Criminal Defense Marketing

Your step-by-step guide to the top 13 marketing strategies to grow your firm.

Why criminal defense marketing is mandatory in 2023

Criminal defense attorney marketing has one main aim: to get your legal services in front of more potential clients so that you generate more leads and clients for your law firm.

Every year, more attorneys enter the market, starting their own law firms and claiming their own portion of the available client pool in any given area.

Effective law firm marketing can help you stand out from the competition, get ahead of the firms who aren’t focusing on marketing, and ultimately get you more clients.

Ask yourself:

  • What makes you stand out?
  • What differentiates your legal services?
  • Why should they choose you over the next firm offering legal advice and representation?

Your firm needs to emerge from the crowd of firms offering essentially the same services — including multi-million-dollar law firms with bottomless marketing budgets.

To do that, you need to build and follow a criminal attorney marketing strategy.

You can attract tons of leads that convert into paying clients by investing a little time and resources into the right marketing channels. Your approach can be a hybrid one that blends digital marketing with more traditional marketing approaches.

Building your online presence with law firm marketing

All of the work you put into marketing your criminal defense law firm will boost your online presence, which is essential for any attorney who wants to stay at the top of their field.

A strong online presence will benefit your firm in many ways.

Increased visibility and credibility

When potential clients search for a criminal defense attorney, they often start with a Google search.

By building your online presence through a well-designed website, engaging content, and a strong social media presence, you’ll increase your chances of being found by those who need your services.

An added benefit? A professional online presence establishes you as a thought leader and showcases your expertise.

Targeted client outreach

Criminal defense marketing allows you to reach a specific audience — specifically channels like Google Ads, which lets you advertise to very specific audiences.

By focusing your marketing efforts on the right groups of people, you’re more likely to attract clients who are genuinely interested in your services rather than casting a wide net and hoping for the best.

Stay ahead of the competition

The legal industry is more competitive than ever, and criminal defense attorneys need to find ways to set themselves apart.

By staying ahead of the marketing curve, you can highlight your unique selling points, showcase your successes, and demonstrate your expertise on all of the proper channels.

Build trust and connections

Trust is a critical factor when choosing a criminal defense attorney.

Potential clients are much more likely to hire a lawyer who can prove their credibility and capabilities through case studies, testimonials, and informative content (think social media, videos, blog posts).

With that said, let’s dive into the steps you need to follow to start your own marketing campaign.

Step 1

Start by setting goals and a marketing budget

Did you know that:

Criminal Defense Marketing Annual Budget Statistics

The lack of a marketing budget likely means that these firms have no coordinated or comprehensive marketing strategy. This is the logical starting place for most firms.

Ask yourself: how much are new leads worth to your firm?

This will be different for every criminal law firm, depending on current case numbers, capacity, the stage of growth you’re in, and how competitive the local market is.

Calculate your capacity for new cases, how much each client is worth, and the amount available to help you attract this new business.

Bear in mind that generating leads and new paying clients may be the main goal of your marketing strategy, but there can be other marketing goals too.

criminal defense marketing goals

Developing brand awareness, building trust and credibility, and developing authority are worthy goals that are more difficult to put a price on. This will affect how much you’re prepared to invest in marketing your criminal defense law firm.

Step 2

Determine your ideal customers

Attempting to market your practice without doing your homework first will prove expensive and ineffective.

All good marketing is highly targeted.

You’ll need to develop a client persona so you can laser-focus your marketing on the right people.

law firm client persona

Customer demographics

First, you need to establish exactly who your ideal customers are.

Think about these five demographic elements:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Profession
  • Salary

Going deeper

Go a little deeper by considering:

  • The main legal services they require — defense for which crimes? Arson, DUI? Assault? Burglary? Cybercrime?
  • The qualities they are looking for in their lawyer
  • The main questions they need answered
  • Their main problem(s), challenge(s), or issue(s)
  • The information they’re interested in learning
  • What may confuse them or be perceived as threatening
  • What they want to achieve by engaging you
  • How much they’re willing to pay to hire you
  • Any other factors that may be important to them

For most criminal defense firms, it’s a simple case of examining your current database and picking out the characteristics of your best customers.

For start-up firms, it may take a few more assumptions and best guesses at first.

Where are they looking for information?

For many criminal defense firms, customers will come from the general public. But others specialize in corporate criminal defense or white-collar criminal defense.

