If you think marketing for lawyers is as simple as buying ad space, you’re mistaken. Marketing for a law firm is far more comprehensive than slapping a catchy name on a billboard. It requires thoughtful, persistent strategies that are underrated but very effective.
We spoke to Frank Howe, Chief Marketing Officer of Howe.Law Injury & Accident Lawyers, for some insight on how he employs these strategies.
“Our marketing efforts have focused almost exclusively on “search marketing.” This includes SEO, Google search ads (including LSAs), and a focus on visibility in the map pack on Google.”
The plaintiff’s personal injury (PI) space is incredibly competitive. You could cover your eyes and throw a dart at a phonebook and land on a personal injury lawyer (and then you might be liable for injury, but that’s another discussion). In order to stand out in a ruthless crowd clamoring for their next client, you need to have a multi-pronged approach that ensures your firm isn’t reliant on any one channel or platform. Casting a wide net yields better results.
“From a classic advertising-sense, you can’t market effectively at the ‘top of the funnel’ for accident victims before there is an accident. Outside of professional drivers, there are no demographics, audience segments, or online behaviors that pre-qualify folks as being high-risk for a catastrophic vehicle accident.”
Imagine you get in a car accident – nothing major, just a fender bender. But the sore in your neck is enough for you to be curious. And where do you go these days if you’re curious and under 65? Google. You may find yourself Googling the following:
- What to do after a car accident
- Can I see my own doctor after a car accident
- How to get medical bills paid after a car accident
- What to do if your insurance won’t pay a medical bill after an accident
- Car accident lawyer near me
And just like that, you’re speaking to your new attorney. Get ready to see some Redwelds.
“The best way that you can position your firm in an anticipatory manner is via a robust content strategy.
“Our agency of record, Majux, helps us consistently reach people when they are at the ‘research intent’ stage of the customer journey. Having a dedicated marketing team that is knowledgeable of best marketing practices makes it significantly easier to focus on our practice.
“As far as map pack visibility is concerned, we have offices in each major market we serve, well-built Google Business Profiles for each, and we actively source reviews from our clients in those markets.”
The reviews and business profiles help law firms reach people looking for “localized” search terms. Potential clients then see the positive experiences of past clients and decide to call. Beyond that, being responsive is important and Google tracks the amount of time it typically takes you to respond to an inquiry.
“Last June (2023), we received 207 calls specifically from the Google Map Pack and Google Search, and we didn’t have to pay Google on a per-call or per-click basis.”
Regarding Google Advertising, Howe has run both PPC campaigns and LSA campaigns. On the PPC side, they use Google Search Console to identify valuable search queries, then bid on those search queries in markets where their Google Business Profile is not yet highly visible.
“We’ve seen great results in markets where we connect our Business Profile to the search campaign (as an “extension”) – these ads show our customer reviews. Because of this, we have been seeing conversion rates around 30%+ for the past two months.”
One important tactic is to weed out all unqualified leads in the actual content of your ad. A headline that says “Lawyer For Car Crash Injuries” may have a low click-through-rate. These clicks can be expensive – about $100 to $300 – depending on our market, so you need to weed out the bad ones.
On the LSA side, outside of the labor involved, there’s very little reasoning not to run the campaign.
“It takes some management, but Google is fairly efficient at refunding you for calls that are spam or irrelevant to your practice. These calls can cost up to $500 a piece, and you won’t always be refunded just because you didn’t schedule a consultation.”
Howe recommends following these steps very closely:
- The weekly spend
- The cost per call
- The cost per signed case — (Is it more efficient than your other channels?)
- The average quality of the calls segmented by market – (Some markets might have a higher percentage of low-quality leads)
The best advice Frank Howe can give to legal marketers is to understand your audience and your region and select content that isn’t just relevant to your audience but showcases your firm’s strengths and personality. Anticipating behavior, keeping a close watch of your spending, and staying thoughtfully persistent in your strategies is key to your success. Marketing is a marathon, pace yourself and push forward.