Big Legal Marketing Tip For 2022

Yes, you read it correctly. Google Searches for Businesses “Near Me” rose 500% in the last several years, according to recent stats. And the stats keep going up. This isn’t just huge for restaurants and retail stores. It’s big news for any business, including law firms. If you are a law firm owner and want to dominate your market, this latest data is almost – and in some cases, MORE important than amassing Online Reviews. In fact, I’d say this dramatic increase means that digital domination now requires a two-punch Strategy.

We all KNOW that 5-star Google Reviews mean visibility and credibility for your business and enhances chances of landing your place on the coveted Google 3-pack.

The more online reviews you amass, the more trust consumers have that your firm is the “right” firm – the “Best” firm – the firm they should hire. Getting a decent number of reviews is necessary to even make the first cut in consumer considerations these days and posting the most online Reviews means you’ll likely be able to DOMINATE your market. At least, that’s what we thought, right?

But recent studies show a particularly important new development in the world of legal marketing. It’s the Google “Near Me” Search Factor. Law Firm Owners who are serious about their firm’s marketing need to be aware of this factor and leverage it in 2022. Recent studies show an unbelievably high surge in consumers looking for goods, services, and businesses “near me.” Some data suggest it’s increased 150%. But other studies show even higher numbers – a 500% or even 700% increase in “Near Me” searches by consumers in the last few years. Even if we can’t be certain of the exact percentage point of the increase, what we know for sure is that consumers searching for businesses “near me” is on the RISE.

This consumer trend is vitally important if you want to stay ahead of the curve, reach more consumers, and sign more cases in 2022. Online Consumers are NO longer just looking at how many 5-star reviews a business has. Not now. What real consumers are searching for, in massive numbers, is what business or service is “near” them. This phenomenon is a prime example of what is now being referred to in marketing terms as the “Micro-Moment.” Micro-Moment Marketing means recognizing and then leveraging the micro-moments where consumers take an impulsive action.

According to Google, the micro-moment is that moment when a consumer turns to a device, like their tablet or smartphone, to immediately or impulsively act on a specific need.

Going Somewhere.

Knowing Something.

Doing Something.

Finding Something.

Buying Something.

The Micro-moment is rich in intention and reflex and where many Consumer decisions are made. “Near me” searches are quintessential Micro-Moment Marketing opportunities for law firm owners who recognize their opportunities in 2022. When they type in that magic query, such as “Personal Injury Lawyer near me” or “Car Accident lawyers near me,” the law firm with the most reviews is NOT what comes up first. Let me repeat this: When someone types in a Lawyer near me search, the firm with the most google online reviews is NOT the first firm that pops up. Instead, in an organic “—— near me” search, the businesses that are closest and have claimed their GMB pages, come up first on the consumer’s screen.

What happens next, for many consumers, will be the proverbial scroll through to see how many 5 star reviews the firm has. So, Online Reviews STILL matter and will likely be the differentiator of the firms that are geographically the closest. But you won’t even make the initial running if you aren’t geographically closest to the consumer. This is some big drumroll and game-changing data. It’s like my mentor, Ken Hardison – the founder and president of PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association) has often said: “Staying on top of Digital Marketing Trends is like trying to paint a moving train.

But if you don’t want to get left in the dust – losing valuable standing, rank, and cases – then you’ve got to be willing to keep your eyes peeled for the important consumer shifts like these. It’s PIVOT or Perish. Well, that might be a tad of an overstatement, but you get the idea. It’s no longer all about the Online Reviews. The thing is this is a moving train you can do something about. Let’s approach this new data methodically. If we know that the search queries for law firms “near me” have increased dramatically, then the next question is: What can we do about it? What can we, as law firm owners, do to get ourselves out there? To take advantage of this surge in “near me” consumer searches?

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