[author: Vondrea McCoy]
We all know that websites are a key component of a business today. In an increasingly digital landscape, a law firm’s website is its virtual storefront. Too often, law firms focus a great deal of attention on design aesthetics, and not nearly enough time on the many other factors that go into turning website visitors into qualified prospects. In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of the lead generation characteristics of powerful websites. Keep reading for some proven lead generation boosters that can not only increase conversions but can also increase your site’s trust factor and authority.
Getting Found in the First Place
Even the best website won’t do much for your law practice if no one can find it. Your law firm’s website must be designed with search engine optimization in mind. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
1. Build Inbound Links:
Off-page SEO is essentially building inbound links, which means getting other quality sites to link to you. The more inbound links your site has, the more important your website must be (according to search engines). To gain more inbound links, try submitting your website to online directories, focusing on high-quality content, and avoid buying or bartering for links.
2. On-Page SEO:
This part of SEO focuses on including keywords within your copy. Elements to focus on include Headlines, Sub-headlines, Body Content, Image Tags, and Links. Make sure you focus on humans first, and search engines second.
3. Title Tag and Meta Tags:
These areas aren’t as important for SEO as they used to be, but are still worth paying attention to. Most content systems allow marketers to edit these sections without code.
4. Fix Foundational Issues:
Foundational issues like slow load times, server errors, broken links, and low-quality images can all have an impact on your rankings in search engines. That’s why law firms should conduct an SEO audit every 6 months to ensure there aren’t any errors that have gone unnoticed on the backend.
Focus on User Experience
You want your website visitors to stay on your website. The majority of traffic tends to leave a website without navigating to other pages. Improve user experience and decrease bounce rates to ensure visitors spend more time on your law firm’s website and move into your sales funnel.
5. Creating a First Impression:
Right away, you need to prove that your law firm is credible and trustworthy, as well as professional. Avoid a chaotic mix of colors and don’t add unnecessary elements such as flash animation or music. Create a very clear navigational structure and use fonts that are easy to scan. Make sure all design elements like font, colors, shapes, images, and layout are in line with your law firm’s brand style guide. Although reviewing this may seem nitpicky, a clean and cohesive design lends to your professionality and trustworthiness.
6. Using the Right Images or Video:
One study showed that photos of real people performed better than stock photos 95% of the time. Take care to place meaningful images on your website and leverage an intentional mix of copy versus graphics. Try using images or videos of your attorneys. See: 10 Video Marketing Examples from Lawyers Doing it Right.
A good, solid navigational structure that supports search preferences is crucial. The most important element of law firm website design is the ease of finding information. Therefore, we suggest simple navigation on the top of your site, adding navigation in the footer, and offering a search box so users can find other content.
Everyone who visits your site should be able to clearly view the content, no matter the browser, operating system, or device. View reporting on this via Google Analytics and test often. It is also important to ensure your website is ADA compliant.
9. Clear CTAs:
It’s essential that users have no questions about how to contact you, or where to do so. You should include a clear contact us navigation in the header that leads to a lead gen form. It’s also best practice to include CTAs on applicable pages like service pages or blogs, so that if a user’s interest is piqued, then they can easily take the next step.
10. Optimization for Mobile:
A huge part of user experience is making sure that all visitors have a positive experience, no matter what device they’re on. In fact, this last quarter it was found that just over 58% of website traffic came from mobile devices. Imagine how many leads you’ll miss out on if your site isn’t optimized for mobile.
You can test your site for mobile-friendliness with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool.
Content is King
An impactful website performs as an inbound marketing machine. Content is what both people and search engines are looking for. It’s also what ultimately turns visitors into leads.
For any content on your website, ensure that it clearly conveys what practices your law firm offers, what page they’re on, what to do next, and why they should take the next step on your website vs. exploring a competitor. Always include a clear call-to-action (CTA).
Copy should be clear and informative on all pages. Remember who your target audience is, what their needs are, and what problems they have. Then, create copy that aims to offer solutions in an easy-to-understand and user-friendly way.
12. Educate and Provide Value:
A good website experience isn’t about your law firm. It focuses on the potential client. Offer educational forms of content such as eBooks, white papers, checklists, webinars, and videos. Think about the problems your website visitors are facing, and come up with content that can assist them with their challenges (or direct them to a consultation). A huge part of standing out in the legal space is being a thought leader. Offering useful educational resources is key if you want to be seen as a leader in your industry and remain top of mind when your audience makes buying decisions.
13. Focus on Quality:
Search engines are getting smarter, and that means quality is more important than quantity when it comes to content. As we mentioned above, write for humans, not search engines. Also remember to keep content fresh, updated, and relevant.
To create content that is of the highest quality, remember to:
- Know your audience– content should always be geared towards what your audience actually wants to see, not what’s most convenient for you to create.
- Have a deep understanding of the topics you’re writing on– any topic you discussed should be well-researched and include expert insight and statistics when applicable.
- Edit and proofread– errors and mistakes are one of the quickest ways to lose credibility and forfeit a lead.
14. Avoid Jargon:
Industry-specific terms or phrases have been over-used which can turn prospects off of your content. Verbiage like “cutting edge” or “mission critical” doesn’t have the impact it once did, and can actually reduce the effectiveness of your content.
Additionally, always explain any legal terms being used that aren’t common knowledge. Remember, your audience is seeking you because they don’t have extensive knowledge of the legal sphere and need your help. Don’t make your website a confusing place.
Blogs are an essential part of a content marketing strategy. They help you create fresh pages of content for SEO, drive traffic to your website, and position you as a thought leader within your space. There are plenty of tools to make the process easier, or you can work with an experienced agency like us to create a compelling blog program.
Always include a clear CTA at the end of each blog so users can easily navigate to a lead gen form if they decide to take the next steps.
16. Make Content Shareable:
Social media has exploded over the last decade. That means it’s essential that the content you create can be shared across social platforms. Add a sharing widget or plugin to your website and blog, You can use a tool such as AddThis to make your content more shareable.
17. Client Proof:
Potential clients want to see proof that you’ve done a great job for other people. Items like testimonials, case studies, and reviews are incredibly valuable at persuading visitors to take the next step with your firm.
You can even use a tool like Birdeye to easily add your best Google reviews to your site.
18. Other Forms of Content:
Don’t stop your efforts at written content. Many media formats can create a richer experience for your website visitors. Consider incorporating things like video, online tools (such as a tax calculator), or audio snippets.
Internet usage has exploded and will continue to grow. Simply having a website isn’t enough. A thoughtful strategy around your law firm’s website design includes SEO, content, and social media to help you drive more website leads. Use these tactics to actually generate more business from your website.
This post has been edited and republished from Aug. 13, 2020.