  • Easy website integrations using Plugins
  • Drag and drop templates
  • Intuitive intelligence, allowing owners to add phrases and sentences to the program, essentially teaching the bot how to answer questions more accurately
  • Analytics integration
  • Alerts for human interaction takeover

Chatting with prospective clients directly from your site allows immediate access that delivers a quality connection, without asking the user to switch platforms.


Of the chatbots mentioned here, Intercom is more involved and provides an intricate process for the user and owner alike. Instead of answering questions directly, the bot will engage prospective clients be rerouting them to articles or Q&As that provide the answers they are looking for or will reroute them to a human who can answer their questions directly.


  • Engages clients quickly to find answers to their questions
  • Collects contact information
  • Qualifies leads
  • Measures the user’s satisfaction of answers provided
  • Tracks conversations the user closes, so you can review the contact

Join the Movement: Chatbots Are Converting Law Firm Website Visitors into Clients

Lawyers know their client-base as well as they know the law, and when it comes to providing the services they need, including enhancing their journey from online visitor to contact, chatbots are a beneficial addition to any team. The key to its success is using the technology smartly. You do not want the chatbot to attack your website visitors, or to cover your logo or contact information when it is in use. It should be easily accessible, and able to provide sufficient answers that lead to an actual conversation regarding the retention of your services. With more and more people shying away from making actual phone calls, that conversation can be as simple as asking how the prospective client would like to be contacted – which is something a chatbot can do. The easier you make the process, the easier it will be to land the client.

Track What Is Critical to Your Law Firm’s Growth by Measuring KPI Values

Want to evaluate your law firm’s marketing success? Key Performance Indicators, or KPI, allow attorneys to measure their business, marketing, and performance successes using values that reflect how efficiently lawyers are reaching their objectives.

Simply put, how do you know if you are reaching your marketing goals? Are you measuring the proper indicators? Let’s find out!

What Types of Key Performance Indicators Are Important to Attorneys?

There are two types of key performance indicators, and typically companies that market products or services can find their measurements in one type of KPI.

Because of the unique nature of law firms and their audiences, their ability to appeal to markets through precise marketing efforts, and personal, less calculated approaches, both types apply to lawyers and staff.

Type One: Quantitative

Quantitative key performance indicators for lawyers is measured in the value of facts. No personal feelings, interpretations, or biases. These facts are typically numbers that are weighed against a standard, which could be the number of phone calls, conversions from the website, and new clients received over a measured amount of time.

At the Attorney Marketing Network, we provide our clients with the tools they need to successfully gather quantitative KPIs to ensure that their marketing goals are measured and analyzed in real time.

Our unique marketing services are designed for lawyers based on their firm’s exclusive needs, which allows us to accurately monitor and report key performance indicators, including:

  • Phone calls
  • Web and social media traffic
  • Form submission leads
  • Review solicitation, submissions and notifications
  • Retargeting and remarketing achievements
  • Visitor engagement analysis
  • Pay-per-click campaigns
  • Pay-per-call and pay-per-text mobile campaigns
  • AdWords successes
  • Personalized marketing KPI measurements, designed specifically for your firm

Type Two: Qualitative

Qualitative key performance indicators for attorneys is measured in the value of influence, personal feelings, and opinions. These facts are also represented through numbers but must be manually obtained, instead of reflected through online metrics and compiled data like quantitative KPIs.

Qualitative KPIs can include clients who were referred to your firm from:

  • Previous clients
  • Review-based contact, where a prospective client reads your legal reviews and makes contact
  • Print, radio, and television advertising

The conversion rate of the individuals who heard about you, saw your ad, or read about you online is the most important performance indicator in qualitative measurements. Keep track of them!

What Are Legal Marketing KPI Values?

KPI values are used in legal marketing efforts to help attorneys understand if they are reaching their targets effectively. Because there is so much data to keep track of, especially in social media, website, and media engagements, it’s often difficult for lawyers to understand which indicators they should focus on to enhance their success.

First, all data is important and serves a purpose. However, it’s not all critical to your success. Focusing on the proper KPI values will allow you to understand where your marketing strategy is working — and, more importantly, where it isn’t.

Key performance indicators should be:

  • Applicable to your law firm and the legal industry
  • Defined and quantifiable; you must outline exactly what you are tracking
  • Communicated to your staff, partners, and associates
  • Crucial to achieving your goals

What Legal Marketing KPIs Should Your Firm Measure?

While it is exciting to check your online metrics and review traffic boosts, click-thru rates, and conversions — all of which are important data — focusing on successful KPI measurements should lie within the firm first.

Legal key performance indicators that will allow your firm to track and achieve growth include:

  • Law firm’s culture, ensuring all staff projects:
    • Consistent marketing campaigns through personal and electronic communications
    • The overall integrity of the firm’s brand, vision, and mission
  • Client development, and the journey from online search/media ad/referral to consultation
  • Cost of client acquisition, and where your marketing dollars are being successfully spent
  • Client satisfaction, reviews, and referral opportunities and their results
  • Lifetime value of a client
  • Direct advertising costs spent on each channel
  • Converted, revenue-driving clients acquired through each channel, its duration, and expense
  • Staff time required to convert each client to an actual claim
  • Staff time consumed by non-converting leads, and how they found your firm

These metrics will include:

  • Number of new clients per month
  • Revenue billed per month, and revenue collected per month
  • Overall monthly expenses
  • Client satisfaction scores
  • Employee satisfaction scores

How Does Your Law Firm Measure Marketing KPIs?

Unfortunately, there is no checklist that allows lawyers to ensure each figure is accounted for, so you know what is working and what isn’t. No form, no problem. Your law firm will simply have to create a process where KPIs are recorded and tracked — otherwise, measurements cannot be qualified or reviewed, and you’re back to square one: Not knowing where your marketing dollars are effectively targeting new clients.

Quantitative data, which is data that is provided in factual numbers including online performance, pay-per-click, and AdWords is easily obtained and reported to help law firms understand where their electronic media budget is going, and what’s working to increase their ranking.

The Attorney Marketing Network will record the quantitative data that is important to your law firm, and deliver precise:

  • Net Promoter Scores: An index that measures the willingness of clients to recommend your law firm to others
  • Review Reports: Specific law firm KPI marketing metrics that create opportunities for growth and target audience expansion

Qualitative data, which is based on personal feelings, is much harder to track, but equally as important! The crucial thing about qualitative key performance indicators for law firms is that they must be tracked to ensure success.

Some ways to collect qualitative data can include:

  • Asking prospective customers where they saw/heard/received your law firm’s information
  • Recording the information provided in a Word or Excel Document that can be reviewed and shared
  • Purchasing legal customer relationship management software for attorneys

Reviewing Legal Key Performance Indicators While Building Objectives

Collecting data and understanding the key performance indicators that are the most important to your law firm’s growth is no small feat. It will require a dedicated approach to outlining, recording, and reviewing the data regularly.

