What Doesn't Work: 8 Website Marketing Strategies to Avoid

What Doesn't Work: 8 Website Marketing Strategies to Avoid


Not every website marketing strategy is a winner.  In fact, many website marketing strategies that seem on first glance like they'd save you money and be effective have unforeseen negative consequences.  In this guide, we'll take a look at eight of the most common website marketing strategy mistakes that law firms make.  You'll learn why each is a mistake and how to avoid the problems that each of these website marketing strategies can cause.

Strategy #1: Letting Someone Else Make All Your Content

In the interest of expediting a website redesign, a number of law firms have had outside marketing companies making everything for them, from attorney biography pages to content about the law.  This kind of hands-off website marketing strategy is a bad one for attorneys.  It's absolutely possible to have website marketing strategies that incorporate some off-site content production, but people will also want to see a personal touch on at least some of your site.

Even if you're having someone else make a lot of your website, you should take charge of your attorney biography page.  Studies show that this is the page of your website most people are likely to visit immediately before placing a call to your firm—and that means you need to seal the deal with you, not content someone else made.  Make sure your brand image is conveyed, but also the real personality of the attorney you're writing about.  Professionalism doesn't have to come at the expense of a good sense of humor or a vivid storytelling style biographical narrative.

Strategy #2: Being a Late Adopter of New Tech and Platforms

If you keep waving off new ideas for website marketing strategies, saying that it's a fad and you'll look at it again in a year or two, remember this: in the web world, a lot of strategies really only have a useful life of a few years.  By getting in on technologies and platforms late, you risk spending money on a new marketing technique just as it's getting past its expiration date.  That's not a position that any law firm wants to be in.

Consider taking a more daring approach to your website marketing strategy this year.  Often, website marketing strategies that employ new platforms are relatively inexpensive to deploy because the user bases and costs are still smaller.  By getting in on the ground floor of a new online community, you can make sure that you're gathering up market share before your competitors even realize the place exists.

Strategy #3: Market to Everyone

The more people you'll market to, the more people will call your firm and the more cases will come in, right?  Well, not exactly.  It's incredibly difficult—and, moreover, incredibly expensive—to market to everyone.  Expensive and very popular keywords aren't a good strategy for most attorneys.  Instead, remember: you know what you're good at.  Your website marketing strategy should target the kind of people who would be interested in what you do best, not people who are unlikely to need your services.

Targeting is among the biggest website marketing strategies that too many attorneys are missing out on.  There's nothing wrong with selling to a niche instead of to the whole world.  Optimizing your site for people who are looking for your exact kind of lawyer lets you engineer a targeted website marketing strategy that will pay dividends for months or years to come.

Strategy #4: Set It and Forget It

One thing that many attorneys have started to do when they get busy is to use “set it and forget it” programs to update their social media on a regular basis.  While it's fine to set some updates, the second part of that rhyme is something you should avoid at all costs.  Never forget what you've got scheduled and coming up.  Why?  Because when companies do that, they can end up making an embarrassing faux pas when a news event happens and their pre-made content now seems to be ignoring the event or even mocking it.  This is the kind of public relations disaster that you want to avoid at all costs in your website marketing strategies.

Strategy #5: Social Media Marketing in a Hurry

To cut down on time spent making social media updates, some firms have implemented a social media strategy involving cross-posting.  This means that they're posting the exact same status update or content on all of their social media channels.  These website marketing strategies may seem to save time, but what they really do is visibly communicate with consumers who follow you on multiple websites that you don't care to take the time to really engage with social media.

Strategy #6: Eyeballing and Ballparking

Just trying to guesstimate whether a particular website marketing strategy is actually working for your company isn't enough.  You need actual analytics using real data gathered from your site visitors in order to understand when your website marketing strategies are succeeding or failing.  Estimates are notoriously inaccurate, and confirmation bias can play tricks on you if you want to believe a particular website marketing strategy is successful.

Strategy #7: Ignoring Your Competitors

If you think that you don't need to pay attention to what competing firms are doing, and that you should just run your own strategies without checking, think again.  One of the most effective ways to learn about the holes in your website marketing strategy is to do real competitor research.  Don't be afraid to learn from anyone who knows what they're doing—even if that person is a rival or competitor.

Strategy #8: Neglecting Your Offline Presence

Just because website marketing strategies are a big deal doesn't mean that they operate completely on their own.  Your offline reputation and trustworthiness matters a lot to whether people will be referred to your website.  You need to make sure that you're visible enough in your community that you're building both online and offline contacts.  Website marketing strategies work best when they also take into account your referral clients, who may be checking out your site not to decide between you and a competitor, but whether to trust a referral they've received from a friend or relative.

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