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Marketing for Employment Law Firms: Your Way Towards Success

updated
July 1, 2022
23 min
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Employment lawyers need a pipeline of leads and clients, and a strategic, comprehensive strategy is necessary to maximize ROI. Employment lawyer marketing is the process of attracting new business for your law firm. It is not just sales or advertising to get cases in the next few weeks or months, planning for the future. Marketing for employment law firms starts by analyzing your market, competition, and opportunities. From there, your marketing efforts may include: 

  • Creating long-term SEO strategies with a high-functioning website
  • Generating accessible information and resources for potential clients
  • Building brand awareness through targeted campaigns
  • Developing referral relationships with other attorneys.

Digital marketing for law firms is everything that is done online and may represent the majority of time and money invested in marketing. 

We have created this employment lawyer legal marketing guide to help you with your employment law firm marketing. We will address the unique tenets of employment law marketing and explore how your law firm can benefit from thoughtful website design, content creation, search engine optimization, social media, and pay-per-click (PPC) ads. 

Analyze Your Audience 

Analyze Your Audience 

Marketing in law is changing rapidly with the digital age. On the internet, the blanket approach, or the haphazard “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” method, is not effective! If you’ve ever watched a commercial or seen online ads for restaurants or retail locations that don’t even do business in your area of the country, you’ve been on the consumer end of wasted ad spending. Any business can get ads in front of a lot of people, but the magic of targeted attorney advertising is getting ads in front of a lot of the right people

People should not be seeing your ads outside of the areas where you practice. You can improve your conversion rate on PPC advertising by targeting an appropriate audience. 

Understanding your audience is critical to figuring out your strategy and deciding the proper channels and marketing budget for attorneys and law firms. If you already have established clients, you can use them as a reference for metrics, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender expression 
  • Income
  • Location 
  • Interests. 
If you want your sales funnel filled with quality leads, you should target your marketing strategy toward those individuals. This can be done for organic content with practice area pages, FAQ pages, and blog posts that offer resources for their legal issues. It can also be done with PPC ads and Social PPC digital platforms

For example, if you represent workers in a specific niche area - like tech jobs, or people that work at - and face discrimination - at certain large Fortune 100 employers, you may create legal website content and ads targeting potential employment law clients. 

Use a Marketing Audit To Understand Your Audience

One of the best ways to narrow an audience, identify wasted ad spending and realize other ineffective marketing initiatives is to conduct a marketing audit. Most law firms have various campaigns and initiatives to get cases, but many fail to use metrics to understand the demographic makeup of a target audience. 

Audits can give you a better understanding of the full scope of your marketing efforts or various aspects of it (SEO, attorney content marketing, social media, PPC, email newsletters, legal podcasts, etc.) Rather than a one-off, one-and-done audit, aim for regular assessments (quarterly or bi-annually) to gather data, stay on top of your efforts, and track your key performance indicators. After you review the results of your audit, you can adapt and improve. Many law firms are surprised to see how small changes in their marketing initiatives can significantly improve attorney lead generation, conversion, and overall ROI. 

B2B Versus B2C Employment Law Marketing 

B2B Versus B2C Employment Law Marketing 

One unique aspect of employment law firms is the segmented client base. Employment law firms may predominantly or strictly represent employers (companies) or employees (consumers) - or they may represent both. These client groups are distinct and different, as are marketing campaigns aimed at them. The marketing message is different and separate for marketing targeted at individual employees vs. corporations and businesses. 

Business-to-Consumer Marketing (B2C Marketing)

If you primarily represent employees, your brand message will be to individuals. Rather than explain the benefit of your services, you will need to explain the benefit of representation to your clients. Marketing content should address the most common employment law issues on the employee side, such as pay, benefits, time off, and termination matters. 

Business-to-Business Marketing (B2B Marketing) 

If you are marketing to employers, your services may align more with corporate firm offerings where you may be working on policy improvements aimed at preventing future employee issues. Of course, you may still handle disputes and cases on the employer's side.

Be Accurate About Services Your Employment Law Firm Offers

General broad overviews and blanket statements “we provide employment lawyer representation to everyone” should be avoided. If you represent both employers and employees, you need to have separate content for each side of the workplace. This can be done with two distinct, segmented areas of your website “for employers” and “for employees.” 

If you do represent “both sides” you should represent this honestly, and highlight how your understanding of different sides of a case strengthens your representation for your client. However, you should not offer to represent both sides in the same practice area page. If you handle workplace discrimination lawsuits, you should have separate and distinct pages describing your legal services for each side. Emphasize your knowledge, skills, expertise, and understanding of applicable rules and regulations. 

