When I talk to law firms about online marketing, a common goal is to get more traffic to their site. While more traffic is typically a good thing, it’s possible that you already have all of the traffic you need on your site, it’s just not converting into contacts and clients for you.
Conversion, the process of turning your visitors into clients, is the most important piece of your marketing plan to focus on. Why? Getting additional qualified traffic to your law firm site is challenging, expensive, or both. Even the very best websites convert much less than 5% of their traffic, meaning that over 90% of your traffic is getting away. Not all traffic is there for the right reasons, but assuming most visitors were, what will they do now? Did they decide to not hire a lawyer? Did they decide to not pursue their legal issue? Or did they just decide they weren’t ready right now? Here are four tips to make sure that you’re making it easy and comfortable for your visits to turn into clients.
Most of the time we talk about content as a necessary evil that’s only around for better Google rankings. I’ve had so many lawyers confidently tell me that “no one ever reads content”, and there is some truth to that. There are also people who come to your site to read the content, and when they do, their experience matters. Your visitors should be learning about how your law firm is uniquely equiped to to be a cost-effective asset to them and help them solve their legal problem.
Take the time to read your content. Is it clear? Informative, but still relatively easy to read? Does it clearly highlight how you can help someone looking for your legal services? Does it explain how to prepare for, or take the first step in the whatever legal process you are describing?
You wouldn’t blow off an opportunity to explain your law firm’s value to a potential client in person, so don't downplay or ignore the opportunity to speak with hundreds of potential clients a month. Again, read your content. Ask others to read your content; especially people with little or no familiarity with your area of law. The feedback you receive can be very valuable.
Once you’ve got informative and easy to read content in place, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re offering some calls to action. I understand that the phrase “call to action” is a little cringe-worthy and usually just makes people imagine the simple “call now for a free consultation!” type of language. However, if you take the time to craft some more specific language it can be effective.
“Contact us today so you can learn more about how we can help you”
Call Now. We can help you understand how California Law affects your situation and your options for moving forward.”
“Email us your questions, and we will get back to you as soon as possible”
The key is to build in some type of value for your client, and move away from the type of language that people have heard over and over again like “free consultation” and “contact us today”.
Your visitors are more likely to move towards becoming clients if they know what to expect each step of the way. Understand that all of your visitors are bringing their experience (or lack thereof) with them when they come to your site. So, you want to be very clear about how this process works.
As consumers, we all have been looking for information or help only to get sucked into a high-pressure sales process. Make it clear that is not what’s going to happen when they call or email your law office. Tell them the first step and what they have to gain by taking it. “Come in now for a free consultation” is OK, but they have probably heard it so many times it's lost it's meaning. Instead, say something like “Come in, meet me and tell me about your case. I will help you understand how the law applies, and give you options for moving forward. Even if you decide not to work with me, you’ll have a better idea of what you're up against” we are assuring our potential client that they can move forward with confidence.
This becomes fairly practice area specific, but think back to questions and concerns that past clients have brought to their first meeting. For example, many people think that before they meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, they'll need to have all of their paperwork together. An attorney I know says “have a loose understanding of what you own and owe, and we can start the conversation”. That’s a LOT easier to set up a first meeting than thinking you first need to get "everything" together. The larger issue here is that people have anxiety about their legal situation. They feel like they’re bad people for talking to a divorce lawyer, they feel like they’re being opportunistic for talking to an injury lawyer, they think that they’re deadbeats for talking to a bankruptcy lawyer. Obviously none of these things are true, but they are very real boundaries when it comes to getting your visitors to turn into clients. The more you can clearly explain what you do for your clients the less anxious prospective clients will be about coming to see you.
In addition to the four steps listed above, think about using Remarketing through Google Adwords to help conversion on your site. No matter how well you are set up to convert your visits to clients, a great majority of your visitors will leave. Remarketing helps you get prospective clients BACK to your website after they leave. When hiring a lawyer, people tend to do some preliminary research, and then back off. They may have another trigger event which then gets them to start shopping for an attorney again (another past due notice, or another call from the adjuster, or the court date getting closer). It can be a long process, and remarketing can help you stay in front of them through the process. Not only do the ads serve as an easy means to return to your website, but they also help people remember your name from repeatedly seeing it. To learn more about remarketing, click here.Unfortunately, criminal defense, family law and bankruptcy law firms are not allowed to use remarketing. However, it's still a great tool for estate planning and especially injury lawyers.
If you have questions about how to increase conversion on your website, call email or text me and tell me a little bit about what you (or your vendor) have done with the site so far. I will look it over and get back to you with as much information as I can provide.