Whether you’re just starting out as a solo practitioner or if you’re trying to grow your multi-location legal firm, you need to make the most of your law firm marketing efforts. If you’re vigilant about the marketing of legal services and your law firm marketing strategy, you can find great success.
Over 95% of prospective clients who search for legal advice do so online.
In today’s technology age, it doesn’t matter how great your legal team is or how many success stories your law firm has to show for, having the right law firm marketing strategies is essential to growing your law firm. Not having a solid online presence will hinder your firm’s ability to showcase your skill set and convert potential clients into paying clients.
In this post, the law firm marketing experts at Digital Logic will walk you through the process of securing more paying clients and marketing your legal services. We’ll go over key strategies that can help your law firm maximize its return on investment for its marketing budget!
Law Firm Marketing Strategy
SEO for Legal Services
If you want your law practice website to drive a good portion of your potential client leads, then your organic search rankings can truly make or break your results.
- 93% of every online experience begins with a search engine
- 75% of searchers never scroll past the first search results page
So, simply having a website isn’t enough. Your law firm website needs to show up on the first page of Google to reach potential clients.
What is Law Firm SEO?
Legal search engine optimization, or law firm SEO, is the practice of optimizing law firm websites so that they’ll appear higher in the search results for specific keywords or key phrases.
These target keywords represent the topics that you want to rank for and build your legal content around. They should appear in specific areas of your webpage, such as in the headings and meta titles, to signal to Google what your page is all about.
So, essentially, when you use search engine optimization to increase your law firm’s website search results ranking, you’re focusing on improving the quality of your site with the goal of driving more leads and more qualified traffic to your website.
SEO for legal services gives your law firm’s website more credibility on search engines, such as Google.
While many people understand that Google is a search engine, not many understand that Google is actually an advertising platform that offers free search services to boost revenue. So, with this in mind, Google’s end goal is to provide searchers with more meaningful experiences so that advertisers can make higher margins using the platform. And, as such, over the past decade or so, Google has created algorithms that are able to differentiate between authentically helpful web pages from those that aren’t.
As Google’s search crawlers analyze websites, they look for key details and organize the websites in the search results, based on these findings. Search engines reward websites that have truly helpful content by moving them up in the search rankings.
Typically, Google rewards legal websites that have the following (at minimum):
- high quality legal content
- relevant keywords and key phrases (even if they aren’t top of the funnel keywords)
- regularly-updated legal websites
- fast load times
- mobile responsiveness
- clean coding
- secure hosting
- backlinks from relevant, high authority websites
What is High-Quality Legal Content?
High quality legal content provides value to your target audience. As we previously mentioned, search engines are becoming better and better at spotting filler keywords and fluff.
While law firm content marketing services may not increase your law firm’s ability to practice the law, it does help your law practice provide better services for your legal clients.
The goal of legal content marketing is to meet your prospective clients wherever they are in their buyer’s journey-to educate the prospects and gently guide them until they’re ready to invest in your legal services. This helps generate more educated clients, once they do convert.
The more content your law firm produces, the more your online reputation will grow. The key is to focus on a very specific piece of information relevant to your practice areas and expound upon it.
Law firm content marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads online when you have the right tools at your disposal for quality keyword research.
The catch is that most law firms either:
- don’t have the tools for keyword research,
- they don’t understand the data associated with the tools they do have, or
- they simply don’t have time to conduct enough keyword research to justify blogging as part of their law firm marketing plan.
Several years ago, law firm marketing generally consisted of billboards, a few television ads, and word-of-mouth advertising. Now, studies show that these combined online marketing strategies typically only bring in a third (max) of a law firm’s clients.
So, law firms need to branch out and at least try legal content marketing to get more clients.
At Digital Logic, we get the vast majority of our clients from word-of-mouth referrals and organic website traffic. We’re confident in our law firm marketing services, especially our personal injury attorney SEO services, so we get plenty of leads from our current clients (and we’re truly grateful for this!). But, we also believe it’s important for us to provide our prospective clients with quality information, because it also generates more educated clients for us, as well.
