How Much Should Law Firms Spend on Marketing?

Much has been written about what percentage of gross revenue law firms should spend on marketing (see the National Law Review (1)), so we won’t repeat those figures here. Besides, that doesn’t give you actionable information about how to allocate that budget, what channels to pursue, and ultimately, how to get more cases.

Our goal in this article is to give you hard numbers that you can use to craft an exceptional marketing strategy. Give us a call at (215) 309-1631 if you’d like to work together.

How Much Should a Law Firm Spend on Marketing?

If you want to move the needle, plan to spend $5,000 – $10,000 per month on marketing at your firm. To get numerous cases from PPC advertising, plan to scale to $15,000, $30,000, and beyond. As you grow, continually set aside a percentage of revenue for marketing.

Even if you reach a comfortable revenue number, don’t think you can just “cost” and enjoy your position! Competitors will start to eat away at your market share if you don’t continue to advertise your firm.

How Should a Law Firm Allocate Marketing Budget?

In a nutshell, we recommend that you allocate 100% of your marketing budget on digital advertising in its various forms. This includes your website, SEO, content, law firm PPC advertising, YouTube, and social media.

This might sound dramatic, but every single one of your potential clients is online in some capacity, and you can target people interested in your services with every dollar you spend. As long as you haven’t maximized every digital channel at your disposal, spend your money here.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative. We advised a personal injury law firm client to spend $2,000 on a local sponsorship (we can’t give away too many details). His website received some excellent publicity, and he signed one injury case directly through the sponsorship within three weeks. Google also loved the backlinks, and his website has ranked higher in search since he started sponsoring the organization – that has led to more cases.

Should Law Firms Spend Money on TV, Billboards, Bus Wraps etc.?

No, we would suggest that law firms should not spend money on TV commercials, billboards, magazine ads and other traditional channels. We have clients who have done all of these, and the return on investment never holds up.

An exception could be a firm litigating national cases, like an auto recall or mesothelioma cases, that apply to millions of people. But in general, spend your money on digital.

How Much Should a Law Firm Spend on SEO?

Plan to spend $3,000 – $6,000 per month, depending on the level of service you need, the competitive overview of your region and niche, and other factors. You will no doubt receive countless emails pitching attorney SEO services for $1,000 per month or less, but you will literally get what you pay for. Firms with experience in your field and results to show for it will have access to knowledge, techniques, and relationships that will make you more money sooner.

What Factors Influence the Cost of SEO?

If you are a personal injury firm focusing on motor vehicle cases in Chicago, the competition will be far greater than that of a firm in Chattanooga, TN. The price of SEO services will need to reflect this.

That’s because to get you ranking in a hyper-competitive market, your SEO agency will need to perform tremendous amounts of attorney backlinking, PR outreach, local SEO work, and so much more. This is time consuming work.

Furthermore, different law firms require different amounts of content. If you only need or want five articles per month, your cost will be lower. If you require 20+ articles to compete in your niche, the cost will be greater.

Consider the Start-Up Costs of SEO

Remember that SEO takes time to drive results, and while the return makes the investment more than worthwhile, you need to budget accordingly. It may take six months in your niche or region to rank on Google, and that could mean $30,000 spent on SEO before you get good cases. You’ll make that money back with a case or two of course, but you need to bear the costs in mind.

Secondly, you need a high-performing website to get cases online. If you don’t already have a site, you will need to factor the cost of building one into your plans – and if your current site is underwhelming, it may need a technical overhaul.

How Much Should Law Firms Spend on PPC Advertising?

High volume, low fee law firms, like divorce or immigration attorneys, can get a decent number of clients with only $1,000 – $5,000 per month on Google Ads, depending on your location. Personal injury firms, if they want multiple high value cases from PPC ads each month, may need to spend $6,000 – $10,000+.

Truthfully, there is no standard in this category – the costs vary wildly depending on how competitive your region is and how many people are looking for your services. Also be wary of advertisers who get you on the hook with only cost per lead (CPL) or cost per click (CPC) numbers – at Majux, we track signed cases as much as possible. That’s because a firm who spends $10,000 on one catastrophic injury case is far better off than a firm spending $5,000 on 12 personal injury leads that turn into three run-of-the-mill cases.

What we can tell you from experience, however, is that if a personal injury firm wants to dip their toes in the water of PPC advertising, they should spend a minimum of $5,000 in the first month. Otherwise, you might pause the campaign right when a lucrative case is about to come through – and if you fees are $17K plus, you should have a problem with paying for the advertising inventory.

Criminal defense attorneys, however, could get a good return with $3,000 or less in advertising. These clicks are much cheaper than personal injury clicks, so you won’t have to spend as much on case acquisition.

Majux Can Help You Make Informed Budgeting Decisions

We’ve helped hundreds of lawyers at Majux, both with SEO for personal injury lawyers and more, and we can give you insights that will shape your marketing budget. Furthermore, we aren’t motivated to try and inflate your PPC budget. Most of that expenditure goes straight to Google, and our primary concern is to drive cases at an affordable cost for you.

Call us or send a note to speak with us about your law firm marketing budget today.


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