Want to take the market for your practice area? You’ll need more than a prime office location and rainmakers with deep books on business on your payroll.
You’ll need a solid digital marketing strategy—one that involves more than a creaky old website and Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since 2021.
This isn’t to ding law firms who struggle to keep up with marketing initiatives and trends. Digital marketing is a fast-moving field, and lawyers have more pressing tasks on hand than tweaking the copy on their practice area pages or mapping out an email automation.
Still, law firm digital marketing is a critical activity for any legal practice looking to differentiate itself from its competitors. If you’re feeling like your practice needs support on where to start—or maybe just a refresh—with digital marketing, we’ve got you covered.
What is digital marketing for law firms?
Digital marketing for lawyers promotes brands, services, and products through digital channels.
Digital marketing encompasses all online marketing activities, including email marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more. A successful digital marketing plan for lawyers uses these tools to increase website traffic through organic and paid online campaigns.
Depending on your area of practice, you can consider different options for reaching your audience. For example, a personal injury law firm may invest more in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to target those looking for a real estate attorney. A family law firm, on the other hand, might invest more in retargeting ads leading to an ebook or other lead-generating device to instill trust.
Why is digital marketing beneficial for lawyers?
Relying on word-of-mouth referrals and traditional television advertising isn’t sufficient anymore. Over 66% of people search the internet for needed services. 44% of people performed an online search of a referred law firm before engaging with them.
Even when someone is referred to your office, they’re likely to research your law firm online—and unless your law firm’s website is user-friendly and provides engaging and practical content, visitors may quickly move on to the next law firm website.
But when you do digital marketing right? There are lots of benefits, including:
Increased visibility: You can reach more people through online marketing using search engine optimization (SEO) tools and online advertising than traditional marketing formats. By improving ranking in organic and paid searches, you increase the likelihood that people can find you as they search for a law firm or research legal questions.
Targeted marketing: A law firm’s digital marketing campaign should be carefully targeted, enabling you to reach your target audience. For example, a law firm specializing in product liability may use a marketing strategy to target individuals searching for product liability law firms AND individuals performing research on specific products and injuries.
Measurable results: Digital marketing gives you the ability to track and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Measurable results allow you to analyze ROI (return on investment) and refine your law firm’s marketing campaign to increase your digital reach.
How to start a digital marketing strategy for your law firm?
A good digital marketing strategy is a long-game activity. It’s established through clear planning and thoughtful execution. The good news is that while it is an investment of time, the process helps you better understand your clients and your business.
So let’s dig in!
Steps to a digital marketing strategy:
Research your ideal client
What practice areas do you want to work in? Where do you want to practice? What types of legal services do you want to provide? What are your revenue goals?
Yes, these are a lot of questions, but answer them and you’ll be better able to answer the big question: what clients do you want to work with?
Being able to answer that question allows you to make a more effective marketing plan for a number of reasons. You’ll be able to better:
- Establish effective messaging to convert leads
- Prioritize the right channels for your marketing efforts
- Spend your marketing dollars wisely
Identify your marketing goals
Successful digital marketing efforts require clear and actionable goals that are tied to your overall business objectives. For example, it’s great to increase your Facebook audience but that number doesn’t mean much if your audience isn’t comprised of people interested in your services.
Moreover, your marketing goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).
Identify the right platforms and tactics
Once you have your audience in place and your goals established, you can begin tying it all together. That means mapping out how you’re going to achieve them with different activities and platforms.
For example, if you’ve decided that your goal is to increase brand awareness in Q3 for your law firm, you might commit to a consistent social media content calendar and devote time to writing thought leadership blogs twice a month.
Measure your progress
When measuring the success of your digital marketing campaign, you want to keep in mind the five key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if your strategies are working:
- Has the organic traffic to your firm’s website increased?
- Are you targeting the most valuable keywords for your firm?
- Have you tracked an increase in website conversions from organic searches?
- Have the number of referrals from offsite SEO efforts increased?
- Are you engaging more clients?
Fortunately, there are several tools you can use to track the success of your marketing efforts.
Google Analytics is a free tool that tracks organic and paid web traffic, referral traffic, and conversions from web searches and ad campaigns. If you decide to run ads on social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, those also come with robust reporting tools to help you hone your ad campaigns to improve ROI.
Essential digital marketing tactics to incorporate into your strategy
All law firms strive to obtain more business while strengthening and improving their reputation for providing exceptional services. So where do you begin to create an effective digital marketing master plan for your law office?
Digital marketing for lawyers can include a mixture of organic marketing tactics and tools. Before you launch a TikTok channel or go all-in on video marketing, make sure you cover your essentials first.
Establishing an up-to-date website
Setting up a website is one of the most basic steps in digital marketing—but don’t settle for a basic website. While it’s relatively straightforward to set up an out-of-the-box website these days, you need a plan in place to create a website that converts leads into clients.
Some techniques that successful firms use to turn visits into more leads include:
- Focus on benefits over features. Your clients want to know what you do, but they also want to know how it will help them. Use your copy to demonstrate that you understand their needs and concerns and how your services can help address them.
- Make it easy to contact you. Your leads shouldn’t have to search high and low on your site for your phone number or email address. Make sure your (most current) contact information is easily accessible. Even better? Install user-friendly contact forms!
- Tailor calls-to-action (CTA). The internet is chock full of carbon copy CTAs. To stand out, consider using CTAs like “Talk to an Attorney” instead of “Learn More” for higher click-through rates.
- Streamline architecture and organization. Keep your site intuitive and easy to navigate. If you overwhelm website visitors with choices, they could become frustrated and leave before realizing what you can offer.
- Provide social proof. Showcase testimonials from other clients. Reviews from previous clients and case studies help “sell” your firm to a prospective client.
