According to a recent survey conducted by Thomson Reuters and FindLaw, more people now use the Internet to research and find an attorney than any other resource.
- 38 percent – Internet search
- 29 percent – referral from friend or relative
- 10 percent – referral from local bar association
- 4 percent – Yellow Pages
If you consider that 84% of the US population now has Internet access, those results really aren’t surprising.
“The Internet provides a faster, easier, and more thorough method to find an attorney, compared with the alternatives,” said Stephen Noel, vice president of strategic development and audience at Thomson Reuters, in a statement. “Friends or relatives may only know a limited number of attorneys, and those attorneys may not specialize in the areas of law where help is needed.”
The results of this study are a significant change from a similar study conducted in 2005 in which the Internet was the first choice of only 7 percent of the respondents. Asking family and friends for a referral was far and away the most popular method of finding an attorney back then, with 65 percent of respondents choosing that method.
Seniors & Online Search
As expected, the recent survey found online search was a more popular choice for younger people, but don’t discount the senior citizens. The Pew Research Center’s study on Older Adults & Technology Use indicates that higher-income and highly educated seniors use the internet at rates approaching—or even exceeding—the general population.
Online Search & Your Law Firm
In order to leverage this growing trend in online search for legal advice, your law firm needs to have maximum online visibility. Implementing these four simple steps can help improve your visibility in search rankings, increase traffic to your website, and bring in more clients.
Make sure your website is a lead generation machine
- Esthetically pleasing, with a color palette that’s easy on the eyes
- Easy navigation
- Strong call-to-action
- Images and videos of real people
- Icons from professional associations
- Social media links
- Optimized for search engines
Become an authority in your niche with great content
- Consistently add fresh content to your site
- Vary the format to include blogs, slide decks, videos & other media
- Share your content via social media and other online platforms
- Claim your listings in all major, niche, & local directories
- Ensure your firm name, address, and phone number are consistent on every listing
- Create a complete listing, including keyword rich descriptions, images and video
Manage your reputation
- Encourage your clients to submit online reviews
- Make it easy for them by sharing links to your online profiles on Google+, Avvo, Superpages and other online review platforms
- Quickly respond to any negative comments that may be posted
The Internet has had a huge impact on law firms, emerging as a primary source of new business. Having a solid online presence will enable prospects to find you, engage with you, and retain you as their attorney.
SEO and Social Media Manager
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555