The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

3 Tips to Improve Law Firm Websites

legal, business, McDougall Interactive, Danvers, Massachusetts, marketing

The best law firm websites are complete destinations, not pit stops. Many law firms focus more on the design aspect of their websites, rather than looking at the big picture. Google gets several billion searches a day, and it’s hardly because of the design of their website. Users know they can get something from it.

In order to have a well-rounded law firm marketing strategy, it is important to look beyond the surface of your website, and into the psychology of why people buy, as well as the ways they are interacting with your website based on data.

These 3 game changing tips will help you make your law firm website the best it can be.

1. Thought leadership at the center of your legal marketing strategy

It is said that people hire attorneys as much as they hire law firms, and that they deeply value thought leadership. I interviewed Prof. David Wilkins of Harvard Law School and he had this to say about leading with content and ideas.

 “So I think that thought leadership is very important and I think it’s increasingly important and this is something I think is true at all levels, wherever a lawyer is practicing. That’s because clients understand that the world is becoming increasingly complex and that they are looking for lawyers who can demonstrate an understanding of that complexity and also an ability to help them to navigate that complexity. So I do think things like writing or lecturing or speaking or blogging, all of these things can be very important in establishing a lawyer or a law firm for that matter as a thought leader.”

2. Add a blog and tie it to attorney business development

Adding a blog to your site is easy to do and will provide you with many benefits, as well as deepen the time people spend on your website. Back in 2012, Kevin O’Keefe of Lexblog had this to say about lawyers who are not blogging.

“Clients and potential clients look to blogs for information that shapes hiring decisions, according to multiple industry surveys; clearly, firms with blogs are the norm, rather than the exception. Blogging is quickly becoming an expected part of any firm’s marketing arsenal. Those who do not use blogs are behind, it is that simple.”

The good news is that a blog will not only help your website by positioning you as a thought leader, but it will also help your search engine optimization, give you something to share on social media, lure people into linking to your site, and give you content to share with prospects.

In an interview I did with business development coach Stuart Hirsch, on Blogging In Business Development For Law Firms, he confirmed that he believes in this strategy.

“If there’s something that a lawyer has written that has value to another person, passing that on is really valuable and blogs are such an easy way to provide that value.”

The general consensus from our interviews on the subject is that sharing helpful content whether it be blogs, client alerts, newsletters or LinkedIn updates, can be a great way to build relationships.

3. Conversion rate optimization

If you get a hundred visitors to your website, and one of them requests a free consultation or takes an action, then you have a 1% conversion rate. Setting up conversion tracking with goal conversions is the first step that many law firms completely miss, even if they have Google analytics installed.

Improving your conversion rate is essential now that search engine optimization is more complicated than ever. Social media sites are pushing paid social to compete with Google’s revenues, and paid search clicks can cost as much as $600 per visit.

I won’t go into great detail in this short post, but it is important for law firms to be aware of the amazing technology that is available to improve website leads and sales. The following are a few website marketing tools to check out:

Google Analytics: For tracking and improving visitor activity

ClickTale: Customer experience analysis

HubSpot: Comprehensive Internet marketing tool with attribution tracking

Usertesting.com: Video reviews of your website for $49 each

Feedbackarmy.com: Ask half a dozen questions to 10 people for $40

Unbouce.com: Landing page software with built-in A/B testing

It’s hard to improve your website without these kinds of tools, and people who know how to use them.

A few important things to consider adding to your website, if you want to increase conversions:

  • A clear value proposition of why you are different/better than other law firms
  • A better design and user experience
  • An exceptional mobile version of your site or ideally, a fully responsive design
  • Customer testimonials
  • Awards and affiliations
  • A top of the funnel call to action such, as an e-book for people that are not ready to hire you yet
  • Live Chat
  • Photos and videos to highlight attorneys and their thought leader content

Legal marketer Jonathan Fitzgerald told me recently on a podcast, how he likes to increase the credibility of his site through video and other means as well. Here’s what he had to say:

“We at Greenberg have started to post 30 second videos of attorneys on their profile pages just so that those that are visiting the page can not only see the attorney’s credentials, and the various awards, and speaking opportunities, and articles that have been published by that attorney, but they can also then click on the video and get a sense for the attorneys chemistry. What are they going to be like to work with day in and day out? Is there an emotional connection between the prospective client and the attorney?

Cognitive science tells us that most decisions are made first emotionally, and then they’re backed up second by reason. Obviously all of the credentials, the non‑static credentials, on an attorney’s website profile can give that second element that credentialing element, but the first element either has to be done in person or through video. We have found that video has been very helpful in creating that first touch point with a prospective client.”

Making your website more personal with content, podcasting, and video, as well as the other trust factors that I mentioned, can turn a lifeless site into an exciting destination.

New and improved law firm marketing

If your law firm website design is even a couple of years old and/or doesn’t provide a good mobile experience, then you might want to consider a redesign, and use the strategies and tactics above to improve it.

If your website is relatively new but doesn’t use these strategies, then with some relatively quick fixes, you can be off and running to your firms best year ever.

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