After all, you’re here…reading our content!
The most important takeaway for law firm content is that from an SEO campaign perspective, legal content is an essential “digital currency” for your law practice.
Every single piece of high-quality legal content is just another chance for your law firm to take that coveted, top ranking position on Google’s search engine.
Local SEO for Legal Services
Over 93% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses, just like yours.
Every lawyer investing in law firm marketing should have a strong focus on local SEO campaigns. Local SEO strategies focus on using local keyword data to attract those looking for your legal services in the local community.
So, for example, one local search engine optimization technique is to add local keyword data to your services pages. So, you’d name your service page, “Houston Personal Injury Law Firm,” instead of just “Personal Injury Law Firm.”
This gives your web page a better chance of ranking well on the search engine results pages locally.
Google Business Listings for Legal Services
The most important local optimization tactic, however, is to set up a Google Business listing.
Google Business listings are free business listings that provide your law firm with a direct connection to Google Maps as well as Google’s local search results for law firms in the area.
Optimizing your Google Business listing ensures that new prospective clients looking for legal services in your local community can easily find your business location on Google Maps.
Optimizing your Google Business listing means that you:
- Enter your legal firm’s location accurately on the map
- Add relevant information, such as your specialties and hours of operation
- List your official law firm website
- Make sure that your legal firm’s name, address and phone number, or NAP, is consistent across the internet (including directory listings, on your website, on social media platforms, etc.)
- Add photographs with relevant alt text
- Choose the best primary category for your firm, including as many practice areas as necessary for your secondary categories
- Gather positive online reviews from satisfied clients
This is a free but very powerful marketing tool that every law practice can use as part of their overall law firm marketing plan.
Google My Business Posts for Legal Services
You can also use Google my Business posts to help improve your law firm marketing efforts online. Google Business posts help share important information with your potential new clients directly from your Google my Business listing.
Your law firm can use Google my Business posts to share upcoming events, company news, highlight new service offerings or just to provide potential clients with small tidbits of legal advice.
The key to marketing your law firm via Google Business is targeting local keywords. If you don’t target local keywords associated with the services that your law firm offers, then you are missing out on the 97% of prospects searching for local businesses online.
SEO Optimized Practice Area Pages
Practice area pages or service pages are essential to reach potential clients. Your practice area pages should be optimized for local searches and include informative, long-form content that expresses your authority as a local attorney for that specific practice area.
Practice area pages help your law firm achieve four marketing goals:
- Grows your legal business by generating more online leads at a lower cost.
- Increases your legal website’s rankings on Google for local target keywords.
- Demonstrates authority for those practice areas, which helps build credibility and trust with your target audience and prospective clients.
- Increases click-through rates for your legal website.
- Helps improve your ads’ quality scores by strengthening ad relevance.
When your firm offers long-form content for specific areas that a prospective client may search for, it increases the chances that the information you provide will convert prospects into paying clients.
Google Ads for Legal Services
Online advertising should also be an essential part of your overall law firm marketing plan. While there are many avenues for paid ads online, pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising models are the most common for those wanting to grow their law practice. Additionally, when you partner with a professional law firm PPC agency, these can give you a great return on investment.
In terms of PPC advertising for law firms, Google ads is the most widely used amongst law firm marketing professionals because it provides law firm clients with a better opportunity for a higher ROI. When you run Google ads correctly, the give law firm marketing agencies the ability to stretch the marketing budget much further than any other PPC platform.
What are PPC Ads?
Law firms can run PPC ads on a variety of marketing channels, but since we’ve established that marketing your legal practice on Google is the best way to obtain your legal marketing goals, we’ll focus on Google’s PPC ads.
Legal firms can purchase ads that appear on Google’s search engine. This includes Google’s search results pages, non-search websites, videos, and mobile apps associated with Google.
