By Kevin O'Keefe

New study on importance of search engines

Law firms are wising up to the importance of search engine placement. For those not convinced of the importance of search engines, take a look at the findings of a joint study by comScore Networks and DoubleClick. The Search Engine Journal summarizes some of the key findings of the study.

Though the study addresses online buying as opposed to performing research of services to be purchased offline, legal marketing professionals should note that more than 50% of online buying decisions begin on a search engine and using ‘generic search terms’ is extremely important for search marketing.

Knowing that two thirds of people now go to the net before buying a service we now have a significant percentage of your target audience going to the search engines. Like the Search Engine Journal says:

If you are not listed on the engines 24/7 you are killing your own sales revenue and handing business directly to your competitor.

What the study reveals is that searchers look for information on their purchases over a period of weeks before they make their buying decision. They repeatedly return to search results looking for valid information on their purchase. If your web site is not listed constantly in a prominent position on the 1st page of search results you might as well pack it in and go home. You’re getting beaten badly by every competitor ahead of you in the search results not to mention losing a major branding opportunity on every search.

Using ‘generic search terms’ is extremely important in search marketing. Generic search terms, as opposed to a brand name, are key for law firms. Seattle patent law firm is much more likely to be searched for than your law firm name. Where are you on Google when someone does the first search. Are your patent lawyers in the first page or two. If not, you’re blowing it.

The study also found that searchers prefer to use generic search terms up until very late in the buying decision. The Search Engine Journal points out:

Although there is some lift for brand specific searches directly before purchase, the impact of those brand specific searches is minimal compared to generic terms. In my opinion, I would consider all brand name searches occurring during subsequent searches (by the same user) to be a direct result of the branding impact of search marketing in general.

Law firms spend a lot of money on marketing. So far good search engine optimization ‘SEO’ has been ignored because the law firms and the firms they hire to do their Web sites do not understand it. Good SEO is not that expensive or hard. Many law firms are finding publishing a law blog is an excellent way to achieve excellent search results.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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