Online Marketing Strategies for Lawyers & Law Firms

Online marketing can be a very intimidating task to someone who hasn’t had experience or someone who hasn’t had success marketing their firms in the past.

This list contains over 33 online marketing strategies which have been proven to effectively generate new clients for our law firm clientele.

The biggest firms who have the most resources may find themselves participating in most of these, but don’t worry, you just have to focus on what works best for your firm and what you have the time to manage. I have broken these out into different categories to make it easier to digest below:

Local SEO Strategies

Local SEO marketing works great for firms who focus in a specific geographic area and it works even better for those with a law practice dedicated to a certain type of law. The more granular you can be, the more authority you can build on a particular Subject. Google is the #1 search engine in the world and everyone is competing for a top spot in the rankings. Local SEO can help you get there.

Strategy #1: Get Ranked In The Google 3 Pack

The 3 pack is the elephant in the room. If you want your business to succeed in the world’s most popular search engine you need to do things the right way. To market successfully in the 3 pack I recommend you read my post “How to perform the ultimate local SEO audit” to get an idea of how to do everything from start to finish. But in case you’re looking for the shorter version here are the steps you should take:

an example of 3 pack results in Google

Strategy #2: Build singular, accurate, and relevant citations

What are citations in Local SEO? Local SEO citations are mentions of your businesses name, address, phone number, and website on directories. For example, a listing on yelp.com or yellowpages.com that matches your Google My Business name, address, phone number, and website will count as a citation for your business. See an example of a Yelp Citation below:

Example of a local SEO citation

Many people use niche specific directories for searches, online yellow pages, and review type websites to locate the best law firm to help them. Being listed on these helps your Local SEO, keeps your data accurate, and increases your visibility to new audiences who may not have seen you otherwise.

To build citations you can take an automated or manual approach, although I suggest doing manual or at least a mixture of both.

Strategy #3: Get Listed On Bing Places for Business

Just like Google, Bing displays local results in their search results. These come from Bing Places For Business located here: https://www.bingplaces.com. Many people will get started on Google and forget Bing altogether which is a huge mistake. You can create a free listing here to get listed. Make sure you fill it out 100% to get the biggest benefit for your law firm. Bing also gets data from Yelp.

This is an example of a bing.com local pack

Strategy #4: Develop A Review Strategy

Not having a review strategy in place is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make in 2017. The reality is that many people turn online for reviews and they research what’s out there. In fact, according to a recent study, “93% of millennial’s say they rely on consumer reviews before making a purchase”. That’s incredible. To have a proper review strategy you need to identify the places which are most important for your business. For law firms, I recommend Google, Yelp, Avvo, and Findlaw as the primary sources. You can always expand your sources from there but remember that Yelp, Avvo, and Findlaw typically rank for a lot of city+lawyer keywords in the Google search results which

To have a proper review strategy you need to identify the places which are most important for your business. For law firms, I recommend Google, Yelp and Avvo as the primary sources.

You can always expand your sources from there but remember that Yelp and Avvo typically rank for a lot of city+lawyer keywords in the Google search results which means you will control more overall search share.  Also, typically those firms with the highest reviews will be given ranking priority. Even in cases where they are not, many searchers will sort by the number or quality of reviews before making a selection.

Reviews are hard to get in general because people don’t want to leave them. To get the best results make sure to tie reviews into your firm’s processes. Towards the end of a client engagement, you should have the person who has worked with them most call the potential reviewer and be very friendly.

They should ask how everything went working with the firm and if it was positive while letting them know that their personal job performance at the firm is tied to positive reviews. At that point, you can ask if they would be willing to leave one for you. You can follow this up with an email that includes direct links to where they should leave the review.

Here are the websites you can focus on for reviews:

Strategy #5: Paid Local SEO

Since Google likes to make money you can always shortcut the local SEO and pay per click. Earlier this year Google started showing ads in the 3 pack and local finder where you can pay per click. These are managed through Google Adwords and Google location extensions.

