Attorney profiles on LinkedIn are becoming more important than the bio page on a law firm website, claims a new article titled Are Law Firm Websites Evolving or Dying?, written by LexBlog founder Kevin O’Keefe.
As social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook become increasingly important for law firm marketing, the more static nature of a traditional law firm website is changing how consumers of legal services (both professionals and individuals) interact with a law firm, according to the article.
The law firm website’s home page is losing its role as the primary point of entry into interior pages like attorney bios and practice area profiles, notes O’Keefe. Now, an ever-growing amount of web traffic is being directed to interior website pages through natural or organic search results.
As more attorneys focus on education-based content marketing, such as through blogs or white papers, many readers and followers will seek out these substantive resources specifically.
It is easy to tell how traffic is moving through your website. Google Analytics, the free traffic monitoring tool widely used by many law firms, clearly maps out traffic flow from entry to exit pages. A website administrator can also see how much time a visitor spends on each page, if they are a first time or returning visitor, and if the visitor took a certain programmed action, like clicking on a “contact us” or “download” button.
Analytics software also identifies traffic sources, including visitors coming to your law firm’s website through organic or paid search, social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, as well as legal directories like Martindale or FindLaw.
Looking into the future, O’Keefe predicts the following:
- Blog posts will begin to gain more prominence on the home page of many law firms
- Social media buttons will increasingly be displayed on the home page as well
- LinkedIn has emerged as the accepted social media platform of choice for the legal community
In our work advising many law firms on legal marketing campaigns, we notice a wide discrepancy in the use of attorney bio pages on LinkedIn. In many instances, the LinkedIn profile is much more complete than the bio page on a law firm website. This is particularly true for small to mid-sized law firms, as the AmLaw 100 firms typically have teams of in-house marketers who spend a great deal of their time updating attorney bios using a standardized template.
Attorneys in mid-sized firms who do not have the benefit of an in-house marketer are advised to update their LinkedIn profile at least quarterly. An active campaign of building LinkedIn connections is also a best practice.
It is important to note, as well, that social media marketing falls within the scope of attorney advertising. Attorneys will want to check with their state bar association for social media usage guidelines.
As one example, The Florida Bar published social media guidelines in April, 2013. Additional information is available in the Handbook on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation on the Florida Bar website.
Given the importance of new business development, successful attorneys are branching out to post helpful material in a number of places and formats online. This approach helps the prospective hiring party find and evaluate the attorney.
You must be present to win when it comes to online business development. Sometimes it is the best marketer, not the best lawyer, who gets hired. Taking some time to review your online profile is likely to help you attract more clients to your law firm.
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Contact law firm marketing consultant Margaret Grisdela at 561-266-1030 to discuss the legal marketing strategies that might work best for your law firm. Click on the link to connect with her on LinkedIn.