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Digital Marketing for Lawyers: Comprehensive Guide

Dive into our guide to attorney digital marketing and learn tips for online growth!

25 min


Apr 4, 2024

Mastering digital marketing for lawyers isn't easy. The good news is that you don't have to navigate this journey on your own. Our legal marketing experts at Grow Law Firm have prepared a full comprehensive guide on what digital marketing for lawyers is and how to do it right. Our aim here is to help you get started on a long way to digital excellence.

Law firm growth strategies discussed here that can be adapted to suit any sized practice, from large law firms to solo practitioners. We are professionals with over a decade of experience in growing different law firms and our digital marketing solutions can definitely help you achieve business and marketing goals.

What Is Digital Marketing for Lawyers?

Digital marketing for lawyers is the process of using established best practices in order to make your law firm and website more visible online. It involves a range of practices designed to attract new clients, strengthen relationships with existing clients, encourage repeat business, and improve your reach in the digital ecosystem. Digital marketing allows your law frim to get a constant influx of new clients, while standing out from the competition in a saturated legal market.

digital marketing results for lawyers
Top positions for lawyers are only achievable with digital marketing
Check out our blog post on the best law firm marketing agencies to find the perfect partner to support your digital marketing efforts!

Best Law Firm Digital Marketing Tips and Tactics

Legal digital marketing encompasses a vast array of strategies. Here, at Grow Law firm, we know how to make them work together and bring in results. Here are the most effective marketing tacticts that will facilitate your law firm online growth, like it did for many of our clients:

  • Set clear goals
  • Know your audience
  • Optimize your website
  • Focus on SEO
  • Start a PPC campaign
  • Write useful content
  • Engage potential clients on social media
  • Build a backlink portfolio
  • Start an email marketing campaign
  • Facilitate client reviews

Here's Sasha Berson talking about how to succeed in digital marketing for lawyers.

Discover the power of marketing for lawyers tips in bridging the gap between your law firm and your prospective clients.

1. Set Clear and SMART Goals for Your Law Firm

For online marketing to be effective you need clear law firm marketing goals. At Grow Law Firm, we help our legal marketing clients establish SMART goals, including long-term, intermediate, and short-term goals.

What are SMART goals?

Lawyer SMART Goals Examples

Your goals related to marketing could be:

  • obtaining ten client reviews each month
  • receiving 25 case evaluation requests through your website each month
  • getting 100 unique visitors from organic search to your website each day.

Tracking your goals is as important as setting them. Ultimately, your goals will determine the steps you need to take between your current and your ultimate goals for your law firm and legal career.

2. Research Your Audience

Before considering the channels you will publish content and advertise, you need to understand where you are getting your law firm clients - and what digital marketing channels you should use. For example: 

  • A personal injury lawyer may get the majority of their clients from local organic searches that lead visitors to the firm's frequently-updated accident blog.
  • A divorce lawyer may receive many case requests because they answer questions on several divorce community support groups. 
  • An employment lawyer may receive some case evaluation requests through their LinkedIn page. 
Family lawyer Chicago
Targeting is crucial in marketing for lawyers to reach the right audience and maximize ROI

Tip: Whenever you sign up a new client, ask them, “How did you hear about us?.” Regardless of how they initially contacted you, asking this popular open-ended question can give you insight into how your client came to discover your practice and if you should pursue this medium in the future.
Learn more on how to attract clients in our latest guide!

3. Build a High-Performance Website

The goal of most of your marketing efforts, including an offline “traditional” marketing strategy - is to drive potential clients to your website. Your law firm website can deliver a powerful first impression that will keep visitors on your website, or cause them to leave and visit your competitor's website. Your website should be clean, current, and load quickly. Websites with dated fonts and graphics, slow load times, and too much content can cause your website visitors to leave within seconds.

Child custody website
Good lawyer websites have professional design, clear navigation, informative content, testimonials, contact information
Here's how you can create an effective law firm web design!

