Every corporate law firm needs a strong online presence to succeed, which means marketing teams at those practices need to sell their bosses aggressively. They should make lead generation a top priority in 2019 by using a persona-based layout that’s optimized for local search engines. Marketers at overseas firms must put in extra work to understand linguistic nuances and keep client information private in the age of GDPR. That’s a lot to juggle, but these five web marketing tips will ensure order in the online court this year.
Take the Lead
In any business, lead generation is a crucial way to attract new leads and build relationships with them. But it’s an especially important skill in the sensitive environment of the courtroom. Clients should feel at ease from the moment they log onto the firm website. The homepage should feature professional imagery and formal headshots to show the office takes its work seriously.
Make sure to center educational material on the site in case potential leads are seeking an attorney for the first time. That means including both general legal information and specific case studies that show the practice’s successful results and expertise.
Firms should also get information about their clients through marketing automation tools like chatbots, which increase lead quality and quantity by analyzing what users consume and feeding them similar content. Machine learning applications can utilize predictive analytics to anticipate client queries and show the office is ready to handle any legal issue that comes its way in 2019.
Give the Website a Persona
A layout is as important as content when doing business online. Most websites still use a linear design, where pages are broken down into homepages, subcategories, and entries. But this year it will be more effective to use a cyclical, persona-based model that’s easier to navigate and combines related topics.
A mix of marketing and style, this user-friendly and interactive layout focuses on client problems and solutions rather than internal structures. It leverages thought-leadership content that addresses specific pain points in the client’s journey.
Lawyers can support this message on the firm’s blog by weighing in on relevant topics and incorporating calls to action (CTAs) that allow clients to sign up for email lists. On average, attorneys get a 4,400% ROI from email marketing and brand storytelling, so it’s a highly effective way to generate interest.
Keep Things Local in Search
Persona-based sites not only look prettier and give better information, but they also get higher placement on search engines. Most clients only consider businesses on the first page of Google. In fact, 55% of all clicks go to one of the first three search results. Law offices that want to be in this group need to develop a consistent, localized search strategy for 2019 and beyond.
Services like Google My Business (GMB) pull names, addresses, and phone numbers from sites, so that information needs to be correct online. Use local SEO to ensure the practice is at the top of both search and map results for queries like, “personal injury lawyers near me.”
Another important tool is pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which appear at the top of Google and are displayed on partner websites as well. They’re only deployed after a person searches for something, which means that anyone who sees a PPC for a law firm is actively seeking out an attorney.
These ads can also be remarketed, so potential clients who already visited the office website or gave contact information through a CTA can learn even more. Pushing that content out a second time is a great way to seal the deal.
Overcome Language Barriers with Tech
While most of the office’s work will likely come from the local area, successful law practices should also woo national and international clients this year. One important but less discussed aspect of this involves language. Firms must take regional nuances into account when entering markets with different linguistic traditions. For example, while the word “lawyer” is common in the U.S., terms like “solicitor” are more frequently used in the U.K.
But attorneys don’t need to pore over dictionaries themselves: there are several tech innovations that can do the work for them. AI tools like ROSS assist with legal research by translating opinions into plain language that best serves the users in a particular area.
The speech recognition engine Nuance and it’s software, Dragon, also use machine learning to analyze 20 different English dialects and 66 foreign languages. These services ensure that if a person from outside America requires legal services from a U.S. firm, the lawyer and client will understand each other.
Language isn’t the only potential hiccup with overseas clients. Any firm that does international business should focus on preventing data breaches and complying with GDPR.
While this privacy law compels businesses to conduct ongoing security checks, the actual requirements for those inspections are rather broad. GDPR only mandates that companies take “appropriate” action to protect privacy, and that strategy varies depending on how much data lawyers use.
But bad actors are getting more sophisticated, which means every law office needs to plan no matter their data habits. If a hack occurs, attorneys must protect sensitive information and remain compliant with existing regulations. They need to notify users of a breach quickly and outline the firm’s response with help from law enforcement. Any business that lags in figuring out a strategy will end up scrambling.
Corporate law marketing teams need to be smart about funneling leads, using a persona-based website layout, and optimizing local search. They must also tailor language for international clients and make sure data collection complies with GDPR standards. The work isn’t easy, but firms that confront these issues head-on will survive and thrive in 2019.