Attorney marketing is a constantly changing space. The main question attorney marketing tries to answer is, “how do I get as many potential clients as possible to call my firm?” Attorneys have been trying to answer this questions with many different methods over the years, but it is always changing. 20 or 30 years ago, legal marketing was all about word of mouth, print advertising, and television advertising. Nowadays, word of mouth is still incredibly important, as is television advertising, but internet marketing and law firm’s websites has come to largely replace print advertising for a number of reasons.
First of all, print media is on the way out and has been for a while. Advertising in print just does not reach as many people as it used to. One issue is that magazines, newspapers, and other print media have not significantly lowered pricing for ads after this because they cannot afford to. At a certain point, attorney marketers realized that print advertising was not cutting it, and it got largely phased out. Ever since that problem was solved, internet marketing has taken over nearly all attorneys and law firms.
Once attorneys started marketing online, there was a new problem to be solved: how do we best design our websites to get traffic to our site, and thus phone calls? The answer lied in keywords. Websites were absolutely crammed with keywords about their practice areas and location, without regard to how someone navigating the site thought it looked. “Keyword Stuffing,” as it was called, was all the rage for a few years in the 2000s. However, once Google noticed, and updated their algorithms, that all changed. The focus shifted to content, and creating a website that potential clients want to read and not just click on once, but multiple times. Law firms now hire companies to write blogs and other engaging content for not only their clients to read, but to rank better on Google, which has become the be-all end-all of online attorney marketing.
Even though optimizing for Google is important, there have been many more attorney marketing problems cropping up over the last few years. Websites like Google and Yelp offer paid advertising that, while expensive, yields tangible results backed by data. On top of this, legal and business databases provide great spaces for law firms to have others vouch for their capabilities. If firms are willing to pay the money, they can create a paid advertising campaign that shows how many calls they received because of the advertisements themselves. Advertising is much more data-driven nowadays, in more ways than simply how many people come across a website.
With all of that in mind, it will definitely be interesting to see where attorney marketing goes in the future. Right now, it looks like Google is king, but who knows, maybe the next big thing is already in the works. Check out this video to learn more about Google Adwords, the most recent trend in attorney marketing.