• Rhen Weaver

Law Firm Marketing - Steps to Take and Tactics to Consider

When it comes to law firm marketing, many lawyers don't know what to do or where to start. This may be because law school focuses more on teaching law best practices instead of acquiring clients for a law firm. The business side of running a law firm can be treated as an afterthought because most lawyers don't have to worry about it if they work in a big law firm.

This guide is focused on closing the gap between legal knowledge and digital marketing knowledge and how the two can work together to get more legal clients from law firm websites.

The legal industry is different, and law firms must ensure that their online marketing strategies are competitive. Here are a few steps to take when focused on digital marketing and tactics that many marketing agency companies utilize to get potential clients for law offices around the country:

Steps to Take for Marketing a Law Firm

Steps to Take for Marketing a Law Firm

When focused on law firm marketing, each law firm must think about how to attract legal clients who are looking for their practice area services in their city. The right marketing agency always starts with these steps:

Create a Marketing Budget

Having a marketing budget is crucial for any law firm business plan. To figure out how much is needed to invest in the law firm marketing initiatives, it's crucial to identify the goals of the law firm and how much revenue is necessary to make that a reality. Then, it's essential to determine how many cases a year there are to bill to meet the goal. This, of course, varies depending on the area of practice.

Once the groundwork is done, it's possible to figure out the law firm marketing budget. Take note of the stage the law firm is in. For example, is it well-established or new? It's also important to think about how competitive the space is. When it comes to personal injury lawyer marketing in a large city like New York, it's likely to cost more to build in each area of practice.

When the law firm marketing budget is complete, it's crucial to stay within its limits for digital marketing. In the end, getting more cases doesn't help the firm grow if the bottom line is ruined.

Build a Well-designed Site

The law firm website is usually the first impression for the potential client. It's the chance of the law practice to make a great first impression to those website visitors who want to hire a lawyer.

A good start of digital marketing is to use quality photos that concisely and clearly state the services offered and the practice areas covered. With that, law firms should highlight any recognitions, awards, and important experiences they have. Another good idea is to list the contact information of the law office prominently on the law firm website.

If a website already exists or the lawyer wants to build one themselves, it's crucial to understand the critical components of a high-converting and high-quality website. It is usually best to hire a marketing agency to put those marketing dollars to good use.

Convincing paying clients to hire a law practice requires a lot of trust because so much is on the line for these potential clients.

Ensure the Site is Optimized for Search Engines

Creating a law firm website to market the firm is important, but if no one finds it through search engines, how do potential clients become aware of the firm? Lawyer SEO is the number one way to acquire clients online right now.

To get the most from the law firm website, it must follow SEO best practices. That means the site is well-designed and has helpful and quality content. That's what search engines and potential clients want.

It's also important to make sure the content targets the correct keywords and variants of those keywords. Instead of using the term "lawyer" repeatedly, it's better to diversify with combinations of the firm's law service focus and city. On top of that, it's a good idea to know how other lawyers position themselves to the prospective client. That way, the sales process can be better designed, and new business can be developed.

Most law firms want to attract potential clients in a particular area through local SEO, so a Google My Business listing is crucial. With that, try to get as many positive reviews from existing clients as possible to increase the visibility of a law practice in the search results.

Whether they are a family lawyer, focus on estate planning, or beyond, law firm SEO is where every law firm should be focusing on getting more paying clients.

Have a Social Media Presence

In order to attract new clients through online advertising, it's important to go where they are in this digital age, which often means social media. There are various social networks out there, so it's good to figure out which platforms are best for the law firm and practice area.

With thoughtful investment into law firm marketing, social media advertising can significantly impact the growth of the law firm.

Here are just a few ways that social media can be used to gain new clients:

  • Set up law firm social media pages separate from the personal attorney profiles.

  • Follow community leaders and engage in conversation with these profiles.

  • Create advertising campaigns to position the law firm as a trusted option to gain new clients.

It's crucial to follow the advertising rules and ethics within the law firm's jurisdiction. Potential clients don't want to hear that someone is an expert or specialist if they aren't. Though an online presence is crucial when practicing law, it's never a good idea to mislead viewers to gain new business. Even if other lawyers do this, the goal should be revenue growth from hitting marketing goals ethically and sustainably.

Manage Online Reviews Effectively

Once there are various online profiles set up and running for the law firm, clients might leave reviews. It's critical to manage those because potential clients might look at them to determine if they should hire a particular law firm.

