Is Your Marketing Paying Off To It's Maximum?

Is Your Marketing Paying Off To Its Maximum?

By James Mitchell Brown

CEO at Attorney Consultant, Inc.

Is your marketing giving you the results it should? The answer is probably a resounding NO!

No matter what the initial purpose of the consultation, I usually find when I consult for firms that they are not maximizing the results of their marketing. Most are not as egregious as that of a client that I recently helped, who was concerned that he was not getting enough clients from his new television ads in spite of some kick-ass commercials. (I can complement the commercials since I wrote them.)

I listened to the recordings of the intake calls and was amazed at how bad they were. It was shocking they signed up anyone.

  • Problem one: Firm policy when prospects called—
    • Screen to see if they were good prospect.
    • Schedule a time for the “intake specialist” to call them back.
    • Naturally, 25% of the prospects were not there when called back.
  • Problem two: Receptionist sounded as if the people were lucky to have someone to talk to.
    • She acted too busy to spend much time talking with them.
  • Problem three: Anywhere from 40% to 70% of the calls went to voice mail.
    • 80% of them hung up rather than leaving a message.
    • When the hang-ups were called back they were not interested in talking to anyone from the firm.

The next issue is firm owners who trust non-attorneys or associates to determine who the firm can represent. The owner of the firm has to occasionally call some of the people who were rejected to determine if the correct decision was made, find out if they were spoken to with respect and were satisfied with the reasons given for not being represented. If intake calls are recorded it is incumbent upon the firm owner to listen to some by each of the people doing intake. Determine the quality of work being done by the people making the first impression on prospective clients. You have three seconds to make a first impression. The person you may not take as a client who become a valuable source of referrals if treated properly.

The major area where firms are losing money is failing to screen for mass torts. I recently taught an estate planning firm to look for drug cases and they have gotten one women into the Lipitor class, one in the mesh class and two men into the testosterone class.

Every person who calls about any case in any area of law should be screened for mass tort potential. If you don’t it is money you can receive that you are just letting slip away.. When new class actions are filed you can send a letter or email to every current and former client to see if they or anyone they know has ever used that product. .

A client of mine with a social security practice found 861 children who used Risperdal. He didn’t have the staff to call them all but, at my suggestion, hired two college students to do the screening. Sixteen of his former clients got into the class action lawsuit. That will be a huge co-counsel fee for him someday.

Intake is huge. All but one firm I have consulted for, for various reasons, has let good clients slip away. Look at your procedures carefully to make sure your firm signs up the clients you want.

The #1 Mistake You Are Making With Your Legal Marketing

The #1 Mistake You Are Making With Your Legal Marketing

We’re always on the lookout for useful content for our friends and clients.  Today we welcome guest blogger Yvette Valencia.  She is the co-founder and COO of WeDoWebContent.  I hope this is useful to you!

By Yvette Valencia

Are you sitting in your office wondering why your attorney website content isn’t generating a flood of leads? Are you racking your brain for ways to increase your online presence and conversions to no avail? Well, you’re in luck! In this post I will reveal the number one mistake you could be making with your content strategy.

First things first – take your hand to your face and gently remove your blinders. It’s time you come to terms with the fact that you are in one of the most commercially competitive spaces on and offline. So, it makes sense that as you journey off to make a name for yourself online, you look for ways to set yourself apart from the hive and become the king or queen bee of an untapped/under-serviced area. In other words, dominate a piece of space that is not so competitive.

It’s equally as important to understand that before you can begin to think about conversion, you have to know the type of clients you want to represent. Be honest with yourself. Do you know your target audience as well as you know yourself? When asked what you want to do, do you vaguely respond: “I want to represent ‘anyone’ who has been seriously injured in an accident.” If you’ve answered “no” and “yes” respectively, it’s time for some tough love. You are not converting because your attorney website content is not laser-focused. If you’re not creating the content searchers are looking for, you will never convert them to clients.

Consider this before starting an online marketing strategy – develop a niche. Sure, some folks might say that niche marketing is bad business or that you’ll be limiting your potential clients. Not true! In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Niche marketing can open the door to:

More Effective Marketing

Focusing on the cases you really want enables you to market directly to that segment of the population with clear and actionable attorney website content. This focus will also help you and your prospects understand the types of legal scenarios your firm will and will not handle, saving you time and money, as well as increasing the amount of attention you can devote to viable cases.

More Referrals/Cases

When a prospect contacts you with a legal situation you don’t handle (or care to handle), it’s likely you know an attorney who does. A referral partner whose name pops into your mind immediately. Think of all the referrals you’d get if your peers thought of you in the same way? That’s exactly how it goes down when you position yourself as an expert in a particular field. “The dog bite attorney” or “the lawyer for toxic mold injury claims,” for instance.  Your networking partners – other lawyers, doctors, etc. – will no longer have to guess who your “anyone” is. They will know who your ideal client is because you have taken the guesswork out of the equation for them. To get business, you have to make it easy on everyone. No guesswork allowed.