However, unlike traditional forms of legal advertising, you can’t just pay for your ad to show up, necessarily.
Law firms must compete against other legal firms that are using the same or similar keywords to reach their own target audience via an auction.
How Does the Google Ads Auction Work?
Google takes several factors into account when it determines which law firm ads appear and in which order they appear. This is similar to the way it organizes web pages organically.
These factors include your:
- Max bid
- Ad relevance
- Expected impact from ad extensions
Google’s ad platform inspects each of your law firm’s ad quality, based on these factors. It then decides how useful your ad will be to your target audience. This is called quality score.
When Google’s ad platform determines your PPC ads expected impact, it considers key features, such as a phone number extension or links to a specific web page.
When you partner with a professional law firm PPC company, your bid can win the Google Ads auction even if you aren’t the highest bidder because Google will always prioritize the ads that have the most relevant keywords and extensions. This is one of the many examples of how digital marketing services from an agency with extensive experience in law firm marketing can pay for themselves, tenfold.
Like we said before, Google is a for-profit advertising agency, and they will encourage digital marketing efforts that offer the best value proposition for its users.
How to Run a Successful Google Ads Campaign for Legal Services
Many legal firms across the United States have found great success using Google Ads. So, if your law firm is struggling to achieve these same results, one of the following may be the cause:
- Your law firm is trying to compete for super competitive keywords
- The Google Ad campaigns aren’t correctly optimized
- You haven’t allocated enough time to research or hired the right PPC management professionals to run your law firm ad campaigns
Every click on Google Ads will cost your law firm money. So, if your Google Ads campaign falls into the wrong hands, this can cost your law firm a ton of money with no results to show for it.
To run a successful Google Ads campaign, you need to:
- Determine the best search terms for your law firm to target
- Create the right types of ads for targeting these specific legal keywords
- Design a professional landing page that correlates with each ad
- Test and improve your ads and landing pages using A/B or split testing
Local Service Ads for Legal Services
Local service ads are featured just above the traditional PPC ads on Google, only they’re more valuable for service providers, like law firms. If local service ads aren’t a part of your law firm marketing plan, then you’re likely losing a ton of potential clients to law firms that are running local service ads.
Local service ads are unique in that they are:
- pay-per-lead instead of pay-per-click
- ranked using the number of positive reviews, bid amount, proximity to the searcher, and a few other ranking factors
- designed to generate leads via phone calls
Law firms are able to use Local Service ads to generate potential legal clients almost instantly by selecting target keywords and categories for their business. Depending on which practice areas your law firm wants to market, you’ll really need to spend, at the very minimum, $1,000 per month, in order to see results from these ad types.
Similarly to running PPC ads on Google, investing in legal LSA management services from a professional digital marketing agency can exponentially increase your success metrics.
Social Media Marketing for Legal Firms
While we don’t suggest that you devote a major portion of your internet marketing budget to social media marketing efforts, your law firm should still have a presence on these various platforms.
Social media platforms offer law firms a unique opportunity to get your message in front of your target clients, but they don’t offer the ability to analyze data nearly as well as Google ads.
Law firm social media advertising services can help your law firm accomplish several basic legal marketing goals, such as:
- engaging directly with potential clients
- creating law firm brand awareness
- boosting law firm SEO efforts
- establishing your legal expertise on social media
How Can Social Media Help Market Your Legal Services?
The techniques for marketing using social media ads will vary by the social media platform. With every social platform, you can help establish your law firm brand as an authority online. However, it’s important to note that neither social media posts nor social media ads will make or break your legal firm’s marketing strategy.
They are simply a way to enhance your overarching law firm marketing plan.
We recommend posting content that is helpful to your potential clients, such as:
- special offers
- informative videos
- links to helpful content on your law firm website
- latest legal industry news
If you’re wanting to use social media marketing to enhance your law firm marketing efforts and grow brand awareness, it’s important to keep your branding and tone across all social media sites. You also want to make sure this reflects your law firm’s website, as well.
