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Where Do Attorneys Waste the Most Money in Their Marketing Efforts?

AS WE SETTLE INTO 2016, we wanted to ask a few legal marketing experts where they saw attorneys wasting the most money in their marketing efforts. All of the experts have direct—and deep—experience with legal marketing, so this should help to refine your efforts for 2016.
We asked each of the experts below, “Where do you think attorneys waste the most money in their marketing efforts?” The order of the responses is exactly as we received them. Thank you to all the law firm SEO experts for weighing in. If you are on Twitter, this would also serve as an excellent list of several of the best minds in the industry to follow.
12LARRY BODINE
Editor in Chief—The National Trial Lawyers and PersonalInjuiry.com | Website | Twitter: @larrybodine
Answer: Pay Per Click. Attorneys are constantly bidding up broad PPC keywords like “plaintiff personal injury” in competition with other lawyers. The term is so overused. A better move is to bid for injury-specific keywords like “brain injury” or “a-fibrillation.”
13GRANT BROTT
Lead Marketing Consultant at Consultwebs | Website | Twitter: @grantbrott
Answer: A lot of money is wasted on local media websites for online ads that don’t drive any actual client leads, just traffic. Unless they are leveraging retargeting lists, then it is just a paid banner that does nothing for the firm. Running these can be effective if there is tie-in to a recent recall or product issue. Normally, though, they are just branded banners with no target. There is not enough thought put into audience and tracking, which leads to a complete waste of money on the tactic.
14BILL SLAWSKI
President of SEO by the Sea and Director of Search Marketing for Go Fish Digital | Website |
Twitter: @bill_slawski
Answer: Many attorneys seem to want to target too large or broad of a set of terms, rather than creating content and pages and campaigns for the people who are most likely to choose to become their clients, within the jurisdictions they operate within.
15GYI TSAKALAKIS
Founder AttorneySync: Online Legal Marketing | Website | Twitter: @gyitsakalakis
Answer: In terms of total dollars, I suspect offline advertising (e.g. television, billboards, print, etc.). It’s not that these channels are wasteful per se, but that most attorneys aren’t measuring the return on ad spend from these expenditures. After those, probably via the AdWords legal bid war. In other words, uninformed campaigns designed to “be in the number one position for all relevant keywords regardless of their performance to generate a fee.”
16CONRAD SAAM
Founder of Mockingbird Marketing | Website |
Twitter: @conradsaam
Answer: This is hard to pick just one—I’d say most attorneys don’t have a clue how effective their marketing is by individual marketing channel, so there is lots of wasted money. Having said that, the industry as a whole blows the most money trying to “win” AdWords, followed closely by the thinly veiled regurgitation of news stories as blog posts. Sadly, there are still some attorneys who are still investing time and money building the raw count of Facebook likes and Twitter followers and Pinterest….
17PAUL JULIUS
SEM Lead at Consultwebs | Website |
Twitter: @pj_julius
Answer: Using any SEM/PPC management company that does not specialize in legal advertising is a very bad investment. This is one of the most competitive and expensive verticals for AdWords, and you can’t leave that up to people who don’t deal with it on a regular basis. What the “one-size-fits-all” companies do may be OK for the local florist or mechanic who aren’t going to be spending thousands of dollars per month, but I’ve seen some bad things happen because many times these companies are focused on getting as many clicks as possible, regardless of how relevant they may be.
18MIKE RAMSEY
President of NiftyMarketing and NiftyLaw | Website | Twitter: @mikeramsey
Answer: It would be really easy to say the biggest marketing waste is done with billboards, newspapers, TV ads, or print yellow pages, but I have come to see that all forms of marketing can bring ROI if done correctly. Some law firms are making old media methods work very well for them. I think the problem is in the tracking and attribution. If people don’t track well, then they can waste a lot of money in Adwords, or online directories, or anywhere else, and end up with a negative return on investment. So, for me, the most money wasted is on anything or anywhere that can’t have some form of measurement or attribution.

J.R. Oakes

J.R. Oakes is in charge of developing and managing our comprehensive approach to search engine optimization for our law firm clients at www.Consultwebs.com. In this role, J.R. constantly analyzes and adapts our SEO strategy to address the constantly changing factors that go into high search engine rankings. He can be reached at: (800) 872-6590.

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About the Author: J.R. Oakes is in charge of developing and managing our comprehensive approach to search engine optimization for our law firm clients at www.Consultwebs.com. In this role, J.R. constantly analyzes and adapts our SEO strategy to address the constantly changing factors that go into high search engine rankings. He can be reached at: (800) 872-6590.

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