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Martindale’s lawyers.com responds to my criticism with facts on growth

I made a comment or two on the Legal Marketing Association listserv questioning the value of a lawyers.com listing for a plaintiff’s trial lawyer. My point was that in larger metro areas a search for a personal injury lawyer may generate a random listing of 50 or 60 law firms, some of which do as much family law and defense work as plaintiff’s personal injury work.

Without a way to distinguish the lawyers in the list without going in and out of the law firm’s linked Web sites I questioned how well that worked for consumers and at the end of the day the lawyers who paid for those listings.

Following the sale of my previous company to LexisNexis’ Martindale-Hubbell, I served as a VP of Business Development at Martindale. I had the good fortune to work with Joe Douress, then and current VP of Business Development for the small and medium firm segment. Joe’s a great guy and heads up Martindale’s lawyers.com. To his credit, he dropped me an email responding to my comments on the LMA listserv.

Here’s the facts on lawyers.com growth per Martindale

  • Lawyers.com alone attracted more than 8.8 million visitors in 2004.
  • 2004 traffic is up more than 50%.
  • Nielsen NetRatings and ComScore rank Martindale’s website traffic as #1 in lawyer directories on the web.
  • Martindale’s websites attract more monthly lawyer searches than any other source on the web-this includes all search engines (based on share of voice analysis by Comscore and Nielsen)
  • Martindale’s websites drive more than 50 million lawyer searches per year (Findlaw’s lawyer directory gets less than 15 million)
  • Lawyers.com alone generates more than 1.4 million attorney profile views each month. Martindale.com gets 3x that number.
  • 65% of visitors to lawyers.com say they plan to hire a lawyer within a week; 80% plan to hire within 4 weeks.
  • Martindale just signed deals with NetZero and Juno and now have Lawyer Locator links on both of their homepages. This is driving thousands of searches.
  • Martindale will be announcing some new alliances within the next few weeks that will drive even more traffic.
  • The content and community area of lawyers.com is continuing to grow. Lawyers.com just launched paid sponsorships from this area and the demand was unbelievable from firms wanting to buy placement.

I still believe lawyers must do more than have a listing in the lawyers.com directory to achieve an effective Internet presence to grow their business. However, a listing in lawyers.com linking out to your own search optimized Web site may still be a worthwhile buy as one part of a lawyers Internet marketing plan.

Thanks for responding Joe. There are an awful lot of corporate executives who would not get out and mix it up with some yahoo like me.

Joe and I are continuing to exchange notes so expect more to come folks. Maybe we can get FindLaw to share some information like this as well.

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