The ABA Journal reported in 2015 that:

One-third of all legal consumers begin their search for a law firm by using online resources.

We can only imagine that this number has grown significantly since then.

Your potential paying clients are looking for information in the same places as everybody else — search engines and websites are the natural choices, but where else?

The Thomson Reuters annual Consumer Legal Needs Survey sheds some light on this by surveying 2,000 U.S. adults over the age of 18 with a legal need in the last 12 months, asking about how they hire a lawyer.

These are some of the results from 2020 and 2021:

  • 20 percent of respondents used social media to help find a lawyer
  • Of the respondents who used online sources, 35 percent said they read online reviews
  • 31 percent used online legal directories (compared to 14 percent who used digital versions of phone books, like Yellow Pages online)
  • One out of three respondents who set up an appointment used an online calendar
  • 68 percent of respondents still sometimes consulted offline sources (down from 72 percent three years earlier)

What next?

Once you know what your potential customers are looking for and where they’re looking for it, it’s a case of meeting them on their terms and solving their problems.

Step 3

Build your brand with a clear value proposition

Why would a customer choose to hire you rather than one of your competitors?

Answer this question before investing time or resources into your marketing campaigns.

You’ve already defined what the main problem(s) of your target audience is (are).

For instance, they’re facing:

  • A DWI charge
  • An assault charge
  • A charge for forgery
  • A cybecrime charge
  • A hit and run charge

With criminal defense, the problem your target audience is facing may be very clear and distinct from the start, which helps you tailor a unique value proposition like Trey Porter Law below.

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The value proposition should:

  • Be clear and compelling for readers
  • Relate closely to at least one of the main problems of your target audience
  • Speak directly to the needs, wants, and desires of your potential customers
  • Demonstrate how you help solve their problem
  • Convince readers that they’re in the right place and that they need to dig deeper in your website or contact you.

Like this example from the Law Offices of Frank Jackson.

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Your value proposition may also relate to:

1. The emotional value you deliver for clients.

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2. Your years of experience in the field.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Value Proposition
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3. The unique personal qualities you bring to client cases.

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4. The volume of criminal cases you’ve handled.

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5. The testimonials and awards you’ve received.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Value Proposition 3
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6. The great service levels you deliver to clients.

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Your value proposition and your brand

Building a criminal law firm brand is not just for multinational firms. And it’s not just about having the right letterheads and business cards.

It’s about shaping the right messaging to include:

  • Your USPs — what makes your criminal law firm unique?
  • Your value proposition — why should anyone listen to you?
  • What do you consistently do better than the rest?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from the many competing law firms?

Step 4

Build or re-build your website to focus on user experience and lead gen

If you don’t have a website, you’ll need to build one. If you haven’t worked on your website for five or ten years, it likely needs a complete overhaul.

Over one-third of all clients search for a lawyer online, so your website is more than a first impression or an online business card.

It will be the hub of all your criminal defense marketing activity. Every campaign you launch will ultimately drive traffic to your law firm’s website, so don’t make the mistake of treating it as a mere brochure page, or worse, not having one at all.

Your website needs to look and act the part of an always-available sales and marketing team. This means high-quality images, professionally written copy, and interactive tools to engage visitors, which are all part of a modern criminal law website.

People will visit your website for several reasons:

  • To find answers and information about their criminal matter
  • To hire a criminal defense lawyer
  • To compare your firm with the competition

Your website should cater to potential clients at all stages of this process.

To do that, let’s concentrate on doing the things that most criminal defense law firms aren’t doing.

This involves two areas:

  • Improving the user experience and making it more memorable
  • Capturing leads more effectively

There are five main things to address here.

1. Mobile-first design



See how the above website is clean and uncluttered, easily readable, with large menus, text, and call-to-action buttons?

It’s a mobile-first design.

In 2016, mobile and tablet Internet usage outstripped desktop usage for the first time. That trend is continuing, and it means that you need to approach website design a little differently:

  • Make sure all pages display clearly on all screen sizes
  • Call-to-action buttons must be easily clickable (preferably using the thumb)
  • Forms should be easy to complete on a smartphone

If you’re not doing these things, you’re harming both the user experience and SEO (Google will penalize you for a non-responsive website).

The Google Mobile-Friendly Test tells you how friendly your website is for mobile.

Most WordPress themes are inherently mobile-friendly. It’s the best platform for designing your website for many other reasons too.

