Attorney called the office recently. He knew we do a lot of work for a large personal injury law firm in Florida and had just one question about search engine optimization: “How much?”
“I want to show up as well as he does — he shows up for everything, car accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, drunk driving accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents,” he said. “I have a new website and that’s what I want.”
His website was pretty decent — better than a lot that we see. He had that much working for him. When it comes to legal Internet marketing, having a decent website platform is the starting point.
But under each practice area, he had just two paragraphs of content. In no way did the content attempt to incorporate probable search terms, like “Fort Myers injury lawyer,” and in no way did it attempt to address the issues or concerns of a potential client. Not much can be done until that changes — particularly given the competitive nature of personal injury marketing.
“No I don’t want to change any of the content. I just paid $3,000 for that content,” he said. “I want you to optimize without changing any of the content.”
Leaving alone for a minute the fact that he apparently got ripped off — nothing makes me madder. Here is a guy with a new website that very clearly does very little to address the concerns of a potential client. He also is probably spending $30,000 or more on yellow page ads — but is looking to save wherever possible online.
Law firm website content is critical to your online marketing and SEO strategy. It also permits you to address the concerns of potential clients in a manner that no other advertising medium allows. There are technical reasons to have lots of content (title tags, links, etc.) but there is also a very simple reason such content is necessary to satisfy both the demands of Google and of potential clients: If you don’t have anything to say, both are moving on to the next search result on the list.
Too much of the online legal marketing space remains fractured. One place builds your website, another does your seo, and as for content and blog writing, that is something most attorneys are always going to be getting to next week, or next month or next year.
To say nothing of website video, or online press releases, or e-newsletters or Twitter or Facebook for law firms. And in far, far too many cases, the traditional marketing dollars that are being spent are not being spent in such a way as to increase name recognition (in search results) or to otherwise compliment online marketing efforts.
The real tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. In many markets, law firms can rule the world for $30,000 a year online and can do very well for a lot less. How much are you spending on yellow pages and other traditional marketing efforts?
When you sit down to discuss your online legal marketing goals for 2012, don’t start by asking how much. Start by just asking ‘how?’
How much is a relative term that can only be put into perspective with the benefit of hindsight and a calculation of the ROI.