Allow me to make an educated guess: You're the owner of a small law firm who's been searching for this marketing guide for a few reasons:
- Your marketing budget is limited, and you're eager to explore alternative ways to increase your law firm's online visibility.
- The competition is fierce, with larger firms seemingly overshadowing the small law firms.
- Time is a constraint, leaving you with limited resources to dedicate to marketing your small law firm.
Undoubtedly, marketing small law firms presents a set of challenges. However, that doesn't mean that effective marketing strategies can't yield favorable results for your firm. In this guide, we will delve into the most efficient marketing methods that don't necessitate a substantial financial investment or a dedicated team of marketing experts. Keep reading to learn some tactics you can implement right away.
Top 8 Best Small Law Firm Marketing Strategy Practices
1. Register for Local Directories
You might not believe this, but legal directories are actually dominating lawyer websites in search engine results pages - they tend to pop up first. This is primarily because legal directories have established a strong presence over time, earning considerable authority with search engines. Consequently, they typically secure higher rankings in search results compared to newer and less established websites.
When it comes to selecting a lawyer directory and setting up accounts, there are certain nuances to consider. To assist you in navigating this process effectively, we have created a comprehensive guide on lawyer directories. This guide is designed to walk you through each step, ensuring that you can make the most out of these platforms.
2. Register a Google My Business Profile for Your Small Law Firm
If you remember what search engine results pages (SERPs) look like, then you know that Google Business Profiles (GBP) can appear in a few different ways:
- Local pack: When potential clients search for law firms and legal services in a specific location, GBP profiles can appear in the Local Pack, which is a box that appears at the top of the search results page.
- Knowledge panel: When someone searches for legal services, GBP profiles can appear in the Knowledge Panel, which is a box that appears on the right-hand side of the search page.
- Reviews: GBP reviews can appear on the search results page, alongside the GBP profile.
- Google maps: GBP profiles can also appear in Google Maps, which is a popular navigation app.
Google determines which GBP profile to display based on factors like relevance, proximity, prominence, positive client reviews, and additional personalized factors. These provide small law firms with four additional opportunities to appear before potential customers. You only have to follow these steps to create an outstanding GBP profile for your small law firm:
- Always complete your profile and add pictures
- Choose the best business category for your law firm
- Describe your business accurately
- Add geotags to your photos
- Use keywords to optimize your Google My Business Page
- Include products and services in your listing
- Add posts to your listing to give more details about your services
- Include your URL in your GMB listing
Don't let your Google My Business (also known as Google Business Profile) go dormant. This profile is something you should keep regularly updated. Add new content and photos. Also, ensure that your hours and contact information are always accurate.
3. Create a Website to Be a Base for Your Small Law Firm Marketing
Many law firms make the mistake of creating and launching law firm websites and landing pages too quickly. They don't take enough time to consider user experience, SEO, or future growth when it comes to online marketing. It's better to do things right the first time than it is to deal with a full redesign.
Your website should meet some standards for performance, aesthetics, and user experience (UX):
Creating a Law Firm Website
- Choose a platform. WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix are the most popular platforms for law firm websites. Easy to use and customize, there are many plugins and themes available to help you create a professional-looking website.
- Design your website. Your website's design should be professional and easy to navigate. Use high-quality images and videos to make your website more visually appealing.
- Write clear and concise content. Your website's content should be informative and engaging. Use keywords throughout your content to help people find your website through search engines.
- Promote your website. Once your website is up and running, you need to promote it to potential clients. You can promote your website through online marketing, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media marketing.
Optimizing a Law Firm Website
- Do keyword research. The first step in optimizing your law firm website is to do keyword research. This will help you identify the keywords that people are using to search for legal services.
- Use keywords throughout your website. Once you have identified your keywords, you need to use them throughout your website. This includes using them in your website's title, meta descriptions, and throughout your website's content.
- Get backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Backlinks are a signal to search engines that your website is popular and authoritative. You can get backlinks by guest blogging, submitting your website to directories, and participating in link-building campaigns.
- Keep your website up-to-date. It's important to keep your website up-to-date with fresh content. This will help to keep your website's ranking high in search engine results pages.
- Monitor your website's performance. It's important to monitor your website's performance to see how it's doing in search engines. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track your website's performance.
