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Criminal Defense Advertising 101: How To Get More Clients

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Casey Meraz

Getting more clients for your law firm in 2023 is all about making sure that your advertising your criminal defense firm and you show up when your clients need you. Whether they were arrested for a DUI or for another criminal matter, they know one thing. They need a great attorney.

And just like they need to hire a great attorney. You probably want to work with your best clients too. Many law firm owners get into criminal defense advertising without defining their ideal cases and ideal clients. If you start marketing without this information you’re going to set yourself up for mediocre results.

That is why our goal at Juris Digital is focused on helping you generate high quality case leads and sign the best and most valuable cases for your law firm.

In this guide we will review the process and methods you can use to grow your practice in 2023 and beyond.

Start off with the who

If you start marketing with a spray and pray approach you’re going to get sporadic (or at least not consistent) results. That is why we always recommend you start by thinking about your past “ideal” clients and developing a plan to target them. With so many different channels to reach your clients you need to start with: Who is my ideal client? Not sure where to start? Let’s go through a little exercise by answering these questions.

  1. What are the cases you enjoy working on the most?
  2. What is your ideal fee arrangement? How much are your ideal cases worth?
  3. What are the demographics of your ideal cilent?
  4. Where do they hang out online and offline where we can get in front of them often?

If you arm yourself with that information you can then start working on focusing on a channel that works for you.

While it can pay off to be everywhere at once that’s not practical with most marketing budgets which is why we typically have our clients focus on one first and then move on as they are successful.

Here are some ways you can get criminal defense clients

Criminal defense advertising typically includes television, radio, print, and internet advertisements. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re big fans of internet marketing 🙂

Below are a list of digital methods we typically see successful criminal defense attorneys get clients:

  1. Build a fast loading, responsive, mobile friendly website that clearly states your ideal client’s major pain points and the solutions you offer.
  2. Content marketing. Answer questions that your potential clients might need to know about before the courtroom on your websites and build a library of knowledge.
  3. Take advantage of Local SEO. Get your law firm listed in Google’s local pack and generate leads from inbound marketing. Many clients view the search results for defense firms.
  4. Build an email marketing list and stay top of mind of your best clients and build a refferal engine

The benefits of advertising and marketing for criminal defense law firms

Criminal defense attorneys and law firms can benefit greatly from advertising their services. By promoting their practice, attorneys can reach potential clients who are in need of legal representation, and can increase the visibility and credibility of their firm.

One of the key benefits of advertising for criminal defense attorneys is the ability to reach individuals who have been accused of a crime. These individuals may not know where to turn for help, and may not be aware of their rights or the legal options available to them. By advertising their services, attorneys can make themselves known to these individuals, and can offer them the legal guidance and representation that they need.

Another benefit of advertising for criminal defense attorneys is the ability to showcase their expertise and experience in handling criminal cases. Attorneys can promote their track record of success in court, and can highlight the types of cases that they have handled successfully in the past. This can help to establish the attorneys as experts in their field, and can make them more attractive to potential clients.

In addition to reaching potential clients and showcasing their expertise, advertising can also help criminal defense attorneys to build trust and credibility with the public. By promoting their services, attorneys can demonstrate their commitment to justice and their dedication to protecting the rights of the accused. This can help to establish the attorneys as reputable and trustworthy, and can increase the likelihood that potential clients will choose to work with them.

Overall, the benefits of advertising for criminal defense attorneys are numerous. By promoting their services, attorneys can reach potential clients, showcase their expertise, and build trust and credibility with the public. This can help attorneys to grow their practice, and can ultimately lead to more successful cases and better outcomes for their clients.

Best Practices for Criminal Defense Advertising

Here are some best practices for criminal defense advertising:

  1. Be transparent: It is important to be transparent in your advertising, and to clearly disclose any necessary information, such as your qualifications and experience, fees, and areas of practice. This will help to build trust and credibility with potential clients, and can help to set your firm apart from competitors.
  2. Be professional: Your advertising should be professional and polished, and should reflect the high standards of your firm. This means using high-quality images, well-written copy, and a clear and professional design.
  3. Be specific: In your advertising, it is important to be specific about the types of cases that your firm handles, and the services that you offer. This will help potential clients to understand what you can do for them, and will make it easier for them to decide whether to work with your firm.
  4. Be responsive: In your advertising, it is important to provide potential clients with a way to contact you and get in touch with your firm. This can include providing your phone number, email address, or a contact form on your website. It is also important to respond to inquiries in a timely and professional manner, to show potential clients that you are dedicated to their needs.
  5. Be compliant: It is important to comply with all relevant laws and regulations when advertising your criminal defense services. This includes following the rules and guidelines of the American Bar Association, as well as any state or local laws that may apply to your advertising.

