Criminal Defense Attorney Advertising

The right criminal defense attorney advertising strategy can make more people aware of your law firm, differentiate your practice, and generate leads on autopilot. At Legal Marketing Strategy Pros, we create and execute winning digital marketing strategies for criminal defense attorneys.

Discover what we can do for your law firm by scheduling a complimentary consultation.

The Importance of Digital Marketing for Criminal Defense Attorneys

The average American spends six hours and 59 minutes per day consuming digital content. It goes without saying that if you want your law firm to be top of mind when prospective clients are looking for you, you must have a robust digital presence.

The issue for small firms and solo attorneys is that they seldom have dedicated resources or any type of marketing plan to help them stand out and compete head-to-head with larger firms.

This is where Legal Marketing Strategy Pros comes in. With more than 15 years of experience serving attorneys in various practice areas, we have become masters of our craft, helping law firms of all sizes stand out from the competition and dominate their local markets.

Why Choose legal marketing strategy pros?

  • Tailor-Made Marketing Strategies
  • Territory Exclusivity
  • Over (#N) Satisfied Clients / Five-Star Reviews
  • Focus on Marketing for Law Firms
  • Over 15 Years of Experience Helping Lawyers

How We Approach Criminal Defense Advertising

You’re already familiar with advertising as paid-for promotional messages that appear on television, radio, billboards, the Internet, and a variety of places. Depending on the type of advertisement and where a prospective client is, an ad can have one or more goals:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Inform a customer about an offer
  • Educate the public about your services
  • Convince someone to take action (call your firm, become a client)
  • Remind people of the services you provide

The ultimate goal of advertising, of course, is to generate revenue for your law firm.

To accomplish this objective, it’s vital to understand one fundamental principle:

Advertising is only one piece of a criminal defense marketing strategy. If you advertise in a vacuum, the most likely result is crickets, with good money being thrown after bad.

The solution?

A comprehensive law firm marketing strategy that includes advertising and the other vital pieces of the marketing mix so that your law firm achieves prominent placements online and builds on your reputation of being the premier provider of legal services in your community.

At Legal Marketing Strategy Pros, we take an omnipresent approach to digital marketing, ensuring that your name is top of mind among criminal defense clients looking for your help.

Guide To Market A Criminal Law Firm

Download your free criminal lawyer marketing Guide

Learn about the digital marketing strategies that are working now to help generate interest in your criminal defense legal services.

11 Steps to a Successful Advertising Strategy

Just like you prepare your clients for what it takes to increase the chances of a favorable outcome, we provide a framework of how a modern digital marketing campaign works based on our 15-plus years of industry experience.

Step 1: Define Your Marketing Goals and Determine a Budget

Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Client Base

Step 3: Define What Makes Your Law Firm Different

Step 4: Become the Master Your Message

Step 5: Become a Credible Authority

Step 6: Leverage the Power of SEO

Step 7: Write and Create Authoritative Content

Step 8: Create Ads that Yield a High Return on Investment

Step 9: Engage in Social Media

Step 10: Embrace Traditional Marketing Channels

Step 11: Review Your Data and Optimize for Future Performance

Step 1: Define Your Marketing Goals and Determine a Budget

Most of the time, businesses engage in advertising because they want new customers or clients.

While advertising is a fantastic medium to accomplish this objective, you shouldn’t spend a dime on advertising before determining what success looks like.

For example, your goal might be to add $1 million in revenue to your law firm’s bottom line. Once you have that figure in mind, we can begin to formulate a plan to achieve this milestone.

Together, we will evaluate several factors that influence how we move forward with the next steps, including:

  • Advertising costs in your region
  • Conversion rates based on your specific practice area
  • Variables that make your law firm unique
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Your overall marketing budget (which we can help you determine)

Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Client Base

Another critical marketing success factor is figuring out who your ideal client is and then tailoring your messaging to that group.

It’s not uncommon for a law firm in a city to say, “everyone who lives in a 20-mile radius is a potential client.”

