Around the world, businesses of all types were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. Some industries, such as streaming services and grocery store chains, were decidedly resilient and even improved during these troubled times. Surprisingly, law firms have proven similarly resilient as well.
People still need representation in court and legal assistance with their problems. However, in-office visits have dropped, which means it’s more important than ever for your law firm to have a robust digital presence.
Is the Pandemic Affecting Demand for Legal Services?
One might imagine that in times of strife, people are seeking face-to-face legal assistance at higher rates. However, that trend doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather, people are continuing to book legal services online or via telephone for personal injury cases, custody and divorce situations, and criminal matters. These cases are still happening despite the pandemic.
What’s changed is that some people might be putting off services if they’ve lost income due to the pandemic. Many people are also conducting more of their activities online and are likely to prefer phone calls or virtual consultations rather than in-person visits. With that said, now is the perfect time for law firms to expand their virtual offerings. As we head into winter, a time that’s typically stressful and emotionally taxing for people, it may also be wise to offer free or low-cost consultations to attract clients.
Improving Your Law Firm’s Digital Presence
Many law firm websites are woefully out-of-date. Countless firm sites don’t look great on mobile devices and are not optimized for search engines. They are often verbose and firm-focused rather than engaging and client-oriented. For potential clients who are quarantined at home, searching on their phones, a non-responsive, internal-facing website is likely an absolute deal-breaker.
Your website should be something that instills confidence and clearly communicates, “We’re still here for you throughout the pandemic.” While the demand for legal services may not have changed much due to the pandemic, people are more interested in quick responses and authoritative help. They’re not looking to spend a lot of time shopping around; they want to connect with a firm and know that they can get their issues resolved with care.
Follow this five-step process to make your website friendlier to clients who have been impacted by the pandemic:
- Audit your content to determine if you’re speaking to your audience or focusing too much on your internal affairs.
- Add new content to answer people’s most pressing questions and demonstrate your expertise.
- Refine your messaging to promote togetherness and an attitude of support.
- Implement responsive web design and ensure that your website is easily navigated.
- Offer easy ways to book consultations via phone, video chat, or other virtual means.
Should You Slow Down on Advertising and SEO?
If your budget has declined due to reduced client income or being short-staffed, it’s understandable if you’re considering dialing back your advertising campaigns. However, it could send the wrong message to fade out during the pandemic.
Instead, put your time and money into higher-ROI marketing methods such as content marketing and SEO. Getting your firm in front of more eyes is crucial, especially as people search online for solutions to their problems.
As we mentioned above, many law firm websites are out-of-date and not optimized. Today, Google favors responsive (mobile-friendly) websites that offer high-value content, accessible articles and videos, and easily-scanned pages. If you revamp your site to highlight these attributes, you can expect to rank higher in search results over time.
One of the most important things you can do from both a branding and SEO standpoint is to include valuable content that will attract organic traffic. For example, you could publish Q&As, how-tos, and factsheets about common topics for your area of legal practice.
Now is not the time to scale back your firm. People still need legal advice and representation as much as they ever have, and more than ever, they’re looking for someone they can count on. Give them a feeling of confidence and clarity, and they’ll be much more likely to choose your firm for their legal needs.
The pandemic may not have greatly affected people’s demand for legal services, but it has certainly impacted how they seek them.
It’s more important than ever to have a strong digital presence with a website that’s optimized for both humans and search engines. Take the time to refine your messaging and revamp your website, and consider rolling out virtual contact options to appeal to prospective clients who are stuck at home and need convenient means of making contact. A modern, compassionate approach that highlights your law firm’s culture is crucial to reputation management for your firm during the COVID-19 era.
Need help with your law firm SEO, marketing strategy, or website? Fletcher Digital is proud to help. We specialize in , and we’re ready to help you elevate your brand with a responsive, user-friendly site — plus SEO improvements and a refreshed marketing strategy. Contact us today for a quote, and focus your firm on success.