Many law firms have multiple locations. How should multi-site law firms manage websites and marketing? Marketing strategies for multi-site law firms are varied and may require more planning and management than single-site marketing. A multi-site business may choose to host multiple websites or a single website incorporating multiple links. A multi-site law firm can focus on improving its Google Business Profile or driving traffic to its specific sites using legal blogs and informative content. There are best practices for marketing strategies that should be followed based on your law firm’s practice, expertise, and goals.
Creation of websites for multi-site law firms
Should my multi-site law firm have one or multiple websites? More than one website might seem like a good decision if you have multiple offices, especially if each location focuses on a different type of practice. Consider the following scenarios:
Some law firms may choose to create multiple sites, but this will require a little extra planning. The choice of having one or more websites is complicated. Depending on your law firm, a multiple-website plan may be right for you. The following situations may warrant multiple websites.
- Your locations are multiple but are in no way linked.
- Each of your sites offers different services that do not go together. For example, one of your sites deals with estate planning and the other with personal injury law.
- Your law firm wants to establish itself as a leader in a particular area of law.
- Your law firm aims to target urgent cases.
Your law firm can benefit from multiple websites if the above situations apply, but there are some situations where having multiple websites may not be advisable. The following situations may not benefit from multiple websites.
- Your law firm practices the same law in all of your locations.
- Your law firm has no reason to have more than one website.
- Competing law firms have many websites.
- Your company changes its plans with marketing vendors.
- A fresh website design is all you want.
- Your business is considering abandoning an unsuccessful website.
Speaking with a digital marketing professional before deciding if you want multiple websites for your multi-site law firm can be beneficial and help your business decide on its website plan. It would be wise to employ the help of a professional if you decide to create multiple websites, as the business can present unique challenges.
Multiple Website Challenges
Creating, managing, and marketing multiple websites can be a challenge for a law firm, especially if there is no dedicated employee responsible for managing and maintaining the multiple sites. Before deciding on this marketing strategy, you need to be sure that your business can handle the additional work and planning required to create and maintain multiple websites. Answering the following questions before building multiple websites can help your business prepare for this endeavor:
Will you have the time and energy to manage more than one website?
It will take a lot of time and money to create multiple websites. You need to have the time and budget to produce professional websites. You may even need to hire one or dedicate a team to do this extra work.
Will you have enough content for multiple websites?
Consistent content is necessary for every website. If you don’t have enough content for each location’s website, it might be a good idea to run just one website. When blogging becomes sporadic and a business does not consistently deliver consistent content, its reliability will be in question.
Will you have the patience to wait for the results?
Results take time. Climbing the SEO ranking won’t happen overnight. You must be patient while waiting for the results. You will need to double (or triple) the amount of patience if you are building more than one website. Each is unique and separate for SEO purposes.
Are you aware of Google’s best practices and guidelines?
There are specific guidelines and rules that all website owners must follow. You should be aware of these practices, so that you do not do anything that may harm your website’s online reputation. It is wise to review these practices and understand their complexity before deciding to manage multiple websites.
Do you have the technical expertise and support to maintain and manage multiple websites?
If you don’t have the expertise to support multiple websites, you may want to limit your websites to a single site. Again, hiring a specific person or team may be required to support, maintain, and manage your company’s multiple websites.
Tips for local search results
Discrepancies in your law firm’s information can cause issues with local search results. To perform well on Google, you should consider the following tips:
Consistency of contact information
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers (NAPs) must be consistent for a multi-location law firm to perform well in local search rankings. To ensure that your website and Google Business Profile information is always accurate, you should consider the following when evaluating the accuracy of your NAP:
- Last name: If the name of your law firm has changed or been renamed, if you have added a new partner or deleted a partner, you must ensure that the name that your locations use online is correct. Do a search for all versions of your business name, then update and remove anything that isn’t current.
- Phone number: Your locations can have multiple phone numbers, and each office can have multiple numbers within it. Make sure each office has an official contact number and update your websites and profiles accordingly.
- Addresss: Multiple address lists may exist and additional address information may also exist after moves or extensions. Make sure current addresses are up to date and accurate for each location, and verify that all details are correct, including suite numbers, postcodes, and postcode extensions.
- URLs: URLs can be tricky. Updating a URL can break links and disrupt user sessions if not done correctly. If you need to change a URL, use the appropriate procedure to update and verify that the URL link works correctly.
Your website is a resource that shares local data about your law firm. It must remain consistent online. To stay consistent, focus on the following elements of your website:
- Landing pages: Your website must contain separate landing pages. The landing page for each location should include the address, phone number, hours of operation, and services provided. A map and directions would also be an informative addition to each location’s landing page.
- Accessibility: All landing pages must be accessible to Google’s spiders – the ones that crawl and index web pages. You should also include a unique URL and a clear sitemap with internal links. Your website will not be effective if it is not accessible to the public.
- Layout: Use consistent formats for dates, times, and other informative elements, so they work across all web pages, websites, and social media. Consistent formats across location websites will demonstrate reliability and reliability. The lack of consistency will call this reliability into question.
- Site quality: Focus on the overall quality of your sites and follow Google’s best practices. Use unique content on each page and make sure it’s relevant and well-written. Also, make sure your site loads quickly and is user-friendly.
A clear and concise website shows that your business is responsible and trustworthy. This reliability will help build trust with future customers.
Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile is an effective tool that will create and enhance local visibility for your law firm. Your Google Business Profile should appear in local results and map results. Consider the following guidelines when creating or updating a Google Business Profile:
- Keywords should not be included in the name of the law firm.
- Your business should have unique phone numbers for each location.
- Your address should be listed exactly as it appears on your website.
- Use the same law firm name and categories for all locations.
- Use a review strategy to help your profile stand out from the competition.
The Google profile is an important facet of your marketing strategy, whether your business is small or large, no matter how many offices you have. Using the right marketing strategy and management, a Google Business Profile will help you grow your business over time.
Next steps in digital marketing
There’s a lot to consider when developing a marketing strategy for a multi-location law firm. It depends on your company’s culture, brand, and plans. Multiple websites might be the perfect plan for your law firm, or you might find multiple websites that don’t fit your schedule and budget. If you decide to use multiple websites, you should be prepared for the challenges that may arise. Knowing your limits and what to prepare for is half the battle. Data consistency, a reliable and consistent website, and a fully optimized Google Business Profile will provide an excellent marketing foundation for your multi-site, multi-location law firm.
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the founder of pen of law, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small law firms and independent law firms. Annette wrote the bestseller Click Magnet: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Law Firmsand hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Fair. She is a sought after CLE speaker and speaker in the United States and Canada. Annette has done professional theater and comedy, which isn’t all that different from the legal field if we’re all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at Annette@lawquill.com.