Defense Attorney Marketing

Digital Advertising and Marketing for Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Proven Online Advertising and Marketing for Criminal Defense Attorneys to Get More Cases

As a criminal defense attorney, you wouldn’t think of taking on a client who’s trying to sue for medical malpractice, would you? Potential clients looking for the best criminal defense law firms will shy away from lawyers who claim to do it all. The same can be said for the marketing industry.

Many law firm marketing agencies claim to provide criminal defense attorneys with top quality legal marketing for their criminal defense firms. They may provide decent results. But, when you opt for “do it all” agencies, you’re not going to get the expertise or attention to the right details that you would with a digital marketing whose primary focus is on legal marketing or marketing for legal services.

At Digital Logic, we take a personal interest in the success of your marketing. We work directly with you to identify and accomplish the goals for your criminal defense law firm. Your account manager is an expert in marketing for criminal defense. They know what’s required to gain success in your specific field as a criminal defense attorney

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Marketing for Criminal Defense Lawyers

Challenges for Criminal Defense Law Firms

Online marketing for criminal defense attorneys is unique for several reasons:

Two of the most searched key phrases are ‘defense lawyer’ and ‘DUI lawyer.’ However, these keywords don’t convert as well for criminal defense law firms as some of the less searched keywords.


Because many people take their paperwork home and begin searching for what they have been charged with, specifically. And, because there is such a variety of charges that people can face, criminal defense attorneys have a larger set of keywords that can lead potential clients to their websites.

So, if you’re interviewing a marketing agency that doesn’t ask what types of cases you want within the first few minutes, don’t waste your time.

With the exception of family lawyers, the decision cycle is short for attorneys. This holds especially true for criminal defense lawyers. The sense of urgency makes potential clients scramble.

Because people have the option to work with a court-appointed attorney, private criminal defense law firms need clients that can afford to pay.

Establishing Trust for Criminal Defense Law Firms

As a criminal defense attorney, you understand that what people want in a defense attorney is much different than what they’d want in a tax lawyer or family law attorney. Every single criminal defense lawyer we’ve worked with is excellent at blending his or her personality in with expectations, all while being compliant with lawyer advertising rules

You know that establishing trust with a client is critical, because when you tell your criminal defense clients ‘to take the deal’, your clients need to know that you want what’s best for them.

Your criminal law website is the first opportunity you’ll get to start establishing that trust.

So, why is this important? Because, with how competitive the legal industry is, criminal defense digital marketing strategies leave little room for error.

The internet is one of the most common ways that prospective clients find a criminal law firm. Looking for a criminal defense law firm can be embarrassing. This leads potential clients to use a search engine, like Google, instead of reaching out to a friend or family member for a referral.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer Websites

Many people make immediate judgements about businesses online. This means that your criminal defense website design goes a long way. One of the biggest mistakes a criminal defense law firm can make is investing in a poorly designed criminal law website. As a defense attorney or criminal defense law firm, it’s important that you position your criminal defense law firm as one that will get prospective clients the best outcome for their criminal defense cases.

Most of the time, criminal defense attorneys want to portray a serious, rugged online persona. This isn’t always the best tactic.

Why do we believe this isn’t always (or even usually) the best tactic in criminal defense marketing?

For us at Digital Logic, our criminal defense attorney clients are some of the kindest, most patient, and most caring people we’ve had the privilege to meet. Every single defense attorney-client, in the beginning, wanted a “no-nonsense” vibe to their criminal law websites. We understand, but if this isn’t your true personality, once prospective clients speak with you, they’ll quickly see the discrepancy between the “you” they’re talking to and the “you” they saw online.

This does not help the trust-building process between criminal defense attorneys and prospective clients. Prospective clients looking for a defense attorney are extremely vulnerable. They need someone they believe they can trust.

