40 Proven Marketing Ideas for Law Firms
Founder, Constellation Marketing
You’re an attorney, not a marketer… but somehow, you still have to get the word out about the great work you and your colleagues are doing. And, of course you have to do your day job!
At this very moment, you may be struggling with life’s eternal questions like how do you market a law firm? How do law firms attract clients?
Don’t stress – we’re here to help.
In this list, you may not find exactly 101 marketing ideas for law firms, but there are plenty to get you thinking and keep you busy.
Trust us on these marketing ideas for law firms. It’s all we do!
We’ve ranked each idea by difficulty so that you can start small or jump in at a more challenging level if you’ve already got the basics down pat. And, we’ve organized them into categories (SEO, advertising, social media, and general) so that you can focus in on a particular area, if you already know where your law firm needs a little help.
We’re marketing gurus – you’re an expert attorney. With our powers combined, we’ll get your name out there, and more importantly, we’ll get your phone to start ringing.
Now…check out the list.
Are you tired of waiting on referrals?
See how we add 3-5 new clients for firms EVERY MONTH.
Law Firm Marketing Ideas
Build a Website
It pretty much goes without saying that in today’s legal world, you 100% need a website for law firm marketing. Your law firm website is your business card. Without one, you risk missing clients, looking unprofessional, and becoming irrelevant to the next generation of legal customers. We recommend that every practice has at least a basic website, at a minimum.
We understand that not all practices rely on acquiring their customers through channels like SEO or advertising and instead receive the majority of their clients from referrals. Even if that’s the case, you need a website to help demonstrate your abilities and track-record.
Websites are probably THE most important and foundational part of your digital presence. We’re thrilled to have Erin Walker, Director of Content & Communications over at Clio share their perspective on the importance of a website:
“Your website is often the first impression you make with your prospective client, and will set the tone for the kind of engagement they should expect from your firm. A simple website that addresses the most commonly asked questions you have from new clients is a better investment than an expensive site that might look nice, but doesn’t answer their questions. Focus on making your site client-centered, make your contact information prominent and easy to find, and ideally, include a form directly on the site to allow online appointment bookings. You might be surprised how many solutions are out there that can help you do this yourself, without needing to know how to code.”
We build all of our client websites using WordPress, which has a free offering if you want to go the DIY route. There are plenty of other simple and low-cost website providers like Squarespace who can provide a basic option for your law firm. You don’t need to build something intense for your law firm or spend hours and hours working on the site in order to receive value from law firm marketing. If you don’t build a website and claim your name online, someone else (like a legal directory) will, and then they’ll try to sell you back the leads they collect using your law firm name.
Claim your GMB (Google My Business)
GMB stands for Google My Business, a marketing product that Google provides for local businesses. Have you ever searched for a business by name? That informational box on the right side of the search results is a Google My Business Listing.
In their quest to have the most comprehensive search product in the world, Google has invested considerable time and energy in identifying and adding businesses like law firms to this collection. This is great, but you’ll still want to take control of your own listing to optimize it for law firm marketing purposes.
In order for lawyers to get the maximum value here, we reached out to Ben Fisher, Founder of Steady Demand and a Google My Business Platinum Product Expert.
“There are many great features with GMB that allow a law firm to dominate local search. Did you know that 90% of local searches show a GMB profile? Beyond calls, directions posts you can also get messages directly from your business profile. Make sure that when you are setting up a profile to have a professional do it for you or give you advice. There are many bad actors out there that will tell you a virtual office is ok, but in reality, it is not and could put your firm in jeopardy.”
With ownership, you’ll have the ability to fully complete the profile listing with correct information about your address, hours of operation, practice areas, and more. It’s also the home for Google Reviews, so you want to make sure it’s clear to your clients that they’re on the right profile and leaving a review for the right law firm.
It’s easy and free to sign up for GMB for your law firm – you should be able to take care of it in under 20 minutes!
Install Google Analytics on your Site
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. This free and powerful tool for law firms is THE dominant solution in the market. If you are contributing directly to your law firm marketing efforts or paying someone else to, you should be tracking and measuring that performance. Otherwise, you are wasting the majority of your time.
This may not be one of the most sexy legal marketing ideas you’ll encounter, but it’s one of the best.
Google Analytics may sound like a big, complicated product and it can be, but you can also get a lot of value out of it with a very limited understanding of the platform. At a very basic level, it’s fun to see how many users came to your law firm’s website and what pages they visited. You can also customize the platform to record lead activity, which will allow you to compare the performance of different law firm marketing campaigns and channels.
Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console or GSC, as we call it, is a web service by Google which allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.
It’s also a really powerful marketing tool for law firms.
GSC is like a secret phone line between your law firm’s website and Google’s search engine. Another free tool from Google with tremendous value. In short, this tool allows you to submit your law firm’s website (or individual pages) to Google in order to have them crawled and indexed.
It’s true that this will probably happen naturally because their system is so powerful, but why not cut to the front of the line?
Here, you can point Google directly to your site, which will lead to being indexed quicker (eligible for being displayed in search results) in addition to being alerted to any errors found by Google. The better you optimize your site to meet Google’s guidelines, the better it will perform in search, which is great for law firm marketing.
We rely on GSC to provide us with the ‘best practices’ that Google has established for law firm websites and work every day to exceed them for our clients.
Sign Up for Legal Directories
If you’re an attorney, I’m sure you’ve heard of links or backlinks.
For the rookies out there with a new law firm, a link is a small piece of code that upon clicking, connects one website to another. This is a link to our homepage.
Interestingly, this has been a core piece of Google’s algorithm that has stood the test of time.
