Criminal Defense Lawyer Marketing
Successful criminal defense lawyers know the competitive nature of the field. But your competitive drive belongs in the courtroom. Fighting for recognition in a market saturated with criminal defense attorneys? That’s a whole different game.
Being the best at something doesn’t come easily. You know more than most that it takes an expert to get expert-level results.
GAVL is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing agency for lawyers and law firms only. We don’t do anything else. Like you, we’ve knuckled down and worked hard for years to become the best of the best in the field we’re passionate about.
By following our proven, step-by-step criminal defense lawyer marketing strategy, we do one thing—and we do it very well. We get you the clients you’re looking for.
It’s 2023. What Are You Doing To Grow Your Criminal Defense Law Firm?
We live in a digital age. Today, we’re looking at the days of keeping a law firm going on word-of-mouth in the rearview mirror. Like it or not, the hard truth is that anyone who needs an attorney goes straight to Google.
The clients you want are searching for a lawyer online right now.
- Does your name come up in a search for “criminal defense law firms”?
- Does your law firm appear on the first search engine results page? Or behind 30 other criminal defense firms?
- Do potential clients have a reason to stay on your law firm’s website?
- Do your future clients see you on social media platforms—and remember your name?
- Does your website show people what sets you apart in the criminal defense industry?
- Does your marketing strategy convince potential clients to become paying clients?
The Benefits of GAVL’s Digital Marketing Strategy for Criminal Defense Attorneys
Your goals are simple. You want great cases. So where do you begin?
At GAVL, we start by taking a good, hard look at where you’ve been and where you want to go. Then, we apply our expertise to showcase your expertise.
Marketing for criminal defense is unlike any other type of marketing. Your marketing strategy should be as unique as your law firm.
Co-Founded by Lawyers for Lawyers
Co-founded by practicing attorneys who use our services to dominate the rankings, the creative team and clients of GAVL know what it takes to win—in the courtroom and online.
There could be thousands of other attorneys fighting for the same criminal defense clients you want. But you have something they don’t have.
What is it?
We don’t know yet. But once we do, your potential clients will too. We build our business on answering the question: Why should a new client choose you instead of your competitor?
There will always be another law firm out there with a bigger budget. But bigger isn’t always better when it comes to digital marketing. At GAVL, we work smarter, more strategically. We take a multi-pronged approach to give you the most targeted and comprehensive marketing strategy:
The Right Tool for the Right Job
Working in tandem with your needs, goals, and marketing budget, we’ll take advantage of the tools in our toolbelt as we build the right campaign for you. The right tool for the job might be…
- Keyword research
- Content marketing efforts
- Link-building campaigns
- Website analysis
- Website revision or redesign
- Graphic design
- Google ads
- Google Business Profile management
- Filming and producing high-quality video
- Optimizing page titles, URL slugs, and more
- Social media marketing
- Outreach programs
- Or other marketing efforts
As a full-service website design, SEO, cinematic video, and digital marketing company, our team at GAVL has the full spectrum of in-house capabilities you’re looking for in a digital marketing agency. Our accessible, hands-on approach—combined with pioneering tech used to its highest capacities—gives criminal defense lawyers the edge they need to set themselves apart.
We make the latest technology work for you. Our creative team uses tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, and others. We keep a hawk eye on emerging developments in the field of criminal defense attorney marketing. And we aren’t afraid to innovate, experiment, listen to our clients, and see what works best for your particular legal practice, prospective clients, brand voice, and geographical area.
Positioning Your Law Firm Toward the Future You Want
If you’re anything like us, you’re looking ahead in your industry, not around or behind you. GAVL is proud to be the leading authority on giving the best talents in the legal industry a platform to reach a wider audience of prospective clients.
Whether we’re talking about content marketing, link-building, getting online reviews, or website architecture, all marketing campaigns are useless if they don’t work for your particular needs. Customizing and consistency across your marketing channels are critical, taking into consideration factors like:
- Your law firm’s case capacity and current case numbers
- Your law firm’s stage of growth
- How competitive your local market is
- The value of each new lead you attract
The best marketing campaigns are living, breathing, and responsive. A successful law office never stands still, and neither should your criminal defense marketing. The word “stagnant” is the last way you’d ever want to describe your professional life.
Good marketing fosters growth and grows with you. Did you get recognized by Super Lawyers®, sponsor the local charity hacky sack tournament, or successfully negotiate a plea agreement in a high-profile case? Your prospective clients deserve to know. A cookie-cutter campaign won’t have the responsiveness to be fresh and adaptive to your firm’s latest accomplishments.
We’re not afraid of the extra work it takes to hyper-personalize. We understand that the demographics related to geo territory and client search journeys are wildly varied. We know what works in Albuquerque doesn’t work in Philadelphia, and vice versa. What works for a bankruptcy lawyer doesn’t work for a criminal defense lawyer.
With that understanding, we meet our criminal defense clients where they are and take them where they want to go.
What Are Your Goals as a Criminal Defense Firm?
Criminal defense attorney marketing begins by defining goals. As a defense lawyer, some of your top marketing goals might be to:
- Build trust
- Establish authority and expertise
- Create brand awareness
- Increase leads
- Turn leads into paying clients
To reach these broad, pivotal goals, we’ll help you ask and answer the questions that can turn lofty ideals into actionable steps.
One of the first questions we’ll need to ask is…
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Your marketing campaign can’t get off the ground without first defining your target audience. Ask yourself: What is the persona of my ideal client? Many criminal defense lawyers can answer this question easily by looking at past clients. What are the common traits of the types of clients you’d like to see again and again?
Understanding the Profile of Your Potential Clients
Targeting an audience means aligning your services with the people who need them. To focus your criminal defense lawyer marketing on the right people, you need to know:
- Where they live
- Their age, gender, and profession
- What they do online
- Their preferred medium for gaining information
- The legal services they’re looking for (DUI, white collar crime, cybercrime, burglary, etc.)
- The information they have and the information they don’t have
- The questions they’re asking
- Their fears, biases, or preconceived notions
- Their economic ability to pay for legal services
- Their expectations when they hire a lawyer
- The qualities they’re looking for in a lawyer
Does Your Website Content Speak to Your Audience?
Once you have a better idea of what kind of person you’re targeting, it’s time to give them the high-quality content they’re looking for. Good legal marketing content creation should:
- Be informative, engaging, readable, and accurate
- Speak the language your audience connects with
- Give answers to the main problems your audience is facing
- Create unmistakable value
- Give your readers a reason to keep reading
- Supply a clear call to action and easy-to-take next steps
Finding a happy balance between the two extremes of jumbled legalese and valueless fluff can be like walking a tightrope. But it’s a balance we’ve worked hard to get just right. Check out our website portfolio for a few examples of the high-wire acts our talented, knowledgeable writers have been performing for years.
What Sets You Apart in a Competitive Market?
Every criminal law firm has its own unique traits that sets it apart. Getting good criminal defense clients is an exercise in putting those unique traits in front of the right audience.
Your Experience in Your Field
As a criminal defense lawyer, your legal acumen and trial and appellate experience shouldn’t be a hidden secret. Clients want lawyers they believe can win their cases.
You know your talent as a criminal defense attorney. But do your prospective clients?
Legal marketing is about telling the story of your talent—your record of jury acquittals, understanding of jury selection processes, skill in trial techniques, reputation among prosecutors, and more—in a way that gives others insight into what you’re able to do in and out of the courtroom.
The Types of Criminal Defense Cases You Handle
Most clients will initially find you based on your practice areas. A person in need of a DUI/DWI attorney is likely to use the keyword “DUI lawyer” and similar variations when making their search.
One of your firm’s assets is your specializations in your practice areas, whether you focus on drunk driving offenses, white collar crime, violent offenses, juvenile crimes, drug and narcotic offenses, felony and misdemeanor traffic offenses, asset forfeiture, or other types of cases.
The Personality of Your Criminal Defense Practice
No two law firms are truly the same. The messaging of your website and other marketing channels gives your firm the opportunity to really showcase the individual personality of your criminal defense practice.
To many clients, the value that comes through in your firm’s personality can be just as meaningful as the high-quality legal representation you provide. For example, if your client derives strong emotional benefit from working with your office, they will be more likely to return if they need help with a future legal matter. And they’ll be more likely to go out of their way to recommend your name to others.
We don’t have to tell you how important it is for clients to feel a sense of trust and connection with their attorney. Whether your trademark is fearless, aggressive representation or family-like emotional support through every step of the legal process, the authenticity of your brand should shine through even in your online presence.
What Your Former Clients Say About Your Law Firm
One of the most convincing pieces of proof you can offer potential clients is the word of former clients. Knowing that other real people have gained value from your legal services is highly persuasive to those seeking the same positive outcome.
