Keeping an eye on your law firm’s rivals: A 12-step guide to law firm competitor analysis
Does your firm keep a beady eye on what competitors are doing?
While some law firms aspire to be trailblazers, they do so with a blind eye to the strategies of their counterparts.
Competitor analysis is the compass that helps navigate the competitive landscape, guiding firms to understand their rivals’ strengths and weaknesses, opportunities that await, and the potential threats they face.
Here’s 12 steps you can take to conduct thorough competitor analysis…
- Identify your law firm’s competitors. The journey begins with identifying who your competitors are. They can be both direct and indirect. Direct competitors are those law firms that offer similar legal services within the same geographic area or to the same target audience as your firm. Indirect competitors, on the other hand, may provide different services but still compete for your potential clients’ attention.
- Gathering information. Once you’ve pinpointed your competitors, it’s time to collect data about them. Start with publicly available information, such as their practice areas, firm size, office locations, notable fee earners, and client base. You can glean a lot from their websites, social media profiles, and legal directories, too.
- Analysing their online presence. The digital age has made a firm’s online presence paramount. Scrutinise your competitors’ websites. Evaluate their design, functionality, and the quality of their content, including blogs, articles, and case studies. Take note of their website’s traffic, domain authority, and search engine rankings.
- Content strategy assessment. What type of content do your competitors produce, and how often? Are they publishing informative blog posts, hosting webinars, or sharing thought leadership articles? The quality and relevance of their content offer insights into their thought leadership within specific practice areas.
- Review social media activity. In today’s interconnected world, social media plays a crucial role in marketing. Examine your competitors’ social media presence. Which platforms do they use? How frequently do they post, and how engaged are their followers? It’s worth studying the types of content that generate the most interaction.
- Client reviews and testimonials. Client reviews and testimonials can be goldmines of information. Check platforms like Google My Business, ReviewSolicitors, or industry-specific directories for feedback on your competitors. Understanding their clients’ experiences can reveal strengths and weaknesses.
- Tracking legal directories and awards. Are your competitors listed in prestigious legal directories such as Chambers UK Guide or the Legal 500? Recognitions and awards indicate a firm’s reputation within the legal community. If you need support with your legal directories submissions, law firm marketing expert Clare Fanner is an excellent contact to have and has supported many law firms with this process.
- Studying marketing strategies. A successful competitor analysis also involves investigating their marketing strategies. Are they running advertising campaigns, leveraging pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or engaging in email marketing? Spotting patterns and trends in their marketing approach can be enlightening.
- Client base and testimonials. Explore the types of clients your competitors serve and read their client testimonials. Understanding their client demographics and satisfaction levels can help you refine your target audience and messaging.
- SWOT Analysis. Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for each competitor. This exercise helps you identify where your firm can excel and where improvements may be necessary.
- Benchmarking against industry standards. Measure your firm’s performance and metrics against industry standards. This comparison will provide insights into your competitive position and areas for potential growth or refinement.
- Utilise competitive intelligence tools. Consider using competitive intelligence tools and software to streamline data collection and gain deeper insights into your competitors’ digital marketing strategies. Competitor analysis is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your competitors to stay updated on any changes in their strategies, services, or client base. Effective competitor analysis is a cornerstone of successful law firm marketing. By comprehensively assessing your competition, you can make informed decisions, identify growth opportunities, and ensure your firm remains competitive.