Thursday, July 24, 2014


There is a good deal of discussion these days about client/case conversion but what attorneys often fail to realize is something that the insurance companies learned a long time ago: most people buy from the first responder. Geico, who has literally spent billions of dollars on their brand name alone, found in their own studies that most people will only get one insurance quote and then buy from that firm. When it comes to attorneys, people’s buying habits are no different.

In FindLaw’s recently released 2014 consumer legal needs survey they found that fully 72% of respondents indicated that they only contacted one attorney before selecting them. The remaining 15% contacted two attorneys and 13% three attorneys. In short, nearly ¾ of consumers do not continue to shop around after initially contacting an attorney.


We know from previous studies that people will on average look at 4.8 attorney websites before they contact a firm – so they ARE shopping around. The issue here is that the shopping process for attorneys ends 72% of the time after the initial contact is made.

So what can be done to help improve this process BEFORE the initial contact is made…


Online consumer opinions were the backbone to building such websites as, ebay, Yelp and others. Why? Because 79% of consumers now indicate that they trust online opinions about you. This is important for attorneys because many page-one search results for attorneys and/or law firms include consumer opinion sites like Yelp, AVVO, Google local and others. So have you created a strategy to manage your brand reputation online? Remember: if you do not proactively define your brand, others will define it for you. Since most referrals are given out in numbers, write down the names of your top 3-5 referrals competitors. Next, Google their names and firm names and look at the results – compare them to yours. Finally, look at their websites and also compare them to yours. If you were an objective consumer who has never used an attorney before, which search results impress you the most? If it is not you, you have work to do here.


Is your online presence an accurate reflection of what you want people to think of your firm (your brand)? As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Most attorneys today already have a website so the question is moving beyond “IF” you need a website to now “HOW” you need a website. Most of your new and referral clients are looking at your website and formulating an opinion about you BEFORE they ever contact you. They are also increasing looking beyond your website alone to look for more information about you from other resources.  In a growing number of instances, we are seeing these “delayed conversions” in excess of 60% of the time.


Most attorneys limit their brand and online presence to a website alone and in most cases; their websites fail to provide high visibility in Google for anything beyond their own names. As we have previously discussed, a website is like a book and in order for search engines like Google to be able to properly index and display your website for desired searches, you have to structure the website optimally to do so.  Additionally, your brand footprint should extend well beyond just your website alone so you can create additional citations to support your brand. People who don’t know you won’t always trust what you tell them on your website alone – they want citations to support it. These can come from videos, rating & accreditation websites, news, social media and others. Want a great example of how this can look? Try this one:


We know from the same FindLaw survey that 74% of contacts attorneys receive are by phone while only 7% are by email and 2% by online contact form.  We also know from other surveys that 80% of callers will hang-up when they get a voicemail. I am still amazed at how many times I will call a law firm on hours and off hours and receive a voicemail or no answer within 5-7 rings. If a caller receives and voicemail and/or if they hear 5-7 rings or more, you are sending them a message (intentional or not) that your contact is not of high importance to them.  If you do not have a live body answering the phone quickly 24/7 you are losing client and cases – period!

In summary, people shop around for attorneys but 72% of the shopping stops at the first attorney they contact. Since the majority of the decisions the consumers and referrals make about you comes from their research online BEFORE they contact you, you need to be smart, proactive and competitive in your evaluations of how you can become the first attorney they chose to contact. You also need to make sure that they way the majority of them prefer to contact you (PHONE) leads to a conversion and not a hang-up. 

#lawyermarketing  #attorneymarketing #sales #business #law #attorney  #lawyer #sales manager

Friday, July 11, 2014

AZ Bar Association Phoenix CLE: Social Media For Attorneys (1 Credit)

Dustin Ruge will be speaking at the AZ Bar Association (Phoenix HQ) on the importance and strategies surrounding social media for attorneys on July 11th @ 12 noon. Presentation will be live and available via webcast.

For more information and registration:  AZ Bar Association CLE Programs

Date & Time: Friday, July 11th at 12 noon

CLE Credits: 1

Location: 4201 North 24th Street, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Faculty: Dustin Ruge

#cle  #socialmedia #lawyermarketing

Friday, June 13, 2014

Upcoming AZ Bar Association CLE: Social Media For Attorneys (Ethics Credits)

The Arizona Bar Association with host a CLE presentation on the changing role that social media has on attorneys and how to best utilize such vehicles to improve and grow your practice. Attorneys come away with a better understanding of trends in social media, social media best practices to promote your law firm and the importance of social media policies.

  • Develop a social media strategy for your firm
  • Create social media policies for your firm

SEMINAR CHAIR: Dustin Ruge, Regional Manager, FindLaw

Time & Location:

June 30, 2014
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Arizona)
00676-SRO- State Bar of Arizona Southern Regional Office(23)
270 N. Church Suite 100
Tucson, AZ 85701

1.5 CLE
1.5 Ethics  


#CLE  #attorneyCLE  #continuinglegaleducation #lawyermarketing

Monday, June 9, 2014

26% of Car Crashes Caused By Cell Phone Use

Many personal injury and criminal defense attorneys fail at advertising due to the lemming syndrome. Most will write the same content, advertise in the same ways, do what everybody else does and then expect a different result. The bottom line is there is far to much competition today to be successful as a Lemming. You need to become unique, learn how to set yourself apart and the first place to start is with the facts...

