How to advertise your law firm and generate more traffic
Learn all about attorney advertising and what you need to create a successful campaign to drive more traffic.
1 July 2021 · 8 min read
At its most basic, law firm advertising is straightforward — target potential clients, run ads, convert, and retain. But modern day legal advertising techniques are never quite as simple anymore, perhaps they never were. But the point remains that law firms need to create and publish well-thought-out advertising campaigns if they are to stand a chance of competing favorably and acquiring new clients.
You may feel overwhelmed with the breadth of advertising options available to you — Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Quora, Youtube, Email, TikTok, the list could go on. Not to worry. At the end of this guide, you’ll know all about attorney advertising and what you need to create a successful campaign to drive more traffic.
Law firm marketing and advertising have evolved
For years, attorneys have leveraged traditional advertising such as billboards, TV ads, and print media to acquire new clients. As you may know, these advertising methods do not come cheap. This meant that law firm advertising was the purview of only a select few who could afford it.
Now, thanks to modern technology, digital marketing has all but redefined the advertising landscape. Not only that, but it has become the mainstay of marketing as we know it too. And so if you want to create successful law firm advertising strategies, then you must utilize digital marketing tools and platforms.
Today’s marketplace demands highly targeted, measurable ads. But the problem is a lot of marketers still treat legal practices like product-based businesses. They fixate on one aspect of the practice area and then attempt to curate an audience from an extremely competitive marketplace.
Law firm marketing and advertising should follow a holistic approach. This means you can’t really have a digital advertising campaign without first creating a solid foundation in digital marketing. Every aspect complements each other and that is the key to generating quality traffic and standing out from the crowd.
What is law firm marketing?
Law firm marketing is all about identifying who needs your legal services, finding where they are, and then presenting to them.
It’s a bit of a simplistic description but that’s the main essence of digital marketing. If you want to be able to get more potential clients into your conversion pipeline, then you must know how to find them and appeal to their need for the value that you provide.
What are some proven law firm marketing strategies?
Digital marketing is a very wide field and it would be a complete waste of both time and effort to attempt to do it all, especially for something as broad and competitive as the legal industry. The more prudent approach to legal marketing would be to work out a strategy based on different aspects of digital marketing that have yielded concrete results. These include:
Dedicated law firm website
No digital marketing strategy is complete without a website. Sure most marketers will tell you that you can use social media or a simple landing page to get started, but if you’re really serious about standing out and looking professional to your target audience, then you need to invest in high-quality website design.
By high quality, we mean a law firm website that is completely optimized for user experience — clean menus, seamless navigation, eye-catching color palette, fast loading speed, fits all mobile devices…the whole nine yards.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is how you tell your target market that your law firm exists on the web. It’s about making your law firm website and other elements of your firm’s online presence searchable and visible on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
One of the most important aspects of SEO for legal marketing is keyword research. They are key search terms or phrases that people typically use when searching for a particular item or service on the web. For instance, if you’re practicing family law, you’ll definitely want to optimize your website for that keyword (family law), along with other related keywords within your practice area —divorce lawyers, child custody, adoption, emancipation, and so on.
This way, when people do a Google search for any of these terms, your law firm website will show up among the results.
Another aspect of SEO to focus on is local listings and directories, specifically Google My Business (GMB). This involves creating a profile on GMB and then claiming your listing so any mention or citation of your law firm is consistent with what is on your profile listing. Other relevant directories include AVVO, Yelp, and FindLaw.
Content marketing deals with crafting the messaging behind all your marketing efforts. There are different kinds of content that you can create and each one must be suited to its particular purpose. The most common ones include:
- Website content — homepage, service pages, About us, FAQ page, etc.
- Email marketing content
- Blogs, informative articles, and guest posts
- Social media content
- Videos and podcasts
- User-generated content — testimonials, word of mouth referrals, etc.
Further reading: Top content marketing tips for more effective results
Social media marketing is a must-have in any successful digital marketing strategy. For your law firm marketing, the primary focus should be on relevant social media channels like Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Quora. These channels are where you’re most likely to come across people who genuinely need legal services.
But social media is not just about going to where your target audience is and marketing to them. It’s about building and maintaining relationships. People need to trust that you know what you’re talking about and that you have the best law firm to handle their unique situation.
At the end of the day, the fact is that your law firm’s success is directly correlated to the state of its online presence. There’s simply no skirting this issue. And it’s only when you have an effective marketing strategy in place that you can begin looking into running paid search ads.
