Marketing Survey: Law firms Turn to Search Engine Marketing and Legal Networks

The number of local and regional corporate, transactional and defense law firms using search engine optimization (SEO), and getting cases and referrals as a result, has tripled in the past 24 months, according to a newly-updated national marketing effectiveness survey.

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More than 80 percent of firms of more than 50 lawyers in our survey which said they were members of a network had obtained work from membership

Denver, CO (PRWEB) October 21, 2008

The number of local and regional corporate, transactional and defense law firms using search engine optimization (SEO), and getting cases and referrals as a result, has tripled in the past 24 months, according to a newly-updated national marketing effectiveness survey.

The survey by law firm marketing consultants Alyn-Weiss & Associates, Inc. shows that 59 percent of firms used SEO over the past 24 months. That compares to 20 percent in the two years prior to then. In 2007-2008, 20 percent of firms said they got cases from SEO, compared to 8 percent in 2005-2006.

Other studies support the trend. Americans with an Internet connection average 32.7 hours a week on the Web, almost twice the time devoted to watching television and more than eight times as much time spent reading newspapers and magazines, according to a new study by research firm IDC.

"Joining a legal network to stem competition from the national firms also appears to be a trend for local and regional firms," said Bob Weiss, president of Alyn-Weiss & Associates, Inc. The number of firms in the survey reporting they were members of networks jumped to 48 percent from 32 percent.

Those memberships appear to pay off. Forty-four percent of the firms that are members of legal networks said they received significant amounts of work from other members of the network.

Larger firms seemed to benefit more than smaller ones from membership in a network.

"More than 80 percent of firms of more than 50 lawyers in our survey which said they were members of a network had obtained work from membership," Weiss said. "In short, our survey confirms that a firm's Web site is an effective sales tool, not just an online brochure.

"To stave off the national firms, regional and local firms should consider membership in a law firm network," Weiss said.

While networks and online marketing are the trends, the survey shows the most effective marketing tactics for law firms continue to be seminars, presentations, trade and community group memberships and client entertainment.

The average size of firm in Alyn-Weiss 2008 National Marketing Effectiveness Survey, which is done bi-annually, is 46 lawyers. The survey asked how much firms spend on marketing, how they govern their programs, how they distribute marketing materials and if they plan to spend more, the same or less money on marketing in 2009. The answers are compared to those received two and four years before. They are broken down by the size of firm, less than 20 lawyers, 21-50 lawyers and 50 or more lawyers.

Size does affect a firm's marketing program and results in other ways. Larger firms in the survey commonly provide training in sales and networking skills. Most offer individual coaching for their lawyers, as well. One third of the firms who provide this kind of business development training say they were able to track new files or referrals as a direct result.

The complete 2008 survey results are available at for $375 at http://www.lawmarketingsurvey.com.

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