Law Firm Digital Marketing: An Introduction

Did you know that digital marketing budgets are increasing year over year?

In 2021, CMOs in the U.S. reported that their digital marketing spending grew by 15.8% relative to the last 12 months.

Compare that to traditional marketing’s 1.4% increase, and you get a clear picture of where you should invest your time and money.

And while many law firms lean more traditional in their marketing, putting your money into law firm digital marketing is a more effective way to get leads and clients.

But how do you get started?

In this article, we’ll go over the importance of law firm internet marketing, talk about four guiding principles, and give you some tips to get the ball rolling.


What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing (or online marketing) refers to the use of various online channels, platforms, and strategies to promote a business, product, or service.

It’s an umbrella term covering several tactics, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing. All with the goal of reaching, engaging, and converting your target audience into paying clients.

Lawyers can use digital marketing to connect with potential clients searching for legal help online, showcase their expertise and build their brand, and grow their practice exponentially.


Why law firms need to invest in digital marketing

We hear a lot about how hard it is to see (and prove) the value of a digital marketing campaign. Small businesses have a hard time investing time and money into an abstract type of marketing.

But it’s worth it.

Your website (and business) can’t promote itself. Without marketing, you’ll have a hard time getting your business recognized in a sea of competitors.

There’ll be a clear ROI for every dollar and minute you put into your marketing — whether that be social media, content, email, or all of the above. And your returns will compound over time, especially with content.

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The secret sauce in every successful law firm digital marketing campaign is consistency.

It’s no good to publish just one blog every couple of months. Instead, focusing on creating high-quality, consistent digital marketing material will get you the results you want.

It’s just as crucial for law firms to invest in digital marketing as it is for e-commerce stores. There are thousands of potential clients out there typing legal questions into Google — questions that you could be answering on your website.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Online marketing for law firms vs. lawyers

Are you marketing yourself as an individual lawyer, or are you marketing your law firm?

Your answer will shape the way you run your digital marketing campaigns.

A personal brand is built on name recognition, reputation, and how you’re perceived in the marketplace. Branding will help you build credibility and authority in your field with both clients and fellow lawyers.

To start, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. You’ll need a professional photo, up-to-date work history and education, as well as clear contact information.

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Aside from that, the attorney bio on your law firm’s website should be the same caliber as your LinkedIn profile. What you stand for and your abilities should be front-and-center for clients to see.

When it comes to marketing your law firm, your lawyer’s personal brands still come into play. They shape the way you market your law firm and the credibility and authority you have.

The goal of marketing your law firm is to help clients find you, wherever that may be. Your social media profiles, your website, or even your office are all fair game.

But where the real connection comes in is with the individual lawyers’ personal brands. We recommend narrowing in on personal brands before moving on to bigger-picture marketing.


Creating the perfect digital marketing strategy for lawyers

A comprehensive digital marketing strategy is no longer optional for lawyers. It’s how you can effectively reach your target audience, stand out from the competition, and attract new clients. Here’s a breakdown to help you create your own digital marketing plan.


Setting marketing goals

Before diving into specific marketing tactics and channels, you should have clear marketing goals set in place.

Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Email Marketing for Lawyers SMART Goals

Your goals may be different for each marketing tactic, but some common ones include generating a certain number of leads and increasing your website traffic.


Identifying your target audience

Understanding who your target audience is is essential for any digital marketing strategy.

Factors like demographics, age, and occupation all affect the way someone prefers to receive their marketing. Knowing your target audience will help you tailor your marketing efforts to engage with and convert potential clients.

You likely have access to this information already. Take a look through your case history and look for trends — what characteristics make up your ideal client?


Developing client personas

From there, you can create a client persona(s). They are fictional representations of your ideal clients based on real data.

law firm client persona

What are they searching for, and where are they located?

You likely have a good idea of this already. But if you don’t, start interviewing past clients and digging into your files to gather information on your clients.

Knowing your clients, how they feel when they get to your website, and what they’re looking for can help you be more targeted in your marketing.

For example, someone looking for a family lawyer will want to hire a credible, trustworthy law firm. In that case, show off your reviews and testimonials on your homepage.

And you don’t need to have only one persona. You might have a few types of clients you regularly serve, especially if you practice in multiple locations or practice areas.


