Do Clients search for a Lawyer?

Searching for a Lawyer

Searching for a Lawyer

This afternoon I had an interesting exchange on Twitter with Jon Busby of Legal 2.0 regarding how important blogs and websites are to lawyers.

Jon considers that they may not be that important in finding new clients. Jon recently blogged about the possibility of his butcher, Charlie, writing a blog:-

As a consumer I might just read ‘The Butcher’s Blog.’ There is a connect.

But as for electricians, plumbers, dentists, lawyers and all the other distress purchase suppliers that I may only use once every 10 years, I am less interested in reading their blogs. No matter how much they think I might be.

In our Twitter exchange Jon pointed out that most lawyers get clients through word of mouth recommendation. I would not disagree with this. That reflects my own experience.

However, if you don’t want to ask for or don’t have someone who can give you that recommendation what are your options? In the past you might have reached for the Yellow Pages and picked from the advert that you were most drawn to. In the internet age you surely would Google your problem to find a lawyer that can help you solve it.

Like Jon you might be less interested in reading the Lawyer’s Blog on a regular basis than you would the Butcher’s Blog. But the fact that the Lawyer’s Blog exists at all means that you might just find it when you do need that lawyer and use Google to find them in your moment of distress.

Thus, I would take the view that having a website, and perhaps a blog as well, is better than not having it.

It has certainly worked for my law firm, Inksters, where we get 20% of new business through our online activities. Jon did point out that this was for our ‘uber niche‘ areas of Crofting Law and Servitudes. These are the areas we have concentrated our content production on to date and seen good results from. However, we do get work via internet searches from other service areas where there is much less content but still an online presence.

The Google Keyword Tool tells us that there are 5 million global searches per month for the word “Lawyer”. Locally there are 3.35 million such searches. For “Attorney” those figures become 9.14 million and 7.48 million respectively. For “Solicitor” it is 673,000 and 60,500 respectively. That is a lot of people searching for a lawyer.

Looking at Google Analytics for I see people finding my law firm over the past month (for matters other than Crofting Law and Servitudes) when they have been searching for:-

  • Appointing a guardian for your child
  • Are pre nuptial agreements binding in Scots Law
  • Breakdown of co-habiting relationships
  • Buying repossesed property
  • Caveats Court of Session
  • Child residence problems
  • Cohabitation 2011
  • Debt recovery solicitors Scotland
  • Executries
  • Family law legal aid
  • Free will scheme
  • Glasgow family law solicitors
  • How to contest an executor of an intestate estate
  • Prenups family law Scotland
  • Property lawyers in Glasgow
  • RBS v Wilson
  • Solicitors who tweet
  • Stamp duty Scotland first time buyers
  • Supreme Court judgement on repossession
  • Winding up intestate estate

My favourite was “is Muttley Dastardly a real firm” which took the searcher to the Muttley Dastardly LLP page on Not sure whether or not we were subsequently instructed by them 😉

I know that, in addition to the ‘uber niche’ areas, we have received instructions for Conveyancing, Debt Recovery, Executry matters and Family Law via the internet.

I also know that Paul Hajek at Clutton Cox has seen great results in new clients (Conveyancing, Wills & Probate) from his online activities. So much so that he has created the Solicitors Marketing System.

Potential clients are indeed searching, finding and instructing lawyers online. It may well be secondary to word of mouth referrals but it should not be ignored as a potential source of business. One that is likely to grow.

Jon Busby has been told by lawyers that they get little new work via the web. As Jon says lawyers present badly via websites. On the whole this is probably true. But it does not have to be this way. Like Jon’s butcher, Charlie, those lawyers are no doubt too busy being lawyers (as opposed to butchers) to have time to blog. If they and Charlie made the time to do it they might be even busier lawyers and butchers. But if they don’t want to grow their businesses then fair enough.

What do you think?

Do you think blogging for law firm business development is less or as important than many say/think it is? Does your law firm website and/or blog bring in new clients to your firm? What could lawyers be doing on the web that they are not, on the whole, doing at the moment?

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