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6 law firm advertising ideas to generate leads and get new clients

Law firm advertising: lawyer speaking to client

When trying to grow your law firm, you want advertising ideas that effectively drive new leads to your business, so you can get new clients to represent. This means targeting an audience actively looking for the type of legal services you offer.

You also want advertising ideas that don’t require you to divert undue time, money, or energy away from running a law firm and working cases. 

This post covers six law firm advertising ideas designed to generate leads and win you new clients. These ideas are broken up into two categories.

First, there are advertising ideas you can implement today. These include: 

  • Claiming and customizing your free Yelp Business Page
  • Using Yelp Ads to get your optimized page in front of more people

Second, this post covers law firm marketing ideas that may require outside help (like from a local marketing agency) to be executed effectively. You can definitely tackle these on your own, they just may take more time.

These ideas include:

  • Creating a professional website
  • Developing an SEO strategy 
  • Creating and managing your law firm’s social media presence
  • Running ads on search engines and social media platforms to reach a targeted audience

1. Claim and customize your free Yelp Business Page

Here are some key benefits of listing your law firm on Yelp.

  • Yelp is free to use and easy to get started with. If you haven’t already, you can easily add or claim a Yelp Business Page for your law firm. After you’ve completed the initial sign-up process, you can customize your page with Yelp’s 20+ free features, such as adding your law firm’s hours, contact information, photos, and a list of legal services you provide.
  • Yelp has a large, high-intent user base: 80+ million people visit Yelp every month looking for businesses. Many of these users are high intent, which means they’re actively searching for a business or service to contact and spend money with. According to a recent survey, 83% of respondents hired or bought from a company they found on Yelp, and 57% contacted a business they found on Yelp within one day
  • Yelp has a dedicated support team. Yelp is designed to be easy to use, but if you do have questions, you can reach out to the Yelp Customer Support team, who has experience in helping businesses like yours set up and manage their Yelp Page (you can find their contact info in your Yelp for Business account). 

An overview of your Yelp Business Page

After you’ve claimed your free Yelp Business Page, you can now customize it with details about your business. This is critical because it helps potential leads decide if they want to reach out to your law firm.

Here’s an example of a law firm’s Yelp Page.

Note: We found this law firm by searching for lawyers near Hermosa Beach, California on Yelp.

On the left side of the page, you can see the law firm’s name, its average star rating with the number of reviews, business categories (when it comes to law firms, these categories are the types of law your firm specializes in), hours of operation, photos and videos, services offered, and review highlights.

On the right side of the page, prospective clients can request a virtual consultation. They’ll fill out a short form that’s catered to your business type so you know what type of service they need. It’s a best practice to respond to these requests promptly, as your average response time is listed.

Under that, there’s a spot for your website, phone number, and address. 

Take a quick note that there may also be other law firms being advertised on your page. If you don’t want another law firm advertised on your page, you can upgrade your page to remove competitor’s ads. When you upgrade your page with the Upgrade Package, you can also add several other features, which are discussed in the next section.

As your potential new client continues to scroll down your free Yelp Page, they can see reviews left by past clients.

It’s a best practice to respond to reviews left for your law firm on Yelp—both positive and critical. This helps showcase your customer service and shows clients you care about their feedback.

Example of reviews left on Yelp page
Note: We found this law firm by searching for law firms in the Los Angeles area on Yelp.

Filling out your Yelp Page to be as accurate and detailed as possible can help you get more traffic. Yelp Pages with a photo, website, phone number, and business hours received 7.6x more page views per month compared to business pages without that same info. 

Get a free Yelp Page

Promote your business to local customers.

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Use Yelp’s Upgrade Package to get more control over how your page looks

Yelp’s Upgrade Package gives you more control over how your page looks, helping you make a strong impression and quickly show customers you’re the right business for them.

