Is Your Law Firm's Web Presence In a Building or Driving Phase?

Jeff Berman
February 13, 2012

I recently read an interesting book discussing the changes in the world of digital marketing agencies. In the book, the author talks about the concept of builders vs. drivers. This concept struck a chord with me and I think it's worth sharing.

It's important when your firm is getting involved in a search marketing campaign that you understand where you're at in the process. By this I mean, are you at a stage where you are laying the groundwork for success in the future or are you trying to improve the short-term results of a campaign that already exists? This is an important distinction and it effects the time tables for results, the activities that need to be done, and how you measure the work that is being performed.

There are two main phases that your search marketing campaign falls into, building and driving.

Building Phase

The building phase is used to set the foundation for future success. Most firms that are just getting started with their online marketing campaigns are in a building phase. Building phase activities include:

  • Website/Blog Development - Does the firm have a website or blog established? Is the website user-friendly? Is it built on a Content Management System you can access? Does the site have strong calls to action and great content?
  • Analytics Setup & Analysis - Do you have analytics in place and ways to measure the traffic and behavior on the site?
  • SEO Research Phase - Has the initial keyword research taken place? Is the website optimized including page titles, URL structure, headings, meta descriptions, etc? Do you know what your current link profile looks like (ie: the number and types of other websites linking back to your site)?
  • Brand Positioning & Market Research - Do you understand your market and how you differentiate from your competitors?
  • Social Media Setup - Do you have the major social media profiles established for the firm as well as individual attorneys at the firm? Are you currently active on any of these profiles?
  • Content Strategy- Do you have a strategy in place for producing content? Is the current website content strong, action oriented and focused on the potential clients?

It is essential that these elements are in place before you are able to move on to the driving phase. The difficulty is that many of these elements are not measurable with short-term results. In other words, just setting up a website isn't going to bring in more traffic. Performing initial SEO research won't increase your rankings tomorrow. Setting up a social media profile isn't going to increase your lead numbers this month. Rather, these are all activities that are essential to your success down the road. They are a core part of the process, but the short-term results are not as measurable in terms of new business. For the firms that are used to traditional advertising methods, it is important to understand that your success with Law Firm SEO is a process and it doesn't happen over night. These foundational elements need to be in place to ensure success in the driving phase.

Driving Phase

Once the foundational elements are in place, your firm is able to move into the driving phase. The driving phase includes marketing activities through the web, search, social, content, and public relations.  These type of activities could include:

  • Creation of ebooks, blog posts, infographics, videos, reports, etc.
  • Content marketing to increase awareness, generate links, shares, etc.
  • Building links to increase the authority of your website or blog.
  • Launching a paid search campaign to drive clicks and leads in the short-term.
  • Establishing relationships via thoughtful blog commenting, social media, etc

These activities directly contribute to measurable results including:

  • Generating website blog traffic
  • Increasing awareness of your firm online
  • Increasing rankings for selected keyword phrases
  • Generating leads/phone calls

It's important that you understand where your law firm is at in this process so that you have proper expectations. If you are just starting out in the building phase, you shouldn't expect immediate, short-term results. However, this isn't an excuse to skip over the crucial elements that are required in the building phase for future success in the driving phase. Success with your online marketing is a process and there are no magic bullets or short cuts to building a healthy, long-lasting online presence.

Photo by jphilipg

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman, is co-founder of AttorneySync. "Properly marketing a law firm online is about producing relevant content that helps a prospective client understand your expertise and how you are able to help them. Finally, it’s about getting that content found by the people you are trying to help."
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Let's Discuss Your Growth

Helping law firms grow profitably with digital marketing and can prove it.

Barry Conybeare

We are so impressed with AttorneySync and their digital marketing services. We started with an audit of our digital presence and hired them thereafter. Fixes to the website and other platforms quickly followed and we have seen a substantial increase in online traffic, new client calls, and new client contracts. Strongly recommend AttorneySync!

Let's Talk

How can we help?

More From Our Blog

June 8, 2023
On Local Law Firm SEO Rank Tracking and Reporting

Over the years, law firm prospects have sent us reports from just about all of our competitors. Unfortunately, even today, some law firm marketing agencies still mislead their clients via "reporting." One particularly egregious example comes in the form of ranking reports. Which prompted this LinkedIn post. To my surprise, I received a lot of […]

Read More
June 7, 2023
On Attribution

John Wanamaker supposedly said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." In an an effort to figure out "what half is working," attribution was born. Coupled with a transition from traditional, offline ads to digital media, attribution became the holy grail for analyzing advertising spends. But […]

Read More
March 22, 2023
I asked ChatGPT to Recommend a Personal Injury Law Firm

I recently asked ChatGPT, "What are some of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago?? Actually, first I ask "who are some of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago?" ChatGPT couldn't handle that one, so I modified the prompt. ChatGPT listed five very well-known firms downtown. Can you guess the other four? That's […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
My Take on Google Search's Guidance on AI-Generated Content & Law Firm SEO

If you're like me, you have some degree of AI, ChatGBT, Bard, exhaustion. Now don't get me wrong, this is stuff is remarkable and is changing, well, a lot. But before you hook up the ChatGPT API to your WordPress API and crank out 10,000 pages, here are a few things to think about. Let's […]

Read More
February 16, 2023
Google Adds New SEO Best Practices for Links

If you know me, you know my opinions about links and SEO advice from Google. If you don't, here's the TL;DR: Meh, links! Meaning, all things being equal, links still remain a competitive difference maker for ranking. Take Google's SEO advice with several grains of salt. Google has no economic incentive to help your site […]

Read More
February 1, 2023
Authenticity & Engagement

The best marketing advice I can give you is to be authentic. Of course, you don't find that very helpful in terms of meeting your growth goals. So, you might decide to game the system. As I'm writing this, one of the more popular ways to gain the system is to pay for engagement. This […]

Read More
January 19, 2023
ChatGPT for Legal Marketing

The following post was written by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses, including law firms, market themselves to potential clients. One way that a law firm could use […]

Read More
May 26, 2022
SEO Expectations for Law Firms

How long does SEO take? When can I expect to see results? What results should I expect to see? These are all reasonable questions that we field from lawyers every day. And, like many legal answers, the answer is: It depends. Yes, I know that's not the answer you wanted. But it's the most honest […]

Read More
May 6, 2022
Who Should Do Marketing?

And how much time should they spend doing it? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tyson, Jim, and Conrad for an upcoming episode of The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. If you're not familiar with The Maximum Lawyer community, you should definitely check it out. Jim asked a really great question about who should do […]

Read More

Let's Discuss

Questions or comments? Let's discuss on social!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram