How Lawyers can Achieve Success with Online Marketing

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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Lawyer marketing can be a challenge, but marketing can bring significant rewards as well. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for succeeding with a law firm’s online marketing efforts, but a few lawyer marketing tips might help you even before you choose a lawyer marketing service.

  1. Set Realistic Goals for what you want from your Law Firm’s Online Marketing
    Most firms track success based on ROI (Return on Investment), which is probably the best way to determine the most effective lawyer marketing services. A minimum 3-to-1 return on your investment is a good rule of thumb, though higher would be even better. A lawyer marketing service that consistently generates at least a 3-to-1 return is probably worth keeping.

    Keeping accurate track of your ROI can be tricky. Make sure your online marketing service provides enough tracking mechanisms to help you keep on top the leads they generate for you, whether the leads come by phone, by email, or by getting visitors to click to your website. You will always have some untrackable leads or clients who found you “on the internet” but if you’re working with partners who offer total visibility into what they’re delivering to your firm, you should be able to keep accurate track of your ROI.

  2. Set a budget and try to stick to it
    Unless money is no concern, you should set an advertising budget and stick to it. Within that budget, you should try to hedge your bets by advertising with multiple companies. Nobody can be at the top of Google search results for every search term all the time, so it’s a good idea to work with several companies to help give you some presence across a broad range of search phrases. Your budget should be the major determinant of the online lawyer marketing models you should consider working with.

    Once you’ve narrowed the list of online marketing companies you want to work with, negotiate. You should always try to get a better rate, at least for the first round, with an online marketing service. Many companies will offer a discount to acquire a new client. Dozens of online lawyer marketing companies want your business, so take advantage of the competition. However this doesn’t mean you should choose a vendor solely based on price. Try to choose the companies you’d like to work with FIRST, then work on getting yourself the best deal possible with those companies.

  3. Understand how leads are going to be delivered and figure out how you’re going to handle them
    Different types of online lawyer marketing services will deliver leads in different ways. Some leads come by phone, some by email, sometimes visitors click through to your website, or maybe it’s a combination. Make sure you understand how different marketing services will deliver leads, and only work with those that will work within your available resources. For example, if you are a solo practitioner who spends a lot of time in court or away from the office and are not available to answer your phone, it doesn’t make sense to work with an online legal marketing service that’s going to generate lots of calls to your firm. More often than not, a caller who doesn’t get you or a live person on the phone, will move on and contact another attorney. That’s marketing dollars wasted.

    Since there are a few types of online marketing services that can help generate business for your law firm, it will help you in your evaluation of potential legal marketing partners if you understand the pros and cons of the different business models. The next articles will explain the strengths and weaknesses of various models so you can focus on evaluating only those services that make the most sense for your firm.

The articles address the following popular legal marketing strategies:

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