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  • Writer's pictureJoe Karasin

Digital Marketing For Attorneys

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Digital marketing for attorneys can be difficult. There are thousands of firms competing for the same pool of potential clients. Personal injury attorneys and bankruptcy attorneys know this all too well. To effectively market your legal services, you need to have a game plan and be omnipresent on digital channels. Learn more about effective digital marketing for lawyers.

The Best Marketing Channels For Legal Marketing

The question of the best platforms or channels for effective legal marketing is a complicated one. The truth is there is no single answer. The first step in determining the digital marketing strategy you want to use for your law practice is figuring out your goals. Are you looking to acquire new clients? If you are specializing in personal injury law, wills & trusts, criminal defense, or bankruptcy, you will most likely want to focus on lead generation and new client acquisition.

If you are a business attorney, you may want to focus on new client acquisition, but also retention and remarketing. This is because of the nature of the relationship between the business and their attorney. Suppose you are a litigator that defends against lawsuits. A business may wish to retain your services for a specific case. However, you may also offer other legal services the business would need, such as contract writing. In this case, remarketing to your current client list might be helpful.

Likewise if you are a general practice attorney. You might have a client that you prepared a will for who happens to have a nephew who had a run in with the law. You can remarket your criminal defense services to your current clients, letting them know that you can be there for other legal needs as well. Such general practice firms, like The Mitten Law Firm in Southgate, MI, have such a practice.

Lead Generation for Lawyers

Generating leads for legal services can be an expensive endeavor if not done properly. Various platforms and strategies exist to help lawyers acquire new clients, with varying degrees of efficacy. Let’s break them down and examine the pros and cons of each channel and how they can best assist you in generating leads for your law practice.

Google Ads for Attorneys

We talk a lot about Google Ads. You can get an overview and a free consultation on them here. Google PPC ads can be an effective tool for law firms to obtain new clients. However, because of the high competition for legal services, it can be expensive if you do not understand the various bidding strategies.

Traditional search ads work well for services such as wills & trusts and bankruptcy. These ads appear in the search results when a prospective client is searching for those services on Google. The general conversion rate (the rate at which the ad produces a conversation with lead) is around 1.09% for lawyers.

**A quick note. When you research conversion rates by industry, Wordstream’s annual study pops up. While Wordstream is a fantastic source of information, their grouping of “Law & Government” as an industry gives the sense that the conversion rate for the legal industry is much higher. The fact of the matter is that many attorneys are not getting the best ROI from their marketing on Google. This is not because of Google. It is the fault of the marketing agencies that are running the ads.**

While search ads, or PPC ads, might work well in some legal specialties, they might not be the optimal choice for others. Much like medical situations, there are times when someone needs to speak with a lawyer quickly. This can be the case in personal injury cases or criminal defense cases. A great way to acquire new clients in these particular specialties would be using Google call ads.

Google Call Ads for Attorneys

If you are looking to acquire new personal injury or criminal defense clients, Google call ads will be your best bet. While more expensive than the traditional PPC ad, these ads appear on mobile devices, and give potential clients the opportunity to call you directly.

For example, when someone is involved in a car accident, they can easily pull out their phone, search for an attorney that specializes in car accident lawsuits. Your ad, with a call button, can appear at the top of the results. This will lead to more direct calls and growth in your legal business.

Criminal defense leads can also be generated in this way. Let’s say someone gets arrested while driving while intoxicated. They will usually call a family member or friend. This family member or friend will most likely help search for an attorney to help the incarcerated individual. Again, you can have your call ad appear right at the top of their search results.

The first result, paid or organic, is 107% more likely to receive a click, which in turn leads to a 59.8% increase in conversion rate. Do you think your practice could benefit from this added influx of clients?

YouTube Ads for Attorneys

Much like television, YouTube offers the ability to run high-quality video advertisements that will help attorneys of all stripes earn new business. The benefits to running YouTube ads for lawyers are numerous.

First off, you get the benefit of video, which is the preferred medium for most consumers. Reading blogs, while helpful, is not the way the majority of people wish to consume information. Putting together a compact, direct message in a dynamic video can help your law practice get its message across and make it stick.

