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When I encounter lawyers asking questions like, “How much do law firms spend on marketing,” I usually take my time to provide a detailed response. Why? It is a crucial question. 

Having worked with law firms with diverse marketing budgets, small, mid-size, and big, I can categorically tell you that deciding your marketing budget is one of the most demanding things about running a business. 

Your budget will determine the results your law firm will get from the marketing strategy. Spend little, and your firm will equally get little results. Spend big, and your firm might be overwhelmed with cases. 

The more cases most law firms get, the higher the pressure and workload for employees. These law firms may overwork their employees, leading to poor legal service and terrible reviews. 

Now, it’s beginning to sound scary. Well, I am not here to scare you but to help you make a decision that will positively impact your firm.

Keep reading as we discuss how much law firms’ marketing spending should be. 

Law Firms Average Marketing Budgets

Law Firms Average Marketing Budgets.

Opinions regarding average marketing budgets for law firms vary. But most legal SEO agencies recommend between 2-20 per cent of the firm’s gross revenue.  

Note: Gross revenue is the total dollar gained from sales, which differs from net revenue. Net income or revenue refers to the total dollar a firm gains from sales after accounting for revenue expenses, which is operational in nature.  

In plain terms, gross revenue is what your business generates (total income) without deducting expenses or losses incurred. 

A friendly piece of advice for law firms: When planning your budget and how to allocate resources to your different marketing strategies, prioritize digital marketing. 

Digital marketing will expose your law firm to a broader audience and help you establish a robust online presence. 

How Much Do Law Firms Spend on Marketing?  

According to the CallRail Marketing Outlook Report, marketing takes approximately 49% of law firms’ annual budget. The report also shows online marketing takes up a significant portion of law firms’ budgets. 

So, how much should a law firm invest in marketing to get their desired results? 

Firstly, understand that small and larger firms’ marketing spending might differ. Large law firms have been spending on marketing for years, a reason for their growth. 

Smaller firms can grow bigger and generate more revenue via marketing. But this will depend on the marketing spending. A higher marketing spending and the right marketing team can help a small firm grow.

Marketing management agencies have held that law firms should consider investing 2-5% of their gross revenue in marketing. However, this doesn’t include personal injury law firms, as the competition is more in this practice area. Thus, personal injury lawyers may have to spend more on marketing. 

Now, understand that large law firms can achieve their marketing goal with 2-5% of their gross revenue invested in their marketing strategy. But smaller firms may have to spend a bit more. 

As a new or small law firm competing with several established firms, spending 5-10% of your gross revenue on marketing is a wise decision. 

Invest in digital and traditional marketing strategies, but give more consideration to digital marketing. Almost 85% of law firm clients claimed they used Google to search for law firms. So, how consumers find and choose law firms has changed. 

Most prominent law firms spend around $2,500 – $3000 monthly in major metropolitan areas with fierce competition. However, smaller law firms seeking to capture a larger market share may have to be creative with marketing spending to achieve results. 

A Handy Tip: The practice area will determine how much a law firm will spend on marketing. Given the fierce competition in the niche, personal injury lawyers will spend more on marketing than other practices, 

Is Having A Marketing Budget A Good Idea For Law Firms?

Is Having A Marketing Budget A Good Idea For Law Firms

Yes, it is. Having a budget will help you spend on your marketing strategy wisely. You’ll know the areas to invest your money and ensure you cover essential aspects of your marketing strategy. 

Even if you will eventually outsource your marketing project, having a budget planned out will benefit your law firm. It will enable you to spend only on the major areas of your marekting strategy and avoid wasting money. 

Imagine investing 5-10% of your gross revenue and getting a higher ROI. Let’s assume your law firm made $1,000,000 in revenue, and you spent 10% ($100,000) of that on marketing. Isn’t this win for your business?

If you were asked to keep $100,000 somewhere to generate $1,000,000 by the end of the year, wouldn’t you accept the offer? Think of the money you’re investing in your marketing project this way. 

The Reason Many Law Firms Are Scared To Invest in Marketing 

Most law firms I have encountered say they haven’t considered investing marketing dollars. 

What’s the reason?

Many law firms are concerned that they won’t get a high ROI (return on investment), which I understand. In this digital era, we have numerous law firm SEO agencies that claim to be professionals and promise results but end up delivering excuses. 

