With the average small business spending $75,000 a year on digital marketing, it’s essential that you’re making smart choices with online marketing. With all of the pay-per-click and native advertising options that are available, you could be racking up a huge bill before you know it. Online marketing for law firms can be done on a shoestring budget if you know how to take advantage of online searches.

Most of your clients will come from frantic searches online. People will either be looking to get compensation for a suit or panicking in response to being sued. They’ll quickly search for a law firm and if you set up your site correctly, you can easily end up in the top results.

Here are 5 ways you can get a competitive edge in online marketing.

1. Start A Blog

When people are searching for something online, they’re either looking for a specific service or the answer to a question. You can capture both types of searchers by starting a blog. Your blog can focus on answering lots of common questions about legal services while offering your own legal services as the solution.

A blog gives you the opportunity to show off your authority and your experience. You can talk about the kinds of work you’ve done in the past and how you’ve dealt with unique cases. Without going into specific details, you can help show people how they could benefit from hiring an experienced lawyer from your firm.

The most important thing people will want to know about any lawyer is whether or not they can handle their type of case. Your blog can showcase not only your capability but your innovation when dealing with special cases. Your lawyers have had some interesting and unique cases and talking about them can help potential clients decide whether or not to hire you.

2. Use Lots of Local SEO

Search engines use web crawlers to help index every site on the internet. Those web crawlers then rank each site for how they use keywords, how fast they load, and how well organized they are. Taking advantage of what search engines want to see will help you stay ahead of the pack.

Search engines also love to show sites that have a local relevance to where the user is searching from. They know that when someone searches for “pizza”, they’re usually looking for nearby pizzerias. When people search for legal services, they’re probably looking for a lawyer nearby.

Use lots of references to your city or the neighborhood you’re located in. You’ll show search engines where you’re located and help them to serve you those users most local to you. Search engines will use user data, account information, and past searches to help direct users your way.

3. Stay Active On Social Media

Social media is a great way to build a relevant following for your law firm. If you connect with lots of other local businesses, you can show your potential clients where you’re located and who you associate with. Combining your social media approach with your SEO strategy can also add up to big results.

You can use this as a way to promote your blog posts. You can get valuable backlinks to your website. The more links and clicks you get to your blog posts, the higher they’ll rise in the search rankings.

Social media is a great way to show that your law firm is staffed by real people. Have professional photos taken of everyone who works there and add a short bio of their work experience with a little bit of personal character. People don’t want to walk into a law firm afraid to talk to the people on the other side of the desk.

Social media helps to break stigmas about getting into certain legal trouble or being able to talk in an authentic way about certain types of arrests. People make mistakes all the time or need legal defense for all kinds of reasons. Whether they’re trying to get damages from a deadbeat landlord or recuperating expenses from a car accident, they’ll want to deal with someone approachable.

4. Video Is The Future

In just a few years, video will dominate over 80% of all traffic on the internet. If you’re not creating videos for your site or your social media profiles, you need to start as soon as possible.

There are a lot of ways that law firms can create videos. You can offer discounts to your clients who are willing to give a testimonial. Ask them to talk briefly about how your law firm helped them, why they chose you, and what they learned from working with you.

You’ll find that people are more than willing to sit down with you after a successful case and talk about their experience. Take advantage of the positive mood they’re in and get your video shot soon after the case wraps up.

5. Claim Your Business Listings

Your listing on Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, and Avvo are some of the first contacts that potential clients might have with your business. There might be partially filled in information from customers or from other business directories. You need to claim every listing so you can have control over them.

It’s essential that you have consistent information listed on every site. You need to add photos of your offices, your staff, and any other information that seems relevant. The more you share with your clients from the get-go, the more they’ll feel like they know and can trust your office starting with their first phone call.

Online Marketing For Law Firms Takes Savvy

If you take advantage of all of the cheap and free solutions available, online marketing for law firms can be done efficiently and easily. Knowing the right tricks is part of the game. So long as you can devote the time and energy to building your profile online, you’ll be able to stay ahead of most of your competitors.

If you need help with your online presence, check out our guide to how a consultant could bring you much-needed assistance.