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Authenticity: Digital Marketing Success Key in 2024

March 08, 2024

By Emily Brady

You might not think the phrase “just be yourself” applies to law firm digital marketing, but authenticity is key when it comes to succeeding online in 2024.

Why does authenticity matter for law firm marketing? Think about it like this: How businesses interact with their customers has come a long way since the era depicted in Mad Men. Your prospective clients don’t buy 1960s advertising practices anymore (figuratively and literally). They live in a world where influencers (other people) sell products, and big brands position themselves as personalities to facilitate authentic connections with customers on social media. (Duolingo and Wendy’s are known for this in particular.)

With more than 80 percent of market share, Google is the most popular search engine in the world, and that’s exactly where many of your potential clients go to find legal help when they need it most. In other words, getting found on Google is a fantastic way to reach new clients.

Historically, law firms could rank at the top of searches by mentioning the right keywords the correct number of times in their content. But Google has evolved, and it wants to reward businesses that deserve to rank, not just the ones that want to. This means Google (and your clients) favor businesses that demonstrate real-world relevance and a proven ability to give the legal services your audience needs. Authenticity allows the algorithm to assess merit and match searchers to the best results (your website) accordingly.

Here’s how to leverage your authenticity and expertise to improve your online marketing:

Create content that actually helps people. Your website content should show actual knowledge of client issues and provide useful information about legal issues. Use plain language that your audience understands. Most importantly, make sure it’s accurate and trustworthy. This demonstrates your capability and relevance — and accuracy is an important ranking factor for Google, too.

Establish credibility through media mentions. Earning media coverage adds credibility in Google's eyes and with your potential clients. Getting featured as an expert source helps establish your firm as a true leader that other outlets want to reference. Plus, these mentions are a great way to get additional visibility for your firm online and offline and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

In securing these placements, don't just focus on publicizing your biggest cases, though. Pitch yourself as an authoritative voice to interview on relevant topics. These types of interviews can highlight your authentic experience and build trust with search engines and potential clients.

Ask clients to review your service. Testimonials from past clients are a huge authenticity signal to future clients. Sure, not everyone wants to thank their divorce or DUI attorney publicly, but the good news is your competitors are in the same boat. Getting reviews can be a challenge. Fortunately, getting more honest reviews is usually as simple as asking for them (and making it super easy for clients to review you). Then, feature testimonials prominently on your website. This shows firsthand how you’ve helped other clients in the past and is a trust signal to both new clients and search engines.

Just Be Yourself

Your audience doesn’t want to simply hire your law firm; they want to hire you. And the best way to connect with prospective clients is by showing them who you are and why you’re the best person (or team) to represent their case. Plus, demonstrating that kind of authenticity is great for your online marketing game, too.

Emily Brady is the director of SEO at Omnizant, a digital marketing agency for law firms. With 12 years of experience, Brady brings deep knowledge of organic search marketing, specifically for the legal space. She has spoken at conferences, including MozCon 2022, and appeared on numerous podcasts to share her insights.