SOURCE: FORBES

How can law firms bring traf­fic to their web­sites, get more phone calls and gen­er­ate ongo­ing refer­rals and repeat busi­ness?

Based on my expe­ri­ence work­ing with many law firms and oth­er indus­tries, I can tell you that trust is impor­tant to the suc­cess of your online mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. Your mar­ket­ing plan should start with build­ing a rep­utable brand and web­site, fol­lowed by ongo­ing strate­gies that edu­cate and hope­ful­ly turn web­site vis­i­tors into loy­al clients. It’s impor­tant to be at the fore­front of their mind when they need you most.

Let’s discuss five marketing strategies that can help your law firm reach new clients:

1. Optimize your website.

A web­site needs to be more than a home­page, about page and con­tact us page. It should be a tool that con­verts vis­i­tors into cus­tomers.

When design­ing the lay­out for your web­site, the first thing to ask your­self is: What are my tar­get cus­tomers look­ing for in a law firm? In oth­er words, what would make you choose your web­site as a poten­tial legal resource?

No mat­ter what, all web­sites should:

  • Have clear brand­ing and mes­sag­ing
  • Be fast-load­ing (your poten­tial cus­tomers are look­ing for infor­ma­tion, and they want it fast)
  • Include easy nav­i­ga­tion, regard­less of the device it’s being viewed on

Make it mobile-friendly.

Remem­ber, your cus­tomers aren’t just using desk­tops. They’re also using mobile devices to search for legal infor­ma­tion and exper­tise while on the go.

Be sure your con­tent is easy to read. Just like your desk­top lay­out, your mobile site and con­tent should encour­age read­ers to con­tact you. Make sure your phone num­ber is show­ing promi­nent­ly and glob­al­ly. Con­sid­er mak­ing it a but­ton so vis­i­tors know where to look — and click. Adding a CTA at the bot­tom of your ser­vice pages and blog posts is anoth­er way to encour­age your web­site vis­i­tors to con­tact you. It’s also a great place to offer a free resource or link to a con­tact form, as they might be in the research stage.

mobile friendly website

Show­case your exper­tise.

Com­pet­i­tive analy­sis and think­ing like your tar­get cus­tomer will help you cre­ate a use­ful and infor­ma­tive resource. To posi­tion your­self as an expert, answer fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions and share infor­ma­tion on rel­e­vant top­ics relat­ed to your geo­graph­i­cal area and prac­tice areas. In oth­er words, be the go-to hub for legal infor­ma­tion.

Offer val­ue.

If peo­ple bounce away from the same page they entered your site on, there’s a greater chance of a search engine low­er­ing your rel­e­vance score for that key­word or adver­tis­ing cam­paigns. Attract vis­i­tors to your site and encour­age them to click deep­er into the site once they arrive.

Videos are a great way to keep vis­i­tors engaged and low­er bounce rates. Con­sid­er video con­tent like client tes­ti­mo­ni­als or a Q&A with a lawyer on your team, or maybe you build an ani­mat­ed explain­er video.

Anoth­er way to share con­tent is through a down­load­able check­list or guide. This is a great way to col­lect email address­es for your next tar­get­ed email cam­paign, nur­tur­ing leads deep­er into the sales fun­nel.

All your con­tent should pro­vide help­ful, key­word-rich infor­ma­tion that estab­lish­es your exper­tise and that draws in search engines with organ­ic SEO best prac­tices.

2. Create a content marketing strategy.

In addi­tion to videos and down­load­able con­tent, estab­lish­ing a strong con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy can help you build a pos­i­tive online rep­u­ta­tion and ben­e­fit from SEO. One way to do this is to build cred­i­ble back­links. Cre­ate the con­tent on your web­site that points to oth­er pages on your site as addi­tion­al resources, such as press releas­es and blog posts.

Anoth­er way to add val­ue to your audi­ence is to con­tribute con­tent to oth­er web­sites. This can help dri­ve traf­fic back to your own site while also pro­vid­ing help­ful infor­ma­tion that can build trust with prospec­tive clients.

3. Leverage social media.

Accord­ing to an Attor­ney at Work study, which sur­veyed 302 lawyers, almost all (96%) of respon­dents said they uti­lize social media. LinkedIn was ranked at the top, with 84% of respon­dents say­ing they’re on the plat­form. But Face­book was the social plat­form bring­ing in the most busi­ness (31%) ver­sus LinkedIn at 27%.

Whether you’re bring­ing in new busi­ness or want to gain author­i­ty as a lawyer, Face­book and LinkedIn may be the two most impor­tant chan­nels every law firm should have a pres­ence on.

Types of content that can be shared on social media include:

 Point­ing to pos­i­tive reviews, wins and indus­try acco­lades: Reviews can help a poten­tial cus­tomer decide whether or not they trust you han­dling their legal prob­lem. Both Google and Face­book are con­sid­ered top review sources. Plus, you can share quotes from your clients in a graph­ic on your social media news­feed.

 Shar­ing con­tent with use­ful infor­ma­tion: Share your own blog posts and oth­er cred­i­ble sources to sup­port your pas­sion and com­mit­ment to the law.

 Illus­trat­ing your firm’s com­mit­ment to giv­ing back to your local com­mu­ni­ty: Social media is a great place to share vol­un­teer expe­ri­ences, show­cas­ing your ded­i­ca­tion to your com­mu­ni­ty.

 Answer­ing com­mon legal ques­tions relat­ed to your prac­tice areas: FAQ is a great place to start for blog posts and social media posts. Maybe try out a Face­book Live inter­view.

4. Use data to refine strategies and boost results.

Mea­sure­ment is the key to suc­cess with any law firm mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ana­lyt­ics will allow you to bet­ter under­stand traf­fic sources, click-through rates and bounce rates. Ana­lyt­ics can go even deep­er to help you with site nav­i­ga­tion refine­ment, too.

Ana­lyt­ics pro­vides invalu­able data about organ­ic and paid search cam­paigns. Plus, it shows which top­ics, ads or site lay­outs draw the best results. Mea­sure­ment can help you refine mar­ket­ing strate­gies to repeat win­ning approach­es and stop the fail­ing ones, max­i­miz­ing your mar­ket­ing bud­get.

5. Continually work at it.

Inter­net mar­ket­ing isn’t ever­green. You can’t set it and for­get it. Things con­tin­ue to change, and new com­pe­ti­tion is always going to be nip­ping at the heels of the best-rank­ing law firms in any giv­en area.

Ongo­ing efforts in law firm mar­ket­ing are vital to help­ing you not only build on mar­ket­ing tac­tics but sus­tain results.

Forbes Agency Coun­cil is an invi­ta­tion-only com­mu­ni­ty for exec­u­tives in suc­cess­ful pub­lic rela­tions, media strat­e­gy, cre­ative and adver­tis­ing agen­cies. Do I qual­i­fy?