Your scope of services should extend beyond dividing marketing to employees and employers, to marketing to address the precise legal needs of your clients. Do you represent executives, salary and hourly employees, and contractors? You can have informative blog posts and practice area pages that go specific legal issues, like: 

  • Non-compete Agreements for Tech Workers 
  • Oil And Gas Industry Wage & Hour Claims
  • Inadequate Staffing Levels At Nursing Homes 
  • Wrongfully Terminated Workers For Illegal Reasons
  • Coal Mine Safety Act Violations 
  • Employment Disputes Related To COVID-19. 

There is no limit to the number of targeted law firm practice area pages that you can create. Even after you build out your website, look to identify opportunities for new compelling content, and niche practice areas within employment law. It may seem counterintuitive to narrow down a specialty when competition is so fierce for lawyers, but becoming a subject matter expert establishes your authority and skills for new clients above everyone else in the market. 

Create Your Own Recognizable Brand 

Create Your Own Recognizable Brand 

You have one shot at a first impression, and for many of your law firm’s potential clients, that first impression occurs on your website. Because the human attention span is so short, your website has just seconds to present a good example, captivate interest, and make your website visitors want to learn more about your employment law practice. 

Your website should: 

  • Immediately tell your visitors what you do
  • Tell prospective clients why they should hire you 
  • Allow prospective clients to bet to know you 
  • Provide a way (or multiple ways) for potential clients to contact you. 

The look and feel of your law firm website design establish a uniform brand identity that can extend to your attorney blog and law firm social media channels. If a potential client visited a few pages on your website earlier and then found your attorney Facebook page, your social media account should have a consistent tone and message.

Understand the Value of Your Website’s Above-the-Fold Content 

The term “above the fold” stems from the early days of newspaper publishing, when publishers prioritized everything seen on the top half of a newspaper without having to flip it over to see the second half. The term has a similar but slightly different meaning in content marketing and websites. “Above the fold” content on a website refers to everything visitors see on your website without scrolling. This is typically the header image, law firm logo, navigation menu, and the headline of the content. There should be a Call to Action such as a phone number or a “Contact Us” button.

Be Specific About Your Practice Areas 

Employment lawyers are superheroes and provide a wide range of services to their clients. Whether you are marketing your legal services to employees or businesses, your website's content should make prospective employment clients feel like they are in the right place and that your employment law firm is qualified to handle their legal matters. Below are some of the practice area pages you may have on your employment law firm website. You may cover different or additional legal topics depending on the scope of your services. 

Sample Practice Areas For Law Firms That Represent Employees 

  • Age Discrimination
  • Breach of Contract
  • Data Breach
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Employee Counseling
  • Employer Retaliation
  • Expense Reimbursement
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • LGBTQ Discrimination
  • Meal and Rest Break Violations
  • Misclassification
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Race and Color Discrimination
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Severance Agreements
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wage and Overtime Abuse
  • Whistleblower Claims
  • Wrongful Termination. 

Sample Practice Area Pages For Law Firms That Represent Employers (Companies)

  • COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Complaints
  • Employee Handbook Analysis
  • Employment Contracts 
  • Independent Contractor vs. Employee Disputes 
  • State Human Rights Regulations and Complaints
  • Unfair Competition 
  • Wrongful Termination

You should have one main menu page that details all the practice areas you handle. You can also link to some of your main practice area pages in your homepage and through various blog posts on employment law topics. 

No matter how many practice area pages you have, you should strive to make them the best, highest quality piece of relevant content on the internet. “Power page” style pages (pioneered by SEO and content marketing expert Brian Dean) are strategically crafted to be on Page 1 of Google by being the most informative, remarkable and interesting pages covering any subject area, whether it is workplace discrimination cases in Indiana or sexual harassment cases in Florida. 

Communicate With Your Audience

Communicate With Your Audience

Depending on the situation, a prospective client of your employment law clients may spend days, weeks, or months researching their options to take legal action and find an attorney qualified to represent them. The content you publish on your website, blog, and on legal directories can all communicate with your prospective clients - your audience. 

