4 Reasons Small Law Firms Should Invest In Content Marketing
There are many ways attorneys can spend their online marketing budget. All too often, attorneys spend time and money on ineffective tactics that don’t help engage potential clients. Small law firms and solo practitioners with smaller budgets may think they can’t compete with larger, better-funded law firms.
Producing relevant, high-quality content for your law firm’s website and blog is the most effective online marketing strategy for small law firms and solo practitioners. Here are four reasons why content should be the focus of your law firm’s online marketing strategy.
1. Law firm content creation has SEO benefits
Investing in quality content that answers your potential clients’ questions is more effective than any other law firm search engine optimization (SEO) tactic for improving your website’s visibility and driving business to your firm.
Google’s goal is to provide the most useful and relevant results for search engine users’ queries, and your potential clients are using search engines to find answers to questions about their case or problem.
To improve the value and relevance of its search results, Google uses content quality as a major component of its search results ranking algorithm.
According to Google, quality content is:
- Informative and answers readers’ questions.
- Unique in that it adds to the online conversation or provides a different perspective on a topic.
- Focused on providing a good experience to users, rather than ranking well in search engines.
For example, which of these two law firm web pages is Google more likely to return when someone searches for “What happens at an arraignment for a Houston DWI”?
- An in-depth blog post that includes relevant local information about the arraignment process in Houston
- A “thin” page that only says “If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Houston, call our law firm before your arraignment.”
The first result is likely to provide a relevant, informative answer to the search engine users’ questions. The latter does not.
To learn more about the critical role of content in effective SEO, see our blog post, “Law Firm SEO – The Simple Truth That Will Save You Money.”
2. Content-based marketing gets law firms out of the spending race
Some attorneys think that they need a big budget to succeed in online marketing.
Often the difference between those who are successful in online marketing and those who are less successful doesn’t come down to the size of the budget. It comes down to how that budget is spent and how much effort goes into the right online marketing tactics.
A content-focused online marketing strategy helps level the playing field. Law firms with a small marketing budget can create high-quality, search engine- and client-friendly content just as well as big-budget law firms.
While content creation does require an investment of time (and/or money, if you outsource content development), it has a greater return on investment than any other form of law firm marketing.
Other forms of online marketing, such as PPC ads, can lock you into a bidding war with your competitors. If your competitor outbids you, their ads may display instead of–or more prominently–than yours.
Competitive bidding for PPC keywords also tends to drive up the cost of new client acquisition, as each law firm bids more and more for the attention of a finite number of new clients. If you outbid your competitors today, it might be a temporary win. But the cost of acquiring a new client increases as the cost of bidding on keywords increase. As a result, you could wake up tomorrow and find it’s no longer affordable to bid for clients because the cost to acquire a new client is equal to or higher than the revenue that would be gained from that client.
PPC advertising can be a good bridge to start generating traffic to your website while your law firm is beginning to execute its content-based marketing strategy. But if your law firm is completely reliant on PPC advertising to bring in new business, you will most likely lose out to better-funded competitors in the long term (and waste a lot of time and money on disposable advertising that doesn’t sustainably build your business in the process).
To learn more about effectively allocating your law firm’s time and money, see our blog, “How Are You Spending Your Law Firm’s Online Marketing Budget?“
3. Content brings more targeted traffic to law firm websites
It is important to drive traffic to your law firm’s website, but you also want it to be the right traffic: quality potential clients and referral sources.
When done correctly, content marketing is highly effective at driving targeted traffic that is more likely to convert into potential clients.
For example, if your DUI law firm publishes a blog post explaining step-by-step what happens after a DUI arrest, it may appear in search results for a relevant query. Someone who clicks on that blog post in their search results is likely to be interested in that topic (and therefore more likely to be a potential client or referral source).
In contrast, if you have a PPC ad targeting a broad term such as “Texas DUI arrest,” someone might click on that ad for any nubmer of reasons. They could be researching DUI statistics, or they may click on the ad accidentally. Clicks can also come from your competitors or an SEO or marketing company. Once you’ve spent the money on that click, it’s gone, regardless of whether that click translates into new business for your law firm.
4. Law firm website content helps build trust
Trust and a sense of personal connection can strongly influence a potential client’s decision-making process when they are ready to choose an attorney.
Disposable advertising may not be the most effective way to help build that trust. An increasing number of people use ad-block software to prevent advertisements from appearing on the websites they visit.
According to a 2017 report, 52 million people use adblock software in the U.S., and there was a 30% increase in adblock software usage worldwide in 2016. That means a significant percentage of your potential clients and referral sources may not see your online ads at all.
Even if they don’t use adblock software, potential clients may simply ignore ads. In the same way that you might ignore billboards or print ads or skip TV commercials by using a DVR, website users also often tune out online advertising. Potential clients are more likely to pay attention to and engage with high-quality content that answers their questions.
High-quality content can also help potential clients view your law firm as a trusted resource. Your law firm’s website and blog content is an opportunity to demonstrate that you understand a potential client’s problem and are equipped to help them find a solution.
Potential clients also want to feel a personal connection with the attorney who handles their case or matter. Your law firm website content is an opportunity to show not just what you do, but who you are, why you are passionate about what you do, and how much you will care about a client’s case or matter.
Good content can help website visitors develop that feeling of personal connection. One study found that content marketing helped 82% of consumers “feel more positive” about a company, and 70% of survey respondents said custom content helped them “feel closer to a company.”
Potential clients who feel positive about your law firm and feel they have a personal connection to you are more likely to hire your law firm when they are ready to choose an attorney.