There have been thousands of iterations to Google’s search algorithm– they are now happening on a daily basis— but links have always remained an important part.
One of the most common ways for law firms to receive links is by signing up for a profile on a legal directory. Doing this helps you in two ways. First, it shows you are important enough that someone from another website has a page with a link to your law firm’s website. This connection is what Google tracks and the more of them you have, generally speaking, the better you will perform in search.
The second benefit of legal directory profiles is relevance for your law firm’s website. As time passed, Google started to realize that links are useful, but not all links are equal. If you receive a link from a website that is within your industry (i.e. a legal directory), the value of it increases because of the content relevancy.
We spoke with Daniel Tan at Find US Lawyers Directory, one of the growing legal directories in the market to hear about the other benefits of this strategy.
“There are some key benefits to using legal directories as part of your law firm SEO:
- A more comprehensive web presence
- Links to your site: Backlinks to your website can help your rankings in the organic search results.
- Local Search: One of the most important factors in Google’s Local Search (Maps) algorithm is a consistent Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) across the web. Online legal directories allow you to control how your address is formatted. Make sure you use identical spelling and/or abbreviations across all your directory listings.
- Reputation Management: prospective clients are checking out your online reviews before calling your office.”
At the end of the day, a link from another legal site is going to add more value to your site than a link from an unrelated entity such as a shoe store.
Signing up for legal directories can be a great easy win on the path to building a comprehensive set of links for your site.
Syndicate Your Citations
This may sound like Greek, but it’s actually pretty easy and very useful digital marketing strategy for law firms. In the description of Google Search Console, we briefly discussed how Google’s crawling system works. Since it’s impossible to manually search through millions of pages of information, companies like this rely on machines to go out and do the grunt work.
The challenge is that the information they gather is not always accurate, which leads to a problem called Citation Inconsistency. In short, this is when your law firm’s information is listed incorrectly or inconsistently across different websites. One of the things Google’s local algorithm relies on to gauge your prominence is Citation Consistency, so this can cause a problem for you.
As you might have guessed, the more prominent the engine perceives you to be, the better you will do in search (more visibility, better law firm marketing performance). So, let’s get this settled!
Instead of manually going through every directory on the Internet and attempting to correct their existing entries, you should syndicate your citations. We use BrightLocal for this job. Services like theirs will send your correct information to the top providers of business information, which is then distributed to the masses. It takes a little while, but it’s relatively cheap and a way better option than trying to track down every single loose end and inconsistency yourself.
Citations (also known as directory listings) are a BIG piece of a successful local marketing campaign for law firms. We’re honored to have Myles Anderson, the CEO of BrightLocal add his insight on the topic:
“Inaccurate or inconsistent names, addresses, or phone numbers online can create a lot of confusion for potential clients that are searching for a trustworthy firm. Syndicating citations through data aggregators can be a cost-effective and painless way for legal firms to distribute their business information to thousands of different sources. Local data aggregators blast business details to multiple sites in one go, helping save firms from spending hours to painstakingly submit and check the accuracy of thousands of sources.”
Make sure your law firm information is accurate and you’re ready to receive leads!
Feature Client Reviews on your Website
The reality is that your average potential law firm client will be scrolling through a big list of search results and making their decision in a matter of seconds. That’s why it’s extremely important to provide a polished and value-oriented introduction to potential law firm clients.
A really powerful marketing tool for convincing law firm prospects is showing that you understand their problem and you have solved it for other people. This is what we call “social proof,” and it helps you transcend from stranger to trusted advisor. We recommend utilizing social proof, such as reviews and testimonials, liberally on your law firm website.
The last time you were thinking about going to a restaurant, what did you? Google it to see the reviews, obviously. If the majority of feedback looked favorable, you’re probably on your way. The same goes for law firms.
The same mentality goes for those looking at legal services, and you can use it to your advantage.
Be proactive and get your law firm started in the right direction with some new reviews.
Optimize your Content for Voice Searches
We have arrived at the era of voice search where more and more queries going into Google are being done by speaking into a phone. Although this isn’t a new practice, it continues to grow in importance with regards to your SEO performance.
You might be thinking, why is speaking into a phone any different than typing in your question? Interestingly, this new tool has led to an adjustment in the way we are searching for information.
Your law firm should adjust accordingly. To create a thriving practice, you need to stay ahead of the curve with your legal marketing. Search engine optimization will continue to be THE most important strategy for law firms.
With a regular search, users are more likely to pursue the path of least resistance, adding a couple of keywords that they assume will be enough to trigger the right information. In practice, this looks something like “probate law firms in Tupelo.” Now, when a user has that same goal but uses voice search, they are more likely to phrase it in the form of a question like, “what is the name of a good law firm in Tupelo?”
In order to continue to rank highly for both types of queries, you need to accommodate and write for both. We recommend scouring Google’s related questions in order to understand topics more fully. From there, you can see which questions people are asking on a topic and answer them directly in your content.
We have applied this exact same process to this page, except we’re covering law firm marketing.
Search engine optimization is a constantly changing discipline, but it’s where we shine.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
When it comes to websites for mobile phones, the smartphone changed everything. Developing a mobile-centric marketing strategy for your law firm is essential to success.
Year after year, mobile traffic increased, and sure enough in 2016, there were more mobile than desktop users on the web. Some studies have shown that in the past 7 years, mobile traffic has increased by more than 36 percentage points and the trend shows no signs of stopping.
This, of course, means that the way you present your law firm website on mobile may prove crucial to growing your business. This is where mobile load speed comes in. As phones become quicker and quicker, people become increasingly impatient and expect everything to load right away.
