Case Study: How To Do Social For Lawyers

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 1,000 times: social media doesn’t work in legal. (Seriously – we’ve said it here, and we have a running office joke that we’re going to fix all of our client’s problems by curating Pinterest boards.)

What follows is a tale of extraordinary social media success; the story of a law firm that multiplied their traffic by 1800% overnight with one blog post.

The aforementioned client isn’t new to the Internet – they’ve been doing quite well for themselves for years. Here is their all traffic graph for January through May 2015. Traffic is bumping along at ~1,200 sessions/week – pretty good for a law firm.


Here is that same graph if you extend the date range to include the first two weeks of June:


You’re seeing that right – 22,335 sessions in one week.

Here is the social only traffic (broken down by day, this time):


The high point? 4,295 unique visitors in one day.

As a result of this blog post, the client received over 500 form fills and so many phone calls the front desk literally could not handle the volume. On the third day of the phone ringing off the hook we replaced the phone number on the blog post to send callers directly to a call center dedicated for this purpose.

So How’d They Do It?

  1. Relevant, timely, and interesting content…
  2. Promoted via social media advertising…
  3. Using a very small budget.

The firm is based in the Midwest, and practices personal injury, employment, and class action law. They’ve been regularly writing blog posts for a while now, promoting a select few via Facebook and LinkedIn promoted posts. While many have done well, none have had the incredible success of the case in point.

So why did it succeed? It is high quality, but not a literary masterpiece. It’s well structured, grammatically correct, and contains links to related resources. It provides valuable information that isn’t being published anywhere else and it’s relevant to things happening right now, and it was highly targeted to reach those directly invested in its topic.

Additionally, it was promoted via social media advertising, not just posted on social media. The chances that simply posting an article to your law firms Facebook page will generate clients is next to zero. Those chances are greatly improved if you pay to ensure that that article is put in front of a relevant audience.

Unfortunately for those trying to replicate this success, there is no shortcut or magic pill that can make your phone ring off the hook. This is a classic example of hard work paying off and committing to a plan. The firm could have sworn off blogging after the first 10 posts didn’t result in much, but they stuck to it and always followed the golden rule: produce high quality, relevant content.

Oh, and the total spend to date? $110, give or take a buck.

How To Set Up Pharmaceutical PPC for Law Firms

According to Adwords Policies, Google restricts the promotion of healthcare-related content such as prescription medication. This does not mean, however, that law firms cannot advertise to those who may have been injured by said prescription drugs. It is possible (and in compliance with AdWords Policies) to run informational ads involving pharmaceutical drugs – if you can figure out how.

The key lies in a Pharmaceutical Informational Certification. Here’s how to get one:

Step 1. Build your PPC Campaigns

Create your PPC campaign like you normally would. You’ll likely encounter your first hurdle if you mention a specific drug name in your ads. You will get the following alert when attempting to save your ad:

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 11.06.57 AM

Press the + Details button, and you’ll get the following message:

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 11.07.09 AM

Assuming your ads are indeed not promoting pharmaceuticals, select the request a review box, and save your ad.

Step 2. Check Ad/Keyword Status

Once your ads have been approved, it may appear that your campaigns are ready to rumble. Your keywords will likely show an Eligible status, as shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 11.04.20 AM

Your ads will show the following limited approval message – with the links taking you to Google’s Advertising Policies re: Healthcare and Medicines.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 11.18.10 AM

While that all seems swell, if you were to leave your campaign to run you’d find it wouldn’t get any clicks/impressions. To get the full picture, hover over the comment bubble in the status column of an individual ad or keyword. In all likelihood, you’ll get the red arrow of doom letting you know that, no, your ads are not running because:

Your ads relate to a restricted product or service. In order for your ads to start running, you’ll need to apply for specific approval.

You with your logical mind are probably assuming this notice will link to a page where you can apply for specific approval. While that would be nice, in reality you will be taken to Google’s support page for “Ads not showing: What can I do?”, suggesting you raise your quality score or raise your bid. Therefore, your next step is to…

Step 3. Contact AdWords Support

Reach out to an AdWords Support Specialist and ask for a Pharmaceutical Informational Certification. However, before you do, ensure your website meets the following criteria:

  • Physical address of your law firm is present on site
  • Pharmaceutical name is not in your domain name (Google will refer to this as your URL, but in our experience they really mean domain. For example, is not going to work, but is fine)
  • Information about each individual lawyer (in the form of a biography)

Where’d we get the list? Directly from the Support Specialists we’ve been in contact with. Both have claimed this information is not available in the AdWords Help documentation because “there are too many business types to list them all out.” Interpret that as you will (and if anyone has been able to find documentation on this, let us know!).

