Law Firm Marketing in 2023: Beginner to Pro Guide

Article by Kristaps Brencans Kristaps Brencans

Last updated

Law firm marketing involves understanding your customer’s needs and promoting your legal services to them using paid and organic strategies. It is necessary to ensure your firm has a filled pipeline of high quality leads.

However, most attorneys today struggle with framing a robust law firm marketing plan that helps them reach and persuade their audience. They end up relying on referrals and the courthouse for getting new clients — which are both unsustainable in the long run.

As an award-winning law firm marketing agency, it’s no surprise to us that firms had a utilization rate of merely 31% in the Clio Trends 2021 Report. Today, we want to share law firm marketing strategies to improve your financial performance.

Ready to grow your law practice? Let’s get started!

Related: Personal Injury Lawyer Marketing: Ultimate Guide for 2023

What is Law Firm Marketing?

Law firm marketing is the act of promoting your law firm services to attract potential clients. It involves creating a marketing strategy and is commonly implemented using several methods that include paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media marketing.

Why Do Law Firms Need Marketing?

Law firms need marketing to keep existing clients and attract new ones. Having new cases is one of the top priorities of any firm as the future of the business depends highly on it.

What Are The Benefits of Legal Marketing?

Legal marketing is beneficial to a law firm in many ways. Here are some of the main reasons that a law firm can benefit from law firm digital marketing.

  • Attract new clients
  • Manage and improve reputation online
  • Improve ranking in search engines
  • Gather data to improve digital marketing strategy

Who Manages Law Firm Marketing Campaigns?

There are two ways that a law firm can manage their marketing campaigns: with an in-house marketing team or with a third-party marketing agency. Most law firms want to focus on client work full-time, so they would typically hire a digital marketing firm to take care of their marketing for them.

What is The Typical Law Firm Marketing Budget?

Your law firm’s marketing budget should be anywhere from 5-20% of your profit. Based on this, you should be able to come up with an estimate of how much you’ll be spending on your marketing campaigns. The cost of law firm marketing would also depend on your end goal and where you currently stand with your marketing assets.

What Are The Most Common Marketing Strategies for Law Firms?

Most law firms use a combination of traditional and digital marketing strategies to have wide coverage. Traditional law firm marketing includes word-of-mouth referrals while digital marketing tactics usually leverage paid digital ads and law firm SEO.

Related: Criminal defense attorney marketing: A simple guide for 2023

12 Classic Attorney Marketing Tactics

12 attorney marketing tactics

Get Referrals From Existing Clients

Referrals from existing clients are effective because they come from first-hand experience. If you focus on giving your legal services with a client-centered approach, you are bound to get new clients from referrals. This powerful (and free) tactic has been proven time and again, despite the many digital advancements in marketing.

Try Print Advertising (With Scannable QR Codes)

A great way to combine traditional and online marketing tactics is to run print ads with QR codes that lead to a law firm website or landing page. Make sure to create a strong visual with a catchy headline to ensure potential clients can scan the QR code and visit your site.

Sponsor Local Events

Bringing your legal services to the attention of real-world potential clients can be done through sponsoring local events. Make a list of events in your area where your target marketing might be attending. Reach out to the event organizers and pitch a sponsorship package that benefits both your audience and your firm.

Get on Billboards

Law firms are one of the few businesses that can benefit from billboards because they cater to a wide audience and do not necessarily need an immediate sale/conversion. If your goal is to build brand awareness and become top-of-mind for legal services in your practice area, then a billboard might be the right marketing tool to serve your purpose.

Billboards come in physical and digital forms. Physical billboards can cost around $750 to $14000 a month, while digital billboards can cost as low as $10 per day (for a 10-second clip) or $1,200 to $15,000 a month for dedicated digital billboards.

Claim Your Online Profiles and Listings

Aside from Google, people who need legal assistance check online law firm listings to look for a lawyer. Getting your firm listed in Google and other legal directories online like can help broaden your online visibility and generate more leads.