Advertising for lawyers in 2021
Online advertising for law firms and attorneys has proven to be one of the fastest ways to get word out there about your legal practice. While the marketing strategies listed above are effective, they may take some time to yield tangible results. That’s not the case with paid online advertising. Done properly, you can start to see results (more traffic, direct phone calls, filled out contact forms, etc) within a few days.
Does it really work?
Absolutely, and much more than it did with traditional advertising methods. Back then, not everyone owned a TV and so there was a significant number of people who may have needed legal services but didnt come across law firm TV ads. And then there were millions more who came across such ads and never needed any form of legal service whatsoever. So essentially, traditional advertising was both inefficient and expensive.
Now, almost everyone is on the internet with a growing number using their mobile devices to access the web. This is a game-changer because now, not only can you target a much wider population, but you can also define your target audience so only people who genuinely need your legal services are coming across your ads.
That’s where online advertising really shines. The ability to carve out a target market using qualified data and then serving up your ad messaging to only them is the very essence of marketing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Rules for successful lawyer advertising
Every legitimate business has the right to advertise its products or services. Given the sensitive and often confidential nature of the legal industry, there are some rules that law firms need to understand before they can start posting their ads.
Some practice areas may even demand more confidentiality than others. And that’s why before these law firms can advertise their services, they must first be able to demonstrate their commitment to service, ensure truth and accuracy, and above all, provide high quality and affordable legal services.
In any case, here are the top three according to the American Bar Association:
- Honesty — Advertisements should never mislead the general public, even more so in the legal industry. Every piece of messaging must be true and accurate.
- Appropriate communication — Regardless of the advertising approach, you must be able to communicate your ad messaging the right way.
- Understanding the advertising laws set by the state — Lawyer advertising is regulated by both federal and state law.
Best law firm advertising channels in 2021
Online advertising offers a myriad of choices when it comes to what channel to use for your campaigns. In today’s digital landscape, three advertising channels stand out as being the most effective at generating traffic and converting prospective clients. Here’s what you need to know:
Google Ads & Pay-Per-Click (PPC) for law firms
PPC Google ads are the kind of ads that you publish on Google’s advertising platform. This is the most popular online advertising platform in the world with a search engine market share of over 91%. So if you want to set up a viable advertising campaign for your law firm, this is the place to start.
Using Google Ads, you have the option to display your ads and service offerings within Google’s vast search network. Every time someone clicks on your ad, Google charges a small fee. This is basically why it is called a pay-per-click or PPC ad.
Why use Google PPC ads for your law firm advertising
As a lawyer, you probably focus on practice areas within a specific niche, such as personal injury or real estate. Google ads allow you to carve out your target market based solely on prospective clients who may need or are interested in your particular practice area.
You can define your parameters further like targeting based on demographics and geolocation. This helps narrow your target audience. You may have fewer people to advertise to, but there’s a much higher chance that these people will actually engage with your ads, which makes your campaigns more efficient.
In addition to allowing attorneys to target very specific audiences, PPC campaigns are cost-effective. You’re only paying when a visitor clicks on your ad and you can set a limit to how much you’re willing to dedicate to your daily ad budget. This is perfect for even budget-conscious law firms and solo practices.
Lastly, paid search ads on Google can generate almost immediate traffic to your website or designated landing pages. So if you’re looking to get some traction, Google ads are a useful resource.
If you’re working with a marketing company or professional, then you don’t really have to concern yourself with the technical details involved in getting started with Google PPC ads. Instead, you’ll be dealing with other important aspects like ad performance, budgets, and other important reports.
You’ll still be dealing with these reports if you decide to create your attorney ads by yourself so be mindful of how it will impact the other aspects of your practice.
Here are our best tips for getting started with lawyer PPC ads
- Outline your marketing goals — It’s easier to know what types of ads to create and where to post them when you understand what goals you’re looking to achieve. The kind of ad that you would run to generate more traffic, will be different from the one you would run to get people to sign up for an event.
- Double down on your audience research — Don’t limit your research to the default parameters. Find more ways to segment your target audience so you can come up with the best ads that appeal directly to them.
- Set a budget — Start with a small daily budget so you can test your ads. When you find a winning campaign, scale your ad spend and expand your market.
- Target unique keywords — It can be hard to find these in the legal marketing space because of the high competition, but you should try nonetheless. Even simple modifiers like “near me” or specific geolocations like ‘Brooklyn, New York’ can help you compete more favorably without having to bid too high on relevant keywords.
