Are you a lawyer or an attorney? Actually, it DOES make a difference.

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I always thought that lay people use the word “lawyer” more than “attorney” and that attorneys do the opposite. “Attorney” has a slightly more professional ring to it, doesn’t it? After all, it’s “District Attorney,” “Attorney General,” and, “Attorney at Law”.

It turns out that our clients also prefer “attorney.” At least that’s what the search statistics tell us.

Search engine expert Mark Sprague found that attorney has nearly twice the search engine traffic as lawyer. “Consumers favor the term attorney over lawyer. You should use both, but attorney should be the dominant term in your web page copy,” he says.

This applies, of course, to articles, blog posts, tweets, social media profiles, and other online content.

You can read the results of search study here. Hat tip to Larry Bodine who brought this to my attention.

The data also show how people with a legal issue go about their searches. They don’t start by looking for a lawyer, they start by seeking information. This confirms the need to focus your online marketing efforts on creating content that speaks to those issues. You can do this with articles, blog posts, case studies, FAQ’s, and success stories.

Help prospective clients find you by providing information about the law and procedure as they relate to their legal issues. Describe their rights and their duties. Tell them their options, the possible penalties and available remedies.

What do prospective clients and new clients always ask you? Put the answers to those questions online.

You can spend a lot of time and money tweaking your web site to maximize search engine traffic. A much simpler approach is to provide the information people search for before they search for an attorney. When they go to your web site first, there’s a good chance they will see you as the solution to their problem and never look anywhere else.

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