But even beyond the five-star review itself, the descriptors your clients give you are also an important part of your public-facing persona.
If a client describes your law office as “compassionate” or “warm” or “professional,” for example, those words will resonate with someone looking for a compassionate, warm, and professional attorney. Again, it’s about getting those words in front of the right eyeballs.
We’ll talk more about the all-important reviews a bit later on.
The Legal Services You Offer
In addition to your practice areas, prospective clients may be looking for legal services that you are more uniquely positioned to offer than your competitors.
- Document preparation
- Document review
- Pro bono services
- Free case consultations
- Accommodations for clients with physical disabilities
- Multi-lingual services for clients who require ASL or other language services
Does Your Website Invite Visitors to Stay Longer… Or Drive Them Away?
You know what a bad website looks like. We’ve all seen more bad websites than we care to count. But do you know what separates a just-OK website from a really good website? It’s often the things we don’t even realize are happening that invite us to stay longer on a certain site.
When your website lacks any of these qualities, there’s a good chance the client you want is going to click away as fast as they can.
- Ranks high in search results
- Prioritizes the user experience (UX)
- Accessible to all audiences
- Visually appealing
- Continually updated with new content
- Targets the specific audience you’re looking for
- Shows creative design
- Demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (or E-E-A-T)
None of these things happen by themselves. And they don’t happen with a once-and-done approach to website building. Like a garden, a good website needs ongoing, attentive maintenance and care.
At GAVL, we cultivate websites where users want to spend time.
The longer a user lingers on your webpage, the more they learn about your criminal defense law firm. That experience converts into trust. And that trust brings clients through your front door.
Why Should a Criminal Defense Attorney Care About SEO?
If you’ve been within a mile of digital marketing, you’ve heard the term SEO—search engine optimization. At its core, SEO is marketing efforts to make it easy for search engines to find your website.
It involves strategies for:
- On-page SEO (think keyword usage),
- Technical SEO (sitemaps, image alt tags, meta titles, page indexation, and much more),
- Off-page SEO (think backlinks),
- Local SEO (making sure your name appears for the people searching for lawyers near me),
and a whole lot of other targeted efforts to convince Google that your site is worth putting on the first search engine results page (or SERP).
So why should you, a criminal defense attorney, care about SEO?
Search Engines Generate Leads for Criminal Defense Law Firms
There is a very simple philosophy that drives SEO efforts: If new clients can’t find you, they’ll never hire you.
SEO is all about making sure your name tops the search results when your target audience puts phrases like “criminal lawyer near me,” “criminal defense legal services,” or “best criminal defense law firms in my area” into Google and other search engines.
A big part of good SEO is a) knowing the words and intentions of people looking for lawyers like you and b) telling search engines that your firm’s website has the answers these people are looking for.
That may sound like a straightforward formula anyone can master with a little time. But SEO is known to be one of the slipperiest, most rapidly-evolving areas of digital marketing. What works on Tuesday may crash and burn on Wednesday.
Luckily, our SEO experts at GAVL know what it takes to run a solid, adaptive, forward-thinking SEO campaign for criminal defense attorneys.
How GAVL Can Elevate Your Law Firm’s SEO to a Higher Tier
Having a good website and having a website that ranks high on search engine results pages are two different beasts. Getting to the first, second, or even third page of a Google search is a tough ask. Depending on where you are, there could be hundreds or thousands of other defense attorneys clamoring for the same few spots.
While driving steady traffic to your website isn’t a walk in the park, it should be one of your top marketing goals. We at GAVL help you reach that goal by laser-focusing our efforts on getting your name into those top coveted spots on the search page.
We do this by:
- Building a website that is architecturally appealing to search engines
- Analyzing and understanding the search intent of your target audience
- Strategically choosing keywords and building content around those words and phrases
- Specifically formulating page content, structure, word count, headers, body, and layout
- Targeting your regional population with localized, customized content
- Creating on-page content that attracts both humans and search engines
- Securing high-quality backlinks that prove other trustworthy sites see you as an authority in your field
- Ensuring your website is fast and friendly for both mobile and desktop users
- Developing a multi-media library of accurate, informative content that demonstrates your expertise in your practice area
- And much, much more
The Importance of Local SEO for a Criminal Defense Firm
Billions of searches every day are from local people looking for local results. If someone is searching for a DUI attorney, they’re looking for someone in their own neighborhood—not some law firm across the country.
Local SEO is one of the most important steps in criminal defense marketing.
