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Below is a list of curated statistics regarding law firm marketing. We’ve pruned over a number of studies. We have distilled a list of what we believe to be some of the most relevant and insightful statistics.

Internet Marketing

Search Engine Optimization

  • In 2015, a study showed that on average, 14.8% of people would perform an internet or Google search to find a lawyer, while only 3.7% would find a lawyer through the phonebook or Yellowpages.
  • 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine to find legal information
  • Link building for law firm website SEO still remains very important in order to rank highly in search engines. Our study found that:
    • Criminal defense law and DUI attorney websites averaged 5,744 backlinks across 150 referring domains
    • Family and divorce law firm websites had approximately 3,057 backlinks from 120 domains
    • Personal injury websites had the most at 25,069 backlinks through 264 referring domains
  • 62% of legal searches are non-branded, meaning they don’t include the name of the law firm or lawyer working there, such as “estate lawyer dallas”
  • On average, law firms that specialized or focused on a primary area of law ranked much in search results than full-service law firms:
    • 91.7% of law firms ranking on page 1 for personal injury lawyer in their city focused solely on personal injury and civil litigation
    • 94.4% of law firm sites ranking in the top 10 for criminal defense were criminal defense and DUI focused practices
    • 86.9% of firms ranking for “family lawyer” or “divorce lawyer” in their city were strictly family law practices
  • 78.4% of law firms in a Martindale Nolo survey said that online marketing such as lead generation, SEM, SEO, and social media were their best performing advertising channels
  • Law firm websites with high-quality, blogs generated 85% more backlinks and referring domains than attorney websites that didn’t (215 vs. 116 referring domains)
  • 89% of law firm websites ranking on page 1 of Google for their primary keyword have SSL / HTTPS enabled
  • Our 2019 law firm marketing study found that quality content marketing and blogging performed by law firms had a significant difference in the amount of traffic their websites generated.
    • Law firm websites that had a blog, but were not actively writing new content generated 237% more visitors than websites without a blog
    • Attorney websites that were actively blogging and adding new content generated over 4 more traffic than inactive law firm blogs and 15.9 times more traffic than lawyer websites without a blog
  • In 2012, 21.9% of participants in a study said they would begin searching for a lawyer via search engines with 32.2% of people between 25-34 saying they would use search.

Social Media & Video

  • A 2013 survey of 101 UK-based law firms found that 71% of firms believe that online media will play a more important role than print media in the future and 74% encouraged employees to engage in social media on the firm’s behalf
  • 54% of legal consumers said they were likely to hire an attorney active on social media
  • YouTube sees 25% of people actively researching legal topics via video
  • Law firms publishing video content on social media increase their website traffic by over 41% compared to other types of media shared on social
  • Law firms using found that they could increase their organic search traffic by 157% when using video marketing
  • 62% of users associate a negative brand image with a law firm using video when the video quality is poor.

Website

  • 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action
  • In a study by imarc in 2016, 70% of law firms they studied generated new cases through their website
  • As of 2012, 35% of law firm websites had a design update in the last 3 years.
  • Our 2019 study of law firm websites ranking on the first page for their primary keyword, we found that 71% of law firm websites had been updated in the past 3 years and 35% had been updated in the last year

How Law Firms Operate

Intake Process

  • Law firms follow up with leads before giving up
    • 21.4% reach out only once
    • 63.9% of law offices attempt to reach a prospect 2 to 3 times
    • 11.9% reach out between 4 to 6 times

Law Firm Marketing

  • 26% of law firms said they don’t track their leads at all
  • A survey of law firms found that 54% actively market to acquire new clients
  • 65% of law firms said that over 50% of their marketing spend is committed to online marketing activities.
    • 39.6% of firms spent between 76% to 100% of their marketing budgets in online activities.
  • A 2018 legal trends report by Clio found that law firms average an NPS (net promoter score) of 25% which falls below airlines and banks. Some significant impacts on a law firm’s NPS are:
    • Overall cost of services: 15%
    • Ease of understanding case expectations: 13%
    • Responsiveness to email, phone, text: 10%
    • Ease of getting information on case status: 9%

