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Most Consumers Go Online to Look for an Attorney - bodinelx

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Most Consumers Go Online to Look for an Attorney

May 14, 2012 05:26 PM by
Larry Bodine
Larry Bodine
Sr. Director Editor in Chief Ask a question
| 12 comment(s)  

When you read this statistic, let it sink in:

3 out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process*

76 percent of consumers went online to find a lawyer

The way consumers look for a lawyer has changed in today's digital age. The advent of social media, smart phones and search engines has dramatically affected the way consumers find lawyers.

Nowadays:

  • People send a quick text instead to avoid a time-consuming phone call.
  • People write emails and send attachments instead of going over documents in person.
  • People attend conference calls and web meetings instead of meeting face to face because it saves time and money.

This new kind of communication is more efficient, but it diminishes the amount of direct contact people have with each other. People bank online to avoid tellers, look up phone numbers online to avoid operators and read news online to avoid buying a paper.

Think about it. Would you ask your neighbor whom to call if you were charged with a crime? Would you ask your relatives to help you shop for a divorce lawyer? I don't think so. You'd rather research these issues in private by opening your laptop. And with smart phones now outselling computers, a wide swath of consumers can conduct an online search.

This huge change in consumer behavior has taken place in the last ten years. LinkedIn launched in 2003, Facebook went online in 2004 and Twitter appeared in 2006. Consumers can now get input from family and friends through online directories and social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social media have grown exponentially so that they've entered every corner of American life. The best example is Facebook, which has grown to 900 million users who spend an average of 7 hours and 45 minutes per month on the site, according to The Nielsen Company. It is now possible to get advice about hiring a lawyer from dozens of contacts and connections by reviewing what they say on  social media.

What this means for 21st Century Lawyers

For lawyers, it is essential to have a website and blog that discuss the legal problems of consumers. An attorney's online presence should feature FAQs, white papers and checklists to be found by consumers conducing online research.

LexisNexis is helping lawyers in small firms with our unique "work-with-you" service that gives lawyers Web Site Visibility. It's worth discovering, because 60% of small law firms reported landing new clients as a result of their blog, according to the American Bar Association.

Lawyer websites and blogs must be optimized for search engines, particularly Google, so that they rank high in search engine results. A LexisNexis law firm marketing specialist can conduct a search engine optimization review, compare your site with competitors' and evaluate whether your site uses the latest best practices. Send us an email to schedule your free evaluation today.

It is clear that a huge conversation is taking place online. The search for a lawyer has moved out of the family living room or neighbor's back yard, and moved onto the Internet. For lawyers who want to get leads and find clients, it means having a robust directory profile, activity on social media and client-friendly websites. Lawyers can join the conversation - or miss many opportunities to find consumer clients.

*Based on a survey of 4,000 adult internet users (internet users comprise 78% of the US adult population and **the US adult population comprises 235 million according to the US Census 2010) conducted by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), March 2012. **According to The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project's Spring Tracking Survey conducted April 26-May 22, 2011.

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    Comments (12)

    # Steve Bell said on 15 May, 2012 12:32 PM   If I had time, I'd visit you in person to deliver this comment, but you know how the world is these days..... In any event, I'd be interested in learning additional statistics regarding the relative important of relations v digital in the eyes of inside counsel and other big-business buyers of legal services.
    # Zachar Law Firm said on 16 May, 2012 06:25 PM  

    These numbers do not come as a shock whatsoever. For those who have been able to transition to an online presence are seeing a great increase in traffic as well as potential clients come their way. For those who haven't yet, time is of the essence and should develop a plan immediately. Consumers like answers instantly, so much so that law firms are creating mobile versions of their websites to reach their target that much quicker. Great statistics!

    # Foster Web Marketing said on 17 May, 2012 09:46 AM   Great article! Thanks for sharing those statistics, Larry, they help validate what we've been preparing for with our law firm clients for years.
    # Darlingtons said on 31 May, 2012 12:03 PM  

    Amazing that so many lawyers don't get this - now most are obsessed with social media, it's great, but the real ROI is in google.

    # John Gray, Law Firm Marketing said on 12 June, 2012 09:01 PM   I must admit its slightly higher than even I expected but certainly explains why the firms that have embraced online marketing and those that haven't are experiencing very different results with their marketing efforts.
    # PrimeOutsourcing said on 13 August, 2012 11:57 AM  

    Your information proves how effective this method is! Thanks for sharing. :)

    # Car Accident Lawyers Toronto said on 23 September, 2012 04:27 PM   The beauty of having a blog is that it is a multi-faceted online lead generating machine. Not only does Google, who is hungry for the freshest most relevant content, position its posts high in the search engines when people type in phrases relevant to your practice/location, but it allows you to interact with other lawyers and prospective clients. That's not even taking in account what happens when you share your posts on Twitter, Facebook and so on. Very astute point about people being disinclined to go to their neighbors for a criminal lawyer recommendation Larry.
    # Greg Baumgartner said on 01 October, 2012 09:57 AM   Consumers in looking for attorneys should do their homework and look to peer reviews and authority as authoritative websites for backup. Also never forget that the best referral for a law firm is a personal one from someone who was a client in the past. The face-to-face meeting in a “free evaluation” can be a very valuable tool in helping to select an attorney at the consumers comfortable with.
    # Jeramy said on 11 September, 2013 01:08 AM   It's nearly impossible to find experienced people about this subject, but you seem like you know what you're talking about! Thanks
    # Cynthia said on 27 September, 2013 01:48 AM   Aw, his was a really good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effortt to produce a very good article… butt what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.
    # Russel said on 05 October, 2013 12:07 AM   Adult students can be classified by age demographics to be at least two years older than most students for their current educational level. We must not take for granted that we have the chance to decide what we want in life, who we want to become and where and how we want to spend every day of our lives. Let's start your exploration with a beautiful parable I use in the Toxic Relationships Self-help Kit: Love them, but LEAVE them.
    # Terra said on 23 January, 2014 03:47 AM  

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