When a searcher specifies a location, like “Dallas, TX” or “Chicago” or “Multnomah County” or even “near me,” the search results pages will show law firms from those geographical areas. You want your law practice to come up first in a search like this. These searchers aren’t just looking to read up on the definition of criminal law or famous criminal cases in history.
These are the searchers who need legal representation now.
The first thing these prospective clients see is usually what we call the “map pack.” In SEO, the map pack is the list of local businesses and their location on a map that appears at the top of the local Google search results.
Making sure your law firm appears in the map pack requires a stand-out Google Business Profile (what used to be known as Google My Business).
A Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business) for Criminal Defense Lawyers
An awesome Google Business Profile is a must-have for any reputable defense lawyer. This is where potential clients go to check out your hours, location, contact info, and—importantly—your reviews from previous clients.
A person’s first impression of your criminal defense law firm will usually come from your Google Business Profile. That’s why it’s essential that you have it optimized, a step many law firms forget to take.
Take a look at an example of an optimized Google Business Profile to the right and see what we mean.
We can help you make sure your GBP gives the first impression you want to give. This means your profile should have:
- Correct, up-to-date information
- Consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number) across all online mentions
- Your main keywords
- Your practice areas (such as DUI law or juvenile defense law)
- Images with appropriate image descriptions
- A good number of online reviews
- Responses from the law firm to particularly good or bad reviews
- Current service options (including online and onsite appointments)
- The correct link to the law firm’s website
- Snippets of recent online activity (such as the latest blog posts on the firm’s website)
Your Online Presence Is More Than Just Your Website
Many lawyers think if they have a good website, their marketing work is done. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Your website is like your office. It’s where you can sit down and really get to the heart of what you do as a defense lawyer. But you don’t live in your office. You exist and make an impact on your community outside of those four walls. It’s what happens outside of your office that brings people to your office doors in the first place.
In the same way, your greater online presence is what brings searchers to your website and from your website to the front desk of your law firm. Your law firm marketing needs to be able to meet your audience where they already are before introducing them to places they’ve never been before.
The way people consume content is evolving. We live in a world of diversified media intake, where rising generations have grown up on a diet of texts, tweets, and TikTok videos. Very few of the people who need you as a lawyer are reading long-form articles on defense law.
We’ve also seen a collapse in the hierarchy that gives one type of medium priority over another. Not everyone learns, hears, and remembers things the same way. To be heard, you have to be able to understand and speak the language of your audience.
The most successful lawyers online are those who reach people by creating value for them, using technology and the environment to create a community and an ecosystem. A criminal defense lawyer marketing strategy that embraces this approach is an opportunity for you to show how dynamic your law practice really is.
As a criminal lawyer, one thing you’re good at is speaking in a way that compels people to listen.
From authoritative articles, guides, and white papers to blogs and story-telling videos that show the human side of your work, from newsletters and email updates to Google reviews and social posts on trending topics, GAVL can help you find the right medium to get your message out.
What Do Your Socials Say About You?
Many criminal defense firms are hesitant to engage with social media. We get it. It’s time-consuming to keep up with posts and comments. It can be a challenge to know how to use socials in a way that both appeals to users and maintains the level of professionalism you want as a criminal defense attorney.
But the hard work pays off. In today’s climate, no criminal defense marketing strategy is complete without the use of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. A 2021 survey from the American Bar Association found that 86% of surveyed law firms had a presence on one or more social media platforms.
In fact, not having a social media presence is a red flag for many prospective criminal defense clients.
At GAVL, social media platforms are just one of the many marketing channels we use to attract potential clients, build social proof, and give your target audience a reason to remember your law firm out of an ocean of information.
Keeping up with consistent and trustworthy posts? Responding to comments promptly? Sharing firm news and accolades? That’s just part of our day-to-day job. These are relatively low-cost, high-value marketing efforts that—when done right—have the power to take your law firm flying past your reputation and business goals.
Social media marketing for criminal defense firms can:
- Develop a more personalized connection with your potential clients that can translate into long-term relationships
- Give prospective clients the opportunity to engage directly with your content
- Provide a platform where many users are more comfortable contacting you
- Highlight the human side of your criminal defense law firm
- Establish brand trust through transparency, social awareness, and accountability
- Grow an organic follower base with posts and shares about firm news and relevant topics
- Build community with not only prospective clients, but fellow members of the criminal defense legal industry as well
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Presence
LinkedIn is a great platform for establishing authority and credibility. It’s a chance for you to prove yourself as a thought leader in criminal law and your particular practice area. It’s also a powerful networking tool and lead generator.