An effective marketing strategy will help your law firm grow. So, you should be confident about outsourcing your marketing projects or spending marketing dollars. 

Outsource your marketing project to a high-performing law firm SEO agency, and you’ll achieve the desired results.

A Handy Tip: Avoid outsourcing your marketing projects to just any marketing agency because they have a fancy website that looks professional, making them look serious. 

Instead, ask the right questions. Share your marketing goals, and let them explain how they intend to help you. Ask questions about the marketing agency’s strategies and the expected results. 

Another thing you should try to figure out is the law firm marketing agency’s willingness to stick with you for the long term. Now, understand something: digital marketing, especially SEO (search engine optimization), might take a while to produce results.

It might take a few weeks or months before you can start seeing the results of the optimization efforts. So, you require a consistent marketing agency.

Factors To Consider When Planning Your Law Firm Marketing Budget 

Factors To Consider When Planning Your Law Firm Marketing Budget

The essence of having a marketing budget isn’t to show the world or your competitors that you spend on marketing like them. The essence is to grow your firm, client-wise and revenue-wise. 

A well-planned marketing budget will enable you to create an effective marketing plan and channel your resources in the right areas. So, consider all the necessary factors before deciding how much your marketing budget should be.

Here are the factors to consider when planning your marketing budget. 

How old is your law firm? 

Here is a crucial question. And here is something you need to understand quickly. 

Older or established law firms have consistently invested in their marketing strategies for quite a while. Some have been spending thousands of dollars consistently for two, three, four, five, six years, or more. They have acquired several high-quality backlinks and built a healthy backlink profile. 

Some established law firms you’re competing with have invested handsomely in digital marketing to build a robust online presence over the years. Additionally, they have optimized content that the Google search engine has indexed and displays in search results. 

You can outrank your competitors regardless of their sizes. Your small law firm will eventually become the talk of the town and have a robust online presence if you invest in marketing and have a high-performing agency managing your marketing strategies. 

Just understand that as a small firm, you’ll likely spend more on marketing than larger and established law firms. 

Your area of practice: 

What type of lawyer are you? Are you a personal injury lawyer, criminal lawyer, family or business lawyer? Whatever your practice area is, understand that your market budget is influenced by it. 

For example, being a personal injury lawyer is a highly competitive legal practice. Thus, personal injury law firms will spend more on marketing than other practice areas.

Law firm’s location: 

The location also influences law firms’ marketing budgets. Certain places have a higher demand for legal services and plenty of law firms competing for their market share. 

Places with high competition would require a higher marketing budget. Consistency is also essential when implementing your marketing strategy. When you’re consistent, the results will come. Your competitors will struggle to outrank you when you’re consistent.   

How much marketing the law firm has done: 

How much marketing has your law firm done so far to build a robust online presence? Consider this when planning your marketing budget. 

Now, here is something you have to understand. 

You might not have done much marketing work since you have a new law firm. In this case, you need to fix your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) for online marketing. 

Due to this, you need to start from scratch. Thus, you’ll spend more on marketing than a law firm that has been around and has been investing in marketing for several years. 

If you have an established firm, understand something: you could spend as much money as new law firms. How? If you have a faulty SEO foundation, you must start over again if you want to grow online.

A good SEO agency should be able to audit your website and identify areas that need improvement. 

Where Should Law Firms Spend Their Marketing Dollars?

Where Should Law Firms Spend Their Marketing Dollars.

These are a few areas you can channel your marketing dollars to. 

1: Build an online office: 

Your website is your online office. It is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. So, whether you’re doing customer acquisition or retention marketing, you need a website. 

How much does a website for a small to midsize law firm cost? 

You’ll spend around $2,500 to $25,000 to build a website from scratch.

Do you already have a website? You don’t need to build another website if you have one. Focus on your existing website and grow it. 

A Handy Tip: Check your website’s load speed using a free or paid tool. You can use PageSpeed Insight, Pingdom, or other tools.  

Remember, a good website load speed is under two seconds (below 2 seconds). Google even prefers a website that loads faster.

Additionally, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Remember, most visitors who visit your law firm’s website will do so via mobile device. 

People enjoy conducting their online searches on the phone because of the convenience. They can search for law firms on the go instead of waiting until they get home to access their desktops. 

