How Digital Marketing is Changing The Law Business

09 Oct, 2019

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The Digital Marketing and the Law business in The 21st Century

The digital revolution has fundamentally changed the way all companies do business, not just large corporations and Silicon Valley startups.

In this century, industries that have done business in the same way for decades find themselves facing a whole new world of challenges and opportunities; it's about time someone paid closer attention to these changes; so this week we will focus on how digital marketing is changing the way lawyers and legal firms find clients.

Do You Know A Good Lawyer?

For law firms and the vast majority of other enterprises, the days when clients would find their service by looking them up in phone books are long gone, however, one thing still hasn't changed: the first thing most people do when in search of a good lawyer is still to ask their friends and family for a recommendation

But unlike in the old days of dusty phonebooks, this is not where the decision-making process ends, today's potential clients use the internet to inform their most important choices: 70% of people searching for a lawyer, consult the internet to inform their decision.

Online reviews are increasingly performing a similar role to personal recommendations, a recent study found that customers need to read ten reviews before they can trust a local business.

This is a key reason why local directories and online review sites have become such important places for building trust. As a result, more and more law firms are using applications like rankingCoach to manage their online directory listings and to manage their online review profiles.

SEO Instead of TV Advertising

After talking to friends and family, the next most popular destination is a search engine; 

Google has become a very popular place for finding legal services: there are hundreds of thousands of searches for lawyers, every month in the United States alone. 

As you can see from some of the top search results for lawyers in the US, taken from the results of the rankingCoach keywords data, terms relating to certain fields of law receive more searches than others:

Search Term                                                Monthly searches in the US
  • Accident lawyer                                            22200
  • Accident attorney                                         14800
  • personal injury attorney                               27100
  • family lawyer                                                  33100
  • divorce lawyer                                                49500

Figures are taken from the rankingCoach keywords data for a site based in the USA on 30.80.2019


These results point to a fair few troubles in paradise with searches for 'divorce lawyers', 'family lawyers', and 'accident lawyers' having particularly high average monthly search numbers.

This high volume of searches and the fact that the  first five results on a search engine receive 67.6% of click-throughs, have made putting a law firm's website on the first page of Google search results a marketing priority for many law firms, This has lead to law firms of all sizes investing in SEO: a recent study found that 76% of law firms are investing in SEO

SEO is also an attractive option for law firms looking for a cost effective way to build a longterm online presence. Affordable and effective SEO and digital marketing online software applications like rankingCoach have made it possible for small and medium-sized law firms to optimize their own websites and build an effective presence, empowering them to compete with the larger firms for clients. 

SEO has an added appeal for law firms In countries like Germany where legal advertising through many other channels is forbidden, making it one of the few viable channels for attracting new clients. Search engine optimization can also be a cheaper alternative to paying for Google Ads, which, as we will see, can be very expensive…

The High Cost of PPC for Law Firms

Perhaps the clearest indicator of the importance of digital marketing to law firms is shown by the cost of Pay-per-click advertising.

In the United States, law is the most expensive industry for Pay-per-click advertising: personal injury attorneys/lawyers pay some of the highest prices in all of search engine marketing. 

      Branch of Law                          


Monthly searches                  Cost per clic              



  • Personal Injury Attorney  

  • accident attorney                

  • 22200                      

  • $41.63-50.89

  • Personal Injury Attorney  

  • accident attorney                

  • 14800                      

  • $30.77-37.60

  • Personal Injury Attorney  

  • personal injury attorney     

  • 27100                      

  • $31.37-38.34

  • Family Lawyer                    

  • family lawyer                      

  • 33100                       

  • $15.94-19.48

  • Family Lawyer                    

  • divorce lawyer                    

  • 49500                       

  • $15.08- 18.43

  • Criminal defense attorney

  • criminal defence attorney 

  • 18100                       

  • $15.94-19.48

  • Criminal defense attorney 

  • criminal defence lawyer   

  •   1000                       

  • $0.10- $0.50

Figures  taken from the rankingCoach keywords data for a site based in the USA on 30.08.2019

It Doesn't Get Much More Competitive than Personal Injury Law

It amazing to see that law firms are willing to pay up to $50.89 every time someone clicks through on their advertisement on Google. Considering that the search number average for "accident lawyer" is 22200, if just a few hundred of those searchers click on a firm's ad, then we are looking at a monthly paid ad budget costing thousands of dollars. 

For prices to be this high their must be a significant number of firms finding this marketing activity useful, but this high cost also makes it vitally important that law firms have the correct budget controls on their Pay-Per-Click marketing campaign to ensure they are getting the best value from their spending.

A Gap In The Market

Small and medium-sized law firms may find the high cost of Per-per-click advertising too much. These firms may instead choose to focus on their organic search engine presence through SEO, using digital marketing applications like rankingCoach that show them how to do it themselves. Doing SEO first can also be a cost-effective way of finding the best search terms for pay-per-click. 

If smaller law firms do want to try out pay per click advertising, they can use applications like rankingCoach 360 to find the best terms to optimize for search ads and to ensure that they stay within budget. 

It is important to remember that the terms listed are not the only search terms and applications like rankingCoach 360 can help law firms to find Ad terms that are better value for money.

For example, law firms pay between $15.94-19.48 for the term 'Criminal defense attorney'  but only $0.10- $0.50 for the term Criminal defense lawyer. Considering that both searchers are almost certainly looking for their services, firms who get this right can be paying a thirtieth of the price of their competitors just by taking more time to research their keywords with the right applications. An insight like this shows the value of keyword applications and how they can pay for themselves in a few clicks. 

Whatever digital marketing tactic you choose, we hope that this article has provided some interesting insights, or at the very least, helped you to understand why your lawyer-friend gets angry when you click on their Google ads!

Does Your Firm Need Some Help With Digital Marketing?

To try the rankingCoach software click here.

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