The other day I was sitting in my mechanic’s lobby getting my air conditioner fixed when I noticed a car getting hauled in on the back of a flat bed. The passenger’s side front end of the car was mangled beyond repair, fluid still leaking everywhere, clearly totaled. I then watched a car pull in right behind the flatbed and watched a man, couldn’t be any older than 35, get out of the passenger seat and proceed to walk into the lobby. The man tells the mechanic that he was hit by a guy who ran a red light and was needing a quote for the repair for insurance purposes. The mechanic takes one look, shakes his head, and says, “Son, that car is WAY beyond repair.”
The mechanic then agreed to document everything that is damaged and said to wait in the lobby. The man looked relatively unscathed from the accident, which surprised me by the way the car looked. The man proceeds to take a seat and pulls out his phone and begins furiously typing away at his keyboard (he had the sound on and it drove me crazy). In an attempt to get him to stop the loud clicking and clacking of his iPhones keyboard, I drummed up conversation. I asked what happened, if he is injured, etc. He mentions that his back is pretty torn up and that he was on his phone texting an attorney that he found on Thumbtack. I played dumb, knowing exactly what Thumbtack is, and asked what that was. He proceeds to explain it’s an app in which you can explain what you need, get quotes from people in your area, and communicate directly with them.
Thumbtack is one way that people are now finding attorneys online, using only their mobile phone. This got me thinking, if a gentlemen is using his phone in a mechanic’s front lobby to talk with an attorney, I wonder what other ways people find attorneys online.
The Yelp Elite Reviewer
“The restaurant was clean and had a terrific ambiance. Light classical music was playing in the background and was at a great volume, unlike other restaurants I go to. The wait staff were friendly and very attentive. Everything was great until my rack of lamb came out…”
There are large groups of people in the world who love rating the experiences they have in their day-to-day life. From restaurants to HVAC repair to attorneys, Yelp gives people a platform to find businesses and review them, however generous or harsh the reviewer wants to be. Yelp even rewards their users who leave a large amount of reviews. It is no surprise that these Yelp elite reviewers, if in need of legal services, will open up their Yelp app and start searching. Oh, and you better do a good job, because they won’t be afraid to leave a bad review.
The Facebook Addict
Instead of searching for a score to satisfy their fix, a Facebook addict is sharing what they made for breakfast (probably a recipe they found on Facebook) in order to satisfy their need for needless validation from their friends. They eat, sleep, breathe, share, comment, water their crops (is Farmville still a thing?), and even read the news from within the Facebook app on their phone. What do you think they will do when they need help with an estate plan? Or get into an accident? Are you willing to chat with someone over Facebook messenger? Do you check your Facebook inbox?
The Compulsive Texter
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone and during the conversation they whip out their phone and start clicking away, all while not breaking eye contact? I know I sure have. It is the most frustrating (and weirdly talented) thing I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t know if I am more upset with the fact that someone can’t spend a couple minutes talking without using their phone, or the fact they can type a perfect text message without looking whereas I have to backspace 100 times just to say “Hey, what are you doing tonight?”
Anyway, I was talking with an attorney at a CLE presentation I gave recently and we were talking about millennials and mobile and he stated that his primary form of communication with almost 90% of his client base is through text message only. He said that he doesn’t even talk on the phone much; it’s almost all text or email.
Hopefully you are a good texter, because I can guarantee you that there are clients you will take who would prefer texts over email for their primary communication channel.
“Siri, how tall is the Eiffel Tower?”
“The Eiffel Tower is 954 feet tall.” People will ask Siri anything. I know I spent a lot of time when I first got my iPhone asking Siri a slew of random questions to try and get funny answers and to see how much this robot in my phone actually knows. Siri is quite helpful once you understand what type of queries that Siri excels at.
Local based searches are quite powerful using Siri, as your phone uses your geo-location to find the most relevant results near you. If you are searching for Mexican restaurants, try asking Siri, “Where are the closest Mexican restaurants?” The same thing can be done for attorneys, and people are doing it. “Siri, how do I draft a will?” “Find me the closest estate planning attorney.”
Back to the basics
Let’s not rule out the number one way people find attorneys online in 2017, Google. Even on a mobile device people are conditioned to navigate to their phone’s browser and do a quick Google search on any topic. Take that a step further with Google phones and users can simply ask their phone, “Ok Google… [insert query here]”
Our data shows that almost half of all incoming traffic from Google is on a mobile device. One of the best ways to capture leads from a mobile device is through ads, as the real estate is a lot more important on a mobile device than a desktop due to the amount of results shown above the fold.
It is no surprise that mobile traffic is going to continue to increase. With all of the new apps coming out, websites being developed, and ecosystems that people live in, it is hard to tell exactly where your next lead will come from. This is why having a well rounded SEO strategy can help set you up for success by being wherever users are comfortable searching.