Your online presence needs to match what new or prospective clients will see during their first face-to-face or telephone conversation with you. We understand that the version of you, as a criminal defense attorney, will change depending on the criminal charges. So, you’ll want to choose the persona for the client cases that you most desire for your homepage content. Your specific criminal defense practice area pages can differ slightly, but they should also have enough similarities to be consistent. After all, you are the same person, the same criminal defense attorney representing them all.

Every criminal defense website should have a few components that are immediately visible, before prospective clients begin to scroll, both on mobile and desktop. This is called ‘above the fold’ content.

These include:

  • What you do: help clients with their criminal defense cases.
  • Why they should hire you: include past successes and testimonials.
  • Who you are: potential clients will want to know exactly who they’ll be hiring.
  • How to contact you: provide multiple means of communication-phone, chat, office location, and online form.

Just like in every other legal industry sector, if you don’t have the budget to invest in a criminal law website, then do what you must in order to have an online presence. However, don’t spend money to market a subpar criminal defense site. If you cannot afford a professionally designed website that is on-par or better than your competitors, get a small website up but save your marketing dollars until you can upgrade.

You wouldn’t add designer finishes to a house with a crumbling foundation. Your investment would fix the structure first. The same thought process holds true for your legal website.

Once you’re ready, know that working with Digital Logic means that your visual identity will be created by a team that is focused specifically on the legal industry. Creative styles, graphics, ad copy, and professional legal content will be designed specifically for you, in order to deliver the best experience possible for each visitor.

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Having tried every marketing tool in the past, I can honestly tell you that the services provided by the Digital Logic are the real deal. You will see an immediate increase in business. It is quite literally like turning on a faucet, the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Total Game Changer!!!
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Joseph Greenwald
Greenwald Law Firm
Digital Logic is doing exactly what they said they would do. They cleaned up our website and increased traffic. Quality personal service with people who still care about their customers. We have used the big name national website content providers. Digital Logic is better and more cost effective.
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Scott Newton
Manassas Law Group
One of the top vendors I’ve come across in a decade. After we had a terrible experience with one of the big legal website vendors, Digital Logic did a terrific job transferring our websites. They worked quickly, efficiently, paid great attention to detail, all at a very competitive price. Their customer service is outstanding.
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Julie Lopez
Tatro Lopez Law Firm

“Hiring Digital Logic was the best decision I ever made!”

The entire team is absolutely excellent; Their SEO expertise will change your entire approach to marketing. Give it time and you will see your business bloom!

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SEO for Criminal Defense Law Firms

A percentage of your prospective clients will not trust ads and will proceed to organic listings. These are the listings that aren’t paid for and are usually found right below the Google Maps listings.

You can only achieve these rankings by:

  • Having a professional, easy-to-navigate website that is optimized for search engines
  • Writing content that your readers want to read and find valuable
  • Promoting your criminal defense law firm website on other platforms, such as social media channels, so that Google will view your site as an authoritative source of the content
  • Consistently getting good reviews online
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Strategies to Reach Your Target Criminal Defense Clients

As a criminal defense lawyer, you know that one size does not fit all when every case is different. In order to secure a win for your criminal defense clients, you need a strategic plan tailored for each client as an individual. Shouldn’t you look for the same thing when it comes to your criminal defense firm’s marketing strategy?

Instead of marketing our criminal defense attorney marketing clients as general defense lawyers, we focus on the specific areas that each criminal defense lawyer wishes to focus on. For some, it’s all of the subsets, while others would prefer not to represent cases for traffic violations or drunk driving offenses.

  • Assault
  • Appeals
  • Battery
  • Burglary
  • Child Abuse/Endangerment
  • Cyber Crimes
  • Drug Offenses
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI/Drunk Driving Offenses
  • Expungement/Record Sealing
  • Federal Crimes
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors
  • Homicide
  • Juvenile/Minor Crimes
  • Property Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft
  • Traffic Violations
  • Violent Crimes
  • Weapons Offenses
  • White Collar Crimes

Local SEO for Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing

Local SEO is an extremely important piece of criminal defense lawyer marketing. This unique digital marketing strategy focuses on getting exposure for law firms at the local level.