Analyzing the competition

How will you know what types of digital marketing strategies work and what you should do if you don’t look at your competitors?

Competitor research can provide valuable insights into their marketing strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. You can see what to do and what not to do firsthand.

Analyze their website, content, and social media presence to identify gaps or opportunities you can capitalize on.

And use this information not only to identify gaps but to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Understanding what sets you apart from the competition will help you position your law firm more effectively and stand out in a crowded market.


Conducting a SWOT analysis

Building off of competitor research, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can help you evaluate your law firm’s current marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.

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By assessing your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats in your market, you can make informed decisions on where to focus your digital marketing efforts and resources.


Choose a few marketing tactics

Finally, choose a few marketing tactics to start with that support your goals and align with your competitor research.

We say a few because it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Really master one tactic, like law firm SEO, before you dive into PPC or email marketing.

You’ll learn more about marketing tactics below.


The best law firm marketing strategies

Here are some of the best law firm marketing strategies that you need to pay attention to.


Search engine optimization (SEO)

Your law firm’s primary source of organic traffic will be SEO.

Most people look for lawyers using search engines. If you’re not prioritizing getting yourself on Google, chances are the competition will leave you behind.

For example, say you’re a family lawyer in Calgary. When your potential clients are searching Google for “family lawyer in Calgary,” you want your website to rank at the top of the search results.

To get started with SEO for lawyers, you’ll need to dive deep into keyword research.

Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines like Google, usually for SEO purposes.

By doing your research, you’ll get an idea of what keywords your audience is typing into Google when looking for law firms like yours.

To find these keywords, you can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest.

semrush-keyword-research

Use the keywords you gather strategically throughout your website. You could include them in blogs, landing pages, website copy, a resource center, or even in a FAQ.

We recommend focusing on location-specific keywords, as your target audience is likely local. Our previous example, “family lawyer in Calgary,” is a location-specific keyword.

Targeting local keywords will boost your Google Business Profile listing as well.


Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is an effective way to generate leads for your law firm.

If you’re looking for immediate results, PPC is the route you want to go.

You’ll pay a fee (varies depending on the keyword) every time someone clicks on one of your law firm’s Google ads. If optimized correctly, you can see huge ROI — when done incorrectly, you could find it very expensive.

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Many law firms ramp up their SEO campaign alongside a PPC campaign. SEO can take months to pay off, while PPC generates leads almost instantly.

If your competitors are already running paid ads, odds are you’ll need to play ball if you want to stay competitive.

Successful paid ads link back to a targeted landing page designed to convert your high-quality leads.

Our best tip for success is to hire an expert. Setting up your own PPC ads isn’t hard, but optimizing them and finding success is. If you don’t have the bandwidth to learn the ins and outs of PPC, an expert is your best bet.


Social media marketing

You might already have social media profiles for your law firm. But are you using them correctly?

The social media platforms you choose to use will depend on where your customer persona is active. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are the big ones.

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If you consistently post high-quality content, you’ll get your law firm in front of thousands of potential clients. And while they may not need a lawyer now, they could in the future.

Being active on social media will also help build your brand’s credibility and authority, turning you into a thought leader.

You want to post content relevant to your target audience (and your business).

If you’re a criminal defense law firm, focus on posting content that answers your clients’ questions. For example, your content can address questions like “When can the police search me?” or “What is an arrest warrant?”


Content marketing

We can’t talk about your SEO strategy without mentioning content marketing.

Your target audience likely has a lot of questions — questions you can answer in the form of articles, a FAQ, and videos.

If you answer these questions well, your content is likely to rank highly on Google, getting you valuable traffic and leads.

There are a lot of opportunities to create high-value, SEO-optimized content that’ll generate traffic for your website.

law firm blog post

Back to keyword research — to succeed at law firm content marketing, you need to identify keywords to target.

It’s best to target long-tail keywords in your blog posts. These are longer phrases, like “How do I file for a divorce?” You’re more likely to rank for these longer keyphrases, as there is almost certainly less competition.

Then you can repurpose that piece of content, turning it into a social media post or even a YouTube video.

One piece of content can serve many purposes, ultimately generating high-quality traffic and backlinks.


Best practices for law firms looking to master digital marketing

Figuring out which aspects of digital marketing to focus on can be challenging. The most successful law firms invest in a couple of different areas that make the most sense for their firm.

