If you aren’t online, you don’t exist.
— 21st Century Parable
Most people turn first to Google to find your website after they hear about your services. If they can’t find your practice on the first page of Google, they are likely to move on to one of your competitors.
While it is unlikely that you will need to mobilize a massive online marketing strategy as a solo practice or small firm, you should still have a Web presence that works for you and your clients. For instance, every law firm should have a website. But not every firm needs a blog, and not every firm needs to be on social media.
To help you understand what a successful Web presence really means for you, you need to first ask yourself this: Why am I online?
Lead Generation vs. Online Brochure
Most firms fall into one of two camps:
Law firms in the first camp focus on internet marketing, inbound marketing, and search marketing. They want to drive traffic, show up first on Google, and be the premiere [practice area] lawyer in their area.
Law firms in the second camp basically want an online business card or brochure website. They don’t care about new lead generation as much as they care about whether they will show up if someone types their firm’s name into a search engine.
Knowing the Why Helps You Determine the What
You have to know why you are online, because the motivation behind your website becomes the reason behind any other online marketing efforts you make.
If your goal is to drive consistent traffic to your website to gain leads, then you need a well-maintained website that you support through consistent marketing efforts. These days, such a website should include:
In addition, you also need to consider other online marketing tactics, including:
On the other hand, if your goal is just to ensure you have a professional website that mirrors who you are and what you do for prospects referred to you, then you need only go as far as having a well-designed, well-written website that answers the key questions most visitors will likely have prior to contacting you.
And the only thing you need to worry about for SEO purposes is that your website shows up when people search for you by name.
So Now What?
Take a step back to assess why you are online. Identify your goals for your online marketing efforts. Then review what you are doing now.
Are your current efforts enough to get you where you want your business to go? Are you doing more than you really need to? Ask these questions, answer them truthfully, and then take whichever steps are necessary to get your online presence in line with your goals.
Originally published 2014-11-06. Republished 2016-11-18.
How to Tailor Your Web Presence to Your Marketing Goals was originally published on Lawyerist.com.