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Outperform your competitors and dominate your market.
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Successfully marketing your legal services is one of the most critical aspects of running a successful criminal defense law firm. Knowing that, it amazes me to learn that most criminal defense attorneys are simply relying on word of mouth and referrals to get new clients. And while referrals are great, relying on them for the livelihood of your business can be a stressful approach.
According to salary.com, the average criminal defense lawyer’s salary is $93,522 as of June 28, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $79,933 and $107,602.
So, what about the DUI and criminal defense attorneys making $250,000+ per year? What is it that sets them apart? Most lawyers running successful criminal defense firms have figured out one critical piece of the puzzle that their competitors haven’t. Marketing.
There are many ways to market your criminal defense law firm, and plenty of competitors vying for the same clients. Effectively marketing your criminal defense firm is of course, all about making yourself the most visible to those seeking your legal services.
Today, that means having a presence online.
Surveys have shown that the internet is now the most popular way people are finding and researching attorneys.
If you want to grow your criminal defense law firm and increase your revenue, you need look no further than marketing your legal practice on the internet.
Traditional Marketing Meets Digital
The business of any legal practice or law firm has always been to sell legal services. But how you reach those people in need of legal help has changed.
For years, criminal defense attorneys relied on traditional forms of marketing like radio, television, newspaper ads and the phone book. But marketing your law firm is different today than it was 20, 10, or even 5 years ago.
Whereas previously firms were jostling for prime Yellow Pages placement (think “A+ DUI Lawyers”), the Internet has changed how clients are finding and choosing a law firm. From a branding standpoint, traditional marketing can still help a law firm establish credibility and help them build their brand in their geographic market. But that’s about where the benefits of traditional marketing end.
There are three basic concepts to marketing. They are your brand (how you present yourself to potential clients), channels (how you reach potential clients), and execution (how you put it all together). In 100 years of marketing, this hasn’t changed. There is nothing new or groundbreaking about this. The only thing you need do to gain a massive competitive marketing advantage these days is simply apply these principals to modern digital marketing.
Getting Started with Digital Marketing for Your DUI / Criminal Defense Law Firm
Gone are the days where only big law firms with the deepest pockets dominate the market. The Internet has leveled the playing field, and if you put together a complete online marketing strategy that works together, YOU can now dominate your local market and become “the go to” DUI and/or criminal defense attorney in your area.
But, if you’re like most criminal defense lawyers, you’ve probably largely ignored the digital shift. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there when it comes to marketing a criminal defense legal practice online. It’s understandable for it to quickly become confusing and to not know where to start.
Marketing your criminal defense firm online is actually quite simple, and when done correctly can be extremely effective. It shouldn’t be overly complicated. Just like anything else, if you put the right system into place, it will deliver results.
There are four key pillars to creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your criminal defense law firm, they are:
Pillar 1: Branding & Content Strategy
Pillar 2: Your Website
Pillar 3: Visitors & Website Traffic
Pillar 4: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The first pillar of creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your criminal defense firm is to demonstrate your expertise.
You do this with your brand, content strategy and message.
At its core, your brand should position you as an expert and not just a legal services provider.
Experts can always charge more.
They will also stand out and convert prospects into paying clients at a higher rate.
You can do this by focusing on getting more online reviews, and creating high quality content designed to help answer prospective client’s questions through the creation of blog posts, web pages, and videos.
The second pillar of creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your criminal defense law firm is your website.
You can drive all the traffic in the world to your site, but if it lacks fundamental elements, you’ll likely convert little to none of that traffic into paying clients.
This is one of the reasons why many criminal defense attorneys believe that search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing don’t work.
If you’re sending good traffic to a bad website, it won’t convert, resulting in wasted marketing dollars.
For these reasons, it’s imperative that your website be built to convert prospects into paying clients before you spend any money on getting visitors to your site.
You want to feature reviews and client testimonials, anticipate and answer prospective client’s questions, and be sure the website is optimized for mobile devices and is very easy to use.
It should have features like click to call buttons, and simple contact forms.
