Digital Marketing for Lawyers – How’s and Why’s

This step-by-step guide to online marketing for lawyers shows you how to boost lead flow.

Attracting clients is the greatest challenge for law firms. A highly competitive legal market and a lack of digital marketing acumen can lead to revenue stagnation. Conversely, some lawyers don’t believe in digital marketing, yet data proves it delivers ROI.

For instance,

Comrade has increased sales-qualified leads (SQL) by 70% on average for our legal clients.

Imagine your digital marketing efforts bringing in so much revenue that they pay for themselves and more!

As a preeminent digital marketing agency for law firms, we know it’s possible and wish to share our expertise so you can change your law firm’s destiny.

This guide provides essential strategies and explains the basic components of online marketing, emphasizing building a formidable online presence, achieving quality results, and complying with legal marketing best practices.

digital marketing for lawyers results

An Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing for Lawyers

An effective digital marketing strategy allows you to trace a client’s acquisition to their first digital touchpoint with your law firm so you can make informed decisions about your marketing budget and strategy.

When you know how to improve your client’s journey through the buying cycle using digital technology, your marketing tactics will positively impact your business’ ROI.

This step-by-step guide to online marketing for lawyers shows you how to boost lead flow. It teaches the fundamentals of building brand awareness, asserting yourself as an industry thought leader, and situating your law firm at the forefront of potential clients who need your services.

What Is Digital Marketing for Attorneys and Law Firms?

Digital marketing for law firms is the act of selling services online. It refers to advertising on search engines, websites, social media, and mobile apps at a high level. Modern-day digital marketing comprises a large system of channels used to make an impact through user engagement.

User engagement drives digital marketing by creating meaningful interactions with potential and returning customers based on analytical data gathered over time. When your law firm engages customers digitally, you build brand awareness, assert yourself as an industry thought leader, and situate your law firm at the forefront when potential clients require your services.

An effective digital marketing strategy allows your law firm to trace its client acquisition to its first digital touchpoint with your business. Called attribution modeling, this data gathering, research, and report process lets you understand how clients search and hire your services. Being equipped with this knowledge helps you to make informed marketing decisions related to law firm marketing budget and strategy.

Aberdeen Group discovered companies with aligned marketing and sales achieve a 20% annual growth rate. Improving your clients’ journey through the buying cycle by using digital technology and marketing tactics reflects positivity on your business’ ROI.

How Can Digital Marketing for Lawyers Get More Leads and Sales?

law firm marketing benefits

You can’t rely on word-of-mouth alone if you’re starting out or rebranding. That’s where digital marketing helps build brand awareness. The real kicker is it’s a more cost-effective means of advertising with innumerable benefits like:

  • Increased visibility
  • Targeted reach
  • Higher engagement
  • Measurable results, and more importantly,
  • More sales and more leads!

A full-service digital marketing agency like Comrade can set you up for long-term business success. We’ve achieved a 651% increase in client inquiries for some of our clients. As a legal marketing law firm with an accomplished track record, we can devise a tailored digital marketing strategy for all practices of law, including family lawyers and criminal defense attorneys.

How to Create a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy for Law Firms

Clients approach us because they realize the importance of digital marketing but need help to keep up with the demands of marketing technology and dedicate sufficient time to developing and implementing a robust strategy.

Then there is also the scenario where they’ve hired inexperienced or dubious marketers who whoo them with “impressive” charts filled with vanity metrics that don’t equate to sales. The truth is that the best digital marketing strategies help you accomplish your business goals. That’s why so many law firms work with us.

Beyond search engine optimization, content marketing, and having a website that meets digital marketing standards, we employ subtle tactics like email and social media marketing to personalize, communicate and acquire leads.

How to Do Digital Marketing for Lawyers the Right Way

Successful digital marketing strategy

Research Your Target Audience

Digital marketing is considerably cheaper than traditional marketing and highly effective when properly utilized. It specifically targets your ideal customer, which means you need to know who they are. As a law firm, you’ll have a specialty, so if you’re a divorce lawyer, there’s no point targeting clients who require help with environmental law, for instance.

Because the internet has 4.66 million users, it’s vital to target the best-suited clients. If you have no idea where to begin, you should hire a digital marketing agency to help you conduct market research and identify industry trends. You might try starting by creating a profile of your ideal client, reviewing existing clients, and collating similarities to determine the type of client profile you serve.

State Your Goal

Law firm digital marketing has two broad objectives: client retention and solidifying your firm’s reputation as an asset to clients who need legal counsel. To realize these ambitions, you have to establish many smaller goals, which set the direction for what needs to happen for your digital marketing to succeed.

