I understand how it works with most businesses, including law firms. You get dozens of calls every month from people who say they are from Google, or that they are SEO experts. They usually promise top of the page rankings in Google, and showcase some crazy-sounding case studies from their current or previous work. This trick usually convinces marketers and owners that SEO is going to multiply their lead volume and turn into huge ROI machines.
The reason why I say this is because I sat down with a lawyer for a consultation a few weeks ago, and he had the exact same thing happen to him, courtesy of a local competitor of mine. The lawyer didn’t know much about SEO, and had been “sold” by the idea that my competitor would drive hundreds of leads to them every month. Hundreds.
I immediately told him that this type of selling was not fair on him, and I’ll break down the reason why:
For starters, the average value of a conversion for the lawyer I was consulting with is about $6000. Depending on the quality of the leads received, their closing rate is 40%-60%. That means that every 100 leads, at a closing rate of 40%, would result in 40 new clients every month. 40 new clients per month, at $6000 each, equals $240,000 of new client revenue off of online marketing alone. WOW! Where do I sign up?!
If it Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably is!
A week after my conversation with the first lawyer, I sat down with another local lawyer. He was already working with a “lead generation” company, however, he wanted to discuss new ways of generating leads. The type of leads they were getting from their digital marketing company were extremely poor.
To be honest, if a company was really providing high-quality leads for lawyers in those volumes, they would be better off creating their own practice. Also, if their lead generation for lawyers was that effective, they would never lose a single client.
The most annoying part of the bid the first lawyer received was that my competitor offered him a 25% discount if he signed up that day! Unbelievable! What kind of high-quality service provider has to offer discounts in order to do business?
Rules of Thumb:
- If you’re an SEO service providers, and a client wants you to give them a discount, run the other way!
- If you are a lawyer, or any other business looking for SEO services, and the company you are interested in offers you a discount to sign up right away, run the other way!
Getting discounted services make NO SENSE AT ALL. Discounts are sales gimmicks from the SEO company. Also consider the fact that from the client’s perspective, discounts say “I’m not going to respect your services.” If there is one advice I’d give both SEO service providers and companies who are looking for online marketing, it’s:
Don’t do business with people who don’t respect online marketing services.
It’s inevitable, if you choose to do business with someone who doesn’t respect online marketing, your goals will never line up, and the end result will be bad.
Lead Generation for Lawyers: Inbound Marketing and SEO
Inbound marketing and SEO are not merely about ranking keywords. They’re about streamlining communication channels like blogs, email campaigns, social media, and PR to promote your brand in a way that captures your audience’s interest, and then funneling them into a lead generation/nurturing campaign.
Understanding keyword rankings is easy, isn’t it? If you’re not ranked for keywords… you need to get ranked… so, get ranked… and presto! However, what most marketers and business owners fail to understand is how they need to align their online communications to meet demands of the different people visiting their website. I’m going to break down these different types of people into browsers, comparers, and buyers.
- Browser: These are at the very top of your funnel, not ready to convert. Browsers are looking for information that will help them make an informed decision about purchasing your services in the future.
- Comparer: Comparers are at the middle of your sales funnel. If given the right reasons, comparers would buy off of you right away. However, their aim is to browse in order to make an informed decision as well.
- Buyer: Buyers are bottom of the funnel leads. All they need is the right CTA that fits their needs, in order to complete the purchasing process.
Most marketing channels only focus on the bottom of the funnel, in other words, leads that are ready to buy. The middle and top of the funnel, which have the most leads for lawyers, are often left untouched. The biggest issue is that attorneys are not able to communicate their brand message through their website to each specific buyer persona. These buyer personas, who are fictitious personifications of your ideal clients, need answers so they can continue their journey to the bottom of the funnel until they become ready-to-buy leads.
Inbound marketing still focuses on the bottom of the funnel to drive lead generation for lawyers, but it does not stop there. The techniques that drive inbound marketing create a holistic approach to your online communications with your audience. This tells you, at the end of the day, exactly what makes people convert at every level.
