Law Firm Marketing: A Complete Guide to Growing Your Legal Practice Online
13 minutes to read
If you’ve tried marketing your law firm online, you know it can be a time-consuming, expensive, and exhausting process.
Especially if you don’t have a background in marketing.
This guide will make it simple.
We’ll give you everything you need to do to grow your law firm with online marketing — without breaking the bank or going back to school.
What we’ll cover:
- An Introduction to the Online Sales Funnel
- Top of Funnel – Increasing awareness and driving traffic to your website
- Middle of Funnel – Turning website visitors into leads
- Bottom of Funnel – Turning leads into clients
An Introduction to the Online Sales Funnel
Your clients are already going through your sales funnel; you just don’t have any control over how they go about it.
And that’s a bad thing.
If you’re unaware of how your prospective clients hear about you, why they decide to choose you over a competitor, or what you could have done to turn more of them into clients — you’re in trouble.
Understanding, and then optimizing, your law firm’s sales funnel will drive more people to your website and turn more of them into clients.
Consider the path your average client likely takes:
- First, they have a problem. They go looking for a legal professional to help them solve it.
- They research law firms near them who specialize in solving their problem.
- They create a list of a few law firms, usually based on reviews or first impressions from the firm’s website.
- They speak with a couple firms to get a better understanding of what’s involved and how much it may cost.
- They choose a firm to represent them.
“Companies with unified sales and marketing teams generate 208% more revenue from marketing.” (Hubspot)
In short, when you match your law firm marketing strategies with your sales strategies, you win.
By showing you how you can start thinking about your online marketing as a sales funnel (rather than a bunch of hopeful attempts at growing your business), this article will help you do just that.
Top of Funnel: Increasing Awareness and Driving Traffic to Your Law Firm’s Website
The first stage of your law firm’s sales funnel is where prospective clients hear about you and first start investigating your firm.
So this first stage is about increasing the number of prospective clients who hear about you.
And there are two primary ways you can do that online:
Use Online Advertising to Drive Awareness and Website Visitors
On Facebook, the legal industry has the best average click-through-rate (1.61%) of any industry out there.
That means that for every 1,000 people who see your Facebook ad, 16 of them should click through to your website.
And, given that it only costs about $7 to reach 1,000 people with Facebook ads, that’s an incredible return on investment.
Here are some great Facebook ad examples from law firms like yours:
Facebook advertising best practices:
- Use a video in your ad. They generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
- Add Facebook’s tracking pixel to your website. Without it, you won’t be able to tell if your Facebook ad has driven traffic or not.
- Create different ads for different target clients. For instance, if you’re a divorce or family lawyer, use the message “We help fathers reunite with their family” for an ad targeting fathers, and “we help mothers…” for an ad targeting mothers. And use different images for each.
- Create multiple ad variations. You’d be surprised at the effect a different image can have on how many people click on your Facebook ad.
If you want a team of expert strategists developing and managing your social media ad campaigns, check out Crisp Social Stack — a program that has effectively grown hundreds of law firms successfully.
The top result on a Google search page gets around 30% of all clicks. The second spot gets 15%; the third gets 10%.
By the time people have scrolled to the ninth or tenth spots, only 1 or 2% of them are clicking.
So you want to appear on the top of the search results when someone types “lawyer” into Google in your area.
Now, you could try to get there organically. But SEO (or “Search Engine Optimization”) is a challenge for even experienced marketers (which is why we’ve left it out of this guide).
Google Ads, on the other hand, can make sure you appear at the top of the search results, and (if you do it right), it’ll prove cheaper, and more effective, than spending hours of your time trying to add meta descriptions to your webpages.
Google Ad Best Practices:
- Use Keyword Planner to find keywords and search volume.
- Use negative keywords: For example, if you’re an immigration lawyer you don’t want to pay to show when people type “family lawyer” into Google. Use the “-” symbol before those search terms you don’t want to appear for.
- Use the sitelink extension: Sitelinks make it possible for you to show additional links (to your Contact Us or Testimonials page, for instance) within your search ad.
- Use the call extension: The call extension allows searchers to call your business directly from your ad (particularly impactful from mobile ads).