When you upgrade your page, you can:

  • Add Business Highlights to show off what makes your business unique
  • Remove competitor ads from your Yelp Page
  • Create a fully customizable call to action to convert page views into calls, messages, and visits
  • Include a logo on your page to support your branding
  • Choose the order of photos that appear on your page and in search results
  • Make posts and share updates about your business using Yelp Connect
  • Create a Portfolio, which features images that highlight past projects and the parts of your law firm you want to promote

These extra tools may be a deciding factor in getting you more clients. When shown two businesses side-by-side in Yelp’s search results, 95% of Yelp users said they would choose the business with Upgrade Package features over the one without it.

Below is an example of a law firm using Yelp’s Upgrade Package.

Example of a law firm using Yelp’s Upgrade Package
Note: We found this law firm by searching for law firms in the Bellevue, Washington area on Yelp.

2. Use Yelp Ads to access more high-intent users

After fully customizing your Yelp Page to accurately describe your law firm and its services, you can turn on Yelp Ads to get more exposure and more leads. Businesses using Yelp Ads get 2.5x more leads than those that don’t.

This is because Yelp Ads promotes your business in a number of key places on the site and app, including above relevant search results and on your competitors’ pages. You can also use location and keyword targeting to specify what location and search terms you want your ad associated with, helping your ad reach the potential clients that matter most to your business.

You can see above that when looking for a law firm in Los Angeles, the first results are in the “Sponsored Results” section. These are law firms using Yelp Ads.

Other benefits of Yelp Ads include:

  • You can cancel at any time. You’re not locked into any contract. You can pause or cancel Yelp Ads whenever it makes sense for your law firm.
  • There are no upfront costs to Yelp Ads. You will only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and you won’t ever be charged over the monthly max budget you set.
  • Customize your ad budget. Choose the ad budget that works best for you, and adjust it at any time based on your own business needs and industry trends. For example, you may want to increase your ad budget during the time of year when word-of-mouth referrals are at their lowest.
  • Yelp Ads are easy to set up and manage. You won’t need any technical knowledge or digital marketing training to set up and run Yelp Ads. That’s what this post covers next. 

Ready to try Yelp Ads?

Put your business in front of more customers.

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How to set up and manage your law’s firms Yelp Ads

Here’s a quick walkthrough on how to get started.

  1. Choose your goal: First, choose whether you want to get more phone calls, get more website clicks, or let Yelp optimize your goal. 

When you let Yelp optimize your goal, Yelp will test various call-to-action (CTA) options—such as a CTA to your Yelp Page or to your Request a Consultation feature—until it finds out which CTA gets your law firm the the most clicks, and thus increases the chance of you getting a new lead.

Example of selecting a goal for your Yelp Ad campaign
  1. Choose your photo: Next, choose the photo you want for your ad. Or you can let Yelp automatically choose the photo. When Yelp chooses a photo, it will test different photos until it finds the one that results in the most clicks for your law firm.
Example of Yelp ad photo
  1. Create your ad text: Enter the text you want to be displayed in your ad. This is an opportunity for you to write ad copy that draws attention to the qualities of your business that your customers may like the most. 

If you don’t want to write your own ad copy, you can:

  • Choose to feature one of your client reviews
  • Let Yelp test and choose the text that works best for your business
  1. Choose your keywords: Next, choose the keywords you want your ad to be boosted for. Yelp will pick the most relevant keywords based on your business, and then you can request which keywords get boosted. For example, you may want the obvious keywords of “law firm” and “lawyers,” along with more specific keywords such as “car accident lawyer.” 
Example of how to set your Yelp ad keywords
  1. Set your location: Choose the location where you want your law firm ad to be displayed (maximum range varies by geographic location).
Example of how to choose where to show your ad
  1. Create your budget: Lastly, choose how much you want to spend per day on average for your Yelp Ads. You can raise, lower, or pause your ad spend from your Yelp account at any time. 
Example of how to set your Yelp Ads budget
  1. Monitor and optimize your ad: You can track and change your ad campaign from your Yelp Ads dashboard. Your page views, impressions, leads, and other key pieces of information are all easily visible within your dashboard. This helps you see how your ad is performing.
Yelp Ads dashboard example

Here are some additional resources on Yelp Ads:

3. Create a professional website

An example of a professional law firm website

A good website can provide various key benefits to your advertising efforts, including:

  • Giving a comprehensive overview of your law firm, the services you offer, and how potential new clients can get in contact with you.
  • Establishing trust and credibility with potential clients. A website helps give your law firm an identity. You can list major cases or clients you’ve represented on your website, along with any accreditations.