More Networking Opportunities

Speaking of networking, when you begin to pursue your newfound niche, you’ll start meeting other professionals in your field. For example, if you’re looking to represent individuals with injuries from asbestos exposure, you may be connecting with construction and medical professionals in the respiratory field. These connections build your potential client pool and can eventually lead to speaking engagements at industry seminars. Suddenly, your reach goes from hundreds to thousands just by narrowing your focus!

Convinced? Great!

Find Your Niche Now!

Let’s start the niche exploration process by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What cases do I care most deeply about?
  • Which clients do I relate to or sympathize with the most?
  • Who will benefit most from my services?
  • Which area of law do I already have the most experience with?
  • If I were in a room with 200 potential clients and could only represent one, who would I choose?
  • Who are the clients that are most likely to give me positive feedback on my services?

Once you know the answers to these questions, your path (and ultimately your attorney website content) will become clearer. Only then can you begin the process of validating your potential niche.

Validating Your Legal Niche

Start exploring your niche by researching how your ideal clients are searching for information online. Google’s AdWords tool is free and effective in identifying the terms your ideal clients are using at various stages of the buying cycle. It can also provide suggestions for similar keywords (and maybe even a new niche!).

chart1-1024x462Keyword research is also critical in determining whether your potential niche satisfies these three criteria: 

  • Demand - are there enough monthly searches to justify going after the term?
  • Buyers - is this segment of the audience hiring lawyers online? If not, you will have to identify another niche.All Posts
  • Viability - are the search terms you want to go after reasonable in terms of competition? Always aim for medium to low. Otherwise, expect to engage in a costly pay-per-click campaign for the highly-competitive terms.

ChartIf your potential niche is worth the investment, it’s time to start implementing. You do this by identifying and creating the content that will satisfy your potential clients, as well as the search engines. This is the winning combination that gets your law firm found and increases your conversions.

Remember, searchers will only click on the content that promises to answer their queries. If your attorney web content is off-mark or misaligned with their needs, they will continue their search until they find a legal website that will.

Capturing Clients with Keywords: The Art of Search Engine Optimization

Capturing Clients with Keywords: The Art of Search Engine Optimization

We are always on the lookout for valuable content to share on our blog; adding worth beyond case expense financing for our readers.  Today we welcome guest blogger Yvette Valencia.  She is the co-founder and COO of WeDoWebContent.  I hope this is useful to you!

By Yvette Valencia

If you’re reading this post, you likely found it in one of two ways: you’re either a subscriber to our blog or you used a search engine, like Google, to find information on “capturing new clients.” If the latter is true, my keyword (or “on-page search engine optimization”) strategy worked. You see, I wrote this article for two reasons: 1) to educate and help you succeed on the Web; and 2) to attract potential clients to my company’s website where they could learn more about our services and eventually hire us to design their law firm’s search marketing strategy.

Today I am here to tell you that you can do the same for your law firm. When you research and use the terms your ideal clients are using to find information on the Web within your Web content, you increase your chances of being found. And, when you write truly informative pages, ones that give your readers valuable takeaways, you will earn your stripes with Google and be rewarded with top spots on their search results pages (referred to as “ranking”).

During my presentation at the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association’s monthly luncheon, I revealed the biggest mistake most lawyers make with their legal marketing strategy and offered tips on creating a loyal fan base for the purpose of expanding their firms’ reach and increasing referrals. Now I’m ready to discuss one of the most powerful components of search marketing: keywords.

If you took the time to identify and develop a niche for your business and are taking the necessary steps to grow your practice, you will have a good idea of how your ideal clients search for information on the Internet. So if you want to continue building your list with similar clients, you should start by looking to your current clients for keyword inspiration.

Get Into Your Clients’ Heads

Conducting interviews with past clients can help you better understand how they search for legal resources on the Internet. Some questions you could ask are:

  • When you were searching for a personal injury attorney, what was more important: 1) their office location; or 2) their specialty or exclusivity in handling cases similar to yours?
  • How did you initiate your search? Did you believe you had a viable legal issue and knew you needed an attorney and therefore started your search there, or did you set out to learn whether or not you had a legal issue?
  • If you received a referral from a friend or family member, did you first research the attorney or firm online or did you contact the attorney without researching?
  • Did you search for lawyers that handled the type of accident in which you were injured or the specific injury you suffered?

Conduct Research & Analyze the Data

More and more people are using search engines like Google and Bing to find products and services on the Web. By analyzing what your prospective clients are looking for and how they are searching for it online, you will increase the chances of your website appearing on the first page of their search results.

You’ll want to start by gathering data from your website’s analytics service, as well as using a couple of independent keyword tools available on the Web. When you work with data that is accurate, you move away from assumptions and the dreaded possibility of wasting a lot of time and money.

