Lawyers can advertise for free in plenty of ways, but you'll need to be prepared to mix in paid options if you want to see significant numbers of new cases. Use the free options as your foundation and leverage paid tools to reach the next level.
We’ve put together this list of 13 ways for attorneys to advertise online, including the best free and paid options.
Free Ways Lawyers Can Advertise Online
Any place where you can list your firm online counts as a form of advertising. And that includes common free options like legal directories, general business listings, local citations, and social media accounts.
These free options lend authority and credibility to your business by confirming important details like your location, hours, and practice areas.
All lawyers should take advantage of some free advertising options. But don’t expect much from them without a lot of work.
The upside is that there's no financial investment to claim a listing. And they provide yet another opportunity for potential clients to discover you online.
The downside is that getting traction requires putting in time and effort to optimize your profiles.
Some free options are so valuable that no lawyer should skip them. Other listings depend on your practice area or the types of clients you want to reach. We’ve picked 9 free legal advertising options for lawyers of all practice areas.
1. Google Business Profile + Google Maps
A Google Business Profile is the gateway to getting your law firm on Google Maps.
Setting up a Google Business Profile is easy, but showing up on the maps takes more than just a listing.
Here are some tips about how to set up your Google profile accurately:
- Visit the Google Business signup page while logged into the right Google account (the one that’s associated with your site’s Google Analytics account)
- Select "Manage now"
- Enter details like firm name and your primary business category
- Add a physical location and address
- Add your website and contact information like a phone number
- Select "Verify your business" and choose "Mail" as it's the most secure option
- Wait for the postcard to arrive at your location to verify your ownership
An optimized and regularly updated Google Business Profile for your law practice makes it far more likely that someone will see your information and either click or call.
In fact, accurate and complete Google Business Profile listings get 7x as many clicks as those missing information. This is an easy yet important opportunity to make sure your business details are correct.
With work on your Google profile, such as adding images, collecting client reviews, and creating Google Business posts, you stand a much better chance of showing up in Google Maps results. In fact, Google Business optimization is a major part of local SEO for lawyers.
The Google Business platform is competitive, so getting the most out of yours may require the help of an expert in local search engine optimization (SEO).
2. Apple Maps
Lawyers need every possible opportunity to show up in results when someone searches for legal services. You still need a Google Business Profile, but claiming your profile on Apple Maps will also help you become more visible.
To set yourself up with Apple Maps, follow these steps:
- Visit the Apple Business Register and log in or create an account
- Search for your company name
- If you don't see it, select "Add a missing place"
- Enter relevant details and select "Next"
- Choose "Verify Ownership"
- Enter your primary contact and save those details
- Choose to receive an automated call from Apple to your business phone
- Enter the code provided to you on the call
3. Bing Places
Google reigns supreme when it comes to search engine visits, but Bing still gets 1 billion visits every month. It's worth taking a few minutes to set up a Bing Places profile.
You can do so by following these steps:
- Visit Bing Places
- Sign into your Microsoft Account or create one
- Claim or create your law firm business listing
- Complete your business listing details
- Verify the business listing
With Bing, Apple, and Google out of the way, there’s still one more general business listing that most lawyers will benefit from.
Yelp's not just for restaurants. A solid Yelp profile will also help boost your local visibility.
Yelp makes it easy for prospective clients to get in touch with your law firm. It also functions as a review site, so it's another place where people evaluate other clients' experiences before deciding whether to reach out to you.
You can set up a Yelp law firm profile by following these steps:
- Add or claim your law firm's Yelp listing
- Include contact information
- Add relevant categories and legal services
- Add photos
As with any review platform, set aside time to check your profile to answer questions or respond to reviews. This will show people who use Yelp that you’re responsive and help them decide whether they want to work with you.
Legal directories are a no-brainer for attorneys. These sites aggregate massive databases of legal practices for potential clients to sift through. Every listing is like a digital billboard for your firm.
Martindale-Hubbell is one of the first directories that many lawyers think of. They have a high-traffic website, and the brand’s been around for over 150 years.
Visit the site to claim your profile, or set up a basic profile there for free. List your name, contact information, and practice areas to submit your profile for review.
Justia is a large lawyer directory that gets a ton of monthly traffic. Having a profile on this site could put your firm’s name in front of a ton of potential clients.
Visit this page on Justia to start the process of listing yourself.
Justia will list lawyers who have not claimed their profiles yet. If you find a listing with your information on the site but can't edit it, you’ll need to claim it. All you need to do is click "Claim your profile for free!" under your name in the listing.
7. Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers is well known in the industry for their annual lawyer awards broken down by region and practice area, but you can also list your law firm in their directory.
Setting up your profile takes more effort than the last 2 directories on this list. You need to be rated by your peers first.
