How people actually choose an attorney.

They go online, but they don't go far. Most people want a lawyer very close by to help with a very specific problem.

Rebecca Hamer

Director of Production

Gone are the days when someone with a legal question consulted a phone book to find a law firm—in today’s increasingly digital era, nearly every person uses an internet search engine to find an attorney.

It starts when an issue arises

Many people do not realize that they need a lawyer when an issue arises. Instead, their journey will likely begin with a question about a particular legal matter, and they will search for information about this topic by performing an online search. For example, someone who is thinking about ending their marriage may search for information about the divorce process, while a car accident victim may wonder if they can recover compensation from the party responsible for the collision.

Searching for answers to a legal question

Once a question about a legal topic arises, the person will likely turn to search engines like Google to perform a quick search for information. They will enter common keywords to look for relevant information, such as “How long does the divorce process take?” or “Can I get compensation after a car accident.” The search engine will use these search terms and the searcher’s location to display results that are relevant and convenient. For example, if someone searches for information about divorce and lives in your city, you can make your website more visible to the searcher by maintaining a website that mentions your location and includes content that anticipates and addresses common client questions about divorce. Ultimately, search engines like Google will connect searchers to nearby services whose website content closely matches the search terms they entered.

Find out where you stand with a local keyword report.

Considering convenience and location of legal services

Next, the searcher will likely click on a few websites of law firms practicing in the field most relevant to their search. As they assess these websites, viewers may start to realize that hiring an attorney is their best option for securing their desired resolution. A significant factor in determining which law firm to work with is convenience (as in the physical location of the office). Search engines allow businesses to purchase local service ads that propel their listing to the top of the search results page. Your law firm could also invest in a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign to boost your position towards the first few results, increasing the likelihood that the searcher will see and click through to your website. Another strategy to make your listing more visible is to update your law firm’s Google Business Profile listing, which boosts your overall local SEO strategy and maximizes the chances of Google using this profile to make you visible to potential clients looking for services in your area.

Visiting your website and reading client reviews

When the searcher has perused the results and clicked through to your website, you will want to make sure that their initial impressions of your website are as positive and effective as possible. It’s critical that your website loads in three seconds or less and displays correctly on any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Any loading issues or distorted images may send visitors to another website. Capture the visitor’s attention right away without overwhelming them—use a soothing color palette, minimal text with plenty of negative space, and encouraging or reassuring word choices that invite the visitor to put their trust in you to assist them during this challenging time. Most potential clients respond positively to attorney websites that inspire confidence, trust, and reassurance, so think about how you can reflect and convey these qualities in the written content and visual aesthetics of your website. Finally, many potential clients will read client reviews to determine whether to enlist your services. It’s essential that you monitor your online reviews to ensure that the comments reflect your values and accurately demonstrate your firm’s commitment to delivering high-quality, client-centered legal services.