Legal marketing for lawyers encompasses all the strategies you implement to build your brand and attract new clients. A legal marketing plan may include digital marketing, traditional advertising, networking, and cultivating strong relationships in your community.
But the truth of the matter is that if you’re not engaged in legal marketing, you’re losing out on client leads. Plain and simple. Creating an effective law firm marketing plan is essential to building and maintaining your law practice. It helps distinguish you from other firms, thereby increasing client leads and growing your business. However, marketing your legal services can be time-consuming and expensive.
To leverage your time and money, you need to think about your objectives and develop the best legal marketing plan for your law firm. Doing this will allow you to focus on running your legal practice and advocating for your clients.
Continue reading to learn more about legal marketing terms you should be familiar with, where to start when developing your marketing plan, and the best legal marketing strategies to grow your practice.
Legal Marketing Terms to Know
There are a number of key terms that you should know if you want to develop the best legal marketing strategies. Once you understand these terms and how to incorporate them into a marketing campaign, you’ll be on your way to implementing that campaign effectively.
A marketing lead is a potential client who has shown interest in your business. To become a “lead” instead of a potential client or website visitor, the person must take an action that shows their interest in your firm. This action might be signing up for your newsletter, filling out your “Contact Us” form, or giving you a phone call.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the bread and butter of online marketing. It refers to strategies and practices to help your website rank as highly as possible on search engines like Google.
This is a common form of online marketing. PPC involves placing advertisements on digital platforms (like Google or Facebook) to appear before your target consumers. As the name suggests, you pay the host each time someone clicks through to your ad.
Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is an excellent way to help track the success of your legal marketing efforts. When you invest money into digital marketing, it’s important to measure how well your efforts are performing. ROI allows you to allocate your marketing resources efficiently and determine whether you’ve achieved satisfactory results relative to your investment.
This is another performance-related metric that is critical to determining the success of your marketing campaign. Your conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors that complete a desired goal (such as contacting your firm or scheduling a consultation) relative to the total number of visitors.
A high conversion rate means your marketing efforts have been successful. A low conversion rate indicates your marketing plan is not working or needs adjusting.
Now that you’re caught up on some key legal marketing terms, let’s jump into the top 15 marketing strategies to grow your business.
- Create Your Brand – Who Are You?
Creating a marketing brand for your business is highly beneficial. The best legal marketing starts with a high-level overview of how you want to present yourself on the web. There are several key components to your brand:
- Look and feel. Part of a marketing brand entails having a consistent look and feel for your content. This starts with having a visually appealing website that has a clearly-defined theme. You’ll then implement this theme throughout all of the content you produce.
- Your clients. You’ll want to tailor your brand and content to appeal to the type of clientele you want to attract. For example, a criminal defense attorney may design their brand differently than a medical malpractice attorney.
- Your practice. Your content should also take your practice areas and location into consideration. This should also be consistent across all content so that your business will be easier to recognize.
On the whole, creating a brand is about consistency. The goal is to make it easy for prospective clients to know what you offer, who you are as a business, and how they can get in touch with you. A strong brand is critical to achieving this goal.
- Develop a Marketing Budget
Developing a budget from the outset of your marketing campaign is crucial. It will help you set expectations, keep track of your ROI, and measure the success of your marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, creating your budget isn’t as simple as picking a dollar figure to invest into marketing each month. You need to pinpoint your objectives, which involves identifying your target audience and how they retain legal services in your area. You also need to conduct competitor research to determine how other law firms engage with potential clients.
Some additional considerations to take into account when developing your budget include:
- What type of law do you practice?
- How competitive is your area of law in your geographic region?
- Are you located in a big city or a small town?
- Is your law firm well-established or just getting started?
- How much revenue does your firm bring in?
- Are you handling your marketing efforts internally or hiring a legal marketing agency?
Answering these questions is important; they’ll help you hone in on marketing strategies that fit your firm’s needs. Once you’ve identified your goals, you should be able to develop a legal marketing budget. Most law firms allocate between two and fifteen percent of their revenue to marketing efforts, depending on the abovementioned factors.
- Build a Visually Appealing, User-Friendly Website
A website will likely be a potential client’s first impression of your law firm. Even referrals will presumably visit your website before considering you further. A good web design can impress a potential client and make them want to pick up the phone. A bad website can chase them away before they even have a chance to learn about your services.
The best law firm websites have a few things in common. First, you should have high-quality content (more on that in a bit) throughout your site. You should also make sure your law firm is approachable by using attorney bios, pictures, and headshots. Likewise, you should create buttons and links with your contact information — making it easy for readers to contact you.