Link Building for Legal Services
The legal industry is a cut-throat, ultra-competitive market. There are many law firms competing for the first position on Google. For this reason, link-building should be an essential aspect of every legal marketing strategy.
As we mentioned earlier, the amount of internal links and backlinks is a primary ranking factor on Google.
Google thinks of backlinks similarly to how we view votes. Simply put, the more votes you get from authoritative websites, the better your law firm’s chances are of outranking the other law firm in your area that is also trying to rank for that high value keyword.
How Your Law Firm Can Get Backlinks
The best, most effective way to secure quality backlinks is to consistently create high-quality legal content that your potential clients and past clients are more inclined to share.
Another good technique for getting backlinks is to join legal associations and apply for legal awards. Most legal associates just make you pay for those awards, but in either case, you’re getting a backlink to your legal website out of the deal.
Here are a few more suggestion for attracting quality links to your legal site:
- Infographics: These graphics are easy to understand and share. They provide a ton of good information in an easy-to-digest format.
- Guest Posting: When you submit quality guest posts to reputable websites related to your industry, you can earn valuable backlinks.
- Blogging: Creating quality legal content online will typically attract attention naturally, thus generating backlinks.
- Downloadable Content: Whether you focus on creating eBooks, case studies, white papers, reports, etc., any form of high-quality downloadable legal content can be used to draw in potential clients. When you provide the ability for other websites to distribute this information freely, this encourages backlinks from other sites that may also find your content useful for its visitors.
- Legal Directories: This is a super easy way to get backlinks for your legal website. All you need to do is input your firm’s information in a free or paid online legal directory listing service.
Measure Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts
Regardless of how you decide to go about law firm marketing, you need to measure how well your digital marketing strategies are performing.
Without the ability to measure your law firm marketing efforts, you’ll never be able to identify which techniques are bringing in new clients and which aren’t.
The most successful and highest paid lawyers are those who consistently monitor their marketing messages and law firm marketing strategies. These lawyers know that their digital marketing strategy will need to change fairly consistently in order to remain relevant in the legal business. So, they’ll delegate a larger portion of their law firm marketing budget to the law firm marketing techniques that are bringing in more potential clients and abandoning the techniques that aren’t.
One of the best and easiest ways to track your law firm marketing efforts is to implement law firm website tracking. And, the most widely-used tool for this is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics helps law firms identify the most useful metrics, such as how many website visitors have landed on the site and how those visitors got there.
For more information on setting up and using this tool to track your legal marketing data, check out our Google Analytics tutorial.
Using Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy for Online Lead Generation
We’ve gone over all of the basic law firm marketing techniques to help in marketing your law firm online. These are only the basics for developing your law firm marketing strategy.
While it’s difficult to predict which law firm marketing techniques will work the best for each and every legal practice without speaking to a representative during a free consultation, we’re confident in this: developing and carrying out a successful marketing plan for legal services is much more difficult than it seems on the surface.
If you’re using these law firm marketing strategies to market your legal services, especially in a competitive market, you’ll want to invest a good amount of your marketing budget into professional law firm marketing services from a reputable legal marketing agency if you want to see results.
Marketing for law firms always takes a ton of work, extensive marketing experience, the right marketing tools, and a truly deep understanding of how online business development works.
At Digital Logic, we’re passionate about internet marketing for law firms. We’re able to help our law firm clients grow their practices while maintaining a favorable return on their marketing investments. Our marketing professionals have helped a range of legal professionals meet their marketing goals, from family law firms to personal injury attorneys, from corporate lawyers to estate planning attorneys, we can help your firm market legal services successfully online.
When you work with a small law firm marketing agency, like Digital Logic, you don’t need to understand SEO marketing, pay-per-click ads, social media ads, link building, website development, or any of the other marketing plan essentials we mentioned in this post. You just need to do what you do best-practice the law.
We’ll handle all of the digital marketing efforts for you.