The way people search for legal services nowadays shouldn’t be a complete surprise; but sometimes, it’s good to refresh our knowledge and collect our own data on how search habits are changing. Recently, we surveyed 500 people and asked them a simple question that most could relate to: “If you were involved in a car accident and wanted to get in touch with a lawyer afterward, how would you go about doing that?”

Here’s the breakdown of the survey results:

  • 64% of respondents said they would search on Google, with many already set on finding personal injury or accident attorneys in their area on the #1 search engine.
  • 30% indicated that they would turn to a friend, family member, or coworker to recommend a good attorney to them.
  • A little over 1% of those polled said they would use Yellow Book to inquire about an appropriate attorney. (6 people in total, Yellow Book by name!)
  • A little over 1% (6) claimed they would reach out to friends on Facebook for recommendations or post in a Facebook Group forum.
  • 1% of participants (5) said they would search on Yelp to check up on the reviews of various options.
  • A few said they would use a search engine other than Google. These answers included: Bing (1), Yahoo (1), and DuckDuckGo (5).  
  • One person said they would search using Avvo, an online legal referral service.
  • One person said they would search for reputable lawyers through LinkedIn.

I suppose this isn’t saying anything that we wouldn’t completely expect, but if you look at variations of the data, there are some unanticipated takeaways:

  • Avvo has invested a considerable amount of time, energy, and money branding itself as the “go-to” directory for legal assistance and resources.  Only one person out of 500 referenced it by name. Yelp, on the other hand, does not brand itself as a legal directory; yet, it has more recognition and trust among users than Avvo, drawing more people who need lawyers than a directory that is 100% dedicated to legal help.
  • Like Yelp, Facebook users don’t generally use the site to find a lawyer. Everyone who suggested referencing Facebook for lawyer recommendations identified as a woman.
  • It was surprising to receive hundreds of responses in this survey which alluded to asking a family member or friend to recommend a personal injury lawyer. This may indicate the relevance of branding and blanket marketing, since leads may still come in through referrals.
  • Yellow Book still has prominence with its residual branding. Whether those polled relied on the digital version or physical book is not known.
  • Yahoo and Bing still garner a combined 5%-15% in some situations, but we certainly wouldn’t see it in this instance. That possibly means that users are relying on Cortana and other search assist tools, but would never reference them like they’d reference Bing.

The results of the survey highlight more than anything the importance of getting outside your comfort zone when marketing your legal practice. While you may find a source like Avvo sensible to pitch your services, it’s possible the clients you seek rely on other methods to find legal help.

When looking to hook new leads, be sure to invest in a dedicated legal marketing service. At Market My Market, we have several years of experience helping lawyers receive more calls and emails from clients they want. Contact us today for a free marketing quote.