Family Law Marketing

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

What is family law marketing?

Family law marketing isn’t just about billboards and commercials anymore. Digital marketing has come to the forefront of law firm marketing, helping get your firm in front of thousands of potential clients that would otherwise never find your firm.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for traditional marketing—there is and always will be. But you can’t afford not to invest in digital marketing.

Digital marketing (or online marketing) refers to all marketing efforts online. It involves using marketing channels like search engine optimization, paid advertising, and social media to reach new prospects and nurture them until they become paying clients.

It seems like every law firm has a website or, at a minimum, a social media presence. Consumers now expect law firm’s to be online, as it’s the best way to learn about a new business.

It’s how you show off your expertise and credibility, convincing prospects to reach out to you rather than competitors.

So, if you aren’t online, you could probably double your law firm’s revenue by investing in online marketing.

Why is marketing for family law firms important in 2023?

Family law marketing has a singular goal: to get your legal services in front of more potential clients, boosting leads and driving a higher client conversion for your law firm.

The legal space has become increasingly competitive over the years, with more attorneys going out on their own and starting their own law firms.

To really stand out in a crowded market, you need to implement a thought-out law firm marketing strategy. This includes using both digital and traditional marketing tactics.

Take a moment to consider:

  • What sets you apart?
  • How are your legal services unique?
  • Why should potential clients pick you over the neighboring firm providing legal counsel and representation?

Even a small, solo law firm can compete against a multi-million dollar firm with a carefully crafted law firm marketing plan.

If you invest time and resources in the right avenues, you can find your niche in the market and generate a plethora of leads.

Most law firms outsource to law firm marketing agencies to get the results they want, but you could also try to DIY it.

Step 1

Start by setting goals and a marketing budget

Before you start throwing money at the wall, you need to establish a plan. And that begins with setting realistic goals and defining a marketing budget.

Start by asking yourself, “What do I want to achieve with my family law marketing strategy?”

Are you aiming to raise brand awareness? Increase client conversions? Boost your online visibility? Or maybe all three? By pinpointing your goals, you can tailor your marketing strategy to meet these specific objectives.

Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

family law marketing smart goal

The point is to create goals that are actionable and realistic. They should align with business goals, not be out of reach, and be measurable.

Setting your marketing budget

Most law firms don’t have an established marketing budget. That means their marketing strategy is likely all over the place.

To start, ask yourself how much new leads are worth to your firm. The number will be different for every family law firm depending on their capacity, current case numbers, and how competitive the local market is.

But knowing how much each client is worth and how much you can realistically invest in marketing can help you set a realistic budget.

Next, decide how you’ll allocate your budget across different marketing channels. And remember, your budget isn’t set in stone. It’s a flexible plan that should be reviewed and adjusted regularly based on the results you’re seeing.

Step 2

Determine your ideal customers

Jumping right into marketing without knowing who you’re marketing to can be an expensive mistake.

All good marketing is highly targeted.

Which is why we recommend developing a client persona so you can start off on the right foot.

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
  • The qualities they’re 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 family law firms, it’s a simple case of examining your current database and picking out the characteristics of your best customers.

It may take a few more assumptions and best guesses for start-up firms at first.

Where are they looking for information?

For many family law firms, customers will come from the general public.

The ABA Journal reported 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?

That’s what your value proposition is designed to answer.

Think of it as an elevator pitch. A concise, compelling statement demonstrating why someone should choose your family law firm over others.

Answer this before investing any time or resources into any marketing campaigns. 

In step one, you defined what the main problem(s) of your target audience is (are).

For instance:

  • An impending divorce or separation
  • Division of assets
  • Child custody concerns
  • Child support fears
  • Visitation rights worries
  • Family court process doubts
  • Probate, wills, trusts, or Power of Attorney concerns

Your unique value proposition should relate closely to at least one of the main problems of your target audience.

It should speak directly to them and demonstrate how you can help them solve their problem.

It’s likely to relate to your:

  • Expertise and strengths in family law
  • Years of experience in the field
  • Case results achieved 
  • Plaudits, testimonials and awards you’ve received
  • Your unique background story 
  • The passion and service levels you deliver

Talk directly to your potential customers’ needs, wants, and desires. Convince them they’re in the right place and need to contact you.