The measurement process is something that will need to be shared with your staff, marketing team, and vendors who help build your firm’s online, physical, and media presence. This will allow everyone to be on the same page, and understand which key performance indicators are working — and which parts of your legal marketing budget are PERFORMING?

The results of measuring legal marketing key performance indicators will allow your firm to:

  • Acquire more high-value clients
  • Minimize your costs of reaching, connecting, and retaining clients
  • Reduce your staff’s time consumption on non-converting clients
  • Boost your marketing reach to effectively access target markets and audiences swiftly and accurately

Once your firm’s employees understand the importance of measuring marketing key performance indicators, it will be easier to track, review, and share the information. Getting on top of your KPIs will allow your firm to really understand how your advertising and marketing budget is being spent. The Attorney Marketing Network will get you on the right path of collecting data, measuring its success while extolling the benefits of knowing exactly which legal marketing efforts are working, and which are not. Call us today to find out how we can implement key performance indicator metrics for your firm and watch your target audience grow.

Optimize Your Law Firm Ranking with Eye-Catching Visual Content

Websites are more than your information on demand, they are a marketing tool that allows current, past, and prospective clients to gather information, make contact in seconds, and provide feedback for your legal services.

Each year, websites evolve and become a true part of your law firm’s makeup. In the online world, content is — and always will be — the ruler of rankings. Content dictates how you are found, and by whom, as its design and substance contribute highly to search engine optimization. Simply put, the better the content, the easier it will be to separate your firm from the masses.

In today’s online world, content means more than excellent, SEO-focused writing. Content is all- encompassing and includes each item added to your website, blogs, landing pages, and beyond. Content is information. And information is exactly what your online searchers seek.

Here are a few tips on standing apart from the legal crowd.

Content Diversity is Rewarded with Higher Rankings

No matter which search engine an individual is using, the algorithms behind the scenes will reward sites using diverse content with a higher ranking. Content is more than words, although great, purposeful writing is still a major factor. Content is the whole of your firm’s online composition.

This can include:

  • Infographics
  • Data-driven visuals
  • Photos
  • Illustrations
  • Screenshots
  • Slide Share Presentations
  • Embedded Maps
  • Videos

When Google crawls the web for search engine results, the more diverse your content, the better ranking you will receive, as each component is awarded a different value. When prospective clients are searching for an attorney, their position must be on the first page. And combining visual effects into the site will create a tremendous boost that sustains.

Infographics & Data-driven Visuals

Law firms have more data-driven information to share than realized. Imagine each of your cases’ victories, monetary awards, and successes put forth in an infographic, instead of through text alone.

The success of infographics and data-driven visuals is compelling, and enhances your reach, as they:

  • Grab the reader’s attention
  • Simplify communication
  • Deliver attractive and compelling displays of information
  • Answer legal-related questions instantly
  • Demonstrate attorney expertise
  • Boost credibility
  • Drive traffic to the site
  • Liked and shared through social media 3X more than any other type of content

Photos and Illustrations

Photos and illustrations are commonplace on websites, and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked when adding an original blog, practice area page, city page, or supporting page.

Here’s why:

  • Over 90% of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual
  • 40% of people respond faster (and better!) to an image than they do 1,000 words of text
  • Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text
  • Websites with images receive 94% more page views than online text content alone
  • Images may appear in search engine results, serving as an immediate attention grabber
  • Increases search engine optimization

When adding photos or illustrations to your website, there are a few guidelines to improve your results while maintaining ownership of the content.

  • Only use images that your law firm has purchased or own outright
  • Research free images found online to ensure they are not being used by other law firms
  • Ensure clarity by cropping the images to project informative, relevant value
  • Create a photo credit for photos you own, so they are not used by others without your firm’s permission

Screenshots & LinkedIn SlideShare Presentations

Often, screenshots and informative visual platforms are overlooked, simply because the value of their use is unknown.

Screenshots can provide a wealth of information to online viewers, simply by displaying exact and direct instructions. Attorneys can visually walk clients through a process, whether it is instructions on how to leave a review or testimonial to express their happiness with the firm, or how to upload documents for the attorney to review.

  • The visual aspect of providing clients with screenshots leaves little room for error

In addition, LinkedIn’s SlideShare is becoming a monstrous online entity of its own, allowing firms to upload presentations, documents, and infographics through a completely visual platform that touts:

  • 60 million unique visitors per month
  • Among the top 120 most-visited websites globally
  • Lead generating success

The online success associated with SlideShare also provides a credible backlink to your firm’s website, ensuring its existence is picked up by search engine web crawlers.

Embedded Maps

Chances are, your legal team is already a member of Google My Business, and benefit from the Google Maps that accompany the registration. The boost of having your location available at a glance online is only second to having a map, or maps if there is more than one location, embedded on your website.

The embedded map delivers:

  • Free and effective local lawyer marketing for prospective clients in and around your area
  • Local attorney search engine optimization through proximity and reviews
  • Instant access to the law firm’s hours of operation and directions to each location
  • Immediate contact buttons through talk, text, email and social media to gain access to available lawyers

Video, Video, and More Video

When it comes to video content on your website, the importance of its inclusion cannot be overstated.

The statistics, and online engagement speak for themselves:

  • Within two years, online videos will comprise more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic
  • One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words
  • Blog posts with video attract inbound links three times that of posts without video
  • Video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%
  • Companies that use videos in their marketing have:
    • 27% higher clickthrough rate
    • 34% higher conversion rates
  • Viewers remember 95% of a video’s message; Only 10% of a message in text
  • 78% of people watch online videos every week; 55% every day

What Does This Mean to Your Local Exposure?

The short answer is, everything.

The Local Search Association (LSA) released the results of a study of those who search and buy local products and services online and found that:

  • Local searchers reported viewing an online video while searching for services or products 44% of the time, of those people:
    • 33% visited the local business in person
    • 51% visited the local business’s website
    • 51% of those people moved forward with their hiring action on the same day 
    • 53% of these viewers contacted that local business after viewing their video online
  • 67% of those studied did not have a business or service provider in mind when they began their local search
  • 71% of those people ultimately made a local purchase or hired a local service related to the video they watched online


What Type of Video Content Should Attorneys Create?

Your law firm has specialized practice areas where you and your staff are legal experts. Begin your video production approach by creating a list of topics that help you stand out from other firms in your area.

These topics can include:

  • Introduction to the law firm, partners, associate lawyers, and legal support staff
  • Image boosting videos regarding new attorney hires and accolades
  • Victories through mediation or court room verdicts
  • Local legal issues plaguing the community, and your solutions
  • Hot topics in the local or national news
  • Testimonials from legal clients who share their experiences with the firm
  • Instructional videos on how to proceed with a legal claim in your respective practice areas
  • Legal solutions and practice procedures for clients

The goal is to create informative content that is concise, relevant, and shareable.