Provide a Great User Experience On Your Law Firm Website

The backbone of your entire law firm marketing efforts is your website. It represents your law firm brand and will probably be the first place where your potential clients will first be looking when considering hiring you — even if they become aware of your law practice offline.

Your website should be easy to navigate, have only one call-to-action (CTA) on the homepage, and your contact information must be easy to find. You also need to decide on how you want your website design and layout to look. Most law firms hire a law firm website design agency to bring their ideas to life.

Your website should also be a platform for your content marketing campaign, such as your blog, landing pages, testimonials, and case studies.

Kick Off Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization for law firms is arguably the most effective channel for your law firm to get new clients. As per a Milestone research study of 500 location-based websites, organic search brings 69% of digital traffic.​​

SEO has three crucial components: content, links, and technical SEO. While working with our clients, we allocate our resources (based on the client’s budget) across these.

You need to conduct a law firm SEO audit using a tool like Ahrefs, then create a custom strategy allocating resources based on your website’s current requirements.

Once you start building authority and ranking on the first page for your primary practice area, it’s a signal that search engines have started trusting your site. From there, you can target new keywords and keep building links.

Invest in Local SEO

There are two prime real estates you can own as a local business in SERPs: local pack and localized organic results.

Let’s first talk about dominating the maps. Here are the three factors that affect local search ranking according to Google.

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence

You can’t control the distance of your prospect searching for your services from you. However, optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly called Google My Business or GMB, and getting reviews can help you with the other two factors.

For our clients, we’ve found the following aspects improved their Google My Business optimization:

  • Carefully chosen primary and secondary business categories in their listing,
  • The usage of relevant keywords in their GMB title,
  • Complete business information.

Remember to read Google’s detailed guidelines for businesses and ensure you comply with them.

You also need to build citations with consistent NAP + W (name, law office address, phone number, and website) across the web from local directories, social profiles, and the like. Check all contact information on each website or directory for your law firm and ensure they are all the same (and correct).

This means you need to clean any incorrect, incomplete, and duplicate citations to improve your ranking chances.

For improving organic local rankings, you’ll need to focus on creating location pages as they are important for your local SEO. These pages are dedicated pages for the location and practice area your business serves.

Additionally, you should consider creating a content hub for all the law practice areas you offer services in for your primary business location.

If you’re expanding multi-location, you should pursue multi-location SEO. This can call for restructuring your website and creating content hubs for every location across all the practice areas you want to serve.

Start a Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing is simply creating and repurposing content across multiple marketing channels. A blog post that you wrote for your blog can be summarized or restructured to become a LinkedIn post. A video explainer uploaded on YouTube can be shortened for an Instagram Reel. A podcast interview can be transcribed into a blog post.

There are many ways to be creative with your content even if you’re talking about the same topic for, say, family law. The key is to discover what your target audience likes to consume (gather social media data for this) and make more of those.

Level up Your Social Media Marketing

If you find that your social media posts in Facebook and LinkedIn are not getting you the results you want, revisit your content and consider video marketing.

Video content is getting more popular with online audiences, with a 2023 report indicating that 89% of consumers buy a product or service after watching a video. Check out our guide on video marketing for lawyers to help you get started.

Focus on Business Development

Business development involves continuously coming up with initiatives and marketing ideas to grow your law firm. Whether you’re exploring a marketing method that you haven’t done before or revisiting a strategy that doesn’t seem to be working, it all boils down to the ultimate goal of making the business more profitable.

This is why having a digital marketing tool to track your campaign’s performance is essential. You won’t know how to improve your law firm marketing if you don’t know how you are currently doing.

Run Google Ads

Pay per click is a relatively underutilized digital marketing tactic by law firms. The reason is, especially in competitive lawyer markets such as personal injury, the cost per click (CPC) for running Google ads could touch an astonishing $1000.