Here’s a great example of a clear and compelling value proposition.

family law firm marketing value proposition
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Your brand 

Building a family 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 law firm unique?
  • Your value proposition—why should anyone listen to you?
  • What you consistently do better than the rest? How do you differentiate yourself from the many competing family law firms?

Step 4

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

Once you have your target audience and your key messaging worked out, it’s time to get serious about your law firm’s website

It will be the hub of all your marketing activity, so spend time to get it right.

You likely know the basics of what goes into a website. Here, let’s concentrate on doing the things that most other family law firms aren’t doing.

This is mainly in two areas:

  • Making the user experience more memorable
  • Capturing leads more effectively

There are five main things to address here:

Mobile-first design

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In 2016, mobile and tablet Internet usage outstripped desktop usage for the first time.

Today, around 58% of all website traffic comes from mobile., 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.

Live chat

Live chat is not going away. 

Live Chat for Law Firms Gerber Law
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Despite the fears of many lawyers about giving hours of free advice or contravening privacy laws, customers now expect their questions to be answered immediately. Patience is in short supply online.

The live chat option is especially useful for law firms that primarily deal with the general public. That includes family law 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 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 wasting your time. Live chat agents do all the work.

And it doesn’t need to pop up and annoy visitors. The live chat window can sit in the corner unobtrusively like this.

marketing for family law firms live chat
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View our complete list of the best law firm live chat apps.



Nothing destroys a user’s 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 hit the back button.

We don’t need to dwell too long on this but test your page load speeds, ensure that images are optimized, videos load without buffering, and your website has an overall snappy feel.

Head over to Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test your website’s speed.

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Gated Content

Gated content is a great way for family law firms to 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 and enhance your reputation as a leader in your practice area. It will draw people to your website.

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Gated content needs to be of real value and should answer the key questions in your customers’ minds. 

Think along the lines of a ‘cheat sheet’ or a brief guide to one aspect of family 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 addresses and phone number to receive.

Newsletter sign ups

Newsletters are powerful resources for family law firms.

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One of their main benefits is that they can help you grow your database. Capture the details of existing or potential customers, and you can market to them later.

Step 5

Demonstrate legal capability and credibility to help customers get the results they want

Demonstrating to your web 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, if they’re looking to hire a lawyer, that you can provide the results they’re looking for.

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

Focus on the following areas.

Trust badges

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

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Awards and accolades

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

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

But 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.

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Client reviews and testimonials

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


The best way to get reviews is to ask, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Satisfied clients will usually be willing to leave you a good review on Google or Avvo or even leave you a video testimonial.


Get specific by using statistics to back up your claims.

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Case studies

Potential customers also want to know how you’ve helped people in similar situations to them.

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We recommend having a dedicated case study/successful results page on your website.

Breadth of service you provide

Illustrate the full range of family law services you provide.

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Size of your firm

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

Get more visiblity with SEO

93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. But 75 percent of people never go past the first page.

So search engine optimization (SEO) matters for every law firm. And in an especially competitive area like family law, it matters even more.

A beautiful website that nobody sees is no good to anyone.

If you’re not on the first page of Google, you’re passing up the chance to send traffic to your website. And more traffic to a well-designed website means more leads.

Search engine marketing is a vast topic, too vast to go into detail here. Visit our family law firm SEO guide for a more comprehensive list of things to do.

Otherwise, let’s focus on a few of the actionable steps that you and your SEO team can take to improve rankings.

Build content 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 ‘child custody laws in North Carolina’ where the searcher is looking for answers to specific legal questions
  • Transactional terms like ‘child custody attorney Charlotte’ where the searcher 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. 

With your practice areas, break them down and create a separate page targeting one specific keyword per sub-practice area, e.g. divorce, separation, pre-nup/cohabitation, child protection, property division, family businesses, spousal support, 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 ‘family law firms’
  • Long tail keywords: 4+ word phrases that are very specific, such as ‘Chicago family law and divorce lawyer’
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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.

A couple of tools to help you plan your keywords are Google Keyword Planner (for which you’ll need an AdWords account) and

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. 

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It 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, involving page load speeds, social media share-ability, location optimization, mobile responsiveness, image alt tags, meta titles and descriptions, indexation, sitemaps, Google Business Profile optimization, etc.

