Last December Google offered us the opportunity to jointly organise an event for the legal industry – a first for Google (and us!). Fast forward three months to a sunny Spring day (March 4th) and Search Star was at Google's London HQ running a day long conference for 50 senior legal marketers from across the UK.So, what did we learn? Read below for the exec summary or the slides from the event are here.

PPC isn’t just for PI firms

While PI search accounts for the majority of budgets search volumes are actually higher in other areas of B2C law such as immigration, family & property. Additionally there are healthy amount of business to be picked up by firms specialising in IP, commercial property, shipping and even corporate law. The volumes might be smaller but people are still looking, competition (in paid search) is limited and costs are disproportionately low.

Digital disruption is in every industry

User behaviour is rapidly changing and other industries have already had to adapt. The legal industry needs to start planning its transformation now in order to keep up with the exponential pace at which user behaviour now changes. Just look at the overnight uproar Uber caused last year, and who doesn’t know someone that used Airbnb for their latest break away?

Mobile is no longer just an option, it’s a must

Mobile is overtaking desktop as the platform of choice for B2C and B2B. If your site isn’t evolving to embrace mobile users your users will go elsewhere. Pinch and zoom isn’t an option – clear, mobile-first design is the only option.

Make it clear what you’d like people to do

You can’t stand over the shoulder of every user that visits your site to tell them what you'd like them to do next - the design has to do that for you. If you don’t make it easy for potential customers to get in touch or make a compelling reason for them to do so, expect them to go elsewhere.

HIPPOs vs. The People

We've seen countless marketing team's efforts to deliver a brilliant website derailed by a HIPPO (Highest Paid Person's Opinion). A HIPPO in a law firm normally means a Senior Partner whose genius extends beyond law to also encompass web design. Usability experts from Google & Search Star spoke about how you get buy-in from the most senior people within your business to develop a website that works for consumers as well as firm & industry stakeholders.We spoke about how there is a balance to be struck between creating winning USPs and writing oodles of copy to boost the egos of the senior team. We learnt about running A/B tests to identify page versions that put the user first. We had it hammered into us to make the calls to action clear - if you want visitors to call then give them your number and a good reason to call rather than go elsewhere.

Be There, Be Relevant, Be Optimised

Google’s mantra of the moment underpinned the entire day. Every slide, statistic and story reminded us that this was the way to win.

Be There: Find your audience, find out which platform they’re on and make sure you’re there too

Be Relevant: Speak in their language, use their terminology

Be Optimised: Show visitors what you’d like them to do and why they should choose you


So, would we organise the day again? Undoubtedly - we heard some great speakers from Google give their perspective on the legal market, met some interesting firms and did good business. If you'd like to come to the next event or want to talk legal lead generation get in touch.