How Small Law Firms Can Beat Large Law Firms Online

Law Quill | How Small Law Firms Can Beat Large Law Firms Online

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Large law firms have big marketing budgets and often claim the top spots in online searches. If you are part of a small law firm with a tiny marketing budget, you may be wondering how to compete with these big players.  Surprisingly, small law firms have unique qualities that allow them to compete successfully online, even among large law firms. Consider the following steps to help your small law firm swim strong in a pool of big fish. 

Advantages of Small Law Firms

A large law firm may have roomy office space, a full-time marketing director and a hearty stash of resources. However, small law firms can also have potent advantages, which may include:

  • Less debt commitment
  • More financial flexibility
  • Greater efficiency due to a smaller team
  • Close client relationships
  • Niche appeal

When it comes to digital marketing, both small and large law firms can offer website content and build their brand on a level playing field. If small law firms want to gain an additional edge, they should consider the following strategies. 

Use Personal Branding

Law firms that have dabbled in digital marketing have probably already explored building their unique brand and promoting it across various channels. If a small firm wants to go a step further, start by developing a personal brand for each attorney at the law firm. Experts report that 80% of law firm website traffic goes directly to the individual bio page, because people want to hire a person, not a business. Most attorneys default to a bland, lawyerish description, that offers no authenticity to a potential client. To stand out, allow each partner to display their own personality and distinctives. Attorneys who are part of small law firms can build their personal brand on the website’s About Us page, showing a professional headshot and detailed bio, then adding client reviews and recommendations. Follow this up with links to social media and LinkedIn sites. Finally, since the bio page is one of the most well-trafficked on any law firm website, make sure to insert a contact form or call to action in a prominent place.  

Invest in Client Relationships


Regular contact with clients is one way to put clients first, and this should happen even if there are no big updates or questions to offer them. Small law firms can stand out when they offer unprompted communication to their clients, and a short email or simple message tells a client that you are staying on top of their case. It is easy to do, but it is something that busy attorneys at large law firms do not make time for. Being the first to reach out is another way for small law firms to set themselves apart.


Clients assume that you are competent, but to provide added value, make a real effort to understand your client’s issues and business challenges. If appropriate, get to know them outside the professional client relationship.


Once you understand your clients and their issues, you can offer a commitment to help.  It builds trust and stronger relationships to ask questions such as: “What is your greatest concern right now?” Asking clarifying questions allows you to see better how you can assist them.

Stick to a Niche

Small law firms should focus on and go deep with one or two services, instead of trying to appeal to everyone. When you start with an ideal client in mind and target this audience, you showcase your expertise and find a niche for your law firm. Some experts recommend spotlighting one major practice area per site, in order to maximize your reach to potential clients. 

Focus on Local

It is crucial for small law firms to maintain a great local reputation. You can do this by being active in community events, supporting local organizations, and getting your name in local news. Join the chamber of commerce, attend networking events and visit local schools as you share your expertise. Create a profile in regional directories, and make sure you use the same contact information everywhere you can be found online. This consistency will help your small law firm rank better in local searches. Use local keywords and phrases when assessing your SEO options. According to one study, 97% of consumers examine options that are close in proximity first before hiring a lawyer.

Add Video

Use of video is growing, and small law firms should use this medium to their advantage. Try placing a short video on your law firm’s home page, sharing a message of what you do and why you do it. This personalizes your business and starts a connection between your law firm and potential clients. After the video, be sure to offer a call to action. 

Produce Quality Content

High quality content on your law firm website is one of the best ways to draw traffic and attract visitors. This is true for almost every industry, but especially the legal profession. When writing or outsourcing well-written content, make sure it is written for prospective clients and not for other lawyers. Let your articles and blog posts answer typical questions, offer unique insights, and de-mystify the legal system. If you add content to social media, share this material on platforms where your potential clients congregate.

Promote Your Content

One of the most common marketing mistakes is to generate a stash of content, but neglect to promote it. A well-designed website still needs to be advertised in email signatures, on letterhead, and in every local listing. This is also true of the blog that you spend so much time and energy to create. (If you do not have a blog, get one started as soon as possible!) Promote your small law firm blog aggressively on social media. Marketers recommend tweeting blog post experts to relevant Twitter users, which can then be retweeted and exposed to a larger audience. Sharing your website address and blog post excerpts through social media is free advertising that brings more potential clients your way.