Nonetheless, those appear to be the three things required. Once you’ve made sure your site is up to snuff, open up a chat with an AdWords Help specialist and ask for a Pharmaceutical Informational Certification for a law firm. They’ll verify your site meets the three qualifications above, and then, if all goes well, escalate your account to the policy team.

Step 4. Wait

At some point in the hopefully near future, you’ll receive and email from your AdWords Support Specialist letting you know the deal. It’ll look something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.00.43 AM

Yes, you read that correctly. Your account goes from your AdWords Support Specialist, is escalated to the Policy team, returned back to your AdWords Support Specialist, escalated to the Ads Approval Team, and returned back to your AdWords Support Specialist.

Once that dance is done, your AdWords Support Specialist will call you and let you know you’ve received your Pharmaceutical Informational Certification! In theory, all of this escalation and de-escalation will lead to the certification being applied to your domain within 24 hours of your initial inquiry.

Pat yourself on the back, crack open a beer, and bemoan the $60+ CPC’s you’ll soon get to endure.

Why It Takes 5 Years for Email to Generate 1 Law Firm Client

Fortunately, lawyers haven’t stumbled all over themselves in a rush to adopt email marketing in the same way they have social media . . . BUT I still see email marketing being pitched as a primary client development tool.  And rarely does the email newsletter pan out.  The reality is, there are many many steps in the law firm email sales funnel – and every step can torpedo this channel. Here’s the simple math you need to consider when investing in an email marketing campaign:

  • Decay Rate of Email List:  Emails don’t tend to hang around for long – people change jobs, cancel addresses or simply abandon a legacy address.  Towerdata states roughly 2% of an email list is lost every month.
  • Deliverability Rate:  Not all commercial email ever makes it through to an inbox due to spam filters and the like.  ClickZ sites an 88.5% deliverability rate for commercial email.
  • Open Rate:   Mailchimp sites an open rate for 21.33% for legal emails – essentially meaning for those emails that do make it to an inbox – only one in five is actually opened.
  • Click Through Rate:  The same Mailchimp study points to a 3.25% click through rate (note that a good email should have your phone number so they can call you directly.)

Now, let’s make some optimistic assumptions about law firm marketing:

  • Small to medium sized law firms get roughly 300-800 visits monthly.  Let’s round up and call it  1,000 and very optimistically assume one out of every twenty five visitors signs up for your newsletter (resulting in 40 addresses a month).
  • Visitors to law firm websites call at a rate between roughly 2 and 5% depending on the quality of the site’s marketing.  We’ll use 5%.
  • Of phone calls to law firms, roughly one in four is from a qualified prospect – i.e. a potential good client.
  • Law firms close half  of the business they want.

That’s a sales funnel with a daunting eight steps.  Here’s what it looks over a year if we deploy a monthly email campaign:

Email Sales Funnel


So after a year, based on these assumptions (and feel free to come up with your own conversion assumptions and play this out for yourself), that’s 0.015 clients – – – – put more simply, even with these optimistic growth rates, on average it will take four and a half years to generate one client.  Some more back of the napkin math: between content development, CAN SPAM compliance, unsubscribes, email capture, we spend 2 hours developing each email at $100 an hour – that’s a cost per client of $10,800.

The Exception

By all means use email (even automated campaigns) to proactively communicate with vetted prospects.

But harbor no illusions that this channel is the answer for filling the top of your sales funnel.  The reality is, email requires a very large volume of recently sourced addresses to make an impact.  Still hopeful? Consider the last time you easily gave up your email address online – and then look at the “Promotions” or “SPAM” tab/folder on your email provider and consider the last time you opened one of them, let alone clicked through.

Most law firms, simply can’t generate enough addresses in the top of the email marketing funnel for anything to come out of the bottom.

The Worst Legal Marketing I’ve Seen

What follows is the most abjectly stupid online marketing I’ve come across. From a company that really should know better.

I found a legal website proactively advertising the services of a direct and hated competitor.