Mobile: The Preferred Way to Connect with Brands

Did you know that over half of all internet traffic now originates from mobile devices? According to Statista, mobile device traffic accounted for over 58% of all global traffic in Q2 of 2022.

Optimize your website for mobile

To increase the chances of mobile clients contacting your company, you must thoroughly test your law firm website to ensure that it is mobile-friendly. If it is not, users will struggle to connect with your brand or soak up your great online content when browsing from their mobile devices.

Optimize Design for Conversions

Conversion rate optimization, more commonly known as CRO, is the process of making good use of leads generated through your other efforts. CRO involves capturing contact info from prospects and developing a process for following up with these potential clients in order to draw them deeper into the sales funnel. Without CRO, your lead generation tactics will not make a meaningful impact on your business.

Here's an example of how to create a converting page on your legal website.

4. Focus on Search Engine Optimization

Lawyer SEO is the basis of your presence online. Your get new cleints the need to be able to find and with SEO you can do just that. SEO strategies and SEO services for lawyers can help your website appear high in search results increasing the chances of a prospect finding your website and contacting you. It doesn't matter if they are looking for advice or for immediate representation - SEO, when done right, will help them find you and not the competitors.

Actionable SEO Tips for Lawyers

SEO is an ongoing process that requires time and patience. Our tips here are focused on helping you get started. Keeping that in mind, here are a few quick SEO fixes you can apply to your website:

  • Make good use of you focus keywords in content and on service pages
  • Research the competition and adopt strategies that work
  • Check if you are doing lead qualification right for better analysis
  • Keep your messaging in line
  • Check if your content is useful and well-structured
  • Make sure all your meta data is in order
  • Check your internal link structure for mistakes and errors

However, probably one of the most important and effective tips is to look for an outside help. Sure, you can learn how to do it all yourself, but it will take away valuable tie you could have spent refining your practice and helpimg your clinets win cases. SEO agencies, like Grow Law Girm, have the know-how and teams to get you on top of Google quicker and more efficient than DIY marketing approach.

Want more comprehensive law firm SEO advice? Then check out our ultimate guide!

5. Utilize Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising

If there is such a thing as a “firehose” in law firm lead generation, it is PPC and paid ad campaigns. Lawyer PPC services can help to generate leads much faster than organic content, because ads go straight to the top of search results. Overnight, your website can be in front of thousands of potential clients.

Utilize PPC
PPC works by advertisers bidding on keywords and paying for ad clicks to drive traffic to their websites

The biggest downside of PPC advertising is that once you turn off your funding, the leads go away. Paid ads can be quite expensive, depending on the types of cases you are targeting. For example such keywords as "elder neglect attorney" cost $82 per click, or "car accident lawyer" - $40 per click. Depending on how well the ads perform, a lawyer may sign up only a handful of cases from many clicks. 

Tips for Running a Successful Lawyer PPC Campaign

If you want to set the stage for a successful PPC campaign marketing strategy, we suggest that you:

  • Target budget-friendly long-tail keywords
  • Closely monitor traffic volume
  • Be willing to pivot to other target keywords
  • Support your PPC efforts with SEO
  • Monitor Google Analytics for success
Here you can read about more in-depth lawyer PPC strategies.

6. Leverage Content Marketing

Every piece of content that you publish on your website, blog, and third-party websites is an opportunity to drive new traffic to your website and bring in new leads to your law firm. Content marketing is directly linked to search engine optimization. 

Watching your competitors is crucial for a solid content marketing startegy. How they use keywords, the amount of words they have, their text structure - you need to analyse all of it. If your posts are significantly different from top SERP results Google is more likely to place your content lower.

Organization of your attorneys website content is also important. Using headers, paragraph breaks, bullets, and images can make your content more readable. This helps with search engines, as well as your website user experience (UX).

Learn more about content marketing for lawyers from our copywriting experts!