Coax Visitors to Take Action

A well-designed and promoted website that draws impressive traffic still needs to make contact with a call to action. Every piece of your website should be geared to encourage visitors to take the next step. Various ways to do this include:

  • Adding a live chat feature
  • Using chatbots 
  • Including contact forms throughout your website
  • Offering incentives in exchange for contact information

Oversee Your Reviews

Small law firms and large law firms both need positive reviews to boost their online reputation, and online reviews matter. A recent study reported that around 84% of people searching for a lawyer would not hire one that had less than a 4-star average. So how can small law firms gain more 5-star reviews? Start by asking every client for a review, and provide a link to make it easier. Manage your online reviews regularly, responding professionally to both positive and negative feedback. If your small law firm is new to online marketing, a good way to jump in is by asking current clients to provide a review, which can immediately boost your reputation. Most clients are willing to offer a review or testimonial, but their lawyers simply do not ask for one. 

Law Quill | How Small Law Firms Can Beat Large Law Firms Online

How Do I Market Myself as a Small Law Firm Lawyer?

Learn about solo law firm marketing and how to do it by considering the following points:

  • Identify your niche. A key part of solo law firm marketing involves realizing what your specialty is and who your target audience is. From this, you can then start developing marketing strategies that focus on both of these.
  • Adopt a combination of traditional and digital marketing methods. Think about the various marketing methods you can use to reach your prospective clients and remember to use different ones to avoid relying too heavily on just one. For instance, you may want to focus on networking, billboards, SEO, and pay-per-click advertising.
  • Focus on SEO. Organic and local SEO provides great results for law firms at virtually zero cost. Done correctly, this can make your firm highly visible in online search rankings, leading to more leads and clients.

What Should an Effective Small or Solo Law Firm Marketing Plan Include?

According to Info Entrepreneurs, you can improve your firm’s chances of gaining sales and developing long-term client relationships if you have an effective marketing plan. Below is a brief guide to marketing small law firms online, and what to include in your marketing plan.

Create an Effective Website

The first step in this guide to marketing small law firms online involves creating an effective website. When making your firm’s site, make sure you adopt the following tips:

  • Use a popular and reliable content management system, such as WordPress.
  • Ensure your site loads quickly, as this impacts the website’s search ranking.
  • Make sure you optimize your site for mobile users.
  • Check to see if your site has adequate security, otherwise your prospective clients may get an error message when loading your website.
  • Set up Google Analytics so you can monitor your site’s performance.
  • Check your site for errors, such as broken links.
  • Make sure all your content is unique.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Adopt a good structure for your site, including a navigation bar and plenty of internal links.
  • Use a combination of content, including text, images, and video.

Complete Keyword Research

Next, complete keyword research to determine the words and phrases to use on your website so it ranks highly for these and provides your website with improved traffic. You can do this by using various online tools, like SEMRush and Ahrefs, or by Googling certain words and phrases and noting what the related search terms are. Additionally, you can see what keywords your competitors use by looking at their websites, or you can think about the common questions asked by those who contact your firm.

Write Focused Content

After determining your keywords, write content that focuses on these. To do this, consider a topic that may interest your audience. Then, make a note of the different headings you can use to address this topic. From this, provide detailed entries for each heading and make sure you support anything you say with examples and facts. Remember that the purpose of this content is to encourage the reader to inquire about your services by demonstrating your expertise in your legal niche. With this in mind, make sure your content is informative and relevant.

Set Up Your Google Business Profile Listing

Many individuals who look for a lawyer rely on local search results, making it essential for your firm to feature highly in these. To do this, create and fully optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing. This involves completing the profile in full, adding photos, assigning an appropriate category, including keywords in the profile and posts, adding your services to the listing, and posting regularly via Google Posts.

Create Directory Profiles

Another great way of improving your firm’s local SEO performance is by creating profiles on various business and legal directories. Make sure you complete each profile in full and use the same information for each one. Some examples of these websites include:

  • Findlaw
  • Yelp
  • Justia
  • Avvo

Track Your Efforts

It is impossible to know what is working and what is not without tracking your marketing campaigns. With this in mind, use analytics software, such as Google Analytics, to do this. By monitoring your content’s metrics, you can create more content that performs well and improve your long-term marketing efforts.

How Law Quill Can Help

Large law firms may have more resources at their disposal, but small law firms have tangible advantages as well. By capitalizing on close client relationships and adding a few simple marketing strategies, your small law firm can move toward greater success. 

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