Most small law firms operate within a specific area, such as their surrounding city or county. This means that local marketing strategies will usually yield the best results for growing a law practice. But there are countless different ways to market your firm, and many of them are very expensive. The question is, which local marketing strategies work best without breaking the bank? To help get you started, here’s our guide on the top 3 free local marketing strategies that work for lawyers.
Why Marketing in Your Local Area Works Best
Effective marketing is all about relevancy.
In other words, your marketing messages must reach the right people at the right time. If you are marketing to the wrong people, or at the wrong time, your message won’t resonate or generate a response.
People tend to feel most comfortable working with an attorney who is nearby so that they have the option to meet in person and develop a stronger relationship. Plus, legal services are often dependent on jurisdiction, meaning certain clients will only be able to work with a local attorney.
But perhaps the biggest reason why local marketing works best for a law firm is that people searching locally have high buyer intent. In fact, one study showed that 78% of local searches performed on a mobile device lead to an offline purchase from a local business.
For these reasons, the right types of people (i.e. those who may be interested in working with you and qualified for your services) are most likely to be located in your surrounding area. So, by marketing your firm locally instead of more generally, you’ll significantly improve your chances of reaching them.
But that still doesn’t answer the question of which strategies will work best for local marketing. Read on to find out!
3 Best Local Marketing Strategies for Law Firms
Below are our top 3 tactics for reaching prospects in your local area.
1. Marketing a Law Firm with Local SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
For example, if a prospective client types “car accident lawyer near me” in Google and you practice personal injury law, your goal would be to appear near the top of the search results page.
When you show up near the top of the results, prospective clients will be more likely to click through to your website and hopefully contact you.
SEO is one of the most powerful (and competitive) forms of digital marketing because once you’ve established a high ranking, you can expect to see an endless stream of highly targeted web traffic for free.
Optimizing your website is a very in-depth topic with too many nuances to cover in this post, but generally there are a few key things you can focus on to improve your ranking.
Local SEO tips for a law firm website:
- Optimize your website’s page titles and subheadings to include your target location (or create multiple pages for each location if you have more than one)
- Be sure to add your law firm’s NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) in the exact same format on every page – usually the best way is to do this is to put it in the footer
- Quality content is the key, so publish posts regularly with common keywords related to your practice – think about what your clients are searching for on Google, and use similar phrases in your content
- Try to get inbound links to your website from other high ranking sites – the number of incoming links is one of the most important factors in Google’s algorithm
Check out our local SEO guide for more information.
2. Marketing a Law Firm with Google My Business
If you have ever searched on Google for any business in your local area, like a restaurant or a mechanic, chances are you are familiar with the results that appear on a map at the very top of the page.
The business listings that show up in this area are managed through Google My Business.
Google developed its My Business product specifically to help local businesses get discovered online. It’s an easy way to get exposure for your law firm when a prospective client enters a relevant, location-based search. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.
If you already have a Google account, you can sign in and start updating your My Business profile immediately. If you don’t have a Google account, you can sign up for free to create your profile.
Tips for using Google My Business:
- Reviews are a key part of your My Business profile because they will help instill confidence and trust – try to build up positive reviews to boost your profile’s performance
- Ensure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) appear with the identical formatting as on your website – this helps Google track all your contact info across the web and can boost your SEO
- Create Google Posts (basically the equivalent of blog posts on your website) with updates about your firm – this shows Google that you are active in running your business, and provides contextual clues about what you do to help Google surface your profile when a relevant search comes in
Check out our complete guide on Google My Business for more.
3. Marketing a Law Firm on Yelp
Yelp has become one of the most widely used digital platforms for discovering local businesses, particularly in major cities.
Their website and mobile app are very user friendly and they have a wealth of data about all types of local businesses from plumbers, to restaurants, to law firms.
It’s free to claim your business profile and collect reviews, although you might consider paying to unlock some of the more powerful features.
One of the biggest draws for consumers are the customer reviews that Yelp collects. Reviews are paramount to establishing trust for local businesses in today’s online world.
The reason Yelp works so well for local marketing is because it is a heavily location-based app. When you search, you’re required to input a location, whether it’s a city, zip code, or even just your “current location.”
Not only that, but Yelp is also one of the highest ranking websites on Google. So when people search for a lawyer on Google, there is a good chance they might end up landing on Yelp afterward.
Yelp’s hyperlocal focus allows you to connect with clients who are in your same neighborhood or even on the same block, which means those people will have a higher likelihood of contacting your firm.
Tips for using Yelp:
- Build up as many positive reviews as possible – consider using a tool like BirdEye for requesting and managing reviews
- Update your profile with a lot of information to add credibility – use high quality photos, add your logo, link to your website, and add all of your contact information in the same format you use everywhere else online
- Add keywords in your business profile – just like SEO on your website, you want to add content to your Yelp page targeting the search queries that people may type into Yelp
Check out our Yelp marketing guide for lawyers for more information.
Local marketing tactics are key for small businesses in today’s digital, mobile world. More and more people are using location based searches to find local businesses nearby, and those searches have proven to have high buyer intent.
By optimizing your website for local searches, and utilizing Google My Business and Yelp, you can establish a strong web presence in your local area. As a result, when prospective clients search for a lawyer in your city, you’ll have a good chance at showing up.
Best of all, these 3 local marketing strategies are completely free, and they can yield very powerful results.