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Updated: August 27, 2021

Marketing for Law Firms: How to Get Clients as a Lawyer [2021 Edition]

Just about every law firm wants more and better cases. This is why competition in marketing is so tough. Every prospective client has many options. How do you make sure they 1) find you and; 2) retain you instead of one of your competitors? Naturally, attorneys look to marketing companies to help them, but most end up wasting money on ineffective marketing.

What is the Key to Lawyer Marketing?

How do you ensure that the next time you hire a legal marketing firm, they will actually deliver the results you need?

Start by understanding what works and what does not BEFORE you hire a marketing firm.

Grill possible vendors with questions to make sure they have more than a sales pitch. Have them present a specific plan of how they’ll take you from where you are today (X number of new clients per month) to Y, where you want to be. No plan, no contract!

So, how do you get new clients to your law firm? 

Keep reading to learn everything you have to know to ask.

How to Get New Clients as a Lawyer

  • 28% of Lawyers get new clients from directories
  • 31% of new clients you can get by referral from other attornies
  • 40% of clients find a lawyer on Google
  • 62% of clients came from friends

So, digital marketing for lawyers may bring you more than 50% of all possible customers.

How to Get Clients for Your Law Firm — The Formula for Success

Findability + High-performing Website + Helpfulness = More Clients

how to get clients as a lawyer

 

The core components featured above work in unison to create meaningful, tangible growth for your law firm. By engaging these three critical objectives, you will see your client roster grow. Understand, however, that alone or implementing just two of the three components will not work. All three must be implemented at the same time. Make sure that you know these fundamentals:

Be Easy to Find

You won’t get more clients if you don’t find new customers for your law firm. You have to be where your ideal clients are looking for lawyers and where they’re looking for information regarding their legal challenges or needs. And here’s where they look:

  • Google–Top of the page
  • Google–map pack
  • Google–organic search results
  • Law Firm Directories like Avvo, SuperLawyers, Yelp, etc.
  • YouTube–looking for answers to their legal questions

(Hint: they are unlikely to look for a lawyer on Facebook or Instagram)

Make Use of Good Infographics

clients looking for an attorney

If your website or information you provided shows up in the top results, you’ll be found by your prospective clients. If not, it will be as if you don’t exist. When you are thinking about getting more leads, you need to understand where your customers are. Web marketing for lawyers is an answer.

Create a High-Performance Website

If all those law firm marketing services paid off and your website, Youtube channel, or directory listings are easy to find, your prospects will visit your website. But then, will they find a high-performance tool that helps them decide in your favor or a limp online brochure that underwhelms in comparison to your competitors’ websites?

Literally, ALL your other marketing efforts will underperform or fail (and you’ll waste a lot of money) if you don’t have a website optimized to convert attention (visitors) into action (calls to your office or online inquiries, and/or people providing you with their contact info). If you want to convert your leads into new clients for your law firm, let’s think about your website performance.

We’ll get more into this later.

Be Helpful to Get More Clients

Even the most prestigious law firms require a proper SEO marketing strategy to make it to the highest placement in Google search. Your firm will be no different. Embrace SEO and proven means of digital marketing to grow your organic traffic through higher authority rankings, and hence, higher placement on Google and other search engines.

What is the key to getting more legal clients? Is to answer clients’ questions. The more helpful your content is, the longer you keep them on your site. And the longer they spend on your site, the more relevant your site will appear to Google, and the more people Google will send to your site (there are many other factors Google considers in its algorithm, but this one is considered very important).

Now let’s make it happen.

How Attorneys Can Get More Clients in 2021

The pandemic shutdown has impacted nearly every business sector, and law firms are no exception. It has also pushed businesses, including law firms, to embrace digital marketing in ways and at levels that they may never have before. This means competition online is at its fiercest. However, your law firm will thrive with the proper measures in place, garnering more clients and increased revenue in 2021. Follow this guide to understand how to implement the proper steps.

Google!

More people use Google to find lawyers than any other channel. To attract clients as a lawyer, you need to work on your organic visibility.

