Ultimate Law Firm Marketing Strategy for 2019

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Is 2019 the year that you finally take control of your firm’s marketing? I hope so.

Imagine being at the top of Google for your keywords; receiving high-quality, qualified traffic; growing your client base; and increasing profits.

In this article, I’ll show you the latest techniques in digital marketing you can incorporate into your 2019 marketing strategy so you can start attracting a steady stream of customers to your firm.

Let’s get started.



1. Start by building a brand

Branding is not just about having expensive letterheads and business cards and winning marketing awards.

If you want to shape a marketing strategy, you need the right message. It should be based around some fundamentals of the image that you want your law firm to project.

This is your brand and it should take into account the following:

Your USPs – what makes your law firm unique?

It’s easy to see what’s unique about our long-time client Matt Foley, for instance.

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For someone filing for bankruptcy, a friendly law firm (when the rest of the world is aggressively hounding you for money) is a message that has proven to resonate with customers.

What’s your value proposition – why should anyone listen to you?

Another of our clients, Yonatan Levoritz, is very clear about why his target audience (fathers going through a divorce or child custody battle) should hire his firm. Trust me, this landing page converts like crazy.

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What do you consistently do better than the rest – how do you differentiate yourself from the many competing law firms?

The Vogel LLP website is very clear about why their target audience should listen.

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Branding doesn’t have to be complicated. Focus on the needs of your customers and keep it simple.

Once you’ve established your messaging, work it into all your marketing channels: website, social media, professional networks, offline literature, etc.


2. Demonstrate credibility & authority

A solid law firm marketing strategy should involve both passive and active marketing activities.

A good example of passive marketing is your website copy that helps build credibility and authority around your firm.

Here are a few good examples of what you should make sure to include in your online marketing in 2019:

Awards you’ve received

Cohen & Marzban in LA establishes instant credibility from featuring details about the awards it has won.

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Including text is fine (and great for SEO) but it’s even more visually effective if you can include logos or images of your awards.

Reviews from your clients

Instant credibility is also provided by reviews and testimonials from past clients. Dunham & Jones features a page of testimonials for each practice area, with case results detailed too.

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Case studies to demonstrate expertise

Look how MHB&S Law Offices in South Carolina highlight case studies to demonstrate their expertise and success.

Menomonee Falls Law Firm Case Study

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3. Demonstrate capability in all your practice areas

Another important area of branding is to communicate the full extent of what you do and your capability to deliver.

Of course, reviews and case studies help you do that but you should also focus on the following items.

The breadth of service you provide

Werman Salas, P.C. in Chicago are very clear about the extent of their employment law services. There’s no doubt in a visitor’s mind about what they provide as a service or how they can help.

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The number of lawyers you have (if you’re larger than a single-attorney practice)

If you have a number of attorneys at your firm, show it. Just like Siegel Lewitter Malkani in Oakland, CA.

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You can also show your successes. Dunham & Jones show results for each month – and they keep it right up to date.

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4. Run an SEO campaign to improve visibility in Google’s search results

First up, every law firm must pay attention to SEO at all times, not just in 2019. Here’s why:

  • 75% of people never go past the first page of Google. – Source
  • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. – Source

Bottom line: you need to be seen in the search engine results pages to get clicks and traffic.


To give you an example of how powerful SEO can be, take a look at one of our legal client case studies. Below is a screenshot of this law firm’s organic website visits (website visits that came in through search engines).

ocd-seo-results

Compared to the first year, SEO helped Oykhman Criminal Defence increase organic visits by:

  • 51% (percent change in the second month of the SEO campaign).
  • 360% (percent change over 6 months of the SEO campaign).

Certain aspects of law firm SEO, such as good keyword research, having professionally written titles and descriptions, optimizing images, maintaining a logical website architecture, and keeping the page load times quick, are simply best-practice SEO at all times.

