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Marketing for Bankruptcy Attorneys is Tough

  • Your clients are already in a tough spot financially, so they might not be able to afford you.

    • (Hopefully your firm gets paid up front, though I occasionally speak to firms that have collection problems.)

  • Potential clients probably wait way too long to contact you.

  • Bankruptcy fees vary significantly and aren’t on the same level as other consumer-based practice areas.

So why is all this important? Because your marketing strategy doesn’t leave much room for error. A well-executed online marketing campaign will bring in bankruptcy clients consistently.

There are numerous studies that cite the internet as the number one way people find an attorney, even above referrals. Bankruptcy can also be an embarrassing affair which can lead people to the internet. They don’t want to ask a friend and reveal their problems.

Bankruptcy Law Firm Marketing

Website Design for Bankruptcy Attorneys

Most people make immediate judgements about a business, which means design goes a long way. One of the biggest mistakes people make is investing in a poorly designed website. As a bankruptcy firm it is important to offer a calming feel in a time of chaos. Keep your site well organized, bright, and solution oriented.

There are a few components that every attorney website should have immediately visible, this what we call ‘above the fold’ content. This is the content that is visible before a user starts to scroll.

  • Tell them what you do. (You help people with…bankruptcy.)
  • Convince them why they should choose you. (Testimonials, past successes, etc.)
  • Reveal who you are. (People want to know who they are going to be working with.)
  • Provide a way to contact you. (Phone, Chat, or Form)

If you simply don’t have the budget, then you do what you must do to have an online presence. What you don’t want to do is put gas in a car with a hole in the tank. As in, don’t put marketing dollars into a subpar website. If you can’t afford a website that is on-par with competitors, get something you can afford up and running, then save your dollars until you can upgrade.

Search Engine Optimization for Bankruptcy Law Firms

A large percentage of people do not trust ads. It is estimated that up to 70% of people skip right over them and proceed to what we call the organic listings. This is why SEO for bankruptcy lawyers is so important. These are the listings in the maps section and the non-paid listings usually just below the maps. You achieve these rankings by:

  • Having a great looking website.
  • Writing content that people want to read and offers solutions.
  • Utilizing appropriate on-site optimization techniques.
  • Promoting your website so that Google views it as an authoritative source of information.

Website Design & User Experience

See the above section on website design for more details but know that design does impact your rankings. If people don’t like it, they will leave quickly. We call this the bounce rate and having a high bounce rate is something that Google monitors. You want people to stay on your website because this is an indication that the user found what they were looking for.

Content That Ranks

There are two categories of content: Practice Areas and Supportive.

Practice area content are the pages that you want to rank for your ‘money phrases’ that are most likely to convert. Bankruptcy Lawyer is an example. Other examples are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. You might also decide to have a Personal Bankruptcy page and a Corporate Bankruptcy page. This would be appropriate if people don’t know the different types of bankruptcies.

The key aspects of these pages is that you want them to be more comprehensive and helpful than your competitors. Conduct searches to see what pages are ranking for the phrases you want this page to rank for and ensure your page is better.

  • What subtopics are other attorneys writing about?
  • Is the order of the subtopics appropriate?
  • What sources are the competitors using?
  • Is there information your competitors aren’t providing? (You want to differentiate your page somehow.)

Those concepts can also be applied to the supportive pages. These pages play two important roles. First, some people may be searching for questions before they decide to look for an attorney. So, this is an opportunity to help them get familiar with your firm. An example topic may be, “Will I lose my home if I file for bankruptcy?”

The second purpose supportive content plays, is making your firm appear to be an authority on the topic. If your website ranks for a variety of bankruptcy topics, then your site is more likely to rank across the board. If you have one page on your website dedicated to bankruptcy, another website is going to be more likely to rank because their site is a more comprehensive resource that is trusted by other internet users. If your Chapter 7, Chapter 13, Debt Management, and a handful of supportive pages all rank for targeted keywords, then your site is more likely to rank for the general ‘Bankruptcy Lawyer’ phrase that has the highest volume of searches.

