Time for Review of Your Online Presence

Clear & Convincing Feature Article

Is One Online Presence Enough?

In the cold of our Michigan winter, AKA January, experts created lists of marketing trends for 2015. Many were already part of your marketing plan, others you adopted to improve your business. Now we are halfway through the year and it's time for a quick check on your online efforts.

Your Internet marketing plan may include:

1. The firm website. Your website is essential. It is often the first stop for potential clients when searching for a lawyer. Whether consumers realize it or not, the attractiveness and amount of information presented will influence their decision-making process. Is yours up to the task with modern formatting and compelling content?

2. Review sites. Consumers expect reviews whether selecting a plumber, a doctor, or a lawyer. Protect your online reputation. Pay close attention to what is said about you and your firm on review sites such as AVVO, Personalinjury.com, Yelp, Google, and Facebook.

3. Content marketing is catching on. Searchers are moving away from general keyword searches toward more specific content requests such as "Detroit criminal defense attorney for drunk driving case." This search will narrow the results and lead to websites with content on point. Read your profiles and other materials to be sure the nature of your practice is clear.

4. Shoppers like free informative downloads. Potential clients will interact with your website if you offer an e-newsletter or an article in exchange for their name and e-mail. The consumer is pleased with the information and you have a new lead. Are you using that information to continue the contact?

5. Social media can produce leads. GlobalWebindex tracks time spent online and reports that in 2014 potential clients spent 1.69 hours a day on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Consumers want to see updates, news, and information. Are you keeping your profile current on LinkedIn, tweeting your success on Twitter, or posting firm news on Facebook?

6. E-mail marketing informs clients. Keep your name before your current clients by regularly sending an e-mail post with helpful information. Give them tips on new legislation or case decisions of import in your field of practice. Remember to respond if there are questions.

7. Consumers use legal directories. Consumers are increasingly turning to legal directories, such as the SBM Member Directory, to find a new lawyer or validate their existing counsel. It's important to keep your information current by checking and updating it when needed.

A periodic review of your Internet efforts will reveal if they are performing or if changes are needed. Repair those that have fallen by the wayside and congratulate yourself on a job well done for those that are working.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section Newsletter.

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