There can be a good argument behind why a law firm should carve out a niche practice and give its own identity by designing and building another website but beware of the traps.
Over the last 10 years we’ve launched numerous sub-brands for law firms, and here are a few points on getting it right.
It Needs a Strategy
Simply having another website designed and built for your niche practice isn’t enough. In our experience, there needs to be buy-in from the partners and management to devise and implement a brand awareness and marketing strategy. If you don’t, it will remain very much a side bet, and will ultimately wither. Having a new website doesn’t bring traffic, and in today’s legal market place it’s highly competitive and expensive to just get enough oxygen to sustain the business.
It can be done, for example, we worked with a defendant personal injury practice that successfully incubated and brought to market a plaintiff firm which has proved successful after only 3 years and to their credit, they spent a significant amount of time planning it out and gave it a definitive runway that if it couldn’t launch in the set period, they would pull the pin.
Do the Research
Like starting any business do your market research. If it’s a practice that you’re unable to cultivate your existing client and referral database, you’re going to have to create both brand awareness and a strategy that drives leads. Better still, if your new brand has a value proposition completely unique and different from competitors. In this case, pulling together competitor analysis can prove very useful, in particular, an examination of the SEO strength, targeted keywords and estimate search volume as well as similar metrics relating to Ad campaigns they may be running. In this respect, at Fast Firms we use a suite of platforms that give us this data. Reach out if you need our help.
That said, it goes without saying, that the easiest practices to grow are when you have ready access to potential clients.
Get SEO on Board Early
Depending upon your ultimate objective, or in the words of Jim Collins your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) if getting ranked for relevant search keywords fits in there, then get help with building out your SEO strategy sooner rather than later. The requisite research above will help, but having an seo agency to identify both short and long term seo targets will help shape what’s coming next, “content.” We can assist with all facets of seo.
Build the Content
We write a lot about the importance of law firms having a content strategy and sticking with the regime. Content is relevant to every facet of marketing a new practice, it generates inbound marketing opportunities, it is the fuel for all your email campaign and social media strategies and following on from your SEO targets mentioned above, it will drive traffic over the longer term. If you need help with both content strategy or content writing, we can do this with and for you!
Run Google Ads
A growing majority of law firms these days are running ads. Why? Primarily because getting traffic from organic search terms through SEO is a long and arduous process, sometimes taking years for ultra competitive terms. Google ads give your firm a ticket to the races instantaneously and depending upon your budget, ad copy quality, and the strength of corresponding landing pages, you’re in the game. We worked with one estate litigation firm that spawned from a family law practice that essentially did this and not much else and built a very successful practice. Need help with Google Ads, we recommend this article!
We use the term “try” because running remarketing campaigns in the legal industry can be problematic. Remarketing is basically where you continue to show ads on news and other types of websites on the Google display network to potential clients for a period of time after they have visited your web site or clicked on a link that you may have served. It’s highly effective and significantly less expensive than running search or display Ads. The caveat is that there are very strict guidelines imposed by Google with these types of ads based upon a person’s privacy and most law firms will fall foul in trying to instigate these campaigns, but there are firms who have done it and continue to do so with good impact.
Press the Green Button
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but we’ve worked with numerous law firms on the research, strategy, SEO content, design and development only to find that the firm for whatever reason gets stuck in a holding pattern (usually analysis paralysis) and fail to launch. The far better approach, of course, is to do your due diligence (market research, competitor analysis etc) before getting to building out SEO profiles and all that follows.
How can Fast Firms Help?
Launching a legal practice is very different from launching any other business. At Fast Firms, we are across the trend shifts occurring within the industry, through the experiences of our clients have considerable insight into what’s working and what isn’t for law firms and importantly, can take care of everything that is involved in taking your secondary legal practice from an idea through to a fully fledged business.