Allow Visual Content to Participate in Your Growth: Share on Social Media Platforms

Statistics do not lie. Social media is, or should be, an important marketing tool for your business. Fortunately, increasing your visual content can provide easily shareable social media updates for not only your target audience to see, but for the search engines to crawl.

Each time you create and apply a new image, infographics, presentation, or video to your website, share the visual content on your social media platforms.

These platforms can include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • YouTube

Here’s why:

  • A social media post accompanied by an image is ten times more likely to be engaged
  • Facebook posts that include images will receive 2.3 times more engagement than a post without
  • Organic engagement on Facebook is higher when the post includes videos
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets
  • 74% of marketers on social media include visuals content in their posts
  • Articles featuring an image every 75-100 words earned double the number of social media shares as articles with fewer images
  • Video content is responsible for 71% of all internet traffic

Conclusion: Visual Content is a Direct Contributor to Online Conversion Rates  

It is important to understand that visual content is pertinent to how your law firm is found, contacted, and converts prospective clients to actual caseloads. Each person who searches for an attorney can provide a boost to your bottom line, no matter the size of their case.

The customer’s journey to your door, and their experience thereafter, will set you apart from competing attorneys in your area. And visual content is going to be a large part of their initial search results.

It isn’t necessary to hire a production firm to create images or videos for your online applications. With access to high-resolution cameras and video recording devices, infographic tools, and online slide share platforms, the costs are contained, and the results are easily shareable.

Consider topics that deliver useful and relevant information to your audience and make a list of the items you would like to expand on in a visual capacity. Need help? Contact the Attorney Marketing Network for a nudge in the right direction and learn how to expand your law firm’s online reach without breaking the bank.

Dominating Your Local Market Through Paid Search and SEO

You have opened your legal practice and are ready for clients. But, no one is contacting you for legal help. What should you do? The first place to look is the internet. Using a combination of paid advertising and organic SEO practices, you can begin attracting clients.

Depending on the level of competition and the SEO techniques that they use, you may quickly climb to the top of the rankings within months. Though, this is not always the case.

If you want to increase your chances of success, you should work with a reputable SEO company that specializes in SEO for law firms and lawyers.

The local landscape has changed over the past several years. This is in part due to changes to Google searches and paid ads.

Early in 2016, Google removed side ads that would appear along the right sidebar in organic search results. They have also reduced the number of ad positions to seven.

These changes have had a large impact on paid local advertising strategies. SEO specialists had to reassess their techniques.

If you want to increase the online presence of your law firm, you should take the time to learn more about the use of Google AdWords and local SEO practices.

Without local online marketing, it is incredibly difficult for a business to compete locally. Learn how to dominate your local market through paid search and SEO.

How Users Find Local Law Firms

With a limited number of ad positions, you must also rely on your organic search rankings. At the same time, your on-site SEO will have an effect on the ad position that you receive. Therefore, paid ads and SEO are directly connected.

In order to compete with other legal practices in your region, you need to incorporate effective SEO techniques. It can be difficult to understand how these techniques work without understanding how users find local businesses.

You have probably searched for businesses in your area, such as restaurants and local stores, and you are not alone – over 84% of the public perform local searches. The majority of the population relies on Google for these searches, with a fraction of the public using Yahoo or Bing.

Searching for Local Businesses

When using Google, users have a few different options. You can search from your phone or tablet, desktop or laptop, or with the Google Maps app. More than 1 billion people now use the Google Maps app.

Based on your search query, Google will attempt to determine whether you are searching for a local business or performing a general search. The following applies to local searches, which is the focus of your SEO and paid ads.

Google Search Results Page

With the standard local Google search, the first search results page contains a selection of Google Places results, along with a map, above the organic search results. No ads are displayed on this page. Though, if a user clicks on the map, the Google Maps results page will open.

Google Maps Search Results

The Google Maps search results page includes a map of the area and the results contain business listings from Google Places. One to two ads is displayed at the top of the Google Places results. With the Google Maps app, only one ad is displayed.

So, when a user performs a search for a local business, they will only see a couple of ads. The majority of the results will come from organic results with business information obtained from Google Places.

Updating Your Google Places Profile

Working with an experienced SEO company will help increase search rankings across Google searches, including Google Maps. When you interview an SEO company, you should ask about what methods they will use to improve your Google Places rankings for local results.

As a part of SEO techniques for Google Places, they should update your profile, which includes important business information.

First, you will need to verify that you are the owner of the law firm that appears in Google Places results. Once the verification is completed, your phone number, website address, and other details can be updated. This is also necessary for connecting your law firm listing on Google Places to your Google AdWords paid advertisements.

Now that you understand how potential clients can find legal help, you are ready to learn how to use Google AdWords to ensure they choose your law practice.

Google AdWords for Local Advertising

Google AdWords has gone through numerous changes and updates in recent months. As mentioned, Google streamlined the search results pages by removing side ads and limiting the number of ad positions to seven. This increases the importance of good SEO.

If there are only one or two ads per results page, how do you use Google AdWords for local advertising? With effective local SEO techniques, such as keyword optimization – both on-site and on your ads. You will also need to include Google Maps as a part of your local PPC (pay-per-click) ad campaign.

Desktop and Mobile Searches

The ad placement will vary based on whether the user is searching for a law firm on their desktop or mobile device. On the desktop, one or two ads will appear below the search box or directly on the map. On the mobile Google Maps app, one ad may display below the search box.

Using Standard Google AdWords

You should still use standard PPC ad campaigns to reach local clients for your law practice. These ads should target commonly searched legal issues that you are capable of handling.

When a user searches for legal help, Google may provide standard web results instead of local results. But, your PPC ads can still appear in these searches and are effective when you target your local region. Though, you still need to create separate ad groups for targeting Google Maps searches.

Enabling Your Local Ads for Google Maps

Your paid ads will not automatically appear in search results on Google Maps. You must first enable location extensions for your AdWords account. Along with updating these extensions, your Google Places profile must also be updated.

Location extensions provide details about your law firm, such as your location, office hours, and phone number. Updating location extensions also allow potential clients to call your offices directly from the search results on their phone.

One of the advantages of using Google AdWords is that you can easily create multiple PPC ad campaigns. When creating an ad campaign for use with Google Maps, you will need to target a specific location and set bids by location.

Paid ads for Google Maps search results work similar to standard CPC for Google AdWords. You will pay for each click on your Google Maps ad. This includes the following three types of clicks:

  • Get location details clicks
  • Get direction clicks
  • Clicks-to-call clicks (for mobile)

When setting bid by location, you will be able to target different groups of potential clients. You can use this option to create different ad groups for different neighborhoods or regions.

