You can go on your jail’s website to see how many people get arrested every day. The trouble is how to get them to contact you.
This blog is provided for general information only. Always talk to a laywer or other appropriate professional before making decisions.
Tip: As you read about the different methods, open up a new tab and try them out yourself. You’ll see what other criminal defense lawyers are doing right and where there might be openings for you.
Your criminal defense law firm website is an important tool, but it can only bring you so far.
There are only ten places on the front page of Google. What if there are 50 criminal defense lawyers trying to get DUI cases in your area?
You can make your law firm’s website and SEO better, but if 20 people focus there and do it well, it starts to become a game of chance. Not only does where you rank start to fall out of your control, but the lower you rank, the less people click.
One common solution is to niche down. Instead of just having a general DUI page, you start adding minor DUIs, second DUIs, DUI diversion programs, and related pages.
There’s less competition when you niche down until there isn’t. Once other criminal defense law firms start figuring out that’s working for you, they’re going to start doing the same thing.
Your Website’s Job
So is your law firm website useless to your criminal defense attorney marketing strategy? Not at all.
First, you can usually find a hole in SEO that will bring you enough criminal defense clients to repay your investment several times over before the copycats arrive.
Second, once people find out about you, they want to know if you handle that type of case, and you still need to convince them to hire you. Your website becomes just like an online store.
Online Local Business Directories
Local business directories are an important tool in marketing for criminal defense. These include things like Google Business and Yelp profiles.
People don’t always go to a search engine’s search page when they’re looking for a criminal defense law firm.
They might use Google maps or go directly to a review site.
It usually only takes a few minutes to set these profiles up. Most of them are free or at least have a free tier.
These directories also boost your organic search results. They help search engines understand where you are and that previous clients were happy with your legal services.
Online Lawyer Directories
A lot of lawyers don’t like sites like Avvo, and they have valid reasons. The trouble is that even if you don’t like lawyer directories, potential clients are using them.
Clients Believe Them
All the lawyers in your area might agree that a lawyer directory is bad and the lawyers it says are the best are the worst. Prospective clients don’t see things that way.
Potential clients often hold sites like Avvo in the same regard as sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. They don’t understand why lawyers don’t like these sites or dismiss what lawyers say as being upset about their ratings.
So you’re probably going to want to set these profiles up.
Should You Pay?
The next issue is when you have to pay to boost your profile or to even claim it in the first place.
You may not like it, but there are ways to see if you should hold your nose and consider it a good business investment.
First, you can use Google Analytics to track where your website visitors come from.
You can calculate how many visitors you get per month against your monthly fees. Compare that to your monthly spending on search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads and how many visitors you get from those channels.
You may also want to figure out how many clients you’re getting from each channel.
Someone sending you 100 visitors that turn into ten warm leads and 2 cases is better than someone sending you 10,000 visitors that turn into one lead and no cases.
There are several ways you can do that.
- Ask your clients in your online lead form or in their initial consultation (Difficulty: Easy)
- Set up acquisition tracking on your website that tells you where the people who used your contact form came from (Difficulty: Hard)
- Create different landing pages for each channel (your search visitors go to one place and your directory visitors go to another) so you can track them separately (Difficulty: Intermediate)
YouTube is a trickier area. Almost no one goes to YouTube when they’re looking to hire someone.
Most people come across videos when they’re browsing and the algorithm thinks they’ll watch something long enough to see an ad.
The first use of YouTube is as a long-term branding play. If you can become known for great explainer videos, news recaps, or something else, you’ll get your name out there.
This can potentially lead to referrals from lawyers and others who subscribe to you. It’s a high investment move that can be difficult to make pay off.
Another use of YouTube is to support your website content. Many people don’t like to be read. If we’re being honest, a lot of your clients can’t.
Your DUI law explainer video might not get you much, if any, traffic from YouTube but embedding it on your DUI practice area page can help that page convert.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms like Instagram are similar to YouTube. They’re not a place people tend to look when they’re hiring someone.
They can help you with your general branding and networking.
Tweeting all your blog posts will usually get you no results except for getting marked as spam.
Having conversations and sharing wins with lawyers and others helps get your name out there. When they know someone looking for a lawyer in an area they don’t handle, they’ll @ you.
Lead Generation Services
Lead generation services aren’t as common in criminal law marketing strategy as they are in personal injury.
Personal injury services like 1-800-ASK-GARY and 411-PAIN have wide recognition. There’s no peer competitor on the national level for criminal defense firms.
If you see a lead generation service advertising near you, it may be worth looking into it.
First, you’ll want to confirm it’s following the legal ethics rules for criminal defense attorneys in your jurisdiction.
After you’ve confirmed a lead generation service is legal, you’ll need to understand the contract, guarantees, and exit options.
Whether you should use a lead generation service is purely a question of cost vs. benefit and how much risk you’ll take trying it out.