In case you are wondering if digital marketing makes sense for a legal practice, just take a look at this article from the National Law Review from two years back. Among other statistics mentioned in the article, it says that 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine, 38% of people use the web to find an attorney, 74% of consumers visit a law firm's website and that 62% of all legal searches do not include the name of a practice (like for example, Tucson divorce attorney). Keep in mind that these statistics are a few years old, meaning that only more people go online for their legal needs today.
In short, people look for lawyers online and a legal firm that wants to do business will want to do digital marketing. More precisely, it will want to do search marketing which ensures their website ranks higher in search engines when their potential clients search for things like injury lawyer in X or Y.
In order to do so, law firms will want to do local search marketing.
People need lawyers near them
The first reason why local search marketing works for law firms is that, except in some very particular cases, need lawyers that are near them. If you live in Parramatta, Australia, you will search for and hire a Parramatta lawyer and not an Orlando, FL lawyer. People need someone who will be able to represent them in the local court and they will almost invariably include their location when they search for a lawyer in their area.
People want lawyers they can sit down withAnother reason why people always search for lawyers with location-sensitive inquiries is that the clients want to sit down with their lawyer, sooner or later. You can provide consultations on the phone or even via the email, but sitting down face-to-face is something that has to happen at one point in the relationship. Because of this, people want to find someone in their area, someone they will not have to take half a day to visit. Your clients will be your neighbors and they need to be able to find you.
People want lawyers who know the AreaA big part of finding a lawyer is finding someone who knows local laws, which can be quite idiosyncratic in certain cases and this is why a local lawyer is a must. In addition to knowing local laws and regulations, local law firms will also have contacts that will help with the clients' cases. For example, they will know people in the local police enforcement, emergency hospitals and other organizations that might be of use down the line.
Google knows everyone's locationEven if the clients weren't using location operators, Google already knows where everyone is and over the years, their engine has evolved so as to provide everyone with results that make sense for them. In the case of law firms, a potential client can search for a criminal lawyer near me and Google will know exactly where they are, boosting local results based on this location. And you will not want to rank for criminal lawyer near me, you will want to rank for your actual location. The days of simple keywords are long behind us.
Aggregator sites are too strongAggregator websites like Yelp and Avvo, for example, have become too strong and they dominate results for local businesses. You do not want to fight them. Instead, you will want to use them and actually rank in them. This will involve profile optimization and perhaps even paid ads with those aggregators, but it will make sense in the long run.