2. Live chat

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You need to make it as easy as possible for people to contact you. That means a live chat service as well as phone, contact forms, and email.

Despite the fears of many lawyers about giving hours of free advice or contravening privacy laws, customers increasingly expect their questions to be answered immediately. Patience is in short supply online, so live chat isn’t going away.

It is especially useful for law firms that largely deal with the general public. That includes criminal defense firms.

It provides:

  • Immediacy — you can answer customer questions there and then before they hire you
  • Connectivity — you show customers that you’re progressive and prepared to meet them on their terms
  • Opportunity — to turn initial interest into genuine leads

Live chat effectively allows you to place a sign on the front of your firm 24/7 saying ‘we’re open for business.’

You also get the benefits of lead generation without it taking up your time. Live chat agents do all the work.

And it doesn’t need to pop up and be an annoyance for visitors.

The live chat option can be very unobtrusive.

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3. Speed

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Nothing destroys a user experience more than slow page load times.

Visitors form a very quick first impression of your website, and if they decide it’s slow, they may well hit the back button.

We don’t need to dwell too long on this, but test your page load speeds using Pingdom or a similar tool.

Make sure that images are optimized, videos load without buffering, and your website has an overall snappy feel.

4. Gated content

Gated content is a type of content marketing that helps criminal defense law firms provide valuable content for visitors in return for their contact details.

It allows users to find the information they want. And it helps you to build your database of prospects you can follow up with via email marketing campaigns.

You will enhance your reputation as a leader in your practice area, drawing prospective clients to your website.

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Gated content needs to provide real value and answer key questions in your customers’ minds.

Think along the lines of a ‘cheat sheet’ or a brief guide to one aspect of criminal law or a fuller piece of content like an eBook.

You have a lot of legal IP in your head. Shape it into high-value content that people will willingly leave their email address and phone number to receive.

5. Newsletter sign ups

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Newsletter Capture
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Newsletters can be powerful resources for criminal defense law firms.

A law firm newsletter can help you capture leads that can be converted through a comprehensive email marketing campaign. We’ll talk more about newsletters later.

Meanwhile, you can get more website ideas from the examples included in our best 101 law firm websites post.

Step 5

Establish authority and credibility

Demonstrating to your visitors that they’re in the right place means establishing credibility with them early on.

You need to show that you can help with their query and that you can provide successful case results if they’re looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer.

Gated content and newsletters (mentioned above) help with this. But an effective criminal defense law firm website needs to go beyond that.

Focus on the following seven areas.

Trust badges

Prominently feature trust badges that provide instant credibility to your firm.

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Awards, accolades, or media attention

Legal awards are a touchy subject among some firms. There are two types of awards: earned awards and paid awards.

Some of the paid awards you might see proudly displayed on law firm websites can be expensive, including Who’s Who Legal Awards, Martindale-Hubbell, Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers.

However, there are also genuine legal awards handed out on merit throughout the country, with many local awards available. These provide instant credibility to a firm.

Trey Porter Law features them prominently on the homepage.

law firm awards
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If you cannot compete for genuine awards, you can display legal credentials and industry leadership in other ways, such as industry association membership badges and “as seen on…” media badges.

Here’s an example from the homepage of The Law Offices of Julie Rendelman in New York.

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Client reviews or testimonials

Your potential customers want to know what other customers think of you.

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So, don’t be afraid to ask a satisfied client to leave you a good review on Google or a legal directory like Avvo.

Most satisfied clients will be willing to write a review, and some will even go above and beyond and record a video testimonial for you. These are even better than written reviews!

We recommend showcasing all of your reviews across all channels on your website. A dedicated page for client testimonials and reviews will go a long way in convincing prospects you’re worth hiring.

Case or client statistics

Get specific by using statistics to back up your claims, like Oykhman Criminal Defence.

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Case studies

Potential customers also want to know how you’ve helped people in similar situations to them as the Davis Law Group does.

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Many of our clients have dedicated pages showing successful case results.

These are great for boosting your conversion rates because they boost credibility and show that you’re capable of handling similar cases.

It doesn’t have to be complex, and you don’t have to go into too much detail. Simply highlighting the case and the result is enough.

The breadth of service you provide

Illustrate the full range of criminal defense law services you provide. The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg in Chicago includes a full ‘A to Z’ of criminal defense services on its website.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Practice Areas
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The size of your practice

Are you a single attorney firm, or do you have the capability to look after multiple cases concurrently? If you have high capability, show it.

