- Understanding what law they may have violated, whether in a civil or criminal matter
- Determining the potential penalties and looking for information on court defense
- Finding their way to local law firms that can help them to protect their legal rights
The challenge: Although virtually everyone starts their search for counsel in the same way, they don’t always know precisely what they are looking for. Which attorney is really right for them? How can they be sure they choose someone who has the right knowledge, skills, and experience?
American law, philosophy, and history all place a premium on the ability of the average person to make rational, effective decisions free of outside influence. No matter how complex the situation may be, common sense will prevail when someone has all the facts. Attorneys are uniquely positioned to see how this works out in practice.
When they first look for a lawyer – and first encounter lawyer marketing – the average person may be far from rational. They are worried about their future, about protecting their interests, and about paying for an attorney.
With all that in mind, there’s no time for your future clients to undergo a crash course in civics before they give you a call. Your lawyer marketing must answer their questions and move them forward with minimal friction.
Making your lawyer marketing mobile-friendly is an indispensable early step.
Younger Legal Consumers Look To Mobile Devices First When They Need Information
Today, 81% of Americans own smartphones capable of using apps and going online. Smartphone penetration is nearly universal among those 18-29, at 96%. By comparison, only 74% of adults own a conventional desktop or laptop computer of the kind most lawyer websites were designed for.
The younger generation is also more likely than others to consult a mobile device when researching important life decisions, such as choosing a lawyer. Mobile devices account for approximately half of all U.S. data traffic and have been estimated as high as 55.56% in February 2021.
After losing ground in 2020, mobile is again on the rise, consistent with the general trends.
The huge role that smartphones play in the lives of younger consumers should not be underestimated. Future clients could be looking for legal information while waiting for the police to respond after a car accident or while sitting in a doctor’s office minutes before getting an MRI.
The smartphone is a seamless extension of their desire for information, and they respond best to brands that deliver an instant, easily navigable experience. As today’s younger Millennials age and Gen Z comes in behind them, law firms will be expected to communicate with clarity and fluency in the mobile sphere.
Yet, most attorneys are not aware that their digital brand may need a mobile overhaul.
In fact, there are many significant differences between mobile lawyer marketing and what is most effective on a desktop. One of the biggest reasons to work with a lawyer marketing agency is to ensure your online presence appeals to your leads no matter what kind of hardware they use to reach you.
Refresh Your Lawyer Marketing To Generate More Leads From The Mobile Web
If you already have a law firm website, then you are in a strong position to upgrade your digital brand for 2021 and beyond. Many essential updates can be performed by a digital marketing expert, but your lawyer marketing will always be most effective when you take an active part in it.
Let’s take a closer look at how to market in the mobile ecosystem:
1. Start A Law Firm Blog And Publish New Legal Content Every Week
In a previous post, we discussed the central role blogging plays in lawyer marketing.
To sum up:
- Blogging makes your website more visible in online searches related to your business
- Each blog you post serves as a preview of the value you can offer your future clients
- Your blogs help users understand your skills and credentials without knowing the law
- A helpful, informative blog post fosters trust and helps leads gain the confidence to call you
All these points combine to make blogging the foundation of all your other lawyer marketing efforts. It is a critical part of any lawyer’s appeal to mobile consumers, who may be sifting through information quickly to develop their local lawyer “shortlist” before following up.
Even though they spend much of their time with a phone in hand, it’s crucial to remember that Millennials don’t like phone calls. They consider phone calls too time-consuming and, in a confidential matter such as legal advice, not private enough. With a blog, you are giving them valuable material to respond to on their own time.
Your blog should serve as a major plank in your efforts to explain which areas of the law and types of cases you specialize in. Don’t assume your visitors will know all the right terminology: Write about “slip and fall” as well as “personal injury,” and “accidents at work” as well as “workers compensation.”
2. Redesign Your Lawyer Website For Mobile Compatibility
If you went through a week or month-long process designing your first attorney website, this idea may still send a shiver down your spine. Yet, if your existing website is fundamentally sound, it does not take long to make it mobile-friendly. The key is something called a responsive theme.
A responsive website is one that automatically adjusts to present the best experience based on the user’s display size and inputs. For example, the proportions of different elements on your page will change and it will shift according to whether the user is holding a smartphone vertically or horizontally.
It also compensates for the absence of a mouse to make your website easier to navigate.
Google now exclusively uses mobile-first indexing. In short, this means that how your website looks on mobile is also how it will look in Google’s database. Law firms that take extra care in making their website compatible with mobile devices are more likely to rank higher in search.
That’s vital in a competitive area like law – and it reflects best practices future clients are coming to expect.
3. Introduce Enterprise-Grade Encryption For Your Website
You tell the public again and again not to share confidential information with you until you reach an agreement. Yet, mistakes are easy to make – and if you can’t trust your lawyer to protect sensitive data, who can you trust?
That’s precisely what people are thinking when they visit your website for the first time and look for the little “lock” icon. Virtually all modern browsers now use the lock icon or something like it to indicate whether a website uses encryption to protect information. The global standard is called SSL.
SSL encryption serves to verify that when someone types in your URL or clicks a link, they are actually working with you – not an impostor. That means it safeguards not only your leads but your current and former clients who may visit your website in the future for a variety of reasons.
You already have to go the extra mile to maintain confidential files, often for many years. Extend that same scrupulous attention to detail to your lawyer marketing, too.
When your website isn’t equipped with an SSL certificate, many browsers will simply say it’s “not safe,” a warning that few consumers have the time and knowledge to decipher when they could simply look elsewhere.
4. Pivot To Video Storytelling As A Cornerstone Of Your Lawyer Marketing
Google calls mobile video the future of brand marketing. Millennials in particular are twice as likely to be focused on the video material they watch on a smartphone as compared to television.
Video is the #1 source of information for about 66% of the world’s people, and more than 75% of all video is consumed via smartphone. Video consumption on mobile platforms rises about 100% every year, and video storytelling is by a long way the best-performing content online:
- Viewers are much more likely to remember messages they absorb through video rather than plain text
- Videos get more likes, shares, and comments than any other content type – in effect, more engagement
- Attorney-led video content helps prospects to know, like, and trust you before you even meet in person
Video marketing is especially powerful for attorneys. YouTube is now the #2 search engine, behind only parent company Google. When people search for answers to their legal questions online, videos hosted on YouTube may appear prominently in search results right beside organic website links.
As time goes on, Google is making videos more visible. A video tab now sits at the top of results pages, and more detailed information is available about individual videos. This all serves to make videos even more enticing, driving traffic away from the text-heavy links beneath them.
But you can have the best of both worlds in your lawyer marketing.
When you publish a lawyer blog, you will often discover you don’t have to update it again for months or years. Laws change slowly, and your older writings become evergreen content with enduring value. Many attorneys report that their old blogs bring hundreds or thousands of visitors to their website every month.
The easiest way to make that content perform even better is by adding a video to it.
Pages with a video are an astonishing 53x more likely to appear on Google’s first page than those without one. Adding a short video with your own narration, summary, or even a simple call to action can be the difference between a post that gets seen a few times monthly and one that becomes a keystone of your lead generation.
Now Is The Time To Take Action On Mobile Lawyer Marketing
“Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” would be bad enough if it were true. Unfortunately, lawyers who stick with what’s worked in the past will increasingly fall behind those who adopt a mobile-first mindset in planning their lawyer marketing.
New York Ave can help you benefit from all the latest best practices in digital lawyer marketing, building campaigns that deliver long-term advantages others can’t beat. To find out more, contact us today.