Why Legal Websites Don't Produce New Clients
By John Hogg
Tags:inbound marketing for solicitors lawyer websites
Is it actually possible for legal websites to produce leads?
Before we start can we have a quick show of hands please?
Are you a lawyer and has your law firm got a website?
Invariably, most legal practices will have a website these days, but ask if they are producing leads and the answer is generally NO!
So, perhaps the real question is... why do you actually have a website for your law firm?
Is it because one of the following is true?
- Everyone has one these days?
- Some legal marketing guy said you must have one?
- You think it would be great if you had an online brochure so people could read your biographies and learn about your legal experiences?
- You want something that looks better than your competitors' websites?
- All of the above?
Don't worry! No matter how you answered, how would you feel if we suggested the following answer instead?
You might think this will never work for legal websites, however, we are deadly serious when we say this…
“Your law firm website should be producing multiple leads every month for you to engage with and convert into new clients.”
So, where is it all going wrong?
Legal websites need a plan!
As the old adage goes... fail to plan your law firm website and plan to fail!
What stops a lot of legal websites from having any chance of creating leads is that they have no purpose... no plan. No-one has taken the time to sit down and think through the types of visitors they want to come to their website and how they might be enticed into becoming a lead. Even fewer have committed to any goals for their website in terms of the number of visitors or leads they would like to generate from their law firm website each month.
We all know that without goals to aim for and proper plans in place, nothing ever happens and the status quo is maintained. With this in mind, a law firm website tends to fall into two camps.
- They built it and that’s it job done. No need to look at it again. The “we need a website” box has been ticked.
- They build it and update the site semi-regularly with news about events and activities within the practice (including a few nice pictures) and the odd legal update is added as and when they are written. It's all about them!
The trouble with this approach is that there is no compelling reason for anyone to come back. There is nothing of interest. No value provided. It’s a bit, let's be honest, “all about us”.
Know Your Audience
The second step on your journey to generating high quality leads from your lawyer website is to know your audience. Who is it that your law firm is targeting? Which sectors of the market are most interested in your service?
Find out what the make-up of your typical clients are within these sectors and then try to determine their particular pain points and the various issues they need to resolve (and that you can help them with).
Content, Content, Content... it is still King!
Now that you know who it is you are specifically targeting and the issues they are looking for solutions to, you can begin to produce content outlining how you can help them to find these solutions.
Do bear in mind that everyone will be at a different point on their journey to becoming a client so you will need different types of content for each.
- Awareness Stage content — At the beginning of their journey, potential clients will be in process of discovering that they have some sort of problem which may need a legal solution. They are suffering pain. You need to develop content which resonates with this and can appeal to what it is they need help with.
- Consideration Stage content — As potential clients begin to research how they can solve their particular problems they will be looking for content which provides solutions. What are the various solutions to solve their problems? Help them with this by producing content outlining the various solutions to these problems although do not start outlining HOW YOU can solve these problems.
- Decision Stage content — The final stage in a potential client's journey towards becoming a client is the decision stage. During the decision stage potential clients want to read case studies, they want to see comparisons, they want to know the pros and cons so that they can make an informed decision. Let them know this by producing content in this vein. Only during this stage of the buyers journey should you mention your firm’s name and how you go about solving these particular issues for clients. It is only at this stage that YOU become relevant to the potential client. Anything up to this point is seen as over-playing your hand and could put a potential client off from signing up with your firm.
If You Don't Ask You Don't Get
Another area which law firms don’t exploit to convert more visitors to their website into leads, is through the placement of relevant “Calls To Action” throughout the course of their website.
If your website only has a “Contact Us” page as the main way for someone to get in touch to find out more, you are missing a big trick in terms of generating leads from your website.
Is “Contact Us” all you are going to do to engage with your website visitors?
Extend the concept of your Content plan for each step of the buyers journey and develop more in-depth content which can be used as a “Content Offer” which visitors can fill in their email address to download the particular piece of content. To access these Content Offers you will need to place various Calls To Action throughout the course of your law firm’s website to engage with visitors and convert them into leads.
Let’s Convert These Visitors Into Leads and Leads Into Clients
The last step to ensure you generate high quality leads from your law firm website is to set up a Conversion Path which will map out the process by which a visitor can:
- - visit your website;
- consume content such as a blog;
- click on a Call to Action to access a related Content Offer;
- enter an automated workflow to send out relevant, timed emails;
- engage & nurture the potential client through more content;
- set up an appointment; and
- convert them from a lead into a client.
We hope you have found this blog on the reasons “Why Legal Websites Don’t Produce New Clients” useful. If you see the potential that a well structured approach could bring to your law firm and generate high quality leads simply remember our five point plan:
- The best law firm websites have a plan;
- Know your audience and your actions will be much more targeted and therefore resonate much better with your audience;
- Develop content relevant to your audience and the pains they suffer and make sure you develop content for each stage of the Buyers' Journey;
- If you don’t ask you won’t get, so make sure you have enough 'Content Offers' linked to specific 'Calls to Action' throughout your website as this is will be the beginning of your quest to generate new leads from your legal website; and
- Finally, you need to map out a 'Conversion Path' which will illustrate your exact process step by step, including a series of automated, non-spam-like, emails to help nurture your leads until they are ready to step forward and speak to someone about becoming a client.
We would love to hear your views about this blog on the reasons “Why legal websites don’t produce new clients” so please feel free to add your comments below. If you really like what we have had to say we would also be grateful if you could share this blog on your social media channels.
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You might also like to check out our free ebook “How To Design The Best Lawyer Website” for more information.
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