Plus, a website can be a great asset to your other marketing strategies. You can send potential clients to your website from other platforms, such as social media platforms or search engines

What to include in your law firm’s website?

Ultimately what you decide to include on your website depends on the specifics of your legal practice and the brand image you’re trying to cultivate. Most law firm websites incorporate several key factors. These include:

  • Professional landing page as a homepage, that encourages your visitors to reach out or learn more about your services
  • A list of services you provide and practice areas you specialize in
  • A high-quality blog that covers topics related to the type of law you practice, to help show authority and expertise
  • In-depth case studies or answers to common questions you get from clients
  • Your contact information
  • A lead capture form, where interested parties can reach out to get more information about your law firm
  • Customer testimonials from past and current clients
Request a call back example

As you can see from the example above, the law firm’s website includes many of the components listed above. Importantly, it allows potential clients to enter their contact info so the law firm can contact them. 

4. Create an SEO strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) is about writing and structuring your website’s content in a way where you increase the chances of appearing prominently in search engine results

For example, let’s say you run a law firm in Los Angeles, California, specializing in wills and trusts. When someone does a search engine query for “Will and trust lawyer in Los Angeles,” they are taken to the search results page

A google search of will and trust lawyer in Los Angeles

If your website content is optimized to rank well for that specific keyword, you may appear higher in the search results. This can translate into more website visitors, leads, and clients. 

Keep in mind the word “may,” though as SEO is not a guarantee. However, there are several well-established best practices to on-page SEO, some of which are covered next.

How to optimize your website’s SEO

Your SEO strategy will be informed by your specific keywords, which are informed by the specifics of your law practice. If this seems too overwhelming, consider reaching out to a local marketing agency that specializes in SEO for law firms. Here are some general best practices around SEO

  • Tip #1: Choose your headers and page titles carefully. A header signals to search engines what your page is about. This means when you’re creating a landing page on your site about how you’re a law firm specializing in employment law in Denver, Colorado, having highly relevant words, such as “employment law” and “Denver, Colorado” in headers is a good strategy.
  • Tip #2: Create a blog with value-driven content. You can use your legal expertise to write a series of blog posts around the work your law firm does. This can help build your site’s credibility, not just in the eyes of your leads but in the eyes of search engines too.
Example of a law firm blog page

You can see in the image above that this law firm manages a blog that covers topics like trust accounting and charitable trusts in California. These topics are not accidental—they align nicely with this law firm’s area of practice.

Here are some additional resources on SEO:

Local SEO optimization

Another aspect of SEO is called local SEO. This is when you optimize your online presence so you can increase the chances of appearing in local searches. A local search is when someone types into a search engine something like “law firms near me” or “law firms in San Diego.” 

Google search for law firms in San Diego

Search engines will prominently feature local businesses they think fulfill the search intent. While there’s no way to guarantee your law firm will appear at the top of these search results, there are several best practices you can follow to optimize your local business for SEO.

  • Make sure you have control of your business page on all relevant platforms, such as Google, Bing, and Yelp. Once you have control of your page, you can make customizations to it. 
  • Confirm your business info is correct. This includes your law firm’s name, address, phone number, website, and business hours.
  • Update your page when appropriate. You can update your law firm’s hours during holidays. You can add links to new social media pages. You can publish posts or updates about your law firm, whether that involves newly hired legal professionals or your commentary on important cases. This shows that your law firm is active.
  • Respond to your reviews. Customers can leave reviews of your firm on your business page. It’s a best practice to respond to each review, even the critical ones. This shows potential customers you’re actively engaging with your clients. 

