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10 Internet marketing tips for new lawyers and small firms

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The Wisconsin Bar recently published an interesting article with 10 Internet marketing tips for new, small law firms.  While the article is sometimes short on specifics about implementing its suggestions, it is a very good beginning point for lawyers without experience in online legal marketing.  I’m just going to list the 10 headings here without the full text of the article; you can read the full article here.  I’m going to add some explanations/suggestions based on my own experience.

  1. Advertise Online.
  2. Invest in a professionally designed and developed web site.
  3. “Consumerize” your web site.
  4. Incorporate video on your site.  [The articles suggests that you “Develop an introductory video of the managing partner that showcases personality as well as expertise. Post the video on the web (and YouTube) and even consider a TV spot down the road.”  My caveat, if the managing partner doesn’t come across well on video, do not use the managing partner.  Use the lawyer who looks best and comes across as most genuine on video.  If you have to, and your bar regs permit it, hire a professional before you put up a video with a white-faced, stuttering managing partner.  Also, if you can afford it, spend the money to shoot a professional video.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to hire a pro, and the results will be worth the money.   For ideas about using video that aren’t limited to interviews with your managing partner, see my post “Use online video to do things you can’t do on TV.”]
  5. Get listed in and link to online directories. [I think I should add a word of caution here.  There are sites on the Internet known as “link farms” where people list unrelated businesses in the belief that just getting links will help them rank higher in Google.  These sites don’t help and, if Google finds your site in what it considers a link farm, it can result in Google removing your site entirely from its index.  You don’t want that.]
  6. Hire an expert.
  7. Optimize your web site. [This refers to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, which is a complicated subject I’ll try to discuss in another post.  Basically, it means deciding what type cases your firm is looking for, finding out what keywords and phrases clients use to look for lawyers handling that type case, and creating pages using those keywords so people can find you.  You can do it yourself or hire an SEO firm (some of which can be quite expensive and may not give you the results you want.]
  8. Engage in pay-per-click advertising.  [This refers to the “Sponsored links” on the side (and sometimes at the top) of the page on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).  Pay-per-click advertising can be useful.    You should also know it can be expensive when you’re bidding for certain terms, such as “mesothelioma,” which recently cost $85 on Google just to get someone to click through the ad and take a look at your website.  Many lawyers use Google AdWords for pay-per-click advertising.  It’s simple, you can set up your account using your credit card in just a few minutes, and you can write your own ads and see them within minutes.]
  9. Understand and use appropriate metrics.  [In other words, find out who is visiting your website and how they got there.  Google Analytics is a great free program you can use for this.]
  10. Be responsive! [This one speaks for itself.]

I’m going to add one more rule of my own.  Check your state rules of professional responsibility for any requirements that may apply to lawyer websites in your state.  Be sure your site complies with the rules.

Questions, anyone?  Feel free to get in touch with me using the Contact Form.

About Michael J. Evans

Michael J. Evans is a personal injury lawyer who represents people with claims involving defective medicine or medical devices, other defective products that cause serious injury or death, and environmental cases. Evans also handles whistleblower lawsuits in which employees, or former employees, expose fraud or other illegal conduct by the corporation for which they work(ed), Evans organizes litigation groups of plaintiffs law firms to work with him on these cases nationwide. Evans uses social media, blogs, online video, mobile apps and traditional media to connect with clients, and help other prominent law firms connect with clients.. Evans is also an advocate for the rights of consumers. His primary areas of legal practice are mass torts, and advising law firms on the ethical rules and law governing legal marketing via the Internet and social media.

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