75% of all consumer personal injury searches online come from road traffic accidents and accidents and illness at work according to our latest Online Personal Injury market intelligence report.

The report, which pulls together over 100 individual pieces of key insight and over 50 individual pieces of statistical interpretation, set’s out who’s who in online personal injury across the top 30 legal services operators in 2011 to determine:

  • Which keywords are driving market visibility;
  • What brands are doing to achieve market share;
  • What social media methods brands are using to engage customers.

Key findings

Road Traffic Accidents and Accidents and Illness at Work dominate consumer personal injury searches online

75% of all volume comes from road traffic accidents and accidents and illness at work searches which means high levels of exposure within these markets are critical to success.  National Accident Helpline is the main player in these keyword markets but this position is under threat from the likes of InjuryLawyers4U, First4lawyers and Claims Direct who have seen their rankings jump into top positions while National Accident Helpline has dropped in the latter half of 2011.

Over 80% of brand searches come from just eight operators

Brand volume, which plays a significant role in last click conversion, comprises 56% of all search volume and is dominated (over 80%) by eight operators including National Accident Helpline, Accident Advice Helpline, Claims Direct, Thomsons Law, Irwin Mitchell, Pannone, Fentons and InjuryLawyers4U. However, 44% of the search market is non-brand related and a strong presence within this area allows niche operators to compete directly with the larger brands.

Affiliate sites and claims management companies are absorbing critical organic real estate

Affiliates such as 100percentage-compensation and claims management companies are absorbing critical organic real estate. With operators jostling for premium positions to maximise their exposure and market liberalisation bringing new players including affiliates into the market, competition is set to intensify significantly across all verticals in 2012.

Accident and Illness Abroad and Mesothelioma/Asbestosis are the most competitive PI verticals

Although the specific nature of these verticals means that overall search volume is low both markets have potentially high case values. In particular, for Accident and Illness Abroad which tends to be event driven forcing operators to move quickly to capitalise in the market, no-one particular operator has a clear market lead.

Social media remains an under utilised marketing channel within online personal injury

Very few legal operators are utilising social media to develop a two way dialogue that stimulates both volume of discuss as well as the quality of engagement. Accident Helpline leads the social media score card index achieving 73/100 and is followed by Pannone with 63.59. Operators such as InjuryLawyers4U (37.54/100) and National Accident Helpline (44/100) who have invested brand equity into ‘above-the-line’ advertising are not dovetailing this with an integrated social media campaign to propagate this equity online.

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