GAVL can help you make the most of this valuable online tool by:
- Sharing ideas that inspire productive conversation
- Showing who you are through both your lawyer profile and your law firm’s company profile
- Using keywords that allow you to be found in searches
- Creating an About section that describes the ways you can meet your target audience’s needs
- Uploading pictures, videos, blog posts, and articles that give a memorable first impression
- Keeping your contact information, experiences, skills and endorsements, education, recommendations, and credentials updated
Making Your Law Firm Accessible and Inclusive
In terms of online-published content, the narrower the audience the lesser its value.
Accessibility and inclusivity in online marketing means making sure your content can be enjoyed by people of all abilities, including those who are Blind or Deaf or have low vision, mobility impairments, or cognitive differences. Including content in more than one of the languages new clients may be comfortable in is another way to promote accessibility.
Making your criminal defense website accessible to all means more than just compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
It’s a strong way to demonstrate your law firm’s values.
From video subtitles to image descriptions to added keyboard navigation to inclusive language on your practice area pages, GAVL is a legal marketing agency at the forefront of webpage accessibility.
All About the Reviews
One of the best ways to build social proof is through client reviews. From a marketing perspective, social proof is evidence proving that other people have used and benefitted from your services.
Getting good reviews from former clients is a very direct form of social proof saying: “This is a good criminal defense lawyer. You should hire them like I did.”
When it comes to reviews, marketing for criminal defense involves:
- Making it easy for clients to leave reviews
- Giving the kind of service that urges satisfied clients to leave reviews
- Giving clients explicit instructions for how to leave a review
- Highlighting good reviews and publishing them in places potential clients will see
- Responding promptly and effectively to negative reviews
Building Your Public Perception
You’re criminal defense lawyers. You’re also subject matter experts, contributors to your community, learners, teachers, volunteers, and human beings.
A well-rounded online footprint connects your law firm with the activities, events, and causes that shape the public’s perception of who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.
Public speaking engagements, high-profile cases, event sponsorships, published articles, charity efforts, and other examples of your criminal defense firm’s commitment to continued education and community-building are an important part of any strong marketing plan.
Video Marketing for the Video Age
In the legal marketing climate of today, video is no longer an option.
GAVL is known for many things, and premium-quality cinematography for the legal industry is certainly one of them.
Cinematic-Quality Video To Tell Your and Your Clients’ Stories
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more can a strategically-crafted, cinematically-produced video say?
We use the medium of video—a medium rapidly increasing in popularity in recent years—to tell the stories of lawyers and the clients whose lives they change.
Before we get too wordy on the subject, we’ll just let our video productions speak for themselves.
How We Keep You in the Loop
We communicate frequently and regularly with our marketing clients. And we send you measurable metrics in an understandable format on the things that matter most to you.
The measurements we use will depend on the type of marketing plan we’re following, but you can expect regular updates on key performance indicators and metrics from Google Analytics. You can receive reports with as little or as much detail as you want on things like:
- Website changes and optimizations
- Search engine rankings
- New content and legal blogs published
- Link-building efforts
- Social media engagement
- Google ads
- Ideas for upcoming blog topics
- Areas of focus and new initiatives
- Brand sentiment
- Online leads generated
- Landing page conversion rates
- Website traffic trends
The Lines Are Always Open
We keep an open-door policy with our clients. At GAVL, we are not here to offer a one-time solution. Fast turn-around and flexibility are at the core of what we do.
In the digital marketing world, if you can’t think on your feet, you lose your footing. Our services are responsive to the market and the needs of our clients. Ask any of our clients, and they’ll tell you—the answer you’re looking for is always just a phone call away.
Are You Ready To Grow Your Business?
If you’re ready to take the next step, we’re ready to talk.
Fill out our form online with some simple info, and you’ll be hearing from our marketing team very shortly.
- A legal marketing expert from the GAVL team will reach out to start the conversation
- We’ll discuss the main goals, budget, objectives, timeline, and some information about your criminal defense law office
- We’ll propose some solutions and a plan of action
You can also give us a call to speak to a marketing advisor right away.
We’re ready. Are you?
Come see us at these events.
2023 OAJ Winter Convention
GAVL is proudly sponsoring and exhibiting at the 2023 Ohio Association for Justice Winter Convention!
AAJ 2023 BOSS Summit
GAVL is a proud sponsor of the first ever AAJ BOSS Summit!