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Personal Injury Lawyer Marketing Guide: Best Strategies And Tactics

updated
April 28, 2022
18 min
read
by
Sasha Berson
Marketing for Personal Injury Lawyer

Accident and injury law is one of the most competitive businesses in internet marketing. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, telephone books and vanity phone numbers were prime advertising choices for personal injury lawyers, along with TV, radio, and billboard ads. And to an extent, many accident lawyers still use these channels to this day. Certainly, all of the “legacy” personal injury lawyer advertising providers that are still operating continue to pursue business with accident lawyers.

However, what worked well in the past doesn’t carry the same weight today. In the last 15 years or so, with the explosion of the internet and smartphone, personal injury lawyer marketing has changed. For a short time, online yellow pages and internet directories were in demand. But with the explosion of Google, internet search has become the number one avenue for personal injury marketing. Many lawyers dedicated the bulk of their marketing dollars to search engine optimization, including both organic search marketing and pay-per-click advertising.

Personal injury law is a distinctive area of law with unique business models and fee structure. Unlike other areas of law, Personal injury law firm marketing includes an element of fierce competition for potential clients, making a spot on the search engine results page very valuable real estate.

What Makes Marketing Personal Injury Law Firm So Special And So Hard?

personal injury law firm marketing aspects

Different types of law have very different fee structures. Individuals hiring an estate planning attorney to draft up a trust and powers of attorney will likely pay for the cost of legal services up front. People hiring a criminal defense lawyer might put up a certain amount of money up front, called a retainer. But if you hire a personal injury lawyer, you pay your attorney nothing up front, or during the months or even years your lawyer is working on your case.

Personal injury cases have so many variables and can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years.  The amount of money an attorney makes on a case depends on how much they recover in a verdict or a settlement. And because the attorneys assume all the risk of costs and fees of a case, the percentage of money they can recover is high (25%-40% is the norm with 33% being the most common).

The contingency fee structure of personal injury law is convenient for clients. However, since they are paying nothing up front,  injured victims can be selective in the attorney they hire. And lawyers will sometimes aggressively pursue high damage cases,  liability is clear. For the attorneys, the higher the damages, the higher the paycheck at the end. Experienced injury attorneys can identify a “good case” easily, and will be very eager to retain the client.

Much of the “magic” or personal injury law firm marketing is in getting leads and converting them. But looking backwards, it can be difficult to track the success of a marketing investment. Some lawyers may be able to trace ROI on specific cases, especially with trackable pay-per-click leads. A $10,000 PPC campaign generated an auto accident case that settled for $3 million. Even after staff and overhead, the attorney made a significant ROI.

The unique nature of how personal injury law cases are handled is also why partnering with the right marketing company is so important. If your internet marketing company does not understand your structure and competition, they won’t know how to maximize your investment and get you the most “bang for your buck.”

Best Digital Marketing Strategies For Personal Injury Law Firms

No matter how talented you are as a civil litigation attorney, if you don’t market your services, your growth will be limited. Attorneys who actively market on the internet and have a steady stream of qualified leads will be able to select better cases and may also be able to develop a secondary revenue stream through referrals to other attorneys.  

Over the long run, the most successful personal injury marketers take a multi-faceted approach. Below we will explore eight personal injury marketing ideas and strategies that personal injury lawyers should strongly consider:

1. Build a high-performance website supporting your brand

law firm high-performance website

Your website is one of the most visible elements of your digital marketing efforts. Internet marketing focus groups have revealed that people make immediate judgements about a company or service from their first impression of a website. At the bare minimum, your website should:

  • Explain what you do: Your website should establish that you are a personal injury lawyer and that you help people injured in accidents obtain fair compensation for their injuries. People visiting your website should understand that they are your target audience.
  • Reveal who you and your team are: Potential clients want to know who they will be talking to if they call your firm, and who will be representing them if they hire you. Your website should leave the impression that you are ethical, hard-working, and genuinely care about your clients.
  • Explain why potential clients should choose you: Your past case results and client testimonials can be very persuasive. Many attorneys incorporate video testimonials of actual former clients for an added trust factor.
  • Provide one or more ways to contact you: A phone number and email contact form are common channels. Some attorneys offer a live chat on their website.

Your website is the framework for other marketing efforts like SEO and pay per click advertising. Even if you are just starting out with a minimal personal injury attorney marketing budget, you need a website. It should look like it is new or a few years old, not 20 years old.

2. Leverage the power of SEO for personal injury law firms

law firm seo types

Organic placement (non-ad placement) in search engine results pages is one of the most significant elements of personal injury law firm marketing.

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing website pages so that they appear in search engine results when people search in Google or other search engines. Google’s algorithms are designed to sort through billions of webpages and return the most applicable or relevant result.  

When people search for a term, such as “Chicago personal injury lawyer” they trust that the results will be actual attorneys in Chicago that practice personal injury law. Search algorithms have been refined over decades. In search results pages, “ad” results are always listed first. However, many people scroll right past the ad results and glance directly and the first couple organic results.

