Law firms are under increasing pressure to adopt digital marketing strategies to remain competitive. Without question, however, digital marketing remains the most effective marketing strategy, with the highest return on ad spend out of all marketing tactics.
We have tracked the results of almost every marketing strategy and advertising tactic for law firms, including but not limited to bus-bench ads, billboards, TV, paid social media, SEO, Google Ads (PPC), Google's Local Service Ads, car wraps, niche newspapers, and more.
And while layering these different tactics and strategies can be effective, each tactic produces different results and varied returns on ad spend. So, if your budget is finite, where do you put your ad dollars that will have the most impact?
This blog post will discuss the most effective digital marketing strategies and tactics for law firms today.
Within each strategy, we provide guidance on the following attributes:
First up is understanding your target customers. Whom are you trying to reach with your marketing efforts?
Know Your Audience – Customer Segmentation
Any good business strategy starts with your customers. And you have more than one customer type.
For example, suppose you're a criminal defense attorney. In that case, a client accused of a white-collar crime differs from someone charged with gang-related crimes. Understanding these differences helps you to tailor your marketing messages accordingly. Likewise, how you write copy and the type of creative you use will vary significantly between these two groups.
To begin this process, build a customer persona for each customer segment. This persona should include:
Once you have a clear idea of who your target customers are, you can develop more effective messaging. This means creating content that resonates with your ideal customer and speaks to their unique needs. And by doing this, you'll be able to reach and engage your target audience far more effectively.
Utilize SEO techniques to increase website visibility
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website and the firm's Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) on search engines such as Google. Google is the most important search engine, as ninety-five percent (95%) of all search traffic goes through Google, so optimization efforts start here.
SEO improves the visibility of your website for essential search phrases. There are two types of SEO – local SEO and traditional SEO.
Local SEO techniques are essential for attorneys, as they help increase the business's visibility to local searchers – what we refer to as ranking in the local pack and within Google Maps. (read our related post on what is local SEO)
Traditional SEO is focused on content that addresses the hundreds of topics and questions people search for related to lawyer services. (Read our related post on SEO for personal injury law firms for more in-depth insight into SEO).
And most importantly, there are more than five different features within a Google Search Results Page you can rank your law firm in. A holistic SEO strategy that maximizes your exposure in all these places is essential to winning more organic non-paid traffic. (Read my related post on Google's top five SERP features and how to rank).
Invest in Paid Ads - Google Ads (PPC), Local Service Ads (LSA)
The benefit of paid ads with Google is that the returns happen sooner compared to other tactics. When you turn on a campaign, you're live and driving qualified traffic to your website. And unlike SEO, paid ads are dependent on your budget.
Overall, Google provides one of the most effective paid ad solutions to attorneys for the following reasons:
There are two Google Ad platforms for law firms – Google Ads (PPC), and the newest ad option is Local Service Ads (LSA). Let's look at each one.
Google Ads (PPC):
Google Ads, also known as pay-per-click (PPC), is a form of online advertising that allows you to target potential clients searching for specific services on Google. By targeting exact keywords, you can ensure your firm's ads are seen by people actively searching for legal services. And with customizable options like location targeting and ad scheduling, you can tailor your campaign to meet your specific needs.
The ROI on ad spend significantly varies depending on your law category and your average client retainers. Personal injury is typically the most competitive with the highest cost-per-click (CPC), followed by criminal defense, divorce or family law, and immigration.
Effective Google Ads (PPC) campaigns are dependent as well on effective landing pages that are optimized for conversions. And for highly competitive search terms, we often build one landing page for one or two keywords. The conversion rate to a lead from these ads varies from 10% to 30% of ad clicks.
Local Service Ads (LSA)
LSA are Google's newest entrant to reaching customers searching for legal services. The most significant difference between LSA and Google Ads is that LSA are pay-per-lead, NOT pay-per-click.
Anyone who clicks on an ad is taken to your Google LSA page, which has more information about your law services and contact information. Google does not send clicks on your LSA to your website (another way Google keeps the traffic on its site).
If you'd like a revealing look at cost-per-lead results from LSA, and a comparison to Google Ads, read my related post on local service ads for lawyers.
LSA for most law niches are the more effective option than Google Ads. However, in very competitive law niches like personal injury, it can be challenging to scale the leads and your ad spending because of two factors:
In these cases, leveraging multiple strategies like SEO and funnels with marketing automation is vital.
But the most significant benefit of LSA is that it is pay-per-lead. And when comparing the cost-per-lead in LSA vs Google Ads (after calculating the conversion from the clicks), LSA is the clear winner by a large margin.
Content Marketing: Create high-quality content that your clients are searching for
To attract clients and improve conversions, creating high-quality content on your website is essential to meet your prospect's needs and answer their questions. One way to do this is to identify the topics they're searching for and create FAQs or blog posts that address them. A data-driven content strategy (produced using SEO tools and research) that uncovers the most common topics and questions is also essential for SEO and lead nurturing campaigns.
People are asking Google hundreds of legal questions. Are you the firm and brand that becomes the trusted guide for the prospect? Only if you have helpful and useful content on your site.
And whatever type of content you create, ensure it's well-written, accurate, and helpful. If you can consistently provide your clients with the information they need, you'll be in a good position to build a more consistent lead flow.
And suppose you use marketing automation and lead nurturing campaigns. In that case, you now have helpful content you can drip to them over time and improve your conversion rates.
This brings us to marketing automation as an essential marketing tool for law firm marketing.
Use Email Marketing or Marketing Automation to Generate a Funnel of Customers
Marketing automation is the Swiss army knife of marketing. It allows you to scale marketing efforts without increasing labor to do so.
Its most significant benefits include, but are not limited to:
You must remember that most website visitors do NOT convert on the first visit to your website. So, what happens to that traffic? Unfortunately, for most attorneys, that prospect is lost forever. Therefore, it's essential to have an automated system for lead nurturing and capturing this traffic.
Lead generation is the process of turning strangers into prospects and prospects into clients or customers. It's a crucial part of any law firm, but it can be time-consuming and challenging to do manually. This is where marketing automation comes in. (read our Unstoppable Lead Generation Technique post.
Marketing automation is a tool that allows businesses to automate specific lead-generation tasks, such as email marketing and lead nurturing. This can free up time so businesses can focus on other areas and lead to more effective lead generation overall.
For example, by automatically sending out Lead magnets such as pdf guides and how-to documents, law firms can increase the likelihood that strangers will opt-in to their email list. From there, they can use email sequences and text messaging to nurture those leads until they're ready to become clients. Marketing automation can be an invaluable tool for generating a funnel of customers.
Or you can use marketing automation to automatically prompt for online reviews with existing or past clients to build up your review profile (and down-select for only the 5-star reviewers). Or by automating referral requests, one of the best sources for new attorney leads for many niches. (learn more about marketing automation for small businesses)
To generate leads that turn into sales, you must have a strategic and well-executed digital marketing strategy for your law firm. At 39 Celsius, we have worked in the law niche for over ten years. We specialize in helping our clients craft and execute custom digital marketing plans designed to grow their businesses now. We take a holistic approach that considers your business goals, budget, and target market. Contact us directly to find out how we can help you increase website traffic, generate leads, and close more sales.
How To Get Started
- 1Schedule a no-pressure 15 min introductory call with us to find out if we're a good fit
- 2We will prepare and send you a proposal outlining our proposed scope of work and costs based on your business needs
- 3We'll schedule a kickoff meeting and begin work on your digital strategy