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Step 6

Run SEO marketing campaigns

Once you have your website up and running, you can start on criminal defense search engine optimization (SEO). The two go hand in hand.

Attracting a steady traffic flow to any criminal defense law firm’s website is never easy, but it should be one of your primary internet marketing goals.

It’s very competitive to reach number one (or even the first page) of Google’s organic rankings for legal search terms. However, you can get there quickly if you work with an established criminal defense law firm marketing agency.

You need a concerted SEO campaign to reach the top spots on Google and get seen.

This is the type of result that DWI and criminal attorney Richard Hochhauser in Nassau County, NY, has received from his SEO efforts.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing SEO Campaigns

To push for the number one spot, follow these SEO best practices:

  • Keyword research according to user intent: Target both informational and buying terms with long-tail keywords
  • On-page SEO: Optimize your content for readers and search engines
  • Off-page SEO: Secure high-quality backlinks that demonstrate your authority
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your site structure/architecture for search engines

Also, focus on the following:

  • Develop content that answers specific questions from your target audience
  • Target local search terms for all locations
  • Develop a great user experience — a fast, informative, engaging, and mobile-friendly website will typically rank well.

Let’s elaborate.

Build content ‘hubs’ around the right keywords

Find the phrases that best describe your law firm to your target audience.

Your customers will be searching for two types of phrases based on two types of intent:

  • Informational terms like ‘DUI law in North Carolina’ where the searcher is looking for answers to specific legal questions
  • Transactional terms like ‘DUI attorney Charlotte’ where the searcher probably intends to hire a lawyer

Get specific — drill down into the niche areas of your practice and build your website around the keyword phrases that you come up with.

Break your practice areas down and create a separate page targeting one specific keyword per sub-practice area, e.g. aggravated robbery, assault charges, record clearing, criminal appeals, cyber crimes, DWI, drug cases, etc.

There are three main types of keywords:

    • Head keywords: Single-word general terms with high competition, like ‘lawyers’
    • Body keywords: 2-3 word phrases attracting a good search volume but more specific than head keywords, like ‘criminal defense attorney’
    • Long tail keywords: 4+ word phrases that are very specific, such as ‘Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys’
Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Keywords
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In general, look for body and long tail keywords, as these are usually less competitive and easier to rank for than head keywords.

One tool to help you plan your keywords is Google Keyword Planner (for which you’ll need a Google Ads account).

On-page SEO

This is the process of optimizing a web page’s content and code to improve results in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

It revolves around keyword usage but a variety of factors, including keyword placement, readability, dwell time, usability, image usage, URL optimization, and other factors all come together

Note in the following example how the keywords fit naturally into the text and read well. There’s no keyword stuffing involved (Google is sophisticated enough to extract the value and meaning of a page without keyword repetition):

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Cover a topic thoroughly, and you should naturally use relevant keywords.

On-page SEO generally focuses on two main areas:

  • Content-related SEO: Usually for copywriters to attend to — long format and in-depth content, optimized with keywords for universal search, creating topical authority, and using relevant multimedia as required.
  • Technical on-page SEO: Usually for web developers or SEO specialists to attend to — involves page load speeds, social media share-ability, location optimization, mobile responsiveness, image alt tags, meta titles and descriptions, page indexation, sitemaps, etc. The free Ahrefs Site Audit tool can diagnose such technical issues.

Off-page SEO

This refers to all the ‘other’ techniques used to improve rankings in the search results and includes:

  • Linkbuilding for lawyers — Google still uses backlinks as a major indicator of authority but it is traditionally one of the toughest areas of SEO to master (generally, the easier it is to build a link, the lesser its value for your firm’s website)
  • Citations — Mentions of your business name, address, and/or telephone number in quality directories will earn you valuable SEO ‘juice’ (like in the following example with the Avvo directory).
  • Reviews — Used as a ranking indicator and they also help potential clients understand your services better.

Here’s an example of an attorney profile in the law firm directory Avvo providing a valuable backlink.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Off-Site SEO
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Step 7

Improve local SEO

Did you know that approximately 46 percent of all Google searches include a location? That accounts for billions of searches daily, some for criminal law firms like yours.

Many criminal defense attorneys rely heavily on local traffic for new leads and paying clients. This makes local SEO for lawyers essential.