If you are an attorney seeking how to get personal injury clients, the value of SEO  and a high position in the first page of Google cannot be ignored. Although the initial investment in SEO may be remarkable, payoff can be monumental. High placement for coveted terms in search results can establish you as an authority for your local area and generate hundreds or even thousands of personal injury leads each year.

Most SEO services for lawyers internet marketing packages include elements of:

  • Local SEO: Law firms that have a physical location can benefit from optimizing their online presence for better visibility via local services ads. Local SEO can include multiple areas. For example, if you are in the Financial District of San Francisco, you may wish to rank for internet searches for personal injury lawyers in the Financial District, in San Francisco, and even in Northern California.
  • Onsite SEO: Also called on-page SEO, this includes everything done on your website to optimize your presence for search engines. Examples of onsite SEO include writing content, optimizing it with keywords, adding internal links to other pages, making your website secure and easy to navigate, and adding images and videos.
  • Off-site SEO:  Also called off-page SEO, this refers to all actions taken outside of an attorney’s own website to boost their ranking. This includes listings in attorney directories, guest blog posts on other attorney websites, videos and articles posted on other sites  that link back to the attorneys’ website, and social media. Really, any listing on another website (legitimate and non-spammy) that could drive website traffic.

3. Get instant results with PPC for personal injury law firms

personal injury law firm PPC

If organic SEO is a marathon, PPC is the sprint. Pay enough money and your personal injury law practice can have nearly instant visibility in search engine results pages. Even for law firms that rank very well in organic results, PPC can be a valuable tool.

One common scenario is a major event that sparks an interest in personal injury cases, where a personal injury attorney may want to quickly place themselves in a search engine results page. Examples could be large pileup accidents, condominium building collapses, or large scale vehicle recalls due to newly-discovered hazards.

Common avenues for PPC advertising include:

  • Google Ads advertising: When someone clicks your ad, you pay a fee. You set a daily budget, and once that is reached, your ads stop showing. While there is no minimum spend, it is nearly impossible to have any real impact with a $5 or $10 daily budget. The price per keyword can vary wildly. Typically, broad search terms most often searched are more expensive and longer, less popular search terms (long-tail keywords) cost less. The type of search you choose can also affect your budget and spend. Google Ads offers broad match, phrase match, and exact match options.
  • PPC ads on social media channels : Many personal injury lawyers advertise their services on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Other avenues: Yelp and  Yahoo Gemini are other common PPC platforms offering advertising for personal injury lawyers.

A major downside of PPC advertising is the high cost - especially as a long term strategy. Pay enough, and you are visible. However, as soon as you stop paying, your ads stop showing.

Another issue with Google ads and PPC advertising is it isn’t simple. For your ads to be effective, you must target the right keywords, have an effective call to action, and have a landing page that is compelling. Just clicking on your ad isn’t enough - the potential client must either call you or fill out a contact form to convert to a lead.

4. Invest in content marketing

blogging is good for personal injury lawyer marketing

Website content is commonly referred to as the “bread and butter” of personal injury marketing. The quote “content is king” attributed to Bill Gates in 1996 is still relevant today - an still used often.

It is impossible to rank organically for common search terms if you don’t have unique (not copied from anyone else), valuable (relevant and informative) content to back it up. Many law firms have either a full-time copywriter employed or contract, or have the equivalent of a full-time time legal copywriter through their internet marketing firm.

Successful law firms typically have two primary types of content:

  1. Practice area pages: Each practice area that a lawyer handles will have a page of content offering valuable information to the website visitor. It is common to have a long-form page (2,000 words at minimum) offering an in-depth exploration of the practice area. Even though this type of content is “evergreen” (continually relevant), it should be updated from time to time. Practice area pages usually include a call to action for potential clients to contact them for a free consultation.
  2. Legal blogs: Blogs can be used to cover any relevant topic. Attorneys and personal injury firms use them to cover legal news, announce recent settlements and verdicts, provide safety tips, and offer legal opinions. Some personal injury law firms update their blogs several times a day, while others update several times a month. If you have a blog for your law firm, it should be updated on a regular basis. Legal blogs may direct website visitors to a practice area page, or have a call to action to contact the firm directly.

5. Build presence on social media

Hate it or love it, social media is here to stay. Americans increasingly use social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to conduct research. If your law firm has a social media account, but have not posted for 3 years, visitors to your channel may think you are no longer in business. It is a worthwhile investment or time and money to establish your personal injury law firm’s presence on social media and post updates regularly.

Whether you engage directly with potential clients on social media or not, social media channels are a powerful way to increase brand awareness and boost online authority. Personal injury law firms should at the minimum, have a presence and post regular updates on the following channels:

  • Facebook: The largest and most well-known social media network, Facebook is a powerful tool for advertising and gathering user reviews. Even if you believe you do not get a large volume of clients directly “from facebook,” your clients may visit your Facebook page while researching your services, or prior to your initial consultation.
  • Instagram: Popular among millennial users, Instagram started as a photo sharing service but evolved into so much more. You can use instagram to share stories that disappear after 24 hours, or posts which remain in your account permanently, unless you delete them.
  • Twitter: Twitter remains on the social media landscape with more than 350 million registered users. It is a powerful tool to share information quickly, such as a news story or a link to a blog post. If your content is valuable, it can very easily be shared by your audience.
  • Linkedin: LinkedIn can establish your law firm among other law firms that may refer cases to you. If your clients are active on LinkedIn, they may visit your firm profile page to see your activity and postings. Even a basic Linkedin page will reinforce the legitimacy of your firm and the services you provide. Aside from legal marketing, it is a powerful tool for hiring clerks, legal secretaries, paralegals, and attorneys.

