How should a personal injury lawyer market his practice?

by Nick Nichols, Professional Services Marketing Expert

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways that would take a book to discuss. However, that being said, the fastest and most cost-effective way is using the Internet.

Personal injury law is one of the most competitive search engine categories and firms are spending large amounts of money to get their websites on the first page of Google. But in doing some PI-related searches for Dallas, I found that all the firm websites on the first page of Google take pretty much the same approach: stately-looking home pages with similar sales copy (yes, you’re in the business of selling legal services). So how can a consumer make an informed decision?

The key is that you must create a value-based competitive advantage that the other firms can’t or won’t offer. If you can complete the following sentence in a way that is compelling and meaningful to your target market, you can own that market: "I am the only accident attorney in my city who…" I call this your "Only-One Advantage" and if crafted properly it will tell people immediately why they should stay at your site and learn more about how you can help them.

Once you’ve created your Only-One Advantage, you need to employ what I call "The Godfather Principle" – make ‘em and offer they can’t refuse. This could be some kind of free information that solves the immediate problem that your website visitors have: "How can I choose the right personal injury attorney? " A business that doesn’t have any kind of offer on their home page is losing business as a result. Using a free info-premium is a proven way to engage people in exchange for their contact information so you can follow up with them.

If your firm is not in the Google "local pack" – the Google+ listings that appear on page one when various keywords relevant to what you do are entered along with your city, you need to get there. You do this by claiming your free Google+ listing (if you don’t know what I mean you haven’t done it), optimize that listing and validate that listing via third-party citations.

Then, because Google+ reviews are so important, you need to start a Google+ review encouragement program at your firm to get as many positive reviews as possible. The more positive Google+ reviews you have, the more likely you will be to get into the 7-pack.

Finally, if you want to get the best bang for your marketing buck, I recommend that you create (or have created) some 1 to 3-minute video clips that address the issues that concern your target market. I don’t mean the standard, boring attorney video clips that a few of your competitors are using. I mean interesting, compelling videos that are direct, to the point and have a call to action. Then create a YouTube channel and upload the clips.

YouTube is #2 behind Google for searches. Google owns YouTube and likes YouTube video clips. With the right formatting and promotion, it’s possible to get one or more of your video clips on Google Page One with a thumbnail listing. This is SEO heaven because people are more likely to click on a video thumbnail than a normal text listing. If the video is done correctly, it will lead people to your website or to call you directly. They will already know something about your firm and be more likely to hire you or at least come in for a consultation.