How To Generate Leads From Your Law Firm Website
By John Hogg
Tags:law firm website lawyer website
It would be fair to say that the typical law firm website doesn’t produce many leads.
And why is this you may be asking?
- Could it be that law firms sell complex legal services and therefore can't transact online easily or is it because not too many firm's have grasped the nettle and have developed a robust online process to attract visitors to their legal websites, give them something to do in order to become a lead and then nurture and follow up with them to convert them into new clients for their firm?
If this sounds appealing, the first step will be to make sure you are very clear in what you are trying to achieve!
But before we go any further, I am guessing that you are probably saying to yourself that you already have a website for your law firm so you don't need to read any further?
If this is the case, let's say for sake of argument that you meet someone and they look up your bio for a bit of a credibility check. What next? Is that it? Will we just leave them to get in touch someday... if they remember? Or will we have a process to engage with them there and then?
Let's answer a quick question before we go any further, which of the options below would your lawyer website fall into:
- It looks great, has lovely biographies but just doesn’t bring in any work?
- It looks a bit dull, has a news section/ blog which hasn’t been updated for a few months/ years but it just doesn’t bring in any work?
- You have a bit of a website with a few bullet points to describe the types of law you offer and just doesn’t bring in any work?
If your law firm fits into one (or all!) of these categories what would happen if you could take a big step back and see your law firm website design as a business development tool which bring in new business rather than just being one of those things you feel you must have (but don’t really know why)?
Wouldn’t this be a good thing?
Where do you start?
Before you even start the build of your new legal website we would advocate getting your strategy locked down first and to build out a plan of attack from the very beginning.
With this in mind why not work through the steps below and when you can answer each of these questions in detail you will be in a much better position to develop the brief for your new law firm website…
Who Is Your Client?
First of, let’s look at who your clients actually are and where they come from. This may seem a bit simplistic but the number of firms who don’t actually spell this out in order to drive their law firm’s business development or marketing efforts is quite surprising.
Once you have identified the target sectors you are aiming for, the best way to go about understanding your clients is to develop what we call a Customer Persona or in the case of law firms, a Client Persona. This is a semi-fictitious representation of, say 3 or 4, of your real world target clients.
Think about the various sectors you are targeting and the main types of people you typically sell to.
- Do you sell to the Managing Director or the HR director or perhaps even their in-house Legal Counsel?
Once you have identified the main types of people you need to target try and visualise them as real people and list out their main characteristics (age, life stage, marital status, children, etc.).
Write this all down and give each group a name for their persona such as “Businessperson Bert”, “HR Hanna” or “In-house Ian”. Your Client Persona will never represent everyone in your sector, however, it will cover most of them and most importantly it will start to focus your mind on the key people you need your website to appeal to.
What Are They Looking For?
With your shiny new Client Personas all named and mapped out as to who they are, the next important step you need to take is to think through the aspirations and pains these people have. If you understand what it is they are striving for your marketing, and indeed your new lawyer website, can be designed to appeal to them.
Likewise, if you understand the pains your Client Personas suffer and can articulate how your practice can help them to solve these pains, then you will be well on your way to not only identifying your market, but more importantly, you can now engage with them on their level.
Your new approach will bring with it an element of acceptance and trust because you will now be talking to them on their level and not talking at them about how great you are as a lawyer (which is very important when you are trying to sell them an expensive legal proposition).
How Are They Going To Find You?
“Build it and they will come” was the famous line in the Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams” although unfortunately this isn’t true when you move online. If you are going to build a new website for your law firm you need to make sure people can find it. There is no point building the best law firm websites in the world if no-one actually knows where they are and they only attract a small number of visitors.
- So, how is your chosen audience going to find you?
The important thing to note here is that based on the work you have done at steps one and two above, you at least know “who” it is you want to visit your website... you just have to work out “how” to get them there now.
Let’s think this through…
If you know who you want and you understand their pains you should now be able to develop a large list of possible search terms that these people might type into a search engine, such as Google, in order to find answers to these pains/ challenges.
Develop this list and you will have a list of “Keywords” which you can use to optimise your content with in order to make sure your content is found on Google.
This will help you to address the organic side of traffic to your legal website and in many cases this will be enough, however, dependent on the speed you want to travel at and the competitiveness of the industry you are targeting, you may need to consider using targeted online advertising such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads or indeed ads on other social platforms, such as LinkedIn.