Paid Local SEO Results in the local finder

I recommend this approach if the cost per clicks are good for your industry and if you already have strong reviews. If you have no reviews or bad reviews you may be paying for no conversions. You can set this up from https://google.com/adwords.

Strategy #6: Create Local Listings on Important Local Directories

Consider doing a few Google Searches in your city and see what localized directories show up in the search results. Do they get traffic and rank well? If so you should get listed on these local directories. Chamber of commerce websites are a great example that can produce a small number of leads every year just by signing up.

Strategy #7: Get Listed On Apple Maps

It seems that Apple maps still pulls data from Yelp.com, but if you’re not listed in Apple Maps you’re missing a huge opportunity. Did you know that Apple Maps now gets over 5 billion requests a week? If you think about the power of that and Siri it’s a no brainer that you should be listed here and own your listing.

To sign up simply visit https://mapsconnect.apple.com/ and sign in with your Apple ID. From here you can create or claim your listing. Make sure you fill it out 100%.

Organic SEO Strategies

Organic SEO is still the primary traffic driver for law firms and the best source of new business for our clients. Organic SEO represents the free clicks you get from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Since Google is the biggest we typically align our efforts to be the most aligned with their requirements. Below is an example of a search with two standard Google Organic results:

Personal Injury Organic Results

Content is an important piece of the puzzle and the creation of it can be a hassle. One tactical tip to create content easier and better is to identify the subject you’re writing on and think of all of the sub-topics or related questions. You can write those down and then have someone ask you in an interview format. If you do this you can then get that transcribed & edited and produce content quicker and easier in your own voice.

Strategy #8: Website Content & Content Marketing

When we’re talking about organic SEO the importance of website content cannot be overlooked. The problem I run into most often is that clients want content on their website but they don’t want to put in the effort to make it as good as it should be. If you’re concerned about ranking in Google for important keywords you need to ask yourself “Is my content better than everyone else’s”? If not, you will have a problem.

If you’re creating practice area pages, for example, a potential client does not want to read a 200 word summary of what type of law it is. They probably already know. On the other hand, they probably do want to know things like, “how long will my case take”, or “how many cases have you won”. That type of information on your website will help connect with potential clients much better.

Think of each page of your website as serving a purpose around a topic and be very thorough when writing it. Put yourself in the client’s shoes and ask if you’re creating content that answers your potential client’s questions in a way that’s easy to read?

If not, you may need to make a change. Start by creating strong FAQ pages to common questions based on actual keyword volumes. Use https://www.semrush.com to make the keyword research a bit easier and write on topics with recorded search volumes.

When writing content I suggest aiming for 1,500 words. I’m a bit crazy, but if you do a better job you’re going to see better results.

If you’re looking for an exhaustive example of content marketing for attorneys check out this free guide we wrote especially for you.

Remember that producing content is only half of the battle. You must share it with interested parties to get traction.

Strategy #9: Blogging

Do lawyers need to blog? Yes. If you need to know how to start a blog for your law firm check out our guide here: https://jurisdigital.com/guides/how-to-start-law-blog/

Blogging is a great way to increase your exposure and create content your audience is interested in. Don’t ever write a blog without a purpose or because “Google likes fresh content”. Write it with a purpose in mind.

Strategy #9: Send Out A Press Release

Although I don’t do many press releases anymore they still provide a function and are a great way to increase your exposure in local news. Tying a press release with a community facing campaign and utilizing social media to expand upon this can create a lot of local media pickup and even earning links.

Here is an example of a community event were involved in that got local news pickup (even without the press release).

An example of a local news story pickup from a press release

Strategy #10: Link Building

Link building and earning links must still be a major part of your online marketing strategy if you want your website to beat your competition. Google still uses links to judge the authority and relevance of a website. Having links from

Google still uses links to judge the authority and relevance of a website. Having links from high-quality websites going back to your website is still the biggest ranking factor if you have everything else under control. Here are 21 ideas for lawyer link building:
https://jurisdigital.com/link-building/ for you to check out.