Find the right balance between establishing your law firm as a qualified legal counsel for a potential client, while providing valuable content that speaks to them. Your content should not all be about you, your law firm, and your services - it should provide real value to whoever is reading it - your audience. Some of the best content for law firms is content that speaks directly to your potential clients: 

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Resource Pages
  • Legal Guides
  • Articles on third party websites (Lawyers.com, Medium, HG.org)
  • Checklists
  • E-books
  • Podcasts
  • Videos

If you establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with various types of content, and regularly measure your results, you can track what’s working, and what isn’t. You can focus your budget and time on the most effective types of energy, while still producing a healthy mix of content across your available publishing channels. 

It may seem counterintuitive to post content on websites other than your own, but there are a few instances where this can be a strategic move. Some websites that have a high domain authority (like Medium) are very fast to index and rank in search results. A blog post you put on Medium may rank higher in search results than if you had put it on your website. You can post a separate post (100% different content but covering the same topic) on your law firm blog, to which your article on Medium links. 

A second benefit of publishing on other websites is the additional real estate in search results. For long-tail keywords covering a specific legal issue, it may be possible to rank in multiple places on a search engine's results page. For example, if someone searched for a long-tail keyword about a unique employment law issue in their city and state, they may see results for: 

  • A recent blog post on your law firm website
  • An article you wrote on Medium.com
  • A legal guide you published on Avvo.com

Multi-channel publishing is keeping an active presence across all available platforms, including your law practice blog, your law firm’s social media channels, and other directory and article sites you publish in (which are excellent for link building). To maximize your success in multi-channel publishing, we recommend a content calendar to plan your content weeks and months in events. You can always create “pop up” content - like a blog story about a recent newsworthy event like a major workplace discrimination lawsuit filed, or a mass layoff. 

Use SEO To Become Visible

Use SEO To Become Visible

Most people hire employment lawyers in their own local areas - so people being able to find you locally is critical. Some people needing legal services may get referrals from friends, family, coworkers, legal aid clinics or local bar association referral services. However, most people will go on Google to research their legal issue and look for an employment attorney. If your website shows up near the top of search engine results pages, prospective clients are more likely to find your website and contact your firm about their legal issue. 

Below are some of our tried-and-true SEO tips for bolstering your law firm’s visibility in search results:

  • Target local and relevant keywords. It is much easier to rank for local searches like “employment lawyer in Grand Rapids, Michigan” than for very broad terms like “lawyer”.
  • Use semantic SEO tactics to improve quality signals
  • Create a Google My Business (GMB) profile and verify your listing
  • De-index low-quality pages which are helpful for navigation but shouldn’t appear in search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • Improve your page speed (consider a Content Delivery Network like Cloudflare or Stackpath)
  • Update your website frequently. Google likes to see that you’re regularly adding content. Go back and refresh old pages that still rank well. 

Tip: Staying up-to-date on SEO techniques is paramount, as best practices can evolve as search algorithms change. Strategies that worked well several years ago may only be marginally effective today. Working with an agency that provides SEO services for lawyers can ensure you do what works, and not waste money on ineffective tactics.

Why Employment Law Firms Need SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of strategic actions to position a website to rank well in Google search engine results. Finding the best marketing strategy can be challenging in saturated, competitive markets. Even if it seems like a long, uphill climb to the front page of Google, SEO and its many benefits (more leads and more business) must not be overlooked. Below are five reasons SEO matters for employment law attorneys: 

#1: Success in SEO Means More Website Traffic

One of the many ways an SEO agency for law firms can help is by identifying opportunities to excel in search engine optimization. You can start with creating content that will rank high in search results for long-tail keywords like “age discrimination lawyer in Charlotte, NC. ”

#2: SEO Establishes Credibility and Authority as a Subject Matter Expert 

If you or other attorneys at your firm author a series of 20 comprehensive blog posts on employment law matters and relevant legal topics on your website, your website visitors will be able to see you know a significant amount about employment law. 

#3: SEO Provides Measurable ROI 

SEO tracking tools allow you to measure numerous key performance indicators (KPIs). You should establish which metrics are important to you like the number of organic visits, bounce rate, conversion rate, and keyword rankings. Before you spend more money on other types of marketing, you can track what’s working. 

#4: SEO is Cost-Effective Online Marketing

If you spend $5,000 on organic SEO, direct mail postcard campaigns, or radio advertisements, you will receive more leads from SEO, because the people finding you through SEO are actively searching for you. SEO is an inbound law firm marketing strategy, while other forms of traditional marketing are outbound marketing strategies for law firms, which involve a lawyer marketing to a broad audience. This can be effective for brand awareness but is expensive. 

