So your law firm finally got its website. Now, what are you going to do with it? As of 2022, 94% of law firms already have their own website according to the American Bar Association and over 60% of law firms even have their own blog. Even Doctors have started to optimize their digital profiles to draw in new patients.
Like many other industries, the law community has made its way online, but that doesn’t mean they're using every tool to their advantage. Having a website doesn’t just mean having your profile picture and phone number pasted on a basic webpage like the billboards strewn across the highway. The web is now the forum on which roughly 30% of all business is done. You need to have an inviting, optimized page that draws in traffic and converts that traffic into new clients. We here at The 215 Guys have spent years helping our clients do that very thing, so here are just a few of our tips on turning your basic website into its own success story.
Google Search Results are the New Billboards and Buses
Having your phone number plastered on bus stops, taxis, and billboards is still an effective strategy to spread the word about your practice - but for anyone looking to optimize their client list, it’s time to step out of the 80s and into the 21st century. While thousands of drivers might still be making their way down freeways lined with billboards, that number pales in comparison to the number of digital visitors sitting in Google’s online traffic every day.
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A study stated that 96% of people seeking legal advice will use a search engine at some point. It’s become the easiest way to get an immediate answer to any question, whether that question is a simple one of legality or if you’re looking for representation in a case large or small. To make sure that you get seen in those results, you need to turn your small digital presence into a large virtual billboard with tools like search engine optimization(SEO), blog posts, and more.
Obviously, we always suggest a pixel perfect website, but don't forget about your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). It's free and easy. While it might be weird for a law firm to get reviews, some times people have no problem doing it - you just have to ask. There are many benefits to a GBP like it shows up high on Google if you're listed, it's free, and did I mention it's free?
Earn Trust and Establish Expertise with Blogs
Helpful advice blogs work wonders on countless businesses’ online traffic, and they could be doing the same work for you or your firm. When it comes to giving “advice” in a legal capacity, I know you have to be careful about what advice you can and cannot give. You don’t want to get yourself in the same trouble your clients might be in! As long as there's a disclaimer, you should be okay. You tell me, you're the lawyer.
Still, a blog that demonstrates your expertise on the specific kinds of law that you and your firm practice is a must. Blogs on related topics demonstrate your expertise, establish authority in your field, and eventually convert some of those online visitors into clientele.
Know The Story BEFORE You Take the Meeting
Not everyone’s a Saul Goodman, handling dozens and dozens of clients at a time thanks to shady business practices and a little artistic license from Hollywood writers. In reality, a tidy schedule is likely the work of several overworked secretaries or paralegals who’ve been sorting through countless emails, voicemails, and calls. Why not give them a break and let your website do that for you?
With a Contact Us page, potential clients can explain their situation in a way that doesn’t tie up your phone lines. You, your partners, or your employees will be able to determine whether or not a client or case is worth pursuing, you’d be able to determine which member of your practice is most appropriate for a first meeting, and you’d be able to create a Living Document of notes for your team to access.
Distinguish Yourself and Your Law Your Practice with SEO
If you’re not already using some form of SEO software or plugin, you need to start doing it yesterday. Search engine optimization is a simple concept that can be executed in several complex ways. It’s a tool that you can use to optimize your web content, writing, and appearance in search results so that when someone searches for an answer to their question, they find you. The keywords that appear throughout your page are all tools you could be using to your advantage, all you need to do is install another tool that will help you do that.
Even website management systems like WordPress have a few SEO plugins to choose from, including Yoast. We’ve even done the research to show that these plugins have little effect on the speed of your website, so stop wasting your web space and start optimizing for traffic that turns into future clients.
Your Website is ALWAYS Open - Your Offices Aren’t
There’s a reason that the bail bondsmen closest to the city jail are open 24 hours. The truth is that legal issues arise at all hours of the day. Depending on their severity and importance, it might be in your future client’s best interests to contact you as soon as possible, or to have access to important documents relevant to their cases.
With a dedicated portal system, your website will be available to clients when your offices may not be. This study showed that client satisfaction increased 30% when law firms were open 24/7. That isn’t a viable option for every lawyer or firm, but by creating a portal system that gives clients easy access to communication channels, or important documents, you’ll be able to give them round-the-clock service without having your doors open.
Let Your Website Make Your Calendar FOR YOU
If you’re using a paper calendar for anything other than your kid’s baseball practices, you’re doing it wrong. It’s time to digitize your dates and meetings in a way that solves problems for you and your potential clients. No assistant or partner wants to cross-check your paper calendar when they’re trying to book a big meeting - and neither should your potential clients. Your website should have its own appointment function that can easily integrate into the digital calendar you use.
By making this readily available on your website, it’ll be easier for you or your clients to make appointments, reschedule them, determine their priority or importance, and ensure that everyone is on the same virtual page.
So stop wasting your digital space. It’s time to turn your page into a website that turns traffic into clients.