Most of the time, that is not the case. Actually, the average web page takes 87.84% longer to load on mobile vs. desktop, so the difference is huge. Furthermore, it takes an average mobile page 3 seconds to start showing content and almost 28 seconds to fully load, by which time the user got bored and has already moved on.
This is why website speed optimization, especially on mobile, is essential. Law firm marketing is extremely competitive and every second counts. Un-sexy marketing ideas like mobile optimization can ultimately be the most lucrative.
Make sure all your fabulous legal marketing doesn’t go to waste with a clunky website.
With everything that modern websites use from third-party scripts, images, videos, animations, and more, this can get tricky. All of these items impact the way a site loads, so hiring an expert to handle the optimization is the best way to go.
However, there are some things you can do yourself to improve the load speed, especially if your site is made with WordPress. Don’t let your law firm lose the digital arms race, speak with a high-level website specialist today.
Optimize Your Website for Speed
Earlier we mentioned optimizing for mobile speed and why it’s important. The same thing goes for tablet and desktop load speed.
Even though there are more mobile than desktop users, and only 2 or 3% of people use tablets, you want to make your website fast & accessible to anyone. With law firm marketing being so competitive, you do NOT want to leave this to chance.
This is important not just because of the reasons mentioned earlier but also because of the impact this has on SEO.
Sure, it’s crucial for the site to load fast so visitors to your law firm site don’t lose interest before they even get a chance to see your content, but it’s equally important for your website to rank high on search engines like Google so you can actually get those visitors. We mention Google because it is the #1 search engine out there, and when you optimize your website for law firm marketing, optimizing it to Google’s taste is critical.
Complicated algorithms decide site ranking and even though they change very frequently, some things remain the same – for example, they like websites that load fast on all platforms and thus have a low bounce rate. Even though best left to experts, modern site building frameworks like WordPress let you do some basic optimizations with little trouble.
WordPress is the best choice when it comes to those frameworks. It offers plugins like Imagify for image optimization and WP Rocket for site caching, both of which can help with your site speed. But, you still need to configure those plugins properly which will require that you read some instructions and maybe do some research. Even after all that, there’s still a chance you break something and your site stops working properly! This is why we advise hiring a law firm marketing expert.
One final tip for improving site speed beyond properly optimizing images, caching site content, and reducing 3rd party scripts (like chat apps, for example): we recommend using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). What a CDN does is act as a proxy, using optimal server locations around the globe to deliver your site content as quickly as possible.
They can also offer additional layers of security and content caching to improve the overall experience for law firm visitors.
Give Every Page a Primary Keyword
We discussed this in-depth in one of our recent posts, but it’s worthwhile to cover it here as well. Keywords are often misunderstood, but that’s not to say they don’t have value.
Law firms typically get this wrong, so stand out amongst the crowd!
For every piece of content you create, generally speaking, you’re going to want to organize your information around one topic (a.k.a. keyword). Whether that’s a page or a blog post, you want a primary keyword.
There are literally millions of new pages created on the internet every day, so to have your law firm marketing efforts stand out from the crowd you have to be laser-focused. Building your blog post or page around a specific keyword helps Google understand what your content is all about. Adding the keyword of your choosing to the page’s title and meta description and using it throughout the page help paint the picture.
If you do this right, your landing page acts like a digital billboard, drawing people in.
Law firm marketing is extremely competitive and it’s vital that your law firm’s content strategy is tight if you want to stand out. For your next page or blog post, make sure it has a theme.
If you don’t carry this thread throughout the page, it will go to the graveyard of other blogs written by law firms on page 2+ of Google. Put yourself miles ahead of the competition with a primary keyword.
Use Surfer to Create Data-backed Content Outlines
The simplified version of this legal marketing strategy is that if you’re looking to be on the first page of Google, you need to fit in.
See, the results you see on the first page are not arbitrary, there is a ranking system behind them. We don’t know all the rules of that system, but by looking at the other pages that are ranking, we can infer a lot of great information. This comparison process is what’s behind a core strategy we use to get our clients on the first page.
We utilize a marketing tool called Surfer to assess the competition and develop a content outline based on hard data instead of speculation.
Whether we’re working on blog posts or pages, this tool is amazing.
With our process, we can actually see exactly what a ‘good’ page looks like before we start writing. It’s a tremendous advantage we have over a regular blogger or even other marketing firms who only use a basic set of optimization strategies.
We’re privileged to have one of the co-founders of Surfer, Michal Suski discuss why his tool is great for law firm marketing plans.
“Combining your expertise as a lawyer with feeding the Google Algorithm with the right terms and variations makes a perfect marriage. As an SEO you can’t get experts’ knowledge about the law. But when you have it as a lawyer, adding an SEO twist to the article is a breeze with the Content Editor. That’s just a great opportunity to make the content actually ranking. Don’t waste time on creating a masterpiece that won’t have chances to rank. The Law industry is competitive, you need that edge to stand out from your competitors. Once you have it – all the landing pages and informational articles on your blog will shine in the top ten. There are hundreds of topics to cover, that will strengthen your position on the market. With Surfer’s Content Editor and Content Planner, it’s just too easy to walk away.”
Freshen Up Content on a Yearly Basis
In order to improve your traffic and conversion rate, you should regularly update your old content, ideally on a yearly basis.
How can you decide which law firm marketing content to update?
It is best to analyze your content through Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Look for pages that have high traffic and low conversion, and also pages with low traffic and high conversion, as these two types of pages have space for improvement.
Updating the content depends on the type of content and the search intent, but usually, you need to update the information, dates, images, and headlines. Data points need to be accurate and finally, you need to promote it.
A steady program of updating posts is essential for a successful inbound marketing campaign.