#5: SEO Naturally Generates Brand Awareness 

SEO can effectively generate brand awareness for your targeted audience. If people are googling their legal issues over and over, and consistently seeing your website, blog posts, and social media channels, they will understand your brand as a key player in the market. Brand awareness is easy enough to do through traditional marketing, but consistency is key and it is very expensive. A high-quality website that ranks well in SERPs naturally provides brand awareness to your website visitors. 

SEO To Consider When Starting Marketing For Employment Lawyers?

Google’s search results now have ads that look very similar to organic content, with only a small “Ad” icon before the URL in a PPC (Google Ads) ad. Gone is the distinctly different shaded background color of ad results. The limited visual distinction makes people more likely to click on paid search ads on search engine results pages. Despite this, many people find the first organic result and scan down from there, looking for the most relevant result. 

Getting to the top of organic search results is not a fast process and may take months and years of effort, but it is a worthwhile endeavor if you will be practicing employment law for years to come. You can drive your employment attorney content higher in search results pages by: 

  • Using a professional website services for lawyers built for better UX and search engines 
  • Writing law firm content that is readable, useful, and relevant. 
  • Generating links from high authority websites 
  • Consistently receive authentic reviews for your law firm on sites like Yelp. 

Being patient with organic SEO is imperative for online marketing. If you are posting content and blogging for 3 months, but then stop because you are not seeing results, you will negate your efforts. Stay consistent. 

On-Page SEO

“On-Page” SEO includes everything done on your law firm website to improve your place in search engines and earn traffic to your website. While you cannot control what your competitors do on their employment law services websites, everything on your website is entirely within your control. This includes: 

Website Design: Does your website have a fresh and modern look? If your website looks and feels outdated to you, chances are Google and your website visitors will think it is too. You can build a new website or improve and update elements of your existing website. Consider how your website looks not just on a desktop computer but on a laptop, tablet, and mobile device. How does the design look compared to your employment attorney law firm competitors?

Page Load Speed: It may seem like your page loads “fast enough” but if your competitors’ websites load faster (even fractions of a second), you may fall behind them in Google’s search results. A one-second delay in your load speed can reduce page views by 11% - do not overlook website speed. You can analyze your law firm website’s load speed with Google’s Developer Tool PageSpeed Insights.

Website Security: A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate protects your website visitors. Google flags websites without an SSL certificate (sites that load as http:// as opposed to https://). Make sure you have an SSL certificate and it is kept up to date. Security certificates are valid for a maximum of 13 months, so make sure your certificate is updated before it expires.

Page Titles and Meta Descriptions: The page title and descriptive text you write on your law firm website are the exact little preview of your website that you see in search results. Page titles are important for Google’s “spiders” as well as any potential client looking for an employment attorney. 

User Experience (UX): Your website is a 24/7/365 representative of you and should represent your brand, your law firm culture, your attorneys’ skills and knowledge, and the results and positive outcomes you are able to achieve. Ideally, visitors to your employment law firm website can get to know you, watch your lawyer videos, and read about your previous cases. Finally, does your website have an effective call to action (CTA)? Ideally, your website will offer several ways for your end user to get in touch, such as a free consultation request form, a live chat box, or a phone number to call.

When evaluating UX, consider ALL of your website’s visitors. Because more than half of your website’s visitors are visiting your website on their mobile devices, your mobile UX should be a priority. Your website should follow best practices for the blind and visually impaired

Off-Page SEO

Everything you do off of your website to improve the authority of your website is off-page SEO. The heart of this is link building, which includes:

Natural links semantically worked into content, without (or seemingly without) any action from you. A former client writing a blog post about your services, or a local bar association linking to your website after you won a legal award. 

Manually built or self-created links like press releases, articles you post on third-party websites, and reputable legal directory listings like Lawyers.com, Avvo.com, Martindale.com, and Hg.org.

Note that Google disapproves of link schemes or “any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site. ”Stay away from spammy or low-quality directory or bookmark site links (check the directory indexation rate).

Content SEO Optimization 

Content has mattered since the early days of the internet, although it has evolved over the years. Google prioritizes quality over quality. In the early days of search engine optimization, a website that had the word “used car dealer” 500 times in essentially invisible text that blended into the background of the website could actually rank. Now, Google wants content to be relevant, useful, and engaging. Longer pieces of content are more comprehensive and usually rank better for competitive keywords. 

