Personal relationships will always be important in law. But with the growth of online marketing these days, the relationship building process often begins before you even meet someone in person, as they land on your law firm website. An initial visit to your website is almost like a first date. You’ll want to do everything you can to keep them interested. If you don’t keep visitors engaged from the very first moment they visit your website, you could lose them forever. The best way to generate interest and inspire website visitors to take action is to eliminate friction throughout all phases of the conversion funnel. In this post, we break down the website conversion process into four stages and provide some easy tips to eliminate friction from each stage so you can build strong relationships with prospects right from the start.
A Formula to Optimize for Conversions
The Conversion Optimization Heuristic, developed by MarketingExperiments, is a formula you can use to measure the likelihood of a website conversion.
Be warned…it might look a little complex. But, once this blueprint is broken down, it will help you ensure that your website visitors follow the path of least resistance toward taking action.
Here’s the formula:
C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a
It’s not rocket science, even if it looks like it is. Here’s a breakdown of what each piece of the the Conversion Optimization Heuristic means:
- C = Probability of conversion
- M = Motivation of user
- V = Clarity of value proposition
- I = Incentive to take action
- F = Friction elements of the process
- A = Anxiety of entering information
What all of this means is the probability of a conversion is equal to the motivation of the website visitor, plus the clarity of your value proposition, plus the visitor’s incentive to take action after friction and anxiety are taken into account.
If the process is friction-filled, the incentive to act drops significantly. Additionally, anxiety about entering information is an important consideration.
People can be hesitant to give out too much personal information right off the bat. The less they have to tell you, the easier it will be for them to take the desired action.
One of the most key elements in this equation is friction because it is the thing that is most in your control. The best way to pinpoint your ideal approach for reducing friction is to look at each segment of the purchase funnel individually.
Breaking it down into smaller components and eliminating friction in stages will be most effective. Below are some easy tips for reducing friction from each stage of your conversion funnel.
Reducing Friction from Your Conversion Funnel
The conversion funnel is comprised of four main stages that a prospect goes through en route to making a purchase, or otherwise taking action.
The concept is based on the AIDA-model. This model, first published in “Psychology of Selling and Advertising,“ describes the stages of the buying process as follows:
- Attract Attention
- Maintain Interest
- Create Desire
- Get Action
You should take steps to ensure that friction is minimal across each segment of this conversion funnel. By doing so you’ll eliminate resistance, and increase conversions by providing an easy path to go from website visitor to paying client.
Below, we provide some tips for how to reduce friction in each of these four stages.
1. Attracting Attention
Attracting attention occurs at the very top of the funnel; its widest point. A prospect has likely never engaged with your firm at this point, so you need to establish a strong presence in all the places where your prospects spend time online.
For example, the Google search engine result pages are considered the “battleground for attention,” according to Hallam, a digital marketing company. The higher your law firm ranks in Google, the less friction there will be at this first stage of the purchase funnel.
Focus on SEO and Branding
In order to attract more attention online, you should focus on a search engine optimization strategy, social media, and other general online branding practices.
For example, developing a law blog that focuses on educational content and thought leadership in your practice area, with high search volume keywords sprinkled throughout, will help you rise up the search rankings and get more web traffic.
A strong social media presence and advertisements on various social networks, as well as Google, will also help spread awareness and ensure that your brand is prevalent across all the major web channels.
2. Maintaining Interest
Once somebody lands on your website, the next step is to maintain their interest. You want them to click around and start engaging with your content to learn more.
Hallam suggests considering a key question to help guide you at this step: “why has my audience come here?” Another way of asking that question is “what do they want to know?”
You should use the answers to these questions to help with designing your website and writing your content.
Provide Quality Content and an Easy Method of Contact
One effective way for law firms to maintain interest is to provide engaging content that seeks to educate website visitors. Think about the questions your clients will have, and answer them with easy-to-consume articles or videos.
For example, you could cover legislative developments that apply to your jurisdiction. Or you could explain how damages are calculated in certain circumstances such as an auto accident.
Another way to maintain interest from a web visitor which has proven to be highly effective is to offer live chat. This provides a seamless way for web visitors to ask questions and learn more about your firm. Plus, an impressive 63 percent of people will return to a website if it offers live chat, eMarketer found.
This can be especially important during off-hours as well. Generally, friction increases when you’re not available to answer questions, yet 42 percent of leads are captured outside of normal business hours, according to data from ApexChat. Live chat with outside support can solve this problem by providing 24/7 chat agents to communicate with prospects when you are unavailable.
3. Creating Desire
You create desire by explaining or showing how you can help prospects with their legal issues. By making an effort to engage with a web visitor immediately, you can show that you care to learn about their needs and that your firm is prepared to offer help when they’re ready for it.
Use Live Chat and Testimonials
Once again, live chat can be an excellent strategy. It will help you guide prospects directly from the interest stage to the desire stage. Your live chat representative can explain to the website visitor exactly how you can help them, eliminating any anxieties they may have.
You can also create desire through testimonial videos or quotes, press releases regarding significant cases you’ve won, or blog posts that highlight your expertise. All of your efforts at this point in the funnel will be directed toward convincing prospects that you are the right firm to help them so that they’ll be more likely to take action.
4. Getting Action
Prospects have now discovered your firm online, visited your website, learned about your firm, and potentially spoken with a live chat representative. The final step in the conversion funnel is getting them to take action and meet with you to discuss their case.
Follow Up Early and Often
Once you have captured an engaged prospect, your goal is to close the deal. The most important thing at this point in the funnel is active communication and follow up.
You should reach out to every prospect immediately via phone or email to let them know that you have received their inquiry, and that you’re happy to help them. You might also consider using an automated drip email sequence to continue building the relationship and educating your prospect about the value your firm can provide.
The more proactive you are about following up and communicating, the less likely the person will be to get cold feet or reconsider their decision to hire you.
Removing friction from the conversion funnel is one of the most important things you can do to drive more business and build strong relationships with clients. By breaking down the conversion process into four major stages, you can start to see some easy ways of optimizing your process in order to maximize your conversion rate.
Here are some tips to remember at each of these four stages:
- Attract Attention with SEO, social media, and online advertising
- Maintain Interest with engaging website content and by using live chat to start a conversation
- Create Desire by highlighting your expertise in testimonials, and using live chat to answer questions and ease anxiety
- Get Action by following up and being proactive about communication during the final hiring stages
Connor McGann is a content marketing professional with a background in journalism. In addition to writing he dabbles in photography, music and video production. Currently he is the content manager for ApexChat, the top live chat software for lead conversion. You can find him on LinkedIn for more information.