Small Law Firm Marketing

A Simple Guide To Making Data-Driven Decisions

In an extremely competitive marketplace, marketing your small law firm requires big decisions. The right campaign can deliver new clients, but the wrong advertising can derail your growth. Valve+Meter Performance Marketing revolutionizes legal marketing by leveraging precise, data-driven strategies.

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Small Law Firm Marketing For The Digital Age

How To Build Measurable Marketing Activities To Grow Your Practice

There is an unlimited budget for effective marketing strategies.

While traditional marketing often underperforms for law firms, digital marketing, being measurable and scalable, fits better for small law firm marketing.

The key to unlocking success lies in embracing a data-driven approach. Valve+Meter Performance Marketing delivers comprehensive marketing designed to make every marketing dollar count for the legal industry.

Success hinges on a data-driven approach. Valve+Meter Performance Marketing offers comprehensive marketing, ensuring every dollar spent in the legal industry is effective.

This approach targets the appropriate audience with specific messages, significantly impacting client acquisition and retention, and reshaping your law firm marketing strategy to boost revenue.

Tired of ineffective tactics? Embrace strategic, measurable marketing for sustainable growth in your law firm.

Local Law Firms 97%
97% of users search online to discover local businesses.

SERP 71%
The first page of Google search results captures 71% of Search Traffic
Near Me 33.1L
“Lawyer near me” is searched over 33,100 times every month.
A row of books on a shelf in a library, showcasing various topics and genres.

Understanding Small Law Firm Marketing

Applying Math Before Marketing

The landscape of law firm marketing is distinctive, especially for smaller firms. The large modern law firm routinely uses online advertising and traditional marketing methods to saturate markets with loud, brash branding.

Smaller law firm owners must adopt a more strategic approach, rooted in data analysis. Your law firm marketing can stand out even in the most crowded markets.

A deliberate approach in building an online identity can be highly effective. It’s about establishing a solid foundation reflecting the firm’s values and meeting potential clients’ needs.

Smaller firms must use smarter techniques to measure the return on marketing spend (ROMS). Valve+Meter’s Math-Before-Marketing delivers sustainable law firm marketing results by researching, tracking, and analyzing data about your law firm’s brand.

These data-driven marketing efforts emphasize the importance of identifying key metrics and financial data before implementing any marketing tactics.

Our team collaborates to comprehend your firm’s current position and objectives. We identify the most effective marketing channels and strategies to attract your target audience and generate new clients. Valve+Meter offers a comprehensive range of marketing solutions, ensuring growth in line with your law firm’s development.

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Essentials of Law Firm Marketing

10 Steps To Sustainable Law Firm Marketing

There are nearly as many types of marketing efforts as there are law firm marketing companies. Making the most of your marketing dollars begins by understanding the essentials of law firm marketing and how to implement each into your strategy.

Marketing Plan Versus Marketing Strategy

Let’s quickly define the difference between a marketing plan and a strategy.

Most law firms use a marketing plan. Whether a formal plan is written or decision makers designate marketing dollars for various campaigns, a plan typically fails to research, analyze, and optimize marketing activities. Plans may result in new clients, but without measuring marketing, the most effective strategies cannot be scaled.

A law firm marketing strategy is a comprehensive and ongoing process. Every marketing activity is tracked with data. Marketers analyze results in real-time to make adjustments in paid advertising and consistently fine-tune other marketing campaigns like search engine optimization, social media, email, and traditional media.

A successful law firm marketing strategy should align with the preferences and behaviors of your target audience. It’s essential to identify your ideal clients, understand their legal needs, and know where they seek legal services. This knowledge is key to efficiently using your marketing budget and increasing your market share in your local area.

Key Marketing Tactics To Consider

For a small law firm, your marketing strategy should consider each of the following marketing tactics and how they can benefit your vision:

Web Services

Custom website design and development, essential for a law firm’s online identity.

Content Marketing

Personalized content creation to engage and attract the target legal audience.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Targeted ad campaigns driving immediate traffic to law firm websites.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Enhancing online visibility and search rankings with comprehensive SEO strategies.

