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Get more clients from your website

Get more clients from your website

At some point in our lives, everyone needs a good lawyer. Which means the pot of potential clients is constantly brimful. The downside is you need to cut through your competition.

In a recent Moneypenny study, we found that 69% of law firms find it harder to generate new leads than 5 years ago.

Sound familiar to you? The trick is to capture people’s attention and encourage them to contact you at the moment they need an attorney.

As 70% of law firms have generated new cases through their website, we know it’s vital that your website works hard to attract visitors and get them contacting you.

We understand that you’re a lawyer, not a marketer or web designer. So we’ve detailed some tricks to convert more clients from visitors to your website.

How to get visitors to your website

The legal market is particularly competitive, largely because most attorneys offer a similar service, differing only in areas of practice. So when someone searches for, say, ‘family lawyer Atlanta’, the results are enormous.

That makes it difficult for people to choose which law firm is the best for them. You can help your website become more visible to your target market with the following.

SEO

96% of people use online search engines when looking for legal advice. And when they search online, they are more likely to trust and click on law firms that appear on the first page of their search results.

While the first few results they will see are ads, it’s the organic listings below these that are the most trusted.

It works by Google and other search engines crawling web pages on the internet. They categorize them and index them, turning all these pages into what is essentially a giant library. So when someone searches for something, they are putting a request into this ‘library’.

Google and other search engines then use machine learning to decipher their search term e.g. ‘family lawyer Atlanta’ to show the related web pages.

The power of organic search is an amazing marketing method, and SEO’s conversation rate is an impressive 14.6% compared with the 1.7% conversion rate of traditional advertising methods.

It’s all about having the right words on your website, and good SEO practice helps to increase the chances of being listed on the first page of the search results.

The best keywords to include on your website

‘Keywords’ are the words people are most likely to search for when looking up the kind of legal services you offer.

For instance, you can rank for keywords that describe the area you specialize in e.g. ‘litigation’ – if you are a litigator you’ll want to include this on your website.

62% of searches for lawyers don’t include the name of the firm e.g. ‘law firm near me’, so include the location of the city and state you practice in. You can improve your SEO further by registering with Google’s business listings.

Using SEO to improve your credibility

It’s not just the right keywords on your website that will help with your search engine ranking. Link building and guest posting will also help you to appear in search results.

For example, if you include a blog section on your website, the more reputable and relevant the sources for your guest posts and links to other websites are, the more credibility you will gain.

All of this will help to position you as a trustworthy source, website and law firm.

Reviews

Reviews are extremely important because they are so influential. An Amazon study showed that 92% of shoppers were hesitant to make a purchase due to a lack of reviews for the product.

They are essentially organic and unbiased opinions about you and your law firm. There are a number of review websites specifically for attorneys and law firms, such as Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, lawyers.com, and Nolo.

One of the most pertinent review platforms is Google. In a study of how people hire their attorneys, over 60% of people listed Google reviews as the most important. They can also be a major driving force for your organic SEO growth.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up a Google Business account so you can start collecting Google reviews.

This can be a lengthy process as Google verifies your location – in some instances will send a postcard with a code to your address via postal mail – but it’s definitely worth it.

Once you are set up with a Google Business account, you can start to gather your reviews. You could send an email out to all of your current and past clients, asking them to take 5 minutes to leave a positive review.

It needn’t be long, but you could help them cut time by adding a link to the review site in the email. You could also add a message in your email footer encouraging people to leave a review.

So now you’ve successfully ranked in search engines, Google is showing you highly in search results and people are visiting your website. What now?

What makes a good law firm website?

As 70% of law firms have generated new cases through their website, it pays to get the design right.

The trick to a good website is: don’t make your visitor think. A good website should eliminate as many of the visitor’s questions as possible.

There are lots of points that contribute to good design, and a checklist will help you to include as many as possible, but here are some important ones to include.

“Over 40% of all solo attorneys still don’t have a website.” 

Mobile-friendly

Building a mobile-friendly website will appease search engine algorithms. For instance, Google’s search algorithm prioritizes websites that have a responsive design that can fit to any screen.

Not only will it help your search rankings, but your visitors will appreciate it too.

Live chat

A live chat function can see you generate 6x more engagement with your website visitors than without, by offering them a direct line of communication. Once on your website, a visitor may have a question or want some more information.

They have a few options for reaching out to you proactively, but you are then relying on the visitor to do so.