Some other key SEO aspects to pay special attention to in 2019 include:

  • Increasing the length of time visitors spend on your web pages and on your site in general
  • Reducing the bounce rate by making titles/descriptions clear and your pages highly relevant to your chosen keywords
  • Focusing on long-form content marketing (articles of +1,000 words) as, in recent years, this has outperformed shorter form content and is also shared more often
  • Using schema mark up for your law firm to detail page contents for the search engines
  • Making it mobile-friendly; you will be penalized if your website displays poorly on mobile devices – keep it clean and uncluttered.
  • Link-building with authority sites
  • Citation building and review solicitation

Additionally, many law firms target clients from the local area. This requires good local SEO, with Google My Business accounts fully optimized.

There is much more detail about each of these points and further law firm SEO tips for 2019 in our definitive guide to law firm SEO.


5. Run an optimized Google AdWords campaign

Paid search is still a valuable way to attract new leads for your law firm.

Ads are covering as much as 85% of the space above the fold on the results page.

A well-planned and optimized Google AdWords campaign can send large volumes of highly qualified traffic to your website to convert into paying clients.

Look how these ads stand out at the top of the search results page for best criminal defense lawyer Wisconsin – and imagine what it could do for your lead generation.

adwords-example-for-criminal-defense-lawyers-wisconsin

If you haven’t had the results you’d hoped for in the past from AdWords, I’ll bet that it’s because of one or more of these reasons:

  • You’ve been trying to compete for ultra-competitive keywords (terms like “lawyer” and “attorney” are among the most expensive keywords you’ll find).
  • You haven’t put enough time into research or hired the right professional who can manage your campaign
  • You never optimized your AdWords campaign

Make 2019 the year when you take AdWords more seriously and start getting the results you deserve from it.

Start by reading this article on Google AdWords for lawyers to get clearer on use of keywords, the bidding process, ads and landing pages, how to target local traffic, how to test to improve results, and more.


6. Build and optimize landing pages

Make landing pages a priority in your law firm marketing strategy in 2019. They are one of the main differences between merely getting more traffic and actually getting more paying clients.

This is where your leads “arrive” and where you start the process of converting them.

Check out this example from Colorado Legal Group. See how they make it clear what they do and the value they provide?

clg-landing-page-example

To be effective, your landing pages should be:

  • Professionally written and inspire a specific action
  • Optimized for specific action-related keywords such as “child custody laws for fathers in New York” or “legal advice for DUI in Seattle” (or whatever the AdWords phrase or search term you are targeting is)
  • Unique for each specific service you are promoting

Here are some of the best law firm landing pages. These should generate some ideas to help with your own pages.


7. Increase your presence in the legal directories

Whatever your thoughts about the legal directories, being featured in the main ones like FIndLaw can help boost your traffic and provide a citation and hyperlink for your website.

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In 2019, try to raise your profile in these directories.

We’ve already mentioned that citations (mentions of your law firm on third-party sites) improve SEO.

Including your firm in the main directories is a relatively simple and affordable way to promote your practice.

Some are free to add your details; some have paid listings too, and others charge monthly or annual fees for extra exposure.

Avvo is another one to consider.

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8. Get into video marketing

Never used video to market your firm?

In 2019, it’s going to be more important than ever to get going with video.

You’re 53 times more likely to feature on the first page of Google if you include video, according to this infographic from Filmora.

It’s increasingly how your audience likes to gather information; it builds trust and improves conversions.

And it’s especially useful If you’re looking to attract a younger clientele, bringing instant credibility and engaging your visitors on their own terms.

It can be used to…

Introduce your attorneys and lawyers

The Angus Lee law firm in Vancouver creates high-quality videos that really sell their service well.

Provide a behind-the-scenes view of your law firm

Look how MillerFriel uses video to provide a view into their law offices.

Answer FAQs and provide how-to information

McLemore, Reddell, Ardoin & Story in Houston provide a series of videos answering FAQs about criminal law.

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Feature client reviews and testimonials

The Shulman Law Firm in Toronto is a great example of a law firm using high-quality video testimonials to enhance the credibility of its brand.


9. Create inbound marketing campaigns with gated content

Inbound marketing attracts prospects to your law firm passively – usually via the following channels:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Branding efforts

Powerful content can help you build awareness of your brand and demonstrates expertise and value. This draws people to your website.