Advertising simply does NOT belong on the website of any service provider.  You don’t want someone considering hiring you for their car accident to get distracted by a display ad for Nikes, the new Toyota Camry, a WonderBra . . . or worse . . . your competitor (more on that later.)  It seems pretty obvious . . . your site is there to sell your services and not generate some residual revenue as a publisher of display advertising.

Over the years, I’ve collected examples of law firm websites that contain third party display advertising . . . usually they are old, outdated or abandoned sites (frequently blogs). But sometimes they are a firm’s primary current site, hoping to generate a little extra income as a Google AdSense publisher. I’ve filed away a collection of screenshots with the intention of eventually writing this post; but just today I ran across something so spectacular that I dropped everything to write.

Check this out:

FindLaw Avvo
Ironically, the screenshot above is a “best marketing practices for small business” article from my good friends in Eagan, MN at FindLaw.  And there, perched brazenly on the right rail, is an advertisement for Avvo’s Ignite product. Avvo, the company that has dethroned FindLaw – advertising directly on the FindLaw site.  And as if it couldn’t get any better, the Avvo tagline reads:

“The antidote to clueless lawyer marketing.”

I can’t make this stuff up.

I know this is a mean-spirited post and generally I’m not so flagrantly cruel, but are you serious?

Now clearly, this is a remarketing campaign from Avvo and not a direct display ad buy.  But, at the very least, it is mindnumbingly easy to exclude competitors’ advertisements on your own website with even the most rudimentary ad vendor.  But really – this isn’t about appropriately configuring a website – its about recognizing that the primary objective of your site is to get people to engage with the services you provide – and ads on your site detract from that objective.  So if this is in any way unclear:  If you sell a service, third party advertisements do NOT belong on your website.  Doing so enables your competitors to directly target your audience.

As for FindLaw . . . think very carefully before placing your marketing investment in the hands of a company so spectacularly inept that they display competitor’s advertisements on their own website.  Clueless lawyer marketing indeed.

How We Replaced PPC with SEO and Saved $30,000

These are the results I love to share.  Back towards the beginning of the year, I spoke with someone who was concerned about  high PPC budget – she was spending roughly $2,500 monthly on Adwords and weren’t sure if the spend was paying off. In looking at the site’s performance it became clear that the client had most of her eggs in a poorly structured, untargeted PPC basket AND the site seemed to be grossly underperforming in SEO.

Over the past 6 months, we’ve turned her traffic upside down . . . . resulting in PPC savings of roughly $30,000.  While traffic is down about 15%, we’ve replaced the PPC spend with (free) SEO traffic and restructured an unprofitable advertising spend.  Here’s how:

replacing PPC

Step 1: Assess PPC ROI

We did a thorough business review of her PPC campaign – to assess just how much business the spend generated and calculated what her cost per client was for this channel.  (It was really bad.)  Armed with 8 weeks of eye opening data, we drastically cut the Adwords budget and launched a (small) Bing campaign at the same time . . . with CPC’s roughly 90% lower than her original bids. Take note: PPC is never the only answer.  If you look really carefully, you’ll see that we never entirely did away with PPC – its still bumping along, delivering a small trickle of traffic from both Adwords and BingAds – – – generating business at a very low cost per client (read: extremely high ROI).

Step 2:  Fix SEO Problems

Once we dug in, we found the client’s site had some major SEO problems and while they took some time to fix – roughly 3 months – the changes resulted in a 400% increase in her natural search traffic – essentially replacing the traffic drop from cutting the PPC budget.  Interestingly, even if the SEO hadn’t been borked we still would have killed the PPC campaign as it was literally costing her more than she was making from the clients.

Step 3:  Slowly Dial Advertising Back Up

Moving forward – now that we have solid business tracking (so we can ID cost per client by each marketing channel) we’ll slowly dial her PPC campaign up so her margins reflect her business objective:  ie. cost per client makes business sense.  We can also explore additional advertising venues and measure them on their ability to hit these cost per client benchmarks.


The net result?  The client is now bringing in roughly three times the business with the same marketing spend.  AND she could cut off her SEO spend and unlike and advertising spend, the traffic would continue.

Just How Much Does Yelp Cost?

I got an urgent phone call from a client yesterday:

I have an advertising opportunity that I want to run by you, but I need to get back to them today or it is no longer available.


So I was contacted by Yelp and they are offering me 500 highly targeted ads – they can show up on competitor pages and highly targeted searches in my city.  Also, they’ll clear my profile of any ads and I get an account manager and reporting.

