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Legal Marketing Directories go Local

Yesterday I had the misfortune of looking for a divorce lawyer in Riverside, (don’t ask), and I came across an interesting website: www.inlandempirelawyers.com. Being that my background is in legal services and marketing, my curiosity was piqued. What I found was that this was what I call a “micro directory” which was created to market lawyers to San Bernardino and Riverside Counties in Southern California. I don’t know if the idea is ridiculous or genius, because when I was browsing the pages all of the attorneys that were featured were very local to the area, something I’ve found very disappointing with other directories that encourage non local lawyers to market in cities where they don’t do business. Is the Internet so fragmented that there’s a market for a legal directory that just focuses on two or three counties? Granted, California has one of the largest attorney populations in the country, but is the demand so high that it warrants such a hyper-localized directory? As I looked through the profiles of the advertising lawyers it appeared that the directory gives more information about the lawyer in one place than even Google. When somebody is reviewing a lawyer to hire, they want the most amount of information possible, and this website delivers better than any other I’ve come across. As an added bonus to the advertisers, the website appears for local searches in Google. For example, if you’re looking for a San Bernardino criminal defense attorney, the practice area page appears within the results.

The bottom line is this; if you’re a lawyer that focuses on consumer plaintiff’s cases you obviously need to have a website. Heck, you may even want to advertise in Google’s Pay-PerClick campaigns. But one thing is for sure, you need to think outside the box. There may be a well positioned local solution that can help you market your law firm, and it will probably cost a lot less than the large legal directory mills. Think of it this way, if you pay $1,000 a month to an optimization company to help keep your firm’s website on page 1 of Google, and another $500 – $1,000 a month to be included in a legal directory, at the end of the year maybe you’ve spent $24,000. As long as you’ve brought in at least 5-6 new clients per month you’ve probably made a 4 to 1 ROI, which is acceptable by most attorney’s standards. If you can pay a fraction of that cost and bring in an additional 2 or 3 new clients than your ROI may jump to 5 to 1, or even 6 to 1. Obviously each lawyer has to do their due diligence, but if the marketing makes sense everything is worth trying once.