Stay Visible to Potential Clients with SSL Encryption
If you haven’t taken the step to add an SSL certificate to your website, you are behind the competition. What’s an SSL certificate? As the name implies, it’s a certificate that is essentially vouching for your website to incoming users.
Ever seen the little lock icon in your browser URL? That’s it.
Imagine that you just paid for a personal injury click at $150 and then your hot lead is met with the screen above. It would be a disaster and a complete waste of money.
It’s important that you have one for marketing because it’s a widely used protocol and a known ranking factor in Google. Google has gone so far as to make sites without a certificate display as ‘Unsafe’ inside of their browser Chrome. Instead of seeing your website, it looks like a restaurant that didn’t pass a health inspection. Not ideal.
The good news is that this is pretty simple if you know where to go. Most hosting providers now offer this either free or at a very economic price. There’s even a free option called Let’s Encrypt (that’s what we use), which is available to everyone. If you’re not the tech wizard in your organization, call your nephew or the support team where you purchased your domain.
Guest Post for Non-Competitive Law Firms
We believe the two most important components of a successful SEO strategy are content and links.
Since the beginning of Google, these two elements have played a key role in how their algorithm evaluates and ranks website pages. There are many ways to acquire links for your website, but there’s a prevailing view that topically relevant links are the most valuable. One relatively simple way to obtain these links is guest posting on other attorney websites. What is guest posting?
Simply asking another website owner if you can write an article to be published on their website.
The generally accepted arrangement here is that you are providing useful content for their audience in exchange for a link back to your site. These types of links are preferable to say, a directory link because they are more difficult to come by. It’s fairly easy to sign up for a directory, which means everyone can do it. Writing for another attorney’s blog should be free, relatively easy for you, and provide a link from a relevant (legal) site. Don’t worry about focusing on specific search terms, the most important part is to establish that connection.
We suggest non-competitors here because generally speaking, you’re not going to convince your competition to let you post on their site. Seek out law firms in your area with different practice areas or those in different markets, with similar practice areas.
Other law firms who are doing marketing can be a great place to start.
In our experience with this in the past, your colleagues will generally play ball. It’s definitely a numbers game, so don’t get discouraged if the first few don’t bite. Even though law firm marketing is extremely competitive, there is reciprocal value here, which will get the job done.
Create Super Pages
“Super Pages” are just what they sound like– huge pages that thoroughly cover an entire topic, front to back.
We typically start with a keyword that may not be exactly your practice area, but it’s related.
For example, if you’re a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, we might look for a keyword like “Atlanta Car Wreck” to use as the topic of the page. Then, we’d list all the related keywords and topics we could find. Carrying on with the car wreck example, this might include “Atlanta car accident statistics,” “what to do after a car accident,” etc. After listing out all the keyword topics, the idea is to write a paragraph or two for each and combine them into one big (super!) page.
We’ve found that covering a complete topic like this with 1,000 words or more really signals to the search engines that you are an expert on the subject matter and can help boost your rankings. It also acts as supporting content for your specific practice pages, like “Atlanta Car Accident Law Firms.”
Digital marketing for law is incredibly competitive and if you want to improve your positions in the search engine results, you’re going to need to invest in your content.
Finally, writing this length of the page gives you ample opportunity to include links to your other relevant pages, helping you to build a strong internal link structure. Ideally, you will capture people who are searching for something like “what to do after a car accident” but who may not necessarily have thought of looking for a personal injury attorney.
Utilize Schema/Rich Snippets
It’s believed that there are hundreds if not thousands of ranking factors that go into Google’s search algorithm.
The truth is that Google does not publish their special formula, so the majority of information about it largely conjecture. So, when we see Google come out and say ‘this is a ranking factor,’ we tend to take notice.
Since so many law firm leads come from organic search, Schema is an important part of marketing for a law firm.
Schema, also known as Rich Snippets, is a layer of additional information added to a website page to help Google better understand it’s purpose. There is a wide-range of schema types that allow you to tell Google your content is a recipe, an event, an article, or a review. You may see this utilized in search results at the top, usually above the standard organic results. You might also see this as a review star next to certain attorneys in the search result.
We recommend adding relevant schema types to your website pages and blog posts.
While we don’t consider this a major part of the algorithm, and it doesn’t play a large role in our law firm marketing, we want to optimize for Google as best we can because it may be the one thing the separates you from your competitor.
Create Supporting Content for Primary Pages
It is important to create a content silo that is supporting a primary page. A content silo is created by publishing 2-3 content pieces relevant to the topic of the primary page. These content pieces need to be connected with the primary page with logical internal links that are continuing the conversation. Content silos are important for users and Google´s understanding of your websites. This way a user can easily navigate around your website and find the topics of his interest.
Google understands the organization of your website by following the internal links, so
you need to stir that understanding by connecting your law firm marketing content in a meaningful hub.
Create a Press Release
We explained how important links are in our discussion of legal directories. A press release can be a good marketing strategy for law firms — even if you don’t have earth-shattering news to share — because it can generate as many as 30-50 links to your site, just by creating that one piece of content.
We often publish press releases for clients when they are starting out with a new website, because we can link Your Law Firm Name to your law firm’s new site, and immediately begin to establish its legitimacy. We use a company to help us publish the PRs, and from there, they are picked up by local news sources or news sources that cover your industry.
The purpose of this digital marketing strategy is not to connect with potential clients.
Wayne Pollock, Founder and Managing Attorney of Copo Strategies, a legal services and communications firm explains how to make your press release valuable:
“Press releases are wonderfully effective tools for engaging the media, your clients, and your referral sources, though one size rarely fits all. Press releases aimed at informing your clients and referral sources about developments at your firm can be self-congratulatory. But if you want the media to cover what’s in a particular press release, you must tell a compelling story that focuses on your client and their legal issues.”