Lastly, don’t forget to leverage the power of social media to drive traffic to your lawyer website. We will talk about the importance of high-quality, relevant content next, however promoting your content through social media is often a very useful way to generate traffic to your website.
What Is It That Your Law Firm Website Is Going To Do For Your Chosen Audience?
We’ve done a lot of talking about your audience and getting found, however, what is it that your website is going to do for your audience? What is it that will make you interesting to your visitors?
- Is your new lawyer website going to list a series of bullet points for each practice area?
- Is it going to have a news section full of “We Did This…”, “We Won That”, and “We Are The Best” posts?
If it is, I'm sorry to say that your new website is going to fall into the same bucket as all those other lawyer websites that you are trying to stand out from.
Please don’t make this mistake...
- Go back to your audience and start to develop a content plan which addresses their aspirations and their pains and make sure you give them something relevant.
If you do this you will be able to map out a content plan covering the various topics you think your audience would be interested in. Make sure you also keep the production of new content going and don’t just stop after two weeks like most other people.
Develop your Content Plan and write a batch of content to give you enough of a breathing space when you go live so that you have a bit of time to work on the next batch of content. The more content you add to your law firm website, and the more regularly you add it, will allow you to start to dominate the keywords you have chosen for your ‘Client Personas’. This in turn will allow you to appear higher up the search results on the likes of Google. The higher up the page you are, the higher the amount of traffic you will receive to your law firms’ website.
Did You Know… a survey found that over 60% of traffic went to the top 3 results in Google with almost 35% of traffic going to the number 1 rank...
So hurry up. What's keeping you?
Work out who your client personas are, what their key issues and pains are, develop a list of realistic queries they would type into Google, develop a content plan to address and appeal to these issues and then optimise this content for the keywords you have identified.
You should now have good quality, relevant traffic coming to your website to consume your content.
Is that it?
Sorry, not yet...
How Will You Convert These Visitors To Your Lawyer Website Into Leads?
If you have got this far you are so much further in your thinking than most of the other law firms out there at the moment, but so what?
You need to convert these visitors to your legal website into leads otherwise there is no point doing anything and you would be much better off just leaving the website as a pretty shop window with lovely pictures of your lawyers.
To really take your law firm website to the next level and start to generate high quality leads from it, you need to start thinking about what we like to call, the Conversion Path.
One of the best ways to do this is to develop some premium content, or a "Content Offer", as we like to call it. When you do this, you are once again appealing to the pains of your Client Personas so that it will resonate with them and they will want to download and read it.
Your Premium Content will be much more in-depth than the blogs on your law firm website and may be something like an e-book, a checklist or a template to help your visitors to do something and solve any pains or challenges they may be suffering from. For example, if your law firm offers conveyancing then why not develop a content offer such as an ebook called, “Five Simple Steps To Make Your House Move Go Smoothly”. You are addressing the issue your clients might have and you aren’t overtly promoting your conveyancing service.
- What you are doing is providing your visitors with "Value In Advance" or "Paying It Forward" as some people like to call it.
When you develop these content offers you don’t just leave them on your website as a simple, “Download Your PDF here”. This is premium content after all so you need to have the mindset that your visitors need to "pay" for this content by entering their name and email address as payment.
They get valuable content to help them learn whatever it is they want to learn and you get a lead.
A quid pro quo!
In Conclusion - How To Generate Leads From Your Law Firm Website
So there you have it. A few tried and tested techniques to turn your boring old law firm website into a sophisticated business development tool capable of generating a significant number of high quality leads.
Hopefully you can see that generating leads from law firm websites is not as impossible as you once thought it was. With a clear direction and a bit of hard work producing high-quality content that your audience wants to consume and you will be well on your way to generating high-quality leads from your law firm’s website.
Don’t leave it to chance and don’t just assume it can’t be done as "no-one buys legal services online", make a concerted effort to take a strategic approach to your law firm website and you will be rewarded with regular, high-quality leads for your practice.
We hope this blog has helped you to find a way to new clients for your law firm. As usual we would love to hear from you and hear all about which tactics work best for your firm.
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If you would like a quick chat about how you could drive more business from your law firm website, please get in touch for a no obligation, free consultation or download our Free Guide On To How To Design The Best Lawyer Website.
John is managing director of Enlighten IC and has been involved in legal marketing and technology marketing for over 25 years. He is passionate about how an inbound approach to marketing can help firms to drive leads and grow their business.Get In Touch