For a breakdown of Facebook and Google advertising for law firms, check out “Law Firm Advertising: How to Use Facebook and Google Ads to 10x Your Growth (With Examples).”
Use Video to Drive Awareness and Website Visitors
Websites with a video have a 53x likelihood to rank on the first page of Google.
We’ll ignore the other benefits (like a huge increase in case volume and revenue) for now.
We’re still driving awareness and traffic at the top of the funnel.
Crisp has generated huge traffic boosts when clients add video to their homepages:
How can video drive awareness?
- Better word of mouth: A great video can be sent by your former clients to their network — and it’s far more impactful than their recommendation alone.
- Social media views: The addition of a video to the Spiva Law Group’s social media strategy drove more than 100,000 social media views.
- YouTube views: With 2 billion people watching YouTube videos each month, creating educational video content and publishing it on the platform can be an extremely lucrative way for your law firm to increase awareness.
To have a professional team help you incorporate legal video into your marketing strategy, check out Crisp Video.
Middle of Funnel: Turning Website Visitors into Leads
So you’ve used Facebook and Google ads (leveraging a great legal brand video) to get prospective clients into the top of your sales funnel.
Now you focus on getting their contact information.
Remember the majority of people who visit your website (even if they’ve clicked on an ad) aren’t ready to commit quite yet. But you don’t want those visitors to just disappear. If you get their contact information, you have a chance of turning them into clients down the road.
(For details on why nurturing is important and how to nurture your leads into new clients, check out our post “The Nature of Nurture: How to Create Content That Sells For You.”)
Optimize your Website for Lead Generation
Most law firms hire a web developer to create their website and then simply publish it and forget it.
This is understandable, but could be costing you thousands in lost cases. Here’s an example of a beautiful, modern homepage for a divorce law firm:
This homepage looks great, but there are a couple of problems when it comes to turning visitors into clients:
- The header image (a map) is completely unrelated to the firm. A high-quality video would introduce site visitors to the firm’s attorneys, tell them the firm’s story, and make it clear what sets them apart. Adding a video to your law firm’s website can increase your client base by 300%.
- The messaging sounds good, but (like the image) doesn’t express what sets this law firm apart. Every divorce law firm helps clients move forward in a healthy, constructive, and supportive manner.
- The primary call to action on this page says “Learn More” and sends visitors to a page of text. To move prospective clients down the online sales funnel, this should be “Book a Consultation” or “Talk to Us.” Be specific about the action you want your lead to take to reach the next step.
- The “How to Reach Us” is a map, an address, and a phone number. This is all helpful information…that should be on a different page. Your homepage is also a landing page and should be optimized with a single, focused goal in mind.
Here’s a better example from Champion Firm, P.C. in Atlanta:
In short, to grow your business online, you need to start thinking like a marketer.
For a complete guide to turning website visitors into leads, check out “7 Simple Ways to Turn More Website Visitors Into Leads.”
Use Landing Pages to Turn Website Visitors Into Leads
If you’re running Facebook or Google ads, don’t send them to your homepage (unless it’s super optimized for lead generation).
Instead, send them to a landing page designed specifically for the ad they clicked — a page designed to turn the people who click on your ad into clients.
As discussed above, it’s best practice to create multiple ads that target every segment of your target market.
So, if your law firm’s Facebook ad talks about how you can help men deal with a divorce, don’t send them to a generic webpage which sells their estranged wife on the same thing.
Instead, send them to a landing page focused on their profile and their need.
Law firm landing page best practices:
The top 10% of landing pages in the legal industry have an average 6.46% conversion rate, so let’s say that’s our goal.
Here’s how to optimize your landing pages to get there:
- Use video. You might be unsurprised by this recommendation, but adding video to landing pages can increase lead generation by 86%. And that makes sense: would you rather read an essay, or watch a video?
- Include testimonials and reviews. You’re not exactly the most unbiased source of information when it comes to how great your law firm is. Use testimonials to prove how great you are. 88% of consumers trust testimonials and reviews.
- Keep it simple. Focus on the value you’re offering, and keep your paragraphs short. Test bullet-point lists, or just the video with a button.
- Remove external navigation. Many landing page optimizers recommend removing your website’s navigation bar entirely in order to focus visitor’s attention on the single button you want them to click.
