Monday, August 10, 2009

Insurance Defense Internet Marketing

How important is search engine marketing to an insurance defense law firm? The topic came up this weekend as I was making a presentation to a group of insurance defense lawyers.

Speaking, publishing and networking are the old tried and true business development techniques used by most attorneys, and this group was no exception. As the topic turned to Internet marketing, with its emphasis on keywords, meta tags, and search engine visibility, many in the group appeared impassive.

One attendee expressed a belief that many probably were thinking, which is that insurance defense work does not result from incoming leads via the law firm's website.

This is a fair assessment, and I do agree with it. For senior rainmakers with a well established book of business built on long-term relationships, the Internet is probably just a basic marketing requirement similar to a law firm brochure.

However, even insurance company GCs and paralegals turn to the Internet when their referral network does not yield results. This could be particularly true if an insurance carrier needs local counsel outside of their established geographic network of law firms or requires specialized knowledge of an unusual insurance coverage or bad faith matter.

The beauty of Internet marketing is that it is easily measured. A quick search of the Google keyword reseach tool indicates monthly volumes for insurance defense related terms as follows:

550,000 monthly searches for "insurance attorneys"
74,000 searches in June for "insurance attorney"
2,900 searches in June for "insurance defense attorney"
2,600 June searches for forms of "insurance defense lawyer"

Recognizing that "insurance attorneys" could be a search for the plaintiff or defense side, an even split yields 225,000 potential monthly searches. (Email me if you want a copy of the insurance defense keyword research.)

As a legal marketer, I see that law firms get business based on their preferred marketing campaigns. Failure to implement Internet lead generation programs may be leaving money on the table. Law firms with seasoned rainmakers who are thinking of retirement in the next 5-10 years may find that the coveted book of business does not easily carry over to the next generation lawyer in the firm, putting more pressure on other leads sources..

The progressive insurance defense law firm that does understand and appreciate the many benefits to be gained by building a strong Internet marketing campaign will be the beneficiary of an additional stream of new business.

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