If you’re reading this article, chances are you already know how important a PPC marketing strategy is for a criminal defense firm. Whether you’re a small law office located on Long Island or a well-known criminal defense law firm operating out of Fort Lauderdale, it’s an ongoing requirement for firms of all sizes everywhere to find and retain new clients. However, it’s equally important to find a digital marketing agency that specializes in PPC management services to assist with your success. From criminal defense PPC campaigns to criminal lawyer ads, read on to discover how strategic marketing tactics can help connect you with potential clients while generating more quality leads and conversions.
How To Get Criminal Defense Clients: Top 5 Tips To Grow Your Law Firm
Although you may have a knack for creating a buzz on Facebook, unless you’re an SEO expert, your legal team probably doesn’t have much expertise in executing a multifaceted marketing strategy. However, there are certain digital marketing tools for lawyers you should know about before attempting to optimize your online presence – or hiring a digital marketing team to assist you with your goals.
But before you even begin to consider revamping your marketing efforts, it’s crucial to do your research first. By understanding what info is required to grow your business, you can pinpoint the necessary data and establish the foundations of a marketing plan. From there, you might want to seek out the services of a reputable law firm marketing agency, who can help spearhead the best online strategies for your practice. Together, they can collaborate with your legal team to build customized solutions for your ad campaign. Read on to explore the top five best-practice digital marketing tactics for your criminal law firm for how to get criminal defense clients:
1) Build Your Unique Brand: It’s your prospective client’s first time facing a criminal offense charge. Or perhaps they’ve been involved in an accident and need a personal injury lawyer. Whatever the scenario, it’s essential that your law office builds its own unique brand online – from setting the tone with appropriate content to creating custom ads, you want to send the right message to potential consumers. Building your own distinctive brand isn’t just for major firms – every law office needs to establish their voice across multiple channels. Some elements to consider include:
- What sets you apart from the competition
- How many years of experience within the field
- Any awards, testimonials & reviews your firm has received
- The emotional value you provide for your clientele (e.g., compassionate, great listener, personalized attention, etc.)
2) Identify Your Target Demographic: One of the first things you need to determine in your marketing plan: know your audience. Identifying your ideal client base right out of the gate is key to creating targeted marketing campaigns. That is, in order to yield results, you have to understand exactly who you want to engage – and then proceed accordingly. Research has shown that the best marketing efforts are highly-targeted – in fact, if you don’t “do your homework” first, theoretically speaking, it will not only be an expensive mistake, but likely a big waste of time.
But, you may still be asking – how do you identify your ideal clientele? The short answer: key demographics. Here’s a quick overview outlining five primary demographic parameters that should be taken into account when establishing any online marketing blueprint:
While these are the core demographics on which to build your foundation, it’s best to get even more focused – think about your particular law firm. What niche services do you offer? If you’re a criminal defense lawyer, think about what legal services your clients may need. Other targeted parameters to consider may include:
- Questions your clients may have
- Helpful information that may be useful to your potential clients/audience
- Your clients’ primary issues, challenges or problems
- What type of crime they need defense for (Arson/Burglary/Assault/Cybercrime/DUI – etc.)?
- What type of qualities they seek in their attorney (e.g., compassionate, great communication skills, bilingual, knowledge of the law, good listener, etc.)
In most instances, the easiest way to figure out your target audience is to look at your firm’s existing database and review the traits of your best clientele. Once you’re ready to update your existing website – or create a new one – this information provides valuable SEO data to build an engaging web presence. In order to ensure you’re building a targeted web presence that attracts not just traffic, but the right clients, consider a legal internet marketing agency to assist you with your strategy.
3) Determine Where Your Customers Are Getting Their Information: Now that you know who your audience is, the next thing you need to ask is: where are my potential clients looking for information? While it’s become the norm to do a quick search online, legal consumers may be using different digital platforms – and for different reasons – to find what they’re looking for online. Some of those reasons may include:
- Taking action: For example, according to a Google Legal Services Study in 2013, 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take some form of action, whether it be to contact an attorney’s office, conduct detailed online research, or to simply shop around for legal representation. This may entail looking through multiple lawyers’ websites, combing through customer reviews, reading FAQ sections, and so on.
- Searching for answers: Per a Google Consumer Survey conducted in 2013, 96% of people looking for legal advice are using some type of a search engine – think Google, Bing, or Yahoo, for example. With such a high percentage of the population using search engines, it’s pretty safe to say that not having any type of online presence (website, social media, Google Ads, etc.) is detrimental to any business – including the legal industry. And in the advent of COVID-19, being visible (and attainable) online to prospective clients is more necessary than ever, as social distancing continues to impact the way we interact as a whole.
