There are plenty of reasons potential clients don't become actual clients, and your marketing strategy shouldn't be one of them. At any point in the process of looking for an attorney, a little difficulty with an attorney's website or phone system can become a major impediment and a reason not to select that attorney.
To keep that from happening, here are seven trends you should know about legal marketing:
Hold the Phone! You remember telephones, right? They're like iPhones, but without Candy Crush. Well, it turns out that legal consumers remember them, too: 74 percent of people looking for a lawyer reach out via phone calls, even if they do all the rest of their research online.
Potential Clients Are Searching for You. You'd better be using best practices for search engine optimization and reputation management, because 96 percent of consumers use a search engine to find a lawyer, and 62 percent of those searches are "non-branded" -- in other words, most consumers don't search for lawyers by name, but are searching for any lawyer in a given practice area.
Don't Ignore Handheld Devices. People use the Internet and online maps to find attorneys; they also search both on their smartphones and their desktops. Your website had better be mobile-ready so that it doesn't appear the same on a potential client's phone. Make sure all your contact information is extremely easy to find so that looking up your phone number isn't a barrier for clients.
Mobile Searches Are On the Rise. When they're not playing Candy Crush, 31 percent of legal consumers are using their mobile devices to search for representation. It's worth saying twice: have a mobile version of your site.
Video Can Help You Stand Out. Did you know that 20 percent of people researching legal topics watched YouTube videos? It wouldn't hurt to have a video -- whether it's an advertisement or an explanation of a legal topic. Videos are great ways for legal consumers to size you up visually so they can decide whether they want to hire you.
You've Heard It Before: Location, Location, Location. The three most important elements of business are location, location, location. In fact, 71 percent of legal consumers want an attorney to be local, defined as within 25 miles of where they live. All other things equal, you may lose business to an attorney who's closer to where the clients are.
How to Convert Consumers Into Clients.Conversion is where marketing translates into action: How does someone go from being a legal consumer looking for representation to becoming your paying client? To make sure that happens, have multiple contact options (email, telephone); advertise your fees; optimize your site for mobile; offer live chat as a contact option outside of business hours; and make sure your phone system allows potential clients to easily contact you.
The FindLaw/Google "Legal Market Trends" infographic is embedded below. (You can click on it for a larger version.) To learn more about how to put these trends into practice, FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing experts are always there to help.