By doing the above and optimizing your online local business placements, you increase your chances of showing up higher in the search results. This can serve to attract more page visits, more leads, and more clients. 

But as discussed, these methods are not guaranteed. If you want to do some more research on your own about local SEO, here are some additional resources:

5. Create and manage your social media presence

Social media can be another excellent way to reach a wider audience and generate more business. You’ll need to choose which social media networks you want you invest time into when creating your social media strategy. Here are some options:

  • LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking social media platform. Given this, your law firm may find LinkedIn to be a good place to connect with potential clients, depending on the type of law your practice and the kind of clients you’re looking for.
  • Twitter. Twitter can be a great place to keep up with news specific to your law firm and connect with potential clients. Some law firms may find value in asking individual lawyers to maintain an active Twitter presence.
  • Facebook. Facebook provides you with a great way to be able to reach a larger audience to connect with potential clients. In addition, many law firms find Facebook advertising to be an effective way of generating leads. 

But keep in mind that none of these platforms above have a very strong local component. So while being active on these social media platforms can help with your law firm’s audience and brand awareness, it may not necessarily always increase the types of leads that are most likely to become clients.

Repurpose your blog posts for social media

Posting helpful information to your social media profiles is a great way to stay engaged with your audience, provide useful information, and potentially get future leads. If you already maintain a blog, you can use your blog posts to share content with your social media following. 

By repurposing your blog posts, you can minimize the work involved in creating content while sharing helpful information that demonstrates your professional authority in law.

Here are additional resources for getting started with social media marketing:

6. Use paid ads to reach a targeted audience

Paid advertising is another way to reach new customers and drive leads. Above, this post discussed the benefits of using Yelp Ads to display your customized Yelp Page in a number of key places on the site and app, including above relevant search results and on your competitors’ pages..

But there are several other different platforms you can advertise on, such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. 

To give you an idea of how running paid ads might work for your law firm, let’s look at both Google Local Services Ads and pay-per-click Google ads.

Google Local Services Ads

Google’s Local Services Ads can potentially help you get new clients by advertising your business for relevant searches specific to your local area. 

Local services ads example

Local Services Ads display similar information to your Google My Business listing. However, you pay for these ads to show up above the search results, giving you a greater chance of reaching a wider audience and generating more leads. The unique part about Local Services Ads is you don’t pay when someone clicks on the ad; instead, you only pay when someone actually becomes a lead. That is, when someone calls, messages, or books an appointment with you through your ad.

If you want to learn more about local service ads on Google, check out their official guide

Google pay-per-click ads

In the example above, below the Local Services Ads appears a Google ad, or pay-per-click (PPC) ad, “Santa Cruz Injury Attorneys – Drake Law Firm Can Help”. 

This appears almost like a regular search result, but the result lists notes that it’s sponsored. That means a law firm paid for prominent ad placement, and it also shows up above the organic search results. As with other paid advertising methods, this can boost visitors to your website, generate more leads, and lead to more booked clients. 

Google ads work on a pay-per-click basis. PPC means you pay each time a person clicks on your ad. For more information on pay-per-click ads, again visit Google’s official guide

Parting thoughts: Pay attention to law firm advertising rules

Many states have laws governing the use of advertising for law firms and legal professionals. This is to ensure that law firms take an ethical approach to their marketing strategy to better serve their potential clients

While rules governing law firm advertising vary from state to state, some commonalities emerge. These could include: 

  • Do not make unfounded claims of being an expert
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements
  • Do not provide compensation in exchange for testimonials
  • Do not address a specific person with solicitation offers for your services
  • Do not criticize your competitors

Be sure to look up any relevant laws pertaining to law firm advertising in your state or jurisdiction. This article provides a good starting point for your research. 