Once these steps are completed, you will be able to use Google AdWords for targeted local advertising through Google Maps. But, the work is not yet done. There is still a good chance that your ads may not appear in search results, especially if you have a lot of competition from other law firms in the area.

The Benefits of Paid Ads for Local Searches

It is okay to be skeptical about the benefits of using paid advertisements for obtaining new clients. When you are paying an SEO company to increase your organic search results you may wonder about the effects of paying to start an ad campaign.

Despite the fact that only a few ads now appear in search results, Google AdWords remains a quality investment for local businesses, including law practices.

Here is an overview of the top benefits of paid ads for local searches :

  • You get fast results
  • AdWords is flexible
  • Great return on investment
  • Easy to understand metrics
  • You can learn more about your market

You Get Fast Results

One of the primary advantages of PPC ads is that you get fast results. When you use SEO to increase organic search results, you may have to wait several months to a year before you notice a positive return on investment.

With PPC ads, results are instant. As soon as your ad campaign is active, users will begin clicking on your ads and will visit your website. You are paying for the benefit of getting immediate results. Though, keyword research and SEO techniques must be performed before you begin your Google AdWords ad campaign.

AdWords is Flexible

Google AdWords is also extremely flexible. It is the perfect solution for any business of any size with any budget. You also have the ability to make changes as needed. You can instantly pause your campaign or adjust your bids.

Great Return on Investment

Overall, Google AdWords provides a great return on investment. You are only paying for each time that a person clicks on your ad. Additionally, the potential clients that click on your ad are more likely to result in a conversion – meaning that they are likely to contact your law offices after clicking on your ad.

Easy to Understand Metrics

It can be difficult to accurately judge the impact on SEO on your law practice. While you can look at search traffic and conversion rates, the results can be ambiguous. This is not the case with PPC ads. You can easily determine how much you have spent and how many clicks have resulted in a conversion.

You Can Learn More About Your Market

Another advantage of paid ads for local searches is that you can learn more about your market. The results are completely transparent, so you can see which ads were most effective at attracting clients. You will also be able to determine which ads provided the highest conversion rates. This information can be useful for marketing research.

Paid ads are one part of the solution for dominating your local market. The other part is legal SEO – with the help of a reliable SEO company.

How SEO Impacts Paid Ad Placement

Google has reduced the number of paid advertisements that appear in search results to a total of 7 sponsored ads. When a client searches for a local firm using the Google Maps app, one sponsored text ad will appear at the top of the search results. Desktop users will see a maximum of two ads.

Since there are only one or two ads per local search result, these ad positions will require good SEO practices. The following criteria play the largest role in ad placement:

  • Your bid for the targeted ad
  • Expected click through rate
  • The relevance of your ad
  • The quality of your landing page

Google considers these factors in order to calculate your Ad Rank. The Ad Rank is then used in an ad auction to determine the ad position. The expected click through rate is based on previous clicks and impressions.

So, you have no control over this factor. But, you do have the ability to adjust your bid and to use legal SEO to improve the ad relevance and the quality of your landing page.

Choosing the Right Bid

Choosing the right bidfor your advertisement can be tricky. This is another area where hiring an experienced SEO company can be useful. They will be able to help you choose an acceptable bid that fits within your budget and allows you to receive hits on your ad.

As mentioned, there are three different types of clicks for Google Maps. For standard search results, all clicks are treated the same. An SEO company may make adjustments to the bid depending on how the ad is performing. They are also able to judge the effectiveness of the ad for reaching potential clients in your local area.

Keyword Usage on Advertisements

Working with an SEO company, you can determine the best keyword phrases for use in your ads and on your website. These keyword phrases need to be relevant to the searches that you are targeting. Your ad will appear in a higher position when the text is relevant to the search.

Improving the Quality of Your Landing Page

Targeted landing pages are often used in conjunction with an ad campaign. This allows you to use the same keyword phrases while increasing the relevance of your website to the search query.

Additional Impact of SEO on Your Paid Ads

Not only will SEO help increase your ad position, it will boost conversion rates – which refers to the percentage of website visitors that complete an intended action, such as contacting your law offices. Using good SEO can also lower your cost per click (CPC). This means that you will spend less on your paid ads.

The bottom line is that legal SEO and paid advertisements go hand in hand. In order for your ads to be effective, you need to use search engine optimization – and remain up to date with any other changes that Google decides to put in place.

Staying Up to Date with Local Search Results

You can expect Google to make additional changes to how ads are displayed across their search network. Along with the issues that have already been discussed, it is essential that you stay up to date with these changes.

Where is Google headed? What can you expect from the future of PPC ads and local search results? It is hard to predict what Google will do. For example, an equal number of PPC ad specialists believe that the CPC rates will increase or decrease in the coming year.

More Law Practices Will Focus on Local SEO and Paid Ads

One trend that could have an impact on PPC ads is targeted advertising. You can count on an increasing number of local businesses to begin focusing their SEO strategies and paid ads on the local market. The various techniques and practices described in these pages will be commonplace among your competitors.

As more people begin realizing the importance of local SEO and paid ads, you will need to remain on the forefront of changes to these techniques.

The best solution for remaining current with local search results is to work with a trusted SEO company that specializes in legal SEO. They will be uniquely equipped to help your law firm take advantage of Google AdWords and good SEO practices. You will be able to increase your organic search results while gaining immediate results through paid ads.

You have learned more about the use of paid ads in local search results and how important they are for increasing traffic to your website.While paid ads do not have a direct impact on organic search traffic, it will provide immediate results. This can be crucial for a law practice that is just starting out. For those that are struggling to attract new clients, now is the time to get help.

If you want to dominate your local market, you will need a combination of marketing methods. At the front of this list should be paid ads and legal SEO.

Get started today. Contact a legal SEO company to take the next step towards attracting more clients to your law practice.

Law Firm Rebranding Ideas

There are a number of reasons why you may not be the premier law firm in your geographical area, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your legal prowess.

Your attorney group understands every aspect of the law, and the ever-changing precedents, codes, and procedures that come along with your profession. You are fantastic at what you do. Your firm has the credentials, the case studies, and the partners to prove that you are the best in the business. So why isn’t everyone using your firm for their legal needs?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be the premier law firm in your geographical area, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your legal prowess. Unbeknownst to you, the firm’s brand may be turning prospective clients away, simply through irrelevance. It becomes frustrating, because you may not be doing anything that particularly harms your brand. But you also may not be doing anything to help it either. The core issue is, something is lacking from point A, you being an attorney, to point B, clients not beating down your door to reap the benefits of your expertise. What’s the problem?

