4 tips for maximizing your firm’s marketing ROI

Attorney selecting ROI in a series of icons before him

Last Updated: February 9, 2024

When it comes to your firm’s marketing, having a good ROI — or return-on-investment — is crucial. After all, you want to get the most bang-for-your-buck on every dollar you spend, and you don’t want to waste money on things that don’t get results.

And if you think you can just put up a website and clients will come flocking, you might be in for a surprise. In fact, you typically need to use several law firm marketing tactics to attract the clients you want — and even then, you must constantly assess whether your tactics are actually working.

To help you out, here are some tips for maximizing your firm’s marketing ROI. While it may sound like a lot — because it is — just remember that help is available if you want to start seeing results from your law firm marketing.

Tip 1: Develop a comprehensive legal digital marketing strategy

If you wish to maximize your firm’s marketing ROI, the first thing you need to determine is where to spend your marketing dollars. As mentioned above, you can’t simply create a one-page website and hope to get clients in the door.

An effective digital marketing strategy includes a lot more than that. Indeed, some of the most successful law firms employ a broad range of marketing tactics, including:

  • An eye-catching website with engaging content and calls to action
  • A law firm profile on a popular legal directory
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • A social media presence that is informative and grabs a reader’s attention

Depending on your circumstances, you may want to use some, or all, of these tactics to maximize your marketing ROI.

Tip 2: Focus your law firm marketing on the right audience

Simply put, you don’t want to cast a wide net when you are only interested in attracting very specific clients.

But if you want to get your firm’s marketing in front of your ideal clients, you need to employ the right tactic. For instance, are your clients likely to be on social media? If so, your firm should be on those same social media platforms. You can even create paid social media campaigns that target very specific individuals.

Conversely, are your clients likely to be using search engines like Google or Bing to find an attorney or search for legal answers? Then you might want to focus on PPC advertising, which will put your firm on the top of their results.

One last reminder: Your advertisements and website content should be written for your ideal clients. After all, you are writing to them, not other attorneys — so try to avoid too much “legalese.”

Tip 3: Provide high-quality, engaging legal content

In the digital age, content is not just king; it’s the currency of your law firm’s online presence. High-quality content—whether it’s a thought-provoking blog post, an informative social media update, or an engaging video—serves as a magnet that draws potential clients to your law firm. It’s essential to approach content creation with a strategic mindset, prioritizing value, relevance, and engagement.

Craft Content with Purpose: Every piece of content you publish should serve a specific purpose. Before creating new content, ask yourself what you want to achieve with it. Are you looking to educate your audience on a complex legal issue? Are you aiming to highlight your expertise in a particular area of law? Or perhaps you want to share a success story to build trust and credibility? Aligning your content with your marketing goals ensures that it contributes to your firm’s broader objectives.

Know Your Audience: Understanding who your potential clients are, what concerns they have, and what information they are seeking is pivotal in creating content that resonates with them. Conduct audience research to gain insights into their preferences, pain points, and the types of questions they are asking online. Tailor your content to address these areas, making it both interesting and valuable to your target audience.

Emphasize Quality and Engagement: Quality should never be sacrificed for quantity. High-quality content is well-researched, meticulously written, and professionally presented. It reflects your firm’s attention to detail and commitment to excellence. Furthermore, engaging content is not only informative but also compelling and thought-provoking. It encourages readers to think, ask questions, and interact with your firm, whether through comments, shares, or direct inquiries.

Utilize a Variety of Formats: Different audiences prefer different types of content. While some may enjoy reading in-depth articles, others might prefer watching short videos or browsing through infographics. Offering a variety of content formats can help you reach a broader audience and cater to different preferences, making your law firm’s marketing more effective.

Provide Unique Insights and Value: In a sea of legal content online, what sets your firm apart is your unique perspective and insights. Share your expertise, offer practical advice, and address common misconceptions in your area of practice. Content that provides real value—information that potential clients cannot easily find elsewhere—will not only attract visitors to your site but also establish your firm as an authoritative and trusted resource in the legal community.

Tip 4: Track leads, measure results, reallocate spend … and repeat

Once you have your marketing strategy in place, clients will hopefully start rolling in — but that doesn’t mean you are done. In fact, the work is just beginning since you will need to continually monitor your marketing tactics to determine which ones are working and which ones aren’t. And then you must reallocate your money to those tactics that are producing the best marketing ROI.

How do you do this? Well, there are a lot of options, but oftentimes the best way to start is to simply determine where your client leads are actually coming from, i.e. lead tracking. Some of the easiest ways to track your client leads include:

  • Call tracking numbers: Many firms will use different phone numbers in different types of digital marketing. For example, they may have one phone number on their website and another on a legal directory. Depending on which one a potential client uses, the firm will know the source of the lead.
  • Tracking links: These can help show you where on the internet your leads are coming from, and you can use them with a wide range of digital advertising, including social media.
  • Clients themselves: If all else fails, you can always just ask clients where they heard about your firm. It only takes a couple seconds, and your firm can even do it during the intake process.

Keep in mind, however, these are just a few of the many options available for tracking the source of leads. But once you know where your leads are coming from, you can then measure your cost-per-lead (CPL), which is a strong indicator of how well a specific tactic is performing. To find your CPL, divide the total amount spent on a specific tactic/campaign by the number of leads it generated.

If one tactic has a better CPL than another — regardless of the overall lead numbers — you may want to reallocate some marketing dollars. For example, even if PPC is generating the most client leads, it might be a good idea to shift some money around if you are spending 2x more per PPC lead than you are on social media leads. This is a process you will need to repeat frequently since the effectiveness of marketing tactics can change.

In addition, you may want to see an overall, big-picture look of your marketing strategy, which some firms measure using Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). This is your firm’s total marketing costs divided by the number of new clients obtained. And if you are spending more on marketing than your new clients are bringing in, you need to change your marketing strategy.

Making sure you are getting the most out of your law firm’s marketing is no easy task. But, with a lot of work — and a little help — you can make sure you are maximizing your marketing ROI.

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