Live chat can be set to pop up as a button or form and persuade the visitor to ask their questions, or request you contact them at a suitable time. It’s essentially like putting a service desk, with a real person greeting visitors, on your website.

We know that 41% of chats handled for our law firm clients result in a new inquiry, so it puts these law firms ahead of their competition.

Without the chat function, that visitor might have left the website without inquiring and tried a competing firm.

While the technology has been available for some years, its popularity for businesses is growing – for some industries this growth has been as much as 150%.

Law firms, in particular private client firms, are embracing and adopting live chat as it ticks the box of ‘meeting customers’ needs’.

Hiring an attorney is an emotive and stressful thing for a person to do. Often people in this position want the reassurance of a real person to speak to, at times to suit them.

37% of chats handled on behalf of Moneypenny clients occur after office hours. These visitors may not have inquired had a live chat function not been on the website.

Blogs

A blog section on your website could help you get more organic traffic, rank more highly in search results, and foster a reputation of readily providing advice.

It might seem time-consuming, but if you want to increase leads and client conversions, blogs could help you do this. You don’t need to be creative but in fact, it can pay dividends.

– Keep visitors engaged

A LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell study found that 50% of respondents said they thought leadership articles were their most visited pages on their website.

The pages can keep visitors on your website for longer by engaging them with information to read, maybe a video to watch if you have them on your blog section. It avoids your visitor from hitting a content dead-end.

The more time people spend on your website, the more likely they will contact you.

– Be an authority in your field

Your legal qualifications make you an authority in your field of practice, but it doesn’t make you an authority in marketing and business development.

Being able to offer some insight into your field of practice could set you apart from your competitors.

By posting a blog offering a point of view about the area of law you practice, you are showing online audiences that you can provide them with information to educate them on a topic, or solve a particular problem.

By posting a small amount of legal advice or guidance, you are providing your potential clients with a roadmap for solving their problem. Ultimately this ‘roadmap’ could lead them to seeking your legal services.

– Increase SEO and visibility

A blog section on your website could help you to show up in search results, which boosts your law firm brand. The more visible your firm is, the more familiar the brand will be to your target market.

This increases the chances of being the first law firm that comes to mind due to your target market based on regular visibility, without them necessarily having to search online.

– Increase traffic to your website

As blogs turn up in people’s search results, for instance ‘how do I make a will?’, you could receive an uplift in the amount of people visiting your website.

Also, as a competitive law firm, ranking higher than your competition in search terms typically translates to more business for your firm.

– Create more marketing material

If you use social media platforms to promote your law firm, blogs give you material you can share via these.

The same goes for any email marketing lists you may have, insead of posting or sending something bland or specifically about your law firm, you can share a piece of thought leadership.

By doing this you can also create more opportunities for blog subscribers or regular visitors, web traffic and leads by linking back to your website.

Testimonials

Client testimonials on your website can make a significant difference to how your law firm is perceived by your target market, and are in the top three most visited pages on a law firm’s website.

Unlike everything else on your website which will be biased towards your opinion, testimonials come from an unbiased source.

They provide a level of social proof by showing your website visitors that clients are willing to vouch for you and publicly endorse your credibility.

Good testimonials can also reach your visitors on an emotional level too, if they include a bit of backstory to their case, as they are essentially stories.

You can also use your testimonials as content for your social media channels, have a page dedicated to them, or host on your homepage. You’ll find that most clients are happy to give you a testimonial.

Biographies

A biography section of a law firm’s website is one of the most visited sections, with 85% of attorneys confirming its popularity.

Prospective clients want to learn about the attorneys they may wish to hire, and the experience and credentials of those working in the firm should be readily available to help the visitor make a decision to contact you.

Adding a touch of personal detail, such as family and hobbies, could also present you as a person beyond an attorney and listing.

You and the people working at your law firm are your greatest assets, and you want to show them off in the best light possible by using individual pages for each attorney with recent headshots and specify their experience and education.

It’s also a good idea to list their areas of expertise and link them to the practice area pages on your website.

Areas of practice and expertise

This is another highly popular and well-visited section of a law firm’s website with 52% of attorneys agreeing.

These are specific pages that provide the website visitor with more detail about the services your firm offers.

If you cover more than one area of law, then dedicate a page per area – you want to make it as easy as possible for the visitor to understand what you can do for them.

These pages should go some way to answering the frequently asked questions related to this area of law.

