The “secret” to generating good motor vehicle accident leads

The “secret” to generating good auto accident leads really isn’t all that secret, as it’s been discussed at length on this blog in the past. It’s intent. Plain & simple, intent. Here’s why …

As a thought exercise, put yourself in the shoes of the person who’s been injured in an auto accident and is currently weighing their options. They’re probably confused, and likely overwhelmed. Unlike shopping for a pair of shoes or researching your next family trip, finding a personal injury attorney to handle your potential car accident claim isn’t necessarily a fun experience. For this reason, it’s usually not a process where someone is going to want to drag on for an extended period of time, or one where someone will research, stop and think about what they want, research some more, then come back 2-3 weeks or months later and make a decision.

Maybe in some cases, but usually it’s a scenario where they want the process over and resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible. Add to this the fact that there’s a statute of limitations in play, and that people often have lingering medical bills, car repairs, etc after the accident, and understanding that the car accident attorney “shopping” process is a timely one. 

Getting In Front of Potential Clients

For that reason, it’s IMPERATIVE that you’re in front of the potential client at the time when they sit down in front of a computer to research the problem. There are different ways of going about this, but most of the time this means being on page one of Google when the search is performed. Sometimes that search starts with a question (i.e. “what’s the average settlement for whiplash after a car accident”) and sometimes it’s looking for a lawyer locally (i.e. “San Diego car accident lawyer,” or “best personal injury attorney near me”). 

Now, there are some merits to branding your firm with billboards and local TV ads, finding referral partners, and so on. But these are generally long, drawn out, and EXPENSIVE endeavors. If you’re there when they’re looking, be it for information or for an attorney, your chances of getting a conversion (clicks, calls, and contact form fills), has just gone up exponentially. These simply aren’t accomplished by traditional advertising, or even Facebook, Instagram, or other forms of internet display advertising, because it’s not that often that following a car accident, a person will think back to themselves, “boy, that sure was a great banner ad/billboard/commercial that personal injury firm had on (insert medium/street corner here).” Your best bet is to be there when they search, period, full stop. 

So the question now becomes, how do we get there when they search. If you’ve been investing in Search Engine Optimization and creating content for years and already have a good presence for local personal injury attorney type searches, congratulations. You’re probably making a solid return on your investment right now! If not, there are a few options: 

  1. Start investing in an organic search presence now: While this is probably the best bet from a long term perspective, it requires a few thing… a budget of probably $10k or more per month, a trusted team to do the technical work and create the content, either in house or an agency, and patience – a lot of patience. Because chances are, if you’re starting this now, there are at least 20-30 other local firms who have a years long head start who you’ll be competing against, none of whom are going to want to give up ground to the new player in the game. Keeping in mind that there’s only 10 or spots on page one of Google, and page 2 is essentially non existent, it only takes a little simple math to realize this is going to be an uphill battle, especially in competitive markets. 
  2. Start investing in paid search: Paid search, also referred to as pay per click advertising, is probably the best way to get your firm’s name out there and get to where you want to be (page 1 of google for relevant searches) quickly. On the downside, clicks are expensive (in many markets just a click for a search like “NYC Personal Injury Attorney” can cost upwards of $200-$250), and then you have to worry about conversions – getting the people who click on your ads to actually contact you and then convincing them to sign with your law firm, which is another science that can take a lot of expensive trial & error. 
  3. Partner with a company who already has a presence on the search engines, and pay them for the leads or the traffic to your site. 

Directories and Lead Generation Partners

This usually takes 2 forms. The first is the internet directory model (think findlaw.com or avvo.com), where you pay for a listing on a site that’s optimized for car accident lawyer related search terms you want and get clicks & calls when people find the directory site and see your listing/ad on that website. In this model, you’re gambling a bit more in terms of conversion and cost per lead, since you’re betting on people either calling you directly from the ad or clicking over to your website and then calling/emailing you, but on the plus side, this does have a branding element to it in that it will get your firm’s name out there. 

The other option is to partner with an auto accident lead generation company that has a presence on either paid or organic search results and pay them for leads. The plus side to this is that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting – lead generation companies like PinPoint will have pre-determined pricing and criteria for the lead, whether that’s a form fill that asks a set of questions (i.e. was the person found at fault, hired an attorney, etc) or a specified time frame for a phone call lead (i.e. you pay $250 when the phone call goes over 90 seconds, giving your intake time to screen out non-starter cases). So you’ll know up front what you’re paying, and what you’re getting. This however doesn’t have the branding bonus of the directory listing option. 

So there’s the “secret” – just be there when your potential client is searching. Like most secrets, it’s not so much knowing what to do, but knowing how to best implement, that matters here.