- Make changes as needed. If you're not happy with your website's performance, you can make changes as needed. You can change your website's content, keywords, or design to improve its performance.
In case, you are undergoing a website redesign, ensure that your old URLs are handled with appropriate redirects. Otherwise, there will be significant issues with your new website and online marketing.
Finally, avoid using the fast and free website builders that promise to have your website up and running in only an hour or so. These tend to create poor-performing sites that have loads of SEO issues. You may experience similar issues with bulkier WordPress themes.
Likewise, avoid using platforms like FindLaw, where you don't actually retain ownership of your own website.
4. Manage Your Small Law Firm Content Marketing Process
Content marketing involves creating articles, videos, or blogs that will drive potential leads to your law firm. Prior to actually hiring a lawyer, the majority of potential clients typically turn to Google as their first step, seeking information pertaining to their specific issue.
If a client lands on your blog page and sees valuable material, chances are he will contact you, and not your competitor.
As a lawyer, you'll be pleased to know that there are numerous blogging opportunities available to you beyond your own website:
- Legal blogging platforms: Many legal-specific blogging platforms exist, offering lawyers the opportunity to create and publish content without the need for a personal website. Examples include Lawyerist, LexBlog, and Justia.
- Legal directories: Some legal directories provide the option for lawyers to contribute blog posts within their listings. This allows lawyers to share their insights and expertise with a targeted audience without maintaining a separate website.
- Guest blogging: Lawyers can explore guest blogging opportunities on established legal websites or industry publications. By contributing high-quality articles as a guest author, lawyers can showcase their knowledge and expand their online presence.
- Social media platforms: While not a traditional blog, lawyers can utilize social media marketing platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Medium to share informative content to demonstrate expertise. These platforms provide a built-in audience and require minimal technical setup.
To develop an effective content marketing strategy, remember key search engine optimization practices. Consider user intent, keyword research, and content relevance to rank highly in search results. You can also check out our ultimate guide on Content Marketing for Lawyers to dive deeper and learn more details.
5. Consider PPC for Small Law Firms
Yes, pay-per-click is something small law firms can actually set up themselves. PPC marketing offers the advantage of delivering rapid results in comparison to other marketing methods. However, it is important to bear in mind that there are certain nuances to this:
- Budget: Your budget is one of the most important factors that will determine the success of your campaigns. It's important to set a budget that you're comfortable with and that will allow you to reach your target audience.
- Bids: Your bids are how much you're willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad. It's important to set bids that are competitive, but not too high. Otherwise, you could end up spending more money than you need to.
- Conversion rate: Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who click on your ad and then take a desired action, such as visiting your website or making a purchase. It's important to track your conversion rate so that you can see how effective your campaigns are.
- Keyword research: Keyword research is the process of finding the right keywords to target with your ads. It's important to choose keywords that are relevant to your business and that people are actually searching for.
Even if you plan to focus on organic content marketing in the long term, don't avoid investing in paid ads right now. Your search engine marketing campaign will take time. Make room in your legal marketing budget now to achieve some short-term goals.
Take your time learning more about how you can set up your first advertising campaign with our Guide on PPC for lawyers. The beauty of PPC ad budgeting lies in its flexibility, allowing you to make adjustments as your other campaigns begin to yield positive results.
As Your Small Law Firm Continues to Grow...
With the marketing efforts listed above, smaller firm owners will surely get sustainable law firm growth. As your firm continues to grow, there are several proactive marketing tactics you can take to further market your small law firm and expand your reach. Consider implementing the following strategies to amplify your marketing efforts and attract more clients:
6. Leverage SEO for Your Law Firm Website
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the ranking of a website or a web page in search engine results pages (SERPs). There are a number of benefits to using SEO for your law firm website, including:
- Increased website traffic: When your website ranks higher in search engine results pages, you will get more traffic to your website. This means that more potential clients will be able to find you online.
- Increased brand awareness: When your website ranks higher in SERP, it will also increase your brand awareness. This means that more people will be aware of your law firm and what you do.
- Increased lead generation: When potential clients find your website through search engines, they are more likely to contact you. This means that SEO can help you generate more leads for your law firm.
- Increased sales: When you have more leads, you will also have more sales. This means that SEO can help you increase your revenue.
Overall, SEO can be a very effective way to improve your law firm's website and attract new clients. If you are looking for a way to continue improving your law firm's online presence, SEO is a great option.