The good news is, you are trying to determine where the disconnect lay. Even if you are not marketing savvy, it isn’t hard to understand that your billings aren’t exactly causing your accounting department to clock overtime. If you look closer, you may determine the answer extends to your firm’s brand or lacking brand identity.

Determining whether your law firm is due for a rebranding campaign can be accomplished in a few short steps. But, first, you must understand exactly what a “Brand” is, and how it affects your business growth.

Law Firm Rebranding Ideas

Understanding Your Current Brand

Think of your brand in terms of what other people see. Your logo and corporate materials, your website and advertising campaign, along with media placements and community involvement all encompass your firm’s brand.

What you don’t see is your brand equity, and it is a large part of your success. Brand equity is the commercial value that prospective clients derive from your name based solely on perception, rather than a personal experience. Simply put, brand equity is what people think of your firm based on your image alone, even though they haven’t had any interaction with it personally.

Brand equity is important because prospective clients may have a negative connotation of your firm based solely on your existing brand, and that affects your bottom line. Evaluating your brand in a few simple steps will allow you to determine how you are perceived by the public.

An honest evaluation should begin with a few short questions:

  • Is your brand recognizable by your logo and corporate identity alone?
  • Is the public aware of your brand, and what your firm offers, as a result?
  • Does your brand communicate and deliver value?
  • Does your brand allow you to expand your reach, without reintroducing your firm from scratch?

Individuals who search for an attorney already have a need: Legal representation. Your firm provides this service. Why should they choose you? Your brand should answer that question.

If your brand isn’t currently driving work through your office doors, rebranding can help change that. Rebranding provides the opportunity to refresh your look, remain relevant and create streamlined marketing efforts that will demand a presence in the industry.

Rebranding Ideas: Start with the Basics

TechTarget.com describes the rebranding process as “The creation of a new look and feel for an established product or company. The usual goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception about a product or service or the company overall by revitalizing the brand and making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer’s needs.”

When you think of rebranding your firm, do not immediately jump to the conclusion that a new logo and tagline is going to make the difference in your billable hours. Rebranding should focus on communicating and delivering the values of your brand.

The need for rebranding can be the result of outside influences that cause the ineffectiveness of the current brand, or the result of growth, focus, and change.

Rebranding factors can include:

  • Repositioning the firm’s focus
  • Eliminating a negative image
  • Focusing on a new market/client profile
  • Introducing a new legal expertise
  • Losing/gaining a partner
  • Moving to a new location
  • Differentiating from competitors
  • Regaining lost market share
  • Staying relevant
  • Bettering your overall image (eliminating a poorly designed logo, or weak appearance)
  • Streamlining your overall identity and marketing efforts
  • Broadening appeal, or scope of services
  • Updating personality

Historically, law firms were exempt from marketing concentrations, allowing their attorneys to focus on their clients’ cases and the laws that applied to them. Twenty years ago, if someone needed an attorney, he or she would simply open the phone book, find a firm, and inquire within. Now, online communications, starting with each firm’s website, legal search applications, review sites, and social media outlets open the doors to finding a plethora of legal options with a few taps on the keyboard.

Add the explosion of the litigious spirit in the United States, and a highly competitive culture emerges with fury. This requires each firm’s brand to sell the expertise behind the partners and the logo, instead of waiting for the clients to come to you out of necessity. Studies show that 83% of individuals in need of an attorney use review sites to find a lawyer. What does your company profile offer at first glance? Does it reflect your entire brand, and deliver a committed, trustworthy appearance?

Star Rating

According to Vendasta, a marketing firm with a local concentration, the star rating is the number one factor used by prospective clients to judge a business. How many stars does your firm have on Yelp, Facebook or legal review sites? These ratings matter incredibly to your livelihood and the brand that travels with your public perception. It is time to find answers.

Your Current Brand Holds the Answers

Before you can rebrand your firm, you have to know why you are rebranding. The objective of the new brand is to create brand awareness in the community or regional areas where your firm focuses.

This awareness will create the security to which your other associations can attach, including spreading your marketing into new territories. If your brand is generating awareness in one zip code, it can spread easily to a new area thanks to word of mouth, concentrated marketing efforts and the equity that travels with it.

Once the community becomes familiar with your brand, it is up to your marketing efforts to create an attachment to your firm. This visibility will help your firm gain favorable consideration when they need legal representation.

How do you signal a commitment to the community, while expressing your firm’s allegiance to their legal needs? You rebrand.


Step One: Create Substance

The complication of remaining relevant in the legal industry takes work, and it is completely understandable that you – an attorney – do not have the time to do it. Remember when building a web presence provided the luxury of being found near and wide, with a single search? Those days are long gone, and every attorney reading this knows that to be true. The complication of remaining relevant in the legal industry takes work, and it is completely understandable that you – an attorney – do not have the time to do it.

Creating substance through renewed branding efforts signals to your target market that you take your work seriously, and you can be trusted to handle their case in the same significant light. Rebranding allows your firm to keep up in the community, and enjoy the one thing all firms require to be successful: Top of mind awareness. You want to be first. You want to be the go-to attorney in your legal focus. Rebranding can help accomplish that goal.

Creating Substance

A new logo does not create a new brand. A new website design does not create a new brand. A new brand enhances your clients’ experiences, and that is what you are accomplishing with a refreshed approach.

Before you can rebrand your existing firm, you must understand where you are failing as a brand now.

Understanding Failures in Branding

Failing brands can be attributed to:

  • Poorly designed logo and collateral
  • Lack of engagement in the community
  • Partners with differing outlooks
  • Scattered target markets
  • Inconsistent goals

Whether you are a two person team, or a one hundred person firm, everyone within your organization must be on board with your new branding initiatives. Giving the people what they want is not as easy as it sounds, but if everyone in your firm is “selling” something different, it is even more detrimental to your approach in creating substance behind the name.

Creating substance begins with:

  • Communicating information
  • Differentiating your position (from the competition)
  • Creating a reason to contact your firm
  • Developing positive attitudes towards the firm

This rebrand, the moment you begin discussing it, is all encompassing and includes a new outlook and new participation before the physical components of change even come into play.

Step Two: Create a Position

Positioning your company for rebranding includes building a clear proposal for identifying your target audience and how you are going to promote your services to meet their needs.

Take a close look at your competition to understand how your image and theirs are similar. Mid-market law firms often create homogenized looks that lack differentiation. If the public cannot tell the difference between your firm and one down the hall (street, or even a city over) from you, why should they choose you over your competitor?

Examining your brand against your competitor’s is a sobering experience, which is why everyone in the firm should be involved in understanding how important your actual position is in the community.

If you cannot distinguish the differentiating factors between you and the competition, you do not have a position to build from, and you must start there – now.

