The Personal Injury Solicitor’s Guide To Online Marketing

Summary

10-12 minute read

Technology has changed the way we operate, shifting the power from the handshake deals of yesteryear to buyers who are well informed and have more options. This shift has shaken up the marketplace, allowing the most determined and adaptive competitors to emerge as the new leaders.

The legal landscape, though still quite traditional, is no exception to this emerging trend. In particular, personal injury solicitors with their high case value and long sales cycle can position themselves for exponential growth by implementing these predictable lead generating strategies.

Sections

SECTION 1

Selecting A Niche

Even if you don’t stop practising in other areas, selecting a niche for a personal injury solicitor is a smart marketing move. The Irish legal landscape is becoming more crowded, with the number of solicitors registered to practice in Ireland passing 10,000 for the first time [Feb 2017]. This point is particularly relevant for younger firms. Trying to break into a market that’s dominated by established firms means that before you even start, you’re already behind.

On the other hand, by finding a specialised area of the law that fits you or your practice well such as medical negligence cases, will enable you to build a reputation as the go-to-person concerning cases of that nature and build your practice’s web presence and brand on a solid foundation.

This goes against the standard behaviour of expanding the number of services on offer to attract more business.

Remember.

People always have options, but when it comes to a once-off case with a large potential payout, people want to work with specialists.

People want a “sure thing”.

Think Neurosurgeon vs General Practitioner.

TIPS TO SELECTING YOUR NICHE

1. Be Specific

Find a specific aspect of the law within a larger area and become the best at it.  For example: If your practice specialises in Personal Injury Law – become the go-to-solicitor for accidents at work.

2. Ask Yourself

What kind of cases do I like?

Is there enough market for those cases?

Any competition?​

3. Focus

Focus all your effort on that niche – sole focus of website, content, social media. Look for chances to speak about it, write for legal publications and your local paper about it.

SECTION 2

Search Engine Marketing

Most people hate ads. Right? They delay the start of movies, interrupt your favourite programs and cause the vast majority of us to buy things we really don’t need.

However, Google makes its money from advertising. And in the last 12 months, they have worked incredibly hard to make ads as indistinguishable as possible from organic search listings. On top of that, Google has now relocated its maps listing to directly below the four paid ads.

Now, ranking first on Google actually means that you are lucky number 8 on the list which is not good if you rely on Google for most of your leads.

So, how do you beat the machine?

TIPS TO SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

1. Get SEO Smart

Get as many pages on your site to rank for as many relevant keywords as possible. E.g. If your practice focuses on personal Injury litigation – try and rank specific pages for priority keywords like “damages” and “medical negligence” and also have an FAQ page to rank for long-tail keywords like “What should I do in the event of a Road Traffic Accident?”

2. Create an Effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Strategy
 

PPC is not a silver bullet you can set up and watch the leads rain in. However, there are some ingenious ways to utilise PPC that you should seriously consider for your practice. Usually, when people click on an Ad, they’re ready to get in touch with you. To capitalise on this, we recommend creating a specific landing page for your Ad campaign that has a simple contact form, and no distractions, thus allowing the prospect to get in touch with you straight away.

3. Maps Rankings

Ranking high on Google Maps for solicitors is one of the most effective strategies you can use to grow your business. A lot of time when potential clients look up a solicitor, they are already future pacing to when they meet the solicitor for advice. Ranking high on Google Maps puts your firm at the top of the queue and in the forefront of every prospects mind. The key to rank high on Google Maps rests entirely with your Google My Business listing.

SECTION 3

Understand and Cater to your Target Market

Great marketing is understanding that you cannot create desire. As a business that solves problems, all you can do is channel the need that’s already in the market and position your firm as the solution. And, while some solicitors may be inclined to trust their own subjective views of what their clients are looking for, personal speculation is, and always will be, fallible.

So how does one outsmart their own intuition?

Careless use of the internet has caused an increase in the available user data that legal practices can now use to better understand their customers. This coupled with bi-annual email surveys and regular conversations with your clients will allow solicitors to stay engaged with market trends, better understand demographic nuances and serve their clientele more effectively going forward.

TIPS TO CATER TO YOUR MARKET

1. Offer Multiple Communication Channels

Businesses must learn to adapt to the new lines of communication that their audience prefers. While the principle of providing one clear call-to-action, i.e. get in touch for a free consultation holds true, you should have a variety of options available for the client to reach you. This could be anything from email, to live chat, to contact forms and even through social media. By merely giving prospective clients the option to choose their preferred method of communication, you provide your practice with a distinct advantage over the rest of the competition.

2. Offer Free Consultations

People want their problems to go away. Simple as. Offering potential clients the chance to meet with you or a member of your team commitment free, will build instant rapport between you and them. Forget about the quality of leads. A doctor wouldn’t prescribe you something when you walk in the door (not in Ireland anyway). They would sit you down, ask you questions and try and form an accurate diagnosis. A free consultation allows you to position yourself and your firm as a problem solver and though not instantly visible on your balance sheet, it is the best way to build trust with potential clients and reap the benefits in the long-run.

3. Offer Online Payment Options

In a tech-soaked age, it’s now standard practice for people to pay their bills online. Allowing your clients the opportunity to make incremental online payments towards their legal bill has an array of benefits for your firm. It will alleviate the administrative burden with chasing down payment from clients, it will improve your cash flow and its an excellent service to be able to offer.

