11 Law Firm Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2024

Everybody makes mistakes, but some are more costly than others – especially in the competitive world of digital marketing. You want your law firm to get more cases, and we want that for you, too. But before you embark on the right strategy, you need to be aware of the many wrong strategies out there.

Get ready – our law firm SEO team has put together six of the most common and damaging law firm marketing mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes will help you save money that you can invest back into your business. Let’s dive in.

Mistake #1: Not knowing how your website is performing at any given time

Do you know how many visitors are on your website right now? What about form fills – do you know how many people have submitted contact information in the last week?
And how about keywords? Do you know which search terms visitors use to get to your site?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to reconsider your marketing strategy (or put one in place).

If you don’t know how your website is performing, how are you supposed to make informed decisions about improving your website? That’s like trying to buy a car without knowing how much money you have. The salesman will turn you away if you try to purchase a $100,000 car with a few crumpled dollar bills and a promise.

If you push a fancy marketing strategy on a website that’s riddled with errors and targeting the wrong location with the wrong keywords, Google is going to send it where the sun doesn’t shine. You can throw as much money at your website as you want – if you don’t know how it’s performing, that money will be spent in the wrong places.

Check out our blog “Law firms: Does your SEO agency report on these key metrics?

Mistake #2: Ignoring your limitations and trying to compete with the big guys

Don’t get us wrong, we love an ambitious client. But attorneys need to be cautious about going after high-dollar search terms in competitive markets. Pitted against the Morgan & Morgans of the world (who, by the way, have a billion-dollar marketing budget), a small firm with two attorneys and a $10,000 marketing budget doesn’t stand a chance.

Our advice to small firms? Let Morgan & Morgan have the city – you take the village.

Let’s say your firm is based in Dunwoody, Georgia, about 15 miles from downtown Atlanta. The Morgan & Morgans of the world are already ranking #1 in Atlanta for Atlanta keywords. If you try that, you’re likely to fail.

As a small firm in Dunwoody, don’t set out trying to dominate Atlanta – start by ranking #1 in Dunwoody. Once you dominate Dunwoody, your website will have significantly more authority than you did before. Then you can think about targeting Atlanta-based keywords.

Mistake #3: Assuming your current website is good enough

Every website has some room for improvement – and many law firm websites have lots of room.

While your website doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, it should meet the following criteria:

  • Optimized for readability and search visibility
  • Intuitive site layout
  • Clear information about your firm, its practice areas, how long it has served the community, and any special qualifications
  • Obvious (but not obnoxious) contact forms to capture client lead info and schedule consultations
  • Accurate name, address, phone number, and business hours information
  • A Google My Business profile that’s complete, somewhat detailed, and accurate
  • A blog section ready to publish valuable, informative legal content
  • Practice area pages for each main legal domain your firm covers
  • Location pages describing your services and availability in specific communities

Mistake #4: Expecting immediate results

Most people think SEO is like a slot machine, with results just pouring out the second after you pay. In reality, SEO is the chess game of the internet, with tactical nuances and eccentricities that vary from person to person.

Expecting rapid results is an easy mistake to make, especially if you’re new to SEO and digital marketing or if you’ve put a lot of effort into building your SEO strategy and are wondering when you’ll see

Avoid making this mistake. It’ll only make you frustrated, and if you leave an agency just because you didn’t see the results you wanted in a matter of weeks, you’ll end up learning the hard way – when you hire a new agency and have to start over – that SEO takes time.

As a general rule, you should expect brand-new pages to rank in no less than six months. If they rank before that, great, but don’t bank on it.
For pages that already exist but just need a little work, you can expect your rankings to improve in no less than three months. Again, you may see results for existing pages sooner than three months but don’t assume that’ll happen.

Mistake #5: Writing for search engines, not people

Hello. I am here to tell you about law firm marketing mistakes. These are mistakes that you, as a law firm, do not want to make. Why? You don’t want to. To avoid making law firm marketing mistakes, you need to know which law firm marketing issues to avoid. This can be accomplished now as you read this sentence.

We hope you’ve made it this far without knocking your head against your screen because that’s what we wanted to do after writing that robotic section above.

The quickest way to turn potential clients away from your firm is to communicate with them as if they’re robots. Pro tip: Clients aren’t robots, and writing to them as if they are will do nothing to inspire confidence in your firm.

marketing mistakes law firms

Whether you write your own content or hand it off to a legal content agency, you need to write to people as human beings, with empathy and personality.

If you really enjoy writing your own content, we suggest you check out these UX writing tools:

  • Readable – Measures the readability of your content, flagging poor UX elements like run-on sentences, passive voice, and cliches.
  • Hotjar – Gives you an idea of how users are engaging with the content on your site, measuring things like click-through rate and scroll depth.

Mistake #6: Neglecting older pages in favor of new ones

We once had a client who hired us to write all new content for their website. They wanted everything – blogs, FAQs, downloadable guides.
It didn’t take long for us to discover a staggering, festering pile of hundreds of pages of content just sitting there on the client’s website, becoming less relevant and more obsolete every day.

Instead of taking on the all-new-content project, we convinced the client to let us optimize those musty pages.