2: Invest in law firm SEO (search engine optimization):

Optimize your website to make it easier for search engines to read and rank it. An effective SEO strategy will ensure your website appears in your targeted customers’ search engine result pages (SERPs)  

SEO might take a while to yield results. Sometimes, you may only get results when you hire an effective law firm SEO professional. 

So, outsource your SEO project to a competent law firm SEO agency to get your desired marketing results.

Now, how much does SEO cost

Most law firm SEO agencies charge small and mid-size law firms as much as $3,000 – $10,000 per month for SEO. Most large law firms spend as much as $20,000 monthly on SEO. 

Shockingly, most law firms spend under $1,000 per month on SEO and get the results they seek. 

The bottom line is for law firms to find reputable SEO agencies for attorneys willing to go the extra mile to get results. Find an affordable and experienced SEO agency ready to help you establish a solid online presence without emptying your wallet. 

You can talk to the Law Firm SEO Expert if you need a capable hand to optimize your website and help your law firm establish a robust online presence. 

These are the SEO strategies SEO professionals will deploy to help your business grow online: 

  • SEO Audit
  • Keyword research
  • On-page optimization
  • Content strategy and creation
  • Local search engine optimization 
  • Link building and outreach

3: Populate your law firm website with quality content

Content is crucial for your new website to become well-known online. The quality of the content you have on your website can influence your law firm’s marketing results. 

Content is crucial for the information and awareness stage of the legal service consumers’ hiring process. Most visitors seeking legal services will decide to hire or recommend your law firm once they discover that your content is top quality. 

Content marketing can be blog post creation, articles, practice area pages, reports, white papers, or eBooks. 

You can write long-form content and optimize it for search engines. But remember that Google won’t rank your content higher than your competitors because of the word count. 

In plain terms, word count won’t matter to search engines (e.g., Google) if the content is poorly quality. 

So, what’s good quality content, then? 

  • Well-written content
  • A content that informs and educates visitors
  • Content that doesn’t mislead readers
  • Content that delivers on the promise of the headline or title. 
  • Content that boosts your conversion rate
  • Content that doesn’t contain spam links
  • Great formatting of the text and images
  • Content does not promote any form of hatred towards any group.

A Handy Tip: Understand that high-quality content will likely have a lower bounce rate. 

What is the bounce rate, by the way? Bounce rate is the number of visitors that land on a website and leave after viewing one page. It indicates how frequently visitors land on a website and leave without interacting or navigating to other pages. 

A high bounce rate is a nightmare in digital marketing. It indicates that the website is poor quality or poorly optimized. 

What’s a reasonable bounce rate? 

Aim for 40% or lower. However, if your bounce rate is 60% or higher, you must evaluate your page content and make it more helpful and engaging to visitors.  

Understand that a high bounce is a confirmation that there is a weakness in other SEO factors, such as:

  • Website speed is slow
  • Web page design is low-quality
  • The website has poor mobile optimization
  • A mismatch between keywords and content

How much does content marketing cost? 

A law firm should be looking at spending $1,000 to $10,000 on content creation.

Content creation is a continuous process. You must continue to inform and educate your readers to stay relevant. 

Content creation is essential in marketing. It can even take 30 – 50% of your entire marketing budget. 

Check out other marketing channels you can spend your money on:

4: Google and other paid adverts:

You can get quality leads from paid adverts. You can get qualified leads from business directories like Nolo, Avvo, FindLaw, and PPC (pay-per-click) adverts from Google. 

Note that the customer acquisition cost (CAC) of paid adverts is higher than SEO (search engine optimization) in the long term. Additionally, with paid adverts, you stop getting visitors once the money in your ads account dries up. 

With SEO, you will continue reaping the benefits even when the optimization campaign stops.

How much does a paid advert cost? 

You can expect to spend over $5000 for a well-managed paid ad campaign. 

5: Social media campaign:

Social media can offer you an opportunity to attract more eyes to your content. You can use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others to make your law firm more popular online. 

How much do you have to spend on social media marketing? 

Aim for around $1,000 to $3,000 per month. This is a reasonable fee to manage your social media profile and run paid adverts.  

6: Networking and event marketing:

Word-of-mouth, referrals, networking, and event marketing are unique ways for law firms to make their presence known in their locality. Many established businesses splash thousands of dollars on professional networking events. 