Next, create a promise that your brand will fulfill. In legal terms, you can’t promise to win a case “or get your money back!” However, there are significant approaches to “selling” a reason to believe in your position. Working on a contingency basis is a very popular approach in the legal industry, but it has also been adopted by most firms already – so you aren’t any different by offering the “If we don’t win, you don’t pay” approach.

Promises in character, customer service, and availability can deliver the difference between your firm and your competition. Evaluate your competition closely, and frequently. This will allow you to maintain effective positional promises that evolve with your firm, instead of working against your principles and meshing into the same offerings of the other firms nearby. This can be accomplished with a positioning statement.

Create a Positioning Statement

A positioning statement is a summation of your focus, and how your clients should perceive you. This statement delivers the totality of your integrity and promise to your clients, and is used for internal purposes.

Writing a positioning statement will take time, simply because you want it to fully reflect the following components:

  • Clear and concise difference between you and your competitors
  • Unique value of using your firm
  • Focus on past, present and future client satisfaction
  • Motivational and memorable
  • Consistent and easy to understand
  • Credible and believable
  • Effective marketing and branding copy

Once you craft a positioning statement that you can stand behind fully, honestly and effectively, you can move on to reflecting that statement in your firm’s behavior. This will be the statement that you, and your employees, begin the work day practicing.

Step Three: Practice What You Preach

The Power of Brand

Rebranding provides a fresh approach to company behaviors, policies, and administrations. While you are busy representing your clients in the courtroom, your office will be busy upholding your new commitment to quality, professionalism, and client focus.

These behaviors begin with the attitude of the person answering the phone and progress to the time it takes to return the message left from the call. It extends into every communication effort thereafter and is followed by a commitment to satisfy the client’s needs based on your new positioning statement.

Attorneys provide a service, which means the satisfaction level is dependent on the firm’s interaction with its clients. This achievement is now measured in the reviews the firm receives online, which is a marketing tool for future clients to explore. The connection between the attitude of your receptionist to the accuracy of your billing practices and the advice that is administered during consultations is the compilation of bottom line results.

This aggregate of components to your firm’s success only underscores the importance of everyone understanding the company’s position and putting it into practice successfully.

Step Four: Promoting Your New Image

A clear positioning statement and the positive approach in delivering it going forward will begin to change the culture of your firm for the better. It is time to position the appealing, relevant and committed approach to your physical marketing efforts. The consistency in your message and identity streamlines your marketing efforts.

These efforts can include:

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Position statement
  • Corporate colors
  • Corporate identification (Business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices)
  • Corporate collateral (Brochures, printed informational pieces)
  • Website
  • Images
  • Billboards
  • Online advertising
  • Directory listings
  • Correspondents (Email signatures, digital communications)
  • Social media platforms
  • Signage

The consistency in your brand will drive your commitment to the community, the law, and your clients’ personal cases home. Regulating these materials, whether in print or electronically, regularly is important and necessary to continue your commitment to rebranding properly.

These changes may begin with your positioning statement, but they should continue throughout your office. The corporate culture, including the office and employee appearances, requires the same review as your identity in print and online. Your firm is one business, with multiple moving parts. It cannot run like a well-oiled machine if you are only administering lubricant to some of its pieces.

Building Brand Equity

Building Brand Equity

The equity involved in rebranding your firm is tangible. The attitude and commitment that goes along with your cultural overhaul, resulting from the top down changes for the better are too, even though you cannot put them in a box or weigh them physically. Rebranding isn’t just about changing. It’s about building a better brand than the one you had before.

If there is a magic formula for rebranding, whoever has it could be a billionaire upon releasing it. If we had to put it into an equation, care and quality control would be the top two elements behind the process. Rebranding your firm will take time, and should happen with both care and quality control in mind at all times. Stripping the paint off the walls will not change the attitudes around the office. Getting a new logo will not suddenly make your attorneys friendlier and exceptionally responsive. The majority of the changes rebranding will drive is 80% behind the scenes. They go completely unseen by the populace because they are cultural. These changes translate into trust, commitment, and quality, which develop client relationships that last.

BrandExtract declares, “It is important to have the entire team on board with a rebrand. The purpose must be clear, and the communication concise, otherwise you are wasting a lot of time, effort and money. Then, what’s it all for?”

This does not mean that your visual communications should not evolve with your rebranding efforts. Make a list of everything that has your logo on it, from email correspondences to signage and websites to directories and implement a plan to update the brand accordingly for each. This, too, will take time, and requires a focus from your external marketing partners.

Plan a meeting with each marketing representative that has a hand in your firm’s applications. Everyone from your designer to your online marketing group, and explain the cultural changes you are embarking on. These professionals will help you build a plan to create a consolidated and rational approach to rebranding your materials.

Developing Solutions, Galvanizing Commitment

Developing Solutions

Solutions take time but begin with clarity and focus. Creating a strategy to rebrand your firm will take work, but it will deliver results.

Start the process by meeting with your partners, office employees and even contract workings, where applicable. Talk to courtroom employees, marketing partners, and even community activists to understand what they think about when your company’s name is mentioned.

Honesty is not only the best policy, it is the only policy when it comes to rebranding. If you don’t know what’s broken, you certainly cannot fix it. Solicit real comments and concerns from your clients, partners and the public. You may not like what you hear, but you have to understand where you are falling short.

Before even thinking about making a design change, take the time to understand the following:

  • What do people think when they hear your name?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What is your legal expertise?
  • Can you deliver niche representation that sets you apart?

When you can answer those questions, or survey others to provide honest answers for you, you will be better equipped to take a rebranding approach that is successful.

Rebranding is the perfect approach to delivering consistent and streamlined marketing efforts that will end up in front of your target market. What works for one firm may not work for another, so concentrate on your practice and how to differentiate your appeal from the masses.

Creating a top of mind awareness in your community may take time, but it will allow your firm to evolve into a relevant source for legal representation for years to come. Do not wait until you absolutely have to accept the fact that your firm is not creating the business you need it to before getting started.

During his the twenty years as CEO of General Electric, the incredibly successful Jack Welch always said, “Change before you have to.” Get in front of your marketing efforts by making a commitment to be the best legal representation available in your community. These rebranding efforts will set you apart from your competitors, allowing your bottom line will develop with your growth.

It is time to take the bull by the horns and create a positive environment within your firm that everyone can get behind. Go call a meeting with Attorney Marketing Network. Share this article with your office, and allow everyone to provide feedback on how you are going to proceed with a clear, concise and exceptional message that leads to rebranding your firm successfully. Now is the time. Let’s get started!

Five Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your TV Advertising Online

On July 1, 1941, the very first paid television commercial advertisement aired. Bulova watches paid somewhere between $4 and $9 for the spot, which simply showed a modified watch face and hands, and the Bulova logo and tagline. As time marched on, so did the evolution of television advertising, and the costs associated with its placement. The Statistics Portal listed television ad revenue at 73 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, with growth in the offing at an estimated $81.7 billion in 2020.