On-Site Optimization

Checkout our main page for SEO for a full walkthrough on how to optimize your website. Here are a few key parameters that you want to make sure are correct:

  • Page Title – This is the title that is shown in bold when your website ranks. You want your main keyword to be in this title. If your firm has a strong enough brand presence that many searchers will recognize, you can put your brand at the end of the page title. If you don’t have household recognition, you will be better off using a call to action.
  • Meta Description – This is the description that is shown on the search results page along with the title. Use this space wisely to entice people to click on the page.
  • H1 Title – Your main keyword should be in this title as well. This is an easy title to get confused with the page title because this is what is shown at the top of the page of your content. This does not show up in the search results. Keep it simple.
  • H2/3/4 Titles – These are the titles for the subtopics. You want these to be descriptive of the content people are going to read below. If you can also make these titles variations of what people are likely to search for, then mix those keywords in. But you don’t want these sub-titles to get spammy. An example would be to use the word attorney instead of lawyer if you used lawyer in the H1.
  • Alt Tags – These aren’t just important but are also legally required. They tell the visually impaired what a picture is about.
  • Calls To Action – I know you don’t want to be salesy but that is what your site is supposed to do. You need to include subtle calls to action to tell people what their next step should be.

There are other components to on-site optimization that are important but beyond the skill-set of a do-it-yourself firm. We recommend you consult with an agency or designer to ensure the following is adhered to.

  • Have a fast site. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check the speed of your website and the individual pages on your site. This test is on a page-by-page level.
    • You will quickly see a bunch of gibberish that Google recommends you fix. This is why a professional is needed. Google wants to rank websites that are fast because people do not have much patience and will leave quickly if your site doesn’t load as fast as they want.
  • Use HTTPS on your website. Google wants to rank websites that are secure and save for its users.
  • Use appropriate anchor text and have a solid inner-linking plan. Big picture, link to pages where it will help the user.

Off-Site Promotion (Link-Building)

There are hundreds of factors that go into the Google algorithm. One of the most important are back-links. When a third-party website links to your website, they are telling Google they trust your website. It is kind of like a big popularity contest. The more websites that link to yours, the more popular Google believes your website is. The more popular those websites are, the more ‘street-cred’ that link will get you. Another big component is topical relevance. If the third-party website is closely related to bankruptcy, then that link will be more impactful.

Online Reviews

It should come as no surprise that online reviews are important. This is an area that is extremely difficult to fake, thus Google puts a tremendous amount of trust in these reviews. These can make or break your ability to rank, especially if your firm is in a major metro market. A good goal to strive for is to get 10% of your clients to leave a review. Get reviews on these websites, in this order: Google, Facebook, and AVVO. Don’t stop pointing people to Google until you have more reviews there than any of your competitors. Google is that important.

Search engines love seeing websites and pages that are designed with the end user in mind. By offering your visitors substantive content in a well-functioning site, you improve the overall quality of the search engine and the internet as a whole. You get internet karma by getting a boost up in page ranking.

SEO Versus PPC: What Works Better For Bankruptcy Clients?

SEO will produce the best leads vs. PPC. However, just as some people are more inclined to skip the ads, some people are more inclined to click on them. Here are a few reasons for that:

  • They are in a hurry.

  • They want immediate answers and don’t want to read.

  • These first two might sound bad, like those inquiries are going to be low-quality. Oftentimes they are. But sometimes people that are in a hurry are like that because they are emotionally upset. They aren’t in the right frame of mind to do research.

  • They want to talk to an attorney.

  • They don’t distrust ads and usually find information through ads.

  • Ads are what are first shown on the search results page and the ad might just catch their eye.

Another huge benefit that PPC has over SEO is that it works instantly. SEO can take over a year to become consistently effective. With PPC, as soon as you start paying, you start playing.

