Search engine optimization, a tactic used to help Web sites receive higher rankings on search engines such as Google, seems to be helping many law firms throughout the country.
Alyn-Weiss & Associates, law firm marketing consultants, recently completed a national marketing effectiveness survey showing that the number of corporate, transactional and defense law firms using SEO and getting cases and referrals as a result has tripled in the past two years.
The survey revealed that 59 percent of law firms used SEO during the past two years, compared to 20 percent the previous two years. From 2007 to 2008, 20 percent of firms said they received cases because of SEO, compared to 8 percent from 2005 to 2006.
"Joining a legal network to stem competition from the national firms also appears to be a trend for local and regional firms," Bob Weiss, president of Alyn-Weiss & Associates, Inc., said in a press release.
The number of firms in the survey reporting they were members of networks increased from 32 percent to 48 percent. Those memberships appear to pay off, as 44 percent of the firms that are members of legal networks said they received significant amounts of work from other members of the network. The survey also showed larger firms seemed to benefit more than smaller firms 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 noted. "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," he added.
While networks, online marketing and SEO are the new 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.