Tips for Lawyer Content Marketing Success

Content strategy usually comes down to consistency, time, and having the right team of writers in place. If you produce your content in-house, hire writers who:

  • Fully understand your scope of work and can explain it simply to people without a legal background (your website visitors) 
  • Are able to meet deadlines 
  • Produce high-quality content that requires minimal editing

You can also hire an outsie law firm amrketing company to help you create content that is both useful for readers and optimized for search engines. Team of experienced and knowledgeable outside writers can accelerate your content marketing, while letting you work on your legal practice.

7. Pay Attention to Social Media

Social media for attorneys is one of the newer elements of online marketing, and it is not going anywhere. Lawyers can use social media posts in different ways, including sharing information, participating in groups, and engaging directly with members of the community. With social media you can widen your reach, drive more traffic to your website and be always in the preifery of your potential clients.

social media for lawyers helps you acquire more clients

Tips for Success on Social Media

Start with auditing your social media platforms. Most law firms have social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram. Law firms should implement the following social media best practices:

  • Publish regularly: all social media content is time-stamped, posting content regularly and consistently - at least several times a week - is advisable. 
  • Interact with your social media audience: Engaging with your social media audience drives your law firm's brand awareness. For example, if you positively interact with online audiences, they will think of you when they need legal services. 
  • Create unique content that offers value: Whether you are creating videos or publishing blogs, focus on meaningful, educational, unique content that people want to share. Also, commentary and analysis of news events can be beneficial for all practice areas.
  • Use humor only occasionally - and carefully: Remember your target audience is potential clients, not necessarily your colleagues or friends. Humor can be valuable from time to time but should be used sparingly, light-heartedly, and never at anyone's expense.
For more in-depth strategies read our social media for lawyers guide.

8. Build A Quality Backlink Portfolio

Off-page SEO is the other side of SEO work we talked about earlier. Here people are finding you not through search egines, but by reading other people's content. Acquiring backlings via guest posts, buying domains or simply providing great content other people will link to - are all valid ways of building quality links.

Well-executed offsite attorney digital marketing strategies will establish your law firm as an authority. When reputable websites reference your content, Google and other search engines will view your page as a reliable and reputable source of information.

Here are a few strategies you can use to get a lot of quality lawyer links!

9. Start an Email Marketing Campaign

It can be all too easy to overlook email marketing for lawyers and get distracted by modern online marketing strategy tools. While the latest tools and strategies are an important part of building your brand, so is email marketing.

Email marketing campaigns provide a simple and effective way to stay in touch with clients. With customer relationship management tools, you can create custom email lists, send out automated messages to clients, and build trust between your practice and its target audience. You can use email marketing to follow up with past clients, wish customers a happy birthday, or encourage recent site visitors to schedule a consultation with your firm.

Here's how you can get started with email marekting for lawyers!

10. Get More Reviews From Your Clients

One of the most essential strategies for nationwide and local law firms is to have positive online reviews on lawyer review sites and different directories. They serve as a powerful form of social proof and a very effective marketing tool. The vast majority (93%) of customers won't make a purchase until they have read reviews, and 58% state that they would travel further or pay more to work with a highly reviewed business.

Digital marketing for law firms makes it easier to get more reviews

The question, then, is this: How can you acquire more reviews from your client base and get them in front of other prospective clients? The answer is simple enough: All you have to do is ask. As you are wrapping things up with a client who had a good experience with your firm, ask them to leave a review on Google or the platform of your choosing.

Read on and learn how you can optimize your lawyer review sites profiles and get more visibility!

11. Find New Platforms For Law Firm Promotion

Lawyers often come to us believing that SEO is the key to their success on the internet. While SEO is one essential ingredient, successful firms do far more than just have an optimized website. Online marketing provides numerous unique ways a lawyer can market their law firm

  • Being listed in online legal directories like Avvo and Lawyers.com
  • Publishing articles on legal information websites like HG.org
  • Obtaining reviews on online business directories like Yelp
  • Using organic search engine optimization to channel traffic to a law firm's website
  • Generating more leads from local SEO and Google ads
  • Being listed on local neighborhood directories like Patch
  • Publishing press releases highlighting attorney achievements and awards
  • Posting social media feed posts and paid ads
  • Using pay-per-click ads to target clients
  • Offering resources like E-books and white papers.