How to Get More Prospects to Find my Law Firm

How to Attract More Legal Clients Using a Search Engine (Examples)

Your firm doesn’t even exist to most of your potential clients if you aren’t on page one for most relevant searches used to

  • look for lawyers who do what you do or
  • look for information related to a legal issue an attorney like you can provide.

But everyone wants to be on page one; how do you get there amidst such tough competition?

1. Deliver more useful information than your competitors do on a search engine optimized website (SEO). Create a page for each question your prospects and legal clients ask, and provide a meaningful answer. This will attract a lot more people to your site.

Deliver more useful information than your competitors do on a SEO

2. Run ads on page one of Google. This will bring a lot more people to your site.

3. Optimize your website for local search. This will bring a lot more people to your site.

How Lawyers Get Clients with Organic Search

You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO). On the surface, you might even know that it involves weaving keywords (search terms) into website text. Also, a lot of potential clients type his question in Google to find an attorney.

But this is just one of literally hundreds of SEO tactics that matter. Optimizing your site for search means your law firm website will be ranked higher when someone searches for the services you provide.

And the drop-off from one ranking to the next is astronomical.

Did you know the first website to show in search results historically gets about 30% of clicks, while the second only gets 15%? By the time you’re on page two of search results, you’re looking at less than 2% of clicks.

How to Get More Clients for My Law Firm Using SEO (Tutorial)

To optimize your visibility in search, there are on-site and off-site SEO tactics to take into account.

  • On-site SEO talks about content on your site and the keywords you include. You want to include words and search terms that help Google index you as an expert in your field. But it’s more than just your website copy. SEO also weighs in on where to include keywords (for example, a keyword can be stronger when used in headers, titles, and URL slugs). And how about metadata (descriptions and tags) used on your blogs and photos? Absolutely every element on every page can be optimized.
  • Off-site SEO talks about your website’s relevance, according to the rest of the internet. The more external sites you have linking to your own (and the more relevant and higher ranking those sites are), the more your content will be indexed as helpful on topics you want to rank for. This is where active profiles on online directories come in especially handy—keep reading to see how we get into it in another section.

on-site-seo-vs-off-site-seo

To get started, the big question in SEO for lawyers is how to know what keywords to use.

Our two cents: think like your prospects. What do they want to know? Can you think of an example? Good, but you’re not there yet. Now take that example and ask, “how would I ask that on Google?”

We’ll give you a hint: your prospects are more likely to google “what happens in a personal injury case” than they are “liability and financial compensation for personal injury law.”

How to Attract New Legal Clients Through Content Marketing

Next in Findability comes producing and distributing value-added content. Attract your clients by giving them useful information.

Remember that question, “How helpful are you to prospects before they choose to hire you?” Well, content is where you make yourself useful. This is your long-term strategy to Get More Clients Using Content Marketing.

Yes, your law firm website is filled with content. But content can get a lot more interesting—and a lot more practical—for your prospects.

Do you like filling out worksheets? Ticking-off checklists? Have you ever downloaded a white paper or a resource list?

Examples of Content Marketing Strategies for Attorneys That Will Increase Leads

These are examples of the kinds of content you should create for your prospects. And we’re not talking about checklists for the grocery store. No, we’re talking about valuable content that answers the questions your prospects have.

Forbes has something to say about how to do content marketing the right way, but we’ll give you an example:

Say you practice estate law. You have clients who are bereaved, sometimes overwhelmed with paperwork and legal mumbo-jumbo. And so they’re digging for answers and google, “what does an estate executor DO?”

That’s where your blog should pop up. Google sees you’ve written an article about that very topic. And in that article, you offer a free checklist of all the paperwork an estate executor needs to get—and in what order.

All prospects have to do to get it is enter their names and email addresses to download.

You collect those names and email addresses, then you continue sending those prospects resources. You already know what legal issue they’re facing, so it’s just a matter of sending them more information and tools that will be useful.

Content Marketing for Law Firms

In basic terms, that’s how you get more clients using content marketing. Most of the buying process is done through online research before a call, so you need to make yourself useful to all those prospects who are still “doing their homework.” Give them value and help them through the process so they’ll remember you when they are finally ready to buy.

