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Looking for an attorney? Here are 5 tips to help you understand attorney advertising online.

Does the attorney use press releases as an advertisement? There are many attorneys who think that by sending out press releases which simply screams out to the world that they are available to handle personal injury and accident and medical malpractice and wrongful death cases that it means that they are the right attorneys for you. Many attorneys still think that by sending out extremely loud short messages saying "please call me because I'm a lawyer" means that someone should actually pick up the phone to call them. The problem with this method of advertising is that it fails to give the viewer a reason why they should call that particular lawyer. Keep in mind that that lawyer might be the ideal one for your particular case. However, look critically at the information they are providing to you, which brings me to tip number two. 

Look carefully to see whether the attorney is providing you with information that will help you make an educated decision about which attorney is right for you.  Many times the information you see online may be nothing more than an attorney advertisement or short 30 second commercial providing you with no real information. You need to ask how this attorney can help solve your legal problem from the information they are providing to you. When they say "Call me," ask yourself "Why?"

How did you find this attorney?  This is important. Did you find the attorney while doing a Google search? Do they appear only in the paid advertising section of the search engines? Did you know that lawyers pay to have their names and ads displayed at the top of Google and also on the right-hand side of Google? Those ads are known as "pay-per-click" ads.  The search results that appear in the main portion of the page are known as "organic" search results. What is the difference? The difference is that in the organic search results, Google ranks those websites and blogs in order of how relevant and significant the content is to your search query. Does this mean that lawyers who only use pay per click advertisements are not the right attorney for you? The answer is no. You won't know that until you click on their website and read the information they have to offer you. Then, by looking critically at the information they provide on their website will you get an idea as to whether that law firm is the right one for you; whether they have the right experience in handling your type of case; and whether they are a solo practitioner, medium-size firm or a large firm.

When you do an attorney search online for your local geographical area, is this lawyer in the organic search results? If you clicked on an attorney website because of a press release, or a paid advertisement, ask yourself why that attorney's website does not appear on the first few pages of the major search engines. In other words, why do they need to rely on paid advertising to have their name displayed on the first page of Google? Most  law firm websites that show up in the organic search results on the first few pages of Google provide relevant and significant content that Google thinks is important to your search terms. As always, you must read carefully any information on any attorney website.

Conclusion:

When searching for an attorney online, you want to be as informed as possible to give you the best chance of finding the right attorney for you. Only by educating yourself can you make the proper decision about which lawyer is the best fit for your problem.

Here's a neat little trick that will tell you a lot about any attorney that you call: when you're done talking to the attorney ask him if he would recommend another lawyer who he feels is a great attorney that he could recommend to you in the event you choose not to hire him. If the attorney balks, ask why he's hesitant to give you this information. If he gives it to you willingly, then he's comfortable with his abilities and confident you'll come to him even though you're giving him someone else's name.
Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer