What is the most difficult part about being a lawyer? Some will say graduating from law school. However, the vast, overwhelming majority will say creating a brand. While you may be a lawyer by profession, wearing the hat of a business owner is a must for your firm to grow and succeed.
Like any business, marketing is a key component to success. Legal marketing is similar to marketing in other industries — the difference lies in the services being advertised.
As you begin learning about marketing your law firm, you may find yourself unfamiliar with certain jargon since a plethora of terms comprises the vernacular of today’s digital marketing environment. As with law, knowing the language can flatten the learning curve.
We have compiled a list of the 15 most important terms to know. Here are 15 legal marketing terms you need to be familiar with as a lawyer and business owner.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.”
According to Google, it refers to a set of practices that aim to increase the visibility of a website on search engines. Part of increasing a site’s visibility is making it land or “rank” on the first page of the search engine results pages or SERPs.
Your law firm’s website can appear on the first few SERPs of search engines like Google with an effective SEO strategy. As a result, more people who look for legal services will be able to find your site and click on it. SEO allows your site to do what it does best — showcase your firm’s expertise to more people.
2. Brand Awareness
According to Investopedia’s definition, brand awareness refers to how well a company or brand can make itself recognizable and memorable to consumers. Brand awareness enables consumers to have a go-to company in mind for the product or service they need whenever they need it.
You create brand awareness when you spread the word about your law firm’s services. Your goal in creating brand awareness is to make your potential customers recall your firm.
A lead is a marketing term for customers. However, a lead can also mean an individual or company who can be a potential customer.
For example, a lead can be a person who is seeking representation for a personal injury case. This person may or may not have heard of your law firm, but they can be a potential client.
4. Lead Generation
Lead generation refers to the process of identifying potential customers and turning them into clients. Lead generation maximizes the chances of closing sales since the process can sort interested leads from those less likely to become a customer by creating interest in products.
For legal marketing, a lead is generated as soon as a person inquires about your services. From there, it will be up to you to turn them into paying clients.
5. Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is all about creating and maintaining relationships with clients or prospective clients. One of the ways to nurture leads is with follow-up correspondences like offers and emails.
6. Ideal Customer Profile
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is simply the ideal customer who fits certain characteristics a business looks for in a potential customer.
For your law firm, an ideal customer profile is like a target audience and can include the demographic information of clients and their most common needs. The ICP will determine your marketing efforts, like how you create content and what to create.
A conversion occurs when a lead or client becomes a customer ready to pay for a service. A conversion also happens when an interested client makes an effort to get in touch with a company or fills out a form.
In your case, you will have converted a lead if they perform one of the following actions:
● Hires your firm
● Fills out an online form
● Responds to a marketing email you sent
Engagement refers to a set of behaviors that indicate interest or patronage in a business, which is often measured using analytic datasets that track site performance. For social media marketing, engagement is determined based on the number of reactions to a post.
Signs of engagement are broad, but many of the metrics you need to keep track of can be measured using numerical data. Examples of data that can signal audience engagement are:
- Bounce rates
- Click-through rates
- Dwell time
- Engagement rates
The definitions of the above mentioned are next on this list.
9. Bounce Rate
Google defines a bounce rate as the number of single-page visits to a webpage or site. It is calculated by dividing the total number of site visits by the number of single-page sessions. A high bounce rate indicates that a website has a problem that causes users to leave quickly and also points to challenges with engagement.
High bounce rates (anything above 40%, according to Search Engine Journal) means that your law firm’s website repels users. This can be the result of problems in your content or your website’s layout. It can also mean that your site loads slowly on mobile devices. In any case, high bounce rates lead to low search engine rankings and low customer engagement.
10. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is defined as the number of people who click on other pages of a website compared to the total number of site visits.
For instance, if 30 out of 40 users visited your site and clicked on other pages like your practice areas page, then your site’s CTR would be 75%. This is a sign that your site can generate interest in your services.
11. Dwell Time
The dwell time is another metric for on-site engagement, calculated by taking the average time users spend on a website. A long dwell time indicates interest and engagement. A low dwell time usually accompanies a high bounce rate.
12. Engagement Rate
The engagement rate is often used to determine how effectively a social media post generates interest or engagement. Engagement rates are calculated by measuring the total number of interactions with social media posts. Interactions may be likes, shares, or comments.
13. Call to Action (CTA)
A call to action or CTA is an instruction for a website’s user. Often, it is an instruction a business owner wants a potential customer to take, leading to a purchase.
Legal marketing usually consists of CTAs like:
- “Call us now”
- “Get a free case consultation”
- “Get a free initial consultation”
- “Get a free quote of our services”
14. Value Proposition or Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Investopedia defines a value proposition as a statement containing what a product aims to deliver if it is bought. Value propositions are often presented as unique benefits to distinguish a product from others.
In the context of legal marketing, value propositions are placed on legal services and can be statements about the outcome of a firm’s legal services (e.g., settlement without a trial, 85% success rate). A value proposition can also be past achievements that can persuade clients to hire a service (e.g., the results your firm has delivered, the amount of settlement money you won for clients)
All in all, your value proposition is what will set your services apart from other law firms in your area.
15. Sales Funnel
The sales funnel is the continuum that occurs between generating leads and closing a sale. Also referred to as the “funnel,” the sales funnel encompasses a variety of strategies, including brand awareness creation, marketing, advertising, sales, and research, to convert leads into paying customers.
The top of the funnel is the level of brand awareness. At this level, a prospect may be familiar with your services. Successful legal marketing will ease your prospect down the funnel to “the bottom,” where the client finally hires your firm.
The List Goes On
The 15 legal marketing terms that comprise this list are only the tip of the iceberg. In truth, the vocabulary of legal marketing is vast. However, knowing these 15 basic legal marketing terms will lay the foundation for developing your marketing strategy.
As you learn the trade of a marketer, the words will come naturally. Before you know it, you will be an attorney who can probably write a dictionary on legal marketing terms.
Approach legal marketing the same way you went through law school — with curiosity and diligence. If you want the guesswork taken out of the actual marketing process, get in touch with us now.