When a law firm has to consider marketing locally, most tend to immediately think of Search Engine Optimization, Google paid ads, social media or maybe legal directories. It’s not very often that a website comes around that focuses their entire marketing effort and resources on targeting one specific geography. We recently came across one such website OrangeCountyLawyers.com. The entire website has been set up to market local lawyers throughout Orange County, California through advertisements on practice pages, press releases and lawyer spotlights which highlight the background and experience of one specific, local attorney.
What is “hyperlocal” marketing? Hyperlocal marketing is an effort to be found in a very specific geography, typically a city, county or region. This type of marketing can be especially effective because all the resources go into the success of one specific area.
This gives one pause to wonder, what are the main ways that lawyers advertise locally?
Local Marketing for Law Firms on the Rise
JD Supra recently reported that Local Service Ads (“LSAs”) via Google have been adopted now by thousands of law firms. These are the advertisements that appear at the very top of Google that showcase a lawyer with their head shot and, phone number and a link to a (rather bland) profile for the law firm. While Google does not report on the quantity of a specific type of business that advertises, if several thousand law firms have adopted this form of hyperlocal advertising, it must be perceived as effective.
Local Ads on Yelp
Clio law firm practice management software company says in their article “As one of the largest review sites online, Yelp is a powerful marketing channel, much like the others we have covered previously: Avvo, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook… you should establish a presence on as many of these networks as possible“.
Advertising on Legal Directories
Legal directories seem to be some of the main results that generate when a User is searching for a lawyer. These vast websites like FindLaw, Justia, Avvo and Lawyers.com have virtually unlimited information on the law, and local lawyers and can help steer a potential client to an advertiser.
“Rank and Rent” Website Advertising
Some savvy SEO marketers have figured out a way to game local markets and practice areas by building a hyperlocal law firm-intake website and optimizing it really damn well. The website eventually ranks on Page 1 of Google and brings a huge amount of traffic and value to a potential advertiser. Once this happens, the website owner can “rent” the website to a local law firm who can then get any leads generated by the website. FatRank refers to this as becoming a digital landlord. If the lawyer cancels their advertising, the website owner simply replaces them with another local law firm. Genius!
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) can help a law firm appear in a specific city, or for specific practice related searches. SEO is considered by many law firms and marketers to be the best investment of advertising dollars because it allows the law firm to target visibility on Google for specific phrases, and specific cities. Hiring a competent and experienced SEO firm is critical though, as many firms who claim to be experienced in SEO might not really be intimately experienced with working with the complexity of a law firm.
If you’re a lawyer there are many ways to market your law firm. Don’t dismiss an opportunity simply because it doesn’t fit into the traditional definition of “advertising”. There are many local companies who work with law firms privately, and simply because they don’t have 100 employees doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not an excellent marketing partner. As you can see from the examples above