How to Make Your Law Firm Stand Out in a Competitive Market

It’s a tough market out there. Every business faces stiff competition, and law firms are no exception. Although firms have some repeat customers, you rely on a steady stream of new ones coming through the door.

When people need a new car, they start going from dealership to dealership, taking leisurely test drives, and negotiating prices. In many cases, when people need a lawyer, they need one now. That means law firms can’t expect casual comparison shoppers to simply happen by their offices.

When a potential client needs an attorney, your firm must distinguish itself, or it will get lost in the crowd. That isn’t easy, but it can be done if you’re willing to do the work. Here’s how you can make your law firm stand out in a competitive market.

Take Your Firm to the Top of the Rankings

Those Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent and Distinguished Lawyer designations are great. But those aren’t the only rankings you need in order to place your firm front and center with a prospective client. Your law firm needs to land on page one in a Google search.

If you think buying an ad to put you there is enough, think again. Most people skip those and click on the top organic search results. To get to a pole position, you need to invest in ways to increase your website’s search engine optimization.

Unless you happen to have a digital marketing specialist on staff, your law firm SEO will benefit most from outsourced expertise. Google makes multiple core updates every year and smaller algorithm changes once or twice a day. It’s smart to hire an agency that not only reacts to changes in real-time but fundamentally understands them.  

People who need a lawyer aren’t attracted by the firm with the most garish billboard on the highway. They’re increasingly pulling up Google to search for one. Focus on your SEO so they can find you when they do.

Speak Up

Recommendations from trusted sources continue to be one of the primary ways people find a lawyer. Every time your firm delivers great service to a client, that client will tell friends and family. Word-of-mouth advertising is still alive and well in the legal field.

There are other ways your firm should be capitalizing on the strength of referrals. For example, make sure your website highlights your experience, practice areas, and case results. Actively solicit happy clients for compelling testimonials you can use on your website.

You should also let your content speak to your legal expertise and use it to increase your SEO. Authoritative content is helpful and relevant to readers, so make sure yours incorporates top long-tail keywords without clickbait titles. If ever there were a perfect space for evergreen content, it’s a law firm’s blog.

To stand out among crowded competition, let your clients, your experience, and your expertise speak for you. What they have to say is more likely to resonate with prospective clients than a Facebook ad. These are ways you can brag without the braggadocio.

Communicate Effectively

Good two-way communication builds trust, and clients need to trust the law firm they hire to represent them. Moreover, people are often at their most vulnerable when they need an attorney. Your firm needs to demonstrate that communication is part and parcel of what you provide, even before someone hires you.

For prospects who click on your website, video can be an effective medium to begin building a feeling of trust. Attorneys speaking directly to them in plain English, assuaging fears and anxiety, can put potential clients at ease right away. The impression that you’re easy to talk to can prompt them to contact you. Meanwhile, that video can boost your SEO.

Responding quickly to online contact requests and calls requires constant attention, but it will pay off. Those who need a lawyer right away often hire the first one who gets back to them. And if your website enables them, don’t forget to monitor chatbot interactions to contact prospects who use them to ask questions.

Your law firm is selling a service, not physical goods. Effective communication allows you to set realistic expectations so you aren’t accused of overselling and underdelivering later. Remember that you need those glowing testimonials to give you an edge over the competition.

Evaluate Your Branding

Too many law firms think a nice logo, crisp letterhead, and catchy tagline constitute the full sum of their branding. In fact, branding is also your voice and values, what you promise, and how you position yourself amid your competition. Those aspects may be less tangible, but they might be more important than your office signage.

That’s not to say your logo and tagline aren’t important — they are. They should provide a strong visual and tell people who you are in a nutshell. And in the digital age, your website is the best tool you have to communicate your brand.

Your website should tell your story in a way that attracts the clients you want. You show and tell them who you are, what you deliver, and what makes you different from the other lawyers out there. Everything on the site that makes an impression on your target market is part of your brand.

Lawyers tend to consider themselves as their own brand, forgetting that a law firm is indeed a business. If you haven’t developed a content strategy to communicate who you are, it’s time. Otherwise, you’re just another sleek logo in a crowd of many.

Get Noticed

If you aren’t seeing enough clients walking through your front door, there’s probably a reason for it — or more than one. Technology is rapidly changing the way every business is found, including law firms. If you aren’t keeping pace, you need to step up your digital marketing game.

Make these smart moves to draw attention to your law firm. Once you do, you’ll start getting noticed for all the right reasons.