Do you have a website but it isn’t drawing any attention? Is you law firm website traffic lower than you would like it to be?
Many people find that they spend a lot of time and effort putting up a website, only to find that they get nothing from it. They see no leads. The phone doesn’t ring. No one seems to take notice.
The reason is that most attorneys know nothing about the things that drive web traffic to a webpage which can include: web design, search engine optimization (SEO), and marketing. If you don’t know about these key elements of a website and don’t plan to learn, then you should outsource these activities.
However, if you’d like to learn a bit about what makes a website a poor performing one (and how to not fall into that category), then here are 17 things you can do to get more website traffic and clients. Following these steps will allow your website to have a much broader presence on the internet and literally drive customers to your firm.
To make things easier, these steps are broken up into 5 Phases. Let’s get started.
Phase 1: Make a Website Design Plan
Having a good website means that you understand your audience and know what they’d like to experience while at your site. It should also be a positive reflection of your brand. Finally, the website should get people to take some action in order to learn more about you or become your client.
Step 1: Know Your Ideal Client
Your ideal client, sometimes called an avatar, needs to be defined. Consider the following:
- Psychographics (Interests and activities)
- Problems and Concerns
- Worries, fears, and concerns
- How they feel about their current legal issues
Then, give your ideal client a name and write up the description in detail. “Avatar Name” is a (married/divorced/single) (man/women) with xx number of children who is (employed by/laid off/student/retired/just graduated college). “Avatar Name” believes that (service you provide) needs to happen because (fill in the blank). “Avatar Name” wants to (service you provide) in this way (fill in the blank) so that he/she can (fill in the blank).
Step 2: Create your USP
A USP is a Unique Selling Proposition and it is closely related to your perfect client. Your USP is what makes your firm unique from everyone else. If you are a bankruptcy lawyer, saying so isn’t your USP because it does not help you stand out from the crowd of other bankruptcy lawyers. You have to be different!
Here are some things that might make you unique:
- Unique services
- Unique pricing structure
- Unique time frame
Coming up with a powerful USP is crucial because it explains who you are on the Internet. A good USP will help you stand out better than a pretty website.
Step 3: Describe Your Ideal Client’s Ideal Experience On Your Website
When a client comes to the office, you likely consider how the client will feel while there. You do this through things like dress codes for employees, scripts for greeting new clients, ambiance in the waiting area and offices, coffee and water, flowers, and more. You want your clients to feel comfortable and trust that you can do what you say you can do. You understand that first impressions mean a lot.
The same thing holds true for websites. Don’t keep using outdated websites that do nothing for your clients. Instead, figure out a way to add “first impressions” to your website to give your perfect clients the right experience.
Step 4: The Marketing Funnel Online
Your website should be part of your online marketing funnel. This makes your website simple because you are trying to gain 3 things:
- Reach – This means your website must be SEO optimized, load quickly, and have authority
- Engagement – Add triggers that make your clients trust you and feel you have authority
- Conversion – Make your website useful for lead generation. This means that you need lead forms, calls to action, and opt-in opportunities
Phase 2: Launch Your Website Using WordPress
Once you’ve completed the first four steps, you need to put what you’ve learned into actually creating a website. The best and easiest website creation tool to use is WordPress. There are literally thousands of themes that you can select that will fit the general design that you are looking for.
Step 5: Select Your Hosting
Your hosting provider needs to be fast, stable, affordable, and secure. Some people think that they can just pay a cheap amount for a cheap host and be done. Others think they need to spend the big bucks. Neither is true. There are a variety of hosting services out there now and it can be incredibly overwhelming. Our favorite hosting provider is www.HostGator.com. They are both affordable and extremely reliable.
While you find a proper hosting platform, it is important to be sure that they allow WordPress to be installed on the servers and have an easy installation method. If done properly, this will literally allow you to build out the entire framework for your website literally in seconds. This is another reason why we use www.HostGator.com
Step 6: Pick a WordPress Theme
WordPress offers a large number of predesigned themes to make website building much easier. Each of these themes can be customized as needed. Make sure the theme you choose is optimized for :
- Automatically adjusts for mobile devices
With WordPress themes, most of the design work has been done. You’ll just need to make a few adjustments and customizations to the various texts, images, and colors that you would like your law firms website to reflect.