Many law firm websites are under-utilizing gated content as an inbound marketing strategy.

Colorado Legal Group uses inbound marketing as part of its digital strategy, as you can see in this example.

jackass-inbound-marketing-campaign

You may already be providing valuable free content in the form of:

  • FAQs
  • Case studies
  • Educational blog articles that provide legal assistance
  • How-to videos
  • Newsletter articles that provide legal updates

This is great for building awareness. But some of your most valuable work can be reserved for gated content: attracting potential clients who are willing to give you their contact details in exchange for content.

Once you have their contact details and you grow your database, email marketing campaigns can reach out to potential clients: a valuable weapon for growing your client base.

Arthur Pressman Law in Buffalo does it like this on their website.

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You have a lot of legal IP in your head. In 2019, focus on getting some of it shaped into high-value content that people will willingly leave their email address and phone number to receive.


10. Use newsletter marketing for specific practice areas

I mentioned newsletter marketing above. This is going to remain a key strategy for law firm marketers in 2019.

That’s why law firms such as the Harvey Law Office in Chicago (below) are encouraging sign-ups to their newsletters from the home page of their website.

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A regular newsletter sent to people who’ve signed up to your list:

  • Keeps you top of mind with clients and potential clients
  • Helps you show that you’re up-to-date with the legal news in your practice area
  • Is a great chance to demonstrate your authority with informative content

Newsletters don’t need to be lengthy.

They can include various content types:

  • Article snippets with links that point to your latest blog posts
  • Recent case studies
  • Details about awards you’ve received
  • Introductions to your lawyers and attorneys
  • Community activity details
  • Practice area news or legal updates

See the wide variety of content that Bateys Law Firm includes in its newsletter.

bateys-law-firm

The important thing is to show people that you’re active and producing content of value in your specific practice area.


11. Add live chat to your law firm website (it’s not going away)

I know a few lawyers who recoil at the thought of including live chat on their website. They imagine hours of last time giving away free advice.

But it’s not going away – and there really are quite a few benefits:

  • Immediacy – you can answer some client questions there and then
  • You can turn interest into genuine leads
  • It can keep your website open for business 24/7
  • It doesn’t need to take up any of your time – your agents look after queries
  • It makes you seem more progressive and modern (in a profession that is often accused of the opposite!)

Another of our clients, Alan Pearse, is an impaired driving lawyer who uses live chat extensively on his website.

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Software Advice ran a survey that found 56 percent of web users have used live chat to engage a company or brand.

If you’re trying to create a progressive law firm that likes to engage with your clients on their own terms, at least a proportion of your potential clients will appreciate the option of live chat. It’s worth considering again in 2019.

NOTE: It doesn’t need to intrude on the user experience or create an annoyance for visitors.

See how the home page of Sonn Law provides the option for live chat, with the chat button ‘floating’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. It only opens if you click on it.

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12. Invest in public relations for your law firm

Norton Rose Fulbright is a large global law firm that knows the power of public relations and press releases.

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But some law firms consider public relations a little old school.

Just as communication has changed, so has the nature of good PR work. And just because it’s online doesn’t lessen the value of its positive effects on law firm marketing.

Print publications such as daily newspapers and magazines have gone digital as well as bloggers in every field imaginable. A strong media outreach campaign should work alongside other key digital marketing campaigns in 2019 to generate leads.

Media outreach for law firms works because:

Your firm or your attorneys may get a mention in legal news aggregation websites

Being mention in a major publication like Law Times could provide valuable exposure for your law firm, like in this example.

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You can feature your press releases as content on your law firm website

Clifford Law Offices, personal injury attorneys in Chicago, feature all the firm’s latest press releases on a dedicated page on its website, bringing instant credibility for visitors.

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Third-party endorsement generates more credibility for your law firm

On the “news and knowledge” page of its website, McMillan LLP features news stories that promote its lawyers and its own brand.

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Backlinks from authority media sites improve your rankings

Here is an example of a backlink for Larkin Hoffman from their lawyer Kate G. Westaf being featured in the Minnesota Lawyer publication.

