Your law firm might have a solid reputation and may receive good word-of-mouth recommendations, but are you visible on the Internet? Most of your leads are no longer consulting the yellow pages or print directories when they need a lawyer, but instead, are using search engines, online directories, law firm websites, and other resources.
In fact, according to a survey commissioned by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, and conducted by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 60% of adult Internet users have sought an attorney at least once in their lives. Additionally, more than three quarters of adults (76%) are seeking lawyers online.
While referrals from trusted sources, such as family and friends, remain an important method for finding attorneys, your leads’ final decisions are heavily influenced by the online resources they’ve consulted. Regardless of their specialization, attorneys and law firms need to position themselves strategically, so that they can be found by the 76% of adults who are actively seeking lawyers online.
Internet Users Who’re Looking for Lawyers Go through a Four-Stage Process
According to LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s findings, the 76% who go online to search for an attorney typically go through a four-stage process:
- First Stage: They gather information about their legal issue
- Second Stage: They find a lawyer
- Third Stage: They validate a lawyer
- Fourth Stage: They select a lawyer
Throughout the four-stage search process, searchers utilize multiple information resources. Online resources are consulted more frequently when searchers are gathering information about their legal issues. Hence, lawyers and law firms that want to leverage their online presence will need to strategically position themselves so that they can be found by leads throughout the four-stage search process.
Your potential clients are relying more on online resources (search engines, online directories, social media sites, law firm websites, legal blogs, and online legal advice forums) than they are on the recommendations of their family and friends (excluding social media). This is true in every stage of the search process.
When gathering information about their legal issues, 65% of those who sought a lawyer visited online resources; when finding a lawyer, 61% visited online resources; when validating a lawyer, 53% visited online resources; and when selecting a lawyer, 44% visited online resources.
In contrast, only 39% of those who sought a lawyer asked family and friends for advice and recommendations (this statistic excludes social media). When finding a lawyer, 45% consulted family and friends; when validating a lawyer, 36% consulted family and friends; and when selecting a lawyer, 36% consulted family and friends.
Your Online Presence May Need a Serious Cross-Examination
While you may have spent years building your private practice or law firm, a solid reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations alone cannot suffice in the digital age. More and more of your potential clients are turning to online resources to satisfy their legal queries or to search for lawyers.
You’ll need to cross-examine your online presence so that you can be found and selected by more potential clients:
1. Will they find you when they use search engines?
When your potential clients perform searches on the major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo!), can your website be easily found? Your website must be very visible on these search engines for technical keywords, as well as keywords that are in the everyday language of potential clients that pertain to the various legal issues you handle.
2. Are you present in online legal advice forums?
You must be present in online legal advice forums, as your potential clients visit these forums to gather preliminary information. You’ll need to be there to provide initial advice.
3. Are you visible in local online directories?
Your potential clients are searching in local online directories. You must be present here with your clear contact details and areas of specialization. Additionally, you must have positive reviews to validate your expertise.
4. Do you have brand presence in social media?
Your potential clients use social media. Hence, you must have a good presence on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. They will look at your posts, your network, and other people’s comments or testimonials about you.
5. Do you have your own legal blog?
Your potential clients read legal blogs. Hence, your website must have a well-maintained blog that contains regular updates and stories that demonstrate how you’ve helped past clients with their legal cases. Also, by sharing knowledge, insights, and experiences with your audience, you can nurture your leads and turn them into clients.
6. Do you have a professionally designed website? Is your website mobile-friendly?
In order to boost your conversions, you’ll need to maintain a professionally designed website. Your website must stand out with the information your prospective clients need, and must contain clear calls to action to guide them to the next step in the process. Your potential clients will try to validate you using your website, and if they are satisfied, will select you as their attorney.
Just as important, your website needs to be mobile-friendly to cater to mobile device users.
Right now, a potential client might be searching online for the legal assistance that you offer. Unless your online presence is well-established, that connection might never be made.
We can help you increase your online presence, and will exhibit your competence and trustworthiness as a lawyer to more of your potential clients.
Digital marketing is our jurisdiction, and we know all possible angles of attack. We can deliver the action plan that will make your firm successful online.
Your online presence will be judged—so fill out the form or contact us now (239) 331-7055 for a consultation!