5. Set up Referral program

Referrals can be a big part of your marketing campaign and strategy as a personal injury lawyer. If you have the convenient problem of too many leads, you legally may refer cases to other qualified personal injury attorneys and collect a fee when the case eventually settles.

You may practice a specialty area of law that other attorneys do not handle - and they may refer cases to you. While these referral leads are generally free, you will essentially pay for them when you resolve the case. If you have a major success in a particular type of case, or against a certain defendant, other lawyers may simply have more confidence in your legal skills than their own.

Like other legal services you offer, an attorney referral program deserves its own dedicated content on your website and targeted internet marketing efforts. Before you establish a referral program, make sure you are following the Rules of Professional Conduct for your state bar association.

6. Gather more testimonials

Part of your personal injury law firm marketing strategy should include an active policy to ask clients for reviews. Testimonials tell a powerful story, especially ones that go into detail and share the meaningful impact a personal injury lawyer made, either providing support during a difficult time or ultimately the financial settlement. Your clients can leave reviews for you on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and law firm websites like Avvo and Lawyers.com.

You may think that the best day to ask your clients for a testimonial is the day they come in to pick up their check. While this is a good day to ask, you will get a better review if you don’t catch your clients off guard. It is a good practice to let your clients know early on, even in the intake process, that you would love to get a 5 star review from them if the case goes well.

If clients know that their satisfaction is important to you, they will be more likely to speak up if they are unsatisfied at any point during the process.

Not every client may be comfortable doing video testimonials, but you should have at least a few on your website, professionally recorded with proper lighting and sound, and edited. Video testimonials can boost your brand impact and increase the amount of time your website visitors stay on your website.

7. Feature your best cases

Most personal injury lawyers have a “case results” page which will tell the story of recent verdicts and settlements. This page should be updated periodically. You can also use it to feature your most significant cases and the meaningful impact your representation made.

You can provide summaries of cases and use the opportunity to tell the story of what happened, and how you helped.

8. Make videos to build trust

Video on a website is an excellent tool to convey that you are knowledgeable, personable, and trustworthy. The possibilities of video content are unlimited, as long as you have the time to produce videos.

Have you ever seen a television ad that made you cringe? If you are going to take the time to produce videos, it is important that you understand your audience and convey a compassionate and empathetic tone. Special consideration should be given to how a video makes someone feel after watching it. For example, a video where an attorney is attempting to use humor may not be effective if marketing to clients who have recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident.

How to get personal injury clients?

The type of cases you target and the length of time you wish to intake clients are a major consideration in deciding how to market cases:

How to get more auto accident clients

People are injured in auto accidents every day, in every state. It is common for injured victims to begin searching for a personal injury lawyer in the hours and days following an accident. Having a significant content presence on the internet, including frequently asked questions, can establish you as a subject matter expert. If you plan to market auto accident cases for years to come, an investment in organic placement is a worthwhile endeavor. You can augment your content marketing with social media or Google Ads to boost traffic.

How to get more mass tort or class action lawsuit clients

PPC advertising (text and image)  is a frequently used strategy for mass torn and class action clients. Lawyers typically want to aggressively intake clients for a specific window of time. If a law firm already has a strong organic presence with their website, it may be possible to target mass tort clients organically. If a lawyer is concerned about getting client sign-ups as quickly as possible, a strategic PPC campaign will be most effective.

How to get more workers' compensation clients

Potential workers’ comp clients are likely to extensively research the process before contacting a lawyer. Like with auto accident cases, extensive content marketing targeting for specific keywords, with onsite and offsite optimization, will be the foundation for generating leads.

measure your performance of your law firm website

Do not forget to measure your performance

Measuring your Google search and overall marketing performance allows you to understand what’s working and what isn’t. If you invest a certain amount of money each month in personal injury lawyer marketing, you should be able to track how many clients you signed up from your various marketing strategies.

While all new clients are good, not all new clients are the result of your marketing efforts. If your next-door neighbor refers a $20 million case to you, or you are featured as a subject matter expert on a national news show based on your office’s close proximity to a catastrophic event, you may have huge success retaining clients which isn’t directly attributable to your internet marketing investment.

Talk to your internet marketing provider about the analytics they provide and how to track results so that future marketing campaigns can be strategically planned.

Contact Grow Law Firm

If you want to maximize your search engine marketing dollar, partnering with the right digital marketing company is the best way to get results for your personal injury practice. Contact us today to see how we can help you get your personal injury law firm on the first page of Google and achieve a volume of leads and success beyond your wildest dreams.

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