New Study Finds Behavioral Shift in How Consumers Find Attorneys
For decades, when American consumers needed to find attorneys to help them with legal needs, they'd ask friends or family members for a suggestion and perhaps consult the Yellow Pages for names of lawyers in their communities. With the rise of the Internet, that behavior has been changing gradually over the past 15 years and it appears a major shift has now reached the tipping point.
According to the Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 76 percent of consumers in the United States who sought an attorney in the past year used online resources at some point in their selection process, as compared to 73 percent of consumers who turned to friends and family for assistance at some point during the process. This is the first known time a study of this nature has found that online resources are on par with personal referrals for how consumers find attorneys.
An executive summary of this new study is available for downloading from LexisNexis®. The main lesson is that when searching for an attorney, particularly in the early stages of the process, consumers are turning to search engines, law firm websites, blogs, online directories and other online resources in record numbers.
The study found that a majority of consumers (60 percent) sought legal services at some point in their lives and when that time came, they increasingly consulted the Internet to find the right attorney for their needs. Given this dramatic shift in consumer behavior, attorneys should employ multiple approaches to online marketing — from having a robust website that utilizes search engine optimization (SEO) to participating in reputable online directories and leveraging social media platforms — in order to position themselves and their firms to be found by those 58 million consumers who go online to seek an attorney each year.
For a free consultation on how to best align your marketing efforts with how today's consumers search for an attorney, contact us.
We'll be diving into other specific findings from the study in subsequent blog posts.
Source: Based on a survey of 4,000 adult Internet users (Internet users comprise 78% of the U.S. adult population** and the U.S. adult population comprises 235 million according to the U.S. Census 2010) conducted by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), March 2012, which found that 32% of U.S. adult Internet users sought an attorney in the past year, equating to an estimated 58.5 million people. ** 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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