Criminal defense attorneys play a crucial role in the justice system, but their services can often go unnoticed by those who need them most. This is where effective marketing comes into play. Criminal defense attorney marketing is all about getting your legal services in front of potential clients so that you can generate more leads and ultimately grow your practice. However, with so many law firms vying for attention in this saturated market, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd.
In this article, we will explore the best strategies for marketing your criminal defense practice, including defining your brand, building a responsive website, and utilizing SEO and PPC advertising. By implementing these tactics, you can increase your visibility and attract more clients who are in need of your expertise.
8 Ways Successful Criminal Defense Lawyers Get Clients
How do criminal defense attorneys get clients? There are several marketing strategies you can use to get more qualified leads online:
- Creating a Buyer's Persona
- Building a strong criminal defense brand
- Building a well-designed criminal defense firm website
- Leveraging the power of attorney PPC advertising
- Creating a thought-out SEO strategy
- Establishing your presence on social media
- Building trust and reputation
- Analyzing your results and adapting
Investing time in each step of your criminal defense marketing strategy will effectively lead to more clients for your criminal defense firm. Although some firms can devote time and resources to these tasks and marketing channels, many of them choose to rely on a law firm marketing agency to handle the core criminal defense lawyer advertising tasks while they focus on their law practice.
1. Determine Your Ideal Client
For a criminal defense lawyer, there are a number of buyer persona possibilities, but one could be someone who has been arrested for driving while intoxicated or a friend or family member of that person. Your persona should consider age, income and education, marital status, and employment status.
Once you've identified your buyer persona and target audience, you can tailor your criminal law ads to respond to that buyer's needs.
Keep in mind that the characteristics of your buyer persona may be prone to change over time or at certain times of the year due to the arrival of the holiday seasons, important events and occurrences, and societal trends.
As such, it is important to continually reevaluate the characteristics of your desired client base and adjust your criminal defense attorney marketing strategy accordingly.
2. Build a Criminal Defense Law Firm Brand
Criminal defense marketing is unique; special care should be taken to understand its idiosyncrasies and how to use them to your advantage. If you don't, your marketing efforts may fail to capture the nuances that are important to successful criminal defense attorney marketing.
How does marketing for criminal defense attorneys differ from marketing for other types of lawyers? It is even more vital for criminal defense lawyers to establish trust by matching their personality with client expectations and conveying to clients that they have their best interests in mind.
Criminal defense lawyers must take the following into account:
- A short decision cycle, which creates a sense of urgency
- Clients who can afford to pay upfront, in contrast to personal injury lawyers
- A need to project a personality that matches clients' expectations
- A larger number of keywords to target
Some keywords searched for by criminal defense clients are common, such as "DUI" and "defense attorney." But potential clients face a wide variety of charges. They tend to research their specific charges on the internet, which means more keywords to work with.
3. Build a Responsive Criminal Defense Firm Website
Did you know that nearly 50% of website visitors will leave if a page doesn't load in three seconds or less? Not to mention, your clients can't hire you if they can't navigate your site to find information on how to contact you.
A responsive, functional law firm website design that's intuitive and scalable to handle unexpected bumps in traffic will keep site visitors from looking for a new criminal defense law firm.
How Do You Build a Criminal Law Firm Website That Brings New Leads?
Here are some tips on how to build a responsive criminal defense law firm's website:
- Be optimized for mobile use. More and more people are using their smartphones to search for legal services. A mobile-optimized website ensures that potential clients can easily navigate the site, view important information, and contact the attorney without frustration. Additionally, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search engine results pages, so optimizing for mobile can improve a law firm's online visibility and attract more clients.
- Create practice area pages. By listing practice areas, criminal defense attorneys can attract clients who are specifically looking for representation in those areas. For example, if an attorney specializes in DUI cases, listing this on their website can help them attract clients who have been charged with DUI offenses.
- Provide clear ways to contact your firm, including a live chat option, contact form, and phone number.
- Build Trust from the get-go. Use testimonials, awards, and the like to inspire trust with site browsers. Video testimonials can be quite effective.
- Integrate videos and images. Media will support the legal literature on your website. Doing so can help keep browsers on your site longer and make them more engaged.
- Have consistent design. Use your brand's color scheme throughout the website, along with your logo and other identifying trademarks of your firm. Doing so will help ensure you have consistency throughout your site.
- Have an easy-to-understand layout. Keep your site easy to navigate with straightforward menus, as well as footers, headers, and dropdowns.
- Include photographs of your attorneys. As well as other members of your legal team, including paralegals and secretaries. Prospective clients love to put faces to names early on when deciding who to hire.
- Add calls to action throughout your website. Criminal defense clients often respond well to calls to action, like "fill out our form" or "contact our team," and many will not act without one.