How much?

It’s only $350 – but I wasn’t sure if it was a good deal, so I wanted your input first.

Uggg – let me pour a fine glass of single malt scotch before I continue . . .

Key Metrics to Evaluate any Advertising Opportunity

When evaluating any advertising opportunity it is important to do some back of the napkin math and calculate some key metrics to establish an apples to apples comparison and estimate a likelihood that this investment will line your pockets instead of drain them.  I’ll work through this Yelp advertising opportunity to explain:

Most (non-PPC) advertising is  priced on a CPM basis – essentially the cost per thousand impressions. In this case, $350 for 500 impressions yields to a $700 CPM.  Now lets compare that to some other CPM rates: retargeting campaigns (which are highly targeted as they hit people who are already on my site) cost me roughly $2.40 CPMs.  That makes Yelp’s advertising more than 29,000% more expensive. You can also try to compare these rates to PPC campaigns.


Using the data above, we can back out a CPM from PPC data – there are 10,893 impressions costing $150.  Simply remember your 8th grade math and solve for Cost per Thousand (or if you’ve blocked out 8th grade use the CPM calculator at ClickZ . . .)

CPM Calculator

So no we are up to $13.77 CPMs – still a far cry from the $700 AND much more targeted.  (Granted my CPC rates here are relatively low, because I target a 5 to 10 times return on investment for PPC campaigns, but you understand the math and can compare with your own data.)

How to Estimate Expected Cost Per Client

Alternatively, we can try to back out expected cost per client.  At $350 for 500 impressions, let’s assume a very optimistic click through rate of 1% – which gives us 5 clicks (at $70 CPC).  Now assume those clicks turn into phone calls at a very optimistic rate of 5% – which gives us 0.25 phone calls (now at $1,400 per phone call).  Of those phone calls, 20% of them are prospects you actually want – thats now 0.05 qualified prospects ($7,000 per qualified prospect).  And of those prospects – you can close half of them – we’re now down to 0.025 clients for $350 – or stated in a slightly more understandable fashion – it will take 40 months at $350 a month (an overall spend of $14,000) to get one client.

Sign me up baby!

One last side note: if you hear the salesperson’s refrain “just one client will pay for itself”, hang up the phone and run screaming.  Your job is NOT to fund your advertiser’s stock price, but to pay yourself.  Target a minimum of 300% return on investment for your marketing activities.

Where Have All My Reviews Gone?

Today, there are a variety of places for your customers/clients to review your business. Your patrons may leave you a review on your Google + local page (which you can now respond through on your Google Places for Business pages). Back in June of 2012, Yelp joined Bing to provide users with Yelp reviews in the Bing search results pages, in addition to reviews from CitySearch.


Mass Injury Firm P.C Yelp/Yahoo Review


If I’ve already lost you, you’re in good company. In addition to what I’ve mentioned, there are a myriad of other review sites that businesses should have their eye on. We can even jump outside of the box for a moment and consider positive and negative blog posts about your businesses that start showing up in Search. Make no mistake, reputation is an important aspect of every business – online and off.


The Latest News in Online Reputation

Mid last month, Yahoo formally announced a partnership with the popular review site Yelp. What does this partnership mean for you and your business? If you’ve been attentive to your online marketing and have invested time into building out your online reputation on Yahoo Local, it could mean a lot – All of your reviews from Yahoo Local are disappearing. If you have far fewer reviews in Yelp than Yahoo, frustration wouldn’t even begin to describe your feelings. It is widely understood that when researching businesses, users look for quality and quantity. Diminish either of these and that will have a negative impact on your online reputation. We know that reviews play a role in mapped results, what we don’t know is how this is going to affect them. 


Angry at Yahoo Local


In an article in the WSJ, they explain how Colonial Hardwood Flooring of Lexington, MA had managed to genuinely build 50+ positive reviews on Yahoo Local. What is now displayed in the search results is a single, positive review from their Yelp page. Thankfully, this Yelp review is a positive one; just imagine the alternative. The WSJ goes on to state that Yahoo will continue to display reviews within their system until that business gets a new review on Yelp. After which, your yahoo reviews will disappear from your Yahoo Local listing.

What Can We Learn?