Local results sit right at the top of the Google search pages when a location is specified. Local SEO is the process of improving search engine visibility for local search queries like ‘criminal defense lawyer near me’ or ‘best criminal defense lawyer in Chicago.’

local seo for lawyers

Notice how much space these local search results take up on the search engine results page (SERP).

This is called the local ‘map pack,’ and it earns over 44 percent of total clicks for any query. But space is limited, and you have to work hard on local SEO to appear in these spots.

Google Business Profile

To feature prominently in local search, you’ll need to update and optimize your Google Business Profile with consistent and accurate contact information, photos, reviews, etc.

It’s arguably your second most important web property after your website. And it’s more important than ever with listings showing prominently on Google’s SERPs.

It’s relatively straightforward to optimize it.

Make sure that you manage the information about your law firm:

  • Keep it up to date
  • Fill out every field that Google allows
  • Use your main keywords
  • Choose the correct category, e.g., DUI attorney, white collar crime attorney
  • Include images of your law firm and add keywords to image descriptions
  • Seek plenty of Google reviews
  • Maintain consistent name, address, and phone number (‘NAP’) details across all your web properties

Here’s a good example of an optimized profile that ensures that people searching for a criminal defense lawyer in Calgary find this firm before its competitors.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Google Business Profile

Law firm directories

The main law firm directories, such as Avvo, Yelp, FindLaw, and Justia can also help people in your local area find your law firm.

Getting a free or paid listing in these main directories can generate traffic and new leads.

The top listings in the most popular categories of FindLaw are usually paid listings like this.

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Satellite Location Pages

Generating visibility in Google’s Local Search Results is not the only opportunity for law firms.

Creating Satellite Locations Pages, web pages built for suburbs and small cities surrounding a major hub, is a tactic that can be effective in generating additional visibility in Google’s search results.

Just look at this example.

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Step 8

Create informative and relevant content

Compelling and original content should be at the center of your criminal defense marketing strategy.


Because criminal law is a mystery to most people—and when someone is charged with a criminal offense, they likely have 101 different questions.

Your content should attempt to answer these questions, as in this example from the Law Office of Adam D. Brown in Atlanta, GA.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing FAQs

By regularly posting high-quality content that answers key questions in prospective clients’ minds, you will:

  • Improve rankings
  • Improve the chances of featuring in Google’s “Featured snippets” and “People also ask…” sections
  • Boost your authority and expertise as a leading criminal defense attorney
  • Show prospective clients that you’re available to help them

See how the FAQ content from the screenshot above from Adam D. Brown is also included in the featured snippet section that is so prominent at the top of Google search pages.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Featured Snippet

You should try to work on the following types of content:

  • Blog posts
  • FAQ pages
  • How-to or explainer videos
  • Long-form articles
  • Long-form practice area power pages (one detailed page per sub-practice area)

Create promotional and educational videos

Did you know that you’re 53 times more likely to feature on the first page of Google if you include video?

Other trusted Google ranking authorities don’t put a number on it but confirm that video views have a significant correlation with rankings.

Video marketing can help lawyers build credibility and trust. Visitors often prefer to watch a video that explains a legal matter rather than read about it.

Addressing legal topics clearly and succinctly on video will help you demonstrate authority in criminal defense, promote your firm, and encourage visitors to pick up the phone and call you.

High-quality educational and promotional videos both have a place on your website: educational videos for information searchers and promotional videos for those looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer.

Here’s a simple example from Trey Porter Law in San Antonio, TX, where a video is used to answer a specific question from the target audience.

And here’s an example of a well-polished promotional video from The Maine Criminal Defense Group.

Step 9

Run optimized Google Ad & Local Service Ad campaigns

It’s a fallacy that criminal defense lawyers can’t advertise on Google. They can, but too many firms waste money on pay-per-click campaigns that don’t produce a return on investment.

Campaigns usually fail due to one or more of the following:

  • Competing for ultra-competitive keywords (terms like “lawyer” and “attorney” are among the most expensive keywords around)
  • Unoptimized ad campaigns
  • Lack of research
  • Failure to hire the right professionals to manage your campaigns

PPC for lawyers can get you a flow of leads almost instantly. But it can also be expensive because you pay for every single click you receive.

Criminal defense lawyers need to set aside a significant marketing budget (at least a few thousand dollars per month) if you’re serious about going down the PPC road.

You’ll also need to follow some best practices to be successful.