12. Enhance Customer Experience

Internet marketing - and client-centered websites allow for a seamless transition from initial website visitor to retained client. Today's clients expect to be able to interact with your firm across their preferred medium, whether that be email, phone, video conference, or face-to-face meetings.

What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the satisfaction customers have when interacting with a brand

Clients will experience less friction when seeking services from your firm online. In turn, this will nurture feelings of trust and confidence in your abilities. Providing a great customer experience and building trust with clients will increase their chances of leaving you positive reviews, referring friends or loved ones to your practice, or using your firm again in the future.

13. Build Trust for Your Law Firm

An attorney who invests in legal content creation can establish their practice as an authoritative source. By discussing relevant topics and recent developments that impact your area of practice on lawyer blogs or a third-party forums, you can become a valuable resource to those searching for legal guidance. Prospective clients who reach out to your firm will already have positive sentiments about your abilities before you even begin discussing their case, which significantly improves your odds of earning their business.

Digital marketing helps to build trust

The acronym EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) can serve as a road map when creating content. When you craft a blog or other piece of educational content, ensure that it makes your firm appear to be more trustworthy and authoritative while also demonstrating your industry expertise. One way to build trust is through citing case law, state statutes, or relevant news articles.

How Much Should Lawyers Spend on Digital Marketing

You can expect to spend about 7% to 8% of your gross revenue on advertising in order to make a meaningful impact on your business with internet marketing efforts. However, this number will vary depending on your practice area, the size of your firm, and the competitiveness of your market. Spending less than 7% on law firm digital marketing might not significantly enhance revenue, while allocating too much of your revenue to online advertising can diminish your return on investment.

Newly established “start-up” law firms are likely to spend more on marketing than law firms that have been in business for 20 years or more. 

With a multi-pronged digital marketing approach that is measurable, you will be able to see where you can get your best “bang for your buck.”

What Is a Good ROI for Attorney Internet Marketing

In ideal circumstances, you might see a return of up to 1000% on your digital advertising efforts, although 500% is more common. Keep in mind that the cost of acquiring a client will vary based on how you acquired them, market conditions, and your practice area.

What is return on investment

For instance, let's say that you recently acquired 10 more clients via a targeted PPC advertising campaign, using digital ads with competitive keywords, and targeting online leads. The campaign cost you $2000 and ran for one month. In this scenario, all 10 clients clicked on your PPC ad after searching for the type of services you offer. They subsequently contacted your firm via your on-page contact form and hired you to resolve their legal issues.

In this example, your per-client acquisition costs were $200. Let's assume that you made $20,000 in total profit from these clients. As such, your ROI would be 1000%.

While an exact calculation for your ROI would require you to account for a few other variables, including payroll and other operating expenses, this example provides a basic framework for calculating the ROI of your online marketing efforts.

Common Lawyer Marketing Mistakes 

1. You Do Not Know What Your Prospective Clients Are Actually Looking For

Lawyers can have challenges converting clients if they fail to connect with them. Unfortunately, many lawyers do not understand that their clients are looking for someone who can HELP them get through a challenging and possibly the most complex legal situation of their lives. 

— Solution

Video testimonials from a former client can be highly effective in establishing your track record of empathy about your clients' legal matters and your ability to get results. Secondly, video FAQs can answer some of your prospects' initial questions - making them a much “warmer” lead when they contact you for a case review.

2. You Stick to Traditional Marketing Methods

Years ago, phone book advertising worked because everyone had a phone book in their home, usually right next to their landline phone. Now, very few people have landline phones, and phonebooks are almost non-existent. As a result, Google is the go-to search engine and starting point for many people looking for legal service providers. 

