The single most important tool in law firm marketing is having a webpage. But it goes without saying that there are a lot of attorney and law firm websites that your page will be competing with. Therefore, it is imperative to differentiate yourself from the competition through your website.
To help you do this, there are five common mistakes that the majority of lawyer and law firm websites make. Below is the list of mistakes you can avoid to help distinguish your website from the many others on the internet.
1 – Wasting the top one-third to one-half of your firm on “useless” information.
The hardest part about online marketing is getting prospective clients to your website. Once they are there, you should always be able to convince them you are the right person for the job. However, so many attorney and law firm websites have “useless” information at the top of their page. This is horrible considering that visitors immediately entering your website will see this first! If this is cluttered, does not look professional, or is not immediately helpful, the visitor is likely to click away to one of the other thousands of legal websites. Useless information includes over-sized logos, pictures of the attorneys or city where the firm is located, and “boasting” information about the firm’s successes. These all sound like great ideas, and they should be somewhere on your website or even later on the first page, but not the first thing that a visitor will see. A prospective client who clicks on your website should immediately see that you can help them and where they should look next for the answer.
2 – Using your main “landing” page of your website to talk about the attorneys.
People outside of the legal world have no idea what Law Review, moot court, or even how the different law schools outside of the obvious top four or five rank. Thus, these should not be taking up space on your main page of your website. Period! So many legal websites waste valuable space on their landing page explaining the history of their founding partner or their major litigators. There is much more important information that needs to be on this page to help answer the visitor’s questions or aim them in the direction to another page for the answer. Notwithstanding, this information should still be on your webpage somewhere to help you increase your referrals from other attorneys or for a particular savvy (or litigious) client who might find this information valuable still.
3 – Not having an easily accessible bar of buttons or links to your other internal pages.
Have you ever been to a website that was impossible to navigate? The information was there, but it was either burdensome or downright impossible to go from page to page searching for or reading the information you sought. Now image you are deciding whether or not to pay the owner of that website money–a lot of money–for other services that should also be well-organized. See my point? Disorganized attorney or law firm websites can absolutely pacify the most aggressive of clients. So many legal websites are either so congested or poorly linked to other internal pages that it is downright frustrating to browse through. So what do the client do? He or she will just go to one of the other thousands of legal websites! In addition, when a visitor comes to your website, they should immediately know where they need to next go for an answer; do not hide the information the client is seeking! If you put out free information, make sure to advertise it every spot searchers could find it.
4 – Failing to have either “chat boxes” or contact information and firm location immediately visible on the homepage.
Way too many legal websites make you have to hunt or search this information down. A visitor should immediately know where you are located and how to contact you when they enter your page. Nowadays many website service providers have an open for a “live chat”–USE IT. Many legal websites now have them and they are great sources of business because it adds a personal touch to get clients immediately engaged with what they think is another person. In realty, it is a program with a set of responses for certain information typed into the chat window by the client. The computer will have a full conversation with the client getting the basic facts, client contact information, and telling the client that an attorney will contact them back soon. It will then store this information and e-mail you a daily report of all the business generated and e-mail it to you directly.
5 – Optimize for search engines!
Yesterday’s post should really stressed this. To recap, make sure to use strong title tags, descriptions, and appropriate labels for lay persons to find you. Even if you have the world’s best website, if your search engine ranking is really low you’ll never get to show your website off to clients. So many lawyer or law firm websites have horrible title tags and descriptions which will never yield results unless individuals were specifically searching for their firm!
If you can avoid these five common and fatal mistakes many attorney and law firm websites make, you will help to distinguish your page from the others. But note, this is not the be-all cure for increasing your business–these will only help. Moreover, this is not an overnight or “light-switch” fix to start getting new clients. There are many other techniques you can use to help grow your business such as creating substantial legal content for your blog or website pages. Continue to follow this blog for more tips and tricks to grow you practice, or contact us to learn how we can help you at inquiries@NABLegalMarketing.com.