Forbes Magazine lists the amount of overall ad revenue spent by attorneys for the same service in 2015 at $892 million; a figure that grew 68% from 2008. No matter what type of law your firm practices, or who your target audience is, television advertising is still very much alive and well as a way to reach potential clients.

The question isn’t whether television is still a viable advertising source for attorneys, as the revenue accompanying the figures are continuously growing. The question is, how does your firm get those advertising dollars to evolve from ad viewers to converted clients? We have a few tips to help get you there.

Tip One: Convert Television Commercials to Direct Ads

IAB Research states that 78% of US adults who watch television use another device while doing so. These devices provide access to the internet, combined with the ease of searching anything and everything that pops into one’s head. That type of search power supports a separate study by Management Science Journal states that 37% of internet users reported that a television advertisement prompted them to conduct an online search for the company’s services currently displayed on their larger screen.

As the survey’s results came into focus, Kenneth C. Wilbur, one of the study’s contributors, concluded that “In a multichannel environment, brands and marketers need to think carefully about how customers will respond to offline advertising…Whether this was the aim of the ad or not, TV campaigns will drive spikes in search activity online.”

Simply put, access to online campaigns, including landing pages, website, microsites, social media accounts and review sites offer an immediate response mechanism for viewers of TV ads. When the jump is made from your firm’s television commercial to your online platforms, the continuation must be consistent throughout the marketing channels. This leaves little room for confusion by the viewer and delivers a cohesive message to your audience.

Potential conversions can be lost through the lack of synchronization between offline and online advertising messages and the channels in which they are found. The incredible fact is, it is not just television commercials that are driving legal-focused searches. Forbes found that 78% of the top 100 Google terms searched are associated with litigation, which means the online usage of the audience in need of attorney services exists at an exorbitantly high level.

Much like your overall attorney brand is important to create top of mind potential in your practice areas and geographical markets, so is the agreement between your television advertising and online presence. Do not take the audience’s attention to your campaign likeness for granted. Also, do not assume that everyone is going to immediately seek your firm out based on the commercial’s airing. From a television commercial’s airing, an accomplished and successful approach to driving traffic to your site is directly related to your firm targeting the proper audience.

Tip Two: Target Your Audience

When a TV-promoted product or service is targeted to the accurate audience, the conversion rate is known to increase two to five fold. Two to five times growth potential is nothing to sneeze at and certainly should get your marketing department or partner’s attention. Targeting the proper audience means more than focusing on an advertising time slot. After all, your media placement will be determined by a plan you have already signed off on, so the focus on when your commercials will air is predetermined. You know when the commercials are going to run, but how do you know they are successful?

When a potential client reaches for their electronic device, whether it is a cellphone or tablet, the effective communication transfers to your firm’s online mechanics, including:

  • Properly designed landing pages
  • Optimally constructed websites
  • Mobile performance friendly websites
  • Enhanced legal focused Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • First rate legal focused Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing
  • Superior social media presence
  • Age appropriate content and communication tactics (i.e., hashtags, verbiage)
  • Easy to use contact forms/links

Second screen usage, and the audience behind the glow, is paramount to target market success. Second screens are described as the devices the aforementioned 78% of people are using as they watch television. These are the devices they will use to look up your firm, while your commercial is airing.

Mobile website optimization is important to your audience’s success in finding you, and navigating your services properly – without confusion or frustration in load times or resizing complaints. These devices vary depending on the age of your target market. Millennials and Generation X gravitate towards smartphones as their second screen, while elderly individuals prefer tablets. While the difference may seem insignificant in the physical screen size, it is critical to your web design and optimization requirements. Just ask anyone who has visited a site that is not optimized for mobile use. Chances are they closed the tab almost immediately.

Outside of the individuals who are openly seeking an attorney for a specific need, the secondary goal of your legal advertising, and the online presence behind it, is to drive useful litigation to those who may not currently understand they have a valid claim. Your television ads deliver a social connectivity to those who may have never considered legal services as an answer to their physical or psychological needs, possibly caused by the negligence of another. When these prospective clients arrive at your online profiles as a result of viewing your commercial, be ready to use your presence as a virtual law office and celebrate your services appropriately.

Tip Three: Deliver Virtual Legal Solutions

Just as internet shopping allows the world to order everything from dog food to running shoes, and food delivery to rental cars, individuals seek legal representation in the same manner: by typing in a few keywords into the search bar and hitting the search/return button.

With a dynamically designed and optimized website, your firm can – and should – deliver legal solutions before personal contact is even made. Captivating ads that transfer from television to online success carry your target market through the message, delivering an immediate comfort level where they seek a call to action once they arrive.

This call to action can be presented a number of ways, including:

  • Compelling landing pages
  • Microsites
  • Creative campaign statements
  • Video of TV commercial (ensuring they have found the correct attorney)
  • Simple contact forms/information
  • Share buttons
  • Links to social media sites
  • Positive rating and reviews

Research has determined that 60% of the adult online users in the United States, or approximately 110 million people, have sought an attorney at one point in their lives. What’s more is that 32% of those users, or approximately 58 million, sought legal representation in the past year alone. Your virtual law firm is selling a service, and it has to be easy to maneuver and understand. The audience has arrived. Now what do you want them to do? Optimizing the user experience from search to conversion gives you the opportunity to reach an audience who needs an attorney, and has yet to make a decision on which firm he or she is going to choose. Whatever the purpose of their visit is, your ability to provide a solution should be unmistakably clear.

Tip Four: Continuity in Communication

Whether your call to action is an online contact form, or a phone call initiated from the prospective client, it is only possible to be the legal answer they are looking for with continuity in communication.

Your brand transfers from the viewer’s introduction to your firm through a television commercial, streams to your online presence, and manifests into personal interaction. If the stability your brand upholds through the final phase is punctuated by non-responsiveness or unfriendly phone communication with your staff, you will lose a lead that made several chosen steps to get to you. Speaking on behalf of most consumers, this could be taken as a personal slight. And, despite the positive approach between awareness and contact, would not use you firm. In fact, when consumers feel slighted by the final steps of service correspondences they may be compelled to say something negative about your firm – even though they have not used your services. Continuity in communication is that important.

Branding is equally important to a law firm’s success, simply because it places their name and marketing efforts at the forefront of the public’s mind when they consider their need for an attorney. A robust online presence will keep these individuals engaged and connected to your services, while allowing them to share your information readily and effortlessly within their social networks online or in person.

Your firm’s communication practices should reflect the trusted online appearance that led a client to personal contact. These communication tactics will vary based on your target market’s age, and your legal areas of focus.

