Law Firm Marketing: Will SEO save you?
In law practice technology, the expanding roles of paralegals, and the outsourcing of legal work, we've witnessed progress over the last ten years. Yet despite all of these cost-cutting and time saving advantages, many law firms, particularly the ones that are big, stay struggling for their very survival.
Only a decade ago, law firms were enjoying exceptional levels of growth and prosperity. Firm coffers were complete and businesses were spending significant amounts of cash on marketing themselves acquire premium business and in order to enter new markets. Some companies even began experimenting with branding. In those days, branding was mostly viewed as just another type of marketing and promotion. In truth, firm leadership seldom understood what the concept of branding was really intended to accomplish or the branding procedure. But it didn't actually matter, revenue was increasing and profitability remained powerful. But what many of these businesses did not expect was that, in just a few years, our market would be shaken by a heavy and fierce downturn, one which would shake the financial bases of the most lucrative of businesses.
More than twelve of the country's leading law firms, with more than 1,000 partners between them, had completely failed in a period of about seven years. Against this history, law schools were still churning out thousands of eager law grads each year. Highly skilled young men and girls who were starved for the opportunity to enter a profession that once held the promise of status, riches and stability.
Partner infighting developed rampant as associate profits dwindled. Partner would compete against partner for the exact same piece of company. The collegial "team-driven" identity and "progressive culture" that businesses spent millions of dollars promoting as their business's distinctive brand and culture had vanished as fast as it was created. While fiscal times were demanding, in truth many of the big firms had the resources to survive the decline. Instead, associates with large novels of company were choosing to choose what they could and joined other firms - demoralizing those left behind.
To understand why this was occurring, we consider the bigger graphic and must first remove ourselves from the particular context and internal politics of any one business. The failure and decline of companies wasn't only a crisis of overcapacity and economics, it was also a crisis of values, identity, character and leadership. To put it differently, in times of financial stress , the brand identity they created was illusory- and illusory brands ultimately fracture for many companies.
Finally, the branding procedure must also be a transformative process in search of the companies greatest and most cherished values. It must be, and is, a process of reinvention at every level of the business- notably its leadership. The transformative process is essential to developing a brand that is true and enduring. Without it, businesses run the risk of conveying an identity that doesn't represent them, and this is the danger, especially when the business is examined against the pressure of difficult times.
This miscommunication of identity was permitted to happen varied from firm to firm.
While decrease of law firm sales was clearly attributable to both a lousy market and an oversupply of attorneys, from an internal standpoint the company's inability to come together and develop effective measures to withstand these pressures could usually be traced directly back to the deficiency of associate leadership. A business that proclaims to be something it's not- is necessarily doomed to failure. It's no different then the emotional dynamics of the individual who pretends to be someone he's not- ultimately it contributes to frustration, confusion and eventually self-betrayal.
It's not difficult to indulge in self-praise when economic times are great. Some associates might even credit their success to all that clever branding they set into place years before. However, when the danger of fiscal crisis enters the photo, the exact same firm can quickly devolve into self-predatory behavior- a vicious cycle of fear and greed that necessarily turns into an "eat-or-be-eaten" culture- which for most firms indicates the beginning of the end.
For any business playing out its last inning, it is simply too late to muster the troops or reach for those so-called cherished values that were allegedly driving the company's success. In truth, when times got bad, these values were nowhere to be found, except on magazine advertising, the firms website and pamphlets.
The point is that when a firm is truly driven by its cherished beliefs and core values, the firm will start to live by them, especially in times of hardship. It'll remain dysfunctional and it will risk joining that growing list of failed businesses.
Deterioration and the financial collapse of many law firms in recent years is a convincing testament to the value of insisting on integrity and truth in the branding process.
In 2014, it is clear that business-as-usual in our sector is not any longer a sustainable proposition. For this reason I 'm convinced that companies driven by fear and greed are firms destined to self destruct. That is because, irrespective of how much these businesses make an effort to brand, they will never have the capacity to brand truthfully, and hence they will never have the ability to compete against more progressive and enlightened businesses- those that don't worship riches and power, but rather cherish professional and private fulfillment.
There's a choice for those who consider their firm is worth saving- reinvent yourself and your brand with the times or die. Now a days a Law Firm has so many marketing/adversiting options, like social media, ppc, and SEO there really is no excuse as to why you can bring in customers.
What is SEO and how can it benefit a Law Firm?
SEO or search engine optimization is the art of optimizing a website to build trust with Google which in turns pushes your website up in the search results. A law firm can benefit from SEO truemendously. Lets say that you or somone you know injured themselves in public area such as a restaurant or bar due to negligence on the business owners part. If they hurt themselves bad enough they're going to want to sue the bar right? Ok so they sue the bar, now what? They're going to need an injury attorney right? Now how do you think most people in 2016 find a law firm near them?
That's right, THEY GOOGLE IT! So when your friend Google's Law Firm NYC they're going to find hundreds if not thousands of results with many lawyers to choose from. Now these pages aren't random, Google actually has algorithms that determine which websites have more authority. If you build your website properly you can show up on page 1, and the act of getting you there is what we call SEO.
Not all SEO firms are good enough to rank for everything so if your looking for a Law Firm SEO expert the best way to find one is to go to Google and type in something like Law Firm SEO, or SEO for Lawyers then see who is at the top and give them a call.
If you already caught on to that and are seeing this page you'll see that we know what we're doing and we are the right guys to handle seo for law firms like yours. So click the link below and give us a call today!
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