The ability of your website to attract visitors and then convert those visitors into leads is the key in your quest to grow your law firm.
Marketing budgets are finite, and any savvy marketer is always looking for fat to trim. Recognizing what is fat becomes a challenge, especially in unfamiliar arenas. The world of digital marketing is relatively young and carries a technical bent that can be challenging for laypeople.
Law firms often believe that either a lead-generating website or a robust SEO program is enough and cut one, looking to save some budget. The reality is that both are necessary and in fact, each one is a vital component of a quality long-term digital marketing strategy.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Your website and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have different purposes, each that contributes to the whole of your marketing plan. The website can’t do its job without SEO, and SEO without an optimized site at the end of the journey gives you nothing.
When the internet was in its infancy, the purpose of a website was as a business listing. These old-style “brochure websites” contain the name of your firm, a few branding elements, contact information, biographies, and so on. They provide information and legitimacy only and serve no other purpose. They are dead ends with no larger place in your marketing strategy.
In the modern marketplace, a website must be designed and developed to generate leads. As an active part of your marketing funnel, they go from informational to functional. They are a portal through which visitors enter on their way to submitting leads and becoming clients. Instead of a passive digital business card, they become an active part of your overall strategy, generating business for your firm. A website becomes your storefront in the digital marketplace.
The best market is no good if it can’t be found. When faced with a legal situation that requires representation, most Americans will turn to an online (probably Google) search. You want your site to be as close to the top of relevant search results as possible. SEO is the process of ensuring this.
SEO is such a vital part of digital marketing that it’s often one of the first tips in any article on any facet of the subject. While it can be challenging and is in fact a process that never stops as opposed to an achievable goal, SEO remains one of the best areas to devote marketing budget to.
As you can no doubt see, these are two distinct arenas of digital marketing that work in concert. SEO drives traffic to your site. Your site, optimized for lead-generation, then converts that traffic into leads. One does not function without the other.
SEO Brings Traffic to Your Website
Before anyone can interact with a great website, they need to find it first. When conducting an online search, half of all users will click on one of the top three organic results, and only a tiny percentage ever makes it to the second page of results. This means that you need to be on page one and as close to the top as possible. This is what SEO does for you.
On the face of it, SEO means you are more visible. Google users only spend a single minute looking at SERPs before making a selection that is almost invariably one of the top results. Being seen is a huge advantage worth every dime you spend on it.
Good SEO naturally means more leads, which means more business. Potential clients actively hunting for representation are even more likely than your standard user to pick an option high in the SERPs. Good SEO also means better cases, as you’re more able to be choosy over the ones you take.
Your website is a cornerstone of your credibility, but so is SEO. Google and other search engines tie a site’s ranking on a SERP to its authority, trustworthiness, and overall value. This has produced a self-sustained loop: sites judged to be valuable are high in the SERPs, and a site high in the SERPs therefore must be high in value. Good SEO amounts to a tacit endorsement by search engines, increasing credibility and authority.
For something as powerful as SEO, it must have a high price tag. Think again. SEO produces a better ROI than any other traditional advertising method. This is partly due to one of the great strengths of digital marketing: the ability to micro-target client bases likely to sign on. Traditional advertising, which relies on expensive saturation techniques, just can’t compete.
Lastly, SEO efforts persist. As soon as you stop paying for a billboard, it goes away. Print ads are seen and discarded, often in the same motion. A properly managed SEO strategy will continue long after the money used to start it has been spent. The more you nurture your SEO, the better and more cost-effective it becomes. Traditional ads are an expense; SEO is an investment.
Your Website Converts Traffic Into Leads
The need for a website is no longer debated. 90% of people who look for a lawyer do so online, and not having a digital storefront would be giving up on 9 of every 10 potential clients. In addition, a business without a website feels shady. Websites build trust.
They can do so much more. For law firms, brochure websites that merely provide basic information no longer cut it. A website that forms the mouth of your sales funnel can do so much more for your firm. Visitors are guided on a journey that might start with information gathering but are subtly and effectively nudged into submitting a lead. Your site is open day and night, allowing clients to contact you on their schedule. Convenience leads to business.
Answering those questions becomes part of your sales funnel as well. You should build a library of content that addresses concerns, explains concepts, and walks visitors through the mechanics of your corner of the legal system. Each article does an admirable job of bolstering your legitimacy and demonstrating your expertise. Your content builds the case for your services in an entertaining, informative, and unobtrusive way.
Your Calls-To-Action (CTA) keeps the purpose of your site at the forefront of all concerns. Your visitors should never need to search for a CTA. Proximity makes it easy for them to submit a lead and move them along your marketing funnel.
Don’t think of these sites as mere sales pitches, digital commercials, or any of the other annoyances of modern life. These are designed with value in mind. Visitors arrive seeking answers to questions, more information on a subject, or even just a little virtual handholding, and you are there to provide. With their needs met, visitors will find their trust building in your services. As your site gathers information about them, they are availing themselves of your extensive legal knowledge. Everyone wins.
Websites & SEO: Digital Marketing Synergy
Trying to decide between SEO and an optimized lead-generation platform would be like buying a car and trying to determine if you’d rather have an engine or brakes. You need both for your strategy to function.
Schedule your Lead Science Discovery Call today. We’ll show you how these two concepts work in tandem, as well as the other facets of digital marketing that can turn your firm into an online powerhouse.