Beyond search engine rankings: How focusing on other aspects of online marketing can mean wins for your practice
It's unsurprising that many legal practitioners are fixated on how highly their website ranks on search engines when according to Google, 97 percent of consumers use such tools to find local businesses. There's no argument that law firms should pay attention to applying effective search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques. However, SEO should be just one component of your overall online marketing strategy.
One reason why lawyers should look beyond search engine rankings is that the algorithms used by Google and Bing are individually tailored, taking into account a number of factors that can include location, search history, and the device a person is searching from. What we're trying to say is that no matter how great your SEO efforts may be, there's still no guarantee that your page will always appear on a prominent position within search engine results.
Again, we're not suggesting for one moment that you should ignore SEO altogether, but rather, it should be one aspect of your overall marketing strategy.
Website design and content
It's nice to be discoverable online, but what happens next is just as important: creating a great first impression! Your site should provide a compelling reason for people to stay on your page for as long as possible, and paying particular attention to the aesthetics of overall design should not be underestimated. Furthermore, by providing a user-friendly experience, can also suggest to a client that your firm may be worthy of their business.
Moving beyond the look and feel of your site, content such as blogs, articles and media such as video or podcasts, can also be leveraged to your advantage by showcasing your legal wares.
Converting a visitor into a client: Get chatting
Quality content which anticipates the needs of a visitor is a good starting off point, therefore, important information such as contact phone numbers and forms that will help potential clients get in touch with your firm easily should be prominently displayed.
Additionally, your chances of conversion may also be improved by utilising other tools such as web chat.
What is web chat? Well, web chat are tools that websites can use allowing a potential client who is visiting, to click on a chat button which will then open up a dialogue box, allowing for an instant messaging conversation to begin (think Facebook chat for example). Web chat can be extremely valuable for both the potential client and your firm. The visitor gets to experience real time interaction, which is always important, while your firm may have a potential lead on its hands.
A website to rule all devices
According to results released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the number of Australian adults who own a smartphone numbers more than 8.5 million, and adding to that, 4.37 million adults are also users of tablet devices as well.
How about some more salient numbers? Sixty-eight percent looked up a product or service online, and of those, two-thirds said they made a purchase on their device. So how does this relate to your website? Well, it basically means that if your site isn't optimised for mobile, or at least utilising responsive design techniques, you may be turning off potential clients despite your high position within search results. As a consequence, ensuring that your site is able to be viewed properly on smartphones and tablets is essential in your fight to win new clients.
Build up your brand awareness
Beyond a high ranking website, an all-encompassing strategy involving the use of social media, and paid search advertising can also help with building awareness of your brand online. Many Australians are on social media, and it should not be underestimated how such platforms can be a cheap, and effective way in gaining mindshare.
By focusing your online marketing efforts beyond SEO and page rank can assist with your practice attaining greater online visibility that extends beyond search engines - especially when competition for clients is so fierce.