Overall, the best practices for criminal defense advertising include being transparent, professional, specific, responsive, and compliant.

Strategies for Effective Legal Advertising

Here are some strategies for effective criminal defense advertising, including SEO:

  1. Identify your target audience: The first step in creating an effective advertising campaign is to identify your target audience. This will help you to understand who you are trying to reach with your advertising, and will inform the messaging and tactics that you use.
  2. Develop a clear and compelling message: Once you have identified your target audience, you should develop a clear and compelling message that speaks to their needs and concerns. This message should be concise and easy to understand, and should clearly communicate the benefits of working with your firm.
  3. Use SEO to improve your online visibility: SEO can be a powerful tool for criminal defense attorneys, as it can help to improve the visibility of your website and online profiles on search engines. By optimizing your website and online profiles for relevant keywords and phrases, you can improve your ranking on search engine results pages, and make it easier for potential clients to find your firm.
  4. Utilize social media: Social media can be a valuable tool for criminal defense attorneys, as it allows you to connect with potential clients and share valuable information and resources. By creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media platforms, you can build your brand, engage with potential clients, and drive traffic to your website.
  5. Utilize paid advertising: Paid advertising, such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, can be an effective way to reach potential clients and drive traffic to your website. By targeting your ads to specific keywords, locations, and demographics, you can ensure that your ads are seen by the right people at the right time.

Overall, effective criminal defense advertising should include a combination of targeted messaging, SEO, social media, and paid advertising. By using these strategies, you can improve the visibility and credibility of your firm, and reach potential clients who are in need of your services.

Common case types defense lawyers advertise for

Criminal defense attorneys often advertise for a wide range of case types and practice areas, including:

  1. DUI/DWI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common offense that criminal defense attorneys handle. These cases often involve complex legal issues, and attorneys may advertise their expertise in this area to attract potential clients.
  2. Drug crimes: Drug offenses, such as possession, distribution, and manufacturing, are another common type of case that criminal defense attorneys handle. These cases can be challenging, and attorneys may advertise their experience in this area to attract potential clients.
  3. Theft crimes: Theft crimes, such as shoplifting, robbery, and burglary, are also common cases that criminal defense attorneys handle. Attorneys may advertise their expertise in this area to attract potential clients who have been charged with these offenses.
  4. Domestic violence: Domestic violence cases, which involve allegations of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse within a domestic relationship, are another common type of case that criminal defense attorneys handle. Attorneys may advertise their experience in this area to attract potential clients who have been accused of these offenses.
  5. White collar crimes: White collar crimes, such as embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering, are complex offenses that often require specialized legal knowledge. Criminal defense attorneys may advertise their experience in this area to attract potential clients who have been charged with these offenses.

Overall, criminal defense attorneys may advertise for a wide range of case types, including DUI/DWI, drug crimes, theft crimes, domestic violence, and white collar crimes. By advertising their expertise in these areas, attorneys can attract potential clients who are in need of legal representation.

How to build a responsive website

One essential part of criminal defense marketing is making sure you have a strong website that acts as an advertisement for your firm.

To build a responsive, mobile-friendly website, you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose a responsive website design: The first step in building a responsive, mobile-friendly website is to choose a website design that is responsive. This means that the website will automatically adjust its layout and content to fit the size and resolution of the user’s device, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.
  2. Use responsive design techniques: To create a responsive website design, you can use a variety of techniques, such as flexible grids, flexible images, and media queries. These techniques allow the website to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, and provide a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices.
  3. Optimize your website content: To ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, you should also optimize your website content for mobile devices. This means using short and concise text, easy-to-tap buttons and links, and large, easy-to-read fonts. You should also avoid using features that are not supported on mobile devices, such as Flash or pop-ups.
  4. Test your website on different devices: After designing and building your responsive, mobile-friendly website, it is important to test it on a variety of devices to ensure that it looks and functions correctly. This will help you to identify any issues or problems with the website, and will allow you to make any necessary adjustments before launching the website.