Feature All the Criminal Charges that You Defend
While your firm might be focused on “criminal law,” there are of course many different types of criminal charges that you can help potential clients with. When most of your prospective clients search for legal services, they do so using the keyword of the charge they are facing. For example “dui lawyer Tampa.”
For this reason, you want to make sure that you feature the full range of criminal charges that you defend on your website. Do this by create pages with specific information for each of the different criminal charges you can help a potential client with, such as DUI, drug charges, reckless driving, theft, etc.
For example, if you are a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, FL, you should have pages for each main type of charge you defend like this:
…and so on.
By having a page for each type of charge you can help a client with and in each geographic area you serve, it will help your search engine optimization efforts immensely.
The third pillar in our process of marketing your criminal defense law firm online is visitors and website traffic.
Internet traffic is the lifeblood of any digital marketing strategy. You can be the most qualified, most experienced criminal defense attorney in town, but if potential clients aren’t finding you online, you’re losing out on a lot of business.
If done incorrectly, getting prospective clients to your website can quickly cost you a lot of money with nothing to show for it. The key to making it work for you is to ensure you reach a positive ROI quickly. There are two main things you can do to make this happen.
First is to have pillars 1 and 2 in place before you spend any money getting visitors to your site. This will prevent you from wasting money getting people to your site that won’t convert into paying clients.
Second is to combine your traffic strategy to leverage Google Local Service Ads, pay-per-click, and SEO together. The reason for this is that while ranking on page 1 of Google through SEO can bring in a lot of new clients, it takes time.
So, if you’re only running an SEO campaign, you’re left paying for those services’ month after month without any return on your investment until you reach page 1.
Google LSA and Pay-per-click on the other hand is a more immediate way to start getting highly targeted prospective clients to call and visit your website.
The goal here is to begin getting new clients from your paid search campaigns right away so that you are also covering any costs associated with your SEO efforts from the start.
The added benefit here is that by combining pay-per-click with search engine optimization you capture a bigger percentage of searchers, with the ability to be on page one of Google up to three times.
This includes the Ads positions, Google Maps listings (sometimes called the “3 pack”), and the organic results.
Also, as an added bonus, by appearing on page 1 of Google multiple times, it gives you instant credibility. People tend to automatically assume that you must be the best option without you ever having to say so.
The fourth and final pillar in our system is conversion rate optimization or CRO for short.
At the end of the day, the most important thing about a marketing campaign for your criminal defense firm is for it to be ROI positive, and you should be able to measure that return on your investment.
Building a brand, having a website, and getting more traffic is only valuable if it leads to an increase in paying clients.
What we’ve found is that many criminal defense lawyers have no idea where their new clients are coming from.
CRO ensures that you know and understand where your leads are coming from. It helps you know what exactly is working in your marketing strategy and what isn’t. You can track conversions using free tools offered by Google Ads, Google Analytics, and paid third-party tools such as CallRail.
To beat your competitors and market your criminal defense law firm successfully online you need a comprehensive strategy that works together.
By focusing on and implementing these four pillars, you will have exactly that. You can now be in front of potential clients 24/7 365 days a year as they are looking to solve their legal problems.
It’s amazing to see that even today the majority of criminal defense attorneys and law firms are still not implementing a complete digital marketing strategy like this, leaving a ton of opportunity for those who do.
By leveraging a marketing strategy like this you will no longer have to spend time trying to find new clients or compete on price because you don’t have enough clients.
This can empower you to start charging more for your services and being more selective with the clients you choose to work with.
Not having to constantly think about where your next client will come from will give you more time to focus on the business of your criminal defense law firm, enabling you to grow it at the pace that you want.
About the Author
Chris is a digital marketing consultant and has been helping attorneys and law firms grow their revenue and scale their legal practices for the past 12 years. His areas of expertise are in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), digital branding, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
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Dramatically improve & track your marketing ROI.
Increase client acquisition rate & quality.
Reduce cost per client acquisition.
Outperform your competition and dominate your market.