You might be the best criminal defense law firm in town. But, if your competitors are better at online marketing, they’re probably going to have more clients. Whether it’s helping clients with traffic tickets, DUI arrests, or more serious offenses, people facing criminal charges need an attorney they can trust, and they need one fast.
When people need quick answers, whether it’s who delivers Chinese food “near me” or what the maximum penalty is for public intoxication in Virginia, they often turn to Google first. Now more than ever, it’s vital that your law firm shows up as a valuable online resource for people in their time of need.
That said, you need strategies that will help your firm stand out against the competition. You not only want to get found first but also produce such a compelling message that your visitors won’t feel the need to continue their search a minute longer. So, what do you need to do to get your phone ringing off the hook and your calendar full? Here are five tips for marketing your criminal law firm online that are designed to produce results.
Build a User-Friendly Website
Most people make immediate judgments about a business based on that company’s online presence. So website design is pretty important. One of the biggest mistakes law firms make is taking shortcuts with website design.
As a criminal defense firm, it’s essential to position yourself as someone that will fight for the best possible outcome. For this reason, many criminal defense lawyers prefer a serious online persona. However you choose to position your brand, your website should:
- Tell people what you do (You defend people charged with crimes)
- Reveal who you are. (You’re an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled criminal defense lawyer.)
- Convince them why they should choose you. (List years of experience, show testimonials, etc.)
- Provide a way to contact you. (Phone, form, chat)
These are just some of the surface items. If you don’t address the technical stuff related to your website, your efforts will be largely wasted. Specifically, your criminal defense law firm website needs to be:
- Easy to navigate
Create Quality Content
You might be able to get visitors to your website that have pressing legal matters, but enticing them to stay and then contact you is another hurdle that some firms struggle with. The key is to have high-quality content on your website that provides visitors with relevant, useful information that boosts your credibility as a criminal defense attorney.
There are two types of content you’ll post on your website: Practice Area pages and Supportive content (i.e., Blog posts).
Practice Area Pages
Area of Practice content are the pages on your website that detail your different practice areas. For example, a criminal defense attorney would likely have a Criminal Defense overview page and then child pages for things like DUI, Domestic Violence, Assault and Battery, Sex Crimes, Drug Crimes, etc.
Interestingly, criminal defense lawyers have more sub-practice areas than any other area of the law. This gives your firm more opportunities to rank for phrases that can drive traffic and convert prospects into clients.
The key to these pages is that they should be helpful, comprehensive, and provide more information than your direct competitors.
Blog posts can help your firm establish itself as an authority on a topic, such as DUI defense. They can also bring in more traffic by answering many of the questions that people type into Google, such as, “Is a DUI a felony in Florida?” and “How long does a DUI stay on your record?”
Most people who are dealing with criminal charges are frightened. They’ll spend a lot of time looking for information and reassurance online. If your blog posts can provide answers and build trust, you are more likely to get a call.
Optimize for Organic Search
Just having a website and some content won’t be enough to help you rank higher in the search engines than your competitors. Chances are, they put some work into getting those results, and you need to do the same.
What you’ll need to do is focus on proven Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to secure top search rankings for your criminal defense web pages. This involves:
- Researching keywords related to your area of practice and incorporating them naturally throughout your content
- Including location-based keywords to increase traffic for local searches
- Strategically placing keywords within your webpages, metadata, and title tags
- Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business page
- Encouraging client reviews to boost your firm’s credibility
How user-friendly your website is will also impact your results. We already covered most of this in the website design section. In short, a visitor should have a positive experience and get the information they need when visiting your site.
Get on Social Media
Many criminal defense firms believe it would be inappropriate to engage in social media marketing. But this isn’t the case. Your potential clients are on social media platforms, and these sites are another powerful way for your firm to establish and build a strong online reputation.
Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help your firm share useful information and create a reputation as an authority. Your social media posts don’t need to be promotional. They can ask questions to increase engagement or share snippets from recent content.
Leverage Video Marketing
Video is one of the most powerful ways to reach potential clients and improve the performance of your website. If you think about it, people dealing with criminal matters may not be up to reading thousands of words of content on your site. But they will sit and watch your videos if they are engaging and informative.
With the right law firm videos, your criminal defense firm can:
- Stand apart from the competition
- Improve your firm’s online reputation
- Increase conversion rates from visitors
There is a wide variety of video content you can create. You can start with your attorney and law firm profiles to give visitors an overview of why they should trust you to address their legal issues. You can also create short videos that address frequently asked questions as well as testimonial videos from prior clients.
Get Your Criminal Defense Law Firm Noticed
When it comes to marketing for criminal defense attorneys, having an engaging website and optimized Google My Business profile are excellent places to start. But there is stiff competition for legal clients, so your firm must have a robust ongoing legal strategy to get found and chosen by local clients.
At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we have years of experience helping criminal defense law firms successfully market their services. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation – (800) 649-1764.