  1. Reputation is vital – People rely on reviews. Reviews are showing up in search results. Major search engines are teaming with major review sites. How many hints much proof do you need?
  2. Diversify – Just like investing in your retirement, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Invite your clients to review your business online by giving them options.
  3. Things change – Market your business for the long run and understand that some things that work today may not work tomorrow… Always be working for tomorrow.

Every Social Media Consultant is Lying to You

Lawyers – I’ll let you in on a secret . . . .

Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Work for You

There, I said it.

We’ve done it to you again – the self proclaimed mavens, experts, gurus and (self) published authors who peddle social media marketing to you guys have been lying. Or we just don’t understand how marketing works in legal.  But probably we’re lying – because we’d really like to cash your retainer to help you republish your blog posts on your Facebook page, even though there are plenty of tools that will automate that process for free.  Just like the SEOs did do. And you’ve all fallen for it again.

Now, I’m not the first person to say this, but it seems like no one is listening.  To understand social media marketing for lawyers in soundbite, consider this from Sam Glover’s anti-Facebook diatribe:  

People aren’t interested in a law firm. At best, they are interested in a particular lawyer, but normal people are about as interested in a law firm as they are interested in a proctology clinic, and for similar reasons.

Legal is NOT a Social Issue

With few exceptions, legal issues are extremely private.  I’m more likely to publicly  “like” my anti-herpes medicine than my DUI lawyer.  It’s not because I hate my lawyer – in fact I love her – its that I don’t want anyone to know that I need her because I’m facing incarceration, divorce, arrest, unemployment, deportation, or the IRS.   And if I need a lawyer for one of these private issues, there is no way on God’s green earth I’m initiating that search on anything remotely public like social media.

And this is the mistake that most self proclaimed social media experts (especially those who don’t work exclusively in legal) miss.  Standard social media marketing practice recommends building social media-based relationships with thought leaders and leveraging those individuals to expand the conversation about your brand.  This works for sneakers.  It works for religion. It works for Chevys and Harley Davidsons.  It works for soap and soup and sex toys.  It doesn’t work for lawyers.

If you personally wouldn’t start your search for a plumber on Twitter, why on earth would you imagine anyone initiate a search for a DUI attorney on Facebook?

Classic social media marketing – chasing likes and fans and pluses and followers simply does not apply to the legal marketplace.  Let’s go back to the classic social media marketing strategy – identify key influencers and leverage them to broadcast your message and shower you with likes, pluses etc.  There is simply no consumer social media key influencer built around getting divorced, or incarcerated or slipping and falling or being in an auto accident.

There is nothing more lonely that a DUI lawyer’s social media profile – which may have a few likes from his mom and law school buddies but otherwise is a barren wasteland screaming “nobody likes me”.  And stop sending out those like requests – I get plenty of them every day and nothing does less to “build a relationship with your audience” than begging for them to publicly advertise how much they like your divorce firm.

Everyone Wants Your Social Media Dollar

It seems that everyone is getting into the social media marketing game – even Lexis Nexis is happy to take your money to “Establish a Presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter”.  Bleh.  The Lexis Nexis marketing drivel epitomizes the huge failure of applying generic social media concepts to the very unique legal marketplace:

Half of all online conversations take place on social networks such as Facebook® and Twitter®. And 47 percent of customers say social media sites influence their decision to purchase a company’s products or services.

Join these conversations, demonstrate thought leadership and improve your search engine rankings with social media marketing from LexisNexis®.

You’d think that Lexis, being well, errr . . . Lexis, would have taken the time to survey people about how social media sites influence their decision to purchase a lawyer’s services.   But they didn’t – because they already know the answer and the social media consultants don’t want to admit it.  They’d prefer the legal industry continue to believe in the false complexity and ever falser effectiveness of this latest marketing channel fad.

Even if social media were effective in legal . . . it is simply impossible to outsource the joining of conversations, and demonstration of thought leadership.  And don’t get me started about the suggestions of the links between social and SEO – other than to say that Matt Cutts continuously insists that Google Plus’ are NOT a ranking factor.  But I digress.

The Only Thing You Need to Know About Social Media Marketing For Lawyers

If (and this is a big if) prospective clients use social to vet a prospective attorney – consider what you want them to see.  Let me give you a hint:  what you don’t want them to see is a slew of third party outsourced regurgitations of local news articles thinly related to your practice of law all ending with an identical admonishment to quickly call your law firm – vomited verbatim onto your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google Plus.

