Not long ago, most websites for law firms were cold and uninviting, existing solely for the purpose of having a “web” presence. But like most professions, times change and competition heats up. Today, your website is your “online face.” It is your firm’s introduction to the world. It could be the most important piece of your marketing strategy, but not if it fails to convert a visitor to a client.
With a critical eye, look over your website. Is it devoid of helpful, educational content? Is it riddled with typos or poor grammar? Is there an existing blog that hasn’t seen a post in six months? Your website needs to provide the tools necessary to the types of clients you seek.
One thing’s for sure, people don’t do business with firms, they do business with people. When potential clients land on your firm’s website, they aren’t looking for a synopsis of your firm’s practice areas and a cluster of awards they’ve never heard of.
These people are looking to find an attorney who will understand and solve their problem. The law firm’s name doesn’t really matter; it is the relationship an attorney builds with the client that matters most. The website is simply how that all-important “know, like, and trust” relationship starts.
Rewrite Your Bio
Rewrite your bio to let your personality shine. Do not lead with the law school from which you graduated or whether you served on law review; this carries little to no weight with potential clients. Add your hobbies and interests; tell why you chose law practice as a profession. Be yourself.
Incorporate Real-World Examples
Display your competence in key areas by discussing the nuances of a particular case you handled. Mention accomplishments tied to client representation more prominently than accolades received from your peers. List relevant speaking engagements and published articles.
Take Your Best Shot
Display more than just a head shot; with the use of a professional photographer, be creative with how you present yourself. Consider a more casual look using an indirect upper body shot or a photo of you interacting with a client. The objective is to show your personality in a way that will attract your ideal client.
Educate the Masses
Provide educational content explaining the nuances of your practice. Define key terms, offer comparisons, or provide “know your rights” summaries. Use laymen’s terms and keep it simple and informative. Use Google’s free keyword tool for SEO research to find keywords and phrases to use throughout your articles; but avoid sounding stilted. Include links in your articles to internal pages on your website so visitors can find relevant content more easily.
Include a Blog
Your blog articles can help bring visitors one step closer to becoming clients. For example, a family law attorney would blog about matters involving child support, the divorce process, and marital property, which can appear in a Google search and help draw people to that attorney’s website.
In addition, blogging offers visibility. Bear in mind that if you are not blogging, other attorneys in your field are. A blog can help raise your online visibility from which you may derive many of your clients over time. It is an opportunity to remain competitive.
Add Explainer Videos
In today’s world where lawyers are losing clients due to the influx of DIY websites like Legalzoom, lawyers are realizing they have no choice but to experiment with various media to attract business.
If you have the gift of gab or a knack for simplifying complex concepts, video is a great way to showcase your knowledge and stand out from the crowd. Try breaking down a complicated concept into bite-size, easy-to-swallow chunks of useful information. People thirst for education and will appreciate it when an attorney can speak to them on their level without being condescending or pretentious.
Keep your videos less than three minutes in length. Give just enough to reel viewers in and convince them that you are the right lawyer for their specific problem.
Brand Your Email Address
It is surprising to see just how many attorneys are using email addresses ending in gmail, yahoo or the dreaded aol. As a potential client, I would wonder why this attorney isn’t taking him- or herself seriously as a business. There are only a few things in this world that are still somewhat inexpensive – a domain name and a branded e-mail address are two of them.
Tell Visitors What to Do
Include a call to action on every page. Use “Sign up for a free … ,” “Talk to an expert now” or “Schedule an appointment …” Include an online form to collect a potential client’s information for immediate and ongoing outreach.
American society is saturated with attorneys, so it is imperative to do whatever you can to stand out from the crowd.