7. Start an Email Marketing Campaign
One of the easiest (and most affordable) ways for law firms to attract future clients is through email marketing. If you don't already have a subscriber list, you can build one by collecting email addresses from your existing and past clients', contacts, and potential leads. You can do this through networking events, professional associations, or even by offering valuable resources in exchange for email sign-ups.
Here are some ways that small law firms can use email marketing:
- Provide educational content: Send content about legal topics related to your practice area. This could include information about filing a lawsuit, navigating the legal system, or understanding your rights.
- Encourage reviews: Ask clients to leave reviews for your law firm on your website or with Google. This helps to build social proof and attract new clients.
- Manage appointments: Send confirmation emails to clients who schedule appointments with you. This helps to ensure that appointments are kept and that clients know what to expect.
Law firm email marketing campaigns are simple to implement, affordable, and cost-effective. They also ensure your law firm remains top of mind to your subscribers. If people on your list need your services, they'll likely contact you first since they'll see you as a credible authority in your practice area.
Finally, you'll develop a stronger bond with your current clients through your email marketing activities. The truth is that few other marketing strategies deliver such a strong ROI as email can.
8. Take Time to Measure Progress
It's important that your law firm has access to tools that allow you to track your results so that you can be confident that your legal marketing strategies are working.
There are analytics tools that you can use to track traffic to your page from search and your Google My Business account. You can even use analytics to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing dollars for your email campaigns.
It is important that your law firm uses marketing tools so you know what is truly effective. Otherwise, you will base your decisions on emotion and assumptions. Neither is good for your ongoing business development goals.
Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools there is for this purpose. If you plan to market your law firm with a social media presence, platforms like Facebook and Instagram have built-in analytics tools to better understand the impact of your social media activity.
How Can Offline Practices Help Small Law Firm Marketing?
Your legal marketing plan shouldn't stop with digital marketing strategies. You can often broaden your approach to include traditional marketing strategies to target clients in your area.
Thankfully, there are several strategies you can use to deploy offline advertising through various marketing channels. Here are just a few ways to augment your marketing plan:
- Build relationships with other professionals in your area who can refer clients to you. For example, if you practice property law, partner with realtors.
- Ask other lawyers in your area for referrals. You can also ask your existing clients for referrals.
- Ask your existing clients for testimonials and reviews. You can post these on your website and social media pages.
3 Most Common Small Law Firm Marketing Mistakes
There may be an abundance of legal expertise in your firm, but you probably lack some marketing tips for smaller firms required to earn new business through marketing. That's understandable as you have focused your skill set on assisting your clients. However, the gaps in your understanding could lead to these common mistakes.
— Lack of Patience
Optimizing for local search and other law firm SEO services may take a few months to generate results. When law firms expect things to happen too quickly, they may turn to tactics that promise immediate results but could harm their online presence in the future.
— Doing Everything Yourself
It's rare that a lawyer would have the knowledge to engage in successful online marketing without any outside help. And it's even more unlikely that they would have time to do so effectively without it impacting the quality of services they deliver to their clients.
— Choosing the Easiest Path
When faced with the task of determining how and where to engage in marketing, many attorneys will choose the options that are easiest and most familiar to them. Intuitive heuristics often cause us to see the easiest solution as the best one when we are presented with a complex problem.
For example, you might convince yourself that lawyer Facebook ads are ideal for marketing your law office because it's familiar to you when you should really be focusing on LinkedIn attorney marketing.
Final Advice: Hire a Professional Law Firm Marketing Team
Small law firm owners don't need a massive marketing budget and dedicated team to see results from their efforts in the form of paying clients. It's possible to incorporate law firm's marketing strategies and marketing tactics on your own or with the assistance of an employee or two.
However, as your firm continues to grow, you'll see the most significant impact from marketing activities and get more clients when you work with a professional marketing company for small law firms.
At Grow Law Firm, we help small and larger law firms build a marketing strategy that fits their needs and goals. We can help develop your marketing plan for your law practice, ensuring you spend your money on the marketing tactics most likely to bring you more qualified leads and for your law firm's website.
To get started, contact Grow Law Firm today. We'll alleviate your digital marketing concerns and design a holistic digital marketing strategy suitable for your law firm's brand name.