- Ensure Your Site is Optimized for Search Engines
Building a visually appealing, user-friendly website is only the first part. If you want potential clients to find your website, it must be optimized for search engines. This process, called “SEO,” will allow your website to appear highly on the most coveted real estate online – the first pages of search engines like Google. Not surprisingly, ranking highly in Google’s organic search results corresponds with an increase in website traffic and leads.
Making your website SEO-friendly will allow the right users (ones in your geographic area) to find you at the right time (when they are searching for legal services). How? By authoring content that targets the keywords or questions users are inputting when searching for legal services.
Incidentally, many of the best practices we just mentioned are also important for search engine optimization (SEO). Most importantly, you should populate your site with relevant and high-quality content so that Google and other search engines begin to view you as an authority in your area of law. When others link to your site (backlinks), Google will see that others recognize you as an authority and elevate you in its rankings.
Site speed is also important. If you use pictures and videos, you’ll have to make sure they are an appropriate size and length to prevent slow load times for users. Loading speed is essential to the success of your website. Mobile responsiveness is equally as important since many people use their smartphones to search the web.
If a user cannot access your images or content due to poor load speed or deficient mobile responsiveness, they will go somewhere else for the information they need. Google calls this a “bounce rate;” a high bounce rate can affect your ability to rank.
- Demonstrate Your Credibility, Skill, and Experience
Not only does your website need to have a user-friendly interface, but it should also demonstrate your credibility, experience, and personability throughout the content. Potential clients are interested in your achievements, experience, and the results you’ve obtained on behalf of your former clients. However, they also want to know that you’re sympathetic to their situation.
List Your Achievements Throughout Your Content
When you’re creating your commercial/branded pages, you should list the following throughout each:
- Years of combined experience
- Client reviews and testimonials
- The total compensation you’ve recovered for clients over the years (if applicable)
- A list of your most successful cases
- Any relevant prior experience (e.g., a former insurance defense attorney now working as a personal injury lawyer)
Listing these credentials throughout your website will help you stand out from other law firms. When potential clients see your experience, results, and professional distinctions, they’ll be more inclined to trust you to handle their cases.
Create Engaging Attorney Bios (With Pictures)
While your bona fides are important to a potential client, many people also want a lawyer that is approachable. Remember, potential clients may be facing the most challenging time of their lives; they need a fierce advocate, but they’re also looking for someone who will listen to their story — and care.
Attorneys are the “faces” of the law firm. Therefore, you should create an engaging biography for every attorney in your firm. The bio should start with an inviting professional picture and a compelling statement regarding why a client should hire you.
For example, this bio below contains a high-quality image and instills a sense of trust and empathy:
Your attorney biography should contain information about your experience, education, main practice areas, publications, credentials, community outreach, and professional organizations. You should also list your direct contact information so that potential clients can reach you.
Personal information such as your hobbies isn’t always necessary, but it could give potential clients a glimpse into your personal life and allow them to connect with you more. However, keep it brief and maintain your professionalism.
- Develop High-Quality, Relevant Content for Your Readers
There is a saying in SEO circles: “Content is king.” Why? Your content is what ultimately addresses (or fails to address) a user’s legal question or search for information. Therefore, your content marketing is what will ultimately help you rank — or cause you to perform poorly — in Google’s search results. When Google sees that you address the pressing consumer questions or issues in your geographic area, it will elevate you in its rankings.
But what content should you focus on? You should spend your time on three pieces of content: practice area pages, blogs, and resources.
- Practice Area Pages
Practice area pages are part-marketing and part-informational. You’ll use these pages to describe the practice areas of your firm, including but not limited to:
- Personal Injury – Motor Vehicle Accidents, Slip and Falls, Medical Malpractice
- Criminal Defense – DUIs, Assaults, Drug Crimes
- Family Law – Divorce, Property Division, Child Custody
- Employment Law – Discrimination, Termination, and Retaliation
These pages will allow you to sell your services and tell readers why you’re the best fit to represent their legal needs. These pages will also allow you to answer common questions people have about the practice area or case type. That way, readers get the information they’re looking for and recognize your firm as the one that can solve their legal issues.
Blogs are more informational in nature. They seek to answer specific questions users are asking about your area of law. Blogs are a great way to build a library of content that helps establish you as a thought leader online.
Blogs are also a terrific way to connect with you readers. With blogs, you can provide them with key information they need to make a legal decision (e.g., “What to Do After an Accident”). However, you can also provide them with content that is simply entertaining or interesting (e.g., “Is it Legal to Own a Pet Tiger?”), making your law firm appear more approachable.
- Resource Center
You should also have a resource center on your website. A resource center will allow you to create content that offers in-depth explanations of issues related to your area of law — pages that are too long to serve as blogs. These pages will empower you to comprehensively answer common questions related to your practice area.
