If the real estate catchphrase “location, location, location” has any truth to it, it works for lawyers too, according to Conrad Saam, author of “Own the Map: Marketing Your Law Firm’s Address Online.”
Saam says that 43% of legal clients choose their lawyers based on whether they are “near me,” like everything else that’s searched for online, from pizza to ATMs.
“It’s time for attorneys and law firm marketers to understand that office location in relation to prospective clients is a marketing asset — or a liability — that must be leveraged to maximize effectiveness across all marketing efforts,” Saam writes. He highlights six marketing tactics that successful law firms use to capitalize on consumers’ preference for the convenience of location:
- Business reporting and Google Analytics. A clear understanding of online marketing is important, including the use of metrics and data that will help generate clients. A “carefully configured” Google Analytics account to evaluate your firm’s online marketing efforts also will help keep you from investing in marketing tactics that do not work.
- Organic Search. Maximize these unpaid or unmapped results, typically based on search engine optimization (SEO) factors, that show up after someone does a search query. The results are found below paid advertisements on a webpage and can generate a large volume of traffic for your firm, which in turn yield good leads for potential clients.
- Local Search. Make a concerted effort to get your firm’s name displayed and listed the same across local search algorithms for directories such as Yelp, Citysearch, Google My Business and Avvo. “The reasoning is fairly simple: Google wants to ensure that when users use Google to find and then visit a business, the user actually arrives at the correct business.”
- Advertisements. Spend your advertising dollars on localized opportunities such as visual banner ads on social media platforms. They allow clients to click through quickly and on to the law firm website. If you define your audience, Facebook could find your target audience. “After that, it’s only a matter of setting the right campaign goals and creating ads that capture people’s attention as they scroll through their news feed,” Saam says.
- Website. Website design is important to clients. It should have a good design on desktop and mobile devices. Make sure it has various methods that a potential client can connect with the firm — by phone, text, chat and form fill.
- Social media. Establish relationships with key influencers, referral sources and the local press. It could take from 6 to 18 months of consistency to establish momentum. Saam points to Morris Lilienthal, one of five lawyers in the Huntsville, Alabama-based firm of Martinson & Beason, as an example of how to do social media marketing right, using community-based channels.
Get more marketing tips from “Own the Map: Marketing Your Law Firm’s Address Online,” a book from the Law Practice Division, available here.