In addition of the organic and local SEO benefit, you will get from authoritative links, you can also bring in relevant traffic. If you’re rated as top attorney for example on a local news website and they link back to your website, you will get visitors who found you on the news website and clicked through to yours.

Social Media Strategies

One of the top ways that lawyers get more business is from referrals. Some of the most successful law firms I have spoken with have a strong social media presence.

Although I don’t recommend getting into social media without a strategy, there is a common one I see from successful law firms which involves just being community oriented.

By posting content relevant to your local audience you can stay on the top of your followers minds. A friend of mine recently got a multi million dollar settlement from just being visible at the right place at the right time. This approach is really about getting you in front of potential clients and staying relevant.

When using Social Media make sure to share your content with relevant and interested parties for more exposure and engagement. Be thoughtful about what you share and why you’re sharing it. Don’t share crap. You should also utilize hashtags which use the # symbol for your content. For example, If I’m sharing a local community event in my hometown of Denver I might add the hashtags #denver or #denverevents. This allows people to easily find content by searching for those hashtags. You should also never just share your own content and self-promote. That’s a great way for people to lose interest unless you’re doing something amazing.

Social media is also a great place to share any community information such as awards, events your sponsoring, or free advice you’re giving.

If you can compile great info at once and you want to automate it I suggest tools like Buffer and Hootsuite which can automate your posting.

Here are the networks I recommend along with simple strategies you can use:

Strategy #11: Using Twitter

Twitter is where you communicate when you have a message of 140 characters or less. Before starting on Twitter decide if your brand and your attorneys are going to have an account and make a purpose for each. To get started stick with a simple strategy of sharing relevant content to build your audiences.

One way to do this is to think of your own voice. What are you passionate about in your community? It may not be your practice of law. Maybe it’s silly lawyer mistakes. You could research articles related to silly mistakes and regularly post the best ones on your feed. You can tie this into a best of post on your own blog and share that as well.

If you do share something that you have written feel free to reach out to influencers with more followers in your locale or niche and ask them to share it. What’s the worst that can happen?

Strategy #12: Using Google Plus

Many people think Google Plus is dead when in reality it’s still very much alive. It’s changed over the years but the primary uses we have for it are their communities, posts, and collections.

Start by taking a look at relevant communities in the area. Maybe it’s a city based community group with 10,000 members where they share information about your city. This would be a great place to post a local event like a “free will creation workshop”.

You can also post to Google Plus, just like Twitter. Although I really recommend sharing content with the most relevant communities as a much stronger tactic.

Strategy #13: Using Facebook

Currently, Facebook is surpassing 1.23 billion active monthly users. Chances are your friends, family, and potential clients are there. If you setup a Facebook business page you’re unlikely to attract followers unless you pay for them or offer very fun and social consistency which makes your page worth following. Come up with a strategy and post daily here. You can also pay to promote posts in Facebook which we’ll talk about later in this guide.

Strategy #14: Using LinkedIn.com

LinkedIn was recently acquired by Microsoft and overall I think they’ve been doing a great job. Linkedin is a great tool for business to business relationships. If you’re a business lawyer you can use this as a strong tool in many ways. First you can import your prior clients and connect with them to make your network bigger.

If they’re in your feed when you make a post they will see it. LinkedIn also has some paid advertising options as well but the bigger goldmines are segmenting your typical clients and connecting with them. If you can share something of value such as an eBook or tool that will help overcome a common pain point you can get in the door. They also have groups that you can connect with.

Strategy #15: Share Content & Discuss on Reddit.com

Reddit is a website where I spend a lot of my time. That’s because there are over 542 million monthly users on the website speaking about very passionate topics. This is a great place to engage with potential clients, build your expertise, and promote your content.