Now, we’ll explain to you what we explained to them. You can’t just write a piece of content, post it, and expect it to perform well for the rest of the existence of the internet. Like anything else, website content is quickly outdated, and in some cases, totally inaccurate over time – especially legal content.

We’re not suggesting that you do a complete overhaul and delete all your old pages. All we’re saying is to go back through your old blogs, FAQs, and other supplementary content and update them for accuracy and user experience.

You should also update or add title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, and other elements of on-page optimization.
These may seem like daunting tasks, but don’t worry – here are a few in-house resources to get you started:

Mistake #7: Using incorrect local structured data markup (or having none at all)

Structured data markup refers to easily inserted snippets of code on your website. Search engines like Google use this data as a sort of note-taking flag, allowing them to hone in on important information like your office hours, address, and the services you offer.

In turn, Google uses this data to make your search engine results look more complete. Search users get more accurate information right from the search window, which helps them make the split-second decision they need when weighing their legal counsel options.

Google does a fair job of pulling this information from your website text on its own, but this method isn’t bulletproof. Instead, you will want to increase the chances that your information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date by injecting Schema markup where it’s relevant. This will help you, especially in a local market, where search engine results tend to gravitate towards listings with the most robust information available.

Solution: Review your “Contact Us” and “Areas We Serve” pages to ensure you have Schema markup for your business name, address, phone number, office hours, and business category. Run your page through Google’s Structured Data Testing tool to make sure everything works.

Mistake #8: Not keeping up with Google’s goings-on

“Google’s goings-on,” that’s a little bit of a tongue twister.

Like an actual twister you didn’t see coming, it’s easy to get sucked into the ceaseless, furious whirlwind of Google. That’s why you need to see the Google machine coming before it strikes.

By “strike,” we mean releasing a new update or benchmark that could have major effects on Google ranking websites.

If you have no idea what Google is up to, you could find yourself giving the go-ahead on an expensive marketing project that ends up being useless in light of a new update. Not a good look for your firm.

So, how do you avoid the twister? EverSpark web developers recommend planning ahead and keeping yourself informed. Check out the resources below for general information about Google’s algorithm, as well as a list of past and future updates.

Mistake #9: Not taking advantage of Google’s (free!) Webmaster resources

Clients know they can come to us anytime, and we love it when we get a call from someone who wants to talk about their website, how it works and what’s going on behind the scenes. We love opening up that world to clients, and Google Search Central makes it easy.

Google Search Central (formerly Google Webmasters) is a good place to learn about how your website is serving whom it’s meant to serve, the questions it’s meant to be answering, and if it’s doing so in a way that’s safe and beneficial to users.

Within the hub, you can:

  • Learn all about the basics of SEO in the quick start guide
  • Analyze your site’s page speed and mobile-friendliness, then get suggestions from Google on how to improve
  • Check if and how your site currently appears on Search
  • Check eligibility for special features on Search
  • Analyze how your website currently performs with clicks and rankings

But that’s not all you can do. See what else is new in Google Search Central.

(Keep in mind that more technical and performance-based actions should be performed by a credentialed web developer.)

Mistake #10: Brutally slow page speeds

Having a fast website isn’t just nice, it’s expected. Google even gives a ranking boost to sites that have a great page load speed, and it can punish pages that load too slowly.

You also need to think about your client experience, especially if they’re viewing on mobile. According to Google, the likelihood that someone will abandon your page and try another result doubles if your website takes 10 seconds or longer to load.

Solution: Run every website page through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Make note of the recommendations. Common fixes include reducing image file sizes, turning off slow plugins, and streamlining your HTML code.

Mistake #11: Ignoring the gold mine of client reviews

One of the biggest factors in whether or not someone will decide to go to your firm over a competitor is your online reputation. Ninety-one percent of people read online reviews before making a purchase, and 84% trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation.

Encouraging (and responding) to client reviews helps build trust in your firm because clients feel heard and valued.

You can’t take reviews for granted. They should be a central part of your client engagement and retention strategy. Make it easy for clients to leave reviews by emailing them a convenient link. Prioritize one review source, such as Google reviews or Avvo reviews, over others. That way, clients don’t feel overwhelmed being asked to leave multiple reviews at once. Make it clear that their opinion is valued and that your reviews are going to be read by other people.

Some law firms even go so far as to secure testimonials and videos detailing some of their past client successes. This can be a worthy investment, especially if you have recently won a big case.

We can help you avoid costly law firm marketing mistakes

These are just some of the general things most law firms can improve, but each firm is unique. They have a unique relationship with their client base and a unique set of strengths and weaknesses with their digital marketing assets.

Create a personalized law firm SEO strategy when you work with the legal marketing experts at EverSpark. We can evaluate your current strategy, help you set goals, and pursue those goals by building out high-quality and highly effective content targeting your ideal clients.

Call us at (877) 323-4661 or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

Maximize your firm’s potential with our digital marketing expertise

EverSpark specializes in helping law firms like yours succeed in the digital realm. With our proven expertise in SEO, Paid Ads, and online branding, we can enhance your visibility, drive targeted traffic to your website, and ultimately boost your client base. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your firm to the next level. Contact us today and let’s start growing your practice together!

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