Overall, building a responsive, mobile-friendly website requires a combination of responsive design techniques, optimized content, and thorough testing on different devices. By following these steps, you can create a website that provides a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices.

What is a good content marketing strategy for defense attorneys?

A good content marketing strategy for defense attorneys can include the following elements:

  1. Identify your target audience: The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. This will help you to understand who you are trying to reach with your content, and will inform the topics and formats that you use.
  2. Develop a content plan: Once you have identified your target audience, you should develop a content plan that outlines the topics, formats, and schedule for your content. This plan should be based on your audience’s interests and needs, and should include a mix of educational, informative, and entertaining content.
  3. Create high-quality content: To be effective, your content marketing strategy should include high-quality content that is well-written, informative, and engaging. This means creating content that provides value to your audience, and that is consistent with your brand and message.
  4. Promote your content: In order for your content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to promote your content to your target audience. This can include sharing your content on social media, email marketing, and other channels, as well as using paid advertising to reach a wider audience.
  5. Monitor and analyze your results: To continually improve your content marketing strategy, it is important to monitor and analyze your results. This means tracking metrics such as website traffic, engagement, and conversions, and using this data to inform your future content and marketing efforts.

Overall, a good content marketing strategy for defense attorneys should include a focus on the target audience, a well-developed content plan, high-quality content, promotion, and ongoing monitoring and analysis. By implementing these elements, defense attorneys can effectively use content marketing to reach potential clients and grow their practice.

Should you focus on an SEO Strategy or Google Ads?

It depends on your goals and resources. Search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Ads are two different digital marketing strategies that can help to improve the visibility and performance of your website on search engines.

SEO is a long-term strategy that focuses on improving the organic ranking of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is done by optimizing your website’s content and structure, as well as building high-quality backlinks, in order to improve its relevance and authority for the keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.

Google Ads, on the other hand, is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that allows you to place ads on Google’s SERPs. These ads are triggered by specific keywords and phrases, and are displayed at the top or bottom of the SERP when a user searches for those keywords. When a user clicks on your ad, they are directed to your website, and you are charged a fee.

In general, SEO can be a more cost-effective strategy in the long term, as it can help to improve your website’s organic ranking on SERPs without the need for ongoing spending on paid advertising. However, Google Ads can be a useful strategy for quickly driving traffic and leads to your website, and for targeting specific keywords and audiences.

Ultimately, the best approach will depend on your goals, resources, and the specific needs of your business. It may be useful to use both SEO and Google Ads as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, in order to maximize the visibility and performance of your website on search engines.

Video Marketing for Law Firms

Yes, you should consider video marketing for your law firm. Video marketing is a powerful and effective way to engage with potential clients, and can provide a range of benefits for your law firm.

Some of the benefits of video marketing for law firms include:

  1. Increased visibility: Video marketing can help to increase the visibility of your law firm on search engines, social media, and other online platforms. This can make it easier for potential clients to find and learn about your firm, and can help to increase traffic to your website.
  2. Improved engagement: Videos are highly engaging and can grab the attention of potential clients in a way that text and images cannot. By creating engaging and informative videos, you can capture the interest of potential clients and keep them engaged with your firm.
  3. Increased trust and credibility: Video marketing can also help to build trust and credibility with potential clients. By creating videos that showcase your expertise, experience, and approach to legal services, you can demonstrate to potential clients that you are a reputable and trustworthy law firm.
  4. Increased conversions: Ultimately, the goal of video marketing for law firms is to increase conversions, or the number of potential clients who contact your firm for legal services. By providing engaging and informative videos, you can encourage potential clients to take action and reach out to your firm for more information.

Overall, video marketing can be a valuable and effective tool for law firms. By incorporating video marketing into your digital marketing strategy, you can increase the visibility, engagement, trust, and conversions of your law firm.