Though a few negative reviews might not hurt, an ongoing stream might make possible clients pause.

Make it a part of the process to ask for online reviews when closing each case, especially if the client is satisfied. Check the state bar's advertising rules to make sure that the request is appropriate. Typically, a marketing agency can assist with online review management and can build a custom strategy.

Consider Content Marketing

Content is crucial for developing client trust, so it should be used to grow the law firm whenever possible. Blogging or content marketing can build authority for the brand. Content is used to show expertise in an area, and it's great to offer answers to general questions that potential clients might have. That way, they gain confidence and trust in the law firm.

Starting a blog means taking a thoughtful approach to identifying evergreen content topics. The content must have a clear focus and stick to a regular cadence. That way, it could be found in an organic search and promotes the lawyer's own brand.

Though it might not directly relate to revenue growth, it can appease the search engine demand and reach the target audience.

Invest Time in Business Development and Networking

In a more traditional marketing approach, most law firms spend time attending bar events and local networking opportunities, so get the most from them. Create conversation strategies for how and where to spend time and energy. Prepare to engage in some meaningful conversations to build the law firm brand and gain referrals.

Referrals from other firms are always crucial to the business development of the law firm and for revenue growth. Figuring out how to build those relationships with other firms and attorneys is a worthwhile investment.

However, networking doesn't just focus on shaking hands and mingling with other lawyers. Public speaking about the legal process and attending community events can assist with law firm internet marketing, too. Once the event ends, add photos and content about it to generate news stories and boost public relations!

Consider Traditional Marketing

Depending on the practice area and location, traditional marketing might be suitable for the law firm. People do still look at billboard ads.

However, it's crucial to remember that whatever the clients hear, they're likely to research online before hiring someone. Local SEO with a custom strategy is vital to enhance traditional marketing because after looking at a billboard, a potential client's following action is most likely the search engine.

Measure the Law Firm Marketing Efforts

Regardless of how law firms decide to market themselves, it's essential to measure the ROI of the law firm marketing efforts. Without it, there's no information about which campaigns bring in more clients and which ones are flops. This step shouldn't be overlooked.

If the marketing tactic isn't working well, stop investing in that method and focus more on the ones that do. Maybe the goal is to bring in more new clients or focus on the positive reviews received from past clients. Look at the numbers!

Ask clients how they heard about the law firm. Then, use Google Analytics to gain insights into the traffic to the website. This can also tell lawyers what the search engine wants to see. This information can be given to the web designer or marketing agency to help with new methods and a new marketing plan.

Overall, Google Analytics helps lawyers see how potential clients found their site, what they did on the site, and how many visitors are seen each month. This also indicates if the marketing plan is suitable for the target audience and whether local SEO options are working as they should.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy Tactics

Law Firm Marketing Strategy Tactics

Having the right law firm marketing strategies is crucial for the marketing plan. Local SEO is essential, and the web designer must understand what the company is about and the goals of the website. Here are the topics to focus on:

Building a Brand

Branding isn't about having expensive business cards or stationery and winning awards. If the goal is to shape an appropriate marketing strategy, the right message is important. It must be based on the fundamentals of the image for the law firm. With that, it must take into account these things:

Why Is the Law Firm Unique?

The law firm offers legal services for a specific practice area. Look at what other websites do for their marketing plan and figure out how to be different or unique.

For example, if the firm focuses on bankruptcy, it might be nice to focus on a no-money-down option to file the case. It makes the firm appear flexible to the client's financial situation. How a firm position itself with and against competitors makes for a good brand.

Why Should People Listen?

Overall, the marketing efforts of any law firm are to give people a reason to focus on their firm instead of another as a trusted option. Be clear about the target audience and why people should hire that firm.

Trust is a huge factor for potential clients. It is best to find ways to position the firm as the most trusted and respected option in the local area to solve the client's legal issue.

What Does the Law Firm Consistently Do Better than the Competition?

Branding shouldn't be complicated. Focus on what the customers need and keep the legal marketing strategies simple. Once the messaging is established for the law firm, work it into every marketing channel (professional networks, social media, website, offline literature, and more).

Demonstrating Authority and Credibility

The best law firm marketing strategy focuses on active and passive activities. A great example of passive marketing is website copy because it helps build authority and credibility around the firm.