Keyword tools allow you to evaluate the performance of millions of search terms – an essential step for creating the best keyword list for your business.

Google AdWords is a free and pretty robust keyword tool that provides the popularity and competition level of a specific keyword, as well as related keywords. You should be expanding your focus beyond the original keywords you research and open yourself to similar search topics – synonyms are great!

When coded properly into your website’s off-page code, Google’s Webmaster Tools and Analytics will track your domain’s performance and offer a treasure trove of information. In other words, from these tools you can gather up-to-date data about your audience, traffic sources, content, and conversions. In some instances you will be able to see the keywords that were responsible for drawing in new and repeat visitors, and which of them also led someone to buy your products or enlist your services. You’ll want to continue to promote these keywords within your Web content so as to not compromise your rankings and the ability to generate leads.

SEMRush is a paid keyword tool that’s definitely worth the price. You can track the performance of your chosen keywords over time. And, the reports you can generate will take the guesswork out of determining whether a keyword will be beneficial to your content as far as attracting potential clients.

You can generate lists with hundreds of keywords using these tools, but the real trick is knowing how to choose and target the right ones.

Evaluate Your Keywords

KeywordsThe keyword lists you generate during the research phase of your Web content strategy are only suggestions of what MAY work. To truly unearth the money-making keywords, you have to evaluate these keywords based on the following three points:

#1: Relevancy to your website. Ranking for a keyword that is completely unrelated to your company, your products, or service is completely futile. For example, a personal injury law firm has no business ranking for the keyword “teen pop star” unless it only represents celebrities like Justin Bieber. This will only lead to meaningless website traffic and do nothing for your firm’s bottom line. Instead, focus on the keywords that are closest to the end of your sales cycle so you can increase your chances of generating leads and gaining new clients.

Quality over quantity is the name of the game.

#2. Popularity in terms of web traffic and conversion potential. While keywords with high search volume can drive traffic to your website, they may not do much in the way of converting visitors to clients. This is why keyword research is critical to the success of any online marketing campaign.

A visitor to your website is just another notch on your Web traffic belt. You’re better off paying attention to the keywords that have the best conversion potential. Before you put all of your eggs in the expensive, high-competition-keyword basket, test the effectiveness of your business’s most important phrases with some pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

If your chosen keywords are generating Web traffic and new leads, you know you’re on the right track.

#3: Competition to rank for the keyword. While it’s great to want the #1 spot on page one of Google for “personal injury lawyer,” it’s highly unlikely that your law firm will gain this position using only organic marketing methods.

Your organic marketing efforts will consist mainly of a Web content strategy that ethically infuses both the keywords and synonyms your target audience is using to find the topics that interest them. Unlike paid advertisements, which I will go into shortly, the Web pages you create are indexed by the search engines, which means they will exist on the Web forever and will be served to the searcher every time your page meets their search criteria at no additional cost.

Knowing the competition level of a specific keyword will allow you to determine what it will take to rank for it and whether or not you are willing and have the budget to jump through those perpetual hoops.

Be Open to Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Most times, acquiring and/or maintaining a top position for a highly-competitive term means you will have to engage in a lengthy and expensive pay-per-click campaign.

The Beatles said it best in their 1964 chart topper “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” but it can buy you a spot on Google’s search results pages. Through the search engine’s AdWords program, Google allows businesses to buy ad space on page one for the keywords they want to target, but this is a costly option, especially for attorneys whose top search terms typically range from $50 to $80 per click.

In highly-competitive geographic areas, like South Florida, Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California, for example, engaging in pay-per-click advertising is necessary for the long-term health of your online presence. However, in other, not-so-competitive areas, you can get away with engaging in a modest and temporary pay-per-click campaign meant to accelerate your website’s exposure and ranking, as well as complement your organic (non-paid advertisements such as landing pages, informative articles, and blog posts) efforts.

The one advantage to pay-per-click advertising is that you will find out very quickly whether or not a highly-coveted term is actually a money-making term. If it’s not, you can drop it from your campaign and invest your money in another term that will actually generate qualified leads for your firm.

Get Organized!

A smart and savvy businessperson is always organized. Microsoft Excel can be your best friend when it comes to organizing and tracking your keyword placement once the research and evaluation phases are complete.

You’ll want to develop a keyword matrix that has separate worksheets to group related keywords. For each keyword, keep notes on their popularity and competition, as well as when, where, and how you used them within your pages.

Discover How We Do Web Content Can Boost Your Online Presence

There’s no doubt that developing a keyword strategy for your website is a daunting task, especially when you have a successful law firm to run! Don’t take up your valuable time researching keywords when We Do Web Content can do the work for you!

Get started on one of our SEO plans today. Call 888-594-5442 or complete our online contact form to speak with our sales director about all of the services we offer to grow your practice.