Too many lawyers equate “internet marketing” with “showing up on the first page of Google.”
Not that Google isn’t important for lawyers and law firms – it is – but internet marketing is MUCH BIGGER than Google. And when firms focus their “marketing” on that single objective… it rarely works out for them.
They end up using marketing strategies that are focused solely on manipulating the Google algorithm, at the expense of their human audience… aka, their actual market. They end up with spammy blog posts and website content that no human would actually read. They blast out hundreds of social media posts per week, far more than any human wants to sort through. They purchase email lists and send out unsolicited junk to thousands of people that they’ve never met. And so on.
These tactics just don’t work well. They might – MIGHT – get you on the first page of Google temporarily. But even so, unless your website and the rest of your internet presence are engaging, inviting, and clearly communicate what you do in human terms, your position on the search engines doesn’t really matter.
The problem is that many internet marketers aren’t actually “marketers” at all – they are engineers and mathematicians. They knew how to manipulate search algorithms but not how to build a brand and connect with an actual audience. Which is why most lawyers have been told to focus on SEO, SEO, SEO with no thought about what else goes in to a successful marketing strategy.
Here are four ways to “de-robotize” your marketing and connect more effectively with your REAL audience… aka human beings with legal needs.
1) Stop artificially stuffing your website content with keywords. It’s great to use relevant keywords in your website content when you can and when it’s natural – but we’ve all seen those websites where every other sentence starts with “An Experienced Florida Divorce Lawyer…” This type of content is irritating for your website visitors, hard to read through, and makes YOU seem like a robot, not a human with a pulse. Instead, focus on creating website content that shows your prospects that you understand their needs, that you care, and that you are the best solution for their legal needs.
2) Stop overposting and especially stop overpromoting on social media. Social media is an excellent way to connect with your audience. But don’t overdo it. Generally, we don’t recommend posting more than a couple of times per day at the very most. And even more importantly, make sure that your content provides value to your audience – don’t hit them over the head with endless sales pitches. If all you do is promote yourself… your audience will quickly tune out. Give them content that they’ll actually want to read or watch. Examples include practical tips for dealing with common challenges, analysis of breaking news relevant to your practice areas, or even humorous / inspiring quotes.
3) Stop spamming your mailing list. First, avoid sending email to people you don’t know and who haven’t interacted with your firm in some way. Purchased email lists are almost never a good idea. Your mailing list should comprise of people who have dealt with you in some way – as a client, as a referral source, as an attendee at a seminar you participated in, as someone who downloaded your Special Report. And second, you have to make your email valuable. Give them a reason to care. Include informative blog entries, news that impacts your industry, thought-provoking ideas and quotes, and so on. Make it worthwhile and valuable!
4) Focus on creating valuable content for your human audience – because that’s what Google wants anyway. The common thread here is that you should be creating content for humans, not search engines. Hopefully you can see why that’s important. But the really good news is that ultimately… that’s the best way to perform on the search engines to begin with. Because Google’s stated goal, and the goal of every search engine, is to provide the best and most valuable content to people that are searching. You probably see the panic every time Google announces an update to its algorithm. But if you look closely, the people who are panicking are generally the mathematicians and engineers who focus on manipulating the rankings rather than just creating excellent, relevant, and valuable content to begin with.
Market to humans, not robots. Shift your internet marketing strategy to focus on reaching real people rather than search engine spiders and you’ll see better results in the long run, and probably in the short run too. If you’d like more information on this subject, we are currently offering a PDF download of our Special Report which reveals 5 internet marketing opportunities that most lawyers don’t know about. Click here for your FREE download.