Facebook and other social media ads for law firms
Similar to Google Ads, social media presents a wide variety of channels and platforms for law firm advertising. Facebook is always going to be a part of the discussion since it is the most popular social media platform with over 2.8 billion monthly active users.
However, a more effective option would be Linkedin. With streamlined B2B targeting options and over 120 new members every minute, LinkedIn is a viable option for law firm advertising. It’s easier to map out your target audience on Linkedin since it is a platform for professionals and businesses.
Twitter and Reddit are also great options for law firm marketing and advertising. You might not always get direct inbound traffic, but they can help build up your brand and establish your law firm as an authority.
Why use social media ads for your attorney advertising
If you’re looking for a quick, cost-effective way to connect with your target audience and begin driving traffic, social media ads are the way to go.
Like Google, these platforms allow you to hyper-target your audience so you can create the best possible ads. They’re also pay-per-click so you get to benefit from cost-efficiency. In fact, the costs can be lower in some instances.
Social media platforms are also good for retargeting and remarketing. For example, if people clicked your ad but did not follow through, you could target them again and send them a different ad that is designed to give them that final nudge to become new clients.
The process may vary from one platform to the next, but it’s generally simple to set up social media ads once you understand the basics. Platforms like Facebook and Linkedin have dedicated ad management dashboards from where you can oversee your ad campaigns, their performance, and the amount spent.
Here are our best tips for getting started with lawyer social media ads
- Don’t get all ‘salesy’ — Generally speaking, people do not go on social media with the express intent to find a product or service. They go there to socialize and find interesting distractions. As such, your ads shouldn’t be pushy, but engaging and informative.
- Do lots of testing — There is really no way to know for sure if an ad will yield the desired results. Only through testing can you identify what is working and what isn’t.
- Design your ads with mobile in mind — Most social media users are accessing the platforms on their mobile devices.
- Include clear calls to action — Be clear about what you want users to do next after engaging with your ad.
- Choose your measurements — Define your goals and success terms so you can track them better. For instance, if you’re looking to acquire more prospective clients, you could track phone calls from the number on your ad copies.
High-quality videos are a great way to stand out with your ads and improve engagement. With video ads, you’re looking to reach people who frequent video creation and sharing platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, TikTok, and more.
There are different routes you can take — an informative video ad, perhaps a how-to video, maybe even a cartoon designed to educate the watcher on the many benefits of your legal services. Whatever you choose, remember to focus on highlighting the value that your law firm can provide.
Why use video ads for law firm advertising
Video content is incredibly entertaining to users. It’s like the fastest way for them to consume online content. And for that reason, video ads are becoming more popular because they are more engaging and can feature interactive content.
Additionally, competition for video ads is not yet as high as other types of online ads. This can give you an edge in a saturated market.
It’s easier than ever to create video content. But if you really want to create high-quality video ads, you’re much better off hiring a professional. Just as video content is easy to engage with, it’s equally easy to ignore or skip, especially if the quality is poor. Basically, there’s not much sense in doing video ads unless you can afford to publish quality, engaging ads.
Here are our best tips for getting started with lawyer video ads
- Use your video ads to create a visual story — Your videos should aim to pull on the emotional strings of your viewers. This is what will keep them motivated long enough to watch the video.
- Keep it short — Nobody likes interruptive ads, and yet, this is how most video-sharing platforms, including YouTube and Facebook Watch, display video ads. If you must interrupt someone’s video with an ad, make sure it is short and straight to the point.
- Optimize your videos for search — It would be a great plus if people searching for related keywords or phrases also come across your videos in organic search results.
The bottom line
It may be challenging to work out a successful law firm advertising strategy. But the thing to remember is that if your potential clients don’t know you exist, then you might not have a law firm for very long. So if you really want to stake your claim in the legal industry, then without first marketing, then advertising your services.
Remember also that online advertising today is an innovator’s game. You must therefore be willing to push boundaries when it comes to promoting your brand and getting your message seen or heard. This means partnering with creatives and marketing solution providers to help guide you on avoiding known pitfalls in legal advertising and other potential repercussions.
At B12, we’re committed to being a cutting-edge partner in helping you grow your law firm to greater heights. We provide all the necessary tools and services to establish your law firm’s online presence and manage your business better. These include AI-powered website designs, automation tools for bookings and invoicing, and even various digital marketing services like copywriting, blogging, and SEO.