DirectorThe Bureau
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The increased frequency of these activities is being picked up by Google’s ‘spiders’ – and a growing number of firms are seeing their Google ranking rising.

Firms' online presence: Is bigger better?

Firms' online presence: Is bigger better?

Alastair Murray considers how firms can optimise online operations

During the past 18 months, firms have begun to take their online presence more seriously. Shifting to an almost total reliance on digital media, including email marketing, social media and the firm’s corporate website has encouraged firms to re-imagine how to engage with their audiences in the future.

What’s new?

Pre-covid-19, some firms paid little attention to their website. Post-covid-19, these same firms are now eager to create a bigger and better web presence. This reliance on digital media continues, with text messaging, e-mail (including e-mail marketing and social media to message and alert clients existing and prospective to new services), announcements, surveys, and contract renewals, all encouraging firms to take a deeper interest in their online credentials.

Some are adapting by adding interactive content using e-books, videos, blogs, podcasts and blending them together through email marketing to drive visitors to their sites to gather up all this expert advice and information.

E-mail marketing is increasingly used to encourage website visits. In the form of e-bulletins, visitors are encouraged to fill in a form, receive a prize, read a blog, share a social media post, or read a corporate e-book. This is an increasingly popular part of building a web presence, as it connects one form of digital media with the other, to create a multiplier effect. When done well, this can be a particularly effective combination.

What now?

Web content has always been critical, but greater focus is now on how to engage more visitors and clients – not only to keep them on the site for longer, but also to encourage greater interaction through online chats, e-mail enquiries, and even purchases.

Some start-up firms have gone further, embracing the concept of ‘digital’ by minimising their text content and maximising the interactive features. Others, publishing their second or third sites, are using their experience to include these same digital features, and stocking up on extra resources to create ‘super content’ sites, aimed at building deeper relationships with existing clients with access to ‘online portals’ packed full of useful and engaging content.

Client portals are still in their infancy, but increasingly popular. Some firms already employ marketing experts to design and deliver suitable content by adding FAQs, technical guides, White Papers, ‘Ask-the-Expert’ reviews – and even online legal services.

The shock of the covid-19 crisis saw firms experimenting with new client engagement methods, testing reactions to blogs, social media, and e-campaigns. These firms have more recently taken a shine to social media – learning to immerse their posts into digital platforms where social media, email marketing, and the firms’ web presence ends-up telling a continuous and positive story throughout the year.

What next?

Audience engagement to these new digital marketing methods is on the rise, with more ‘shares’, ‘retweets’ and ‘new followers’ coming in every day. All these firms remain eager to continue with the experiment.

Firms are becoming more confident about their digital credentials, which is helping build greater customer, and brand, loyalty. Improvements in post timings and methods, as well as the frequency of e-bulletin campaigns and web content updates, is encouraging greater audience participation.

The increased frequency of these activities is being picked up by Google’s ‘spiders’ – and a growing number of firms are seeing their Google ranking rising. Google awards ‘brownie points’ for hundreds of different web elements, from the age of a domain, to the update frequency of web content and/or social media posts – everything is measured. Google is keen on social media and video content – and statistics show websites that include these are 50 times more likely to be ranked on Google’s first page. Google loves websites with a strong digital media bias, and appears to handsomely award those who do it well.


What were once separate business branding promotions, sometimes applied in isolation, are now being immersed into single marketing media programmes, engaging audiences head-on with interconnected omnichannel marketing strategies.

The websites belonging to firms are becoming some of the best of any profession. The addition of web portals, e-mail campaigns, social media marketing, and blogs, is encouraging this yet further, resulting in more audience ‘shares’, ‘retweets’ and ‘new followers,’ that is helping create a bigger and better web presence for the legal profession.

Alastair Murray is Director of The Bureau:

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