Phase 3: Engage Your Visitors
In Internet time, if you can get someone to stay at your website for longer than 8 seconds, then you have them engaged. Adding elements to your website that gets your customers or prospects engaged is extremely essential.
Step 7: Personal Photos and Video
Law firms need to make a human connection with their potential clients. Potential clients do not want to see law firm paraphernalia like gavels and the scales of justice. They don’t want to see stock photos of well-mannered families playing on overly groomed yards. Just like they wouldn’t want to come into your office and be greeted by someone pretending to be a lawyer or someone pretending they were a client.
People coming to your website are looking for someone they can trust to help them with their legal issues. Be the person they can trust by showing a photo or video of yourself on the home page. Greet them in person. Be real.
Step 8: Make Your Headlines Count
The headlines should focus on your ideal customer and their interests. Don’t make the headlines about you, make them 100% about the customer and their needs. All headlines should talk about your customer’s problems, not about your firm.
Step 9: Use Trust Icons
Trust Icons are those icons that establish trust with your audience. Things such as the Better Business Bureau, Bar Associations, Chamber of Commerce, Bar Certified, AV-ratings, SuperLawyers and press you’ve been featured in are all good trust icons to use.
Phase 4: Optimize Your Website
Now that your website is launched, you need to make sure that your website turns visitors into leads. This is called conversion rate optimization. Your goal is to do what it takes to get them to take action through opt-in forms, lead forms, or a phone call.
Step 10: Use Lead Forms On Each Page
Do not make it difficult for your potential clients to reach you. There should not be just one “contact us” page that your customers have to search for. Instead, make it easy. Have a contact form on every page they might visit. Statistics show that the more lead forms you have on your site, the more leads forms will be filled out. The form should only ask for 2 to 3 fields of information such as name, phone, and email. Save the intake form for later in the process. The links should be in your sidebar, header, or footer.
Make sure that you call back any lead you get within one to four hours. The faster you respond to them, the more likely you are to get the business. Remember, many consumers go with the first lawyer that reaches them.
Step 11: Include an “Opt-In Magnet”
Not everyone that visits your website is going to be ready to contact you for a consultation. But you don’t want them to disappear without you ever knowing they were there. So, offer something of high quality that you can give them in exchange for their email address. This will help you build a list of qualified prospects that you can use for marketing.
Opt-In Magnets include such things as:
- White Papers
- Resource Lists
- Articles, such as the 10 Things You Must Know About “Your Service”
Make sure to include a call to action at the end of every post. That call to action could ask them to sign up for the opt-in magnet.
Step 12: Phone Numbers Need To Be Huge
You may not like the way it looks, but having your phone number in large font will get more people using your phone number. The number should be included on every page and in every footer.
Phase 5: Use SEO Best Practices
It will be beneficial for you to use Search Engine Optimization if you are going to dominate the market in your field. If people can’t find your website, then everything you’ve done to this point will be worth nothing.
Step 13: Yoast SEO Plugin
The Yoast plug-in will walk you through setting up your website so that SEO is utilized. It will talk about SEO terms such as sitemaps, permalinks, and site-wide settings. It will also help you create SEO friendly pages and blogs posts.
Step 14: Google Analytics
If you measure it, you can improve it. That is what Google Analytics can do for you. It will provide you with feedback about your design, content, and advertising. It is easy to install and takes zero technical skills.
Step 15: Think of Local SEO
Law firms target local areas. You don’t want to be reaching clients in Texas if you are located in Iowa. Therefore, your SEO needs to be localized. Here are some things you can do to increase the visibility of your local searches:
- Only market in cities in which you have an office
- Have your address on every page of your website
- Make your title tags local by saying Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer instead of just Personal Injury Lawyer
Step 16: Speed It Up
Your website will be ranked higher if it loads faster. To do this, you will want to be sure to use a good host, but you will also want to add two plug-ins called WP Minify and WP Super Cache. These can speed up your site considerably.
Step 17: Google Authorship
When you claim authorship of your site, you are showing to Google and your customers that you own the site and the material. This gives you a bigger trust factor. It is easy to create and will make a big difference in SEO.
If you follow these 17 steps, you will see your online presence grow by leaps and bounds!