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Prospective clients are researching lawyers online more than ever, but getting them through your firm's door (or to your website) requires more than just putting together a .com address or a Yelp page.
To take advantage of online marketing opportunities, you need to have a strong Internet presence. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Know Your Internet Footprint
You need to know what potential clients will see when they look for you. That means some good, ol' fashioned self-Googling. Open a web browser in incognito or private mode. This will help ensure you get the "default" results, instead of ones based on prior searches. (If you want a really fresh view, clear out all your old Internet files, like your search history and cookies.) Then start Googling. If anything embarrassing or unprofessional pops up -- an awkward high school photo or terrible undergrad essay, for example -- take it down.
Don't just Google your name, though. Try searches that your potential clients would use, such as "family lawyer Tulsa." If you're not showing up in those results, you've got some work to do.
2. Get on Top of SEO
That work comes in the form of SEO, or search engine optimization. You'll want to populate your website, tweets, Facebook profile, etc., with relevant search terms that will draw web users to your site. Populating your website with helpful content, the kind that creates web traffic and in-bound links, will also move your website higher up on the search engine results page.
3. Write, Write, Write
Google's search algorithm places particular emphasis on "expert" sources when it comes to searches that could affect your money or your life. And that's you! You're the expert source. As a skilled professional, putting your expertise out onto the Internet is a great way to increase your online profile and convince clients that you know your stuff -- whether that's through blogging, social media, or other venues.
4. Remember Your Brand
You don't want to be just any family lawyer in Tulsa. Instead, you want highlight your unique characteristics and perspectives. You're not just a fierce advocate, you're "protecting clients' children, finances, and reputation during a divorce."
Your brand should be central to your website, but also to your social medial presence. You can add a tag line or description to most social media platforms, which is just enough space to develop the vision of your firm.
5. Don't Forget Video
The Internet is becoming less text-based and more video-based every day. While the written word is still king when it comes to legal advice and information, many consumers are starting to look to streaming sites like YouTube for information. Don't let that marketing opportunity pass you up.
And, of course, if you'd rather spend your time practicing, the experts at FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing are always available to help.