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The Role of Search Engines in Online Marketing

People facing legal problems and in need of an attorney frequently turn to the internet to find the lawyer they need. According to one survey from 2014, more legal clients got online to find an attorney than asked a friend or relative for a referral. In the years since that survey, the gap has likely only grown, and may have even become a majority of interested clients.

But that only begs the question: Once online, what do those potential clients do?

The answer is not as complicated as you may think, though it does provide an incredibly important piece of the online marketing puzzle.

The role of search engines in online marketing

They Go to Search Engines

Once they get on the internet to look for a lawyer, most people turn to their search engine of choice, usually Google.

According to a Google Consumer Survey from back in November, 2013, no fewer than 96% of people looking for legal advice used a search engine to find it.

Most of those people have not yet settled on a particular law firm to hire. Instead, they’re either doing their research to more fully understand their problem or are searching for the best firm to take onboard. Only one in ten web searches is considered “navigational” or uses a branded search term that is designed to get to a particular law firm’s webpage – the other nine do not have a particular destination in mind, and so can be more easily persuaded to visit your firm’s site and make the phone call you want them to make.

Most Web Traffic Comes from Organic Results

Looking at those numbers from behind your law firm’s website, it should come as no surprise that, statistically speaking, most of the traffic and visitors that you are going to get are going to come from organic results on the search engine results page (SERP).

According to one study done back in 2014, 51% of the web traffic on an average website came from organic listings – a percentage that jumped to 73 for sites categorized as “business services,” which included law firms.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Capitalizes On This Chokepoint

Simply put, because so many people look for lawyers on the internet, and because so many of those people turn to search engines and use the organic results, it goes without saying that SEO is a core component of online legal marketing. By prioritizing the keywords that you most want to pursue in your locale, and then catering your online content and legal blog to deliver on those keywords, you can boost your law firm’s website in the organic listings and drastically increase the likelihood of attracting website visitors.