By |Published On: July 30, 2014|

Marketing is harder than ever these days—but even more so in the competitive field of legal services. Here are six marketing essentials for attorney and lawyers.

1. Yellow Page Advertising

Contrary to the perception, Yellow Pages is far from dead. Our attorney clients tell us that leads from our Yellow Page directory are superior to ones they get online.

Yellow Page usage in rural and suburban areas is especially strong:

Yellow Page Usage - Perception vs Reality
Source: YP & Market Authority Webinar: Maximizing ROI in Local Media Today, May 12, 2014.

Even Google’s own Matt Cutts recommends Yellow Pages.

2. Call Tracking

Call tracking allows you determine the source of your phone leads. By placing a unique call tracking phone number in your Yellow Page ad, you can tell exactly how many calls the ad is generating.

Call tracking on a website is trickier. Replacing your actual phone number with a call tracking number confuses the search engines and hurts your rankings.

The solution is a call tracking technology (called Dynamic Number Insertion) which displays your actual phone number to the search engines, but shows humans visitors a different number, depending on where they came from.

Call tracking is a powerful tool that tells you how well each marketing channel is performing, so you get the best return on your investment. Be sure to include it in your marketing arsenal.

3. The Big Three: Google, Yahoo! and Bing Local Listings

Whether you know it or not, Google, Yahoo! and Bing most likely have a listing for your firm—which may or may not be accurate. (We were listed as an employment agency.)

Attorney Google Listing

You gain access to your listing by “claiming” it. This allows you to add more information, such as hours of operation, services provided, and so forth. You’ll also be able to correct any inaccuracies.

Even more important is that a claimed and “owner-verified” listing gives you a better chance of appearing in Google’s “local” section:

SERP Local

Google reserves this section for business with a local presence. So in the example above, only attorneys in Delaware, Ohio and the surrounding areas will be listed. And Google favors listings that are both claimed and populated with additional information.

Individual Practitioner Listings

You can also create a listing for each attorney, if one doesn’t already exist. Google allows individual practitioners (i.e., doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate agents) to be listed individually, so long as those practitioners are “public-facing within their parent organization” and can be directly contacted at the business location.

Yahoo! and Bing work much like Google. If you’re a local law firm competing with regional or national firms, being found in the local section of the Big Three search engines is a must.

4. Listings on Local Online Directories

Besides the Big Three, there are hundreds of local directories and review sites you need to be listed on.

Local Directories

Again, you may already have a “free” listing on many of these sites, but your information may or may not be correct.

Why is this important? Because inaccurate or conflicting information will hurt your search engine ranking.

Suppose you have conflicting addresses for your business, but another firm’s address is consistent across all these directories. Which do you suppose Google will rank higher? (If you said “yours,” you guessed wrong.)

Cleaning up your listings manually is a lot of work. Which is why companies like ours provide a service that does it for you.

5. Listings on Industry Websites

Getting listed on key legal websites such as Justia and Avvo is also a crucial factor to online success. When Google sees your law firm listed in directories with other laws firms, it confirms that you are, indeed, a law firm.

It’s also a good idea to get listed on these types of sites:

  • Government
  • Charity or Non-Profits
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Local Chamber of Commerce

Google regards these as “authority” sites. That’s because they’ve been providing informative, useful, up-to-date content on a particular niche for a long period of time.

When you get listed on these types of sites, some of their “authority” rubs off on you.

6. Reputation Monitoring

As I said before, whether you know it or not, your law firm is most likely listed on hundreds of local online directories. Here’s something you may not know. Anyone can write a review about your business and publish it on the listing you didn’t know existed.

Did any of these directories ask your permission first? Of course they didn’t.

That’s why it’s crucial to monitor your online reputation, either manually, or using a reputation monitoring software platform.

Conclusion

These six essentials are just that—the cost of entry. If you’re not willing to put these basic tactics into place, you probably shouldn’t be in business.

Oftentimes, doing “just the basics” is not enough—especially in a competitive field like legal services. If you’ve done all the above but are still struggling to be found online, you’ll need to take your marketing to the next level.

No worries. I’ll talk about that in my next article.


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