Local SEO

Optimizing web presence to reach specific geographic client bases effectively.

Local Services Ads (LSA)

Google-verified ads targeting high-intent clients in specific practice areas.

Email Marketing

Developing targeted email campaigns to nurture leads and client relations.

Social Media Marketing

Building relationships and showcasing expertise on social platforms.

Traditional Media

Using print, radio, and TV to reach a wider audience effectively.

Creative Services

Innovative branding and design solutions distinguishing your law firm.


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Increase Demand 4.4 %
The increase in standard legal services rates in 2019.
Website Design 0.05 secs
It takes .05 seconds for visitors to form an opinion about a website.
Page Load Time 1-3 secs
The probability of a visitor leaving your site increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.

Small Law Firm Marketing Strategy

Steps To Launching Your Digital Marketing

Digital marketing for small law firms demands a bespoke approach. While these steps apply to most law firms, it’s crucial to recognize that your firm’s digital strategy must uniquely align with your specific target audience and market.

This strategy encompasses a variety of tactics including SEO, content marketing, social media, and PPC campaigns, all tailored to boost online presence and attract prospective clients.

Whether you are building a marketing strategy in-house or considering partnering with Valve+Meter, success in marketing begins with understanding the tools you need.

Web Services

Launch A Lead Generation Website

Lead generation websites for small law firms are tailored to attract and convert potential clients. They effectively present the firm’s expertise and showcase all practice areas.

A successful website combines visual appeal with user-friendly navigation and clear messaging. It should comprehensively represent your firm’s practice areas and include essential elements like contact forms, client testimonials, and distinct calls to action. This approach forms a solid foundation for your online presence and all your marketing efforts.

To create a successful law firm website that resonates with potential clients, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Right Platform: Opt for WordPress for its versatility, ease of use, and SEO-friendliness. WordPress offers a wide range of themes and plugins that can be tailored to suit your law firm’s needs.
  2. Content: Clearly articulate your legal expertise, practice areas, and the unique benefits you offer to clients. Avoid stock photos; instead, include authentic images of your attorneys and office to establish trust and personal connection.
  3. Showcase Your Attorneys: Create detailed profiles for each attorney, highlighting their experience, specialties, and achievements. This personalizes your firm and helps potential clients relate to your team.
  4. Responsive Design: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. A responsive design adapts to different device screens, providing an optimal user experience.
  5. Web Development Enhancements: Focus on the technical aspects like coding, site speed, and functionality. Robust web development supports your design, ensuring the site is not only attractive but also performs well.

By following these steps, your law firm’s website can effectively attract and engage potential clients, convert more leads, and drive business growth.

Content Marketing

Build Brand Awareness

Generic content is all too common in legal marketing. Focus on telling potential clients why your law firm is qualified to care for their needs. Start by ensuring your website copywriting represents all core practice areas.

Expand your content marketing to include:

  1. Educational Blog Posts: Writing articles on legal topics, explaining complex legal issues in layman’s terms, and providing insights on recent legal developments builds credibility.
  2. FAQ Pages: Creating FAQ sections that address common client questions about different areas of law potential clients are likely to be searching.
  3. Client Success Stories: Showcasing case studies or stories of successful legal outcomes, highlighting your law firm’s expertise.
  4. Legal Guides or White Papers: Offering in-depth guides or whitepapers on specific legal issues or procedures.
  5. Video Content: Producing informative videos on legal topics or short clips introducing the lawyers and their specialties.
  6. Infographics: Creating visually appealing infographics that simplify and explain legal processes or statistics.

Overall, content marketing for small law firms should be a blend of informative practice area descriptions and insightful content that collectively enhances your firm’s online presence and establishes your brand identity.

Poor Design 42%
42% of people will leave a website because of poor design.
Brand Credibility 3/4
75% of consumers will judge a brand’s credibility based on their website design. (Stanford Web Credibility Research)
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Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Utilize Paid Digital Advertising

Small law firms should consider PPC (Pay-Per-Click) in search engines and social media advertising. PPC offers a direct and effective way to reach potential clients quickly.

