When marketing a law firm online, there are several resources available, including Google Local, Yelp, Angie's List, and Craigslist. All of these online business listing sites allow one to advertise a business locally and for free. Since more and more people are taking advantage of local search engines and posting sites, it is imperative that one use these tools in order to increase business exposure and accessibility. Marketing a law firm online also allows one to post information that is pertinent to the law firm itself, such as the number and experience level of the lawyers, fee structure, and types of cases handled.
In most cases, marketing a law firm online is quite inexpensive or even free. For example, Google Places allows one to place a business listing for free (1). By placing a listing, one's law firm can be found by potential clients at any time of the day or night. Clients can become engaged with the law firm via posted photos, video testimonials, and other marketing collateral. A law firm with several area locations can especially benefit from being listed online, since clients who may not have ready access to one location might easily access another.
When listing a business via local search engines and bulletin sites, it is important that search engine optimization (SEO) be utilized. This ensures that the business can be searched for and found by potential clients. Because law firms will all use the same keywords when being listed on local search engines, one should strive for keywords that are unique yet relevant to the specific law firm that one is marketing online. This helps ensure that the law firm is shown at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
Alternately, for a nominal fee, one can use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in order to go about marketing a law firm online. Google AdWords is one of the most common methods of PPC advertising, and can be set up on a payment platform that charges either per page view (i.e., impression) or per ad click. Law firms can utilize SEO and Google AdWords in order to advertise locally, resulting in the ad being displayed prominently (i.e., on the first page) beside the SERP results.
One final advantage to marketing a law firm online is that the business listing can be linked to an analytics program, such as Google Analytics (2). This allows one to better understand site user traffic and from where it originates. The keywords being used to locate the law firm, the duration of the site visit, and what topics are of interest to potential clients can also be researched. Based on these data, one can make smarter business decisions. Analytics can also be used to better optimize a business listing for local search engines and online bulletins.
1. Google Places
2. Google Analytics