In March, the National Safety Council released their 2014 injury facts report that included a few key findings:
26% of car crashes caused by cell phone use

- Poisoning & Drug Overdoses were the leading causes of death in 18 states. This inludes death from perscription pain killers
- Cell Phone use is involved with 26% of all car crashes  - an increase from previous years.
- Only 5% of the 26% of cell phone usage involved texting.
- Motor vehicle crashes still remain the #1 cause of death for teens
- The mostly costly Workers Compensation claims in time and money involve head and nervous system injuries.
- The number of Elder adult falls have increased by 112% since 1999
- Deaths involving motor vehicles are highest in July and lowest in February.
- Alcohol related driving deaths are the highest during the 3 days around New Years.

What does this mean for Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Attorneys:

1.) How are you marketing and creating content around cell phone injuries and accidents? Texting is getting a lot of press these days but talking is still the cause 4X more often
2.) How much content do you have around poisoning and prescription drug overdoses? Most attorneys have very little marketing content & focus for the #1 cause of death in many states.
3.) How are you better targeted teen related motor vehicle accidents and deaths? Do you have targeted marketing around this?
4.) Why are elder falls increasing? Is there an increase in negligence?
5.) Instead of vacationing in July, how are your INCREASING your marketing around motor vehicle deaths that month?
6.) Are you celebrating New Years with a drink in your hand or receiving calls from other people who were and are now in trouble? What are you doing to increase your awareness for these during these critical few days and who is taking your calls at 2am in the morning to convert them?

#personalinjury  #criminaldefense  #accidents  #accidentnews  #carcrash

Friday, June 6, 2014

Organic Search & Google + Lead The Way on ROI (Return On Investment)

So how does the Return On Investment (ROI) for Organic Search compare to PPC (Pay Per Click or Google Adwords) advertising?  This is a question I receive on almost a daily basis from attorneys.

A recent survey by BrightLocal was conducted to determine the highest levels of ROI -  and the results may be surprising to some. We often think in the context of organic search versus PPC but what this surveys shows is that we may be missing one of the most important and fasting growing tools of all: Google + / Google Local.

Since 2009, we have been posting countless articles on the importance of local search for attorneys  as well as the recent emergence and importance of Google +. Google, who is now in effect the traffic cop of the internet, has made it abundantly clear that Google + will be integral to the use of their other services - including Google Local which is a must for attorneys.

So the next time you are debating whether your search strategy should include organic or PPC, make sure you are not missing out on #2: Google+ / Local. Additionally, a lot of attorneys today are  spending heavy on social media and most do nothing to feed their Google + strategy beyond a simple setup. These results should also question that thinking as well...

#lawyermarketing #attorney #lawyer

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Attorneys Tips To Using LinkedIn - Customizing URL's & Opposing Counsel Searches #lawyermarketing #linkedin

Two of the most common questions I receive when conducting my CLE's for LinkedIn Networking For Attorneys are the following:

"How can I customize the URL (Website address) for my LinkedIn Profile?"

"How can I turn off notifications others receive when I view their LinkedIn Profiles?" 

Both of these are important questions for attorneys that use LinkedIn for the following reasons:
  1. LinkedIn profiles will system generate a URL address that is not user friendly until changed. Because if this, it can be very difficult to easily publish and reference and profile address on a website, collateral, business cards, and when speaking to others. For example, a system generated profile link may look something like: when it can be easily customized to Now which one do you think will look better on a business card? 
  2. When a person looks at another person's profile on LinkedIn, that person whose profile has been viewed will receive a notification in LinkedIn about who viewed them. This may be harmless enough unless you are an attorney and don't want other people like opposing counsel, juror's, etc. to see that you were reviewing their public profile information. LinkedIn provides you with the capability to turn off this view notification but in doing so, they also disable the ability for you to see which people have viewed your profile as well. So you have to ask yourself if turning off this capability can be useful for you or not? In most cases I advise attorneys to only disable this capability when doing these types of searches and revert back when not. You can easily do this by following the instructions below or simply clicking on this link.

Customizing Your URL in LinkedIn

How To Personalize LinkedIn URL Address
How To Personalize A LinkedIn Profile Address

Disabling View Notifications in LinkedIn 
 #lawyermarketing #socialmedia  #linkedIn  #attorneymarketing  #linkedincle  #clelinkedin

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One Out Of Every Three Reviews On Yelp Could Potentially Hurt Your Law Firm #lawyermarketing

Today a story was released in the WSJ about a lawsuit filed against sites that host and manage customer reviews of their companies online. One of the most prominent review sites, Yelp, is at the center of the story. According to one carpet cleaning business owner, his business was negatively impacted by as much as 30% following a rash of negative reviews on Yelp.

As we have previously posted, user reviews are critical when it comes to brand management for attorneys. I recently visited with an attorney who had two reviews on Yelp - one of which was highly negative. When I showed her a search of what her potential referral clients see when they Google her name, Yelp was right there are the top - with a 3 star rating. When I asked her if she was aware of this, she said that a number of clients has mentioned it to her over the past few months. Which leads me to the following question; if this many people would mention it to you, how many more would not? Moreover, how many of those have now become lost cases and clients? 

We know from studies by AC Nielsen in 2009 that 70% of people now trust online consumer opinions. When referrals are given out, they are typically given in numbers which means you have competition for that client / case. Now that your referral clients are increasingly reviewing you online before and after your initial meeting with them, you need to know and more importantly, better manage your brand reputation and reviews online.

According to this chart on Yelp reviews, fully 34% (1/3) of all reviews on Yelp are three stars or less. That means negative reviews and lost business for attorneys with negative reviews and increased business for those without them.

Which option best appeals to you?

#lawyermarketing  #brandmanagement #seo #yelp