Family lawyers who want new clients have a variety of lead generation options to choose from. Choosing the right lead gen sources gives you a steady stream of new cases. But figuring out which methods are worth your time depends upon your firm’s strategy.
Here's what you need to know when selecting lead generation tactics for your divorce and family law firm.
Two Types of Lead Generation for Family Lawyers
Online lead generation tactics for family lawyers consist of a wide variety of tactics. These tactics include everything from claiming directory listings to more complex tactics like executing a digital ads campaign. But most of these methods break down into one of two broad categories:
- Earned media tactics
- Paid media tactics
Both categories benefit your offline and online presence, driving more leads your way. And many divorce lawyers use a mix to get the best results.
One thing to note is that no matter what type of lead generation you choose, you need a website.
You may see other sources across the web refer to your family law website as a tactic. But that’s not accurate. Your website is an asset that you own and direct leads to from your earned and paid media tactics. Your website serves as the hub for your potential clients to reach you and get into your lead pipeline after you’ve exposed them to your brand through your earned or paid media.
Paid media is exactly what it sounds like. You pay a platform or service to put your family law practice's name in front of potential clients. Some common examples of this include things like paying for Facebook ads or Google pay-per-click ads.
The biggest benefit of paid media is that it starts bringing in leads fast.
Some lawyers start to see new leads from advertising not long after flipping the on switch. Platforms like Meta and Google want you to see a return on investment so that you’ll keep buying ads. They’re incentivized to get your ads in front of the right people to do so.
But there are downsides to paid media, too.
You will have to pay for every single click or lead you get. Those costs start to add up, so you’ll need to make sure that your cost per lead is worth your ad spend. And the leads stop rolling in as soon as you stop paying for ad space.
Earned media involves creating content you think your target audience will enjoy and then publishing it so that things like social media and search algorithms present it to those people. The goal is to have your ideal clients find your content and then convert into a lead after consuming it.
Some common examples of generating leads through earned media include:
- Creating SEO-driven pages and posts for your website
- Posting on social media
- Creating videos for YouTube
Your audience will find your earned media content on the same platforms where you can run paid media ads. The difference for you is that this type of lead generation is not pay-to-play. All you need to do is put together good content that people care about to earn your spot in Google’s organic search results or people’s social media feeds.
That doesn’t mean earned media is free.
You still have to put in the work to create the content. That often means working with an expert who understands the best ways to create engaging legal content and reach your ideal client. But each piece that you create will start to reach more and more people, building up your online presence.
Earned media content takes a while to build up steam.
You have to build a following for effective social media marketing campaigns. And you have to earn Google’s trust to start showing up in search results. But you will reach a massive number of potential clients after only paying once for each piece of content once your content engine gets its legs.
Earned Media Lead Generation Tactics
There are several kinds of earned media tactics for family lawyers to choose from. These law firm marketing channels bring in new leads based on the effort you put into them rather than how much you spend.
Here are the best organic lead generation methods for family law attorneys.
Search Engine Optimization
Law firm search engine optimization involves creating pages and posts for your site designed to rank in Google’s organic search results.
The goal here is to get Google and other search engines to present searchers with your content when they look for keywords and phrases that are relevant to your firm. Your website appearing for relevant SEO keywords like
Denver family lawyer or
Chicago divorce attorney boosts your chances of new clients discovering you.
Every family law firm should plan to research and lean into SEO content marketing.
That's because the content you’ll create targets the people who want to find an attorney right now. One in three people turn to search engines when they start looking for legal help. And leads from SEO have a 14.6% close rate.
Getting people to your law firm website through SEO takes upfront effort, but the rewards are worth it.
You’ll need to optimize your website to meet Google’s standards and appeal to your potential clients. That means having a fast, secure, and technically sound website. You’ll also need to create a variety of content targeting relevant keywords that are specific to your practice area and location.
Getting these factors right allows your site to rank on Google and start attracting new legal leads.
Every optimized page you create builds upon the last one. That allows you to build authority in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. Your site becomes more likely to rank for valuable terms the longer you keep at it.
And the big benefit is you don’t have to pay every time someone visits your site from Google.
The compounding growth you get from investing in SEO is worth the effort. Well-written posts and pages will continue to deliver new contact form submissions long after publication.
Social Media Marketing
Attorney social media marketing involves creating content on social platforms to get the attention of your ideal client. Posting content relevant to your audience keeps your firm’s name top of mind with potential leads. It also helps you present your legal practice as a knowledgeable, go-to resource when they need help.
Family law firms post on a range of different social media platforms, such as:
The best place for you to post depends on your ideal clients. You need to discover where your target clients spend their time online to be effective. Success also depends on your willingness to make content that matches your audience's expectations from that platform.
One thing to note about social media marketing is that getting high-quality leads depends on generating brand awareness first.
Most people aren’t hunting for a divorce attorney when they scroll through their feeds. They’re looking for some form of entertainment. People who search for an attorney on Google want help in the moment. People on social media either don’t need your help today or don’t know they need help yet.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t prime them to contact you when they’re ready for your services.
Posting educational or entertaining content on social media lets you get into people’s minds. They’ll start to associate you with family law, custody cases, or divorces as your posts land in their feeds. Your firm’s name becomes the go-to for people who need help or who give a word-of-mouth referral to friends and family.
The con is that it takes a continuous posting schedule since most social posts have a shorter shelf life than blog posts.
Law firm video marketing lets you connect with your target clients in a parasocial way. Lawyers who are good on camera use this method to introduce themselves as a trustworthy resource for their audience.
