How Do Clients Research and Find Their Attorneys?

How Do Clients Research and Find Their Attorneys?

In the recent report, Hiring an Attorney 2019, Martindale-Avvo examined a number of factors about how legal consumers behave when it comes time to hire a lawyer. One of those factors includes what resources clients use to conduct research.

While many start with referrals from friends and family to
find an attorney, an equal number also use online resources to search for
information and reviews to find and research attorneys.

Personal Recommendations Are Influential, but so Is Online Research

Legal consumers tend not to rely on just one resource to
research a potential lawyer. Instead, they use various resources simultaneously.
In the survey of 6,300 survey respondents, 43 percent said they use referrals
as part of the research process, while 43 percent also list Google searches. Meanwhile,
46.5 percent of respondents report using online review sites such as Yelp,
Avvo.com, Lawyers.com and Google and other online directories.

Other studies echo these findings, showing that online research is an important part of consumer decision making. A Local Search Association/SOCi study spoke with general consumers (not just those looking for legal help) and found that 66 percent of all consumers perform research online every time or almost every time they buy a product or service. Younger people are even more likely to rely on online searches and websites, with 80 percent of those under age 35 reporting they perform research online every time or almost every time they buy a product or service.  

Your Website May Have More Sway Than Your Advertising

More than a third (36 percent) of legal consumers in the
Martindale-Avvo study reported using attorney websites as a resource compared
to just 9 percent who said print advertising was a resource. Even fewer
respondents — 5 percent — cited TV/radio advertising as a resource they used to
find a lawyer.

A firm’s website was also important to those who received a
personal referral to a lawyer; 45 percent of those individuals said they researched
a recommended attorney or firm by checking their website before making contact.

A Personal Recommendation Is Often Not Enough

Consumers also vetted attorneys by checking online reviews.
In the survey, 46 percent of legal consumers who received a referral to a
lawyer said they checked the lawyer’s reviews before contacting them. If you have
plenty of positive reviews online this statistic shouldn’t trouble you. But if
you avoid asking clients for reviews or don’t think they matter, keep in mind
that nearly half of those who obtain your name from a personal recommendation will
check your reviews first.

Of those who said they received a personal recommendation
for a lawyer, 32 percent ultimately opted for someone else. Only 41 percent
said they hired the attorney who was recommended to them.

How to Meet Clients Where They Are

For law practices, these findings affirm common knowledge
that consumers research everything online — including their lawyers. To give
your practice a fighting chance, survey your online presence periodically. Is
your website in need of a refresh? Does your practice come up in searches
(e.g., [your area of practice] + [your town/region])? Do you have a critical
mass of positive online reviews?

If your research tells you that you need more or better
reviews:

  • Make sure to ask satisfied clients to review you
    online (ask just as they are thanking you and at their happiest).
  • Add a request for reviews to your standard
    closing email.
  • Train staff to offer clients good customer
    service, especially if you are seeing reviews about rude treatment, slow
    response times or anything negative about interactions with your office.

If you find that your practice is not coming up in Google
searches:

  • Check that you are listed on legal sites (yes, including Avvo.com, Lawyers.com and Martindale.com) and Yelp and Google, etc.
  • Claim all of your online listings and update relevant info, such as a summary of your practice areas, your contact information and any special amenities or offers, such as free initial consultations or convenient parking.
  • Keep your website up to date with relevant keywords for your area of practice and the geographic area you cover. Instead of “the greatest lawyer you could hire,” include specifics, such as, “Denver family law attorney will fight for you.”

Prospective clients will draw on many resources to vet your
practice and local competitors. Your job is to make sure that they can find you
when they look and that what they find is appealing and reassuring. Don’t make
the mistake of resting on your legal community laurels. Keeping your online
reputation up to snuff requires some regular maintenance, but the payoff of
more clients knocking on your door will surely be worth your efforts.

2020-01-09 10:00:03

Schedule an appointment

Check out Charles ’s calendar to schedule an appointment where you can discuss marketing solutions tailored to your firm’s needs.

Testimonials

See what other attorneys said about Charles

  • “Charlie: Thanks for your prompt, informative information; you’ve always been great at getting back to me ASAP with answers to my questions! Thanks again! Kim Denise Morton”

    ~ Morton Family Law

    “Charles DeFeo presents a simple, high quality and cost effective solution for attorney advertising! If you are thinking Attorney advertising is too Expensive for your firm - Think again! - Rob Schall, Cooper & Schall, PC”

    ~ Cooper & Schall, PC

  • “Charles DeFeo has been our professional Martindale-Hubbell consultant for many years. At all times he has demonstrated his concern for our Law Firm’s well-being and success, a great part due to his efforts on our behalf. -JFW III, Esq.”

    ~ Joseph Wusinich

    “Charles DeFeo is an outstanding Sales Manager who gets the job done for his clients.  He has serviced our account for many years and we love him.  I would highly recommend him.”

    ~ Edward Sweeney

  • “Charles DeFeo has worked with my business since its inception. He is always attentive to the needs of my business and responds immediately to any concerns. The website has been a great asset to my business.”

    ~ Barbara Stein

    “Charlie is very knowledgeable about the product, the profession and the marketplace.  He gives excellent customer service.  I have always felt that he has our best interests in mind when discussing options for legal advertising.”

    ~ George Donze

Contact Us

To get started now, please let us know how Charles can reach you.