Small law firms can effectively use PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising on search engines and social media platforms to quickly reach potential clients. This marketing tactic is a cost-effective strategy as you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.

To launch a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ad, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a Platform: Google Ads is the most common search engine law firms use for PPC. Additional platforms include Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram, and other social media.
  2. Research Keywords: Identify keywords that will attract potential clients to your specific practice areas. Use keyword research tools to find high-performing keywords with a good balance of search volume and competition.
  3. Create Compelling Ad Copy: Write clear, concise, and engaging ad copy that aligns with your keywords.
  4. Set Up Landing Pages: Create landing pages that your ads will link to. Ensure these pages are optimized for conversion and have a clear call-to-action.
  5. Target Your Audience: Utilize platform targeting options to reach your ideal audience based on demographics, location, interests, or behaviors.
  6. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your campaign’s performance and make adjustments to improve performance such as changing ad copy, adjusting bids, or refining your targeting.

In digital marketing, PPC is utilized to generate leads swiftly, build brand awareness, and drive targeted traffic to the law firm’s website.

Because so many prospective clients use search engines and social media to find lawyers, consulting with Valve+Meter is highly recommended. This method can complement other marketing methods, such as SEO and content marketing, to create a comprehensive digital marketing approach for your small law firm.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Increase Organic Search Visibility

Search engine optimization (SEO) functions similarly to paid search advertising, aiming to connect with your audience via Google and Bing’s organic search results.

SEO employs techniques like utilizing pertinent keywords and optimizing site structure. These marketing efforts are designed to enhance all of your law firm’s visibility in organic search results.

Law firm SEO is a comprehensive approach that involves three key areas:

  1. On-Page SEO: Search algorithms study the context of your web pages and rank websites based on relevance among other factors. Most law firms create website content that includes keywords, which is an important but small factor in improving rankings. On-page SEO also ensures your titles, URL slugs, and meta descriptions are relevant for all of your legal services.
  2. Technical SEO: The technical aspects of your website also influence visibility in organic search. For law firms, ensuring that the website loads quickly, is secure (using HTTPS), mobile-friendly, has a clear, logical structure, and does not have errors is critical. Regularly checking the health of your website and overall performance are also parts of technical SEO.
  3. Off-Page SEO: Beyond your website, improving your site’s authority, credibility, and trust across the internet improves ranking. For law firms, this includes building backlinks from reputable legal directories, guest blogging on respected platforms, and engaging in community outreach or legal forums.

Each of these SEO strategies works in concert with web services, content marketing, paid digital advertising, and the rest of your law firm marketing strategy. The primary goal is to enhance the online presence of your small law firm, but great SEO helps a well-designed law firm website convert visitors into new clients.

Law Firm SEO
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Local SEO

Focus on Your Local Area

For attorneys who practice in specific geographic areas, local SEO studies your market to increase visibility in local searches. Using specialized techniques, local SEO can create a clear advantage for your firm.

Key components to implement include:

  1. Google Business Profile Optimization: Ensure your law firm’s profile is complete and accurate. Regularly update it with relevant information, including your practice areas, location, and hours.
  2. Consistency in Online Listings: Your firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be consistent across all platforms. This includes legal directories, social media profiles, and local business listings.
  3. Generating Local Reviews and Backlinks: Encourage reviews from satisfied clients. Client reviews on your Google Business Profile and other legal directories boost credibility and local search ranking. Also, strive to get backlinks from reputable local websites, like local chambers of commerce or legal associations.

By focusing on these elements, small law firms can improve reach potential clients in the local area you serve.

Local Services Ads (LSA)

Consider The Power of Google Ads

Google Local Services Ads (LSA) appear at the top of Google Search and Google Maps, showing your firm to potential clients in your area. For smaller law firms, Google Screened acts as a tacit endorsement of each attorney in your practice. Along with positive client reviews, LSA can help you reach your marketing goals faster than Local SEO.

