5 tips for local law firms to go national

In the wake of the pandemic, client habits are forcing firms to re-think tactics – but how can you keep pace?

‘Most would be happy to consider using a legal advisor anywhere in the country’


That’s how many people would think about going national when choosing a law firm or solicitor.

According to IRN Research’s UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2021, ‘for the first time since the survey began three years ago most would be happy to consider using a legal advisor anywhere in the country.’
In 2019, 46% agreed with the statement.

The report also shows ‘more adults than before are turning to digital sources when they are looking for a legal advisor, including search engines and comparison sites.’

The trend is clear. But the question is, how can local businesses harness this?

Something about seeing it as an opportunity rather than a concern. If small businesses can take the things that make them great – personal service, something, something – and deliver it on a national scale then they’re on the path to success.


1. Invest in SEO

Your potential clients are now everywhere. Your law firm should be too.

SEO remains an untapped opportunity. The IRN reports 25% of consumers are using search engines to find a lawyer.

Yet, the 2021 study Digital Effectiveness in the Legal Sector shows ‘on the whole, the sector misses the opportunities offered by organic search and has been slow to adopt ‘SEO’ best practice.’

It’s the larger firms taking advantage, ‘ranking for industry-relevant keywords, suggesting that SEO was a priority across the board.’

Prepare your practice. If you thought the sector was competitive now, wait until many of the smaller firms catch on to proper website optimisation.

Leverage SEO to enhance your company's relevance across various regions. By crafting location-optimised pages and microsites, your firm can effectively target individuals seeking family law solicitors in specific areas like Manchester, Liverpool, Kent, London, among others, where search volumes vary from 590 to 20.

Incorporating link building work and other SEO tactics is crucial for these pages. Not only does it help in ranking higher in local searches, but it also strengthens your online presence. It's essential to focus on 'local' SEO no matter your location. The content on these pages should convey to potential clients the personalised service you offer, demonstrating your capability to assist them effectively from any part of the country.

2. Research large competitors

Every law firm watches their local competitors – but don’t neglect the ‘big brands’.

The UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report sheds lights on consumer awareness of leading legal brands. Only three brands (InjuryLawyers4U, National Accident Helpline, and First4Lawyers) reached a 50%-plus awareness levels. Irwin Mitchell, Slater Gordon, Admiral Law and the Co-Op Legal Services are the only other companies to have awareness levels of more than 30%.

Your SEO and marketing team should be watching these brands like hawks.

This is important, but perhaps not for the reasons you may think.

It’s unlikely many local or mid-level law firms can compete with the likes of the National Accident Helpline or the Co-Op. But watch what these companies do.

You should identify the strengths and weaknesses of the big competitors and work out how you can fill the gaps.

So, if clients like Admiral Law because of X, but complain about Y, then you can swoop in by being good at both.

3. Invest in the tools you need for growth

In the old days, geographical growth was clear: it usually meant opening up an office in a new city or leafleting the next town over.

Today, technology rules. Choosing the right tools help you scale the business and drive better results with less work. It makes marketing a local firm at a national level much simpler.

A platform like The Law Superstore, for instance, lets you reach clients across England and Wales, but also automates the process – delivering leads to your inbox and easing the amount of manual work and admin required.

Whichever tools you need, they must be closely aligned to your objectives. Wherever possible, choose systems that integrate with others for a seamless experience, of those that feed into the wider business strategy.
But always invest wisely.

Introducing new tools into a business can be perilously expensive if approached hastily or haphazardly. Take the time to trial and demo before roll-out.


4. Build your network

If you're not a major brand with a significant local presence, it's probable that your firm's recognition doesn't extend far beyond your immediate vicinity. Considering that 38% of consumers rely on word-of-mouth referrals, expanding your firm's reach is crucial. To compete on a national scale, establishing a nationwide network is essential.

Chances are, you're already engaging in some form of networking. It's time to intensify these efforts. The goal is to attract clients from various locations in every conceivable manner.

As a best practice, your law firm should aim to acquire clients from at least five different sources. The specific nature of these sources should align with your firm's goals, what has proven effective for you, and your desired outcomes.

Digital marketing channels, review and comparison sites, your personal brand, and community events like LegalEx are all valid great ways to find new sources while boosting the profile of your firm to build relationships and your reputation.

5. Join review and comparison sites

You may not have the time to fix up your website just yet, but there are plenty of other ways for potential clients to find you.

One quick fix: add or update your firm on Google My Business.

Next, get your business on relevant review and comparison sites. You’re future-proofing the practice.

In what’s being dubbed a ‘watershed moment for digital comparison sites’ like The Law Superstore, the IRN Research shows ‘the percentage using consumer review and comparison sites in 2021 reached double figures (10%) from 6% in 2020 and just 4% in 2019.’

Once again, the trend is clear.

Comparison sites have an added benefit: clear pricing.

According to the IRN, ‘83% would be influenced in their choice of law firm by price information on a law firm website, i.e. when choosing between law firms they would choose the one giving clear price information on their site.’

As champions of the SRA’s Price Transparency rules, The Law Superstore displays clear price bands to users – giving them the confidence to choose the legal advisor that’s right for them.

Flexibility is built into our platform. You set and change your own prices and coverage area, so you can reach potential clients within a mile radius, right up to the whole of England and Wales. In effect, you’re virtually operating in their area. In any area.

The Law Superstore helps you begin scaling up the business, operating across a larger geographical area, connecting with a broader client-base, without diverting time and resources.
Join our expert panel and get 40 free leads with your free trial.

No minimum-term contracts. No subscription fees. Only pay for the leads you receive.

Other quick tips: 

Here are a few additional pointers to boost your firm's online presence:

  • Embrace Digital Marketing: Dive into various digital marketing strategies like social media advertising, email marketing, and pay-per-click campaigns to widen your reach.
  • Optimise for Mobile: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of online searches are conducted on mobile devices.
  • Engage on Social Media: Actively use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to engage with potential clients and build your brand.
  • Content is Key: Regularly update your blog with informative and relevant articles that address common queries and showcase your expertise.
  • Use Video Marketing: Incorporate video content, such as client testimonials or informative snippets, to engage your audience more effectively.
  • Have good web design: Have a good looking website with a safe and efficient hosting package.
  • Monitor Your Online Reputation: Keep track of reviews and feedback across various platforms and respond professionally to maintain a positive image.
  • Email Newsletters: Send out regular newsletters to keep your clients informed and engaged with your firm's latest news and insights.
  • Analyse and Adapt: Regularly review your digital marketing strategies' performance and adapt based on analytics and feedback.
  • Collaborate and Network: Form partnerships with other local businesses and engage in community events to build a broader network.