To do this simply check out Reddit.com and search for relevant subreddits. Here is a couple I found after a quick search:

https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladviceofftopic/

https://www.reddit.com/r/CaliforniaLaw/

Start participating in discussions, answer questions, and when the time is appropriate you can share your content with the most appropriate audience. It’s a great way to get shares, links, and comments.

Strategy #16: Consider Using Periscope

Recently I spoke with a lawyer who had a huge social following that used Periscope to host a live legal broadcast to over 1,000 participants. The results were added trust being built from potential clients which turned into more business.

Answering Legal Questions Online

When potential clients are looking to hire an attorney they commonly find themselves in a situation they have no experience with. This is a point in their journey where they may turn online for answers.

While your website is the best place to answer common questions that your potential clients ask your front desk staff or your attorneys, there is another untapped market. These networks are legal websites such as Avvo and question-based websites where people can ask their question.

By participating in these discussions you can showcase your expertise and get in front of a potential client and showcase your expertise. After all, the more you give the more you get.

Strategy #17: Answer Legal Questions on Avvo

Avvo has a few opportunities for this by either creating free legal guides or by answering questions from potential clients. While I would save writing a legal guide or article for after you have already answered the questions on your website, I would say that the Q&A is a good opportunity. Here is where people submit questions: https://www.avvo.com/ask-a-lawyer. You can answer them by logging into your avvo.com profile.

Strategy #18: Answer Legal Questions on Quora

If you haven’t heard of Quora you must not be one of their 100 million active monthly users. This powerhouse Q&A website has been growing big. Quora is a community where people can ask questions and the best answers are the ones that are usually the most detailed and have the most upvotes. Below is a sample Quora question:

Sample Quora.com question

To participate simply create an account on Quora.com and start following relevant threads like https://www.quora.com/topic/Legal-Marketing.

You can respond with your profile and even provide a link back to your website. While the link is a nofollow, it can still generate referral traffic.

Strategy #19: Participate In Online Forums

Contrary to popular belief, forums are not dead. Forums are still thriving on the internet and people are turning to them for discussions and to get answers to questions. This is where getting creative will really pay off. One option is to monitor legal forums like these:

But another option is to monitor forums where your clients hang out. For example, if you’re a bankruptcy lawyer you may want to hang out on financial advice forums. The options are limitless and you can find them by simply searching Google for a topic you’re interested in +”forum”.

I find that Q&A and social media are easier if you set up alerts for new responses or if you just set a dedicated time to look at them all, like one hour a week.

Paid Search Strategies

Paid search is the quickest way to start generating new leads. If you’re willing to pay per click in Google’s ad network you can start generating clicks today. The issue is that you will always pay for these clicks and the prices will go up as the competition gets stiffer.

That being said you can also see higher conversion rates by participating in both organic SEO and pay per click at the same time if you have more search share.

Here are some of the methods and strategies we use for our clients in paid environments.

Strategy #20: General Retargeting

Retargeting involves setting up a small script on your website that tracks the visitors who have come to your website. Once they leave they will see banner ads for your company on other websites they visit for a set period of time, typically 30 days. You can sign up for this through Google’s ad network.

Have you ever looked at a product or service and then wondered why you started seeing ads for it all over the internet? That’s why.

Strategy #21: Social Retargeting

Social retargeting is the same as retargeting but geared towards social networks. We use this through Facebook’s Ad Manager.

Strategy #22: Google Adwords

If you’re looking for website visitors that you don’t already have, Google Adwords is a great way to start paying for clicks. The top search results in any Google Search are ads and they rotate out depending on who’s paying for them. Each time someone clicks on an ad you will be charged what you agreed upon to pay.

A good adwords campaign involves proper keyword research and regular monitoring to make sure that you’re not paying for clicks that won’t turn into more business. This can be setup through Google’s ad Manager.

