Criminal defense is a really hard area of law to market. You are not only up against the other criminal defense attorneys in your area, but the public image you aim to create of yourself. You need to be able to show that you are trustworthy, knowledgeable, and have a good reputation. Public trust, website optimization, and SEO are all key when marketing a criminal defense firm online. Think of it as building a house: Public trust is the foundation of materials you use, website optimization is the blueprint of your house, and SEO represents your decorations (to ensure people want to come in!) Lacking either of these key components will make it difficult to succeed. These three areas are not mastered overnight, but with time and effort, you can create a strong online presence for your criminal defense firm.
What's so important about public trust?
You online persona needs to show that you are someone who can be trusted. After all, if a potential client is looking for a criminal defense attorney, they need to know that they can trust you with their case. A big part of this is creating content that is accurate and helpful. You also need to be active on social media, engaging with potential clients and showing that you are approachable. This must match your actions when a potential client does contact you – they should feel like they can trust you with their case.
Furthermore, you need to be active in your community. Get involved with local charities, attend community events, and sponsor local causes. You want to be seen as a good person who is invested in making the world a better place (after all, you are... right!). Ensure to give back to the community that has provided you, especially considering you're defending those who can't defend themselves.
Criminal defense attorneys have to be extra careful when it comes to their marketing and advertising efforts. The reason for this is because the potential clientele they are targeting is often very skeptical of any lawyer, and for good reason. After all, these potential clients are usually under investigation or have already been charged with a crime.
Do you need a website as a criminal defense lawyer?
YES! Your website is often the first interaction a potential client will have with your firm. It needs to be informative, well-designed, and user-friendly. It should also be optimized for search engines so that potential clients can easily find you when they are searching for an attorney.
Make sure your site includes key information about your firm, such as your experience, areas of practice, and contact information. You should also blog regularly to show that you are knowledgeable in your field and to attract potential clients through SEO.
If you have a website that hasn't been updated in over a few months, potential clients will likely move on to another attorney's site. Keep your site fresh by regularly adding new content, including blog posts, articles, and news updates. This will show potential clients that you are active and engaged in your practice. Not to mention, websites break! You should have a website agency constantly (at least once a month) go through your website to make sure everything is updated and working properly.
Ensure your website is mobile optimized, as potential clients are likely to be searching for an attorney on their phone. This means your site should be easy to navigate on a mobile device and include all the same information as your desktop site. Mobile traffic accounts for over 50% of all web traffic, so you can't afford to lose potential clients because your site isn't mobile friendly.
Write content people actually need to discover!
Once your website is properly designed and optimized (if you skip that - might as well give up on online marketing) you need to focus on SEO. This is how potential clients will find you when they are searching for an attorney.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO:
- Choose your keywords carefully. These are the words and phrases that potential clients will use when searching for an attorney. Think about what someone would type into a search engine if they were looking for someone like you.
- Use those keywords throughout your site, including in your blog posts, on your pages, and in your metadata.
- Make sure your site is linked to from other high-quality websites. This will help improve your search engine ranking.
Public trust + Solid web presence = A successful online marketing campaign for a criminal defense attorney.
Going back to public trust, you're going to want to have links to your website coming in from other high-quality websites. This will show Google and other search engines that you're a credible source. These are called backlinks, and they're incredibly important for SEO. Two ways you can acquire high-quality backlinks are by writing guest blog posts for other websites and by being active on social media.
When it comes to social media, we recommend posting short 60 second clips answering common questions people have about your area of law. These types of videos are called "explainer videos" and they're an excellent way to show potential clients in bite-sized format that you're knowledgeable and trustworthy.
If you don't have the budget to focus on extensive SEO efforts by outsourcing content, you can have a paralegal, law student, or secretary help with regular blog postings. Just make sure the content is well written and informative. The more consistently your firm is putting out quality content, the more likely you are to attract potential clients naturally. The most important thing to remember is that you need to be patient when it comes to SEO.
So, if you're a criminal defense attorney who wants to start marketing online, make sure your website is properly designed and optimized, use high-quality keywords throughout your site, and write content people actually need to discover. And don't forget about public trust - make sure you have links to your website coming in from other credible sources. Being active on social media is also important, so post short videos explaining common questions potential clients might have about criminal law. If you can do all of this, you're well on your way to a successful online marketing campaign!