Off-Page SEO 

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

  • Link-building — Google still uses backlinks as a major indicator of authority
  • Citations — ‘mentions’ of your business name, address, and/or telephone number in quality directories will earn you valuable SEO ‘juice’
  • Reviews — used as a ranking indicator and they also help potential clients understand your services better

SEO methods to steer clear of:

  • Keyword stuffing — this produces low-quality, unreadable content
  • Link farms — this associates your website with low-quality links (which are worthless)
  • Content farms — this almost guarantees low-quality content

Step 7

Increase visibility in local search

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 family law 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 ‘divorce lawyer near me’ or ‘best divorce lawyer in Chicago.’

divorce lawyer chicago

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

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.

findlaw lead generation
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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

Become a content king: answer customer questions using multimedia

Family law is a vast practice area. The number of questions that people want answered is immeasurable.

Do your best to build a go-to resource where potential customers can come to find answers. Become the content king in your field.

There are a number of ways to do this. Many family law firms create:

  • A FAQ page, and/or
  • A resources page with articles and downloads

That’s great. But to really standout, consider going a little more ‘multimedia.’


The use of video marketing by law firms can increase organic traffic from search engines by 157 percent.

And you’re 53 times more likely to feature on the first page of Google if you include video, according to this infographic from Filmora.

In fact, in 2022, 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic was video.

Video is increasingly how your customers like to gather information, especially millennials and the younger audience. It improves the user experience, builds trust, and increases leads.

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As well as introducing your attorneys, featuring reviews, and providing a general overview of your firm, you can use video to answer FAQs and provide how-to information.

Read our extensive guide on video marketing for lawyers.


Running webinars is a way to reach out to multiple customers without having to provide free, individual, one-on-one consultations.

This can save time and help you demonstrate your expertise, connecting with potential customers and answering their questions in real time, which builds trust and authority.

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Obviously, family law is a sensitive area, so the content of webinars, the privacy of participants, and security all need to be carefully managed; but it is an effective way to set your firm apart from others.

GoToWebinar or Zoom are good places to start with webinar software. 


Another powerful way to present family law information to your web visitors is through infographics.

They catch the eye and provide a break from text, important for the user experience.

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Blog Posts

The American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Report found that 43 percent of respondents had a client retain their services directly due to their blogging efforts.


Writing blog posts and articles (especially long-form, in-depth posts that create topical authority) is effective marketing for family law firms for many reasons:

  • It demonstrates know-how and expertise
  • It lets potential customers know that you’re active and current
  • It raises your credibility
  • It helps you answer customer questions in detail
  • It can improve search rankings by updating your site with fresh content
  • Guest blogging can earn valuable backlinks that also aid SEO

Step 9

Optimize your lead generation with Google Ads and Local Services Ads

Family law attorneys can advertise on Google. However, many firms waste money on pay-per-click campaigns as they find out it’s more complex than anticipated.

Paid ads 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

While PPC for lawyers can be expensive, when done right, you can receive a flow of leads almost instantly.

Family lawyers need to set aside a significant marketing budget (at least a few thousand dollars per month) if you’re serious about paid ads.

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

Law Firm PPC Best Practices

Then there are local service ads, which are similar to Google Ads but are not pay-per-click; instead, they’re pay-per-lead.

They’re less risky due to the different payment structures, so we recommend them to most clients who want to generate telephone leads. They’re ranked according to factors like positive reviews, proximity, and bid.

Running both PPC and local service ads is a great way to appear the top of Google without the time investment of 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.


Landing pages are designed specifically to match the client persona who you think will click on your ads. They should address all of their pain points so you can convert them into paying 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 think it’s a waste of time due to prejudices and the perceived 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

Family law firms need to get more serious about social media marketing because that’s where a lot of 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 divorce 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 family law 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.

lawyer linkedin profile
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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 family law work.

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 family law firms might consider Facebook advertising for lawyers.

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

Step 11

Start a podcast or series of webinars

Have you considered starting a podcast?

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

You could do an interview-style podcast and encourage guests 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.

Family law 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.

Step 12

Use traditional PR methods to build credibility and social proof

Step 13

Measure, analyze, and adjust

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 family law firms

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

With a carefully planned and executed digital marketing strategy, you can get your family 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.