When an individual is faced with a criminal investigation, chances are they’re unsure who to turn to – especially if it’s their first time. In many instances, he or she may not want to discuss the criminal accusation with anyone – not even family or close friends – and therefore, the internet is the first place they’ll turn to for information. Initially, the person faced with a criminal charge may be looking online to educate themselves about their scenario, as well as how the cases are prosecuted. But eventually, they will be seeking legal counsel and searching for a local attorney that specializes in criminal law marketing. This is why it’s so important for criminal defense attorneys to have a strong presence online. With so many different law offices trying to dominate the search engines, it’s no wonder even small criminal defense firms are paying top dollar for PPC campaigns. Internet marketing for the legal industry is extremely competitive, and this trend shows no signs of stopping. For criminal defense law firms trying to figure out how to get new clients, read on for valuable marketing tips and strategies.
Creating A Marketing Plan: Top 5 Strategies For Criminal Defense Attorneys
As a lawyer, you know that every case – and client, for that matter – is totally unique. Keeping this in mind, a cookie-cutter approach to your clientele obviously wouldn’t work. So the question remains: why would you consider a ready-made strategy for your law firm’s marketing plan?
Believe it or not, many lawyers are unaware of the importance of a customized marketing strategy. In addition to setting yourself apart from your competitors, creating an online presence that’s customized to your legal practice is essential to your reputation – and your success. Here are several proven marketing techniques to put your criminal defense law firm in the spotlight:
1.) Define what sets you apart: Most marketing experts will agree that honing in on your defining characteristics – that is, what specialties your law office may offer – will help build a website that gets results. By targeting your audience with robust keywords and professional SEO, you can quickly garner attention online through niche marketing strategies. For example, you might be tempted to describe yourself online as a ‘criminal defense lawyer’ – but your potential client may be searching for an expert in their particular type of case, not a one-size-fits-all law firm. That’s why it’s essential to examine your wording – as seen on your website, social media pages, and so on – and replace any general terminologies with pinpointed keywords and search terms that a prospective client might use to find you. Here are some examples:
- Instead of “criminal defense attorney”, consider “Manhattan criminal defense lawyer specializing in white collar crime”.
- Instead of “fraud”, consider “law firm mass marketing fraud” if your firm specializes in such representation.
By using specific keyword terms, it will not only convince potential clientele that they’ve found the right attorney for the job, but can also boost your rank in Google search engines. Also consider other notable achievements or specialized areas that set you apart from your competitors. For example, has your firm won any awards or worked on any high-profile cases? Does your office offer pro bono programs? Does anyone on your team have a background as a prosecutor? While these are just a few examples, this sort of specific information can help clients to choose you over another legal firm.
2.) Establish your brand: In addition to keyword research and SEO, developing your legal firm’s brand includes many components, including a consistent tone across all platforms. In order to make a lasting impression upon your target audience, it’s essential to create a website and other appropriate online marketing channels that are both engaging and informative. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when establishing your brand:
- Keep it simple: Design a website that is both easy to navigate and straight to the point. Opt for uncluttered graphics, succinct content and a user-friendly layout.
- Communicate expertise: Reassure potential clients that you are not only an authority in your field, but will provide the professionalism and reliability that they can depend upon regardless of their circumstances.
- Offer case studies: One website element that can quickly make your criminal defense team stand out: providing specific examples. By showcasing past cases that your team has won, highlighting firm achievements, community involvement, and other relevant scenarios, you can build trust and establish strong client relations within the regions you serve.
To ensure all of your marketing channels are in sync – including photo images, web content, testimonials, digital copy and other related collateral – find a marketing agency that specializes in the legal industry. Together, you can build a marketing strategy that focuses on your expertise and sets you apart from the competition.
3.) Use Social Media as a marketing tool: Although social platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have been around for years, many law firms overlook the value that they can offer in terms of marketing. Believe it or not, research has shown that targeting your desired audience through Facebook is not only effective, but one of the easiest ways of how to get criminal defense clients. With millions of users logging in every second of every day, it’s no wonder they are turning to Facebook instead of Google when searching for local businesses – including a criminal defense law firm. In addition, platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook allow your law firm marketing opportunities – such as interacting with prospective clients, targeted branding opportunities, and even testimonials – to keep your law office relevant and in the spotlight. Additionally, social media allows you to stay connected with colleagues and other experts in your industry, further reinforcing your online presence within search engines.