With that said, here are six tips to help you get started.


Determine your digital marketing goals

What do you want to get out of your digital marketing?

There are tons of different metrics you could measure, including:

  • Total website traffic
  • Number of leads
  • Number of positive reviews
  • Number of consultations scheduled
  • Cost per lead
  • Website conversion rate

These are all valuable metrics you could use to measure the success of your digital marketing. At the end of the day, they bolster your ability to get new clients, retain clients, and amplify your law firm’s brand.

Work on your marketing funnel one section at a time, improving each step of your customer’s journey.

How do you pick a goal to focus on? It depends on how your website is performing. If you don’t get many visitors, focus on increasing your traffic. If you get a lot of traffic but have a low conversion rate, prioritize improving that.


Figure out what marketing channels you want to prioritize

Let’s say you’ve decided you want to increase your traffic. What channels will you use to do that?

There are a ton of options you can use to get more traffic, including:

  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing (paid and organic)
  • Paid online lawyer directories
  • Website SEO
  • Pay-per-click ads

You’ll be most successful if you work on a couple of different channels at once, like blogging and PPC.


Maintain a blog

Blog posts are the most effective form of content over email, ebooks, and white papers. And they’re crucial to law firm SEO and content marketing.

As a law firm, your blog is a place where you can answer search queries that your target audience is typing into Google. We recommend publishing content at least once a week, as Google (and your audience) appreciate consistent content.

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Focus on creating comprehensive, high-value content. Long-form content outperforms shorter content in rankings, so don’t skimp on quality.

Aside from improving your rankings, you can use your blog to share company and industry news, information about your staff, and timely updates.


Make sure there’s a call-to-action

What do you want readers to do when they finish reading your blog?

Every great piece of content needs a call-to-action (CTA) to push readers down the sales funnel. Whether it’s a blog, an email, your newsletter, or a consultation, make sure there’s a CTA.

But what is a CTA?

A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.” An example of a CTA is “click here”.

A CTA is designed to solicit desired actions from your leads. They guide your lead through the buyer’s journey, ultimately turning them into clients.


Measure the results of your law firm’s web marketing efforts

When you’ve figured out your goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), and channels you’ll use, you want to keep track of your results.

Having a clear idea of where you were and the progress you’re making can prove your digital marketing ROI.

It also helps you pinpoint what avenues are working, what isn’t, and where you should shift priorities.

Here are some metrics you should use to measure the effectiveness of your marketing.


Website traffic and engagement metrics

Monitor your website’s traffic and engagement to see if your content is doing what you want it to do.

Key metrics to track include:

  • Total website visitors: The number of unique users visiting your website.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page, indicating a lack of engagement.
  • Pages per session: The average number of pages viewed during a single visit, which can help you understand how effectively your content is engaging users.
  • Average session duration: The average time spent on your website per visit, which can indicate the level of interest and engagement of your audience.

You can monitor these metrics with Google Analytics.


Conversion rates

Conversion rates measure the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your website, such as filling out a contact form, downloading a resource, or signing up for a newsletter. By tracking conversion rates, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts in driving leads and potential clients for your law firm.

Some key conversion rate metrics to track include:

    • Lead conversion rate: The percentage of website visitors who become leads by filling out a contact form or downloading a resource.
    • Client conversion rate: The percentage of leads who ultimately become clients.

Focus on local SEO

Local SEO focuses on optimizing your online presence to attract clients within your geographic area.

Most lawyers work within a certain area, making local SEO crucial. You’ll increase the likelihood of attracting clients who need your legal services.

First, claim and optimize your Google Business Profile. It’s the foundation of any business’s local SEO. Make sure all of your information is accurate, and encourage clients to leave reviews.

oykhman criminal defence lawyer google business profile

You should also incorporate local keywords into your website’s content, like “Family lawyer in [city].” Ranking for these keywords will get you highly qualified traffic that has a higher conversion rate.

Lastly, list your law firm in local and legal directors. Think Avvo, FindLaw, Yelp, and YellowPages. But make sure your information matches with what’s on your Google Business Profile.


Level up your law firm with digital marketing

A thorough digital marketing strategy is the key to your law firm’s success.

A lot of work goes into it, but if you invest your time and money wisely, you’ll see huge returns.