If you're not using your website to generate business for legal services, you're leaving money on the table at your law firm. If you want to increase your law firm's online presence and attract more ideal cases you can do so by optimizing your website.
Some basic tactics go a long way in boosting your website's effectiveness by tapping into behavioral psychology concepts.
Following these tactics works. Just check out the results we got from optimizing and relaunching a personal injury attorney's website in New York:
The old, unoptimized site almost never appeared in local search results. Now, it covers a wide area of one of the most competitive cities in the U.S.
Follow the tips below to see how you can optimize your site for rankings, traffic, and converting visitors to cases.
1. Optimize for the First Impression
You have a limited window to get someone's attention, so don't squander the most valuable real estate on your website. This is what's presented "above the fold" or on-screen before someone has to scroll to get to the next section.
The average person will spend just a few seconds looking at your website before deciding to click on something else or hitting the back button.
It's your job to get their interest right away. Your website is a marketing tool, but it's at its most useful when it helps people learn more about you or decide to take an action like scheduling a consultation with you.
Of people who visit your website, 84% will look at what's above the fold and nothing else. To get their attention, place captivating content at the top of the page.
Here's what information should always be included above the fold:
- Your headline
- Your unique value proposition
- Your call to action
When developing your site design and copy, follow the Pareto principle. This means you should put 80% of your effort into what you place above the fold. This gives you the best possibility of forming a connection with the reader early, which can ultimately lead to further actions taken by that potential client.
Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys get their point across well at the top of their home page. There are three options for a call to action, their firm tagline, and a picture to help a viewer put faces to the names. They make the user experience a streamlined one because the section above the fold is uncluttered and focused.
2. Focus on Your Copy More than Design
Web design for attorneys is vital for presenting your website layout and individual pages in a clear and logical order, but your copy is far more important.
Rather than telling someone what you do, focus on showing them. This might include, for example, snippets of testimonials from past clients.
To make your copy client-focused, think about what your website visitors want and the best way to deliver it to them.
Here's an example of client-focused website copy. Many law firm clients complain about poor communication from their lawyers. In this example, attorney Stewart Guss highlights the firm's availability to talk to and help their clients.
If you already have Google Analytics installed, you can get some data on how long the average person spends on each of your pages. This can be a good guideline to revise the copy if you have a high bounce rate or visitors spend very little time on the page. You can also use more advanced tools like HotJar to heat map how visitors use your existing pages.
3. Enhance Your Social Proof with Highlights or Callouts
It's amazing when a law firm client gives you a full paragraph about how awesome it was to work with you. But you can't expect a busy website visitor to read all that.
Use highlights to add visual elements to your page and to call the viewer's attention to the most important phrases.
Use custom design elements that tap into your unique value proposition and why a client would want to hire you by using the exact words of former clients.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to encourage someone to hire you. In a recent study, 43% of people used referrals when deciding to hire an attorney. What other people say about you is far more powerful than what you say about yourself, especially if you're receiving similar comments from happy clients.
4. Avoid Popups: Let People Come to You
There's nothing more annoying than browsing in a store and getting bombarded with offers of help from a salesperson. A good salesperson watches for visual cues that you need assistance or waits until you come up and ask for help.
This same concept applies to popup messages on your website.
Too many popups cover the screen and force offers that your reader may not be interested in at that point in time. Instead, use slide-in options or in-line calls to action throughout your text. These are less intrusive than popups but still get the point across.
As a last-ditch effort, it's okay to use one exit popup on the screen to capture information from your viewer before they close the tab. Be mindful of how big any slide-in or popup looks on mobile, as sometimes these are not properly sized and are even more annoying to readers.
5. Rethink the Way You Think about Forms
Every law firm has the same basic form embedded on their website. They’re so common that people’s eyes can just skip over a standard contact form.
To stand out from the crowd, your form should be more engaging and interesting for viewers. You can capture the same contact data, and possibly even more valuable information, by reworking how you think about forms.
Here are some ideas for how to collect the same or better data:
- Use a scorecard
- Develop an injury payment settlement calculator
- Create a quiz that helps someone answer key questions about their claim
You'll still gather their contact information, but you'll also get helpful case details to determine whether the lead is worth following up on.
Here's an example of an interactive calculator from Miley Legal. Instead of filling out a “name, email, phone number” contact form, a potential client can get a free estimate of their case value. At the same time, the firm gets a new personal injury lead in their CRM.
Interactive items on your website provide value to the visitor beyond just submitting their information to be contacted by a lawyer. They walk away with a better understanding of their own case, what's at stake, or some knowledge that better equips them to resolve their legal issue.
6. Create Content that Educates Across the Entire Lifecycle
Not all of your website visitors find your content at the same stage in their legal case. They might all be looking for different information, too.
One reader might wonder how long they have to file an injury claim, while another is thinking about the opposite end of a case. Other potential clients might be curious about how settlement works and pays out. Using these possible search queries, you can create relevant content for both readers.
Create high-quality content for every stage that your prospective clients go through, from the time they get hurt in an accident all the way through after settlement or trial.
You can improve your website conversions by aligning your original content to your audience's various awareness stages and to the marketing funnel.
Your prospective clients should fall into one of three buckets:
For someone who has recently learned about you but isn't yet convinced you're the right firm for them, you can create educational blog posts while also dropping in ideas about your unique value proposition.
People who are deeper in the funnel need a way to convert. You can create service landing pages that give them convenient options to get in touch.
When you create content that hits each stage of the funnel, you can use internal linking tactics to quickly turn top of funnel visitors into new leads.
7. Keep in Touch and Stay Top of Mind
If you put in all the upfront work to get someone to your website, don't lose them there. All too often, someone closes a tab and forgets your firm’s name.
While they might start their search all over again, it's easy for you to retarget those previous viewers with Google Ads or Facebook ads if you have a developed PPC funnel strategy.
Whenever you retarget someone, align the content your ad points them to with where they are at in the marketing funnel. For example, someone who visited your landing page with a settlement calculator may get retargeted with ads that place some urgency on them filing a claim sooner rather than later to help them get compensation.
When your law firm name and branding show up again after their first visit, the potential client gets reminded of their need for an attorney, and at that point, they may be ready to take the next step of contacting you. Your goal is to move your potential clients further down toward the bottom of the marketing funnel.
Revise Your Website for Better Conversions Now
When you optimize your law firm website for search engines and your target audience, you stand a far better chance of getting their attention and keeping it. Whether it's by creating interactive materials or retargeting ads that put your firm's name back in front of them, it all starts with a well-designed website.
To boost your position in the search engine rankings, get more traffic, and convert more leads, work with an attorney marketing expert. Rankings.io can help you implement a winning law fim marketing strategy.
SEO for lawyers doesn't need to be overwhelming or confusing when you partner with the right team. Contact us to see how we can help your firm grow with an optimzed website.