The main problem that is specific to bankruptcy attorneys are the directories. While all law firms that try to compete with SEO will be competing with the directories, bankruptcy attorneys are in a unique position because most markets are not going to support a large SEO campaign. Meaning, there isn’t enough business to warrant spending $5k per month on just SEO unless the firm is in a very large market like NYC.

This problem manifests itself because the directory websites are so strong that they naturally rank very well. While Google will give firms a local boost, their websites still need to cross certain quality thresholds for Google to be willing to rank them. Figuring out where those thresholds exist is part of the strategy behind SEO for bankruptcy firms. Spend too much and your ROI goes down. Spend too little and your website won’t rank at all.

PPC for Bankruptcy Attorneys

Running a successful PPC campaign comes down to a few key metrics:

  • 1.Quality Score
  • 2. On-site Conversions
  • 3. Keyword Management

Quality Score is a metric that Google Ads provides and lets us know what Google thinks of the page that keyword is sending people to. If you have a low score, Google will charge you more for that keyword. This score is on an individual keyword basis. To improve this score requires adjusting the landing page being used. The alternative is to create an entirely different landing page that is unique to that keyword and related keywords. Quality Score can be the difference between losing and making money with PPC.

Just because you get people to your website does not mean they will contact you. We see conversion rates as low as 2% on poorly run campaigns and as high as 70%. Each keyword will be a little unique, which we will get more into with the next paragraph. What is important to focus on is the design, content, and calls to action on the landing page. Does your landing page look better than your competitors? If not, then you should expect your on-site conversion rate to be lower.

Finally, keyword management is another main component. The firm needs to be adding negative keywords to the targeting parameters to ensure the firm is not spending money on low converting keywords. Some of these keywords are obvious, like pro bono or free. You don’t want to pay money to get calls from people that can afford you. But some are less evident like ‘Lawyer’ because that phrase is too broad. If you want bankruptcy cases, your keywords should be about bankruptcy. Another example is ‘Bankruptcy’ because people could be clicking on your ad because they are interested in bankruptcy information but not specifically finding an attorney. These keywords are generally cheaper than ‘Bankruptcy Attorney’ but will also convert at a substantially lower rate.

Social Media for Bankruptcy Lawyers

There are a few ways to leverage social media, most are moderately effective at best. In almost all instances, it is better to spend your budget on other forms of marketing. If you are looking for a DIY option, then some of these methods may be worth pursuing.

  • Organic Reach – This involves posting information to your law firm’s page. The problem with this is that the social media companies don’t make any money. So, their algorithms intentionally inhibit your ability to reach your audience. They want you to use the paid options. The other big problem is that most people don’t care about legal topics until they have a problem. In which case they will use Google to find an answer. Finally, people don’t want others to know they are associated or interested in a law firm. So, interactions with attorneys on social media are rare.
  • Paid Reach – This is an awareness campaign. It is more similar to TV, radio, or billboards than it is to SEO or PPC. It is mass advertising. You are trying to get your ad to show up in the person’s feed. This can be effective but given the amount of change social media platforms are going through, mostly because of privacy concerns, this is a very difficult form of advertising to get right.
  • Groups – This is perhaps the most effective. You join local groups, about any topic, and become an active member. Overtime you can let people know what type of business you have and offer advice when the need arises. This means you, the attorney, need to be social. Most firms don’t want to put out the effort to do this. Hiring an agency to do this is difficult because it would be too costly to do it well. There is also a fine line between representing your law firm and impersonating it.
Web Marketing Agency for Bankruptcy Lawyers

Bankruptcy Law Firm Marketing – The Gladiator Way

There are many online marketing tools at your firm’s disposal. We determine which tools serve you best, then we implement a customized strategy based on your budget, market and goals. When you work with Gladiator Law Marketing, you don’t need to be an expert in search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, keyword research or content marketing. We assess your needs and implement a strategy. All you need to worry about is doing what you do best.

You already offer your clients exceptional service. You have everything in place to succeed. We give you the platform to showcase your services and make sure your firm is seen by potential clients. Let us set you apart from the competition.

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