Law Firm PPC Best Practices

Local Service Ads are similar to Google Ads but are pay-per-lead rather than pay-per-click, which may make them more attractive.

These ads are designed to generate telephone leads and are ranked according to the number of positive reviews, proximity, bid, and a few other factors.

They can be highly effective if you want to appear at the top of Google (above the organic search results) without spending months or years working on SEO.

Here’s what they look like.

local service ads lawyers

Build high-converting landing pages

An effective Ads campaign focuses on ad copy and landing pages that convert the leads that click through from the ad.


These pages are where you continue the process of converting them into paying clients.

So, how do you convert more clicks into clients?

Every landing page should be unique, optimized, professionally written, and designed with the following in mind:

  • Focus on the visitor taking one action
  • It’s the difference between simply getting more traffic and getting more paying clients
  • When visitors land, give them what they expect — copy related directly to the ad they’ve clicked on
  • Provide visitors with an immediate and compelling value proposition — why should they click the call-to-action button?

You can check out these best law firm landing pages for some ideas.

Step 10

Build your social media presence

While more law firms are engaging with social media, many still reject it, mainly because of the time it takes to create and comment on content.

That said, around 86% of law firms indicate that they have some presence on social media.

popular social media for lawyers

Criminal defense firms need to get more serious about social media marketing because that’s where their target audiences are.

It may not send instant leads your way, but social media platforms can help you:

  • Engage with prospective clients and like-minded professionals
  • Build your reputation as a trusted criminal defense lawyer
  • Build brand awareness online
  • Attract interest

In the ABA’s Websites & Marketing Survey 2021, 81 percent of lawyers reported that they use social media for professional purposes, with the vast majority (90 percent) on LinkedIn.

So, firstly, all criminal defense attorneys should have optimized LinkedIn profiles, as it’s the main social platform for professionals to connect with other professionals. It’s also used by prospective clients to check attorney profiles.

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As in the above example, an optimized LinkedIn profile includes:

  • A professional photo
  • A descriptive headline (use your keywords)
  • An About section that speaks to the needs of your target audience (it’s more than a glorified CV)
  • Completed contact info to make it easy for prospective clients to engage
  • Completed Experience and Education sections (good for inserting your keywords)
  • Skills and endorsements (reach out to fellow professionals or your best clients for endorsements)
  • Professional video and images (wherever possible)

Once you’ve completed your profile, try to steadily grow your network by connecting with relevant professionals who complement your criminal defense work.

Here’s a good example of an optimized profile from a managing partner at Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers in New York (with over 500 connections):

Besides LinkedIn, the other two most-used social media platforms for law firms are Facebook and Twitter.

Create a Facebook profile and either assign someone in the firm to manage social media (you can re-post blog articles or other content, for starters) or make it part of your marketing plan managed by your law firm marketing agency.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Facebook
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Share useful content, join groups and engage with comments about your posts. There is a high likelihood that your target audience uses Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn daily, so covering these three platforms initially will set you up on social media.

The more adventurous criminal defense law firms might consider Facebook advertising for lawyers.

Even considering the strict confidentiality and privacy laws that apply, criminal defense attorneys can attract a considerable volume of traffic to their websites by pitching social media ads and other content correctly.

Step 11

Start a podcast or a series of webinars

Have you considered starting a podcast?

This is an under-utilized marketing medium for criminal defense firms. You could share your criminal defense expertise in an interview-style podcast, building authority and credibility — a great way to scale your criminal defense firm and build valuable backlinks.

In the For the Defense podcast, by trial lawyer David Oscar Markus, successful criminal defense lawyers are interviewed about their most fascinating trials.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Podcast
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With interview-style podcasts like these, guests can be encouraged to share the episode with their network. Doing this weekly will help build backlinks to your website, which is great for SEO, rankings, traffic, and leads.

Criminal defense lawyers are rightly wary of the strict confidentiality and privacy laws at play in their practice area. Still, podcasts like this are proof that they needn’t stall your firm’s marketing efforts.

With podcasts, it’s all about finding your niche. Ask yourself:

  • What knowledge do you have that’s worth sharing with your audience? (We bet there’s a lot)
  • What subjects do your target audience find most interesting?
  • What are their main questions?

After a while, you’ll begin to notice what types of content receive the biggest response. That will drive the direction you go.

Law firm webinars are another way to reach out to prospective clients and fellow industry professionals that can expand your network.