There should be a good indication on the homepage of the area of law you and your firm practice, and links to the relevant specialist pages.

This will act as a filter for visitors – they can see at a glance if you can meet their needs or not.

This can also be conveyed by using imagery on your website. For instance, if you specialize in DUI or accidents, pictures of vehicles will instantly show the visitor you cover the category they need.

Calls to action

One of the most frustrating oversights of website design is a lack of clear contact information. When a visitor lands on your website, being able to contact you should be one of the easiest actions they can take.

The ultimate goal of your call to action (CTA) is to encourage your visitor to decide to contact you.

A simple ‘Contact us’ section does not guarantee that your website visitors will take this action before leaving the website. An effective CTA is concise and compelling.

For instance ‘Call us for a quote’, or ‘Call us for a free consultation’ is more compelling than simply ‘Contact us’. Here, the visitor knows exactly what they will get when they get in touch with you.

Timing and positioning is also important. A CTA too soon can be off-putting and could be ignored.

Giving the website visitor time to read and digest the information on your website could help them come to a decision to take that next step by positioning a CTA midway down a page, and at the bottom.

How to make better web forms

People who get in touch via your web forms are some of your most valuable leads. You’re asking more from them than simply clicking a button; they are having to fill out certain information and share personal contact details with you.

Of course, they wouldn’t unless they were serious about inquiring into your services.

There are ways to improve your web forms. Make it as clear as possible as to why the visitor should contact you: for a quote, to schedule a consultation, to request a callback. Remember, don’t make your visitor think.

The number of fields you show on a web form can also have an affect on the number of completed forms you receive. Form conversion rate increases by almost 50% when the number of fields is lowered from four to three.

So if you’re asking for their email address, you may not want to make their phone number a mandatory requirement.

Using contact forms to manage expectations

So what happens once a visitor has filled out a form? Ideally, the form will give a clear indication of the outcome. Providing them with a contact timeline can be useful to them.

For instance, if you respond to web forms within 24 hours with a phone call, you could include this on your post form completed screen.

If you don’t provide details as to when they can expect to hear from you, the potential client may try other law firms until they get to speak with an attorney on the phone.

Adding a clear message on the form as to when you will contact your visitor could help to capture leads from any late night website visitors you have.

Your potential client will know you won’t return a call at 1:00 am, but a note to say you’ll call within business hours will appease their need until you can get in touch.

Numbers on your website

74% of prospective clients beginning their search for an attorney online ultimately contact their law firm via the phone, so it’s good practice to display the number clearly on your website at several points – don’t make your visitor hunt for it.

But more than just having your number on your website, it’s a good idea to think through your client journey when that visitor calls.

Key questions to ask yourself are: who is answering the call? What happens if the call is not answered? Can they leave a message? Who picks up the messages and returns them?

The call to your firm could be the place most good leads are lost, simply by not having a robust process in place to capture that call and follow it up.

Speed is crucial here. More than 40% of people who leave a voicemail message or fill out a web form have to wait two to three days before they hear back from the law firm they inquired into.

In that time they will have most likely spoken with another attorney. That’s lost business for the firm by simply not calling them back.

According to ResponseiQ, 97% of consumers will give their business to companies who respond quickly to them. And if you speak to a prospect on the phone within 5 minutes of them inquiring, you are 21 times more likely to convert them.

We also know that calls to law firms have increased by 83% compared with 5 years ago, as people seek the reassurance of talking to a real person in this time of more digital connectivity.

These are compelling reasons to nail down your call capture and follow-up process.

As you could be busy with casework, it might be to your benefit to have a person dedicated to answering your calls, such as a virtual receptionist.

Whenever a prospect calls your firm’s number and you are unavailable, a virtual receptionist will answer that call, reassuring your caller that their inquiry is important and taking down a detailed message to later be followed up.

Emails

The same principle applies to your law firm’s main email address for capturing inquiries. This is usually an [email protected] address displayed on a firm’s website as an alternative to a web form.

This is still a part of the client’s journey if they choose to email your firm, so ask yourself: what is then happening to their email?

Is someone monitoring the email account throughout the day? Are they receiving an instant reply acknowledging their inquiry and giving them a timeline of when they will hear from you?

All of these tasks will confirm to the prospect that they are important to your firm and could prevent them from seeking out your competitors, as they can clearly see themselves on your ‘customer pathway’.

Learn more

For more information about our Phone Answering or Live Chat services, call one of our informative team on 844 364 0600.

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