Setting Up LSAs:

  1. Verification: The first step is to pass Google’s screening and verification process, which includes background checks and license verifications.
  2. Profile Creation: Set up your Google Local Services profile, filling in all relevant details about your firm.

Managing LSAs:

  1. Budgeting: Set and adjust your weekly budget based on the number of leads you want.
  2. Responding: Quickly respond to inquiries through the platform to maintain a high responsiveness score.
  3. Call Review: Actively listen to calls and object to leads that are not relevant to your ads.
  4. Review Management: Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews to improve your firm’s reputation and visibility.

Consistent management of LSAs is essential to maximize ROI. Regularly updating your ads, responding promptly to client inquiries, and managing your online reputation can significantly enhance your ad’s performance, ensuring a steady stream of quality leads.

When used in conjunction with Local SEO and content marketing, paid advertising attracts high-quality leads for your law practice.

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Local Search 46%
46% of all searches are for local businesses. (Forbes)
LSA 13.8%
BrightLocal finds Google’s Local Services ads (LSAs) account for 13.8% of all SERP clicks.

Email Marketing

Launch Email For Prospective And Paying Clients

Email marketing can generate new business and stay top-of-mind with past clients. Email is a powerful marketing tool to directly share updates, legal insights, and news about your practice, and reinforce your expertise.

Use various tools to enhance email marketing efforts including:

  1. Segmentation Tools: To target specific audience groups based on their needs and previous interactions with your firm.
  2. Automated Campaigns: For timely and regular outreach without requiring constant manual input.
  3. Analytics and Reporting Tools: Gaining insights into open rates, click-through rates, and engagement, helps to refine future campaigns.
  4. Personalization Techniques: To make emails more relevant and engaging to each recipient, add personalized greetings and messages.
  5. Responsive Design Tools: Choose an email platform that is accessible and visually appealing across different devices.

Effectively implemented within your broader law firm marketing strategy, email marketing can strengthen client relationships, enhance brand loyalty, and drive new business opportunities for small law firms.

The scales of justice on a wooden table against a dark background, perfect for small law firm marketing.

Social Media Marketing

Meeting Your Target Audience Where They Spend Time

While social media does not fit every law firm’s marketing plan, data shows people spend much of their time online with these applications. When building an online marketing plan, consider expanding your social media presence.

Social media marketing for small law firms uses platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to build brand awareness, engage with the community, and attract new clients. Each platform can be used to target clients and nurture your online reputation.

Like email, social media marketing is one of the most effective tools to connect meaningfully with your audience.

Consider using both types of social media strategies:

  1. Organic Social Media: Post content and engage with the audience using a regular cadence. It’s about building a long-term relationship with your audience by providing valuable content, legal services tips, and updates about your firm.
  2. Paid Social Media: Create targeted ad campaigns to reach new audiences. These paid ads can be tailored to reach specific demographics and are great for driving immediate visibility and leads.

Different platforms serve various purposes and reach different audiences. Each platform should be used in a way that aligns with its strengths and your firm’s marketing goals.

Traditional Media

Consider Traditional Advertising

Traditional media remains a viable tool for marketing small law firms, despite the rise of digital platforms. For broad legal marketing, some non-digital methods can help achieve marketing goals.

Here are different types of traditional media that can be beneficial:

  1. Print Media: This includes paid ads in newspapers, magazines, and legal publications.
  2. Direct Mail: High-quality letters, brochures, or postcards to potential clients or referring attorneys can make a personal connection.
  3. Radio and Television: Local radio and TV ads can reach a broad audience, increasing brand awareness in the community.
  4. Billboards and Outdoor Advertising: Strategically placed billboards can capture the attention of local traffic, enhancing visibility in specific geographical areas.
  5. Networking and Events: Attending local events, sponsoring community activities, or joining professional organizations can establish small law firm owners as recognizable legal figures.

Despite their lack of direct analytics, traditional media can play a valuable role in a well-rounded law firm’s marketing strategy, offering unique benefits in reaching potential clients.

Creative Services

Build Brand Identity

Integrating creative elements into your website and other digital marketing makes a lasting impression on legal clients.