- Use Social Media platforms: In research conducted by the American Bar Association Survey (2017), it showed that only 56% of lawyers are using social media platforms for their R&D efforts. However, in this day and age, not using social media for client development is essentially bad for business, as attorneys are losing potential prospects. While it should be used with discretion, many experts recommend embracing social media. In addition to providing warm client leads, platforms like Twitter & LinkedIn can help lawyers connect with other professionals in the industry.
4) Create An Engaging SEO Website: You’ve identified your target demographic, finessed your branding efforts, and have a better understanding of where your potential clients are finding you. But you’re still not sure how to build a website that actually does what it’s supposed to – get new clients. Unfortunately, many businesses – including those within the legal industry – suffer from outdated websites that don’t chart in the search engines. And that’s just for starters. Creating a user-friendly, optimized website is not only easier for prospective clients to navigate – it also prevents them from leaving a lousy site (known as ‘bounce rate’ in tech talk) and going to your competition! That’s why it is so important to have a website that features an uncluttered layout, SEO content that is informative as well as engaging, and call-to-action buttons that enable visitors to click through your site with ease.
It’s also imperative that your website is mobile-friendly – that is, the pages must display and function seamlessly on all smartphones. If you don’t follow these guidelines, your firm is at risk of losing customers and damaging your rank on Google. If you’re curious to see where your current website is at performance-wise for mobile devices, check out the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. This is yet another example of why it’s wise to partner with a professional marketing agency. Choose PPC management services who focus solely on the legal industry – after all, you don’t want a cookie-cutter approach to your firm’s website or online presence. Finally, ensure the speed of your website is optimized – you don’t want to destroy user experiences with lagging load times!
5) Establish Trust With Your Audience: Once you’ve got the attention of your client base, it’s essential to build trust with them – but how? For starters, let them know they can trust you – ‘trust badges’ are a tried-and-true relationship builder that instills confidence in online users. Feature them prominently throughout your firm’s website to impart credibility. As we’ve mentioned earlier, be sure to highlight any notable awards, media appearances, or public accolades on your site – you may want to feature this info under your ‘Customer Reviews’ or ‘Testimonials’ section. Another confidence-builder with inquisitive would-be clients? Statistics – believe it or not, people love numbers, along with case studies! In fact, it’s a behavioral marketing strategy that has been proven effective for years.
Criminal Defense Marketing & Your Firm: Digital Forecast For 2021 (And Beyond)
With the future of the coronavirus still undetermined, it’s more important than ever to stay abreast of legal marketing trends in 2021. One of the best ways to weather the fluctuating economic climate is to keep your firm’s marketing strategy current: use digital tools and social media to your advantage, and don’t overlook the benefits of in-depth research and analytics. By focusing on consumer demands – including people-focused marketing, anticipating (and understanding) your prospective clients’ needs, and crafting content to support those goals – the right technology can attract new clients while increasing your ROI.
PPC campaigns for law firms can be quite complicated – they require both careful execution and analysis, as well as a large understanding of the legal industry. That being said, hiring an internet marketing firm that specializes in criminal defense will not only leverage your online presence, but guide you through the steps needed to reach your short and long-term goals. From increasing your client base to boosting your rank on search engine queries, a talented digital agency will focus on your marketing strategy – giving you more time to focus on your biggest priority – your clients.
- “Marketing for Criminal Defense Lawyers.” JurisPage (inboundlawmarketing.com), (no published date), https://www.inboundlawmarketing.com/marketing-for-criminal-defense-lawyers/. Accessed January 19, 2021.
- “Pay Per Click (PPC).” Postali (postali.com), (no published date), https://www.postali.com/what-we-do/ppc/. Accessed January 19, 2021.
- Whitney, Margot. “Law Firm Marketing: 9 Tips for Winning More Clients with PPC.” WordStream (wordstream.com), June 12, 2020, https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/06/29/law-firm-marketing. Accessed January 19, 2021.
- Membrillo, Alex. “Top Legal Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021.” Cardinal Digital Marketing (cardinaldigialmarketing.com), October 2, 2020, https://www.cardinaldigitalmarketing.com/blog/top-legal-marketing-trends-to-watch-in-2021/. Accessed January 19, 2021.