The new year is here and with it comes some pretty significant changes in our world, not the least of which a vaccination for COVID-19. As the life once again shifts and adjusts, so too, should your law firm’s marketing strategy.
With COVID-19 vaccinations underway, new hope that we’ll be returning to “normal” soon is blossoming across the globe. What will the next few months look like? While none of us are fortune tellers, there are something that can help you anticipate what will happen and how to posture your marketing to make the most of those economic changes.
In addition to the ever-changing world around us, there are also some widely anticipated changes to the marketing industry that should be accounted for when posturing your law firm’s marketing strategy for the new year.
Marketing Updates on the Horizon
There are some pretty major updates about to drop that will impact many law firm’s marketing efforts ranging from advertising to SEO. Did that make your heart rate increase? Let me say it again… the updates about to drop will impact both advertising and SEO – paid and organic search. Are you following? That means that if your SEO isn’t prepared, you could find yourself unable to get your law firm to rank either organically OR through paid PPC measures. So, that’s the extreme. Let’s examine both of those a little closer.
iOS 14 Privacy Update
Advertisers everywhere are quivering in the boots to learn what the exact impact of the iOS 14 update may be. Facebook has actually gone on record to firmly disagree with Apple’s policy changes.
The tech giant (Apple) delayed the release of this privacy update until “early 2021”, and the closer it gets, the more we are learning about the total impact. After conducting some testing, Facebook is anticipating over 50% loss to their partners in the Audience Network and its advertising capabilities.
But Facebook isn’t the only advertising platform expecting to be impacted by this policy update. Google Ads will also be impacted.
Now, let’s rewind here for a minute. Both Facebook and Google have a rather extensive collection advertising capabilities. So, if you’re looking to have your law firm’s ads shown on let’s say Google’s Search results or the Facebook Newsfeed, you’ll still be able to advertise there no problem. However, the two main areas you can expect your advertising efforts to be impacted are:
- Ad Retargeting
- Ad Measurement
However, with the loss to the Audience Network with Facebook and degradation to retargeting abilities, this means that more advertisers will be competing for space on the Newsfeed and in Search results which could mean a higher Cost Per Click and lower impressions.
Google was first to make several changes way back in 2016 and 2018 regarding retargeting. In specific, it precluded you from gathering audience information on Divorce, Criminal Law and most or Personal Injury searches. If you ran a retargeting campaign that had links to your website containing text about those practice areas, your ads were shut down and disapproved. So we have experience with this. Facebook provided us a way around this as marketers, allowing us to finally target these audiences with ads.
How can your law firm prepare for the hit to the advertising realm? Stay flexible, stay in the know and continue working on your SEO to rank higher organically. Speaking of SEO…
Google’s Page Experience Algorithm Update
Many organizations, including law firms, see some pretty dramatic shifts in rankings after Google releases their Core updates, such as the one that recently occurred in December 2020. Organizations and marketing agencies alike are typically left in the dark on what changes are coming down the pipeline and therefore, are unable to prepare in advance, but rather are left to pick up the pieces to gain their ranking back.
Perhaps as a result of COVID-19 Google has taken pity on all of us and have given us months now to prepare for the upcoming algorithm update called Page Experience. Google has gone on record to say the following:
“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces and helps sites evolve towards mobile user expectations. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”
Essentially, this means the more user friendly your website is, the better it will fair. What metrics can you use to gauge this? Of course, your regular SEO implementations should not be ignored, but when focusing on user experience, you really want to ensure that your website is mobile friendly, has a fast loading time (no one likes to wait), minimize the number of pop-ups, and more. Other things like easy to see and click menus (hello FindLaw), anchor links with matching text, and other factors will come into play. Focus on your mobile site, make sure you can read the text there, that you don’t have text running off the screen, the menu functions and basic contact information is present. Always start with the fundamentals.
If your site does not hit Google’s benchmarks for the update, you can expect to see a decrease in your site’s ranking power. Your choices here are get ready or get left behind. This is where you may want to consider working with a law firm marketing agency such as Precision Legal Marketing to ensure that your website is prepared for Google’s forthcoming Page Experience algorithm update.
3 Ways to Improve Your Law Firm’s Marketing
With major changes heading our way, here are three ways to improve your law firm’s marketing in 2021.
SEO, SEO, SEO
Don’t skimp on your SEO efforts. Seriously. With two MAJOR marketing updates heading our way any day now, your law firm cannot afford to skimp on SEO for your law firm’s website. Loss in rank and advertising capabilities means that if you don’t fine tune your SEO you could see a huge loss in business. Lower ranking means less traffic and ultimately, fewer leads and fewer clients.
Start preparing your content now for the COVID-19 vaccinations you know are coming down the pipeline for almost all practice areas. “Can I legally require an employee to get the vaccination?” “Can I request proof of COVID-19 vaccination records from my employees?” “Can I keep my child from visiting their other parent if the other parent refuses the COVID-19 vaccination?” I’m sure you get the picture here… these types of questions are on the cusp of exploding on Google’s Search results and if you’re not working towards building on those keywords already, you can bet your bottom dollar that your competitor is.
Staying on top of rapidly changing socio-economic issues such as the coronavirus, politics, etc. can help you better posture your content and strategy. If you turn a blind eye to what’s happening, you’ll fall behind the curve. Similarly, you need to stay on top of these major algorithmic updates such as Google’s Core updates and Apple’s privacy update. Keep an eye open for those big, big changes that will have significant impact on your ability to rank, advertise, etc.
Look, there are loads of tips we can give you to improve your marketing. If you’re crushing your content and your SEO, you’re in a relatively good position. Keep building on both of those. We can’t hammer in enough the fact that SEO is the key to all of this. Don’t skimp on it. Don’t delay in getting your website user friendly. Stay aware of what’s going on and stay flexible to be able to implement any necessary changes as a result.
Keeping up with all of that is a lot. Ensuring your website’s are SEO friendly and prepared for the Page Experience algorithm to drop is even more. Precision Legal Marketing can help. Get in touch today to learn more about our law firm marketing services and how we can help posture your efforts for a successful 2021.