Don’t ignore a strong review strategy

A good review strategy for law firms can include the following elements:

  1. Identify review sites: The first step in developing a review strategy is to identify the review sites that are relevant to your law firm. This may include sites such as Google, Yelp, Avvo, and Martindale, as well as industry-specific sites such as Lawyers.com or FindLaw.
  2. Encourage reviews: To generate reviews for your law firm, you should encourage your clients to leave reviews on the relevant review sites. This can include sending follow-up emails or messages after their case has been resolved, or providing them with links to the review sites where they can leave a review.
  3. Respond to reviews: Another important aspect of a review strategy is to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. By responding to reviews, you can show potential clients that you are engaged and responsive, and that you value their feedback.
  4. Monitor and track your reviews: To ensure that your review strategy is effective, you should monitor and track your reviews on a regular basis. This can help you to identify any trends or patterns in the feedback that you receive, and can inform any improvements or changes that you make to your law firm.
  5. Leverage positive reviews: Finally, a good review strategy should include a plan for leveraging positive reviews to attract new clients. This can include sharing positive reviews on your website and social media, or using them in your marketing materials to demonstrate the value and quality of your legal services.

Overall, a good review strategy for law firms should include identifying review sites, encouraging reviews, responding to reviews, monitoring and tracking reviews, and leveraging positive reviews. By implementing these elements, law firms can effectively manage and improve their online reputation, and attract new clients through positive reviews.

A word of advice

Make sure to avoid shady law firm SEO companies. Lawyers must be careful to avoid making false or misleading claims in their advertising and without proper fact checking in place your ads can get you in trouble.

Where should criminal defense lawyers place their ads?

There are many places where criminal defense lawyers can place ads to reach potential clients. Some options include local and regional newspapers, online directories and legal websites, on public transportation or on billboards, or on television or radio.

It’s important for criminal defense lawyers to choose the right advertising medium to reach their target audience and to ensure that their ads are effective and comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

We typically recommend analyzing your target audience and making a plan to show up where your ideal clients are searching the most. This will make sure that your advertisements will have the strongest ROI.

Common advertising mistakes

There are several common mistakes that criminal defense attorneys and law firms can make when advertising their services. These include making false or misleading claims, not disclosing important information, using inappropriate or offensive language, using testimonials or endorsements, and not following advertising regulations. It is important for attorneys to be honest and transparent in their advertising, and to avoid using language that could be considered offensive or discriminatory. They should also be aware of and comply with any state laws or regulations governing legal advertising in order to avoid disciplinary action by regulatory bodies.

Commonly asked questions

What is what is criminal defense advertising?
Criminal defense advertising is the use of various media to promote the services of criminal defense attorneys or law firms. This can include advertisements in print, online, or on television or radio, as well as marketing efforts such as social media campaigns or email marketing. The goal of criminal defense advertising is to attract new clients who are seeking legal representation in criminal cases. Criminal defense attorneys may advertise their services to individuals who have been charged with crimes, as well as to family members or friends who are seeking legal representation on behalf of someone else. In some cases, criminal defense attorneys may advertise their services to the general public, in the hope of attracting potential clients who may be facing criminal charges in the future.

What are common SEO Strategy mistakes attorneys make?

There are several common mistakes that lawyers and law firms can make when implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies:

  1. Not conducting keyword research: It is important to conduct keyword research to identify the terms and phrases that potential clients are using when searching for legal services online. Without this information, it can be difficult to optimize your website or online content for the right keywords.
  2. Ignoring on-page SEO: On-page SEO refers to the optimization of individual web pages in order to rank higher in the search results. This includes optimizing page titles, headings, and other elements of the page to include relevant keywords. Neglecting on-page SEO can make it difficult for your website to rank well in the search results.
  3. Not building quality backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your own. They are an important factor in how search engines rank websites, and building quality backlinks can help improve your website’s ranking. However, it is important to avoid using tactics that might be seen as spammy or manipulative, as these can actually harm your ranking.
  4. Not optimizing for mobile devices: With the increasing number of people using mobile devices to search the web, it is important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and easy to use on these devices. Failing to optimize for mobile can harm your ranking in the search results.
  5. Ignoring local SEO: If you are a lawyer or law firm targeting a local market, it is important to optimize your website and online presence for local search. This includes optimizing for local keywords, obtaining local backlinks, and claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing. Ignoring local SEO can make it difficult for potential clients in your area to find your business.

What are some reasons people turn online to find a defense attorney?

There are several types of situations in which someone may need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. If someone has been charged with a crime, whether it be a serious offense or a minor traffic violation, they will likely need legal representation in order to defend themselves against the charges. Even if someone is under investigation by law enforcement, they may still want to hire a criminal defense lawyer to advise them and protect their rights.