- Use Videos In Your Content — And In Your Ads
Videos can be a highly effective component of the best legal marketing. Over 80% of video marketers say that videos increase lead generation and enable users to better understand their products/services. Nearly 90% report that video gives them a strong ROI.
There are two categories of video marketing that you should know.
- Utilize Promotional and Educational Video Content
Creating promotional and educational videos is a way to get your marketing messages across efficiently. Some videos may tilt toward being more educational than promotional – and vice-versa. But the idea is to have video content that is useful to potential clients.
For example, you might choose to educate them on a legal concept such as comparative fault, explaining the law in clear terms so they know how it could affect them. You could then incorporate a call-back so that they can reach out to you for legal representation.
- Use Video Testimonials
This is a form of video marketing that can be especially useful depending on your field of law. If you’re in the criminal defense or personal injury fields – where the stakes are high – testimonials from previous clients can be highly appealing to potential new clients. Video testimonials are also an effective form of client reviews, improving your credibility in the eyes of your website visitors.
- Invest in SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for driving traffic to your firm’s website and generating client leads. Legal SEO involves enhancing your website so that Google will deem it authoritative and relevant, thus ranking it higher in organic search results. When your website ranks highly in the search results, people are far more likely to visit your site.
So how do you get Google’s attention?
- Create useful, high-quality content and organize it in a presentable way
- Do keyword research to determine what keywords and questions users search in your area
- Enhance your website’s design and user experience
- Link building to obtain quality backlinks from authoritative sources, legal directories, and social media
Today, over 94% of law firms have websites. But just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’re visible when clients search for an attorney in your area. You’re likely competing with many other firms and attorneys.
Most people only look at the top results when searching Google. If your site isn’t highly ranked, you’re missing out on substantial client leads. That’s why investing in legal SEO is so important.
Understand the Time and Costs of SEO — and the Potential Reward
Attorney SEO is incredibly competitive. When investing in SEO, keep in mind that a successful campaign takes time. Don’t expect to implement SEO strategies and see results overnight. It could take six to twelve months to see measurable improvements to your web traffic and conversions.
Additionally, SEO is constantly evolving. You may reach your desired goals, but you may need to adjust your efforts to ensure that you continue to yield results.
The cost of SEO services will depend on many factors, including:
- Your goals and legal marketing budget
- The type(s) of law you practice
- The market in your area
- Your SEO agency’s expertise, if applicable
- Where you are in the SEO process
Understanding the time and costs involved in law firm SEO will help you manage your expectations throughout the process.
- Develop Your Local Presence (Online)
The best legal marketing will naturally entail a local presence online. Most law firms are fairly localized in terms of their target market. Local SEO is the most effective way to get in front of local leads because it can help you appear in the local map pack on Google’s first page. The prime digital real estate places you front and center on SERPS — right above the organic results.
Want to know how important local SEO is?
Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind on this topic:
- Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB)
Your GMB is essentially your online profile for Google. When someone searches for a key term that is geo-modified (e.g., New York City personal injury lawyer), Google will present four or so businesses that fit that term in what is called the local pack. If a user clicks on a business in that local pack, they’ll be presented with that business’s GMB. Your GMB must be optimized and fully filled out in order to attract potential clients.
- Highlight Community Involvement
Highlighting your community involvement is also an excellent local marketing strategy. This can be done via a section on your website, social media posts, or internal content on your website (such as a blog). This strategy is important for local SEO purposes; it will help prove to Google that your business should rank highly on its search results when people are looking for legal representation in your area. It’s also an effective component of boosting your firm’s credibility and ethos among potential clients.
- Secure Backlinks from Local Sources
Backlinks are critical to any successful SEO campaign, and local SEO is no different. Obtaining quality backlinks for reputable websites in your area will go a long way to ranking your business as high as possible on Google for local search queries. A backlink is simply a link to your website (or a page on your website) from another website. The more reputable and authoritative these local websites are, the better for local SEO purposes.
- Utilize Paid Ads To Elevate Your Digital Presence
You can use paid ads on platforms like Google to increase your digital exposure. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns enable you to target keywords related to your practice areas and appear in search results for these terms in your geographic region. You only pay for the ad when users click through to your site.
Paid ads on Google allow you to appear at the very top of search results — before the local map pack and organic results. That makes them valuable to your legal marketing efforts. Moreover, you can schedule your ad to show during a specific time of day and tailor it to demographics like marital status, income, and/or age. You can also limit it to a specific geographic area.
Paid ads are a quick and efficient way to elevate your presence on Google and other platforms. These ads are most effective when combined with other marketing strategies.
- Use Multiple Social Media Platforms in Your Marketing
Social media can play a vital role in your legal marketing efforts. Roughly 70% of Americans use social media platforms, making them a great way to increase your brand awareness and interact with your community daily.