4.) Be sure you’re showing up on Google Maps: We’ve established the importance of creating a quality website and social media presence for your legal firm. But did you know that your rank on Google Maps can directly impact your online presence, too? In recent years, Google Maps has become the #1 navigation app, making it one of the most crucial elements of your firm’s success. In fact, your law firm may not get noticed if you don’t rank high, and this is all dependent upon your SEO strategies. Being that Google Maps is essentially driven by local search engine algorithms, investing in your SEO marketing efforts is one of the smartest investments your legal team can make. Pro tip: be sure that your business is verified; if it isn’t, here is a step-by-step guide to help improve your law office’s online visibility.
5.) Ask for online reviews: Obtaining online reviews from your clients is important for several reasons: one, it can quickly build your reputation, both digitally and through word-of-mouth. Secondly, positive online reviews – such as those found on Google Business and Yelp! – can boost your online presence and organic search engine results.
PPC vs. Improved Content Management Systems: Which Is Better?
As we’ve explored, there are many different approaches when it comes to building your online presence. Your law firm may already have a website, but might need to improve SEO and boost organic search engine appearances. Or perhaps you’re a new criminal defense lawyer trying to establish your reputation, both online and within your community. Whatever the case, it’s important to develop a marketing strategy to keep your law office not only ranking high in search queries, but reaching the right demographic – and ideally, connecting you with new clients.
For criminal defense lawyers who are unsure what the best marketing strategies are for their firm, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of a comprehensive SEO strategy versus pay-per-click advertising:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) strategies have been a go-to platform for many businesses – including legal firms – for years, since targeted PPC marketing has been proven effective at gaining results quickly. In fact, when managed properly, research has shown that pay-per-click is one of the most measurable, responsive and predictable forms of internet marketing for law firms.
While it may place you at the top of Google, PPC campaigns are pricey, so be sure to do your research before opting for a pay-per-click campaign. Choosing a criminal defense PPC marketing service that specializes in law firm internet marketing can help ensure you get what you’re paying for.
- On the other hand, SEO (search engine optimization) strategies may offer more value to your content management efforts. Keyword-specific content has been proven to lead to increased traffic, and other comprehensive strategies – such as social media, website design, and educational videos and blogs – can help improve your website’s content and overall performance.
Simply put, if you’re looking to enhance your website’s long-term marketing goals, improving your content management system may be a better fit. However, it’s best to leave it up to an expert to determine the best strategy for your firm’s website performance. In order to ensure your site is totally optimized, look for professional criminal law marketing services who can customize your site’s website content.
1) “Internet Marketing for Criminal Defense Lawyers.” Internet Lava (internetlava.com), October 23, 2020, https://www.internetlava.com/services/law-firm-marketing/criminal-defense/. Accessed January 16, 2021.
2) “Proven Marketing Strategies For Criminal Defense Lawyers.” Lawyer Marketing (lawyermarketing.com), August 24, 2020, https://www.lawyermarketing.com/blog/proven-marketing-strategies-for-criminal-defense-lawyers/. Accessed January 16, 2021.
3) “Are Your Visible on Google Maps?” Law Firm Marketing Technology (lawfirmtechnology.com), (no published date), https://www.lawfirmmarketingtechnology.com/seo-to-new-client-retainers/are-you-visible-on-google-maps/#:~:text=Making%20your%20law%20firm%20visible,easily%20on%20their%20mobile%20devices.&text=For%20example%2C%20if%20your%20law,the%20top%20three%20search%20results. Accessed January 16, 2021.
4) Long, Adam. “8 Ways Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Boost Their Reputation With Branding and Marketing.” Scorpion (scorpion.co), (no published date), https://www.scorpion.co/law-firms/blog/2018/november/8-ways-criminal-defense-attorneys-can-boost-thei/. Accessed January 16, 2021