While that may be true, there are better ways to do advertising than this broad-stroke approach.

Consider the cases you enjoy taking on or that are most profitable. Then, think about what those clients have in common in terms of demographics. Demographic elements include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education level
  • Income
  • Location

When we work together, we’ll dive deep to determine your most profitable types of clients and formulate a plan and messaging tactics to attract your perfect audience.

People Sitting At A Desk

Step 3: Define What Makes Your Law Firm Different

If you’ve looked at your competitors’ websites, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of common language gets repeated.

Every attorney is a “strong advocate” who will “protect your rights.” And everyone is “experienced,” “compassionate,” and “dedicated.”

These words, after awhile, become meaningless, and your dream clients’ eyes will glaze over as they view another cookie-cutter advertisement, social media post, or website.

Instead, find what makes your firm unique. Perhaps you’re known for a famous case, you have the most experience, or you have availability that another firm can’t match.

Once you identify what makes your law firm (or you as a practitioner) different from the rest, you can create consistent messaging that showcases your strengths.

Step 4: Become the Master Your Message

In today’s digital climate, there are countless ways to spread the word about your business online. The key to success is having a consistent message and communicating it in a way that is compelling.

When sharing what you offer with your community, you have the following tools at your disposal:

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Advertising
  • News articles and television segments
  • Video and blog content
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars

Your website is arguably one of your most valuable assets, and it should be a genuine reflection of your value.

Whether you have an existing website or would like our assistance, your website should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have a professional design
  • Be easy to navigate
  • Include clear benefits and calls to action
  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Contain a live chat option
  • Respond and adapt to mobile devices
  • Maintain a fast load spee

Step 5: Become a Credible Authority

Whether you’re a solo practitioner or there are other attorneys involved in your practice, it’s important that you build and maintain a credible reputation.

One of the best ways to accomplish this task is by leaving clues on your website and other digital properties that illustrate who you are and how you work.

Examples of ways to establish credibility and authority include:

  • Client reviews and testimonials
  • Trust badges (including membership affiliations, awards, media mentions, and other professional distinctions)
  • Statistics or success stories
  • Case studies or other results

As you know, when people are looking to hire a criminal defense attorney, it’s imperative that they find someone they can trust.

The list of elements above should not only be prominent on your website, but this information can also be repurposed for your advertising.

Step 6: Leverage the Power of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is a process of making adjustments on and off of your website to allow your business to appear more prominently on Google and the other search engines.

SEO and advertising often go hand in hand in any criminal defense attorney marketing strategy.

Here’s why: when you purchase advertising, your law firm can show up on the first page of Google for your most relevant keyword

AND, when you have a winning SEO strategy, you have the potential to dominate page one of Google by also showing up in organic search results and the Google Map 3-Pack (the visual map result that you see when you Google a local service business).

At Legal Marketing Strategy Pros, we almost always recommend having a robust SEO strategy to complement advertising.

Winning SEO tactics include:

  • On-page SEO involving keyword research and technical site work
  • Off-page SEO involving a backlink strategy, directory listings, and reviews that build your site’s authority
  • Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile
  • Content creation that builds authority, nurtures your audience, and ranks on the search engines

Step 7: Write and Create Authoritative Content

It’s often said that “content is king,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Content is your way of sharing your message while informing and educating your audience. It can also be an invaluable part of your SEO strategy (as mentioned in Step 6 – see how the pieces of the marketing puzzle are all starting to fit together?).

Content can come in a variety of shapes and forms, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Explainer videos
  • FAQ pages
  • Long, informative articles
  • Detailed practice area pages

While not every criminal defense attorney feels comfortable creating video content, we highly recommend making video to rank higher on Google.

Video is so important that Filmora reports that you are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google if you utilize videos on your website.

Screenshot Of Adding Content To A Wordpress Website

Step 8: Create Ads that Yield a High Return on Investment

Notice how we didn’t even touch on advertising (the topic of this entire page) until Step number 8 in a criminal defense attorney marketing strategy.

