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  • Writer's pictureJoe Karasin

Digital Marketing For Law Firms

Marketing for law firms is not always easy. With huge budgets from large firms and an extremely competitive market, it can be hard for small firms to stand out and acquire new clients.

There are no shortage of law firms advertising on every channel imaginable today. From television and radio ads to YouTube and TikTok, you can't go long without seeing a commercial for a law firm. However, all of this advertising can be expensive, and smaller firms don't always have the budget to show up during the evening news. So how do small and medium sized firms compete in digital marketing?

We're going to look at the most successful digital marketing channels for smaller law firms and how they can drive new clients into your office for legal services.

What Types of Law Firms Advertise The Most?

A cursory examination of TV and radio ads will give you an understanding of what types of firms advertise on these traditional platforms. Personal injury attorneys and divorce attorneys are the most common, with litigation and torts being a close third. However, you can also drive through any major city and see buses and billboards with ads for criminal defense attorneys. So what if you are a general practice attorney?

The following channels are the best platforms for attorneys to advertise and market their businesses, helping them grow their client base over time.

Pay-Per-Click Ads for Law Firms

Pay-per-click ads are one way smaller law firms can remain competitive with some of the bigger firms attempting to attract the same clients. Because PPC ads are not necessarily dictated by spend, effective PPC ads for law firms can be a great driver of business development.

One thing to keep in mind is that manually managing the PPC ads for your law firm will help control costs and keep your ads displaying in front of the right people at the right time. For example, if you handle one specific area of law, you don't need to have your ads show up for searches related to other areas. So it takes manual management of negative keywords to stop wasted impressions and clicks on your PPC ads.

A firm we work with, for example, handles several different practice areas, but one of them is NOT criminal law. So we filter out search terms for things like "DUI defense lawyer" and other associated queries. This means that when someone within the targeted geography searches for a criminal defense attorney, they won't see an ad from our client. However, they will if they search for one of the practice areas our client works in.

Do PPC Ads Work For Law Firms?

One of the things most businesses worry about is how well any marketing or advertising effort will work. PPC ads are one of the very best tools for law firm marketing you can implement. That is because Google and Bing Ads are based on intent rather than impression.

Think about it like this: If you are watching a TV show, one of the things you want to skip are the commercials. The same goes for how you interact with social media. You typically bypass the ads and just look at the things you are most interested in.

However, when you are searching for something on Google, you are looking for information or help. You WANT the best possible result to show up and provide you with an answer to your question. That is why paid search is a great tool for law firm advertising. When someone goes to Google and searches for "find a divorce lawyer near me" or "best bankruptcy attorney in my city" your ad can be the top item they see.

One major thing to consider when setting up Google Ads for your law firm is intent. What is the intent of the search term you are targeting? Some searches are informational, such as "what is the divorce process in Michigan?" or "what is a beneficiary in a will?" While you should have blogs and pages dedicated to these topics on your website, it is not a great use of your PPC budget to drive paid traffic to these pages.

The type of intent you want to focus your keyword list on is transactional or commercial. You want to focus your search terms around queries like "hire a divorce attorney" or "I need to file bankruptcy." By focusing your keywords around intent, you can limit the number of expensive clicks that are not intent on hiring an attorney at that time. Between this and filtering for negative keywords, you will have a great shot at seeing significant ROI from your PPC ads.

Click-to-Call Ads

A subset of PPC ads are click-to-call ads. These ads display on mobile devices only, and are designed to have the searcher call your office directly. This is a great tool for lawyers that specialize in personal injury cases or criminal defense law, as these types of cases might need more immediate attention than a divorce or drafting a will.

The only drawback to click-to-call ads can be the expense. Cost per conversion from these ads tend to be about 10x higher than traditional PPC ads, but the benefits are worthwhile. One law firm we work with has been receiving an average of 10 calls per month, which has led to numerous clients hiring them. Could you benefit from 10 extra calls per month to your firm?

SEO For Law Firms

While SEO is definitely a long play, the firms that invest in it reap the benefits long-term. Ranking organically for high-value search terms is something all businesses benefit from as consumers become more resistant to clicking on ads. SEO is a sound strategy for any law firm looking to be a major player in their market.

One SEO case study for a law firm we work with has shown the firm rank for over 5,000 individual keywords of value to their business. That means that when someone looks for "divorce lawyer in Southgate" our client's website shows up on page 1. Why does it matter if your site is on page 1 of the search engine results?

The vast majority of searchers click on a result on the first page. In our mobile-first world, it is even more important, as scrolling too long is not ideal for anyone looking for answers. In fact, this is so well-known that most SEO is now not only focused on being result #1, but also ranking in what is known as "position 0". This is where your site shows up for a feature on the Search Engine Results Page like a knowledge panel or "people also ask" section.

Digital marketing for law firms
People also ask is a "position 0" feature in SEO

When you are thinking about SEO for your law firm's website, it is important to think about how users interact with search engines and how they might come to find your site. When you focus on the important questions asked by clients, you can see how your site can be a useful resource in the journey to hire the right attorney.

Below is an example of SERP feature rankings for a client of ours. You can see that there are several different spots to rank and how we focus our SEO efforts on not only having the top position for the sitelink, but also for position 0.

PPC ads for law firms
SERP features ranking growth over time

Can YouTube Help Law Firms?

Video is the medium where most consumers get information. It is much easier than reading, and video marketing for law firms is powerful (just ask all the lawyers advertising on TV). So is YouTube beneficial for law firms?

YouTube is one tool that can help law firms grow both organically and from a paid perspective. The beauty of YouTube is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other digital marketing channels. Just think of having millions of views of a video where you are explaining your expertise in your field of law. You might assume this is expensive, but it really isn't.

In fact, YouTube advertising is one of the least expensive forms of digital advertising that gets results. The beauty of YouTube ads is the placements. You can target the places you want to show up, so you aren't wasting impressions. If you specialize in bankruptcy, then targeting financial apps and websites would make sense. However, if you are a criminal defense lawyer, you might want to widen your targeting a bit more.

The Best Way To Advertise Your Law Firm Online?

Every firm is different, and there is no "best way" except for the one that works for you. Contact Karasin PPC today for a free consultation on marketing your law firm.

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