Obsolete SEO Methodologies that Reap No Results
SEO has never been the issue, nor a miraculous lead generator for lawyers. It’s the way you approach SEO, efficiently combined with different elements of online marketing, that make a company successful in their quest for strong web presence.
Ranking keywords alone will always fail. Search Engines constantly change the way their rank, competitors will try to rank for the same keywords as you, and the “black hat SEOs” will always try to hack their way to the top results. You can’t really control what other people are going to do, but what you can do is control the way your company communicates with your target personas.
But communicating… well, it’s just hard!
Inbound marketing is not just one element of optimizing your business, it’s a combination of many elements that produce a unique branding experience for your clients. Frankly, I’ve worked years to put together an awesome team at Fannit, to service highly competitive niches with great success. We’re vastly different, and have much more capabilities than a typical SEO company.
At Fannit, we create and manage content marketing campaigns designed to attract qualified traffic, raise your firm’s rep, and help generate new, high-quality leads for attorneys. This content, which varies from blog posts, ebooks, how-tos, white papers, and detailed guides, generally contain the answers that your potential customers are trying to find.
Social media has been traditionally used as a point of contact with your audience, to create a brand image. However, social media can also be a powerful lead generator for lawyers. Social media can drive traffic to your website and raise awareness of your products. Video, images, and other popular media can be used to generate leads for attorneys when applied properly.
Search Engine Optimization is a key element of your inbound marketing campaign. The effective application of SEO strategies will make sure your website is found on a wide variety of searches related to your services, products, and industry. There are many advantages to implementing SEO techniques, from higher conversion rates to lower marketing costs and higher lead volume.
Advantages of SEO for Lawyers
SEO has been helping local businesses connect with local audiences for years at this point, and law firms are no different. Although other strategies, like PPC campaigns, can also help create an online presence, SEO has more benefits that make it suitable for most law practices, especially in the Seattle area.
Low Cost: SEO has the lowest cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale when compared to almost every other marketing channel. Organic listings are essentially free, you just need to invest the time into achieving higher rankings. Instead of paying huge amounts, especially in the legal representation industry, use SEO to drive quality leads that convert.
Exponentially Increases Traffic: Once you implement analytic and tracking tools, you’ll see a clear increase in the amount of traffic you receive. Although it may take some time to kick off, the steady increase of traffic will remain as long as you dedicate time into optimizing your efforts. Tracking tools will help you make the adjustments and create the right content to attract qualified leads for attorneys.
Highest Possible ROI: SEO has the highest possible because it doesn’t cost any money. You only have to invest time into creating and optimizing a strategy. PPC, which is the second-best ROI generator, requires both managing time and a budget to spend on ads. Although PPC campaigns should be considered in certain situations, SEO will get you consistent results that will increase the value of your site and company.
Stand Out of the Competition: Anyone can pay for ads, and even when a single company dominates the top paid spots, users are more receptive to organic searches. Organic searches are usually chosen over paid ads, so achieving high SEO rankings will make you stand out automatically.
Long-Lasting Effects: The biggest upside to SEO is its lasting effects. Now, achieving a top rank doesn't guarantee you will stay there forever. However, once you have achieved high rankings, it’ easier to main it. Google and other Search Engine change their ranking algorithm frequently, but if you stay up-to-date with the SEO world, you should be prepared for all imminent changes and adjustments.
Creating an inbound marketing strategy with a focused SEO approach can help your law firm take your business to the next level. At Fannit, we have built a team that has helped dozens of local firms connect with their audience. If you want to increase your chances of winning, you’ll want the team with a solid track record on your side every time.
Our SEO Cheat Sheet is a huge advantage to any firm, legal or otherwise. We spill the beans on all of our best tips and tricks to get your SEO presence moving forward. Click on the image below to check it out.