There’s no question that the Internet has opened up new doors for attracting clients to your business. The publicity efforts that could once only be accomplished in person through active and tireless marketing can now be completed with minimal effort, providing endless possibilities. Your law firm website is your presence in the online sphere, and it serves as the funnel for the overwhelming opportunities for client acquisition the Internet offers. By keeping these four essential (but often overlooked) steps in mind when designing your law firm website, you’ll be poised to attract more leads, and obtain more clients, than ever before.
1. All Roads Must Lead to Your Inbox
As you (or a hired professional) design your law firm’s website, keep in mind that no matter how beautiful the site looks, its aesthetic appeal is relatively useless without achieving results.
In this case, an effective website means one which ensures that each and every page features a contact form, a phone number, or a link to a contact page or other means by which someone can easily come into direct contact with your law firm.
This is fairly simple to do, yet many firms overlook it. You never know which page someone will land on, and you can’t rely on them to browse around until they find the right page to contact you.
That’s why you should include a “contact us” button or form on every single page.
The number one reason why attorneys tend to lose out on clients is because they are not responsive enough. Either not answering the phone when a client calls, or failing to reply to a contact form submission will hurt your chances of landing a client.
Those seeking legal services clearly prioritize easy communication. For this reason, it is crucial that your website facilitates communication with your firm, regardless of what page a visitor visits or lands on.
2. SEO is Crucial
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the ABA, about 44% of clients search for their attorney via the law firm’s website. This means that nearly half of all potential connections between clients and your firm will be made via your website – assuming that it can be found in the first place.
Most people hardly venture beyond the first page of search results garnered by Google, Bing, or similar search engines. Even those who occasionally do are left with the first impressions made by the results on the first page.
But how do you ensure that your firm makes it onto a coveted spot on the very first search result page? By harnessing a technique called search engine optimization.
SEO is the strategic use of highly searched keywords or phrases throughout your website that will be detected by search engine robots. When those terms are searched by potential clients, the websites that have the best optimized and most relevant terms tend to turn up highest in the search results.
This is a nuanced, although by no means impossible, technique with the potential to make a world of difference for your website traffic (and your firm’s potential revenue).
SEO is not something that you can do overnight, but an ongoing process that involves building content, getting incoming links, and continual tweaking and optimization.
3. Become a Blogger (Yes, Really)
It may seem useless to start a blog today, given that there are already millions of blogs presumably covering every topic under the sun. However, having a blog on your law firm website is an extremely useful step in maximizing the payoff of your SEO optimization.
Content is king on the web today, and Google pays close attention to how often a website is updated. Websites which haven’t been touched in years become less favored in the search results, while websites that are updated often tend to rank highly.
More importantly, a blog is the ultimate tool for making sure that your website is full of organic keywords commonly searched for by potential clients. By linking from your keyword-targeted blog posts back to your firm’s home page, you’ll significantly increase the chances of positive search engine optimization.
The best part is that blog posts are a form of free marketing. Try to write new posts regularly on topics you know a lot about.
By creating these relevant blog posts (which, for SEO purposes, should be at least 300 words), you won’t only be improving your website’s SEO, but you’ll also be marketing yourself as an expert in your field and providing the information and expertise to back it up.
4. Reviews are King
Reviews are the ultimate tool used by consumers to find good products and services in our increasingly “cyber-fied” world.
Review provide potential customers with the opportunity to live vicariously through others’ experiences. They are an effective way for potential buyers to get a glimpse into the quality of a service without assuming any risk themselves.
For these reasons, having positive reviews will help build trust and reassure people about their purchasing decisions. It is absolutely crucial to ask your best clients to give your law firm honest reviews on these major review websites.
Once you have enough reviews, you should then dedicate an entire page of your website to displaying the most favorable reviews that have been shared online.
Remember to refer back to our initial tip and to provide links to contact you within this same page, allowing potential clients who are dazzled by your firm’s rave reviews to reach out to you right away.
You can try a service like BirdEye to make the process of requesting reviews and managing them very easy. Also check out this post about how to get more positive law firm reviews for more information.
Your law firm website is not simply an information center to describe the services your firm provides. If you set it up correctly, it can also be among the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal.
To optimize your website for appealing to leads and landing new clients, you can establish more credibility and build up an online presence that will be lucrative for your law firm.
Just be sure to follow these four steps and you’ll be on your way to designing a website that attracts clients:
- Feature your phone number and prominent contact forms on every page
- Keep SEO in mind and use relevant keywords when writing all your content
- Add a law blog and update it regularly with fresh, keyword oriented content
- Leverage the power of online reviews to establish credibility and a positive reputation
Maria Barbera is the Marketing Campaign Analyst at PracticePanther. While in college, Maria explored campaign analysis from a variety of perspectives. She interned as a Head Features Editor and Analyst at Metro International News in New York, NY. At the same time, she was the Associate Editor for Features at The Eye Magazine. She worked with Equality Florida as a Field Campaign intern, as well as a Legislative Policy Intern for State Representative Darryl Rouson. She is tremendously passionate about the intersection of law and technology and the possibilities it holds for making the world a better place, which makes her tenure at a company as vibrant and innovative as PracticePanther all the more exciting.