YouTube ads also have the benefit of providing lower CPL’s than other platforms. The main reason for this is the lack of competition on the platform. YouTube is still viewed with skepticism by many business owners, and therefore isn’t receiving the influx of cash and users that paid search or social media is. However, much like social media a decade ago, early adopters of YouTube ads are reaping huge ROI’s at a cost that averages around $1.00 per lead. This is true in all verticals, including the legal profession.

Unlike TV, YouTube uses the power of Google’s powerful targeting to reach those most interested in legal services. By using the tools in the backend of Google Ads, you are able to target high interest prospects and gain their business. This is especially useful in bankruptcy, wills and trusts, and in generating leads for divorce attorneys.

Google Remarketing for Attorneys

As we discussed above, the use of remarketing tools in the legal industry can reap huge benefits. This is especially true of general practice attorneys, who offer a variety of legal services that can be of use to their clients or clients’ friends and family.

While many think of a legal case as a “one-and-done” type of transaction, there are numerous examples of how someone could use an attorney several times over the years. Let’s look at a specific scenario.

The Mitten Law Firm (mentioned above) handles divorce and family law cases, and also prepares wills and trusts. A client that uses their services for a family law matter may also decide to have MLF handle their estate planning. However, if the client is unaware of the estate planning service, they may turn elsewhere. It is important to remain present without being overbearing.

One way of doing this is taking advantage of the remarketing capabilities of Google Ads and Google Analytics. By using your customer list, you can produce relevant and powerful campaigns across the Google Display Network (including YouTube) that showcase other services you provide as an attorney.

In addition to remarketing to your past clients, you can also target those that have interacted with your website but have not yet hired you. While this might not be the best practice for personal injury or criminal matters, it would work well in less emergent legal situations, such as divorce, bankruptcy, real estate, or business law. By keeping in front of the prospective client, you can be top of mind when they make the decision to contact an attorney for their needs.

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys

Utilizing the power of social media is also very helpful in legal marketing. While many might downplay the use of platforms such as Facebook ads or Instagram for marketing law firms or legal services, the fact is that millions of people interact with these platforms on a daily, or even hourly, basis.

Facebook has several tools (including Instagram) that enable you to advertise to a targeted audience, much in the same way Google does. The main difference is in the length of the sales cycle. While in search engine marketing, you are catching attention when someone is already expressing interest in your service, social media ads work more like billboards. They are based on a more archaic method of advertising, but use the latest technology to improve upon this tested practice. Facebook, like Google, allows for display ads, in-stream ads, video marketing, and more.

You can also retarget potential clients using your Facebook business page as well as your website data, an option not available via Google. Another major advantage of using Facebook and Instagram for legal marketing is the cost per lead. CPL’s on social media tend to be lower than that on the Google search network, and therefore offer an advantage, especially if your marketing budget is below a certain threshold. We can help you figure out what platforms fit best within your budget during a free consultation.

Other social platforms, like Reddit, offer low-cost lead generation ads that can also be worked into your marketing plan. One platform to look into is also LinkedIn. By marketing to professionals, lawyers can obtain business for almost any specialty. The CPL on LinkedIn might be higher, however, you will be talking to those that are serious about hiring an attorney for a wide range of issues.

SEO For Attorneys

One other marketing tool or strategy that has not been discussed yet would be Search Engine Optimization. The practice of getting your website ranked for valuable search queries by producing high quality, optimized content and performing the technical aspects on your site needed to communicate with search engines like Google or Bing.

SEO, while good for every website, has a significant impact in the legal profession, primarily because of the lack of major players in most areas of law. While sites like Avvo provide referrals to lawyers, and Legal Zoom can provide very basic legal services on a DIY basis, there is no real “Zillow” for law. This enables attorneys to win the organic search game, especially in their local market.

In 4 short months, The Mitten Law Firm was able to go from unranked to ranked #9 for keywords related to bankruptcy law. This was done by a consistent and dedicated SEO strategy.

The benefits to ranking organically can not be overstated. In addition to the obvious credibility landing on page 1 of the SERP provides, organic clicks convert at an astounding 644% higher rate than paid ads. This is the power of search engine optimization for attorneys.

Hiring an SEO can boost your rankings and grow your business. However, organic growth is a marathon, not a sprint. The work and dedication it takes to achieve high rankings on search engines can seem like a waste at times. However, when the results start to show, they are potent.

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