Just as the original PR contains a link to your site, so does every following news site that runs the PR. More links, more marketing legitimacy, more Google “juice” for you!
Create a Basic Google Ads Campaign
When it comes to generating new clients fast, it’s tough to beat Google Ads. We love organic search engine results, but Ads are pretty great, too.
A lot of people get confused about the relationship between regular search results and ads, but this is the one place where you can literally buy keyword clicks.
If you’re an attorney who is just getting started, without a website or your other channels have become slow, we recommend setting up a basic Google Ads campaign.
It may be enticing to cook one up yourself, but we recommend finding a pro to help you out and land some potential clients.
Why? Google Ads is deceptively difficult to learn and you can easily blow a ton of money fast.
Click costs will vary by market and practice area, but any way you slice it, you’re better off going with a professional. A good professional will be able to help advise on strategy, setup a functional campaign structure, and monitor the results.
Jordan Le is an expert when it comes to advertising law firms on Google, so we reached out to get his take on it:
“If you’re not using the power of the internet to grow your law practice & still relying on referrals then you’re leaving a whole lot of money on the table. Running online ads can help you consistently generate high quality leads when done right. With online ads, everything is trackable & measurable down to the penny. You can forecast how much new business you’ll get each month with the predictability from online ads.”
Even with a small advertising budget for marketing your law firm, you’re better off spending a little extra so you don’t get burned. Make sure to ask plenty of questions before getting started. Even with the downsides, there is a great opportunity for positive ROI. Start small, get your bearings, and then begin to scale up once you have a better grasp of Cost Per Acquisition.
Use a Google Ads Credit
Free advertising! This is an extension of our other tip to create a Google Ads campaign. We already know that Google Ads are a good idea, but they can be expensive. Especially if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about proper campaign setup, you can blow your money faster than a trip to Vegas.
A great way to test the waters and get a feel for the system is to take advantage of Google’s promotional offer. Our law firm’s get nagged about this all the time.
Typically, they are going to give you a free ad credit equal to 2x your advertising spend up to a certain point. We often see coupons for spending $50, get a $50 bonus. In the legal marketplace, one click can easily cost $50 so it’s not going to immediately lead to an avalanche of customers.
But, if you’re planning on creating a law firm marketing campaign yourself, it’s an affordable way to start learning the system. Or, you can pass that along to a legal marketing company like us who will add it to your account and extend your budget.
Facebook Retargeting Campaign
Have you ever been shopping online and then that same pair of shoes follows you around for the next month?!? That’s retargeting.
As you go on someone’s website, your IP address gets tagged and you become eligible for that company’s retargeting campaign. You might find them annoying, but the truth is they work. Realistically, the first time someone inquires about legal services, they may not be ready to sign up. Add to that the conventional wisdom that you need multiple touch points with a prospect before a sale, retargeting is a cost-effective way to get back in front of potential customers.
Through our testing, Facebook is the most hospitable platform for attorneys to deliver retargeting ads. Google and other display advertising networks are not big fans of lawyers. They love allowing attorneys to bid on clicks but feel that advertising through display crosses a privacy boundary. So, your options are here limited.
Since retargeting clicks are typically far cheaper than regular ad clicks, you stand to gain a few additional conversions per month at a low cost. A nice supplemental law firm marketing strategy to assist your existing work.
Stay Away from Google’s Advertising Consultants
If you are a human with a pulse, you have likely received a call from an ‘Advertising Consultant’ with Google who has been kind enough to review your advertising account and prepare some free suggestions.
On face value, this sounds amazing. Get improvement tips straight from the people who have made the platform? SIGN ME UP.
We have fallen for this before, but it won’t ultimately be worth your time and could leave with a fat credit card bill. This group of Consultants are actually from a 3rd party who has been contracted to try and increase your advertising spend, often at the expense of your performance. We have found this to be true every time we engaged with this group. All Google wants from their perspective is to have you pay for lots of clicks.
To illustrate how this can go off the rails, let’s say you wanted to be found for the keyword “bankruptcy attorney Modesto.” If you leave that job completely in Google’s hands, they will show your ad for anything that is remotely connected to the keyword. You could be paying for clicks that you would never want just because Google finds them topically relevant to your initial keyword. In this case, queries like ‘free bankruptcy attorney Modesto’ or ‘how do I become a bankruptcy attorney in Modesto’ will be eligible for paid clicks inside your campaign.
It’s a great way to burn your law firm’s marketing budget in an afternoon.
A well-built campaign by someone who’s goal is not lining the pockets of Google will be able to help restrict a lot of the bad clicks and isolate good potential prospects from marketing. If you choose to work with a Google Ads Consultant, just remember to closely monitor what they are doing because no one knows your business better than you.
Create Dedicated Landing Pages for Ads
Landing pages just work better. If you’re not familiar with them, they are specialized pages that help increase the likelihood of a user becoming a lead. These landing pages are typically used in marketing campaigns and share a singular focus on removing all of the friction that can prevent someone from signing up.
If your website is a television program, a landing page is the SuperBowl advertisement.
The goal is to capture the attention of the user and demonstrate how you will solve their problem or provide a benefit. Ideally, your whole website will attempt this, but we have found in our research that dedicated landing pages do a far superior job at converting leads.
Contrary to what we often hear, a landing page doesn’t have to be particularly attractive. The landing page just needs to clearly identify a problem and how you are the solution. Fancy graphics and animations are OK, but a simple landing page that speaks directly to the problem experienced by your potential client? That’s money.
