A quick Q&A with RealPractice
RealPractice provides innovative technologies and services to law firms, helping them to realize the potential of their practice.
PWPR: We will be accepting guest posts regularly on our blog. This is our first guest blogger post. While we will accept accept submissions, we are not endorsing any products or receiving any renumeration in any shape or form. Our purpose is to provide solid, valuable information to our loyal readers.
What do small firms need to know about online advertising?
Done well, online advertising can be a critical and productive way for firms to attract new clients, but it can be complicated and time consuming for businesses to do themselves. Like an auction, search engine advertising services like Google Adwords allow companies to “bid” on certain keywords and phrases that prospective clients might use in a search engine to find a service or business (“bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles, CA”). These bids, along with dozens of other “quality” factors, determine how high on the page (the “position”) search engines place the firm’s sponsored ads when visitors search for each phrase. These advertisements can be incredibly effective in generating new business, but there are many details to consider including: targeting, bidding, ad position, daily budget, keywords, landing pages, and more! If starting online advertising for the first time, we recommend that businesses and firms speak to a few reputable companies that professionally manage search engine marketing. Our team at RealPractice has years of experience across thousands of campaigns and would be happy to offer free consultations to any firm who wants to explore generating more clients via search engine ads.
Does a professional website have to be expensive? Or should firms create their own websites?
For the vast majority of small firms and businesses, paying anything more than about $1,000 for a website is probably too much. We think that marketing dollars are better spent on online advertising, PR and social media to get potential clients to visit a well-designed, high-converting and cost-effective landing page or mini-site. A simple, clean site often does a better job of getting the phone to ring than an expensive, flashy or content-heavy one. RealPractice offers professional, affordable websites and would be happy to discuss special pricing for small firms.
When it comes to companies building their own sites, at RealPractice, we’ve seen far too many self-built websites that are started but forever “under construction.” The initial excitement about building one’s own site quickly gives way to frustration and the paralysis of making things “look right.” Additionally, many do not know the basics of creating sites that get the most clients or that have solid SEO characteristics.
What advice do you have for law firms just starting out when it comes to marketing?
- Identify your ideal client and market to them. Think back to clients you’ve worked with and think about those you enjoyed most or were the most profitable for the firm. Examine where these clients came from, what their reasons were for hiring the firm and focus your marketing efforts on attracting and retaining more of these types of clients.
- Track the sources for all new clients. Follow the suggestions in an article we wrote for ABA’s Law Practice Today to better track investments in marketing. By closely evaluating what is working and what is not, firms can more efficiently allocate their time and marketing dollars during the coming year.
- Get a new website or revamp the existing one to generate at least 5-10 prospective clients per month. Review our blog post to get tips on creating or improving a website and then work with a consultant to make sure the site is well-designed to drive phone calls and inquiries.
The RealPractice team has more than 11 years of experience helping companies of all sizes to grow and be more effective. We have thousands of small firm clients as well as some of the largest firms in the world, across a variety of industries. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.