Consumer Behavior

  • 57.7% of 1600 survey participants said they never hired a lawyer, while 8.3% had hired in the past 6 months, 4.1% had hired in the past year and 18.1% had engaged a lawyer’s services more than 5 years ago.
  • A Google survey found that 49% of people research their legal issue prior to hiring a lawyer
  • Nearly 6 out of 10 people who have legal issues they consider serious contact a legal professional:
    • 21% of people said they decided to handle the matter on their own
    • 20% seek help from family and friends
    • 19% of people first look to research their legal issue, seeking free, online information
  • 72% of consumers prefer to contact an attorney via phone call, whereas only 10% wished to contact a lawyer via email
  • 71% of legal survey respondents say they use mobile phones to search for a lawyer or other legal solution
  • 22% of consumers prefer to avoid hiring a lawyer, with some of the following reasons being:
    • 32% of consumers said that hiring a lawyer is too much trouble and 39% imagine working with a lawyer to be an overwhelming experience
    • 53% of people don’t believe that working with a lawyer is a pleasant experience
    • 21% of consumers don’t believe that a lawyer is worth the money

Finding a Lawyer

  • Of people conducting legal research online, 69% use both a desktop or laptop as well as a mobile device when performing searches (Google Legal Services Study Sept 2013)
  • 58% of people seeking legal representation want to find an attorney within a week of starting their search
  • 17.8% of people between 18-24 years old said they would seek a lawyer via an internet search, 12.1% said they would ask their friends for recommendations and 7.8% said they would use word of mouth
  • Less than 2% of survey respondents said they would use the phonebook to find a lawyer
  • Out of 400 legal service consumers, 57% responded they would use a smartphone to search for a lawyer 
    • Yet only 31% said they would only use a mobile phone 
    • While 26% said they would use a combination of a PC and a phone
    • Finally, 25% said they would only use a PC to search for a lawyer

How do they Decide?

  • People seeking legal representation, 78% believe it’s important to have a local attorney (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2017)
  • Only 13.6% of people said that the most critical factor of hiring a lawyer they found online was how close the law office was on the map in relation to the user
    • This means that 86.4% of people don’t think it is imperative to find a lawyer nearby to them
  • The impression based on a lawyer or law firm’s web design for 11.1% of survey participants was among the most important factors in making a decision to hire the firm
  • 41% of consumers said they would travel up to 30 miles to visit their lawyer’s office
    • 34% said they would travel 15 miles away
    • 19% said they would travel 60 miles away
    • 6% would travel up to 120 miles away
  • Only 35% said that their decision to hire a lawyer was impacted by the fact that they trusted the lawyer
  • 46% of consumers of legal services say that expertise is the most important factor for hiring a lawyer
    • 37% of consumers said that word-of-mouth and recommendations were the most important factor in hiring an attorney
    • 64% of the same group said they only contacted one attorney
  • Over 4 out of 5 survey participants said that years of experience a law firm had was important to them76% said that price/rates/fee structure was important
    • ⅔ of participants said that past case results would impact their decision to hire an attorney
    • If you were considering placing one of the many award logos that lawyers can buy nowadays, only 15% of respondents said that awards and memberships were important
    • 51% said having legal information regarding their type of legal matter played an impact on deciding to hire a lawyer

Referrals & Reviews

  • The number of people who would choose a lawyer based on referrals was found to increase with every age bracket, where 2.8% was the referral rate for people between 18-24 years old and 11.1% of people ages 45-65+ said they found their lawyer through referrals.
  • 27.9% of people said they would work with a lawyer if they had heard of them through a friend, were referred to or heard about them through word-of-mouth
  • According to a FindLaw survey, word-of-mouth referrals while still, a major source of business for the legal industry is down 12% in the past 2 years
    • Internet searches to find a lawyer are up 14% in the same time from
  • Less than 10% of survey respondents said that online reviews were not important at all in their process of hiring an attorney
    • From the same report, 56% of legal consumer respondents said that online reviews either played an important or very important role in their decision to hire an attorney
  • When asked if a law firm with mostly positive reviews, but some negative online reviews, 92% of 400 respondents said they would still consider hiring that firm
    • Over 60% of respondents said that Google reviews platform was most important 
    • Followed by Facebook and Yelp at 18% and 16%, respectively
    • Only 5% said Avvo (a lawyer-specific review site) was important

Conclusion & Comments

The statistics gathered above were selected from a number of studies and surveys conducted from 2012 to 2019. Law firm marketing has changed over time. What used to work to acquire new clients and manage a legal practice may not work today.

With the number of new and rising technologies changing the way that we do everything; interact with the world, consume media and even how we marketed to. It’s our hope that these stats provided you some useful insights into how to better market and grow your law firm.