The confidentiality and privacy laws mean that live webinars may not be appropriate for reaching out to people who need to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately — as, perhaps, an estate planning lawyer might use webinars to generate leads from people who need wills — but they can help you build interest in your law firm.

This criminal defense firm in California specializes in DUI and created a webinar to compare DUI diversion with hiring a defense lawyer.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Webinar
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By recording high-quality, informative webinar videos and posting them on your website for on-demand views, you build authority, credibility, and thought leadership, help people get answers to their legal questions, and generate backlinks… all great for generating leads.

Step 12

Use traditional PR methods to build credibility and social proof

Even today, getting your name out there through more traditional methods could help improve your public perception.

Consider Brown Rudnick, the law firm home to Johnny Depp’s legal team (specifically Camille Vasquez). Camille herself is still making headlines a month after the verdict.

camille vasquez

Brown Rudnick’s website received massive attention from the media, earning them hundreds of valuable backlinks that boosted their SEO efforts.

brown rudnick

You don’t need a highly-publicized international trial to generate valuable PR. You could reach out to podcasts covering criminal news and offer expert opinions.

Or consider going after local PR, which could be more valuable if you serve only your city or town. You could sponsor local events, speak at schools, or be a guest on radio shows offering legal advice and opinions.

Andrew H. Stevenson, a criminal defense lawyer in Ohio, promotes his public speaking events on a dedicated page on the firm’s website.

lawyer public speaking engagements
(Image Source)

If you can’t find opportunities yourself, you could always hire a PR agency like NetReputation to find them on your behalf.

Remember, your firm’s traditional marketing strategies shouldn’t be abandoned just because you now put most of your energy into your digital marketing campaigns.

It’s true that Google Ads are more targeted and cost-effective than billboards or TV/radio advertising, and that webinars can be delivered more cost-effectively than seminars. But don’t discount the marketing that’s worked in the past. They can generate valuable leads by working alongside your digital marketing campaigns.

Promote your law firm locally by attending bar events, public speaking, handing out business cards at networking events, pro bono volunteer work, and participating in local community events.

This DC firm dedicates a page to its pro bono work.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing Pro Bono
(Image Source)

People talking positively about you to friends, relatives, work colleagues, and peers will drive leads to your firm, whether it’s online or offline.

As part of your marketing plan, develop a referral strategy with clients and fellow attorneys to send high-quality leads your way.

Step 13

Measure, analyze, and adjust

The adage from Peter Drucker “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” rings true with criminal defense marketing.

Did you know that:

Criminal Defense Marketing Analytics

You must know the key metrics to look for, have the right tools to measure them, analyze the results, and then adjust campaigns based on your observations.

Yet almost two-thirds of lawyers never even look at their web analytics to tell them what they need to know. This can get expensive, especially with paid advertising. Lost opportunities from a poor strategy are another hidden cost of the failure to measure and analyze.

Here’s what you should see when you pull up your Google Analytics panel.

google analytics panel

The metrics you need to measure will depend on the marketing strategy used, but here are some good examples:

  • Brand sentiment
  • Landing page conversion rates
  • Referring domains
  • Engagement (social media posts)
  • Search engine rankings
  • Organic SEO traffic
  • Total sales leads
  • Blog article sessions
  • Visits, clicks, views, or comments
  • Time on site
  • Visitor/attendee numbers
  • Total new clients
  • Cost-per-click

By tracking the right metrics using Google Analytics and other tools, you can adjust campaigns or halt them and invest time and money into the highest-conversion channels.

Get more leads with internet marketing for criminal defense lawyers

These days, most legal client journeys begin with a search online.

With a carefully planned and executed digital marketing strategy, you can get your criminal defense law firm in front of the right people at the right time and cut through the fierce competition.

Use the tips we mentioned to get started and you will start to see more traffic, more leads, and more clients. And if you need help, consider hiring a professional marketing agency.

Dennis Dimka

As the founder and CEO of Uptime Legal Systems, I've had the privilege of guiding our company to become a leading provider of technology services for law firms.

Our growth, both organic and through strategic acquisitions, has enabled us to offer a diverse range of services, tailored to the evolving needs of the legal industry.

Being recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and seeing Uptime Legal ranked among the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America for eight consecutive years are testaments to our team's dedication.

At Uptime Legal, we strive to continuously innovate and adapt in the rapidly evolving legal tech landscape, ensuring that law firms have access to the most advanced and reliable technology solutions.