Social marketing is a popular topic on blogs, in lawyer magazines, and at conferences. This attention is certainly well deserved. Just look at the audience:
- Facebook – 1 billion+ users
- Google+ – 500 million+ users
- Twitter – 500 million+ users
- LinkedIn- 200 million+ users
- Pinterest – 48 million+ users
Those audiences should not be ignored, however when looking at what drives leads into your office, we see that search is still the driving force.
Online lead sources for law firms:
- Google – 77.09%
- Yahoo! – 8.93%
- Bing – 8.01%
- Facebook – 2.51%
- Twitter – 0.13%
- Google+ – 0.27%
Other – 2.97%
How We Conducted the Study
Multiple locations and practices – We sampled a variety of websites belonging to law firms in various regions in the U.S. practicing a variety of areas of law.
No name searches – Search traffic was not calculated for law firm name searches. For example, if someone searched for “Law Office of John Smith” in Google, we did not record that lead as being sourced via Google.
Powered by – A lead coming from a smaller search engine powered by Google, Yahoo, or Bing was credited to the search engine, rather than individually. For example, AOL.com’s web search is powered by Google, so that lead is credited to Google. The only inconsistency is Yahoo and Bing; Bing powers Yahoo’s search engine, but they both have marketshare greater than 10 percent, so we felt it was best to report on them separately.
Not a client review – While some of the websites included in the study were SEO | Law Firm clients, the sampling pool was divided among law firms working with various legal marketing companies. Our staff knows a lot of attorneys, so we called in a few personal favors and got to peak at some Google Analytics accounts.
Only web leads – This chart exclusively shows leads going to the law firm via a contact form on the firm’s website. This does not reflect phone calls or other means of contact beyond a trackable form.
Other – “Other” reflects smaller social networks, third-party websites, and other sources of traffic that generate leads outside of Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Timeframe – We reviewed leads that came between January 1, 2013 and March 21, 2013. We are too excited to wait until the end of the quarter.
Lead Source vs Search Engine Marketshare
When conducting this study, we learned far more than what is reported in the chart. One interesting item is how our numbers compare with the comScore qSearch search engine marketshare analysis.
Marketshare vs Percentage of Leads
+ AOL Markshare: 69.8%
The report from comScore tracks AOL as a separate search engine and Ask.com which we placed in our “Other” column when conducting our study. If we gave comScore’s 2.8% from AOL to Google, the Google search marketshare would be 69.8%.
Google+ and Twitter
An interesting item worthy of poitning out is how Google+ yielded close to twice as many leads as Twitter. We did our best to filter leads that came from a Google+ Local search result and categorize that as a search lead as to not confuse it with a lead coming from Google+ social activity.
Stop social networking?
While social networks are not delivering the web leads, they are very important in generating referrals. Most followers on a social network profile know someone at a law firm prior to following them. Or maybe they have been introduced to the firm’s social profile after getting to their website. Keeping that audience entertained and informed can lead to referrals and returning clients.
Referral leads come in the form of a phone call or direct email. Neither were accounted for in this report. They may also come in the form of searching for a lawyer’s name or law firm name, thus generating another type of lead that was removed from the report.
This report shows off two things: First, how much the legal marketing nerds at SEO | Law Firm love statistics. Second, it shows that search engines (especially Google) are still the best source for generating leads from an audience of people that do not know your law firm exists. For attracting brand new clients, search engines are delivering the leads.
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