Online Marketing & SEO Basics for Lawyers and Law Students: The Big Picture

Law School Toolbox

Part One: The Big Picture

In our last article on online marketing and SEO basics, we talked about why lawyers and law students need a Define SEO Goalspersonal brand and why it’s important for potential clients, mentors, benefactors, etc. to know, like, and trust you.

(If you missed that article, you can check it out here.)

Now let’s talk about a few “big picture” ideas, then we’ll drill down into the details of SEO and online marketing.

#1. What are you trying to do?

With any website that you’re trying to attract visitors to (this, after all, is the goal of good SEO), the first step is to think — in detail — about what your goals are.

Say you’re launching your own solo practice. What type of goals might you have for your fancy new website?

  • To get new clients
  • To keep existing clients informed
  • To build a reputation as an expert
  • To meet new people
  • To engage in a conversation
  • To get a lot of page views
  • To be on the first page of Google
  • To build your email list
  • To sell your services
  • To learn about new opportunities

Any of these are potentially valid goals, but it’s important to really define what you’re trying to do, since you’re going to have to pick and choose.

Are you looking at the right things?

Take page views, for example. It can be quite gratifying to watch your traffic spike, but it’s worth considering whether the traffic you’re attracting is the right type of traffic. Funny cat videos rule the internet, but posting a set of the funniest cat videos on earth probably isn’t going to attract many paying clients for your new law practice.

For most solo and small firm lawyers, the ultimate goal is some mixture of:

  • Attract new clients
  • Build a reputation as an expert
  • Engage in a conversation and meet new people

Although — if asked — most new solos would say their goal is to be on the first page of Google! For what, they’re not sure, but they know it’s critical.

I just want to be on the first page of Google’s search results!

Being on the first page of Google for a useful set of search terms is great, but it’s not the be all and end all. If you’re attracting new clients regularly, keeping your existing clients informed and happy, and meeting new people who might ultimately refer you business, it’s fair to say your website is a success.

Up next: Who is your ideal client, and how are they going to find you?

Next we’ll dive in a little deeper, and explore your ideal client and what they’re looking for. (I use “client” loosely here. If you run the website for a public interest organization, for example, the same principles apply even though you might be trying to reach new donors or potential volunteers.)

Your Task: Before moving on, take a few minutes and jot down the three most important goals you have for your website.

Then tune in for the next article which will help you generate an ideal client profile, and figure out what that person is looking for on the web, so they can find YOU!

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Law School Toolbox

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