Sometimes law firms hire the wrong marketing director. It happens. Law firms specialize in the legal industry, not search engine optimization. Despite your best efforts to correct the situation, your hire doesn’t live up to the job description.
Everyone you interview for a law firm marketing director role isn’t fit to hold the position. With new marketing strategies and trends appearing daily, law firms need someone who can stay on the cutting edge from day one. Here are five signs that you need a new law firm marketing director.
Your Law Firm’s Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
According to Statista, more than half of the global web traffic comes from mobile devices. That figure continues to rise as more people purchase smartphones every year. If your law firm doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website, you may be neglecting half of your potential audience.
A legal marketing director should prioritize mobile optimization if you don’t have a dynamic site already. The site will contain the same content and search engine optimization (SEO) techniques as the desktop version. The difference is in how that content appears on a smartphone versus a desktop.
Any good marketing director should understand how to adjust your digital marketing for each medium. For example, a mobile site should have a clean interface with stripped-back content and large, readable fonts. They should also make your images and CSS as light as possible while eliminating pop-up advertising.
More importantly, your law firm website must have a responsive design. The site will adapt shapes and sizes to fit a device, whether a tablet or phone. That way, people can have a positive user experience, whether they’re researching your legal services or visiting your social media channels.
Consider it a red flag if your marketing director says that desktop and mobile websites function similarly. Each medium requires a different version to enhance the client experience. Sometimes, your law firm may even need a mobile app as part of your marketing plan to ensure the proper look and feel.
They Don’t Add Fresh Content to Your Blog
It takes a long time to see the fruit of your SEO labor—roughly six to 12 months. SEO takes time because law firms need to establish credibility with Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. One way to prove your legal industry experience is through high-quality blog posts.
Blog posts allow a law firm to brand itself more effectively to specific clients. For example, if you have a divorce law firm in North Dakota, your law firm marketing director should develop content about the latest trends in the state’s law and best practices for getting a divorce. If North Dakotans have questions about divorce, your company should appear at the top of their search engine results.
Fresh content has many other benefits. It improves your search engine ranking, gives your law firm more content to share on social media, and provides readers a reason to revisit. It should raise an eyebrow if your law firm marketers don’t focus on developing new blog posts.
Content creation goes hand in hand with successful marketing campaigns. They give your law firm sharable and actionable content that you use to attract clients and improve your online reputation. While blog posts should factor prominently into business development plans, your law firm marketing director may include press releases, print media, direct mail, and advertising content.
Even if you don’t rank for the desired keywords immediately, blog posts serve as an SEO laboratory. They can assist your law firm marketers to find strategies, keywords, and styles that attract the most visitors. However, if a marketer forsakes content creation, your law firm has a marketing problem.
Their SEO Strategy Doesn’t Achieve Results
As we mentioned in the last section, SEO takes time. You should give your marketing team a chance to experiment with different styles and formats to see what works best. At a certain point, though, they need to achieve results.
According to WordStream, the average Google ad has a 4.40% conversation rate, and display networks have an average conversion rate of 0.57%. These figures depend on your industry. Lawyers and attorneys have some of the highest conversion rates at 7.45% and 0.46%, respectively.
So, what does that mean for your marketing expectations? Your law firm should expect approximately 7-8% of people to perform a desired task via online marketing campaigns. That could mean signing up for your newsletter, contacting your law firm partners, or following your social media accounts.
Your marketing employees should achieve a similar conversion rate. Otherwise, it means they’re not doing their job. Techniques such as A/B testing can help refine and improve ads so that more people click on them and become clients.
Even if your law firm has a 7-8% conversion rate, check out your cost per acquisition. That same WordStream article notes that the average law firm spends $85.29 to convert new clients. If your director is throwing money away to achieve an average return on investment, you should reevaluate their job duties.
They Don’t Meet Deadlines
Most lawyers understand the importance of deadlines. It can jeopardize their case if they don’t submit paperwork by a specific time. The same applies to marketing and business development.
Your marketing director needs to stay on top of deadlines for several reasons. First, it ensures that everyone completes their work on time. While delays happen, staying accountable and putting in a high effort can keep things on track.
Hitting deadlines enables a smooth workflow at your law firm. Deadlines require people to collaborate on various goals while ensuring that complex projects hit their marks. It also requires communication between attorneys, marketers, and other staff members to keep the workplace free of confusion.
Missed deadlines can damage your law firm’s reputation. Not only do you have to mitigate the fallout, but you also have to reevaluate your marketing efforts to find out why your chief marketing officer didn’t complete their job duties on time. A missed deadline can have broad implications, including a financial penalty.
Don’t let missed deadlines slow down your business development. If content doesn’t hit the market on time, examine the root cause. Some questions you should ask every staff member in the marketing department include:
- Do they understand the tasks involved with the project?
- Do they have the right resources for the job?
- Does the schedule have contingencies in case of problems?
- Do the jobs have clear and detailed schedules?
If your chief marketing officer has the right tools for the job, they should hit their deadlines. Perhaps they have self-sabotaging behaviors like procrastination which hinders their marketing performance and communications. They also may have too much responsibility, making it challenging to work on multiple jobs simultaneously.
They Guaranteed Ranking on the First Page of Google
No one can guarantee a first-page ranking on Google. Even the most experienced marketers fall short of this goal. No amount of education or business expertise allows someone to make these promises. If a marketer guarantees your law firm the top spot on Google, consider that a warning sign.
For starters, ranking on Google depends on the keyword’s difficulty. Broad keywords, like “attorney,” “lawyers,” or “law practice,” have millions of search results. The competition and general usage make these keywords almost impossible to rank on the first page.
Your law firm has a better chance of ranking for long-tailed keywords. While these words don’t receive as much traffic, they may better reflect your law practice areas. For instance, you’re more likely to find a client if someone searches “divorce attorney in Fargo” than if they search “attorney” because the first term has a more narrowly tailored search intent.
A marketing officer should never guarantee rankings because search engines don’t publish their algorithms. While we can recommend SEO best practices, they involve educated guesses to some extent. Digital marketing requires testing and refining content to see what works with the ever-changing algorithm.
Here’s the bottom line: SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of job. An employer can make a savvy hire and still fall short of their SEO goals. The practice requires tons of hard work, skill, and a little bit of luck. Don’t let someone tell you they can guarantee results that seem too good to be true.
Transform Your Legal Marketing Today
Your marketing director may look perfect on paper. They have a strong resume, a journalism degree, glowing referral sources, and reasonable salary requirements. They look perfect for the job. However, bringing on a new person to your law firm can be a gamble, and sometimes those gambles don’t pay off.
At Family Attorney SEO, we have law firms ask us for advice after hiring a head of marketing who isn’t living up to their job duties. Not everyone with a marketing education can meet expectations. We offer the strategies and solutions to resolve this employment debacle.
Ready to transform your legal marketing? We can help. Contact us by filling out our online form and mentioning your hiring or SEO issues. We will take the time to set up a free consultation with you so that you can move your law firm forward.