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Are all your eggs in one digital marketing basket? How to grow 'tentacles' for your law firm's online presence in 2020

legal marketing 2020 grow your law firm

The phrase ‘to have all your eggs in one basket’ is commonly used to describe a vulnerability through an overreliance on one potential route to success, with the idea being that if that route becomes a dead end, you’re stuffed.

Apparently, the phrase is Spanish or Italian in origin. An early print example is the following quote from Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes, published in 1615:

“.. to withdraw is not to run away, and to stay is no wise action when there’s more reason to fear than to hope; tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all of his eggs in one basket.”

When it comes to internet marketing in today’s age, putting all your eggs in one basket could limit the success of your law firm’s online presence. Instead, I like to consider the idea of being an octopus – with different marketing methods or ‘tentacles’ that tie together to ensure your business continues to grow, even if one of your strategies was to stop working.

What factors affect the success of a digital marketing strategy for solicitors?

For many of the law firms we have worked with over the years, the success of their online marketing has been both their making and, to an extent, their achilles heel because in some it can work so well, so quickly. 

The speed at which a well-designed, conversion focused, optimised site can begin to deliver a steady stream of new business enquiries depends on a range of factors including:

  • The age of the domain (generally speaking, the older the better)
  • The strength of the backlinks pointing at that domain
  • Volume and ‘quality’ of content

How to use online marketing to generate new business for your law firm

More than 10 years ago, we took over a website for a small, but successful, suburban practice with three branches. The Principal had worked very hard for a number of years building a very recognisable media profile, whilst at the same time creating a rich catalogue of guides for a variety of legal services.

The existing website was, however, a dog’s dinner. The design was terrible, the search engine optimisation was non-existent and if the user found his or her way around the site sufficiently well enough to find a phone number, or contact details, then they would have been qualified to work on cracking the Enigma Code.

On the upside, the Principal’s media profile meant his firm’s website had terrific domain strength and this, in turn, meant that as soon as the website was optimised for search engines, it jumped to the top of the rankings for their target services and locations. If this high-quality content was then placed within a conversion-focused design, the site could work brilliantly well and would generate a shed load of enquiries every month.

This is exactly what happened, and it did so almost immediately after the new site went live.

This happened on a number of other occasions, particularly around that time as land grabbing on Google for law firms was fairly straightforward due to the lack of competition. Many lawyers believed (amazingly, some still do) that it was not possible to generate business online. Those that took the plunge, and did so properly, reaped rewards quickly.

The value of inbound AND outbound marketing

The issue is that some of them stopped there and put all of their business development eggs, or at least the vast majority of them, into an ‘inbound’ basket. We covered inbound and outbound marketing in our last blog but to just to reiterate:

Inbound marketing is when people demonstrate their intent to buy a service, or product through their Internet search terms and arrive at your site as a result.

Outbound marketing is when you reach out to your intended audience with high-value information to win their trust.

Digital marketing for lawyers during Coronavirus – is this important?

Search traffic for legal services during lockdown has dropped significantly. Normal life, in effect, paused and as a result so did a lot of the activities that drive the need for legal services. At the end of March, we saw a significant upsurge in Employment Law searches prior to the launch of the furlough scheme. As the details of this scheme became clearer and vast swathes of the UK’s working population ‘went on furlough’ these queries stopped.

At the same time (and thanks to Douglas Millar for this information) a combination of branded search (firm name, solicitors name) and transactional traffic reduced too. Across our portfolio of sites this negatively impacted conversion rates. Organic, information-led searches did not decrease by as much as the branded traffic. The conversion rates on paid traffic decreased too, however.

The above means that if your marketing efforts, and we’re talking mainly about smaller firms here, relied almost entirely on search engines then the last two months would have been pretty tough and we hope that you will have taken this time to think more carefully about your digital marketing strategy and channel diversification.

Having a plan is essential for every business, but there is a chance something out of your control (such as the current pandemic) could arise that affects its performance. One of my latest blogs ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’ explains my outlook and personal experience on the matter.

Should I diversify my legal services marketing channels during lockdown?

Certain legal services are a distress purchase; a service that someone only engages with when they have to. Examples of this would be divorce, redundancy or death of a loved one and for this reason one has to be careful about:

  • how one markets legal services
  • choosing the right channels

If you think you have too many eggs in one basket, now is the time to start spreading them around. Segment your audience and think about how you can apply the six steps outlined in my previous post to begin engaging and converting them.

Does your 2020 internet marketing strategy have tentacles?

If you took a helicopter view of your digital marketing strategy, you’d want it to look like an octopus with tentacles spreading out in different directions, reaching out to your audience and bringing them in. To take the analogy further, octopuses and squids are thought to be the most intelligent invertebrates, with each tentacle effectively having a mind of its own, feeding back to a large brain.

Your digital marketing strategy should aim to develop its own tentacles driven by an overarching set of objectives, but each tentacle may require deploying different methodologies to help achieve those objectives.

Like an octopus, we too have a number of ‘tentacles’ at Moore Legal Technology that help us to deliver the overarching goal of a successful online presence for clients. We focus on:

Without these different objectives, we would be unable to achieve what is needed to produce conversion-focused and fully optimised sites that generate new business for lawyers. A recent addition has been our 2020 Toolkit, to assist with business continuity and growth during this trying time.

If you’ve only got one tentacle, then you’re a fairly rubbish Octopus and I’m no David Attenborough, but it might make you an eel (sidenote: do a search for an eel versus an octopus - the resulting YouTube videos are fairly interesting). 

I actually used this analogy eight years ago in a YouTube video – my hair is a lot greyer and more sparse now, and there are more lines on my face, but I still stick by the message.

Have fewer eggs in more baskets and grow a few more tentacles.

The good news is that search traffic is beginning to return, and May is looking better already than March and April.

Get in touch

Following recent requests from a number of law firms who are keen to keep things moving forward for their firms at this time, we have developed our quick set up, multi-channel ‘Your Law Firm Success™ – 2020 Toolkit’. This has been created to deliver business continuity and growth and to help you make your firm more efficient and more robust now and for the future. 

If you would like to discuss the above in more detail, please click here to schedule a time with Chris Davidson or email .

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