Key elements to consider:

  1. Branding: Develop a distinct visual identity through logos, color schemes, and thematic elements that reflect your firm’s values and areas of expertise.
  2. Graphic Design: Creating visually appealing and professional materials like business cards, brochures, and stationery.
  3. Video Production: Produce engaging video content that showcases your firm’s personality, client testimonials, or explanations of legal processes.
  4. Podcasts and Webinars: Establishing authority and thought leadership by discussing relevant legal topics or offering advice.

Utilizing these creative marketing strategies can significantly enhance a small law firm’s presence and appeal to potential clients.

Outsourcing Small Law Firm Marketing

ThinkFirst By Valve+Meter

If you find this how-to guide overwhelming, you’re not alone. Understanding the market methods and executing at a high level requires skills, knowledge, and ongoing improvement.

In a highly competitive industry, small law firms can greatly benefit from partnering with Valve+Meter. As a performance marketing agency, our team is uniquely built for the needs of smaller law firms. With experts in web design, content, SEO, PPC, LSA, email, and other legal marketing, your firm gains access to a full suite of experts.

More importantly, ThinkFirst builds data-driven and bespoke marketing strategies. From the moment you contact Valve+Meter, ThinkFirst begins. During your free marketing assessment, our strategists collaborate with you to learn about your needs and goals.

ThinkFirst is a structured approach to enhance your marketing effectiveness and insights into your business.

1 Discovery

The first phase of our performance marketing process involves understanding the unique aspects of the law firm. What is your current situation including challenges and opportunities to attract potential clients? Discovery is about getting a deep insight into the firm’s services, clientele, and market position.

3 Execution

In this stage, the strategies and plans formulated from the discovery and research phases are implemented. Performance marketing balances the marketing activities that are most likely to win, win quickly, and endure in the long term.

Research 2

Following Discovery, our team of professionals gathers data and insights about your specific market, direct competitors, and potential clients. By researching industry trends and client behavior, ThinkFirst strategists identify the best growth opportunities for your firm.

Analysis 4

The final stage in the marketing process is the evaluation of its effectiveness. This involves assessing the return on marketing spend (ROMS), which is crucial for refining the overall strategy. By analyzing this data, your marketing tactics can be continuously adapted and evolved. This approach ensures that future marketing efforts are both scalable and repeatable, optimizing their effectiveness.

1 Discovery

The first phase of our performance marketing process involves understanding the unique aspects of the law firm. What is your current situation including challenges and opportunities to attract potential clients? Discovery is about getting a deep insight into the firm’s services, clientele, and market position.

2 Research

Following Discovery, our team of professionals gathers data and insights about your specific market, direct competitors, and potential clients. By researching industry trends and client behavior, ThinkFirst strategists identify the best growth opportunities for your firm.

3 Execution

In this stage, the strategies and plans formulated from the discovery and research phases are implemented. Performance marketing balances the marketing activities that are most likely to win, win quickly, and endure in the long term.

4 Analysis

The final stage in the marketing process is the evaluation of its effectiveness. This involves assessing the return on marketing spend (ROMS), which is crucial for refining the overall strategy. By analyzing this data, your marketing tactics can be continuously adapted and evolved. This approach ensures that future marketing efforts are both scalable and repeatable, optimizing their effectiveness.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Small Law Firms

Small law firms often make several marketing mistakes, including lacking a defined marketing strategy, underutilizing online platforms like SEO and social media, and not focusing enough on building client relationships.

They also frequently overlook the importance of Local SEO for attracting clients in their geographical area, fail to maintain consistent branding, don’t use data and analytics effectively to guide marketing decisions, and lack differentiation in their services compared to competitors.

Small law firms can measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of marketing by tracking metrics such as the number of new clients acquired, client retention rates, website traffic, lead conversion rates, and overall revenue growth.

Using tools like Google Analytics to monitor website performance and client management systems to track client engagement are effective methods. It’s also important to compare marketing costs against these outcomes to evaluate the financial impact of their marketing strategies.