For law firms across the world, pursuing an impressive legal directory ranking is a tremendously valuable investment of both time and money.
We’ve written previously on what legal directories are — with a particular focus on Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 — as well as the numerous things to consider before, during, and after the process of submission. Based on a law firm’s case highlights and in-depth lawyer profiles, impartial researchers (read our recent interview with Tim Girven of The Legal 500) feed into the final decision.
For something that adds such credibility to a law firm, and is often used by potential clients as a comparison tool when choosing counsel on specialist matters, legal directory submissions are often forgotten or unused — even when positive — or are not analysed when the results aren’t so good.
If your firm has invested the time and effort into achieving rankings, it’s essential that you make full use of them in your marketing communications to avoid selling yourselves short. In this blog post, we consider some of the best ways for your plans to make use of your rankings.
Your legal directory ranking should, first and foremost, be displayed proudly and with reflective comments on your website.
This means thinking about what a particular ranking means to your law firm, how you got there, and what you intend to do to improve and move forward — the strategy meeting at the start of your submission process will come in handy here by referring back to your original reasons for submitting.
You may achieve rankings in multiple practice areas, so it’s worth a quick look at the different areas of your site to find places to include your rankings and logos to make the content more compelling.
Firm-wide rankings showcase your firm overall and have a ‘halo effect’ on all your departments. Displaying firm-wide rankings on the general pages of your website, such as your Home and About pages, can lead to a positive impression for all departments — including those that haven't ranked.
Internal communications will play a considerable role here, too. Congratulate your firm as a whole in messaging to boost morale and encourage better engagement in future legal directory strategy meetings.
Departmental rankings are specific to a certain practice area and showcase your expertise in that field. These are, arguably, the most important rankings to showcase for potential clients who are comparing law firms for a particular service.
As well as showcasing them on the specific department’s page, including the ranking on other service pages relevant to that department will further boost awareness of the ranking. If a ranking is primarily linked to personal injuries, for example, you could also include mention of it on pages related to road traffic accidents or workplace accidents.
Using internal links on your website that direct visitors towards the specific department page will also assist another ranking: your website’s position on Google.
Lawyer rankings highlight the expertise and reputation of your individual lawyers. Add ranking logos to optimise their lawyer website profile pages, which can often be very well-visited pages for some lawyers (don’t forget to include any legal awards, too). As with department rankings — include appropriate internal links to other pages on your website to strengthen visibility.
When rankings are published, particularly if you’ve retained or improved your position, announce and reflect on the ranking on your website’s blog. If writing about a department-specific ranking, include SEO keywords relating to that area of expertise.
Share this news through your social media channels with a link back to the blog post. Then, while internally sharing the good news, ask and encourage employees to share posts on their own social media. An all-company email or notice on your internal website with links to individual posts will provide an easy way for everyone to share.
Law firms submitting themselves to legal directories will all be receiving news of their rankings around the same time, so it’s often difficult to be heard if you are looking for press attention.
That said, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Using your blog post as a starting point for key themes you would like to include, contact suitable publications and journalists to see if your story could be expanded in one or more of those themes to suit the publication’s own audience. If your ranking is in something particularly niche or an emerging directory — such as The Legal 500’s Green Guide (from The Legal 500) or the FinTech Legal Guide (from Chambers & Partners), it may also seem more attractive to journalists.
To boost your chances of being featured, high-quality photography is another essential thing to consider. People relate to people — if possible, include recent team photos to accompany your content and better humanise your brand.
Being featured in this way is particularly valuable for brand awareness, internal pride, and will also help with recruitment efforts by attracting new lawyers to work with your firm.
Optimising your use of legal directory rankings can make a tremendous difference to your legal marketing team’s efforts to attract new clients
If you need support with your law firm’s promotion or utilisation of legal directory rankings — not to mention legal directory submissions and / or legal awards — please get in touch with Kidd Aitken’s team of experts today.