- Stick to your brand. Infuse personality into the website to connect with people. The language should be conversational, caring, knowledgeable, approachable, and personal. Avoid using legal jargon people will not understand.
Striking the perfect balance can significantly increase conversion rates. However, be prepared to test and revise the website content until you have the perfect combination of elements that nurture a lead further down your sales funnel.
Create meaningful website content
Your law firm’s website is an investment, and so is the content that you put on it. Your home page, practice area pages, About Us page, blog content—it’s all an opportunity to connect with your audience and build trust.
A few important considerations for your law firm’s website content:
- All content should clearly reflect your firm’s branding and speak to your target audience.
- Format content so it can be quickly scanned by using headers, short paragraphs, and bullet lists.
- Thoughtfully deploy images and other graphics to create a visually appealing site.
Use law firm landing pages
A landing page is a destination you “land on” when you click a link from an ad, social media profile, email, or other navigation pages.
An effective landing page should have a single focus. For example, the page may ask a visitor to:
- Fill out a contact form
- Download an eBook or guide
- Sign up for the firm’s newsletter
- Call the law firm
- Schedule a consultation
You want to convince the person why contacting you is in their best interest. To do so, you can incorporate social proof elements to enhance trust, such as:
- Testimonials from satisfied clients
- Positive online reviews from peer reviews and trusted social media sites
- Media mentions
- “As Seen On” banners
Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) for lawyers
An effective search engine optimization (SEO) plan should include targeted keywords based on your marketing goals so you can boost your rankings. SEO also includes a technical aspect to ensure that your website performs correctly, provides a good user experience, and is indexed properly by search engines. SEO is used to guide digital marketing activities like:
- Website content (practice area pages, blogs, guest blogs)
- Link building and management
- Meta tags and structured data
- URL structure
- Local SEO
- And more
Email marketing for law firms
Email marketing is a powerful tool for law firms to connect with their desired clientele and form relationships with potential clients and strategic partners. Law firms can also stay connected to their existing clientele and provide them with useful information about relevant legal issues by using newsletters.
One of the beauties of email marketing is that it can be used in a number of different ways to engage leads and clients. You can use it to:
- Nurture leads through the sales funnel with drip campaigns
- Re-engage leads with win-back sequences
- Share firm news and updates with email newsletters
- Educating new clients with onboarding sequences
- Solicit positive reviews with feedback sequences
- And more
With the right copywriting and carefully mapped out automations, you can create persuasive and impactful marketing campaigns.
Social media for lawyers
Many law firms make the mistake of ignoring or discounting the value and importance of social media marketing. However, the key to a successful internet marketing strategy is to be where your future clients are.
Even though a person might not be actively searching for an attorney, users might follow and interact with social media profiles for months or years. As a result, you will be at the top of their list when they need a lawyer.
But with so many social platforms out there, which ones should your firm be on? Currently, LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform utilized by attorneys, with over 89% of attorneys reporting a presence. Facebook is the second most popular, with 69% of lawyers actively engaged.
But don’t just focus on popularity numbers—consider first and foremost where your audience is and how you can leverage the platform to achieve your goals.
Gone (or mostly gone) are the days of phone books and yellow pages. When needing legal services, most people turn to a Google search. And while a solid SEO plan will help you boost your rankings, you should also make sure you have fully completed and up-to-date online profiles.
Google business profile
Google is the most popular search engine. A Google Business Profile is a free tool law firms can use to promote their business information on Google Search and Maps. Claiming your Google Business Profile gives you a free marketing tool to reach more people in your area.
Law firm directories
Law firm directories provide information about lawyers and law firms. Being present on relevant directories is another way for potential clients to discover your law firm and navigate to your website.
Many directories offer online reviews and ratings. Popular law firm directories include:
- Super Lawyers
Because these sites have massive marketing budgets, they’re often served up first in searches, so having your law firm profile set up and optimized on these sites can help your next clients find you.
Paid digital marketing tools for lawyers
In addition to organic searches, a successful law firm’s digital marketing approach often includes paid digital marketing tactics for both search engines and paid social media.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising for lawyers
Pay-Per-Click or PPC advertising can increase traffic to your firm’s website by placing your ad front and center on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The ads are strategically placed to increase the potential for engagement. You pay a set amount each time a visitor to that website clicks on your ad. A PPC campaign can provide quality leads if used correctly as part of a strategic law firm marketing campaign.
Retargeting ads for lawyers
After someone leaves your law firm’s website, you can pay to show advertisements directly to that person through their Facebook account. Likewise, you can pay to have your banner appear on Google sites a person visits after they visit your law firm’s page. The goal here is to keep your firm’s brand top of mind so people will come back to you when they’re ready to engage.
Which digital marketing channels work best for law firms?
Lawyers and law offices have numerous choices when developing a marketing plan for their law practice. There’s no single marketing channel that works best for all attorneys. The market channels used for your law firm should be based on your law firm’s:
- Marketing budget
- Target audience
Attorneys should pay attention to the benefits of traditional offline marketing channels, such as referrals, networking, community engagement, publicity, professional memberships, and traditional advertising. Using various marketing channels based on your law firm’s goals can give you the best return on investment for your marketing budget.
Start growing your legal practice with a proven digital marketing strategy
A successful digital marketing plan has numerous components. Creating, implementing, and managing marketing campaigns takes special skills and knowledge. It also requires a significant commitment of time and resources.
An experienced legal marketing company can help you improve your online presence to increase productive leads that grow your law firm and practice.
FocusWorks Marketing creates effective digital marketing strategies for law firms by combining search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing expertise with high-quality content that converts leads into clients. Contact our team of digital marketing experts to get a strategy that works for your firm today.