Analyze your client’s journey to hiring you. What do they search for? How do they find you? Are you getting a lot of website traffic but only a tiny conversion percentage? Would you get more clients if you ramp up social media activity and improve your legal website?

Because legal firm digital marketing is nuanced, you need to set tangible goals. A good marketing strategy generates clients – not just clicks! Therefore, each tactic must be prioritized according to your firm’s objectives.

For example, it’s not enough to claim you want more clients. How many? And by when? Vague and undefined goals almost guarantee failure. It’s far more productive to say you want 15 new leads monthly.

That’s why we use the SMART framework. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Research shows setting the correct type of specific goals offers greater chances of success.

Invest in Your Own Digital Legal Marketing Campaign

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in; marketing is crucial for helping it get off the ground. This is especially true for a law firm because you could have the best lawyers in the world, but if no one knows about them, you’re out of luck.

The best law firms view marketing as an investment. Getting more clients is your return on investment (ROI). All of this is well and good, but how do you go about putting this marketing into practice? Experienced marketers would have many suggestions for you, including tips such as having a best-in-class website (it’s important that prospects view your firm as one of the best), high visibility online (more on that below in SEO section), high-performance ads, good content marketing, and, of course, building meaningful client and referral relationships with other lawyers, and getting as many referrals from satisfied clients.

Build a Strong Legal Website

88% of law firms have a firm website. In fact, good clients expect you to have a website. A strong law firm website boosts business credibility and offers a strategic introduction to your services. It’s a sales pitch, and information hub rolled into one and the core of law firm digital marketing efforts. An effective website does the following for potential clients:

  • Showcases your law firm’s expert legal services
  • Provides contact details
  • Offers successful case studies
  • Represents your law firm’s values
  • Supplies information to commonly asked questions as a method to build credibility and rank higher on search engines.

Your law firm website should be user-friendly, as in, it must be easy for potential clients to navigate when on desktop, tablet, or mobile. It should also be optimized for search engines to index and rank, and each page must carry a clear call to action, prompting potential clients to move further toward procuring your services.

Not happy with your website performance?

Talk to legal marketing experts

Not happy with your website performance?

Fundamental Digital Marketing Channels You Need

Which Digital Marketing Channels Work for Law Firms?

Before you get into the details, it’s essential to focus on the basics. SEO and PPC are, without a doubt, the most effective channels to attract leads. You’ll save time and money if you focus on them first, as they’re guaranteed to generate results.

Boost Your Sales Department Using Law Firm SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is profitable because it drives organic traffic to your website and increases brand exposure in search engine results pages (SERPs).

While the cost of one click in a competitive marketplace such as law might be between $100-$200, with ten clicks adding up to $2000, the right SEO strategy can garner 10,0000 clicks without you having to pay for each one.

Want to find out more about law firm SEO? Read our 2023 SEO Guide for Lawyers.

Google’s complex algorithm determines search engine page rankings. Ranking requirements constantly change, so your website must be SEO optimized to keep up with these changes.

SEO captures leads already searching for your services. Additionally, it offers these invaluable benefits:

  • Higher rankings that equate to higher levels of trust.
  • A robust market position that attracts targeted traffic and increases conversions.
  • For local law firms, SEO generates reviews via local searches.
  • SEO allows you to reach potential clients wherever they are in on smartphones and tablets.

Local SEO for Small Law Firms or Attorneys

46% of all Google searches seek local information. Local SEO helps law firms rank higher in local search results and attract clients within their specified radius. This is particularly advantageous for small law firms that struggle to outcompete larger competitors.

Additionally, law firms with positive online reviews automatically outperform those without. Local SEO makes it possible to service requests within your area because it considers a client’s location and the specific keywords they use relevant to your firm.

Whether you’re located in a city or suburb, local SEO works the same and ensures your law firm is viewed as an expert in its area of practice within a specific geographic location.

Utilize PPC to Gain More Leads Right Now

When executed properly, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing can generate hundreds of leads for unknown attorneys and law firms. Although you pay to be at the top of Google results, it’s a valuable opportunity because where do people in need of a lawyer go? Online, of course!

Law firm PPC advertising is an excellent tactic to reach leads because it targets clients seeking specific law services. You’ll find PPC ads on search engines like Google, and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and even in emails.

They’re cost-effective because you dictate the budget – spending as much or little as necessary – and they’re targeted. You choose your audience according to demographics, gender, age, device, and more.

Google Ads rank PPC campaigns based on audience relevance and helpfulness (in the same way they rank websites). Relevant ad copy that correlates with the keywords you bid on will increase your rank, which determines where your ad appears and the cost per click.

Attract New Clients Using Content Marketing for Lawyers

Content marketing is about much more than press releases announcing awards won or showcasing expertise. The aim is to write about clients’ common questions or describe outcomes and advice pertaining to particular cases – this illustrates your expertise far better!

