As the digital marketing industry has matured, there have been many industry specific agencies (including this one) that offer their services in the areas they have the most experience.

But how do you choose the right digital agency for your firm?

With the advent of consumers and commercial clients vetting their legal service provider online rather than relying solely on word of mouth it is more important than ever to match the firm’s offline presence online.

Many firms have coped with the past 5 years relying on their previous customer base, often having to downsize, whilst others have ventured onto the web and continued to expand.

99% of Solicitors have a website, however, the majority of them have seen no real results.

This is normally where progressive senior partners decide to find a digital partner to address the situation.

As with any industry that requires skilled work, there is a huge amount of jargon and terminology. This acts as a deterrent to get started and can mean a trial and error approach to find the right digital agency to do the work.

The bottom line is what will be the return on investment into digital marketing services.

One of the most compelling reasons to start marketing your law firm online is that it can be done for a relatively small investment. Even an investment as little as £3,000 should bring a significant return in new business.

The more you put into your digital marketing campaigns, the more return you should achieve. So from small beginnings, a firm can expand rapidly and increase its spend to keep up with the expansion.

The commodity any digital agency worth its salt should be trading with your firm is new enquiries.

Within 3 months you should have enough new business to fund your ongoing digital marketing. After 3 months you should be seeing a definite return on your investment and should do so from there on out. If not, find another digital marketing agency.

How the digital agency generate your converting enquiries does not really matter. There are hundreds of strategies that can be employed. Here are a few key ones:

Website Design: Just search on Google for Solicitors in your local area – go to page 5 of the results and look at some of them. There are some shocking Solicitor Websites out there. Sometimes these have been done by family members of partners or others are just dated. A firm should refresh their website minimally every 2 years to keep up with modern design and features new visitors are expecting from a progressive and impressive firm. Your website needs to be clean and have modern navigation and features. It also needs credibility with clearly visible accreditations and social media connections.

Search Engine Optimisation: You really must be on page 1 of Google for local searches for solicitor firms, e.g. Birmingham Solicitors & Divorce Solicitors Leeds. Secondly, searches for specialisms need to be within the first two pages of Google to have a significant positive effect on a national basis.

Directories: Many people who used the Yellow Pages in years gone by search for legal services through online directories. Your firm should be present on as many of them as possible. At least the top 50!

Thought Leadership: By communicating your expertise online through various means, e.g. your firm’s blog, LinkedIn, and on discussion sites, you can generate highly prospective visitors to your site.

Paid Advertising: Backed with a budget, you can capitalise on high traffic websites that provide advertising on a fixed ad price basis or Pay Per Click. Google Adwords rules the roost for larger campaigns, but many legal type websites can provide referral visitors that have an excellent conversion rate.

Online Review Sites: There are several solicitor review type sites, having good reviews is a good source of converting enquiries that have not been previously recommended by other means.

The right digital marketing provider for your firm may use some or all of the above or have other strategies to bring in the enquiries. A good provider will ensure that the online enquiries are fully trackable as to their original source and with coordination with your reception you will be able to measure somewhat the source of your telephone enquiries.

When someone requires a solicitor NOW they are generally going to call so make sure you track how they found you. Online enquiries are often more speculative or longer term without any huge rush.

As with anything, if you can find a specialist for your industry and they are not prohibitively expensive then this is usually the wisest choice.