Overall, it doesn't necessarily help get new clients directly, but it does list the legal services in a way that clients can understand. Here are a few examples of what to include in online marketing this year:

Awards Received

If a law firm earns awards, it's a good idea to list them. If logos or images of the awards can be found, it's a tremendous legal marketing opportunity to display how trusted the firm is.

Reviews from Past Clients

Instant credibility can be provided by testimonials and reviews from past clients. Consider featuring reviews for every practice area, and detailed case results. The top law firms engage in this practice, and it works well to position themselves as the local authority.

Demonstrating Capability in Practice Areas

Another important branding area for the law firm is to communicate the full extent of what goes on with a case and the capacity to deliver. While case studies and reviews help with that, they aren't the only legal marketing strategies out there. Fulfill the marketing efforts by focusing on these items:

The Breadth of Service Provided

Be clear about the extent of the law firm services in all legal marketing initiatives. There should be no doubt in the visitor's mind as to what is offered or how the firm can help.

Number of Lawyers Available

If the law firm employs various attorneys, it's good to list them all. The goal is for visitors to know and feel a connection to the attorney that is representing them. Provide phone/fax numbers and email addresses where applicable.

It's also good to show the successes and credentials of each attorney. Just make sure that it stays updated.

Running SEO Campaigns to Improve Visibility for Google Search Results

Every law firm must focus on law firm SEO at all times because about 75 percent of searchers never get past that first page of Google. With that, 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine. Therefore, the firm has to be seen in the results pages to get traffic and clicks.

More technical aspects of law firm marketing through local SEO include:

  • Professionally written descriptions and titles

  • Keyword research

  • Maintaining the website architecture

  • Using a secure/fast hosting platform

Other Key SEO Aspects to Consider

  • Reducing bounce rates by making descriptions and titles clear and the pages relevant to the chosen keywords

  • Focusing on more long-form content because it outperforms short-form content and is shared more often

  • Using schema markups for the law firm to detail page contents for the search engines

  • Making the site mobile-friendly (Google penalizes websites that don't display well on mobile devices)

  • Authority sites and link-building

  • Review solicitation and citation building

With that, many law firms hire SEO professionals to handle these complex topics for them to maximize their local SEO and fully-optimized Google My Business accounts.

Running Optimized Google AdWords Campaigns

Paid search is still a great way to add new leads to the law firm. Ads cover about 85 percent of the space above the search results page. Therefore, a well-planned-out and optimized Google Ads campaign could send large volumes of qualified traffic to the website to help with lead generation and conversion.

If the firm hasn't achieved the results they want from Google Ads in the past, it is likely because they have:

  • Tried to compete for highly competitive keywords

  • Not put in enough time for research or hired the wrong legal marketing professional to manage the campaign

  • Not optimized the AdWords campaign

Adwords can be an excellent channel for paying clients if it is managed appropriately.

Effective Landing Pages

Make the landing pages a priority for the law firm website and strategy. They are the primary function of turning website traffic into more clients.

Optimizing a landing page requires research, split testing, load speed optimizing and much more. This should be handled by a professional to maximize Google Ads revenue.

Building and Optimizing Landing Pages

To be effective, the landing pages must be:

  • easy to navigate and quick to load

  • Optimized for action-related keywords

  • Professionally written to inspire a particular action

Increase the Law Firms' Presence within Legal Directories

Whatever thoughts the lawyer has about legal directories, it's crucial to be featured in the main ones, such as FindLaw. They help boost traffic and offer a citation and hyperlink for the website.

The best law firm marketing strategy focuses on developing attorney profiles in directories. Citations (mentions of the law firm from third-party sites) can improve SEO. Plus, including the firm in the main directories is simple and affordable in terms of legal marketing. Some allow the lawyer to add details for free, but there are paid listings, as well.

Video Marketing

Most of the top law firms use video marketing to attract more clients. If the law firm hasn't done this yet, it could be a good idea to look into it.

Many times, the audience prefers to gather information through videos. Therefore, employing them on the website builds trust to improve conversions. Plus, it's advantageous if the goal is to attract a younger clientele. Videos bring instant credibility to the site and engage with visitors on their terms.

Introduce the Attorneys

One way to implement videos into law firm marketing is by introducing the attorneys. Give them a voice and let them talk about their areas of expertise and the options they offer. That way, people feel more confident in the law firm's ability.