In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer may be hired by someone who wants to plead guilty to a charge. A lawyer can help negotiate a plea bargain and may be able to mitigate the potential consequences of a guilty plea. On the other hand, someone who wants to plead not guilty to a charge will need a lawyer to represent them in court and to build a defense against the charges.

Victims of crime may also want to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help them navigate the criminal justice system and protect their rights. And if someone has been wrongly convicted of a crime, they may want to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent them in an appeal.

It is important to note that hiring a criminal defense lawyer can provide someone with an opportunity to achieve the best possible outcome in their case, whether they are facing a DUI charge or other criminal offense. And while it can be difficult to decide when to hire a lawyer, doing so can provide peace of mind and protection for oneself and others.

Conclusion / TLDR

Criminal defense advertising is the use of various types of media to promote the services of criminal defense attorneys or law firms. This can include advertisements in print, online, or on television or radio, as well as marketing efforts such as social media campaigns or email marketing. The goal of criminal defense advertising is to attract new clients who are seeking legal representation in criminal cases.

There are several types of situations in which someone may need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. If someone has been charged with a crime, whether it be a serious offense or a minor traffic violation, they will likely need legal representation in order to defend themselves against the charges. Even if someone is under investigation by law enforcement, they may still want to hire a criminal defense lawyer to advise them and protect their rights. In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer may be hired by someone who wants to plead guilty to a charge. A lawyer can help negotiate a plea bargain and may be able to mitigate the potential consequences of a guilty plea. On the other hand, someone who wants to plead not guilty to a charge will need a lawyer to represent them in court and to build a defense against the charges.

Victims of crime may also want to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help them navigate the criminal justice system and protect their rights. And if someone has been wrongly convicted of a crime, they may want to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent them in an appeal.

There are several common mistakes that criminal defense attorneys and law firms can make when advertising their services. These include making false or misleading claims, not disclosing important information, using inappropriate or offensive language, using testimonials or endorsements, and not following advertising regulations. It is important for attorneys to be honest and transparent in their advertising, and to avoid using language that could be considered offensive or discriminatory. They should also be aware of and comply with any state laws or regulations governing legal advertising in order to avoid disciplinary action by regulatory bodies.

In addition to traditional forms of advertising, criminal defense attorneys and law firms can also use a variety of marketing channels to reach potential clients. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be effective tools for building a reputation and attracting new clients. Blog posts, podcasts, and videos can also be useful marketing channels, as they can provide valuable information and resources to potential clients.

There are also a number of SEO tips and strategies that criminal defense attorneys and law firms can use to improve their online visibility and reach. Keyword research is an important first step in any SEO campaign, as it can help identify the phrases and terms that potential clients are using when searching for legal services online. Building quality backlinks and optimizing for local search can also improve a website’s ranking in the search results. And having a strong presence on directories and review sites can help attract new clients and improve a law firm’s reputation.

In conclusion, criminal defense advertising is an important aspect of building a successful defense practice. By using a variety of marketing channels and strategies, attorneys and law firms can reach potential clients and provide them with the legal representation they need. It is important, however, to avoid making common mistakes and to follow all relevant laws and regulations when advertising legal services.

A story why online advertising for attorneys works great

John was a hardworking and honest man who had never been in trouble with the law. One day, he was at the grocery store when he was suddenly arrested and accused of stealing. John was shocked and confused, as he had not stolen anything.

Faced with the prospect of spending time in jail and having a criminal record, John didn’t know what to do. He was scared and alone, and didn’t have any friends or family who could help him.

Feeling desperate and hopeless, John turned to the internet for help. He searched for criminal defense attorneys in his area, and came across a website for a law firm that specialized in defending people who had been wrongly accused.

John reached out to the law firm, and was quickly connected with a compassionate and experienced attorney named Sarah. Sarah listened to John’s story, and believed that he was innocent. She told him that she would do everything in her power to help him avoid jail and clear his name.

Over the next few weeks, Sarah worked tirelessly to build a strong defense for John. She gathered evidence and witnesses, and conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations against John. She discovered that the person who had actually stolen the items from the grocery store was a repeat offender with a long history of theft.

With Sarah’s help, John was able to avoid jail and clear his name. He was grateful to Sarah for her hard work and dedication, and was relieved that he had found her on the internet. John learned that, even in his darkest hour, the internet could provide him with the help and support that he needed.