Not only do your want you legal services to rank for potential clients searching for your unique criminal defense practice areas, but you also want to ensure that you’re ranking for local queries on Google, as well. 

Part of executing a local SEO strategy for criminal defense law firms is setting up a Google Business listing or profile. This ensures that if someone searches for criminal defense law firms in your area, that your criminal law firm will show up in the maps. However, getting your criminal defense practice to rank in the top three requires digital marketing experience, as the legal industry is a competitive one. 

When Google’s search engine crawlers select which criminal defense law firm they’ll showcase at the top of the Maps section, they look at 3 deciding factors: relevance, distance, and prominence.  And, while you may not have much of a say over the distance section, you certainly can use local SEO to increase your chances of ranking for relevance and prominence. 

Criminal Defense Law Firm Website User Experience

We previously went over the importance of having a professional criminal defense website. The design will affect your rankings indirectly. As we mentioned, the decision cycle is extremely limited for criminal defense lawyers. Prospective clients searching for a criminal defense attorney will often feel scared and rushed to make a decision. So, creating a favorable user experience is crucial to converting searchers into leads and paying defense clients.

If your potential clients cannot quickly and easily navigate through your criminal defense firm’s site, they will leave. We call this the bounce rate. Google penalizes websites with high bounce rates.

The longer potential clients stay on your criminal defense website, the more this indicates to Google that the user found what they were looking for. So, the key here is to provide enough high-quality, informative content to keep visitors on your site for an extended period of time.

Criminal Defense Content Marketing

Regarding criminal defense websites, two types of content exist: criminal defense practice areas and supportive content.

Practice area content are the pages that criminal defense lawyers undoubtedly want to rank for. Think: money phrases. These are the phrases or keywords, like ‘criminal defense attorneys’. But, other examples can include ‘criminal defense for theft charges’, ‘criminal defense attorneys for domestic violence charges’ or ‘charged with negligent homicide’.

And, criminal defense attorneys have more sub-practice areas than any other legal consumer-based focus.

So, when planning content for your attorney website, you’ll want to start on a broad area and then hone in on specifics.
For example, create a single practice area page for drug possession charges titled “Drug Possession Criminal Defense Lawyer”. Then, down the road, you can create sub pages of all the various types of drugs or types of drug possession charges that you commonly defend. This could include: drug possession with intent to distribute, juvenile drug possession, second offense drug possession, etc.

A key aspect of getting your practice area pages to rank is ensuring that your pages are optimized for local SEO and are more comprehensive and more helpful than your competitor’s. Google must view you as the authority of criminal defense legal services.

But, how do you know if your practice area pages are helpful?

Conduct searches to see what pages are actually ranking for the phrases you wish to rank for in your area and make sure your criminal defense practice area pages are better.

If you know how to check for code, see what schema and headings your competitors are using. (This is equally as important as the content itself, in certain situations.)

Focus on specifics:

  • What subtopics of criminal law are your competitors writing about?
  • Are other criminal defense law firms’ practice area pages easy to understand and follow, or is there room for improvement?
  • What sources are your competitors using? Are they outdated or current?
  • Are there information gaps?

Now, all of these concepts should also be applied to your support pages.

Support pages and blogs fulfill two important roles in the legal SEO marketing strategy. First, your potential customers may search for answers to questions before they decide to look for a criminal defense lawyer. These questions may differ city to city so it’s important that you hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in local SEO, as well.

These will be questions such as “Are public defenders any good?” or “How to win against drug charges in Mississippi?”. Questions we know most criminal defense attorneys care nothing about answering.

Criminal defense firms can choose to look at this from two angles:

  1. That’s really not our problem, nor is it our responsibility, or
    This is an opportunity to help someone who is probably in the market for a criminal defense attorney.
  2. The second, and probably more important purpose of support pages and blogs is making your criminal defense law firm appear to be the authority on a variety of criminal defense topics.