Many attorneys think of video marketing as being limited to using YouTube to promote your law firm.
But there are so many more ways you can use video to support your other online marketing efforts. The videos you create also work for your website, email list, or other social media platforms.
The problem is that making videos for YouTube is resource-intensive.
You need to feel comfortable writing scripts and appearing on camera. You’ll also need the time to edit your footage. The good news is your videos don’t need to be movie-theater quality to reach your ideal clients.
Free Legal Directory Listings
Claiming your listings on legal directories (like Avvo, Nolo, or Martindale) is important, but there’s a reason it brings up the end of the earned media list.
Directories are not the most reliable lead generation source.
People go to these sites when they have no clue what lawyer to pick. Maintaining your listing just keeps your name in contention with the competitors. Getting a lead from this source comes down to the luck of the draw.
Legal directories have more value due to their impact on your law firm’s local SEO performance than on lead gen.
Our verdict: It’s well worth claiming your spot in relevant directories, but don’t count on them as a primary channel for getting new leads.
Paid Media Lead Generation Tactics
Ad campaigns make up the primary sources of leads for many divorce attorneys.
Other lawyers add paid media on top of earned media tactics to generate potential client business. Advertising this way acts as a supplement to bring you a steady source of leads while your earned media engine starts up.
Here are the most common paid marketing methods for divorce attorneys and family lawyers.
Google Ads (Pay-Per-Click)
Google’s pay-per-click ads are one of two common forms of advertising found on search engine results pages. These ads trigger when a potential client searches for a keyword related to your practice area. You pay each time someone clicks on your ad, whether or not they become a lead.
These ads always appear above the organic search results, making them valuable real estate for a divorce attorney.
The other advantage is that Google’s ad targeting is intelligent. These ads will reach the right people and start bringing in leads for you. You just need to craft solid calls to action and landing pages for each ad to bring up your conversion rate.
The downside is that ads are expensive.
Divorce lawyers in high-competition parts of the country need big budgets if they want to see results from ads. Many lawyers get around this by starting their legal marketing with an emphasis on advertising while investing in longer-term plays like SEO. Then, they cut back on ad spend once their SEO efforts start paying off.
Google Local Services Ads (Pay-Per-Lead)
Google Local Services Ads are the other half of the most common ads you’ll find on search engines.
These ads appear on Google for the same reasons that PPC ads do, with one exception. The keywords that trigger this have both a relevant search intent for your firm and a local intent. That means the people who see these will be the ones that Google knows are in your service area.
Local Services Ads have a few other advantages over family law PPC advertising, too.
These ads appear above even the regular Google ads, so they’re highly visible to potential clients. And they work on a pay-per-lead model. You will only pay for each qualified lead you get from your ad placement.
Social Media Advertising
Social media isn’t limited to organic posting. Social platforms also allow lawyers to purchase ad space within people’s feeds.
Social media advertising’s biggest advantage is that the targeting ability is fantastic. Social platforms let you target your audience based on granular details like their age, gender, social interests, and more.
But that’s not always a huge advantage for divorce lawyers.
Social platforms can tell a lot about people’s interests. But they don’t dig into whether they’re considering a divorce, need help with a child custody case, or have another legal issue that you can solve. Another con to note is that it’s all too easy to just scroll right past an ad.
The best bet for family attorneys who want to use social media ads is to follow a similar brand awareness play to what we recommended for organic social posting.
There are many companies out there that offer paid lead generation for divorce law firms. These services use a pay-per-lead model, much like Google’s Local Services Ads. PPL services process leads in real time and send them to your firm for follow-ups.
There are two major benefits to working with a PPL service:
- You will get leads from these services
- The lead generation company handles all the targeting and outreach
But choosing the right service provider takes careful research.
Many lawyers who’ve worked with legal pay-per-lead services discover that some of them focus on lead quantity over quality. Others complain that it's hard to dispute unqualified leads. There are some great lead generation services out there that will do their best for you, but any interested lawyer should check out the services’ processes before signing a contract.
Legal Directory Advertising
Legal directories also round out the list of tactics for paid lead generation.
Some legal directories allow divorce and family lawyers to pay for specific placements. You pay the directory for a premium profile. Then, the directory is supposed to put you at the top of their lists when prospective clients use the site to find a lawyer.
Paying a legal directory for a premium listing delivers more leads than a free profile.
But the stream of leads from directories isn’t as consistent as the better lead generation options above. Some directories will also lock down your leads. You’ll have to pay for the premium listing and pay the directory for each lead’s contact information.
Tactics Alone Won’t Win You Leads
Using the right lead gen tactics will bring you new cases, but only when you choose the ones that align with your law firm marketing strategy.
Too many family attorneys look at a list of tactics and pick them at random. They don’t consider how those tactics help them meet their winning aspiration and end up dissatisfied with the results. Your strategy needs to guide your tactics and coordinate them to meet your marketing goals.
The most successful law firms use outside marketing support to define a winning strategy and choose the tactics that draw in new clients.
Grow Your Divorce Firm with Attorney Lead Generation
There are plenty of lead gen options out there to put your firm’s legal services in front of prospective clients. But getting the best results requires a strategy that will convert potential leads into new cases.
Working with a law firm marketing expert gives you the best chance of success.
Rankings.io has deep knowledge of the legal industry, and our team understands what truly works to get you more clients. Our family lawyer marketing services will help you grow your book of business. Contact us today to start building your strategy or get expert marketing insights on your existing plans.