How Google Ads or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Help Attorneys Get New Clients

Typically, lawyers get their clients through the following mediums:

  • Family and friend referrals
  • Online search
  • Referrals from other lawyers
  • Legal directory

But in 2021, times have changed, and more aggressive modes of outreach (via inbound methods) are required.

Your website will climb up in search results if you get SEO done right, but that will take time. If you’re a new lawyer and want to get your first customers, you can do it through some marketing channels.

What can you do to maximize results fast?

You can pay your way to the top, and there’s no shame in it. All types of business entities—large and small—advertise here through Google Ads.

SEM for Attorneys

You know how this works, but you may not have calculated the math:

The first three to four search results on Google are ads served through Google Ads. These companies compete for potential clients’ attention. The game is simple: there is an arbitrage if your site works well in converting visitors into phone calls and online requests for more information. For example, for every $1,000 invested in digital marketing for my law firm, I will get an average of $5,000 engagement. Particularly for lawyers, there are some that are higher than that.

A $1,000 investment for a $5,000 engagement may seem pricey, but what’s the alternative? Continue getting by on sporadically trickling-down referrals? No. This is the way to grow systematically. Those lawyers that know get it.

Before hiring a good marketing company to run this for you, make sure to calculate your numbers:

  • What my typical client is worth to my firm?
  • How much am I willing to invest in getting a new client?

Just like an experienced stockbroker, knowing your numbers will help you have a steady hand and make better decisions.

Return Leads to Convert Them into Customers for a Law Firm With Remarketing

Let’s say you’ve done your SEO right, have a Google Ads campaign running, and you’re absolutely crushing it in website traffic.

Some people will reach out right away, while others may not be ready to engage in a conversation. Yet. That second group is much larger than the first. How do you make sure that you stay top of mind with these people?

Yet Again — Use Infographic

Without going into technical details, remarketing for law firms works like this: after a potential client visits the website, they will start seeing banner ads on other websites reminding them about the website they have visited.

Remarketing - working process

This is enormously important, as the decision to engage in a conversation with an attorney may take weeks or months to make. They absolutely must have you at the top of their minds when they’re ready.

How Lawyers Get New Customers Using Directories

Google itself is a directory of local listings, but it’s one of a hundred. In addition to curating your Google review ratings and keeping your profile up-to-date, there are other directories you should be on, too.

Here are some of the top directories for lawyers:

  1. Avvo
  2. Justia
  3. Lawyers.com
  4. FindLaw
  5. HireMeLegal.org
  6. Nolo
  7. HG.org
  8. Jurist.org
  9. AllLaw.com
  10. BestLawyers.com
  11. Lawyers And Settlements

Directories for lawyers - Nolo, HG.org, FindLaw, HireMeLegal.org, Avvo, Justia, Lawyers.com

Why are Directories Beneficial for Lawyers?

The “why” here is important. There are three main reasons why you should use directories as part of your law firm’s internet marketing.

  1. Directories rank you higher on Google. Here, Google is constantly crawling the web to figure out which websites serve what purpose. That way, they know they’re giving users good results when they type queries in. Your directory profiles tell Google what you do and where you do it.
  2. Directory listings linked to your website boost your search engine visibility. Let’s come back to those Google algorithms again. You want to be findable, and to be findable, you have to be as visible as possible. The more external sites (like directories) you have pointing to yours with data describing what you do, the more visible you’ll be within search terms for your practice areas.
  3. And people just like directories. First of all, directories offer lists that people can shop quickly and easily when they’re looking for a service. And second of all, those same directories also offer reviews and ratings that consumers positively devour.

Law firm directory listings - lawyer profiles

Expert tip: You can pay directories to rank higher than your competitors in listings. So, when a prospect types in “personal injury lawyer in Chicago,” you can use the paid ranking to get more of those clicks. Talk to your marketing company about the metrics and how to break down costs.

How New Lawyers Bring New Clients into a Law Firm — Social Media Marketing

This is a controversial one. Some marketing firms will pitch social media like it’s the hottest thing. But the reality is that social media does not produce spectacular results for lawyers.

Think about it this way… people use Google when they need something (like legal services), and people use Facebook for entertainment. Professional service providers promote on Google to sell services, and Facebook to… well, branding, to show that they are human, not faceless businesses.