If you are a divorce attorney, your contact form may differ from a contract attorney’s in an effort to respect the discretionary needs of your client. Knowing your audience and communicating with them accordingly is critical, and including your client’s personal needs in these options will only deepen their trust in your discussions. This positivity creates more than a trusted working relationship. It creates a physical marketing tool in the person who is satisfied with your service.

As your firm grows, it is important to evolve with your audience. Your communications, and especially online interaction and relevance, will need to be evaluated often to ensure you are not leaving any prospects on the outside looking in. Individuals who are in need of legal representation often feel as if they have nowhere left to turn to solve their issues. It is important that their concerns are at the forefront of your advice.

Tip Five: Evolve with Your Audience

Your target audience will be the first indicating source of necessary change where your marketing and communication tools are concerned. Currently, there are three age groups/ audiences that require three different types of communication focuses, based on personal contact preferences and interactions:

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1960)

  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Telephone conversations
  • Voicemail message

Generation X (born between 1960 and 1980)

  • Email
  • Instant/Text messaging
  • Cellphone heavy (not face-to-face)

Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994)

  • Social media
  • Instant/Text messaging

Text messages outrank phone calls as the dominant form of communication among Millennials. If they are your target audience, adding a Short Message Service, or SMS, feature to your online contact options is a perfect way to communicate and remain relevant as a legal source to this particular group. SMS is a text messaging service component that crosses phone and online platforms, allowing contact options beyond phone calls or emails.

Although email is a great option for a broad audience, studies show that it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. The latter has an open rate of 98%, while email has only a 20% open rate. This makes a significant difference if you are targeting a younger audience.

Generation X, while not exactly as motivated to make or take phone calls as they once were, are the middle generation who is willing to communicate via email, messaging and social media alike. They are closely tied to their cellphones, and like the idea of being within reach at any time.

Joline McGoldrick, Research Director at Millward Brown Digital points out the critical disparity between age groups stating, “Millennials and Baby Boomers have adopted different screen habits. Understanding these differences is critical for successful targeted marketing.”

Boomers generally prefer phone conversations, with voicemail messages as their favorable contact channel when unavailable to take a call. This means proper phone etiquette, and clearly composed messages are imperative to a firm’s success in dealing with the older generation’s legal needs. In the end, the marketing message is the same: Consumers are dictating their communication channel preferences. It is up to the service providers, attorneys included, to keep up with these predilections and fine tune them accordingly.

While the difference is audiences is significant, marketing to any of these audiences requires the same detailed, concise communication efforts. It is never okay to skimp on information, no matter the format it is being delivered, especially when the focus is legal. Although you may need to adjust your message, and its complexity, it must be thorough and deliver the necessary information sought by the requestor.


Tracking & Fine Tuning

By necessity, chance or design, fine tuning your legal message and the brand that is behind it requires constant consideration. Whether you are examining your media plan, or tracking new clients by asking how they heard about your firm, your company deserves marketing function and focus.

An abbreviated contact request isn’t the only thing that has changed in communication channels. Individuals, no matter what service or product they are seeking, are not taking the time to type URL addresses into a browser to reach a website. They are now simply typing in keywords or search phrases to find what they need. This tactic stresses the importance of your firm’s SEO and online presence being in premier shape at all times.

As technology evolves, so do the ways individuals seek legal representation. Currently, rating and reviews are the latest source of finding an attorney online, which means if you haven’t started your campaign to gather reviews from clients, you are already behind the other attorneys in your area who have. Soliciting reviews on Yelp, Google Business or even Facebook delivers next level marketing exposure, and here’s why:

  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation
  • 83% stated they use review sites as a first step in finding an attorney
  • 70% of these prospective clients will travel to an inconvenient location to seek out an attorney who has better reviews
  • 72% of consumers admit that positive reviews allow them to trust businesses more than if there were no reviews at all
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses, and this is exactly the type of positivity reviews can provide

Positive reviews are strongly associated with trust in the legal community, and building that segment of your firm’s profile can make or break your business going forward. While this is a growing segment that requires focus, additional marketing channels are still equally important. Each of your firm’s marketing components should be examined regularly, including website design and optimization, SEO focus, and social media profiles and communications.

If your firm changes in any practical way, including adding a new partner or moving from one location to another, your marketing endeavors should change with it. The reflection of your firm should be all-encompassing in your marketing strategy. If you have news about your firm’s success, share it! Do not be afraid to let people know you are growing, moving or winning!

If you have case studies, reviews and rating that have prompted a change in your online standing, allow your SEO and website optimization teams to use that information in your favor. Everything that boosts your firm’s success is worth sharing with your marketing team, and those who help maintain your online presence and optimization.

Conversely, do not be afraid to make changes to elements that are not working. Your marketing efforts and goals are measurable, and should be evaluated regularly to understand what is working, and what isn’t. Those measurable segments can include:

  • Website traffic
  • Social media followers
  • Number of reviews
  • Search engine results ranking
  • Shared blog posts/social media upsets
  • Contacts made
  • Converted clients
  • Cases completed

Another easily accessible statistic is simply asking prospective clients how they heard of your firm. Keep track of those responses, and measure them against your marketing efforts.

Conclusion: You Are Not In This Alone!

Oh, believe me. It may feel like it. Marketing success is a fickle beast. One minute everything you are doing is absolutely working on all fronts. You can’t miss! Business is booming! And suddenly, your phone hasn’t made a sound all day, and it feels like it is time to question everything.

Although there is some evidence that certain legal representation needs are cyclical, like divorce filings in the spring – once the holidays are over, or DUI arrests over holiday weekends – due to increased checkpoints, there is year around success in focusing on your image.

Television advertising, online cohesiveness and an overall positive internet presence will help your firm develop into a consistently successful brand. Success will not appear overnight, and measurable segments cannot be obsessed over to understand whether or not they are working.

Allow your marketing partners to help your firm traverse the seemingly complicated world of SEO, website optimization, social media profiles and interactions, and reviews and rating procedures to get the most out of your budget. We can help you employ important trade tips that are budget-friendly, and highly effective, including PPC arbitrage methods that allow your firm to bolster its online presence at your competitor’s television advertising expense.

Attorneys focus on the law, and the world is happy to know that the legal professionals are keeping up with the complications within the courtrooms, so the rest of us do not have to. Owning a company is tough work on its own, with day-to-day operations and revenue stresses at every turn. Being an attorney who is charged with representing another successfully on top of it, only compounds the daily time requirements necessary to achieve greatness.

Attorney marketing Network is not only our specialty, but our passion. We can help you enjoy results in areas where your campaign is currently lacking by creating a personalized assessment designed solely for your firm. Do not allow the online world and its dictating force to overwhelm you. We are all in this together, and we are here to help. Let’s go!

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