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It’s easy to target your audience via specific vertical market publications

Major publications like The Lawyer often have dedicated sections for particular industries.

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13. Social media marketing

You were probably wondering when this would get a mention. Social media marketing for law firms is going to get bigger in 2019.

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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I’ll spare you the statistics. Fair to say, it’s simply part of life now.

To stay relevant and connect with your target audience effectively, your law firm needs to have a Facebook account, if your target clients include the general public.

If you type Hollis Law Firm in Google, searching for this immigration and personal injury law firm based in Kansas, their Facebook page comes up before their website.

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It’s also recommended that you create a LinkedIn page for your law firm, especially if you’re trying to attract professionals or other business clients – like Kestenbaum & Mark LLP from Great Neck, NY.

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It’s not just that the youngsters of today are your clients of tomorrow.

Whether you’re talking about millennials, their parents, or even their grandparents, your clients are probably already using social media daily, in one form or another.

If you can connect with your target audience where they’re hanging out, then demonstrate your expertise and throw in some personality, you raise your social proof and your credibility. This generates leads and helps grow your firm.


14. Write blog posts and articles in your practice area

I’ve already covered creating more gated content for inbound marketing for your law firm.

Then there are the other resources you provide on your website and beyond.

Contributing articles to your own blog, guest blogging for other sites, submitting legal content articles to publications – all these activities have multiple benefits:

Demonstrating know-how and expertise in your main practice areas

Helsell Fetterman in Seattle publishes a wide range of articles on their website, reflecting their many practice areas. These blog posts are promoted both from their homepage and on the dedicated blog section of their website:

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Raising credibility with your target audience

If you’re looking for a lawyer specializing in personal injury law in Washington, would you consider the Premier Law Group? Their blog posts on the subject probably increase the chances.

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Improving SEO (guest blogging and articles on other sites can provide valuable backlinks)

A valuable backlink for Chiltern Law here from the YouBlawg legal blogging site.

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Demonstrating that you’re active on your site with new content (another possible ranking factor for the search engines)

In Backlinko’s article on Google’s 200 Ranking Factors, Brian Dean says:

Site Updates: Many SEOs believe that website updates — and especially when new content is added to the site — works a site-wide freshness factor. Although Google has recently denied that they use “publishing frequency” in their algorithm.

More generally, he also adds this about providing useful content:

Useful Content: As pointed out by Backlinko reader Jared Carrizales, Google may distinguish between “quality” and “useful” content.

Content Provides Value and Unique Insights: Google has stated that they’re happy to penalize sites that don’t bring anything new or useful to the table, especially thin affiliate sites.


15. Develop an effective sales process to convert your leads

It’s no good turning your website into a 24/7 lead generation machine if you can’t convert these leads into sales. That just adds up to spending money on marketing for very little end product.

Developing a sales process is an area that many law firms find challenging but it’s important to identify when a marketing-qualified lead becomes a sales-qualified lead.

Many potential clients approaching you will start with informational inquiries to evaluate the services you provide.

When they are ready to hire a lawyer, they may pick up the phone or email you. That’s when your skill in converting the lead comes into play.

You must be ready – like Amy G, the Colorado injury firm:

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Some key points to bear in mind here:

  • Our most successful clients are those that actively measure – and attempt to improve – the time between a lead being submitted and responded to.
  • Once you capture the lead, like from Amy G’s free case evaluation form below, make sure you respond promptly to it.

When a prospective client calls in, what do you or your associates say? Do you have a set process that you take the client through, to qualify them and let them know how you can help?

Do you clearly communicate the benefits of hiring you? Or is the conversation arbitrary and ad lib?

The ins and outs of building a sales process are beyond the scope of this article but it is certainly something you need to look at if you have a poor track record of converting enquiries.


Which other law firm marketing strategies are set to take the legal world by storm in 2019?

It’s always difficult to gaze into a crystal ball with law firm marketing but the above areas cover the main ones we’re advising our clients to focus on in 2019.

Perhaps you have other ideas for legal marketing strategies that are set to take off?

I’d love to hear about them. Email me and let me know!

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