- A/B test. A/B testing enables you to create a variation of your landing page to see if a change will improve your results. This is actually easier than it sounds…
You don’t have to go back to university for a degree in web development to do A/B testing. Instead, create your site’s landing pages using software with A/B testing built-in.
Here’s an example of Unbounce’s landing page creator:
You can create your law firm’s landing pages (and test them), then just embed them within your webpage. All without any coding or having to hire a web developer.
Bottom of Funnel: Turning Leads into Clients
Now that you’ve optimized your website to turn visitors into leads, it’s time to turn them into new clients.
There are two main options here: email marketing or a phone call.
Using Email Marketing to Turn Leads into Clients
59% of marketers say email is still the most effective way to drive revenue.
For the more traditional industries (like legal) this should be comforting.
Nothing has come along (yet) that’s better than email when it comes to turning prospects into clients.
You may already be running email campaigns to your prospective clients, but there are a few major email marketing strategies most law firms miss: automation, segmentation, and the follow-up.
Automate your Email Campaigns
You don’t have to pay an expensive marketing automation tool a thousand dollars a week to do this — a simple auto-responder is almost as beneficial.
It’s all about responding as soon as your prospective client engages with you — showing how much you care about them and their case, and introducing yourself and your firm.
Something like this:
Hi [First Name],
I wanted to introduce myself. My name is [Name] and I started [Law Firm Name] almost [X] years ago through a desire to help people like you find [common desired outcome of the cases you handle].
Choosing a lawyer to represent you can be a difficult decision, and it’s a decision better made face-to-face.
Would you have time this week to come into our office?
If not, we can get on a call on whenever you’re available.
My number is [phone number] and I look forward to speaking with you.
I’m at your disposal,
When you’re generating leads, be sure to segment those leads into relevant lists.
Segmented email campaigns have a 14.32% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.
This is especially relevant if you’re a firm that specializes in multiple types of cases.
For instance, when encouraging people to book a consultation, include a few checkboxes in the form:
Then, send them an automated email which speaks specifically to their needs. Personalization is a hugely important factor in the success of an email campaign.
The same simple automation tool that sends your auto-responder should also be able to send a follow-up email after a few days.
So long as you only send to people who haven’t already responded, a follow-up email (or two) can have a huge impact on your email marketing campaign’s success.
A simple example of a three-email automate series:
Most first emails get about a 9% reply rate (depending on which industry you’re in, of course).
However, with a single follow-up email, that number goes to 13%.
With the rate at which you’re going to be turning website visitors into leads, that extra 4% will start impacting your bottom line sooner than you’d think.
Using a Sales Call to Turn Leads into Clients
This stage of the sales funnel you should already be familiar with.
Once you’ve gotten prospective clients to say yes to a phone call (or provide their number), the marketing funnel part of this is over, but sales is just starting.
But that part we’ll leave to you. After all, you know better than we do how to talk to your prospective clients.
No matter how you do it, though, be sure you’re tracking the whole process.
Tracking Your Campaign ROI
The bottom of the funnel isn’t just about making the sale.
It’s about tracking which leads result in a call, and which calls result in new clients.
We said before that aligning your sales team with marketing can result in 208% more revenue.
The main reason for that is tracking.
If you can determine how many leads came through your Facebook ad campaign, that’s great. But if you can determine how many of those Facebook ad leads got on a call with you and became clients, you can effectively determine the big-picture value of your Facebook ad campaign.
If that value is good, you can increase your budget on Facebook and continue to use it to grow your law firm. If it’s bad, you can change something or re-assess the budget.
Without tracking both marketing and sales, though, you’ll just be throwing money away.
Hopefully, this complete guide has given you a better understanding of how your law firm can use online marketing to grow your practice.
Focus on optimizing every stage of your client’s journey, from top to bottom.
Remember that you don’t need to do every single thing we’ve discussed here. Instead, test different strategies to see what works for you.
- It might be Facebook Ads + a landing page + an immediate sales call.
- It might be Google Ads + an optimized homepage + an automated email series.
No matter what, though, an optimized sales funnel will grow your business. And once set up, it should continue to do so for months without much interference from you.
After all, you have enough work to do.