It takes skill, training, and experience to accomplish these tasks successfully. Instead of building a law firm's website from scratch, look to an experienced digital marketing agency that works with law firms. Find one with a demonstrated track record of successful criminal law and legal website design, and let them help you maximize your website.
4. Create a PPC Advertising Campaign for Criminal Defense Lawyers
PPC ads for a criminal defense lawyer will appear at the top of a search page — even above the sites that organically rank at the top — granting you more visibility. Each time a user clicks through the link to your site, you'll pay a small amount. If they don't click, you don't pay.
Running a successful criminal defense PPC campaign requires choosing and using the most effective keywords that will successfully bring prospective clients to your website. With enough time invested, you can set up and launch a viable PPC campaign on your own. But it's not always easy to find enough time in your busy schedule. Like many lawyers, you might benefit from hiring an experienced marketing team from a digital marketing agency for law firms to handle your campaign.
If you do decide to carry out your own PPC campaign, there are a variety of tools — many of them free — that will help you research the keywords you will need. Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Ads are good places to begin keyword research.
These platforms will help you identify and choose the most relevant keywords for your site. Since they are user-friendly and straightforward, it's not a bad idea to take an hour or two and check them out. To get started, head over to Google and enter phrases like "criminal defense attorney" or "DUI attorney" into the search box. Observe the results that appear on the search engine results page (SERP). From what you see here, you can begin building your keyword list.
5. Create a Comprehensive SEO Strategy for Criminal Defense Law Firms
SEO for lawyers means optimizing your attorney website content or blog for the web bots that search engines use to match websites with a user query, such as “DUI lawyer near me.”
You can take clear, effective steps to carry out search engine optimization for your website, many of which are detailed below.
Build a Local SEO Presence
Those facing criminal charges are usually looking for local representation. Your legal firm's site should rank high for local SEO for law firms, which can be a different approach than general SEO. There's a lot more detail to go into with local SEO, but for now, let's concentrate on a few visible, easy-to-launch initiatives that can produce more leads immediately.
Create a Google My Business Profile
Google My Business Profile is a free service from Google that is arguably the second-most important part of your web presence (after your own site). These snippets appear alongside the search results and offer details about your firm, including contact information, star rating, practice areas, and hours of operation. There are a few more fields, and Google will rank law firm GBP entries that are completely filled out higher than those that aren't.
Set up Location Pages
Location pages have the power to put your firm in contact with a steady stream of potential clients from your targeted area. Clients generally prefer local attorneys and typically respond more favorably to attorneys that cater to their geographical region. Even for law firms with a wider reach, potential clients will still gravitate to web pages that mention their city, town, or region.
For example, a criminal defense or DUI lawyer working in Dallas may want to expand their business to serve clients in cities and towns in the surrounding area. Hence, they would likely benefit from having separate practice area web pages, or satellite location pages, for these cities and towns instead of a one-size-fits-all Dallas advertisement for each of their services.
Register for Local Directories
Legal directories work well for criminal defense advertising strategies if law firms put effort into creating and maintaining their listings. With most legal directories, advertising works because these sites receive a voluminous amount of traffic, both organically and directly. These directories then send the traffic to the firms and lawyers listed on their websites.
Here are the best criminal defense legal directories available today:
- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Super Lawyers
If your law firm is listed in most or all of the major legal directories, potential clients can get to your website quickly and easily with just a click. It is an efficient and inexpensive method of developing another stream of traffic to your website. You can also boost your appeal to potential clients by customizing your listings on these directories' websites.
Build Off-Page SEO Through Citations and Link Building
Establishing these links requires you to write content about your area of legal practice — typically, a short article — and have it posted on a respected website. These guest posts, as they are called, help build confidence in your brand and establish your competence as a defense attorney for potential clients who browse these reputable sites.
There are many legal sites that allow guest posts by attorneys, but it is important to focus your energies and resources on sites that will contribute the most to your website development efforts.
Focus on a Few Technical SEO Aspects
Suboptimal technical aspects of your site can damage your efforts because poor user experience means low rankings on search engine results pages. These are typical issues with any underperforming law firm website:
- Incorrect page index
- Slow page speed
- Clunky website architecture
Google algorithms, which determine which pages are relevant enough to be at the top of search returns, emphasize strongly performing sites.
Stay Mindful of On-Site Optimization
On-site optimization is important for getting your pages ranked highly during searches. Each page includes multiple elements that can be tweaked for optimization. Here are 5 basic ones that will help your criminal defense content rank higher on Google:
- Title of Page: This appears in bold when your site or page is ranked. It should contain your main keyword and a call to action.
- Meta Description: This description appears with the title when search results are posted. It offers a great opportunity to hook readers.
- Title Structure: The title structure is important for criminal defense and DUI attorneys as it determines the hierarchy and responsibilities within a law firm. It also establishes the level of experience and expertise required for each position, which can impact the quality of legal representation provided to clients.
- Alt Tags: These are required bits of information that describe the visual information on your site to visually impaired visitors.
