Top 5 Digital Marketing Mistakes Your Personal Injury Firm Is Making
“Oh my GOD,” a colleague said out of the blue a couple months ago. “Look at these DONKEYS.” We were researching legal marketing trends in a specific region of the country, and this person had just found an egregious example of what not to do on a website. Poor layout, awkward photos, copy thick with the stench of legalese — you name the legal marketing sin, this organization had committed it. I used our SEMRush account to see what their Google AdWords campaigns looked like, and sure enough, I saw one ad group, three keywords with estimates of cost per click between $50–80, and only one ad bragging about multimillion dollar settlements.
Did I just describe your personal injury firm’s digital marketing efforts?
It’s ok and there’s no need to be embarrassed. In addition to being a marketing professional, I’m also a lawyer, so I know that it’s hard to zealously represent your clients and build an awesome marketing ecosystem at the same time. In this article, I’ll cover the top 5 mistakes I see personal injury firms making around the country, and point you in the right direction towards fixing them.
If you’re not putting out content that helps people in need, you’re being an ineffective lawyer. Just as you would offer any potential client a free initial consultation, so you should also be offering free information online in the form of articles, infographics, and short videos. Content helps establish your credibility and relatability before a potential client contacts you about their case.
Just be wary of using the voice you’d use if you were having a conversation with another lawyer. As a lawyer turned marketing maven, I can spot when a lawyer lapses into legalese (because my eyes cross from boredom and I start to see double). Telltale signs include sentences with multiple dependent clauses and more than fifty words between periods.
Also, bragging about your multi-million dollar settlements or where you went to law school is inadvisable. At Lawfty, I’ve interviewed dozens of potential clients who passed through our system about their concerns when choosing a lawyer, and your education or previous settlement amounts don’t even make their top ten concerns. Focus on being relatable, emotionally aware, and on showing your subject matter expertise, and you’ll be on the right track. Read more about writing content for potential clients here.
Sloppy PPC Marketing
As lawyers, we know that suing someone is much more complex than writing a few motions and arguing in front of a jury; and as a marketing expert, I can tell you firsthand that effectively running a Google pay-per-click campaign is much more complex than whipping together an ad, tossing a few keywords into your ad groups, and pouring money into AdWords whenever your firm needs new cases like it’s a switch you can turn on and off. Running a PPC campaign requires constant experimentation, careful monitoring of results, and the ability to connect with potential clients based on their needs. Read more about how your firm can better run PPC campaigns here.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In layperson’s terms, it’s the process of making sure Google’s algorithms know your page is relevant to what a user is searching for, without having to pay for their traffic. Do you see where this is going? SEO means gradually and constantly tweaking a website to capture more free traffic from people who desperately need your services. Capturing a free source of incoming potential clients is a no-brainer.
To get started, think about the kind of personal injury cases that make the most impact on your firm, use free tools to investigate how many people in the area you serve are searching for attorneys who specialize in those types of cases, and then start working the exact phrases they search for into your website titles, page copy, meta descriptions, and image tags. If that sounds like too much work for the result, consider this: Google’s bid ranking algorithms take your SEO ranking for the same keywords you’re bidding on into account when determining the final price you’ll pay for a click.
Zero Social Media Presence
If there were one physical location in your metropolitan area where 62% of the entire population spent two hours a day on average, wouldn’t you be dying to put up a billboard there? That place exists already: Facebook.
I’ve met many PI lawyers who seem skeptical of social media, but frankly, they’re ignoring the facts. In the United States, there are over 200 million active Facebook users. During the week, they tend to be most active between 1–3pm (Read: on their lunch break at work, which is often when potential clients will call) or between 7–8pm (also, after work). Every business should be on the big three major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin.
If you’re skeptical about using your advertising dollars on Facebook, you don’t have to. Content and community building are key to growing your firm’s reach online. If you’re crafting quality content, set up a profile on the big three social media networks, start sharing your stuff, and make sure to interact regularly with your followers.
Imagine if your firm filed a motion on behalf of your client and then never checked the result. If you’re spending money and time on digital marketing without ever analyzing the results, you’re doing the same if not worse — because you’re missing the opportunity to more effectively reach more people in need.
These tools are free and easy to use. AdWords already has built in tools that can tell you how often people click on your ad (also known as your CTR, for click through rate), what keywords generate the best ROI for your ad campaigns, and more. Google’s free analytics suite can also integrate with your ad campaigns and measure what searches and ad groups resulted in desirable actions on your home page. If you could figure out which searches turned into inquiry forms or live chats on your website and then double down your budget there, while eliminating spend that doesn’t produce results, you’d have a huge advantage over competing firms that can’t be bothered to really analyze their digital ad campaigns.
If all this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. It is literally impossible to give your clients the representation they deserve and run an inbound marketing funnel for your firm. In order to effectively advertise your services online, your firm either needs to build out its own marketing department — or partner with the right firm. If you’re interested in joining a geographically exclusive partnership with Lawfty, contact us today.