When we run marketing campaigns to regular website pages, our conversion rate is usually below 5%. With landing pages, the conversion rate increases to between 15-50% on average! With click costs rising, adding a landing page is a key asset that will dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition (CPA).
If you are running ads without landing pages and want some free landing page tips, give us a shout!
Try Bing for Lower Cost Clicks
I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but I’ll let you in on a secret. There is actually ANOTHER search engine out there besides Google.
You may know Bing from your mother-in-law’s laptop or the office computer, but it turns out that people actually use it. You can use it for legal marketing, too.
We’ve seen estimates range from 30% to 2% command of the overall search market. Either way, 2% of the entire world is still a lot of people. Bing knows its position in the pecking order and that’s where you get the value. Although prices fluctuate by industry, Bing clicks can be up to 70% less expensive than their Google equivalents. Prices for clicks on Google in some practice areas have absolutely skyrocketed with the pandemic (looking at you PI gang). Our best advice is to take well-performing campaigns, where you have a solid command of keyword value and duplicate them in Bing.
Don’t forget to build your landing page here as well!
Since you already know that certain keywords are producing clients at a reasonable rate on Google, take that insight and expand your reach, affordably.
Measure Your Success with Conversion Goal Tracking
When we talk with law firms, they often speak about their legal marketing performance in a binary way. It’s either ‘working’ or not. But, there are better ways to measure your success.
We often believe that our recollection is perfect, but as criminal defense lawyers know, eye-witness accounts are routinely incorrect. My point here is that if you rely on your memory for lead tracking, you’re more likely to make decisions based on your gut, rather than data. While the gut has its place, if you’re working to build a scalable marketing program that more predictably produces leads, then you need to be tracking your marketing campaigns.
That being said, you don’t have to track absolutely everything. This can be nearly impossible to implement, even for highly-technical people. There are too many variables that make it difficult to confidently know the source of every single lead. There are, however, great tools out there that can help give you a really solid picture, including Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Google Analytics is a tremendous base layer that will give you insights on users, their activity, most popular content, users’ locations, and a ton more. They also offer reporting on a metric called Goals.
A goal is simply an action that you have identified as valuable. This could be signing up through a form, clicking to call, clicking to email, downloaded a resource, or anything else that happens on a website. Using Goals is powerful because you can see how many leads you received and importantly, how they found you. Was it from Google Search? Facebook post?
You can track their entire journey and apply those lessons in order to improve your performance.
Google Tag Manager is an Analytics helper tool that will provide you with a lot more flexibility when creating your Goals. Out of the box, Google Analytics won’t let you track many of the most important user actions such as clicking a button to place a call. You can cover this and much more through GTM. Additionally, you can handle all of your tracking needs through one platform including adding a Facebook Pixel.
GTM is not mandatory for law firm marketing Goal tracking, but if you’re ready to take your game to the next level, this 1-2 punch is where you want to be.
Claim Your Social Media Profiles
Category: Social Media
If we’re being perfectly honest, we don’t put a whole lot of effort into social media compared to our work with SEO and Advertising.
We have found that the majority of our client’s leads come from Google Search and Google Ads, by a huge margin. But, we do believe there is a place for social media, which is why we suggest claiming your profiles as soon as possible.
It’s pretty clear that clients don’t start their search for a lawyer on Facebook, but it may end there.
We spoke about this concept of ‘social proof’ in the area about client reviews and it’s relevant here as well.
Prior to making a purchasing decision, your clients will go through a research period to validate their initial action. Hopping over to social media for a quick check of your business is a common step in the journey. If your pages look like a graveyard, it will negatively impact their level of confidence. Since social media is such a ubiquitous activity for the majority of our country, there is an expectation that you as a business will participate.
It’s our advice to keep this participation relatively limited because this time is better spent elsewhere. You still need to have a nice representation of your business on social because, without it, the potential client may think you’re not ‘legit’ and move on to the next person on the list. There are two other compelling reasons to claim your profiles: link building and the risk of someone else claiming it.
Links will always be valuable and provide a good signal to Google that you’re a real business that is investing in their visibility. Although we’ve basically never seen this, it is possible that someone will claim your name in order to steal leads. Even though the success rate on this would certainly be low, it will muddy the waters.
Do yourself a favor and get on over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other platforms you’re familiar with to sign up.
Develop a Reasonable Posting Schedule
Category: Social Media
Once you’ve set up your social profiles, you may feel the societal pressure to begin posting pictures of your dinner incessantly. Avoid this! You don’t have to be a social media rock star to participate and get value.
A simple posting schedule will help ensure that you’re social pages look active and representative of a law firm that is open for business.
What should you post? Focus on law firm marketing information that you feel would be helpful to your clients. If that seems like a mystery, start writing down your common questions from clients and answer them with posts, videos, or any other medium. Do you receive client reviews? Highlight them!
A common misconception is that you need to be posting every day, which is not true. Let’s be real, scanning through the Facebook pages of lawyers in your community after work is no one’s idea of fun. You do not need to act as if you’re an influencer with big following who demands your attention. Just focus on creating a simple, structured, and manageable posting schedule that you can adhere to. You may only want to post once per week, that’s fine! Quality is better than quantity here.
There certainly are law firms out there who are social pros and utilize it well as a source of leads, but these are very rare. If this is not an innate passion and skill for you, don’t sweat it and do the minimum.
Build a Funnel
Category: Social Media
For this strategy, we’re pleased to have funnel-afficionado and President of Sail Away Media, Alyssa Ege share her insights!