However, if you run PPC ads on a decent advertising budget (determined best by law firm PPC experts), you can receive leads through your website — much quicker than SEO.

To improve the effectiveness of your campaign, you need:

  • Phrases you can target (identified via keyword research) that have purchase intent but are relatively low competition.
  • Dynamic ad copy personalized for every searcher (to stay relevant to your prospects).
  • Custom landing pages that communicate your value proposition persuasively (while reaffirming the offer you made in your ad copy).
  • A data-backed understanding of your complete PPC funnel so that you can optimize your campaign and bring down your costs. Appending UTM parameters to your URLs can help with the same.

Once you start getting impressions and clicks on your ads, track each lead’s quality. On The Map Marketing provides a “Notes” column to our clients for providing feedback on every incoming prospect. You can do something similar for your campaigns.

Lawyer Marketing: 4 Best Practices for 2023

Lawyer marketing 4 best practices for 2023

Want to have more potential clients in your sales funnel that become your high-value customers? Then here are six quick lawyer lead generation tips for 2023:

Build a Customer Centric Brand

One way to attract clients to your firm is to treat them like customers from the first point of contact. Always respond to their queries and follow up if you don’t hear back from them. Make every potential client feel welcome and offer the best assistance you can. Focusing on providing great client experience will benefit you in many aspects, including client acquisition and positive client reviews.

Strengthen Your E-E-A-T

As a small law firm, one of the most effective ways to stand out in SERPs is by focusing on improving your E-E-A-T, a criteria for Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which is used for evaluating content quality online.

E-E-A-T stands for:

E- Experience

E – Expertise

A – Authoritativeness

T – Trustworthiness

Google looks at the authenticity of a content, including its author. One way to meet this standard is to create an author profile for your blog posts and make sure that it shows at the bottom of each post. An author profile should provide information about the author and what makes them an expert in the topic they are writing about. For instance, a trusts and estates lawyer is qualified to write a guide on estate planning, so it should fit the E-E-A-T standard.

Get More Online Reviews

Getting positive online reviews can be a highly effective way to attract quality leads and give you a steady stream of new clients. Reviews are prominently displayed in Google search results for businesses, so people gravitate towards businesses that have 4 stars and above and quickly become prospective clients.

There’s no formula or shortcut to getting positive online reviews, so you need to focus on providing an impressive client experience that will motivate past clients to write a review.

Although you can encourage past clients to write reviews for your law firm, there should be no reward or incentives offered, as a rule stated by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Monitor the Return on Investment of Each Marketing Activity

A new social media platform might take center stage every month, but a good marketing strategy is backed by data. Ultimately paying clients will sustain your law firm business. So track the results of your financial investment on every marketing activity — from website traffic to open rates in email marketing – unless its purpose is pure brand awareness.

Free tools like Google Analytics will help you gather data about your law firm website, including your most visited pages and audience behavior. This and many more insights can help you improve your marketing plan.

Hire Marketing Experts (If Needed…)

Marketing can take time to master. Small law firms and solo lawyers won’t have enough time and resources to learn all the strategies and methods and get marketing efforts with excellent results.

Most law firms don’t have millions to spend on physical marketing collateral to generate new business. They have limited marketing dollars to get the attention of their potential clients. So if your budget doesn’t cut it, look beyond running ads on TV, newspapers, and radio.

Whether you want to start small with a law firm website or go big with a multi-channel digital marketing campaign, your best option would be to get it done for you by marketing experts who specialize in marketing for law firms.

Ready to get started with your law firm’s marketing strategy? Give us a call today!

I started as a project manager at On The Map Marketing in 2015 and now run the day-to-day operations as the company’s chief executive officer. In the last few years, I have overseen thousands of successful SEO campaigns in numerous industries, including lawyers, contractors, E-commerce, and other markets. I am also a proud dad of three divas and take a keen interest in running and calisthenics.