Yes, technically, you can focus 100% of your marketing efforts on advertising and be successful, but as we’ve outlined, a more comprehensive approach will allow you to build momentum and amplify your results.

Further, advertising, though powerful, is both an art and a science. And, because legal services are competitive, attorneys often find that ad costs are high.

Though a high cost-per-click dollar amount might not seem like a barrier, it can be highly problematic (especially for small firms) if you are generating clicks to your website without getting any leads or conversions.

Because we focus exclusively on the legal profession, our media buying experts and research team are well-versed in what it takes to run successful, revenue-generating campaigns for attorneys.

Our approach includes the following:

  • A keyword strategy that balances search volume, intent, and cost
  • In-depth research into your local area and demographics
  • Continuous testing and optimization of campaigns to ensure a high ROI
  • Compelling copywriting that attracts your ideal audience
  • Leveraging the results that come from Google’s Local Service Ads (similar to Google Ads, but you only pay for direct contacts, not clicks)
  • Professionally designed, high-converting land pages that lead to calls and consultations

Step 9: Engage in Social Media

Long gone are the days when social media was reserved for family photos and food snapshots.

Today, more than 80% of Americans are on at least one social media channel. Social media is not only a great way for people to connect socially, but it’s also become a place where people consume content and learn new information.

Like other practice areas, criminal defense attorneys may find that the content being shared isn’t immediately actionable. For example, a blog post about when to contact a criminal lawyer or a resource about what to expect during a criminal case might not cause an influx of client calls.

What organic social media content can accomplish, however, is:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Become an authority
  • Share your expertise
  • Educate your community
  • Interact with your target audience
  • Gain reach without ad spend

With organic social media, consistency is key, and we often recommend creating a content calendar that includes helpful resources and engaging posts.

Keep in mind that social media is a two-way communication platform, so it’s also recommended that you engage with your audience by replying to comments and following other local businesses.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to optimize your LinkedIn profiles for yourself and your firm.

Facebook Ads For Lawyers

Step 10: Embrace Traditional Marketing Channels

On average, it takes eight touchpoints to make a sale.

While this statistic is an aggregate across all industries, it points to the nature of human behavior: it takes time to build trust.

Multiple touchpoints can also be necessary when there is a lot of competition for eyeballs, and people aren’t necessarily ready to take action right away.

Given that your audience will need to see your brand name and message multiple times, it can be more effective to distribute your message across multiple platforms, including more traditional media outlets, including:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Billboards
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • PR
  • Direct mail

Step 11: Review Your Data and Optimize for Future Performance

Measuring and reviewing results is perhaps one of the most critical success factors in criminal defense attorney advertising.

After all, as Peter Drucker once said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

At Legal Marketing Strategy Pros, we are relentless about measuring results, reviewing analytics, and constantly improving performance.

For each of our criminal defense law firm clients, we identify top KPIs (key performance indicators), establish benchmarks, and monitor them to find opportunities to improve results.

Success breeds success, and clients who continue to work with us benefit from a cycle of continuous improvement.

Revenue Increasing Graph

Criminal Defense Attorney Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

The legal profession is starting to leverage the power of digital marketing and advertising, but there is still a long way to go and a lot that you can accomplish with the right strategy and team of experts on your side.


Potential clients start online when they search for an attorney


Law firms that spend most of their marketing budget online


Frequency with which law firms fail to collect an email address from a site visitor

Source: https://www.clio.com/blog/legal-marketing-statistics/

PPC Advertising Versus SEO

Criminal defense attorneys often ask us whether it’s better to do digital advertising (also called PPC or pay-per-click) or focus on SEO (search engine optimization).

The short answer is that it depends, though we often recommend doing both.

To answer this question, it’s essential to understand how PPC differs from SEO and how each of them can be used to grow your law firm.

