Sometimes marketing is just a big pain in the butt. Your competitors are doing it better than you. The leads aren’t coming in and your local lawyer SEO firm is blowing hot air.
That’s when you realize you have to start by avoiding mistakes and make sure you are on the right path before chasing the rainbows and unicorns of the latest marketing trends.
Here are five things to avoid that would surely make your marketing fail.
1. Taking a casual approach to load time and mobile optimization
If your site takes more than three seconds to load, you lose almost half of your visitors.
GTmetrix is an excellent tool for checking your load time and it will give you a bunch of suggestions on how you can fix your pages speed problems. 315,571,612 pages have been analyzed so far by their tool.
Download an optimization report, send it to your developer and ask them to fix the clearly documented issues or find someone else who can.
Here is a screenshot of GTmetrix ratings one of my local Law Schools – picked off the top of my head and the first I checked to use as an example:
Ouch. Suffolk, please give me a call…
It doesn’t take a genius to know that having a fantastic mobile experience on your website is critical, yet it’s incredibly common for law firm and related websites to load slowly and have navigation and mobile issues.
2. Writing average content just to fill a quota
It’s not a bad idea to have a weekly blog post that isn’t super long or super mind blowing. That’s fine. But don’t expect that to rock the world. Just because you can get your law clerk or intern to write for free doesn’t mean it’s going to move mountains without strategy.
The type of content that works these days is longer, deeper and apparently more fulfilling. According to a study of 1 million results “the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words”.
It should be in depth and completely cover the topic like 5 feet of snow on the Colorado mountains.
Great content is easy to promote and share but weak content is pretty much impossible to promote and generate interest in beyond a casual glance or a few searches here and there.
Just don’t stop all content thinking everything needs to be 150% amazing. That can sometimes lead to writer’s block.
Write and write at various lengths to see what works for your audience but make sure some of your content is exceptional. Your lesser content should provide a clear purpose as well like a weekly simple update on topic or monthly news roundup.
3. Building a new website based simply on your own tastes or the design of a developer
Modern websites are built on A/B testing. You need to prove the theories of your messaging with A/B testing software, not through the committee of the highest paid attorneys or marketing people.
Even your agency should be humble enough to admit that when they design your website, layout it’s navigation and write headlines, that it could always be improved through testing exactly what will trigger people to fill out your free consultation form or download your latest e-book.
Try testing these types of things:
- Long vs. short copy
- A landing page using a tool like Unbounce a website page
- Shorter forms
- Calls to action that don’t assume to the person is ready to buy yet – like E-books not just free consultations
4. Failing to recognize the power of artificial intelligence
Various software tools can help you gather data about how you should be picking keywords and topics as well as writing to specific personas or groups of people.
Big data can help inspire big wins because it adds information that humans can’t compute on their own.
Grammarly just got $110 million in VC funding to create a tool that leverages big data to help you understand the likes and interests of your target audience.
Spellcheck and grammar check, yes, it has that. Robot using crazy math to help you write, yes, it has that too.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“In April, it suggested 14 billion improvements across its service.
The tool parses text, breaking it up into phrases and sentences. It applies various algorithms to analyze the text using technology such as natural language processing and machine learning.
The app then provides suggestions and explanations—to get users’ trust and to help them become better writers.”
Want your blog post to resonate with 20 something women interested in saving money? Shakespeare couldn’t hold a candle to a competent writer that holds in their hands the keys to the kingdom based on the scraping of various social media profiles to understand the likes and interests of specific groups of people and then correcting your tone as you write.
OK so this tool doesn’t exist exactly yet but it will and when it does, if your competitors use it and you don’t, you’ll be making one of the biggest mistakes in marketing: Living in your own little bubble of what you like and expecting your website visitors to like the same.
AI tools are sprouting up everywhere. Legal Robot for example, simplifies legalese into simple language for anyone to understand.
Here’s how they pitch it:
“Legal Robot uses machine learning techniques like deep learning to understand legal language, then compare the language with other contracts to identify boilerplate vs. custom, measure the complexity and readability of the language, and identify the responsibilities, rights, and terms of an agreement.
The information is presented in a way that encourages exploration of the contract in a way that is far more interesting and understandable than legal language. This allows people to quickly interpret the components of the contract, quantify specific risks, as well as identify and resolve defects so people can be more confident in what they sign.”
Are you letting others get ahead of you with law firm marketing technology?
5. Pointing the finger
In my 23 years of employing digital marketing tactics, the worst mistake I see people making is blaming marketing failures on anyone.
The quickest way to get things on track is to take responsibility for the success or failure of your campaigns. I learned this the hard way with my own marketing.
Your marketing agency works for you and if they’re not doing a great job or at least proving to you that they are trying every single day, then you should fire them. If they are working hard and you are working hard alongside them, the success will come but neither party can be complacent for a minute in this fast-moving marketing landscape.
Don’t just point the finger, do something about it, whether that means a new agency, a new team member or a new more consistently productive you. Or all 3.
Boldness beats whining or procrastinating. Again, I learned that the hard way, so I am the first to admit I have been there and done that.
These are just five things that come to mind when thinking of the problems of the clients and prospects we speak with every week.
But I bet if you take each of these seriously and put even 15 minutes a day into turning them around from big mistakes to big wins, you will have more leads flowing into your pipeline than stars in the Milky Way.