Obviously, there’s a lot to building a successful online presence for any business, and certainly for a personal injury attorney or law firm. Starting from square one, there are a few layers or building blocks that are needed to lay a foundation, so to speak, and then several things that need to be done to successfully build on that foundation. You might be starting from a couple of levels up or you might be starting from scratch. But here’s how you know we would do it from scratch if starting over.
Build a Professional Website
The first step as with anything internet marketing related is going to be having a good, easily navigate-able, clean looking website. Obviously you want it to look good aesthetically, and almost more importantly, you want it to be concisely written with clear calls to action displayed prominently. A call to action would be anything getting people to pick up the phone and call you or fill out your contact form. How you do that is largely a function of what you want to portray your firm as to a potential new client, what type of client you’re trying to attract, etc.
That said, there are some definitive commonalities across the board. You want to have a good clear message of what you do, no matter who you are.
For example: “Since 1997, we have been successfully fighting for our clients who have been injured in car accidents. Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.”
This tells people as soon as they land who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.
Generate Leads Online
A few other constants when talking about building a personal injury website that can generate leads. Most personal injury attorney websites are going to have attorney bios. This is where you’ll give people a chance to get to know the attorneys at your firm… What areas of law do they handle? Any notable verdict & settlements? Awards or recognitions? Specializations? Anything that can kind of differentiate the firm that acts as a social proof to the potential new client. Also adding a little bit that’ll make them kind of human and personable, for example family information – Are you married? Where did you grow up? How many kids do you have? What do you like to do in your off time? Things like that that will make the attorneys at the firm a little more accessible and relatable to the potential clients.
Obviously, you want to let them know where your office or offices are located. Typically, people are going to be a lot more, you see I’m more frequently readily going to pick up the phone and call an attorney that’s close or has a location that’s close. So, if you have you know multiple offices that are convenient to a number of people obviously you want to highlight things like that.
Yelp and Google Reviews
If you have good reviews on Yelp or Google you should absolutely link to them (and if you don’t you should be thinking about how you can). Put some of those up on your website, and any other advertisement you can… in the internet age good reviews or worth their weight in gold.
If you have a newsletter or social media presence which we’ll get into in a little bit, you’re gonna want to link to all of that from your site as well. You probably want something talking about practice areas and let them know you know what areas of law you handle. So, if you’re a personal injury attorney you’re probably going to have slip and falls and car you know truck accidents. May be defective drugs, defective products. May be nursing home, abuse, neglect you know dog bites things like that.
Search Engine Optimization
Once the website is up, you know then there’s the issue of driving traffic to the website. You can do this in many ways… You want to obviously make your website as SEO friendly as possible with your target keywords. Typically, the keywords you’ll be targeting is a combination of your city, plus your practice area, plus the word lawyer or attorney. For example Cincinnati personal injury attorney, Miami car accident lawyer, etc.
Read more about how to use SEO to attract more personal injury leads.
Once you’ve found your keywords, you want to have that in any kind of meta tags. You want to have that in title tags. You want to have them interspersed throughout the content itself to tell the search engines that, that’s what you’re about. Then there’s link building and other things that go into the organic SEO side of things. They’re going to be ongoing. Some of which also do help build your online presence by getting visibility on other websites, directories, etc, so will have a dual benefit of branding your firm and driving traffic to your site simultaneously.
Paid Online Advertising
Then there’s paid advertising. Google pay-per-click is an example of a good way to build your online presence. It comes with some benefits and some down sides… It’s quick whereas organic traffic takes time to build up. A lot of times it’ll be 6 months, 12 months, sometimes more before you actually see any return on your investment there. On the other hand, you can put together a pay-per-click campaign in a day or two. As long as you have the money to fund the account, you can start seeing traffic and building your presence pretty much immediately.
In addition to that, you can buy ad space on several online legal directories. Some have better visibility than others. Typically, the ones the better visibility are going to charge a lot more money. Some legal directories will have what are called “follow links” and others will have “no follow links”. No follow means they’re not passing as much link authority from the directory over to your site. So, there’s a little less benefit but there is still some. All directories have the benefit of also getting found by people who find the direct listings on the directories.
Again, building reviews is a great idea, not only on the website but more and more frequently people are searching directly for attorneys on review sites like Yelp, and Google reviews show up in the search results for your firm… so going out and reaching out to old clients asking them to write a review is a great idea if you can. Even if they were from another law firm you worked at previously but can speak to your work ethic, integrity, etc.
These reviews will help build your online presence, validate who you are and give that sort of third-party validation to you the firm. So going out and encouraging people to write reviews for you and your and on Google reviews is a huge step in being able to build your online presence.
Other Ways to Build Your Presence
A few, less key but optional things you can do… there’s things like guest blogging. You can find another lawyer in the area and does another practice and offer to write a blog post for their site. Maybe let them write a blog post for your site trade a link back and forth. Which will help your SEO, it’ll also help build your online presence with other people in the community.
Sending periodic emails to current and former clients, trying to connect with them on social media via Facebook, Twitter, etc are also things that will help build your online presence.
There’s also buying car accident leads from you know third party lead generation companies like pinpoint. Leads bought from a personal injury lead generation company aren’t going to build your brand per se, but you’ll get some cases, and you’re adding people who can write you reviews, refer their friends & family, friend you on social media, etc.
Over time, all of this will have a snowball effect of building your brand, creating community awareness within your city within your state. Ultimately, continuing to grow your presence and client base and your referral base. So, this is not an overnight fix it does take a lot of work. But the firm’s that do it well tend to profit for years if not decades to come.