- Effective Internal Links: Anticipate the needs of your clients and use hyperlinks to direct them to parts of your criminal defense website that guide them toward the answers and services they need.
For a comprehensive understanding, we invite you to delve into our informative guide "SEO for criminal defense lawyers".
6. Establish Your Presence on Social Media
Although potential clients don't usually look for a defense attorney on Facebook or Instagram, social media marketing can effectively lead to more clients for a criminal lawyer with a relatively small amount of consistent effort. If you establish a social media presence as an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney, people will remember your name and brand when they need legal help.
Relatability is one of the most important aspects of your image on social media. Potential clients want to choose attorneys who are not only experienced but who also inspire confidence. However, developing and presenting a social media image can be challenging and may be best left to an experienced criminal defense law firm marketing agency.
How to Build a Criminal Defense Lawyer LinkedIn Profile?
If you do want to take on this challenge alone, you can find success by following a few guidelines. First, create an optimized profile on LinkedIn, which is the premier platform used by professionals for networking. What goes into an optimized LinkedIn profile:
- Photographs taken by a professional
- A headline using relevant keywords
- An about section explaining your services
- An education and experience section highlighting your competence
- A skills and endorsements section
Once your profile is set up, you can start growing your network by connecting with other professionals. Eventually, you can amass a large network of contacts who are familiar with and respect your work.
What Other Platforms Can Lawyers Use to Find Prospective Clients?
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are less professional than LinkedIn, but your potential clients spend their time on these platforms as well. You can interact with them without directly advertising to them.
One way of accomplishing this is by posting content dealing with a relevant criminal law issue that affects potential clients. You can also respond to posts with useful information regarding criminal justice and defense issues.
Joining groups on these platforms is also a great way to increase your exposure. Once again, you do not have to engage in overt advertising and sales strategies to eventually pull clients from social media platforms. Your presence and interactions in these online communities can be enough to establish you as a go-to person for criminal defense services.
7. Build Trust Through Online Reviews and Testimonials
A criminal defense lawyer can build trust and reputation through reviews and testimonials by showcasing their past successes and satisfied clients. When potential clients see positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients, they are more likely to trust the attorney and feel confident in their ability to handle their criminal cases as it creates social proof. Here are some ways that criminal defense attorneys can use reviews and testimonials to build trust:
- Display reviews on your website: Criminal defense and DUI attorneys should prominently display positive reviews and testimonials on their websites so that potential clients can easily find them. This can be done by creating a dedicated page for client testimonials or by featuring them prominently on the homepage.
- Encourage clients to leave reviews: A criminal defense lawyer should encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Avvo. Positive reviews on these platforms can help improve the attorney's online reputation and increase its visibility.
- Respond to negative reviews: While it's important to showcase positive reviews, criminal defense law firms should also respond to negative reviews in a professional manner. This shows potential clients that the attorney takes feedback seriously and is committed to providing excellent service.
- Use case studies: Criminal defense firms can use case studies to showcase their past successes and demonstrate their expertise in handling different types of cases. Case studies can include details about the charges, how the attorney approached the case, and the outcome of the case.
By using these strategies, criminal defense lawyers can build trust with potential clients and establish themselves as reliable advocates who are committed to achieving positive outcomes for their clients.
8. Measure and Analyze Results
No comprehensive marketing strategy or campaign is complete without a way of gauging its performance. If you can't accurately judge the effectiveness of your campaign, you will have no way of knowing what is working and what is not, which is essential for your campaign's success as well as the efficient use of your resources.
Google Analytics gives you the power to scrutinize a number of different outcomes of your criminal law firm website development efforts, such as:
- Clicks and views from visitors
- Duration of site visits
- Visitor numbers
- Domains that referred traffic
- Sales leads
- Number of new clients
The information found in these points of evaluation is readily applicable to your website development efforts and allows you to make well-informed decisions about what and where to tweak for optimization purposes.
It's important not to wait until the end of a campaign to gather results. Instead, you should monitor your data during the execution of a plan and adjust accordingly.
The Power of Digital Marketing for Criminal Defense Attorneys
Digital marketing will help many criminal defense firms establish a steady stream of clients who need the exact services you have to offer. However, you may be quite busy with important case work and not have the time you need to completely manage every aspect of a digital marketing campaign. That's where Grow Law Firm comes in.
We are an award-winning digital marketing agency that helps law firms achieve their visions of growth through aggressive and effective online strategies and marketing campaigns. Many of our clients rely on us to manage every aspect of their digital campaigns, but we also lend a helping hand to criminal defense law firms that choose to handle some of the marketing tasks themselves. To help build a digital marketing strategy, contact us today and learn how we can help your criminal defense law firm grow and thrive.
- Get a clear picture of your firm's performance
- Boost your online presence
- Get a clear picture of your firm's performance
- Boost your online presence