If your law firm’s website ranks for a variety of criminal defense topics, then your attorney website is more likely to rank, across the board.

The key, here, is that you need supportive pages to help rank the phrases that you deem important, such as “criminal defense lawyer for sex crimes”. These supportive keywords are often those that most lawyers don’t care about ranking for, and that’s ok. It’s not about you. It’s about your potential clients and the long-term results of your law firm.

Another hurdle for criminal defense lawyers trying to blog, themselves, is the inability to take their knowledge about the subject out of the equation.

What do we mean?

We have a phrase here at Digital Logic: how you search for you is not how your customers will search for you.

For example, in Colorado, the correct term is “reckless endangerment.” Colorado criminal defense attorneys wouldn’t typically use the phrase “child endangerment in Colorado”, because it’s technically incorrect. But, guess what? There is more traffic for the wrong keyword, even when paired with the word, Colorado.

We aren’t saying write using the wrong keywords just to get ranked. There are ways to incorporate both the correct and incorrect verbiage in order to answer the questions that most of your competitors will not.

Grab the low-hanging fruit that other criminal defense law firms walked right past.

On-Site Optimization for Criminal Defense Firms

On-site search engine optimization is an ever-changing task. Our SEO experts are some of the best for managing criminal defense law firm sites.

Codes that help a legal site rank one month may be penalized the next by Google. However, there are a few key parameters that you’ll want to make sure are always correct on attorney websites.

These include the following:

This is the title that the search engine results page shows in bold when that page on your legal website ranks. You will want your main keyword to be in this title. If your criminal defense firm has strong branding or enough presence that local searchers or prospective criminal defense clients will recognize, you can put your brand at the end of the title page, after a separator. However, if you’re just starting out or if your criminal defense firm doesn’t have solid brand recognition, you may want to consider including a call to action or a synonym of the keyword(s) you’re trying to rank for.

This is the description that’s shown under the page title on the search engine results page, if your page ranks. You’ll want to use the space wisely, as this is often what leads potential criminal defense clients to click on one link vs another.
The keyword or phrase you’re trying to rank for should be your H1 title, as well. Many people confuse the page title with the H1. Just because the phrase is bold or bigger doesn’t necessarily mean it is the H1. You’ll have to know how to do some basic coding or have an HTML checker to determine if your H1 is correct most of the time.

These are the subtopic titles. You will want these to describe what your audience will read below. If possible, it’s better to mix in variations of the keywords you want to rank for. However, you don’t want these keywords to get spammy. For example, on this page, each title explains what you’ll learn below, but you will see we’ve included the words, “criminal defense attorney marketing”, “marketing strategy for your law firm,” and things of that nature because they’re relevant to our title, “criminal defense attorney advertising” and our audience may also search for these terms when looking for this very same information.

This is the coding on images that help the visually impaired know what a picture is about. This will help your page rank, as well.
There’s a time and place for everything, including turning up the sales pitch. You will want to include subtle calls to action on pages that are more for education and more salesy calls to action on your criminal defense practice area pages.
You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check the speed of your criminal defense lawyer website and on the individual pages. Most of the time, you’ll see a decent amount of recommendations that you don’t understand. And, this is why you really need to hire a professional criminal defense attorney marketing agency. Google only wants to rank fast websites because your readers will quickly leave if your site doesn’t load quickly (quickly as in 3 seconds or less).
Google wants to rank websites that are safe and secure for its users. Using HTTPS is a must.
You will want to link to pages that will help your reader. Furthermore, you will want to link to the text that describes what page you’re sending them to, so that Google will understand the link structure. “Click here” is never an appropriate anchor text, no matter how often you’ve seen it used elsewhere.

Other components of on-site search engine optimization exist. And some include tactics that are equally as important but beyond the skillset of the average do-it-yourself law firm. We recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney marketing agency to ensure that the website is set up correctly.