It is for this exact reason that we provide online payment processing functionality for free when designing legal websites.

SECTION 4

Make Your Website More Engaging

People speak all the time about how Google’s algorithm changes every day. While in some respects this is true, the majority of these changes usually take place slowly over time. One of these more gradual trends is Google’s increasing reliance on engagement metrics. Engagement metrics (pages visited/bounce rate/session duration) are indicators of how people behave on your site. While no one expects your website to be the Irish Times, engagement metrics will act as a tie-breaker between competitive websites, and this must be taken into consideration when creating blog post content.

Yeah, they might not convert someone to a lifetime client on the spot, but the five minutes that 1,500 prospects spend reading one of your case studies certainly won’t hurt your firm rankings on Google.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MORE ENGAGING

1. Create High Quality Content that solves a problem

Remember, quality over quantity. People (and Google) aren’t impressed by short, uninspiring pieces of content that no one cares to read. When people consume online content, they want it to solve a problem or provide a definitive answer to a question they have. The goal when writing content in 2018 is to provide immense value to the reader. The critical metric is not how many views a blog post gets, but how many bookmarks, shares and comments it gets. When writing content, we encourage our clients to write half the number of blog posts they usually would but to double the length of each post. Between 2,000 – 3,000 words is a good start, accompanied with adequate research, suitable references and above all else, immense value. The goal is to engage the reader, not tick boxes.

2. Talk About Yourself and Your Team

While most marketing literature focuses on the customer, when it comes to marketing a local service like a legal practice, the most beneficial thing you can do to promote your firm is to talk about yourself. Potential clients want to know what you stand for, how your firm is unique, and how your skills and expertise can help them. By taking the time to find a unique but tasteful way to present yourself to website visitors, you can build rapport with potential clients before you even meet them.

3. Clear and Concise UX

More engaging does not mean more stuff. A helpful legal website must have a designated user-flow, with a litany of “Call-To-Actions” to encourage prospective clients to schedule a conversation with your firm. The goal of effective legal web design is to help the site visitor find the information they’ve been looking for. This will improve both your search rankings and conversions. Remember, the purpose of Google is to connect people with websites that have the answers to their queries.

SECTION 5

Improve Your Referral Process

Any solicitors reading this will know that referral marketing is nothing new. Referral marketing is the oldest and (always will be) the most effective form of lead generation for any legal practice. However, from working with past clients, we’ve noticed that most solicitors aren’t correctly utilising digital tools to earn more referrals. The more consultations you have means more customers for your practice, which leads to your firm becoming more familiar, which eventually leads to more referrals for new business.

TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR REFERRAL PROCESS

1. Use Your Clients’ Email Lists

In our opinion, email marketing is the cheapest and most effective way to maintain good relationships with former clients. By crafting monthly email newsletters with firm-specific news and valuable legal content, you ensure that your firm stays within client’s scope of awareness. At BeQuick, we take this approach one step further and segment our client’s email lists using a tool called Active Campaign. What Active Campaign allows us to do, is segment our client’s email lists into successful cases that are most likely to give referrals for new business. Solicitor’s are encouraged to then reach out individually to these clients and ask them how they are doing. For example: If you’ve helped a client receive compensation after a road collision, reach out and ask them how they’re doing and ask if there is anything else you can do to help. Little things like this always go a long way, and people will happily refer a firm that has gone the extra mile for them.

2. Build Your Online Network

Establishing an online network of solicitors is one of the best strategies you can use to boost your referral network. There are plenty of legal practices that don’t handle a specific type of case or client, even though they may get inquiries regarding those cases. What ends up happening is they pass that lead off to other firms that are better suited to handle the task. While physically meeting people at networking events and through your local chamber of commerce remain a popular and effective strategy, properly utilising your social media profiles can be just as effective. A plan that you can implement today that won’t cost you anything is to become more social on LinkedIn. By joining groups related to your practice area, congratulating people on their achievements and adding your two cents to online conversations, you will increase your prevalence on people’s radar. All of this will boost your network and thus improve your chances of getting referrals.

3. Review Testimonial and … Referral

Once a client has received compensation, or you have successfully dealt with their case, they are usually more than happy with you and your practice. This makes it an excellent time to ask for the golden trio of a review on Google (SEO boost) a written testimonial and a referral for future business. While your client may not have someone in mind who immediately needs a solicitor, when the opportunity eventually comes around, you and your firm will be on the tip of their tongue.

LE FIN

Conclusion

As the world continues to change, the idea of introducing another variable like online marketing into your already established business may seem overwhelming. However, by setting specific goals and taking deliberate action today, you give yourself and your firm the best possible chance of surviving, and thriving in a competitive landscape.

As always, if you have questions concerning the points outlined above or would like to chat with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to Get in Touch

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“In just two weeks, BeQuick helped us modernise our site, process payments online and rank higher on Google Maps and Google Search. I would highly recommend them to any practice looking for the same results!

Pat McMyler, Senior Partner 

2018-07-18T18:01:16+00:00

About BeQuick

BeQuick is purposely small team of designers, developers, marketers and copy writers with the sole purpose of growing Irish business.

We help passionate founders and great companies achieve exponential growth through our tried and tested digital strategies.

We’re process people. And we have perfected the process of bringing Irish businesses to the forefront of the ever expanding digital sphere.

We are pleased to meet you already.

 

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