Loren Etengoff, a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver, Washington, remembers the days when he had to purchase double-page ads in the Yellow Pages just to get potential clients on the phone. Now, his focus on SEO and gathering positive online reviews has so many prospects asking to work with his team that he has to turn some away.
Below are the strategies he used to quickly increase his caseload to 150 clients … having only a small team at the office and no formal marketing background.
TAKING THE HASSLE OUT OF ONLINE REVIEWS
Loren: “I started focusing on online reviews because I noticed that those testimonials were the key to landing more clients. After all, what’s the first thing that someone does when they need a lawyer in Vancouver, WA? Go online and do a Google search, and read what others had to say about the practice.
“But we used to have to fight people to get reviews. We still personally ask clients to do reviews when they leave our office, but my clients also receive texts and emails requesting reviews afterward. We see a lot more testimonials now that boost our website content and site ranking, but without the hassle.
“Of course, the key is to provide great service in the first place. We do a great job for our clients and make it a point to communicate constantly, so when clients receive those requests for reviews, they’re happy to do them (and give us five stars, to boot).”
James Attorney Marketing: Through Loren’s and our combined effort, he is averaging 12 reviews/month, with 10 of them favorable. Our software privately parks the unfavorable reviews and publicly posts the favorable reviews.
PAGE ONE OR BUST
Loren Etengoff: “The truth is that your legal website has to end up on page one of Google or Yahoo—and the top half of page one, at that—otherwise you’re just wasting your time and money. That’s just the reality for a lot of law firms, especially ones like ours who see the internet as our primary way to gain new clients. But the market is so competitive; countless attorneys are focusing on SEO and vying for the top spots.
“You really have to make sure that your website shows up in the top three slots and then—and this is the hard part—stay there consistently.
“For us, the key to doing that was knowing the right keywords to use, gaining positive online reviews, and other online best practices recommended by James Attorney Marketing. We’ve been working with them for many years.”
James Attorney Marketing: Lawyers sometimes forget that rankings are only the first part of a two-step effort: (1) get the prospects to your site and (2) obtain their contact information. An enticing lead magnet like the one shown above is one of the best ways to obtain an email address and phone number. Live chat is another effective technique.
TIPPING POINT: FINDING MARKETERS THAT UNDERSTOOD THE LEGAL FIELD
Loren: “About 10 years ago when SEO was pretty new, we worked with a freelancer who didn’t necessarily specialize in SEO or the legal field. At first, everything was fine but then we started slipping in the rankings.
“I was spending too much time working with that freelancer explaining what I needed, the kind of language to use in our online content (again, she didn’t have a legal background), the impact that keywords could have on our ranking, and the type of blog I needed to build.
“I decided to switch to a marketing and SEO company that specialized in working with lawyers.
“I went to an Avvo seminar in Las Vegas and interviewed 4 or 5 different companies. I landed on James Attorney Marketing because they offered the best packages for the price, and the references that they provided had nothing but good things to say about the company.
“That was many years ago. Since then, I’ve been pleased that James has constantly tweaked their offerings to keep up with changing times. They’ve taken so much off my plate, so I can focus on running the office and treating clients the right way. James takes care of gathering my online reviews, maintaining my ranking on Google and other search engines, sending out my newsletter, and building my blog.”
James Attorney Marketing: We have steadily added services. Our most recent addition is specialty-specific marketing automation software that (1) sends a variety of high-quality educational content to your prospects, (2) solicits, screens, and posts favorable reviews from your clients, and (3) includes an upfront business process audit that save the typical lawyer several hundred dollars a month.
NOT SPREADING YOURSELF TOO THIN
Loren: “We’re pretty lucky in our community that TV advertisements aren’t a big thing, thanks to our geographic location (we’re right on the border of Washington and Oregon). The internet is our primary way of connecting with new clients, aside from referrals, so we mostly focus on SEO and online marketing.
“Our firm does have social media pages as well and that’s something for us to build on in the future, but we are careful not to spread ourselves too thin. We would rather focus on where the clients are and what’s working for us rather than getting caught up in trying to do everything and be everywhere.
“That focus from our team, plus our hard work for each and every client, has gotten us to where we are today. Now, we can afford to turn away smaller cases that a year or two ago we would have needed to take, and can spend time on bigger cases.
“I’m happy to say that with the effectiveness of our marketing strategies, my practice is pretty much full.”
James Attorney Marketing: Loren’s caseload has more than doubled since we took him on as client a few years ago. 90% of Loren’s new clients say they contacted him due to the positive reviews that our software generated.