Online Marketing & SEO Basics for Lawyers and Law Students: Defining Your Ideal Client

Ideal Client LawyerPreviously in the Online Marketing & SEO Basics for Lawyer and Law Students series, we talked about legal marketing basics (the know/like/trust theory) and discussed the importance of defining useful goals for your online marketing efforts.

Now it’s time to move on to a critical question: Who’s your “ideal client” and how is that person going to find you?

#2. Who do you want to find you?

If “the right” people are going to find your website, you need to know who those people are.

No, not everyone in the universe is a potential client for your law practice or organization.

If nothing else, most law is localized, so you’re probably looking for leads in a particular geographic area.

You’re also looking for people with a specific set of problems and concerns. If your focus is on estate planning, maybe you want to work primarily with new parents who want to protect their children, or with elderly couples who are downsizing and transitioning into assisted living. If you’re a criminal lawyer, what type of cases will you handle? You could be a family lawyer, an employment lawyer, or a trial lawyer.

It’s your call — but the more specific you can be about the type of work you want to do, the better!

It’s time to get specific about who’s going to be looking for you

Why? Because that’s going to determine what content you write and what search terms you target.

Think about it — who goes to Google and types “lawyer” when they need a lawyer? No one.

What do they search for instead?

  • San Francisco family lawyer prenup
  • Alameda county drug defense lawyer cocaine
  • Estate planning assisted living California
  • Do I need a will if I just had a baby?
  • Boss is sexually harassing me

Some of the queries that are most relevant to you may be geographic, but others will be topical.

Your Task: Before we get to any the nitty-gritty details of SEO, take a few minutes and describe your ideal client.

Here are a few characteristics — which may, or may not, be relevant — to get you started:

  • Where does this person live?
  • Do they know they need a lawyer?
  • What problem do they have that you can potentially help with?
  • Are they a certain age?
  • Are they a certain gender?
  • Do they have a certain ethnic background?
  • What’s their income level?
  • What’s their education level?
  • Do they have children?
  • What type of work do they do?
  • What’s keeping them up at night?
  • What’s the first thing they’re going to type into Google?

Once you’ve formulated your ideal client profile, stay tuned for our next article about how to figure out what that person is looking for!

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For more helpful advice, check out all the posts in the Online Marketing & SEO Basics series:

Having trouble nailing down your ideal client? Leave your questions in the comments!

And there’s more to come!

Image from aniko11 via stock.xchng.

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