Law Firm Content Marketing

Blog Article Ideas

Let’s say you’re a divorce lawyer with robust experience. Over the years, you’ll know the types of questions your clients are most likely to ask you about various cases. You can leverage this knowledge to attract leads.

For example, you might write a blog post about:

  • Child custody and parental rights
  • Alimony
  • The divorce process
  • How to choose a divorce lawyer
  • Dos and don’ts of getting a divorce
  • A guide to social media and divorce

Conducting keyword research can help you find the most common phrases used by clients seeking information on this topic, which you can include in your content. Once published, your blog transforms into a valuable piece of content that ranks high on Google, is shared by users, and encourages them to explore your services.

Your content marketing strategy isn’t just limited to blogging; you should also explore:

  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Newsletters
  • Infographics
  • eBooks

Another content marketing strategy is offering website visitors a free ebook (lead magnet) in exchange for their contact details, which you can use for email marketing drip campaigns.

Bring Customers to Social Media

Social media marketing for lawyers

Like all law firm digital marketing, social media marketing enables firms to connect and engage with potential customers where they are: Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, and even TikTok. It’s a profitable resource for PPC campaigns, community building, brand awareness, and content publishing.

However, you need only use the platforms your audience is on. The American Bar Association found that 35% of lawyers who use social media professionally gained new clients. There is also a correlation between improved social signals and search engine ranking.

A strong social presence engages your audience and offers valuable insights and feedback for your firm to utilize in its internet marketing efforts. Depending on your brand tone, you can use social media to publish content, engage with current affairs, hold polls and advertise your services directly via PPC.

Bring in Good Partners

There is no question that partnering with experienced lawyers would be a huge asset to your law firm. Having highly-qualified partners would be great for your clients and help your firm get more visibility and online reviews. Consider the fact that adding a good criminal lawyer, who can clearly explain difficult concepts and can help their clients understand the ins and outs of the process they’re going through, can elevate your firm’s reputation and attract more clients in the future.

If you apply these ideas at your firm, there is little doubt that it will grow. Of course, if you are just starting out, you will have to put one foot in front of the other and pay your dues. However, once you implement these ideas at your law firm, you will get there sooner rather than later.

Closely Follow Your Budget and ROI

How long is a piece of string? How much should you spend on internet marketing? There are standard industry benchmarks, but these figures are malleable. Internet marketing is a long-term investment that calls for proper budgeting.

The budget determines how you roll out your internet marketing campaigns and the types of content marketing you decide to invest in. Digital marketing tactics are based on real-time data. Its flexible and agile methods constantly respond to behavioral economics, which calls for careful ROI monitoring.

For example, keeping a watchful eye on PPC campaigns can save money. Through A/B testing, you can run the same ad with altered variables such as image and copy changes to determine which works best. Now, without monitoring, you may run the same ad without positive results and waste money.

Effective budgeting will help you create content that resonates with your audience and optimize it for high search visibility, bringing quality leads. A top-tier digital marketing agency will always be transparent with budgets and help you achieve these goals.

Can Lawyers Do Their Own Marketing?

law firm digital marketing

Many legitimate reasons prevent law firms of all sizes from hiring an internet marketing agency, like allocating more budget for marketing and reluctance in trusting a third party to understand and execute credible legal marketing plans.

While it’s possible for lawyers to handle their marketing to a limited extent, the determining factors boil down to time and focus. Why spend time on something when you can hire legal marketing experts who deliver guaranteed results?

How to Do Inbound Marketing Law Firms on Your Own?

If you’ve reached a marketing plateau, or are uncertain about hiring an internet marketing agency for lawyers, ask yourself the following:

  • Has your firm experienced a decline in online leads?
  • Has your firm’s website been updated in the last two years?
  • Has your firm grown? Do you need to build its online reputation?
  • Have you run out of time to execute proper marketing strategies?
  • Do you need to level up your law firm marketing plan but lack expertise?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you should seriously consider outsourcing your marketing work. Digital marketing has many moving parts, but remember, if you’re tight on budget, you don’t have to implement everything at once. You can start with a website redesign and basic SEO package and grow your law practice from there.

Common Law Firm Web Marketing Mistakes

When you run a business you can’t avoid all mistakes, but you should do you best to not make the common, but big ones. They’re not just big because of how much money they waste, they’re big because they end up costing law firms dozens and hundreds of potential clients, resulting in millions and millions of dollars opportunity cost each year. 2017 Department of Labor Statistics research showed the median income of only $119,000 a year for lawyers in the U.S. Across the board. Yet, there are those high-earners who make a million or more, and people always wonder how much money do lawyers make? What’s the core difference? High-earners do not make these common mistakes.

1. Not Showing up Where and When Prospective Clients Look for a Law Firm

Most attorneys don’t show up when and where prospective clients are looking.

Back in the day people used Yellow Pages to find a lawyer, or they asked for a referral from friends, family, or other lawyers.

Today, people use Google.

They may still ask for a referral, but an overwhelming number of people turn to Google for convenience and privacy (who wants to spend the time explaining why they need a lawyer?!).

So, being on Google when and where they look is essential, yet, most law firms don’t show up.

“Being on Google” is about more than showing up “somewhere” in search results. The overwhelming majority (75%) of traffic goes to page-one search results, so if you aren’t on page one, you they will not find you.

At most, there are a dozen law firms that show up consistently on page one when you search for services in your practice area. What are they doing right? And how do you right this wrong for your law firm?

The Solution

A lot of this comes down to SEO (search engine optimization) for lawyers, but SEO for lawyers is about more than filling your website with keywords. SEO for law firms comes down to Google recognizing you as an authority in your practice areas and metro, and it can be done strategically.

This kind of marketing generally requires the help of a high-performance marketing and web development agency equipped with the knowledge and experience to deliver results for you.

It’s this kind of marketing that will get you higher rankings on Google, and will get you right in front of prospective clients searching for your services. Big problem solved.

2. Not Budgeting Enough to Accomplish Your Financial Goals

We often meet attorneys who have ambitious goals, but invest less than 3% of their expected revenue into accomplishing these goals. Then they are surprised that their competitors – who are spending 8-12% – get much more business.

It comes down to the numbers. If you want to break $5 million in revenue but are only investing $30,000 in marketing, underbudgeting is a problem you need to fix.

The Solution

You need to invest 6-10% of the expected revenue in the marketing to make your goals work. Unless you have a ton of recurring business, keeping your client pipeline lubed with savvy marketing and proven strategies is the only way to grow your business. But, don’t forget to spend 1-1.5% on marketing to your past clients. Maintaining old relationships produces great ROI.

Talk to a digital marketing company that worked with other lawyers, and discuss your goals to determine how much your law firm should invest in marketing to get there.

3. Having a Million-Dollar Receptionist

Ever called a service provider’s office (doctor, accountant, lawyer, dentist) to consider some questions to ask law firms before scheduling a meeting, only to talk to a receptionist who couldn’t provide you the right answers. Crappy experiences leads to crappy outcomes.

Often, such an underperforming receptionist will miss a number of opportunities to schedule appointments for the attorney; or, prospect will not show up because they had a more positive experience with a receptionist at another firm.

A couple missed opportunities per week, lead to a 100+ lost opportunities per year, if each of those opportunities were worth $5,000, that’s $500,000 out the window.

The Solution

Your receptionist will cost you millions unless you align their performance standards with the service and sales you want your law firm to live up to. For example: 80% of all prospect calls must result in appointments, and a 90% show-up rate is expected.

To get to the heart of the problem, you can have your  marketing agency set up a service that records calls so you can listen the recordings and understand if your receptionist is just costing you that $40,000-$50,000 salary or if they’re costing you millions.

If they underperform, coach or look at hiring a real A-team player. also has some great high-level considerations when looking at your receptionist’s performance.

4. Not Giving Prospects a Reason to Choose You Over Every Other Lawyer

So, prospects are calling in, and you’re having the necessary conversations. Why aren’t they choosing your law firm over your competitors?

We see all too often that attorneys aren’t giving their prospects a reason to choose them over their competitors.

The Solution

Come up with a solid reason why prospects should choose you. How does your service directly meet their needs? What kind of information and education do you provide quicker than the next lawyer on their list? How do you solve their problems more aggressively or effectively?

Once you have your reason, tell them. Then tell them again. Your reason should be focused on prospective clients and their problems or needs, not on you.

And once you’ve told prospects why they should choose you, deliver on that promise. There are hundreds or even thousands of lawyers in your area that do what you do, so get this essential sales language in place and communicate it to everyone in your office for a single and more compelling voice.

Does your law firm have a plan for growth in 2023?
Does your law firm have a plan for growth in 2023?

Let us help you create a growth plan



Understanding the essential elements of digital strategy can help you improve your presence online, content creation, and ultimately capture more leads. Many lawyers already use the power of digital marketing to stand out from their competition. If you feel it’s time to up your game and hire the experts, then call us at (312) 265-0580 or click here to learn how we’ll develop your digital marketing strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

In what cities do you work?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in New Orleans or Minneapolis. You can even find our internet marketing experts in Washington D.C.! If you want to know more about our Cleveland digital marketing agency or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

About the Author
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
More Stan's articles
Stan Bogdashin
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