Besides being more cost-effective, digital marketing can be more effective than traditional marketing in that it can build trust with clients even before an initial consultation. 

A prospective client who calls after seeing half a dozen billboards will have a different understanding of you than a prospective client who has spent 3 hours on your website, Facebook page, and Youtube channel. 

— Solution

Many law firms can generate cases exclusively through digital channels. Depending on your area of the country and competition, you may choose to do some traditional marketing with digital marketing or exclusively advertise online.

3. You Underestimate the Power of Online Reviews 

Consider your own experiences reading reviews as a consumer. For example, have you ever looked up reviews for a movie, a restaurant, or even a product on Amazon? Even if you don't write reviews often, you've likely read reviews and testimonials when considering buying a product, using a service, or visiting a business. 

An estimated 93% of customers will read online reviews before buying a product or contacting a business. Positive Google reviews will also help with your local SEO strategies.

— Solution

Lawyers should develop a system/process to ask clients for a review at the conclusion of their case. For example, when you sign up a new client, you can notify them that you will ask for a review after their legal matter. This can be instrumental in getting your clients to communicate concerns or issues with your law practice when they arise vs. telling the world in their eventual review. 

Tip: You should check review sites periodically and, if necessary, respond to reviews. Clients who take the time to write thoughtful reviews - positive or negative - should be acknowledged. If the review is negative, use caution in how you respond to the customer - as this response is a reflection of your business and brand.

4. You Are Inconsistent in Your Digital Marketing Strategy 

Think about it for a moment. Just because you finally reached page one on Google's search engine results pages (SERPs) does not mean you will be there forever. If you want to keep your position on page one, you must continually add content to your site, optimize on-page and off-page SEO, and consistently follow other search engine optimization best practices.

That is where most law firms go wrong. As soon as they arrive on page one, they take their foot off the gas and allow their competitors to close the gap.

— Solution

The solution is straightforward: You must be consistent. This means continuously monitoring your traffic volume, rankings, and other relevant online marketing metrics. Additionally, you have to follow up every campaign with another one, equally as detailed and robust. When creating your next campaign, you must build on what worked and learn from what didn't.

Do Lawyers Need a Marketing Agency?

Does your law firm actually need an agency? If you want a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to stand out in the crowded and rapidly evolving legal services ecosystem, then the answer is a resounding "Yes!"

A digital marketing agency can give you a definitive edge in your market and practice area. A marketing team can deliver a strong ROI on your initial investment, give you the opportunity to acquire new clients, and help you precisely monitor your campaigns to ensure that they are moving you closer toward your growth goals.

Some of the firms that contact us initially are on the fence about hiring an agency at all. Key decision-makers may be on the fence as to whether hiring an agency is (1) necessary and (2) worth it. 

Undoubtedly, law firms can achieve success on their own in the online marketing space. It will just take time and money. At Grow Law Firm, many of our law firm clients have not just knowledgeable but brilliant lawyers making marketing decisions. Our clients understand that hiring an attorney internet marketing agency will involve a financial investment but will save them significant time. 

Time saved drumming up new business is exchanged for time to practice law. Oftentimes, a law firm web marketing agency can save time in execution vs doing marketing in-house. 

From building a website to getting ranked high in search results, mistakes along the way can delay reaching those important marketing milestones. By eliminating trial and error and having the most knowledgeable law firm experts working on your website, SEO, and Google Ads for law firms / PPC campaigns, your law firm can grow exponentially with a comprehensive online marketing strategy. 

Use Digital Marketing to Grow Your Law Firm

If you're ready to get started with a digital marketing strategy or scale up your existing efforts, the professional legal marketing experts at Grow Law Firm can help you with competitive-grade law firm SEO services, website design, social media marketing, PPC ads, and everything else. 

Our law digital marketing company specializes in helping law firms with online marketing and SEO strategies. We can help your law practice realize the full potential of online marketing for lawyers - as cost-effectively as possible. You can arrange a free marketing audit and talk to one of our knowledgeable legal marketing professionals.

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