This is what you want them to see:

Cory Hicks

This is a guy I want to hire – yes he’s a lawyer, but there’s no leather bound books, scales or justice of roman columns.  For the love of all things holy, he’s not even wearing a tie!  He’s a dad and the three most important things in his life are standing right next to him.  Kind of reminds me of me.  The is the kind of guy I’d be happy to spend some money on.  And I bet he’ll never ask me to add this silly page to my “circles.”

Or how about this guy:

Valentine's Day

This is from Jeffrey Lapin’s Google Plus account.  Jeffrey hates abusive debt collectors – and frankly, if I’m dirt broke and being harassed by some aggressive scumbag in a call center who threatens my house at every possible step I probably hate them too.  If I jump with fear when the phone rings, I’d be pretty happy if Bill the Debt Collector got dumped  by his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day and wish Bill a lonely miserable Valentine’s Day sitting in front of the TV all alone.

Jeff gets it.  He gets me.  Maybe I’ll give him a call.

And I’m sure the social media marketing peddlers will disagree . . . they’ll site the impact of social shares in driving links, they’ll mention “authorship” and assure you they can get your little picture in Google SERPs, they’ll convince you that social will improve your rankings.  Sounds like SEO to me, not social media.  There is a fundamental difference. Don’t entrust your firm’s marketing to someone who can’t make the distinction.

Oh – and if your social media marketing consultant mentions Pintrest, run screaming.

Update:  This post is getting a surprising amount of interest – so I thought I’d end it with this picture:  a post of all of the twitter results for the query:  “need accident lawyer”.  The results are embarrassing and utterly devoid of consumers starting their search for a lawyer on this most widely accessible (i.e. not through private connections) social platform.  Try a search for your own practice area here: and see if you don’t get similar results.

Need Lawyer

More Horrific Attorney Marketing

The online marketing industry continues working hard earning its scummy reputation among lawyers . . .

The example below is so outrageous that it looks like a parody.  But its not.  It’s real attorney advertising and someone is paying for it.  (I know because I called and spoke to the attorney behind the site.)  This started with a friend of mine in the SEO industry – Mike Blumenthal – who forwarded me an email with the subject line: gotta love the chutzpa.

Fake Third Party Endorsements

Attached was a screenshot of a footer for what looked like a law firm website, with a tiny blue on blue disclaimer in broken English:

The logos above are sample only, we are not associated with these vendors.


Hmmmm . . .  the logos include the Better Business Bureau, the California Association for Justice, The Beverly Hills Bar Association and of course, my beloved Avvo.  We know that third party endorsements go a long way to allay concerns of prospective clients of law firms, but this goes well beyond misleading.

Note that the site looks like a law firm website, yet there is absolutely no personal information about an attorney or even a law firm name.  The on-page optimization is horrendous – there are 13 instances of the phrase, “Los Angeles DUI”, keyword stuffed meta tags and of course, the exact match domain.

Fake Client Testimonials

Even the faux testimonials are keyword stuffed with SEO optimized internal links.  And try reading the text here.

False Testimonials

If you want a chuckle, read all of the “testimonials“; here’s a favorite excerpt:

“DUI attorney Los Angeles is the best law firm in Los Angeles to handle the drunk driving cases in favor of their clients.”

Fake Social Media Widgets

My favorite touch on the site is the fake Facebook like counter which suggests there are a whopping 5,100 people who have liked this non-firm on Facebook.  This one had to take some time:

Fake Facebook Widget

Fortunately, the footer also contained a link to the  website developer.  Let’s see what happens here:

Ace Online

Just about what I’d expect.  So I gave Ace a call to see if they offered online advertising.  The guy who answered the phone assured me that he could get me ranking really high on the Internets.

To Be Fair . . . .

My final step was to call the number on the DUI site itself . . . which was answered promptly and professionally (some of you could learn a lesson here) by an attorney.  I forced some awkward conversation by asking for the name of his firm and his name (and vetted him on Avvo to see if he was, in fact really an attorney.  The guy was helpful (assuming I had really just gotten out of jail on a DUI), compassionate and professional.

For all I know he has no idea that some shoddy marketing firm is being so misleading on his behalf.  Caveat emptor lawyers, caveat emptor.


Update:  Mike Blumenthal digs deep into how this site surfacing is a failure of Google’s Hummingbird.