To put it simply, a legal marketing funnel is a way to take someone from cold prospect to hot lead. Typically, lawyers point traffic from social media to the homepage of their website. Unfortunately, websites don’t usually have a specific call to action. People click around and browse, but it’s difficult to turn a website viewer into a lead. Instead, give the prospect clear cut instructions with a series of landing pages. For instance, you can ask for an email address to redeem a free consultation or a downloadable freebie. Once they provide their email address and show interest, the next page can provide a calendar for them to book a call with you. Now you’re filling your calendar with booked calls rather than wasting time with website views.
Add Previous Clients to an Email List
For most law firms, email marketing is not a high-producing channel. I’ll go as far as to say it’s impossible to develop a credible list of people who will need legal services in the future and target them through email marketing. We simply don’t have the ability to see into the future like Minority Report.
Even though it may not be a primary channel, email marketing can definitely work.
Adding previous clients to an email marketing campaign is a simple way to kickstart your referral engine. Even if you don’t have a specific email campaign in mind, you should 100% begin to start collecting your previous clients’ contact information for future legal marketing.
How can you utilize it? Plenty of ways.
With all these, you’ll want to include a subtle reminder that you would love referrals if they know anyone who needs legal services. You could reach out to past clients to wish them a happy birthday. You could share information on changes to laws in your area. You could run a giveaway contest.
Get creative and have some fun with your email marketing campaign. If you can stand out as not another email solicitation, you’re going to have success.
There are lots of ways to increase your visibility without being too salesy or intrusive.
Create a Newsletter Targeting Your Colleagues
Many of the law firms we work with rely on referrals from colleagues as their only source of business. We believe a multi-channel approach gives you more security and opportunities to increase revenue, but we also love referrals.
We actually recommend continuing to cultivate your referral network through a newsletter.
The goal is to make yourself in front of mind to other attorneys who may need to make a referral. You might hear email marketing and think it’s too complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with a small email marketing campaign and build from there.
As for newsletter content, stay away from simply regurgitating facts about yourself, no one wants to hear that. Instead, you should be thinking about topics that you would find valuable.
A newsletter can be a nice supplement to the rest of your marketing strategies.
Do attorneys typically struggle with a concept that you’re good at? Is there a new law that will affect a broad group of attorneys that you could dive deep on? By creating a valuable resource, you’ll leave a good impression on your colleagues without being too upfront. This subtle messaging will help build goodwill and put in line for additional referral opportunities.
Don’t know where to start? MailChimp is simple to use and offers a great, free plan. Start collecting those email addresses!
Connect with Local Business Owners on LinkedIn
Most attorneys get referrals from their existing network. The problem is that referrals here can be infrequent.
How do you solve for that and build a more sustainable pipeline of new cases? Expand your network!
With respect to other marketing campaigns, this is definitely a slow burn. I would not expect your law practice to blow up overnight. Rather, a confluence of small marketing strategies like this on a daily basis can accumulate value over time.
With social media, it’s extremely simple to find other business owners in your area. Connecting with others in your area on LinkedIn, just to say hello is an easy way to expand your network, market your law firm and create more of those serendipitous moments.
Identify Your Law Firm’s Voice and Core Principles
Putting some thought into your branding is a simple, but effective strategy to ensure that you’re portrayed to clients exactly the way you wish. At the beginning of every engagement, we like to ask law firms about this to get their perspective.
We use those insights to develop consistent messaging across their website, social media, and advertising.
This process will be useful to all of your digital activities to come. Starting your marketing campaigns with a clear sense of direction will save you time in the long run.
This practice helps identify your unique selling points and who you’re trying to reach. With that information, you’re in a much better position to become the law firm of choice, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
When we speak about voice, we’re really talking about tone. You want all of your marketing campaigns to share the same tone.
Do you prefer professional? Fun? Your identity on your website should match what a client will receive when they come to meet you in-person. Having these ‘North Star’ components will make content development easier and consistent.
Create a Customer Persona
Before you spend money on advertising or marketing, it’s important to have some idea who you’re marketing to.
With legal, this practice is going to differ a little bit compared to a software company. It’s still a valuable exercise to map out what an ideal customer looks like for your business.
Let’s say you’re a criminal defense attorney, do you like all cases equally? Are you better at generating results for traffic tickets and misdemeanors rather than federal matters? Instead of personal demographic information about your ideal customer, it will probably be situational.
If we go off the example above, your ideal client might be a first time offender or low-level matter that takes place in two specific counties. It’s OK to have more than one of these, but ideally, you are trying to develop some restrictions so you can better target these potential clients. Your marketing strategies will likely differ depending on your ideal client.
From what we’ve seen with our clients, law firms with a clear view of their clients are able to grow quicker. Attempting to get cases across a wide variety of practice areas is possible, but that is typically harder to scale, which makes growth drag.
Setting up some basic parameters about who you’re looking for will help you considerably as you try to market your law firm
Encourage Clients to Leave a Review
Reviews are important for two reasons.
First, we all use them during the buying process for almost everything. Want to check out a new pizza place? You’re probably reading the reviews first. The same goes for lawyers. Cultivating reviews from happy clients is a proven way to help grow your business. Reviews are also important because they are a ranking factor for Google’s Local Search Algorithm.
Reviews are often one of those marketing activities that get overlooked or completely avoided. But, having a robust Google My Business listing can make a tremendous difference in your practice!
You’ll see throughout this page that we take Google’s words seriously. When they come out and say something is specifically included in their ranking system, we work hard to maximize that for our clients.
In our experience, lawyers are often hesitant to proactively seek reviews. We get it. It’s not fun, the matter may be sensitive, or just feels wrong given the legal community’s general reluctance to advertise. Other marketing strategies may be sexier, but this will pay dividends.