Social Media Marketing

Try to Get Good Reviews

Consumers trust reviews on Google, TikTok, Yelp, Avvo, and Facebook as much as they trust recommendations from their friends. The more positive reviews your prospects see, the higher the probability that clients will retain your services.

Ask your clients to post reviews. Some will, some won’t, but never fail to ask.

To make the task of leaving a review easier, do send them a link to the listing where you want them to leave a review (Google, Avvo, Yelp, Facebook, wherever) so that they can just click it and post a review.

Trust reviews on Google, Yelp, Avvo and Facebook

Strangely, Google makes it somewhat complicated to leave a review, so here is the link to the 4-step instruction on how to add a review on Google.

Reputation Management is Key

Now, let’s be honest — some of those reviews will be positive, and others will be negative. And it’s crucial you address all negative reviews.

Your replies have to show the integrity your prospects want to know you have. If something went wrong, you would fix it.

Negative reviews can also be a learning opportunity if the complaint touches on something you should do better. All responses to negative reviews will amount to you either offering to help (“Please call me directly, I want to make this right”) or calling out a malarkey review when one happens.

Reputation Management

Part of reputation management also comes back to those directories we talked about above. A lot of those directories crawl the web to create business listings automatically, so it’s important to “claim” your pages to check details and ensure information is correct. This has to be part of your reputation management so that you know where to find any mention of your firm.

There’s a lot more strategy behind this, and knowing what tools to use to track new reviews is another thing altogether. We have a summary of Ideas For Growth By Encouraging Positive Reviews, so read up!

Build a High-Performance Website

Having a high-performing website is a huge factor that will impact your success. But how is that measured?

A poor-performing website convinces (converts) less than 1% of all visitors to pick up the phone and call. And even if 1 out of every 3 to 4 people you talk to become your clients, that still means only 0.25-0.33% of all the people who visit the website trust you to handle their legal matters.

Google analytics statistics

Now, a high-performing website can convert as many as 10% of visitors into callers. And with the same 1-of-4 closing ratio used above, that’s 2.5% of all website visitors turning into clients.

If you have 500 visitors to your website in a month, that’s 12-13 new clients.

Here’s a checklist of some key factors that determine your website’s success:

  1. Competitive design. Yes, we judge a book by its cover. What would happen if you showed up to a meeting in a wrinkled suit? Your website has to look as good or better than your competitors; otherwise, you may be perceived as a lesser option before they even talk to you.
  2. Visitors want you to be an expert (their) problem solver. Does your website convince visitors that you can solve their specific problem? Use case studies and/or reviews that speak to your expertise in solving problems like the ones they have.
  3. User experience across devices.Was your website designed before 2013? Then it’s not optimized for mobile. With more than 50% of searches for attorneys done from mobile devices today, an optimized mobile experience for attorneys is a must.
  4. Speed. Simply put, a slow-loading site is a bad user experience, and bad user experience leads to bad (slow) business.
  5. Prospects want to feel safe when hiring an attorney. Does your website convey an authentic message that is easy to read, understand and relate to? The best way to relate is by providing the information your prospects search for and featuring case studies and reviews.

Here’s What It Comes Down to…

It’s a dog-eat-dog, attorney-eat-attorney world out there. And the lawyers who know how to hire the best marketing firms and maximize results from law firm marketing and web design get more clients.

Here’s What It Comes Down To…

Take a look at your goals — and at your marketing vendor. Are they a good fit for you? Are you a good fit for them?

Make sure to hire experts and keep them accountable. Have them report the following metrics to you on a monthly basis:

  • How many visitors they brought to your website
  • How many of the visitors reached out to you
  • What was the average cost of a lead/opportunity (CPL)

… and be sure to tell the marketing firm how many of the people you spoke to have already become or are expected to become your clients.

If the numbers are not where they should be, talk to us. We’ll get you more clients with a plan that takes all parts of digital marketing for law firms into account.

Need a high-performance website for your law firm?
Book a 15-min call to discuss

Comrade is a Chicago-based digital marketing company that specializes in website design and marketing for attorneys. Read more about our content marketing service for law firms.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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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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