Online marketing success for your law firm includes many different phases of client interaction. Your web presence needs to:
- Drive traffic to your site
- Engage your visitors
- Encourage your visitors to contact you
All of these are important, but you can’t work on steps 2 or 3 if you don’t have traffic to your site.
You can drive traffic to your legal site the following ways:
- Get traffic through organic search
- Pay for traffic
- Get traffic through social media
- Get free traffic through viral, shared content
Viral and social media content are great, but it’s not wise to depend on that type of traffic. Creating consistent, popular viral content is difficult. Paid traffic is quick, but gets expensive when you’re paying for each visitor (sometimes at $200 per click). The approach that we often recommend is aggressive content marketing with the goal of driving organic search traffic.
Organic search engine marketing takes time to establish and it doesn’t provide instantaneous results, but once your site is at the top of the rankings, it provides regular traffic and new client leads with minimal maintenance over the long-term.
St. Louis Case Study
To show the effectiveness of content marketing, we’re going to look at a real-life example from one of our clients. While this client is a chiropractor and not an attorney, the data clearly illustrates both the quality of the work we do for our clients and the long-term benefits of original content in building search placement.
We started our content and marketing campaign with this practice in December. At that time, the website was getting between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors a month. The doctor who owns the clinic had the goal of dominating the St. Louis area for the terms “chiropractic” and “auto injury treatment,” but he hadn’t had much success with his marketing efforts until he hired us.
The program we put together for this practice was focused on original keyword pages and blog posts targeted to the key phrases he was targeting and a citation campaign to build local search results.
Looking at the raw number of site visitors, we see a dramatic improvement in traffic to the site starting in February and climbing each month:
We also see a marked improvement in traffic coming from Google each month:
This traffic increase is due to the fact that the site’s search ranking has improved in both organic search results and in Local Search (Google Business listings). This chart shows the improvement in organic keyword ranking for the site:
When we began our campaign for the client, the site was ranking for six key phrases but they were all at 11+ or below in search ranking (on page 2 or worse in Google. As you probably know, if your site isn’t on page 1, you’re going to get very little traffic from that.
As of June 2014, the client’s site is now ranking for 20 key phrases (that we’ve tracked; there are many more long-tail phrases in the search results), and four of those are in positions 1-5 in Google. The client now ranks #1 for “Chiropractor St Louis,” which is a very lucrative position. Other top key phrases are “St Louis whiplash” and “St Louis pain relief.” The client is also appearing in the top of Google Local Business, which drives a tremendous amount of traffic.
In June 2014, Google Webmaster Tools show that the site displayed in the search engine results 469 times for various long-tail key phrases, providing incredible exposure for the client with 104 site visits just from those phrases.
The Keys to Success with Content
We’ve been optimizing websites for over 15 years, and we’ve found that there are a few keys to success with content marketing:
- Targeting. Before we start creating any content for our clients, we do extensive research on what keywords work and we develop a 6-month content plan based on that.
- Strategic competitiveness. During our keyword analysis, we look for opportunities for phrases and words that don’t have a ton of competition. That gives our clients the quickest movement in the rankings for the smallest investment.
- Only original content. All of the content we write for our clients is written specifically for that client and not “borrowed” from elsewhere. It costs more to write all this material, but it’s the ethical way to work and gives you the best results.
- Consistency. We find that it’s best to spread out the content over time. You don’t want to add dozens of pages of content all at once, but add regular pages and posts each week over the six months or year. If Google sees that you’re adding content regularly to your blog or site, it will give you more credibility.
- Sharing. It’s important to share your content as much as possible, leveraging social media for more exposure to your practice. Plus, if some of your content really resonates with clients or other attorneys, it can go viral, providing you with tons of traffic and valuable backlinks.
Content marketing works, but it does take effort. PPC advertising still has a role in legal marketing, of course, and it provides immediate results, but we feel that a successful long-term strategy should be based on content rather than paid ads.
If you would like a free consultation on your current legal marketing campaign, give us a call or contact us here. We’ll be happy to run some analyses of your site and ranking and provide some suggestions on improving your site traffic.