PPC Advertising

For the most part, PPC advertising involves buying ads on Google and the other search engines for relevant keywords that your potential clients use when they search for your services online.


  • You can buy your way to the top of the search engines immediately
  • You can begin generating leads in a short amount of time (sometimes in less than 24 hours)
  • The people who click on PPC ads are often eager to speak with an attorney right away
  • You can target an audience very granularly, down to age, location, zip code, and more
  • You can make immediate adjustments to keywords and ads


  • Cost per click can be high (ranging from $5 to $300)
  • There is no longevity; once you stop paying for traffic, you no longer get traffic
  • It takes skills and experience to run a successful PPC campaign without wasting valuable resources

The Verdict:

PPC can be a winning strategy if you are in a hurry to get leads or want to test various advertising strategies.


Search engine optimization is a longer-term strategy that continues to build on itself and strengthen over time. As your site matures and you maintain an SEO strategy that utilizes best practices, you can solidify your position at the top of Google.


  • SEO tends to cost less than PPC
  • Improving your SEO also benefits your website, leading to a better user experience (and potentially more clients)
  • Businesses that utilize SEO best practices tend to have a better reputation
  • SEO is long-lasting, meaning you can continue to reap benefits


  • It can take several months to see the results of an SEO strategy
  • Results are not guaranteed
  • If done incorrectly, your site can be penalized
  • SEO is very competitive and requires patience and expertise to actually work

The Verdict:

Overall, you will likely have a higher return on investment with SEO, but it will take a longer amount of time to achieve results.


How do I advertise my criminal defense law practice?

Criminal defense attorneys have several options for advertising a law practice, utilizing both digital and traditional channels.

Options include:

  • Google PPC
  • YouTube advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Magazines
  • Print media
  • Billboards
  • Direct mail

While traditional advertising channels are still utilized by criminal defense law practices, the trend is to move toward digital platforms due to advantages like more reasonable ad costs, more advanced targeting, and better reach.

Can criminal defense attorneys advertise on social media?

Yes, absolutely! However, there are legal rules and ethical obligations that attorneys must follow to prevent running afoul with the American Bar Association and state bar associations. For example, lawyers must maintain client confidentiality, resist claiming to be an “expert,” and avoid making false or misleading claims.

As of 2021, 81% of law firms had a social media presence, which often includes advertising.

Why do criminal defense law firms need marketing?

The most obvious answer is that marketing drives awareness and helps bring new criminal defense clients to a law firm. Beyond that, marketing is also essential to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market.

As more law firms become savvy about digital marketing, it will become even more challenging to stand out in a crowded field. A well-executed digital marketing and advertising plan can be an integral part of meeting (and exceeding) your business objectives.

How can I make my criminal defense law firm grow faster?

The good news is that you have a lot of different options here! Branding and marketing are proven ways to build awareness, attract new clients, and grow your revenue. Though the terms “branding” and “marketing” can seem nebulous, they include specific, concrete tasks, including: 

  • Building and optimizing a professional, mobile-responsive website that includes a strong value proposition and clear calls to action
  • A competitive SEO strategy that positions you at the top of Google and attracts ideal clients to your site
  • Advertising on the right platforms, including Google, YouTube, and social media
  • Creating content that builds authority
  • Being active and engaged on social media platforms
  • Garnering online reviews
  • Deploy segmented and automated email nurture campaigns
  • Working with an agency experienced in helping criminal defense law firms grow (that’s us!)

Requesst your free discovery call today

Elevate Your Advertising and Grow Your Criminal Defense Law Practice

As a criminal defense attorney, you have a lot on your plate, including focusing on the best interests of your clients. At Legal Marketing Strategy Pros, we also strive to help our clients by developing advertising strategies that help your firm grow. Instead of opting for a time-consuming DIY approach or working with an agency without a proven track record, take advantage of our offer of a free digital marketing analysis to accelerate your leadflow system. If you’re looking to attract more quality criminal defense leads, contact us to book a complimentary discovery call.