Creating a robust social media presence for your business can garner client referrals and provide a forum to engage with colleagues and potential clients. By evaluating your target audience, you can determine which social media platforms they use and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
For example, if your target audience is 50 and older, you may consider posting daily content on Facebook and YouTube to reach potential clients. You will also need to write compelling content that appeals to your target audience. You can get ideas by looking at your competitors’ social media pages for some insight into which posts have resulted in the most user engagement.
Here are some additional tips to follow once you’ve decided which social media platforms you’ll use in your legal marketing campaign:
- Post captivating content daily.
- Engage with users. Respond to comments and promptly answer questions.
- Include backlinks to your firm’s website.
- Use each social media platform’s metrics to measure your progress (e.g., track the amount of “likes” and comments you receive on Facebook posts).
- Discuss your social media presence with the person in charge of your firm’s compliance to ensure that you aren’t breaking any ethics rules.
- Don’t post unprofessional content or engage with people who are provoking others in the comments.
Many social media platforms also allow you to display and target advertisements to specific demographics of people. This is yet another way to use social media platforms to your benefit.
- Create and Claim Your Profiles on Major Legal Directories
There are a number of legal directories currently in place – AVVO, Martindale-Hubbell, and Justia, to name a few. These directories each operate a bit differently (some automatically create profiles for all attorneys while others do not, as one differentiator) but they are all sources for potential clients to consider when seeking legal representation.
Creating and claiming your profiles on each of these directories is something the best legal marketing professionals always recommend. Like with your GMB profile, it’s important to fill out your profiles on these directories as completely as possible. On most, you’re able to list your contact information, your credentials, your practice areas, and much more.
Once this information is incorporated into your profile, potential clients will be more likely to reach out to you than they would to a competitor whose profile is either missing or incomplete. These directories are also an easy opportunity to create backlinks to your website, meaning that these profiles can help bolster your SEO efforts.
- Solicit and Manage Reviews from Clients — On Multiple Platforms
Client reviews have an enormous impact on your online presence. Over three-fourths of consumers trust online reviews as much as a referral from a family member or friend. Favorable online reviews can increase your credibility. Poor reviews do the opposite. Even having a deficient number of reviews can affect your online reputation negatively.
If consumers see your firm on Google, whether in organic listings for a target keyword or in a search for your specific law firm, they will likely see your Google My Business profile. For example, take a look at this search for the term “Tampa personal Injury lawyer.”
You’ll see that Google displays the ratings and number of reviews for all three law firms in the
local map pack. If a user clicks on one of the results, they will see the law firm’s GMB profile, along with their ratings and reviews.
Therefore, if you’re on or want to be on the first page of Google, you should expect consumers to see your reviews. And if you want to create the right impression with prospective customers, you need positive reviews.
So, how do you get good reviews? You ask for them. Studies suggest that 72% of people who are asked to write a review will go on to write a review. At a minimum, you should solicit reviews for your Google My Business profile. However, you can pursue reviews from former clients on many different websites or platforms, including social media and legal directories.
- Measure The Results of Your Legal Marketing
We’ve reviewed multiple legal marketing techniques that will bring you more business. But no matter how you decide to advertise your services, it’s vital to measure the results of your marketing efforts.
Tracking your results will allow you to monitor the success of your marketing plan and adjust your strategy accordingly. You may need to change your tactics – and that’s okay.
It’s important to track the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Ranking and click volume for relevant keywords
- Increase in organic traffic
- Increase in conversions
- Increase in referrals
- Advancement in your local SEO presence
There are many tools that can help you measure these KPIs. Google Search Console and Pro Rank Tracker measure your website’s traffic and how your keyword rankings are performing over time. Google Analytics helps you track your site’s organic web traffic, conversions, and referrals. Local Falcon and CallRail assist in tracking your local SEO efforts.
Using these tools to measure the results of your legal marketing strategies will help you calculate your return on investment and determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
- Consider Working with a Legal Marketing Agency
As you can see, a lot goes into having the best legal marketing. Importantly, it’s not something you can do once and then walk away. Legal marketing requires continual maintenance, monitoring, and tweaking to be successful.
So, where are you supposed to find the time to develop and implement marketing strategies when you have client demands and a full caseload? You may even believe that you don’t have any time to devote to digital marketing. So, how are you supposed to grow your business online and gain an edge over your competitors?
The answer is simple: consider working with a legal marketing agency. LawRank is the premier digital marketing agency for lawyers. We have successfully managed dozens of attorneys’ and law firms’ legal marketing. More importantly, we’ve helped them rank on the first pages of Google for the keywords that matter most.
Our SEO experts can help you develop and execute a winning legal marketing plan. One that extends your reach online and helps you grow your business. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help.