Have you ever asked yourself, “What did I do before the Internet?” If you needed information, from a simple phone number to the definition of a complex technical term, you had to either ask somebody or physically go find the right source and look it up. Today, however, all you have to do is open your laptop, launch a browser, type in a few keywords and everything you could ever want to know is right there at your fingertips. Of course, while much of the information out there is solid and reliable, other information you find online can be…less than credible. With that in mind, are people really turning to the Internet to find something as important as the right attorney to handle their sensitive legal issues?

Yes, they are. In fact, these days, more than 75 percent of individuals looking for a lawyer have used some kind of online resource during their search.

Gone are the days of people picking up the phone book and flipping to the letters “A” or “L” when they require legal assistance. Potential clients aren’t going to reach out to you after seeing an ad with your phone number. They want to be able to access much more information about your practice before deciding if it could be the right one to handle their needs. And although many people begin their search for a lawyer by asking someone they know for a referral, a recent study revealed that 34 percent of the respondents actually used a web-based tool first, especially if they were looking for a specialty lawyer. So what does this mean for you? It’s time to understand how people are searching for attorneys online.

Your Website

When someone asks a trusted friend or family member for a referral, the next step to moving forward is simple: check the website of the recommended law practice. And when your website is accessed directly in this way, the design and content need to speak to your potential client. Make sure that you have a simple yet sophisticated aesthetic complemented by an easy-to-navigate interface, as well as content that fully describes your services and provides some ancillary information, such as news, blog posts and article links.

Search Engines

For those people who decide to begin online without a personal referral, search engines will be the place to start. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) becomes critical, as you want to ensure that your site is one of the first options they get when their search results are returned. You need an effective strategy that includes using the right keywords, page titling and programming to take you to the top.

Lawyer Directories and Rating Services

Directories on sites like Lawyers.com and Nolo.com allow potential clients to search by geographical location or specialty and provide access to your full profile when you show up in a search. Rating services, such as Super Lawyers, take it a step further with attorneys being selected for inclusion based on independent research, peer nomination and peer evaluations; these sites also offer a profile. But a listing on these sites alone won’t be enough, and people will want more information. All roads lead back to your website – so make sure it’s a good one.

Social Media

While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter seem to be everywhere these days, this avenue is still developing when it comes to connecting potential clients and attorneys. Someone in need of legal counsel probably won’t hire you based on your Twitter feed, but that person may use Facebook to ask friends for a referral. Just remember that anything and everything you do online is going to affect your marketing efforts.

heystac, based in Roswell, GA, works with businesses to ensure the highest levels of success and conversions from websites and Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns. heystac’s search engine optimization (SEO) experts know the strategy and techniques to use to make your site show up in search results. If your business is interested in learning more about Google Adwords, PPC, SEO or you want to improve on your existing efforts, feel free to contact heystac at 404-448-2930 for a consultation.