2017 Law Firm Internet Marketing Checklist of New Ideas and Trends

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Our entire team has put together a great list of ideas for internet marketing for law firms in 2017. Check out our information below to see if your website and marketing plan has all the latest features.

Website Design

The following are the top ideas for website design for law firms in 2017.

  • Large Photos – Most modern homepage designs have very large, high quality photos, that reflect industries, practice areas, firm culture, locations, and/or a creative concept.
  • Testimonials & Reviews – Feature your client testimonials, google plus ratings, and other reviews high up on the page in a nicely designed area that draws attention and helps users see what service or results the firm has provided.
  • Video – Featuring video in the main billboard area is a quick way to get a user to know your firm differentiating factors in less than a minute.
  • Icons – Illustrations, in the form of icons, can be used to highlight your key factors or bullet point features. This helps users quickly identify which topic is important to them and read more about it.
  • Large Call to Action – Display phone number and any important action copy at the top of the website, such as, “Same day returned phone calls.”
  • Contact Form – Forms should be a bright color, with a simple call to action at the top of the form such as “Get a Free Consultation. Fill out our form below.” Don’t let your form disappear or blend in on the page with poorly designed fields and font choices.
  • Recognition / Accolades – Feature logos or badges of awards won, or recognition for each year. Format in a nice grid system for a clean organized look.
  • Real Photos / Real People – Having photos of your team in action or of the space(s) in which you work are both ways of standing out and looking different, while also helping clients match a face to a name. Custom photo shoots can add a beautiful, unique element to your site. We can help creatively direct these to match your new website.
  • Interactive Elements – Most modern sites have playful elements that give the user something to keep them looking and interacting with the site. These can be in the form of large image ad tagline sliders, flip boxes, drop downs, hover states and many other features. These elements can also help break up large bodies of text and speak to a user almost as if you were talking to them in person.
  • Long Scrolling Home Pages – Not only are these great for SEO, but they are also great for design. Users are used to scrolling down a page and often begin scrolling immediately, looking for more content. You can organize your sections to give the client each piece at a time, often using animations to enhance the experience, helping them to learn about your firm as if being told a story.

Website Development

Is your website fast? Is it compliant? Is it secure? The trends for 2017 are speed, security and compliancy. Check out our detailed list of website development ideas.

  • Google Page Speed Score of 90+ (ideally 100) – You can test your Google Page Speed Score using this link – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ Make sure you are above a 90 for both mobile and website.
  • Implement AMP On Your Website – AMP is Google’s new way of showing your web pages quickly via Google’s own servers and cache. You should consider implementing AMP for at least your blog of your website. But, you may be able to AMP your entire website too.
  • ADA Compliance – You may want to consider ADA compliance. Eventually the DOL and DOJ will get their act together and require all websites to be compliant.
  • Be Smart With Plugins – Many law firms use WordPress because of its extensive plugin support. Plugins expand the functionality of websites with relative ease but have a built-in cost. They can reduce speed scores and introduce security threats. Be selective when adding them to your site.
  • Go Secure – SSL and HTTPS are quickly becoming standard across the web, and services like LetsEncrypt are making them easier than ever to add.

Content Writing

Content is the key for a successful law firm website. Does your content tell a story? Is it engaging? It is updated?

  • Content Marketing Plan on Your Practice Areas – Create resource areas for your website on specific practice groups.
  • Live Customer Service – Angry or happy customers will find they have a voice (and may find a solution to their problem) by engaging with the company through social media, especially Twitter.
  • Microinfluencers – For brands trying to leverage Instagram influencers, it is becoming more popular to utilize many micro influences (5,000 followers) vs. expensive influencers (10,000 followers).
  • Mobile-Only Social – Websites like Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope don’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
  • Comprehensive Resource Center – Establish yourself as a leader in your field by producing a comprehensive resource center (“legal hub”) comprised of content that educates, informs and engages potential clients.
  • Marketing Strategy – Add fresh content to your site weekly.  Create a documented content marketing strategy, set up an internal schedule and assign writing duties to stay on track.
  • High-Quality Content – Focus on unique messages that speak to your core audience. Invest in hiring quality freelance talent or internal writers.
  • Ebooks and White Papers – Consider using content from your blogs, articles and other postings to create ebooks and white papers that users can download from your site.  These more in-depth publications allow you to better connect and share valuable expertise with your audience.
  • In-Depth Content – Web pages with more content typically rank far better than pages with minimal content.  While you don’t want to publish useless information, writing longer pages (1,500+ words)  that provide users with in-depth, valuable content may boost your rankings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO changes all the time and in 2017 this will be especially true. Google is constantly releasing algorithm updates, but the good news is that quality content, a rich back link profile and innovative ideas should still allow you to rank high.

  • Mobile Indexing First and AMP – Mobile is the future. As Google continually implements mobile indexing first, all websites need to be mobile compliant. This is not only hurting the indexing and user experience but more importantly, the overall return on investment.
  • Review of Bad Backlinks and Disavow – With the implementation of the Google Penguin algorithm to be continually implemented, a routine check of your backlink profile is needed.
  • Law Hub/Content Marketing – Nothing improves relevancy to a website and specifically matches up to user intent than great quality, fresh new core content – establishing your website as an industry resource.
  • Keyword Research – This will become an even more creative process with new features rolling out from various tools and Internet marketers utilizing their own manual tactics.
  • Social Media – This will become even more interactive with an increase in live video, 360 images, and more. Continual engagement and having an established presence on Social Media will continue to be beneficial.
  • Continued Link Building – Remember that quality is more important than quantity.
  • Live Video – Live video has been on an upward streak for the last few years, but 2017 will be the year when it fully takes off, utilized by more brands and more individuals than before.
  • Niche Your Practice – Online marketing is becoming more crowded; target a more specific niche, appealing to a narrower range of demographics with a more specific topic.
  • Video Ads – Though video advertisements are certainly nothing new for social media giants like YouTube and Facebook, the news of Google entering the fray with in-SERP video advertising will change the whole spectrum of online advertisement.
  • Mobile First – The presence of hand-held devices and fading away of desktop traffic clearly indicates that the smart money rests on mobile-focused internet marketing.
  • Rich Media – More rich media content – video, interactive tools, gamification – as audience tastes and expectations evolve, so will the types of content being created.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Google is constantly updating its platform. Here are some metrics by which you should gauge your campaign.

  • Extended Ad Format – Make sure your ads are upgraded to the new extended format.
  • Quality Score Above 6+ – Make sure your quality score is above a 6 for all groups.
  • CTR Above 3% – Make sure your click through rate is above 3%.  If you are above 10% you are doing really well with targeted ads. (I would say anything above 2% is a strong goal).
  • Conversion Above 10% – Make sure your landing pages are converting above 10% (I would change it from 10% to 5-6%).
  • Cost Per Lead Less Than $150 (ideally $50 or less) – We have seen cost per leads in the legal industry go from $20 to several hundred dollars per lead (depending on case type).  If you are able to get the total cost per lead below $50 you are doing well.
  • Social Media Ads – Competition will continue to increase for these, so be prepared.
  • Search Impression Share – This metric tells us the number of impressions received divided by the estimated number of impressions eligible to receive. Ways to improve this metric are budget, bids, quality score and settings. Make sure your search impression share is at a 70% or higher.
  • Call Only Campaigns – Set up a call only campaign for your top practice areas. It gives users the option to click-to-call from their mobile device rather than going to your website. When a visitor is ready to reach out, this is the fastest way they can get to you all for a low cost-per-click/lead.
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