Off-Site Promotion for Criminal Defense Firms

Google’s algorithm considers thousands of factors when choosing how to rank a law firm website. One of the most important factors is backlinks.

When a third-party website links to your page, they are essentially announcing to Google, “Hey, we trust this site. You can, too!” This is similar to a popularity contest but for criminal defense websites. The more sites that link to yours, the more popular Google believes that your website is. And, the more popular those sites are that link to your site, the more “online street-cred” you’ll get for having that specific link.

Another key component of this is topical relevance. So, for criminal defense websites, if the outside website is also criminal law-related, the link will be more impactful.

This topic shouldn’t surprise you. But, you’d be shocked at how many criminal defense lawyers spend lots of marketing dollars when their intake department is terrible, based on their online reviews. Even as an experienced criminal defense attorney marketing company, we cannot completely fake this for you. And, these reviews not only hold weight with potential criminal defense clients but also with Google.

Negative reviews can actually hinder your ability to rank. This especially holds true if your criminal defense law firm is in a competitive metro market.

We understand that a lot of criminal defense lawyers believe that Avvo is the holy grail for legal marketing services, and it certainly helps. But, when it comes to reviews, Avvo should be the last place on the list to send your clients to review your law firm. You’ll want to get reviews on these sites, in this order: Google, Facebook, then Avvo. Don’t stop pointing your clients to Google until you have more positive reviews than other defense attorneys in your area.

The best defense is a good offense. So, you’ll want to proactively get your good reviews in so that the bad ones won’t hurt your chances of ranking as severely. In any competitive industry, once your site begins to do well, be prepared for the following:

  • Bad reviews left by competitors posing as criminal defense clients
  • Confused people leaving bad reviews for the wrong criminal defense firm
  • Loved ones of the victim or the victim themselves leave bad reviews for the criminal defense law firm or attorney that represented the defendant in their case

Search engines have the end user in mind. By offering your prospective criminal defense clients quality content on a well-functioning site, you improve the overall quality of the search engine as a whole. In return, you should get a boost in ranking.


Does your law firm’s website appear to be outdated and in desperate need of a cleaner, more professional look?

Our web design team will build your website with with your conversion goals in mind.


SEO vs PPC: Which Works Better to Get Criminal Defense Leads?

Which is better to get criminal defense clients? Longterm, criminal defense search engine optimization will produce better leads than PPC. However, just like some prospective clients are more inclined to skip the Google Ads, some are more inclined to click on them.

Here are just a few reasons why some prospective clients may click on one of your Google ads. They:

  • are in a hurry.
  • want immediate answers.
  • don’t want to read.
  • want to talk to an attorney.
  • trust ads and find useful information from ads in the past.

Or, the ad copy was well written enough to spark their interest.

One huge benefit that PPC has over SEO is that it works instantly. Organic criminal defense marketing can take 6 months to a year to become consistently effective and bring in the high-quality leads that your criminal defense law firm needs.

With PPC for criminal defense firms, once you start paying, you should start to see results. This is if you’ve invested in a quality criminal defense law firm marketing agency with experience in criminal defense lawyer marketing.

When all is said and done, the most successful defense firms will invest in both SEO and PPC as a combined effort to boost their criminal defense attorney marketing strategy. Together, they both produce leads consistently and will produce more leads together longterm, than either of them would alone.

PPC for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Running a successful PPC campaign for criminal defense firms comes down to a few metrics: quality scores, on-site conversions, and keyword management.

On-Site Conversions

Getting your target audience to your legal website from Google Ads is only half of the battle. Just because you get someone to go to your website, does not mean they will contact you. Conversion rates show just how well your PPC campaign is run.

For the most on-site conversions, apart from professional keyword management, you will want to focus on having a professional-looking design, quality content, and calls to action on your landing pages for practice areas.

Similarly to the advice we gave with criminal law SEO, you’ll want to check your competitor’s landing page. Does yours look better or does theirs? The better the overall quality of your landing pages, the better your conversion rates will be.