Professional networking events can be offline or online. The main aim is to meet people and let them know the services you’re rendering. 

Most small law firms network at local events, seminars, webinars, and public speaking. The bottom line is to attract more leads.

A Handy Tip: Volunteer or community service can help make a law firm well-known in an area. The more people talk about the good deeds of the law firm in the community, the more popular the firm becomes.  

How much does networking and event marketing cost? 

You can decide how much you want to spend on networking and event marketing. However, your total spending will include transportation, hotel bills, print media, venue rental, and other expenses. 

Marketing Budgeting Mistakes That Law Firms Make

Marketing Budgeting Mistakes That Law Firms Make

Most businesses make several mistakes during the creation of their marketing budget. These avoidable mistakes can cause missed opportunities, including wasted resources, and produce poor results if not avoided.  

What are these mistakes, by the way? Check them out below. 

1: The goals most businesses set aren’t clear enough: Unfortunately, most companies are not setting clear objectives. They spend marketing dollars and accept any results they get. 

As a business, you must understand that you’re spending money to market your business to get a return. So, it would help if you had a clear picture or plan of how much you want to spend, marketing strategies you wish to spend on, and metrics to measure the success of your marketing campaign.

2: Hiring the wrong marketing agency: There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your marketing projects. A report shows many law firms are beginning to realize the benefits of outsourcing to having an in-house team.  

Unfortunately, most firms hire poor-performing marketing agencies that promise results but give unreasonable excuses. It is unfair to law firms because they trust these marketing agencies. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have awarded their projects to them. 

To ensure you don’t outsource your marketing projects to the wrong hands, ask pertinent questions about your project. Firstly, explain your marketing goals or allow the marketing agency to run a complete audit on your website, identify the problems, and provide solutions. 

Ask questions about the strategies the law firm SEO agency plans to deploy and the results you should expect. Ask other questions that can help you understand the marketing firm you’re about to hire for your project.  

3: Over-dependence on one or a few marketing tactics:

Marketing is essential and can help your business grow. However, relying on one or a few marketing strategies might cost you dearly. You might miss out on opportunities to reach a wider audience or a specific target audience segment. 

For instance, digital marketing is essential in today’s business world. But the fact that you are investing in digital marketing shouldn’t cause you to take your foot off the gas on other marketing strategies. 

So, consider allocating your marketing resources to different strategies. Do this to increase your chances of showcasing your business to a broader audience. 

4: Focusing only on short-term marketing strategies:     

Having worked for numerous law firms, I understand how eager most firms are to get a return on their investments as quickly as possible. 

Focusing on short-term marketing strategies isn’t a bad idea. It only becomes bad when you focus on the short-term plan and neglect the long-term marketing strategies. 

You’re in the business for the long haul. So, it would help if you had sustainable success. Have a marketing plan that will allow you to win or achieve your marketing goals yearly.

For instance, don’t neglect law firm SEO if you’re running paid adverts. Search engine optimization can ensure your attorney’s website appears in search results of online users seeking legal help.

Ensure there is a balance between your short-term and long-term marketing tactics. Any expert SEO agency should be able to tell you this. 


How much do law firms spend on marketing? You can see the explanation we gave on this topic. Law firms spend around 2-20 percent of their marketing budget. 

The amount law firms spend on marketing depends on several factors. These include the firm’s size, location, target market, and practice area. 

For instance, personal injury law firms may spend more on marketing than other practice areas because of the high competition marketing agencies encounter when doing marketing for personal law firms. 

Digital marketing takes a significant portion of law firms’ marketing budgets. This is because how people search for legal help has changed over the years. Now, most people prefer to find lawyers and law firms online. It is more convenient and cheaper than moving around in search of a lawyer. 

Julhas Alam
Julhas Alam

Julhas Alam is a seasoned SEO strategist and the leading voice behind the insightful articles at LawFirmSEOExpert.com. With a rich background in digital marketing and a specialized focus on the legal sector, Julhas combines industry expertise with a deep understanding of SEO to deliver actionable insights and strategies tailored for law firms. Holding a passion for data-driven results and cutting-edge SEO techniques, Julhas has been instrumental in boosting online visibility and client acquisition for numerous law practices. When not dissecting search engine algorithms or exploring the latest digital marketing trends, Julhas enjoys reading success stories of other businesses, adding a personal touch to their professional acumen.