The best advertising is word of mouth. And when it comes to choosing an attorney, the majority of people will “ask a friend” for recommendations to find a trustworthy lawyer. But a slight change in consumers’ behavior will soon change the way people find legal help, thanks to the Internet.
According to a study by The Research Intelligence Group, 76% percent of consumers looking for legal help turned to the Internet to supplement their search. Even if people asked for recommendations from their friends, they still went online to check the law firm’s website and to read consumer reviews.
Another survey reveals 35% of adults looking for a specialty lawyer will start their initial search on Internet. This percentage increases the younger the generation, as 42% of 25-34 year olds said they would turn straight to Internet tools rather than ask someone they know.
The Internet continues to grow day after day, and as business continues to move online lawyers should expect to see customers turning to the web to refine their search for legal aid. As each generation continues to strengthen their technical know-how, the percentage of customers turning to the Internet to search for legal help will only increase with each passing year.
More and more people search online to find an expert who can resolve their problems. Yet nearly 40% of all small legal firms don’t even have websites. An additional 27% who do have a website don’t even list their phone numbers and 68% don’t show their email addresses. In the age when the majority of potential clients are actively Googling for legal help, these law firms need to improve their online presence to attract new clients.
Legal practices looking to attract new clients should be right where their potential clients are: online. But a website alone doesn’t automatically translate to new business. In addition to hosting a website, law firms should invest in a sound digital marketing strategy to promote their services.
Tips to Win New Clients For Your Law Firm.
#1 Design a Professional Looking and Conversion-Friendly Website
A website alone can make or break all your digital marketing efforts. A website is like your business card in the digital space, so you’ll want a professional looking one that creates a great first impression and acquires user trust in the first 0.05 seconds.
- DESIGN: First impressions are almost 100% based on how visitors feel about a website’s design. For starters, your website has to be visually pleasing and not overwhelm clients with blocks of text. Fundamental aesthetics play a vital role, but note that your design should also align with your brand and goals. A cartoon character, for example, may be a cute element to add but is hardly appropriate to include on a law firm’s website.
- NAVIGATION: Once users decide to stay on your site, the next thing that can discourage your visitors from exploring in-depth is poor and complex navigation. Try not to confuse users on your site and provide them with a clear path to the most important information.
- MUST-HAVE’S: Your website not only has to appeal to your users and ensure great usability, it has to be conversion-friendly. Here are a couple of crucial elements to include in your website:
- Contact information: Your phone number, email and address have to appear on every page of your website so your potential clients can call you directly, send an email or visit your office.
- Clear message: Put your visitors at ease by telling them they are at the right place to receive legal help with their issues. Come up with catchy sentence to put on your homepage and make sure it’s the first thing that draws visitor’s attention.
- Call-to-action (CTA) boxes: Place simple call-to-action boxes on the sidebar of each page. Write copy that encourages your visitors to make the next step – such as calling you or leaving their contact information – to move them along the customer journey.
- YOUR STORY: Having all the above mentioned elements is non-negotiable. However, there’s something extra you can do to better connect with your potential clients before they meet or call you.
You may be wondering whether or not people want to know the backstory of who is going to take care of their troubles. But you’d be surprised how many clients want to learn more about the story behind each law firm. That’s why bio pages remain among the most visited pages on legal websites. Designing a bio page is not a must, but if you choose to, make sure it includes updated professional photos and a story describing your strengths, experience and expertise.
- MOBILE-FRIENDLINESS: Be prepared to meet your potential clients on mobile devices, as the majority of Google searches now take place on mobile. All elements (especially your “call” button) should be optimized for mobile devices, properly displayed and smoothly functioning.
- MULTILINGUAL INTERFACE: The use of multiple languages is more than appropriate for some specialized law practices, such as immigration law firms whose clients may not be fluent in English. Before you begin translating your website, check to see if adding additional languages makes sense given your customer demographics.
- REVIEWS: To improve customer convenience and strengthen client trust, incorporate reviews from Google My Business, Facebook, Avvo, Yelp and any other reviews sites you use. This way your potential clients don’t have to leave your website to check what other people are saying about your business.
#2 Produce Problem-Solving and Educating Content
Create content that brings value to your readers. Law is a very complex, confusing field to non-practitioners and those without legal background, so produce content that easily explains what you do. In most cases, your clients know and understand little about the extent of their legal troubles, whom to address and how serious the consequences may be. You are the one who should shed the light on the most troubling aspects of their issues and deliver a helpful solution.
The benefit of crafting high-quality content is two-fold. Besides educating your audience on specific topics and areas of law, good content influences your Google ranking. Don’t forget to include keywords that you want to rank for in your web content.
Don’t limit yourself to only written content. Once you have established a solid base of text, consider generating other types of law-focused content such as videos, audio files, infographics, white papers and more.
The golden rule here is to minimize the use of legal jargon as much as possible. Remember: you are addressing people who might not necessarily have any legal background. What they read (or listen to) should make sense to them, and not look like the glossary of legal terms.
#3 Create Landing Pages
If you offer multiple legal services, you may be tempted to list them all out on a simple page. In actuality, you need to create a separate page for every legal service you provide.
The best approach is to create a conversion-friendly landing page for each legal problem you specialize in. Let’s take immigration law firms as an example:
The most common immigration law issues are connected with citizenship, deportation, permanent visas/Green Cards and temporary visas, but that’s just a tip of the iceberg. The topic of citizenship alone can be divided into several categories, with their own challenges and solutions. There are so many situations when hiring an immigration lawyer is necessary and you may need a full page just to describe the ways to address immigration problems.
Show your potential clients that you know what to do with the immigration obstacles they face on a separate landing page dedicated to immigration. And on this landing page, you can talk about your advantages and encourage them to click on your CTAs to help resolve their legal troubles. By creating individual landing pages, you can go into greater detail about the services you provide and why you are the appropriate solution for your client.
#4 Set Up Google AdWords Campaign
Utilize the power of Google ads for your most popular services. This is also where your landing pages come into play. If someone is searching for specialized help, you’ll want to advertise your landing page that meets that specific need. Suppose a client wants to settle a deportation case. They’ll type in something like “best deportation lawyer” or “deportation defence” and see your ad. When they click on your ad, it takes them to a dedicated landing page that describes the exact services they need right now.
While writing your ad copies, strive for clarity and specificity, and put your potential client’s problems at the forefront. This way you will not only drive traffic, but attract the right customers who are ready to convert.
#5 Register on Directories and Marketplaces
Registering on directories and marketplaces means getting reviews from previous and current clients, driving traffic, generating leads, enjoying better rankings and promoting your brand to the next level. Push hard to register your company on as many as directories as possible, including: GMB, Yelp, Angie’s List, Avvo, Opporty, Thumbtack, Upcounsel, etc.
The more exposure your law firm has across the digital space, the better it is for your brand marketing. Increasing brand awareness can also lead to winning new clients for your law practice. People turn to directories and marketplaces not out of idle curiosity, but because they have an intention to hire a lawyer and your firm can’t afford to miss out on advertising to these potential clients.
Having your profile on directories and marketplaces does more than garner reviews. Google displays results from these websites higher in SERPs. Registering your law firm on these directories and marketplaces increases the likelihood that your profile will be found and seen by the right people at the right time.
Even though the legal services industry remains highly competitive, research shows that many law firms fail to utilize the Internet to establish a strong online presence. For firms that do take advantage of the Internet, they can gain a strong foothold in the legal industry and are likely to jump ahead of the competition. If you have serious intentions of gaining new clients, give these digital marketing tips a shot to see your brand awareness jump to the top of search engine pages and increase your business’ bottom line.