There is no such thing as too much content for your employment law firm's website. But content for the sake of content, like long, irrelevant ramblings, is not beneficial. Stay away from AI-generated content (using artificial intelligence software to create web content) - as Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller has stated it is considered spam, which goes against webmaster guidelines.

Reviews and Testimonials

Chances are, you have seen law firms that have impressive numbers of reviews on third-party websites like Google and Yelp, and countless glowing testimonials on their own website. These law firms aren’t “lucky” to receive so many reviews and have nice things said about them; they are strategic and deliberate in asking their clients to help them out with their reputation management marketing. 

Brand reputation management is part of SEO, and it should start the day your law firm signs up a client. If you tell your law firm clients you will be asking for a review at the end of your case, you are opening the door for a dialogue about any issues as their case progresses. You are telling them you care about their experience. Your client won’t feel blindsided when you ask for a review later, as you should already have a positive rapport with them. You should have a process to obtain honest and authentic reviews from your clients. If your client is comfortable, a video review can be meaningful. 

Dealing With Negative Reviews 

If you’re in business long enough, you will receive some less-than-satisfied reviews. These may be from clients that you just can’t please. You may receive reviews that are  unfortunate and irrelevant like a 1-star review from someone that you were unable to help (for example, they are looking for a divorce lawyer and you are an employment lawyer). While there is nothing you can do about these types of negative reviews, you can seek out reviews from your many satisfied clients. If you have negative reviews, how you respond to them is a reflection of your law firm. Avoid knee-jerk reactions to any negative review. 

SEO vs. PPC for Employment Law Firms

SEO vs. PPC for Employment Law Firms

Leads coming through your website can come from either organic results (you don’t pay for placement in search engines) or through pay-per-click (PPC) ads. While both can be effective for lead generation, each has unique advantages: 

SEO Marketing 

Ranking in search engines organically is an investment in both time and money, but it’s worth it. Rather than paying for each individual lead, your investment will fund building, updating, and improving your website, developing relevant content (practice area pages and blog posts), link building, and other SEO tactics for lawyers. The longer you dominate at SEO, the lower your cost per acquisition will be. Because the results are not overnight, SEO is a “marathon not a sprint” investment for your law practice. Once your content effectively ranks in search engines, leads generated from organic SEO will be higher quality than paid leads.

PPC Marketing

If you want leads literally by tomorrow, a pay-per-click campaign can get you leads. The immediacy and instant gratification of paid search makes PPC desirable. The downside of PPC marketing is the cost (can be expensive for competitive keywords) and the one-and-done nature. Once your PPC ad campaign budget is exhausted, no one will see your website. Another way to look at it - when you are paying, you are playing. 

Additionally, poorly run PPC campaigns can be a waste of money. For example, if you do not add appropriate negative keywords, your ads may show to people who are not looking for your services at all. Someone looking for “Overtime employment law in Nevada” may be trying to figure out if they get paid time-and-a-half or overtime for working an extra 8-hour shift on the weekend. They do not have a legal need, are not seeking a lawyer, and are looking for information. While there is no real value in them finding your landing page, you do not want to be spending $10, $25, or $50 for such searches to bring a visitor to your website who does not need the services of employment attorneys. 

Most law firms invest in both SEO and PPC campaigns. Having the ability to adjust the throttle on PPC campaigns can get you leads as needed, while you continue to make ongoing efforts on content marketing and other organic SEO strategies. If you are going to run PPC campaigns, an agency that provides PPC services for lawyers can help your employment law firm eliminate wasted spending and get the most value for your marketing dollar. 

You can also read our guide to "SEO vs PPC: Which is better for a law firm?".

How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Help Strategize Goals and Growth for Employment Law Firms 

This article has expanded on the many elements of a successful employment law practice marketing strategy. Effective delegation of marketing services is a big part of the game plan for many employment law firms - it is simply impossible to excel at law firm marketing in-house while also successfully paying attention to complex employment law cases. 

One of the best decisions you can make regarding your law firm marketing is hiring a professional digital marketing agency for law firms that (1) fully understands your industry and your competition, and (2) can get results. Choosing a legal marketing agency is not just an economic decision for your marketing budget - it is a strategic decision. If you are ready to scale up your online marketing efforts and get more clients for your employment law firm, Grow Law Firm is here for you. 

Contact us today to see how we can help you reach your employment law firm marketing goals. And if you don’t have specific goals yet, we can help with that too.

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    Sasha serves as Managing Partner for Grow Law Firm, a Chicago-based digital marketing agency focused solely on specialized growth strategies for attorneys and their practices.

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