Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Important for both
Civil Lawyers and Criminal Defense Attorneys
Search Engine Marketing Narrows the Target Market for Lawyers
Most lawyers or attorneys have law firms that are focused in specific legal practice areas. There are distinctly different clientele depending on which legal practice area your law firm specializes in. This is precisely why search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important for law firms in better targeting their intended market for legal services. Each consumer market that these law firms are generating sales leads from has turned to the internet to research their legal service options and abandoned print advertising. 
Increasing Competition Among Law Firms = Limited Window of Opportunity
If you are still dedicating your marketing resources to traditional advertising media like or television commercials, you are missing the limited ‘window of opportunity’ that SEO – Search Engine Optimization provides to secure an increasingly important internet presence and you probably won’t look as savvy to your target market as other lawyers who have.
The advertising money spent on traditional print advertising and print advertising mediums have each been surpassed by recent ad spending revenues reported for internet marketing expenditures. 
This ‘Tipping Point’ will be marked by rapid transitions by the sharper law firms, as the finite resources (respectable domain names) and the affect of tenure on internet rankings is recognized.
Small Law Firms and Sole Law Practitioners are taking on Partners and Market Share as Big Law Firms face Defections of Key Partners and an Erosion of Traditional Legal Fee Pricing. Virtual Law Firms (with minimal overhead costs) are creating a quantum shift. 
Major News Media Sources Report the Importance of an Attorney’s Web Presence
Reputable news sources like CNN and The New York Times, as well as sources specific to the law services industry (e.g., ABAjournal.com, CorpCounsel.com, etc.) have reported how even after receiving word of mouth referrals, even sophisticated in-house counsel (lawyers who serve as the general counsel of major companies) admit to searching ‘word of mouth’ referrals on Google , Bing and Yahoo and checking websites rankings and website content for a lawyer’s relevant law expertise for a given legal matter (as documented in the respective lawyer’s website profile). 
Whether you are a small legal office practicing criminal law or a major international law firm courting corporate general counsel – your target market has turned their attention to the internet to research the background of potential attorneys or lawyers they hire. To have the competitive advantage over your fellow lawyers and law firms, think about spending your marketing dollars on SEO for Attorneys.
Below are citations from conference reports of general counsel panelists who acknowledge that they routinely perform basic internet searches on prospective lawyers or law firms before making hiring decisions.
 Law Firm Marketing Survey Reveals Executives Rely on the Internet to Find Lawyers.
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 American Bar Association February 2011 Public Opinion Poll on Finding Legal Services
 Which Law Firm Owns the Most Digital Real Estate?
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(As originally published in the National Law Journal on November 15, 2010; reproduced on ABAJournal.com Thursday, December 2, 2010)
 Panelists tackle the perennial question: What Do General Counsel Want?
Janet Ellen Raasch
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