We have built our own software to make this process as painless as possible. Simply add a person to the invitation form and they will receive a series of polite emails asking for a review. Not all marketing efforts have to be labor-intensive!
We highly recommend investing time into this part of your practice by devoting time to it on a weekly or monthly basis.
Get Professional Photography
Professional photography is often seen as an expendable item, something that is an afterthought to the overall marketing plan.
With smartphones now exceeding the quality of many digital cameras from a few years ago, you may be suckered into thinking you should do your shots yourself.
Bad idea! First, when we talk about professional photography, we don’t mean someone who will charge you an arm and leg.
There are numerous ways to get attractive photography done for a small fee, but it can make all the difference in presenting a polished brand experience to potential clients.
One of the most undervalued investments a law firm can make is professional photography, it sets the tone for everything else that comes after. Gustavo Fernandez specializes in photography for law firms and had this to say:
“A professional photographer can deliver consistent results to show a cohesive brand. Branding is key in the online world when your client’s first impression is your website.”
The truth is that prospective clients form their opinions about you early in the discovery process. Even if you’ve won Lawyer of the Year multiple times, that may go unnoticed if you took your headshot with a flip phone in 2001.
Erica Aitken, the owner of My Atlanta Photographer believes that:
“Many of your potential clients will judge your abilities based entirely on how you’re represented visually. A seasoned photographer will work with you to craft a trustworthy, professional and consistent brand image for you and your firm.”
Let’s face it, most people who need a lawyer have no idea what they are looking for. We’d like to think that the best writer or the person with the best reputation among other lawyers should get the jobs. But, the reality is that this is just not the case. Your law firm is a business like any other, with competitors. You need to separate yourself from them in any way you can.
Greg Lorfing, CEO & Creative Director of Gittings Global adds that quality photography can help you establish trust early with prospective clients:
“While many things have changed over the past year, some things remain the same – your web presence reflects your company. It is here that prospective clients and employees go to gather an impression of your firm and your professionals. Keeping your website consistent with updated and professional portraits that showcase your people is critical. This allows clients to connect more personally with your firm and begin to build trust in your services.”
Photography is an easy way to show potential clients you run a serious business where they will be well taken care of. This is a lasting investment that will provide benefits for years.
Ask Colleagues for Reviews
Have you ever worked on a matter with another colleague? You should get them to review your performance.
Something a lot of lawyers misunderstand is who can leave a review. Yes, your primary group of providers should be your past legal clients. However, if you’re just getting started or want to ensure that you’re receiving a steady flow of activity to your review page, ask your colleagues.
If you take anything away from this article, it should be to not overlook marketing strategies that aren’t sexy. Asking colleagues for a review can be a drag, but it’s so important! For all your marketing activities, the most important aspect is measuring the value.
Seeing positive reviews on your website and Google always pays dividends.
Speak at a Local Event
Clearly, we love digital marketing and advocate utilizing it as much as possible. We’re also not afraid to say there are other ways to generate clients.
Since we started, we’ve always been agnostic about where the leads come from. What we’ve learned over years of experimentation is that a vast majority of clients begin on Google Search.
But, referrals from colleagues and live events can still play a vital role in your overall marketing strategy. We have numerous clients who continue to utilize live events and they are rewarded for it. A live event can offer an amazing opportunity to speak directly to your ideal clients. There are plenty of people out there who are suspicious of conducting business online and a personal connection obtained at a live event can dramatically increase your chances of earning their trust.
Regularly speaking at local events is a nice supplement to your overall marketing plan. There’s no one right law firm marketing strategy, you’ll find success by testing different approaches and measuring their value.
There are also peripheral benefits of speaking at live events as well. You get the opportunity to make connections, record the speech to distribute digitally, and add it to your list of credentials.
Utilize a CRM Software
For many law firms, it’s a numbers game. To consistently generate the revenue you’re after, it’s important to bring in a specific number of new intakes.
Not everyone you speak with will become a client, so it’s vital that you develop a system to track and manage prospective clients through the buying process. Typically utilized for higher-volume businesses, there is a growing trend for law firms to use CRMs (Customer Relationship Management).
Without this, you may find it impossible to track the effectiveness of your marketing plan.
CRMs are valuable to your business because they standardized the intake process for prospective clients and ensure that you convert potential clients at the highest rate possible. Of course, numerous factors go into this, but a common problem among law firms is simply following up with the people who have shown interest.
With a CRM, you give yourself every possible chance to convert prospective clients without being reliant on your memory alone. CRMs may sound scary, but there are tools out there specifically built for law firms like Clio Grow. This will display all of your prospective clients in a simple-to-use dashboard, allowing you to visually move them through the sales process.
If organization and efficiency are important to your law firm, you may want to investigate implementing a CRM.
Include Plenty of Calls-to-Action on Your Site
What is a Call-to-Action? It’s the Buy Now button you see when you’re shopping. Or, the Subscribe to Get Updates message you see when reading a blog.
There’s a tendency for many attorneys to believe that ‘if someone wants to take action, they’ll just do it.’ This thinking often leads law firms to limit their CTAs under the false assumption that they don’t work. Our research has shown that providing more opportunities to take action leads to more people taking action.
Where should you add CTAs? Blog posts, pages, headers, footers, and anywhere else you can think of.
It may seem like overkill, but you have to remember that people are both suspicious and lazy.
The harder you make it for them to take action, the less likely they will be to do it by themselves. Our advice? Make it simple for people to get in touch through multiple types of contact options. Have a form, have a Call Now button, have an Email Now button as well. If you make it hard to get in touch, they will simply move on.