A recent study conducted by Blumenthal.com revealed some very telling information for lawyers hoping to market their legal practices, inviting marketers and legal experts to think hard about where to allocate their efforts (and marketing dollars) in order to attract new clients and build their practices.
In a commissioned study, Blumenthal set out to understand how consumers begin their searches for lawyers and lawyer websites
. Specifically, he investigated search patterns, wanting to understand if consumers used social media outlets such as Facebook to make their choices for legal counsel.
In sum, 1500 consumers were asked where they would begin their search for legal counsel. According to the final tally, consumers consult their friends, search the Internet for websites for lawyers, or even ask their current legal counsel. Only 2.1% of consumers look to any of their favorite social networks.
2.1%? Let’s put that number in perspective. The Yellow Pages (the second least relevant search option) clocked in at 10.8%, more than five times the number of people who consult social media for legal counsel. When is the last time you used the Yellow pages for anything beyond a doorstop, paperweight, or kindling, much less opened the Yellow pages to find answers? Exactly. Social media is great for many things, but attracting clients to your law practice or lawyer website is clearly not one of them.
The big winner in this survey? Internet search, which, as it turns out, is the perfect place to woo new clients. According to the final results, 21.9% of those surveyed indicated they used major search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Another 10.5% looked elsewhere on the Internet when seeking web sites for lawyers. In total, one-third of all consumers rely on the Internet to begin their search for legal counsel. If we explore the data based on age groups, the numbers are even more striking, as respondents 18-35 initially rely on the Internet to find lawyer web sites slightly more often than asking a friend.
Of course, word of mouth is “critically important” to any business, but largely out of your immediate control, especially if you are just beginning a law practice. On the other hand, Internet marketing (e.g. search results on Google) is something you can proactively influence with a well-designed and conceived lawyer web site
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