An organization’s online reputation plays an important role in everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to visitor conversion. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to invest in SEO services if an organization is not going to work to improve its online reputation. This is as true in the legal sector as any other.
Digital marketing for lawyers typically focuses mainly on law office location and services rendered. That’s not a bad thing. Law office websites have to be heavy on practical information in order to serve their purpose. But online reputation cannot be ignored if attorneys hope to drive new traffic and convert that traffic into actual clients.
Webtek is a Salt Lake City digital marketing firm that specializes in, among other things, law and attorney marketing services. They suggest three ways that law offices can improve their online reputations just by improving their websites.
1. Publish Case Studies
Nothing proves an attorney’s abilities than case studies. In a general sense, a case study reviews a real-life example of an organization’s work. Case studies in the legal arena are reviews of actual legal cases that provide just enough information without revealing details that would constitute a breach of ethics.
For example, an attorney could publish a case study talking about work done in a recent personal injury case. No names or dates have to be mentioned. No details have to be divulged. The general information that makes the point serves the purpose.
Case studies tell potential clients that attorneys know what they are doing. Case studies demonstrate past results; they suggest to clients that the attorneys in question can do the same for them.
2. Solicit Client Testimonials
Hand-in-hand with case studies are real-life testimonials from actual clients. Testimonials are one of the most powerful forms of marketing ever. They are the consummate word-of-mouth tool that puts real names and faces to marketing messages.
Submitted testimonials are best published on the attorney’s website. Ideally, they should at least be put on the homepage. They can also be included on the ‘About’ page and perhaps even populate a dedicated ‘Case Studies’ page.
Obviously, it is important to get client approval before publishing a testimonial. If clients are willing, a picture to go along with the text presents an even more powerful message. Also, note that testimonials should only be edited for spelling and grammar. Attorneys should avoid dressing them up or they risk making people think the testimonials are not real.
3. Listing Professional Organizations and Awards
References to professional organizations and awards enhance digital marketing for lawyers by going beyond cases and clients to reveal what others in the industry think about a law office. Let’s start with professional organizations.
Every attorney has to be part of a state bar in order to legally practice. At bare minimum, membership in the state bar association should be listed on the attorney’s website. This demonstrates to potential clients that the attorney is licensed to practice.
Any other professional organizations a law firm associates with or is a member of should also be listed. The reputation of each one adds to the reputation of the office and its attorneys. The more associations a law office can list, the better.
Next are professional awards. They can be awarded by state bar associations, legal publications, local business organizations, ‘best of’ websites, online review sites, and on and on. Awards signify that a law office is getting attention outside of the courtroom. Moreover, it is good attention.
Reputation, Traffic, and Conversion
The ultimate goal of online marketing for attorneys is to bring in more qualified clients who will end up retaining the attorney. So in a nutshell, conversion is the ultimate goal. A law office wants as many people as possible to be converted from casual website visitors to paying clients.
Walking backward, conversion relies heavily on traffic. A higher volume of traffic is much more likely to generate higher conversion rates. Higher-quality traffic increases conversion rates even more. So how do you increase the volume and quality of traffic? One way is improving online reputation.
Google utilizes an online reputation as a ranking factor. So do consumers. Just like a highly reputable site is ranked higher in search engine results, a highly reputable attorney is higher on the referral list when people are talking about their legal needs.
As an attorney, your online reputation can make or break your digital marketing efforts. Be smart. Do the work necessary to maintain a strong reputation that will help increase traffic and convert more visitors.