Next steps: how to effectively advertise your law firm

There are several different ways you can start advertising your law firm. These include:

  • Claiming and customizing your Yelp Business Page
  • Running an ad on Yelp to get more exposure to your Yelp Page
  • Creating a professional website, that both helps you establish authority and credibility and also tell potential leads about your services
  • Optimizing your SEO strategy
  • Posting and engaging on social media
  • Using paid ads to reach a wider audience

Some of these options, like creating your Yelp Business Page, choosing the Upgrade Package, and initiating a Yelp advertising campaign are all easy to get started. Others, like making your website and creating an SEO strategy, will likely require outside help to implement effectively. 

FAQs

What is the best form of advertising for lawyers?

There are several forms of law firm marketing strategies that lawyers can use to promote their services, including digital advertising and more grassroots campaigns like attending networking events, creating a referral program, or holding seminars. 

Most law firms may likely benefit from a combination of advertising strategies, but generally speaking, digital marketing can be a little easier to get started with.

When it comes to digital or online advertising, consider strategies that help you find new leads that can potentially turn into new clients

These are strategies that:

  • Have a local component. Chances are you’re only representing clients within a specific state or city. You don’t want an advertisement for your law firm in San Jose, California to get an audience in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
  • Let you accurately describe your services. In your advertising channels, you want control over the description of your law firm and how it’s messaged. This way, your advertising is attracting the right type of leads. You don’t want to get leads who are reaching out about the types of law you don’t practice.
  • Can be tracked and evaluated. You want advertising ideas where you can see the results. This means seeing how many new leads have come to your firm because of a specific strategy.

How do I promote my small law firm?

When promoting your small law firm, you want marketing efforts that are affordable and that you can manage on your own, without having to hire a full-blown agency.

There are several ways to do this.

You can:

  • Create and maintain a social media presence. No matter what type of law your firm specializes in, there are likely news stories revolving around it. You can create and maintain a social media presence that comments on or discusses that news. This will help you build authority in your space and grow an audience.
  • List your law firm on Yelp. It’s free to list your law firm on Yelp. You can customize key aspects of your Yelp Business Page, such as your law firm’s address, hours, and the kind of law services you provide. Listing your business on Yelp can help you get new leads in your area. You can also run Yelp Ads, which helps increase the number of people who see your page.
  • Run ads on search engines and social media platforms. You can run ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, and more. When you do run ads, make sure you’re targeting the right audience. Most platforms will let you target by keywords or demographics such as audience age, geographic area, and salary.

How can I promote my law firm for free?

One way to promote your law firm for free is to list your legal practice on Yelp. People use Yelp to find goods and services in their local area—and this includes finding law firms. There are several law specific categories on Yelp, such as Personal Injury Law, Employment Law, Estate Planning, Divorce & Family Law, and more. 

When you create a Yelp Business Page for your law firm, you can:

  • List your business hours 
  • Provide your phone number, website, and address
  • Upload photos 
  • And more

New clients can reach out and request a consultation, and existing/former clients can leave reviews on your Yelp Page.

What do customers want from law firms?

When a client reaches out to your law firm, they are likely looking for several different things.

First, when someone needs a lawyer, they are likely in a contentious state of mind. They may be either looking to file a suit against a party or have a suit filed against them. Either way, they’re potentially coming to your law firm with some level of stress—that’s important to keep in mind.

Here are some general tips to help you connect better with your potential clients.

  • Show empathy and respect. Again, your potential client is probably going through a contentious moment in their life, and it’s good to offer them empathy and respect.
  • Set boundaries and expectations. Your new client will likely have some misconceptions about how the law works. After all, you’re the expert, not them. It’s a good idea to set expectations on what your law firm can do and what will likely occur based on different strategies.
  • Give your client options. There may be more than one path forward for a given case. In these circumstances, outline the possible strategies for your client, going over the pros and cons of each one, including factors such as price, time, emotional toll, and more. 

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.