Quality score is a metric that Google Ads associates with the quality of the page that the keyword is sending people to. If you have a low quality score, Google will charge your criminal defense law firm more to show for that specific keyword. This score is on an individual keyword or phrase basis.

To improve your quality score, you must adjust the landing page associated with your keyword. Another alternative is to create a new, entirely different landing page that is unique to the keyword in that ad.

For some law firms, the quality score can be the difference between making and losing money with PPC marketing.

Keyword management is the most important part of running a successful search ad campaign for your criminal defense law practice.

For starters, your law firm must actively add negative keywords to the targeting parameters to make sure that your law firm isn’t spending money on keywords that simply don’t convert or keywords that you don’t want to pay for. Some of these keywords will be obvious, such as free, cheap, or pro bono. You clearly don’t want to pay for a lead that isn’t going to pay for your legal services.

Some keywords are too broad, such as “lawyer” or “attorney”. If you want DUI cases, your keywords should be about DUI with a legal term-defense lawyer. You also don’t want to pay for keywords that are only your practice area without a legal term, such as “drinking and driving.”

Someone could be looking up those statistics or want general information about drunk driving and not necessarily looking for legal advice. Yes, these keywords alone will be cheaper, but they’re not going to convert.

Social Media for Criminal Defense Lawyers

There are a couple of ways to leverage social media platforms to gain new clients or leads for your law firm. However, most of these are moderately effective, at best.

How many times have you seen someone looking up homicide attorney information on social media platforms? Have you ever been tagged in a public Facebook post because someone was searching for a criminal lawyer?

In almost every instance, you are better off spending your criminal defense marketing budget on other forms of marketing. However, if you’re looking for a DIY option for criminal defense attorney marketing, social media platforms may be helpful.

Here are a few methods to look into:

Organic Reach on Social Media Platforms

You may reach organic followers by posting information on your law firm’s social media page. However, the problem with this tactic is that social media companies don’t make money via organic traffic. So, the algorithms will inhibit your ability to reach your audience. Social media platforms offer paid options, and they want you to use those instead.

The other issue here is that most people don’t care about legal issues until they have a problem, themself. This applies to the criminal law sector more than any other legal niche. In this case, like we mentioned earlier, they will use Google to find their answer.

Last, those looking for a criminal defense attorney usually don’t want others to know they’re in “the market” for local criminal defense lawyers. This is especially the case for criminal defense practice areas such as child pornography. So, actual interactions on social media are going to be rare for most criminal defense practices.

Paid reach or traffic falls into the awareness category. This is more similar to TV, radio ads, or billboards than it is to legal SEO or PPC advertising. For social media paid ads, you’ll be investing in mass advertising across social media platforms. This can be an effective tactic in some cases, but for the most part, you’re better off investing your marketing budget elsewhere.

Joining social media groups is perhaps the most effective way to market yourself as a criminal defense lawyer on social media platforms. You can join local groups and become an active member. The second part is key, though. Over time, you can let people know what you have to offer when the need arises. But, until the need shows up, you should be active in the group in order to gain trust.

Most lawyers don’t want to put in that much effort. And, hiring a marketing agency to “small talk the locals” can be costly, as well.

Criminal Defense Attorney Marketing With Digital Logic 

The criminal defense field is ever-changing. You must be proactive in order to stay ahead of the criminal defense attorney marketing curve, pursue quality cases, and continue to grow your criminal defense firm. When you work with Digital Logic, you’ll have an experienced team that is dedicated to establishing you and your brand in the best possible light.

We’ve mentioned several online marketing tools that are available at your disposal. At Digital Logic, we determine which tools will best serve the needs of your criminal defense firm. From here, we implement a completely customized marketing strategy based on your budget, location, and overall goals. We assess your needs and put your marketing strategy into action. All you need to worry about is defending your criminal defense clients.

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