Strategy #23: Paid Social

Paid social is just like Google Adwords but on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Facebook is really cool because you can segment audiences on very targeted demographics such as age, location, or interests.

Paid social campaigns should be undertaken on a case by case basis with the content you create and geared towards promoting it towards the most relevant audience.

Strategy #24: Paid Video

YouTube.com offers paid video placement for your own video ads which will play before YouTube videos. This is a great way to get your video message across.

Strategy #25: Monthly Email Marketing Campaigns

I commonly am shocked to hear how many attorneys are not involved in email marketing. Email marketing is a great way to build your audience and stay relevant. A year ago I met with an attorney who used email marketing to generate a multi-million dollar case just off of a monthly newsletter with a low subscriber amount.

The trick to doing good email marketing is to email your list with relevant causes. You can share accident safety tips if you’re a PI Lawyer or common mistakes that lead to bankruptcy if you’re a bankruptcy attorney. You can email your subscribers monthly and give them something to be happy about.

This will also keep you in minds of your clients and can generate case referrals easily. If you don’t have a way of growing your email list make sure to sign up for SUMOME and use their email collection box. If you’re getting website visitors you’re going to grow your list month over month, just by using this plugin.

Strategy #26: Monthly Email Marketing Campaigns

Video Marketing is generally underutilized by most attorneys. While video used to be cost prohibitive, any attorney with a cell phone and a quick microphone setup can create a high-quality video.

I do want to stress that quality videos are going to perform better than cheaper ones so spending a couple of hundred bucks to get the right setup with sound can go a long distance.

The strategy here is to create videos for your firm based on frequently asked questions. Ask your legal assistants and intake staff what questions they get the most and then turn those into FAQ videos. These videos can be shared on YouTube.com or Vimeo.com as well as posted on your own website and social media channels.

As an added benefit, you’ll build trust with potential clients.

Strategy #27: Get Listed In Important Legal Directories

It’s no secret that Google has been rewarding legal directions with higher search visibility. If you’re not listed on these directories you’re missing search share. You need to be listed on the ones that are most relevant. For the most part these are the ones I recommend:

There are many other legal directories out there. Don’t sign up for one unless you’re clear about it’s purpose and effect as either an authoritative link source or traffic driver.

Strategy #28: Host a Webinar

Webinars are not for every area of law, but Business Law is one area that would be a good one. By holding a free online webinar you can showcase your expertise on a topic relevant to your audience. One example would be a webinar geared towards “How to cut your corporate tax in 2017”. The goal of the webinar is to share useful nuggets of information so that you can generate new clients by looking like the expert.

Consider partnering with your local bar association to help promote the event to their members in exchange for a membership plug.

Strategy #29: Host Community Classes

Just like you can offer an online webinar you can do this offline and still get an online benefit. Host a meetup at your office on a relevant topic and submit the event to the city website, chamber of commerce, and other interested groups. You can get free promotion by providing a community service and you’ll come across as the authority on the subject with proper preparation.

Strategy #30: Write an eBook

One strategy we use for our clients commonly is to make them look like the authority in their field by having them write an eBook. Sharing knowledge can help people trust you and want to hire you. Once you write it you can sell it on Amazon and other platforms as well as generate customer reviews of your book.

 

Whatever Strategies You Decide, Do A Good Job

I plan on keeping this list growing and adding more ideas over time. One major takeaway I would like you to have though is to remember that anything worth doing, is worth doing good. While it’s probably no feasible to participate in all of these ideas by just yourself, you can focus on a few and make them consistent and good. Doing this will result in more business for your firm and help establish your place in the community.

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Casey Meraz

Casey is the founder and president of Ethical SEO Consulting and Juris Digital based in Denver, CO. Casey's specialties are in organic and local SEO. He is a regular contributor to the Moz Blog and the author of How To Perform The Ultimate Local SEO Audit. If you have an SEO question or need advice please feel free to reach out by email: cmeraz@jurisdigital.com. Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyMeraz.