26 min read
Updated: November 17, 2022

How to Grow Your Client Base With Law Firm Lead Generation

Whether you're a law firm or an independent attorney, you need qualified leads to survive. Word-of-mouth referrals used to be one of the primary lead-generation tactics for lawyers; however, more and more firms have come to realize the immense reach and boundless opportunities afforded by digital marketing.

Lead flow is a crucial metric for law firms and digital marketing because it validates marketing spend and effort. In this blog, we discuss why it's essential to initiate a digital marketing lead generation strategy, as well as some tips on how to get your prospective clients to convert.

Why Is Lead Generation for Lawyers Important?

Client touchpoints occur two to four times more frequently on digital platforms than in traditional in-person interactions. As clients grow more comfortable interacting online, digital channels will continue to create significant revenue opportunities.

McKinsey estimates many companies can increase topline revenues by 10-20%, even in highly saturated markets such as the legal industry. With limited room to grow the market pie and high customer acquisition costs, law firms have to make the most of every touchpoint with their potential clients.

This is where digital lead generation can build online visibility, credibility, trust, and interest from specific market segments. When you focus on lead generation, you hone in on specific traffic from high-value customers and greatly improve their chances of converting.

Lead generation is suitable for all types of lawyers, from independent professionals to small law firms and legacy companies. Small law firm lead generation is no different from industry giants—the principles are the same: it’s just the scale and budget that changes.

How Does Digital Marketing Transform Lead Flow?

Lead flow

To understand how digital marketing augments lead generation efforts, think back to before the internet and smartphones became ubiquitous. Law firms would advertise on billboards, for example—they still do, but bear with us here—and anyone driving past would see their advertisement.

Out of the thousands of drivers passing by, how many would actually call? It’s difficult to say.

Enter targeted online advertising. Digital lead generation gives law firms the superpower to target clients who are already looking for their services. For instance, if you’re a divorce attorney and a potential client nearby types in “divorce attorney near me” on Google using their smartphone, you’ll pop up in local search results (assuming your legal marketing is on point).

Research suggests that 100% of people searching for legal advice start online. When they realize they need a lawyer, over 33% of those individuals will continue to search Google to find the best firm. Clearly, legal services have to adapt to an increasingly digital world if they want to continue generating leads.

The difference between traditional and digital advertising leads is that the latter is more precise and generates a higher ROI. Today’s lead generation efforts maximize reach with minimal effort while placing clients at the center of digital marketing strategies.

Top 5 Lead Generation Tips for Law Firms

The greatest advantage of lead generation for legal services is communicating with prospective clients who have already shown an interest in your law firm’s services. Below are some effective lead generation techniques that have the power to convert clicks into clients.

1. Get More Leads with PPC Advertising

How to get more leads with PPC advertising

PPC ads let you target specific types of clients looking for specific legal services. This type of paid advertising yields a high return on investment and generates high-quality leads almost immediately. Used in tandem with SEO, and given its speed, PPC is a good tactic to include in your legal marketing efforts.

Additionally, its flexibility accommodates budgets of all sizes, so you can spend as little or as much as you like. It’s always been a cost-effective way of growing business brands, achieving high profits, and lead generation.

How Pay-Per-Click Works

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a model of digital advertising where the advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

It works like this: Business owners bid on the terms they want to “trigger” their ads. These terms are known as keywords. Every time a potential client starts a search query (types in a keyword/s), Google dives into the pool of ads at its disposal and pics the most relevant ads to the client’s search query.

The search engine performs complex algorithmic calculations to determine which ads are displayed, in which order, and by which advertiser. For Google to choose your ad, it assesses your cost-per-click (CPC) i.e. how much you’re willing to pay and your Quality Score. Your Quality Score is determined by your click-through rate (CTR), relevance, and landing page quality.

Why Lawyers Should Use Local Service Ads

Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are pay-per-lead ads that appear at the very top of search results, including regular PPC ads. A click on an LSA ad connects to a firm’s customized Google profile, where a user can initiate a phone call, text, or appointment booking. This gives you the benefit of only paying for advertising when it works.

Data shows Local Service Ads get 33% of all clicks for lawyer keyword searches. To qualify, you have to provide your active law license information and proof of professional liability insurance, after which Google will provide you with a Google Screened badge —a powerful trust signal for potential new clients.

LSAs only appear for local-specific searches, and offer a more direct approach to screening leads and landing new cases. Mobile users will have an easier time contacting you, which speeds up the conversion process. Furthermore, if you’re already utilizing SEO, and social media ads, then LSAs are a helpful addition to help you cut through the noise around first-page search results.

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2. Social Media Marketing as Lead Generation Magnet

Social media marketing is an invaluable business tool because it facilitates immediate feedback and connection between law firms and clients. According to the American Bar Association, 81% of lawyers say their firms maintain a presence on at least one social media platform.

The key to successful social media marketing is not to sell but to create opportunities for engagement. If people like, share, or comment on your posts, they’re more likely to see your future content. And the more engagement you receive, the greater possibility of lead generation.

Why Lawyers Should Use Social Media

Social media marketing is a scalable version of the human-to-human connection you get on customer calls or in-person events. You can see exactly who your followers are and speak to them in a space where they can respond to you directly. This immediacy helps build trust and authority, which you need to develop for any new client to hire your services.

More obviously, social media is where your audience lives. No matter whether you’re an independent human right lawyer or a personal injury law firm, your future clients are 100% on social media. Sure their preferred platform might vary, but there’s no denying social media is a crucial customer touchpoint.

How to Build Brand Trust on Social Media

Your law firm’s social media posts should connect with potential leads and inform followers about your legal services and your firm’s mission. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are popular platform choices, but it ultimately comes down to which ones your target audience frequents most.

Building trust through social media isn’t overly complicated, but it does take some consideration and awareness. Whatever you do, always make sure you’re publishing content your audience is truly interested in. Think of social media as a bridge to connect prospects to your firm.

The Best Social Media Platforms for Legal Leads

Best social media platforms

The platforms you use will depend on your practice area and target audience. It’s helpful to broadly classify social media networks into three different categories according to their primary function: networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), photo-sharing (Instagram), and video-sharing (YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram).

Once you understand their main functions, it becomes easier to create content tailored to each platform.

  • Facebook: This social media platform is still the largest, with more than two billion people using it every month. While Facebook’s reach is exponential, it tends to prioritize friends-and-family posts, making visibility somewhat of a challenge. That is to say: if you want to achieve optimal results, it’s best to invest in paid social media advertising.
  • Twitter: In just 280 characters, a law firm can showcase its expertise, share news, connect with industry peers and prospective clients. Twitter prioritizes engagement, so polls and hashtags are always a hit, especially if you strategically respond to hot-button issues to showcase your expertise, such as tweeting about a new law or court decision.
  • YouTube: 81% of US adults use YouTube, and 66% of people say they prefer watching video content rather than reading blogs. YouTube is the second most-visited site after Google, which makes it a great channel to attract attention from potential clients.
  • One of the benefits of YouTube videos is they’re multipurpose and easy to integrate into other marketing strategies. For example, you can share videos on almost any social media platform, embed them on your website and even create commercials to advertise on YouTube itself.
  • LinkedIn: Perceived as more of a professional networking platform, LinkedIn is ideal for delivering ads to audiences based on their job title, company, or industry. It’s especially useful for B2B litigation leads.
  • TikTok & Instagram: Both Instagram and TikTok are image and/or video-centric. For those in consumer-focused areas of law, like personal injury, it’s smart to humanize your firm and connect with people on these platforms. However, Instagram and TikTok may not be the most appropriate social media marketing channel for larger firms focused on business clients.

3. Generate More Leads With Content Marketing

Marketing software company Salesforce describes inbound marketing as “a strategic approach that aligns with the needs of your target audience and inspires long-term customer relationships because you provide solutions to their problems”.

Content marketing falls under this banner because it entails creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a defined audience and ultimately convert them into clients.

Why Law Firms Should Use Content Marketing

High-quality content marketing gets your law firm found through organic search. This matters because around 93% of online experiences start with a Google search. Content marketing builds authority and trust with prospective clients. It also generates leads.

Of equal importance: It lets you control the conversation and educate your clients. While traditional advertising focuses on selling, content marketing builds brand recognition and authority. Clients want to hire reputable attorneys, and the only real way to build your reputation online is by publishing high-quality content.

How to Build an Inbound Attorney Lead Generation Content Marketing Funnel

The content marketing funnel is a tool that helps you align your content around the phases of the marketing funnel to build value-based relationships with potential customers. Used correctly, it improves your lead generation marketing efforts and retention.

Different stages of the marketing funnel support the customer journey. Good content will always push leads closer to hiring your services. It’s important to know there isn’t always a hard delineation between these stages. Some clients may go through all, while others may jump straight to the conversion stage.

  • Discovery: The content created at the top of the funnel should spark interest in your audience. Your goal is to offer the best answers to their queries and softly introduce them to your law firm.
  • Consideration: This is the middle of the funnel where you take a prospective client from comprehending an initial idea to a more in-depth understanding of how your legal services can help them.
  • Conversion: Content at the end of the funnel should position your law practice as superior to your competitors and accelerate conversions. Usually, the content at this stage answers very specific questions about your services.

The Best Types of Content for Lead Generation

When it comes to content marketing and legal lead generation, it’s super critical to keep your target audience in mind. Make things simple and clear. You want ordinary people to understand what you’re saying; therefore, stay away from complex jargon. Or, if you must use it, then be sure to provide a layman’s definition.

Your content should also be as evergreen as possible, meaning it can be repurposed and read year after year without becoming outdated. Below are some content marketing formats that suit all stages of the marketing funnel:

  • Blog articles
  • Guest posts
  • FAQs
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Legal webinars

Remember, you always want to align your content strategy with your business goals and target audience’s needs. This ensures every piece of content you create retains value and delivers leads.

Why Your Law Firm Needs Lead Magnets

We can’t talk about content marketing without mentioning lead magnets. A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that’s given away to gather potential clients’ contact details.

For instance, if you specialize in divorce and a prospect arrives at your website. You might offer a free guide on “How to File for Divorce” in exchange for their contact details.

Lead magnets don’t have to be complex; they just have to be valuable enough for prospects to give you their contact details, so you can convert them into leads.

4. Utilize SEO for Lawyer Lead Generation

SEO generates leads by ensuring your law firm’s website, and content marketing are visible in search engines when users search for your target keywords. As search engines become more advanced, they have gotten better at understanding what your potential clients are actually searching for (identifying the keywords people use). This means, a Google search accurately shows the type of content your clients want to see.

Keyword Research an Attorney Lead Generation Strategy

Keyword research for attorneys

Keyword research is the basis of your search engine optimization efforts. It informs your content and lead generation efforts. Driving organic traffic representative of your ideal clients is achieved by optimizing your website and creating content with the right keywords.

Some clients will be ready to convert because your website is optimized to suit their needs, which encourages them to message or call. That’s how SEO contributes to lead generation for lawyers. You can get an unlimited number of relevant leads with the right keywords. It’s really that “simple”.

How to Choose the Right Keywords to Generate Leads

Free software tools like Answer the Public and Google Keyword Planner will help you identify the right keywords for your law practice. Once you’ve found the keywords relevant to your potential clients, you’ll need to strategically use them throughout your website and content marketing.

There are four main types of keywords that correlate with user intent:

  • Navigational: These keywords include a company’s name or specific description of a company. It’s likely users are already familiar with the business and want to navigate its website. For example, “Davis Polk & Wardwell”.
  • Informational: The vast majority of leads require questions that need answering. Think about the types of queries your potential client’s type on Google or YouTube. For example, “how to file for a divorce” or “do I need a will?”.
  • Transactional: These keywords are the Holy Grail of search marketing because they’re used when potential clients are close to converting. For example, “hire a personal injury lawyer near me”.
  • Commercial: These words have high search volumes because they’re competitive and are often used in marketing campaigns and advertising efforts. For example, “business litigation lawyer”.

How does this work in reality? A potential client wanting to find out if they have a case will likely search “claim compensation for workplace injury” before they type “personal injury lawyer near me”. As you can see, planning keyword usage is a methodical and strategic process necessary for lead generation.

5. Use Online Directories

Online directories such as lawyers.com. Avvo and Super Lawyers are excellent lead generators. Clients naturally gravitate towards them because they do the heavy lifting of listing all the potential attorneys available to help them.

Higher-quality directories allow you to answer legal questions asked by prospective clients, submit content as a “guest author”, and earn reviews.

These activities help you build up authority in your practice area. And while they can be posted on your website, having them listed on another authoritative site is better for SEO.

Attract Leads with Google My Business

It would be amiss to mention directories without including Google My Business (GMB) which pulls together Maps and Search to create a business directory that tells users who nearby is offering what they want. Given each state has different bar regulations, getting clients out of your locality makes little sense. This is where local SEO and GMB come in.

When a user searches for a law firm nearby, Google checks its local business directory and provides the most relevant results for their location. According to the search engine, a third of mobile searches are location related, which means a massive amount of internet research is locally orientated.

So, for firms that do local business, having a free GMB profile makes a serious difference to their reach and lead generation. It takes less time to optimize a GMB profile than get a robust PPC advertising campaign up and running. A GMB listing enhances your SEO and local SERP rankings, increasing leads and raising your profile above competing attorneys.

How to Get the Most From Your Directory Listing

When choosing directories, be sure to evaluate their ROI and SEO backlinks/inbound link capabilities. The better they are, the higher the quality of the directory. Figure out what your ROI is per lead, and then make sure the directories you’re listed on either supersede that or offer valuable link juice.

To make the most of your listing, do the following:

  • Consistent, accurate NAP: Your law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be consistent across listings. Consistency is important for ranking purposes and visibility.
  • Describe key practice areas: If there are certain practice areas you want to target in your marketing efforts, then be sure to list those on your profile. Describe in detail what you do and use relevant keywords to boost your rankings.
  • Prioritize reviews: Statistics repeatedly show clients care about reviews. Reviews provide social proof and have a big impact on your firm’s overall digital reputation. Setting up a review acquisition and management strategy is pivotal to your firm’s success.
  • Promote Your website/blog: Add your website or blog to drive leads further down the marketing funnel.
  • Complete your listing: Fill out all the available sections if they apply to your firm. The more complete your profile is, the greater your visibility, leads, and conversion rate.
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Hire Attorney Lead Generation Experts

Unlike other industries, attorney lead generation strategies have to account for advertising restrictions, which is why hiring an attorney lead generation expert can help. Moreover, generating leads isn’t enough. You still need to convert them into paying clients. And that’s what digital marketing strategies are all about.

If you need lead generation services or marketing services, Comrade Digital Marketing can help. Our lead generation for lawyers achieves a 70% increase in sales leads for all our legal clients. We’ll make your law firm more visible in organic search results and ensure you win the lead generation game. Don’t get left behind. Contact us today to increase your client base and leads.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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