There are 4 ways to receive a rating from Super Lawyers:
- The managing partner at your firm nominates you
- The independent Super Lawyers research team identifies you
- Third-party feedback indicates you deserve a rating (such as from a client or law firm marketing firm)
- Peers nominate you
Getting someone to nominate you is worth it since it’s another free avenue to advertise your legal services. You’ll need to get a head start, though. Super Lawyers nomination deadlines vary by state and often start several months before the calendar year begins.
FindLaw is another high-traffic legal directory that’s worth being on. This site publishes tons of legal content to funnel readers into its attorney listings.
Follow these steps to create your profile on Findlaw:
- Go to this page on FindLaw’s website
- Click on “Register here” under the heading “Don’t have an account?”
- Type in your email address and opt-in to allow FindLaw to email you for registration confirmation
- Fill out details about your practice
- Submit your profile details
- Wait for FindLaw to reach back out to you for final confirmation (approximately 2 business days)
9. Social Media Profiles
Setting up your social media profiles is another form of free advertising for your services.
A strong and consistent presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter/X will help your firm reach more people. The platforms you choose to use depend on your law firm’s marketing strategy and the platforms that make sense for your ideal clients.
Once you claim your profiles, you’re ready to start engaging with potential clients. Sharing valuable content through social media helps you build an online presence and a community.
Creating social media accounts is free and it doesn't cost you anything to post content. But the truth is that doing it well and consistently while also working as a lawyer takes a lot of effort. It's a major time sink to chase results on social media, which is why many successful attorneys hire a marketing agency to help them with social media marketing.
Paid Attorney Advertising Options
Although free advertising options have their place and are worth your time, digital advertising platforms allow you to reach the target audience members who are most likely to need a lawyer’s services right now.
The power of paid advertising is that, while it requires a financial investment, these efforts can provide immediate and specific results in the form of new clients. These options can help you get further than you might with free choices.
Advertising rules for the legal industry differ from most other business models.
The American Bar Association and your state bar association will have specific lawyer advertising rules about the wording, format, or details of your paid ads. Before you jump into advertising, check your rules of professional conduct to see what they have to say about ads and solicitation. Any 3rd party you work with should also be familiar with these rules.
1. Google Local Service Ads
In terms of affordability, Google Local Service Ads are a great option for lawyers looking to dive into paid advertising.
One study found that local service ads get 13% of all search engine traffic when they show up in the results, so it's worth considering in your marketing portfolio.
You only pay for these ads when you receive a qualified lead. Plus, local service ads appear above local search results, including PPC ads and Google Maps. That means your ad will be the first thing someone who is ready to hire an attorney will see on Google.
2. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Another option for online marketing and advertising is Google pay-per-click ads. While local service ads send you qualified leads, PPC ads focus on capturing traffic for specific keywords.
You still show up above the organic search results, but you'll need to convert that client when they get to the law firm's website. Otherwise, that’s money lost on the click.
Most lawyers use landing pages to showcase their experience when someone clicks over from a Google ad.
Your landing page could break down common challenges in a legal case like this and share client feedback from testimonials. Optimizing your landing page for conversions with things like your phone number or a contact form for a free consultation is also a must.
PPC is very popular with attorneys, especially personal injury lawyers.
The level of competition and the value of a PI case have made bidding on personal injury keywords more expensive than some firms can afford. It can require some testing, too, to find the sweet spot where it makes sense for you to spend on ads.
3. Social Media PPC Advertising
Social media isn’t limited to organic law firm content marketing.
Some lawyers choose to branch out into targeted ad campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Social PPC ads allow you to narrow down your target demographic with things like location, interests, and more.
Social ads can be a big gamble if you try to handle them in-house since there are so many factors associated with running these campaigns.
But they’re effective in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing. It's well worth hiring a law firm marketing expert with experience in this style of paid advertising and lead generation.
4. Retargeting Campaigns
Retargeting campaigns allow you to reach the people who visited your website, but didn’t take an action you wanted them to take.
This comes in handy when a potential client finds your site website but doesn't complete a contact form.
With this ad style, you capture their visit to your site and then remarket to them so that your ads appear on other sites they visit.
For example, you can show these people ads on Facebook or Instagram if you install the Facebook Pixel on your site.
Picking the Right Mix with Online Advertising for Lawyers
One of the most challenging aspects of online advertising for lawyers is finding the right mix of options that drives results balanced with your time and budget.
Claiming listings on directories and review sites is a viable form of free advertising. But you can only get so much value out of free options. Paid options will put your firm in front of the right people as long as you have the budget and know how to set your targets.
Work with someone who deeply understands the legal profession and legal marketing landscape to maximize your options and possible returns with legal advertising.
At Rankings.io, we know how to strike a balance between free and paid ads to help you get new cases. We also understand the ABA rules on advertising and what it takes to run successful marketing campaigns for lawyers.
Contact us today to see how we can help your law firm boost brand awareness, generate more high-quality leads, and beat the competition with advertising and digital marketing.