11 Small Things That Make a Big Difference for Your Law Firm Website
Little things mean a lot. That’s not just the title of a popular song from the 1950s, it’s also something to remember when it comes to your law firm website.
When a prospect visits your website for the first time, this is the first impression they have of you. Your website is leading them to make a judgment about you, and if they don’t like what they see, they are likely to move on to the next lawyer. After all, there are plenty of choices out there -- some of whom may have done a better job with their website than you.
Your web development team has hopefully already done a decent job of setting your site up so it pops up in search results on the first page. So people who are looking for the type of law you practice are going to find you. Whether or not they take the next step to picking up the phone or shooting you an email depends on what they find when they click on that link to your site.
The little things you need to do to your site are probably something you can do yourself; here are 11 of the small things that can make a big difference:
- Update your copyright.
That small copyright date at the bottom of your home page -- what year is there? If it’s anything before 2017, update it now. An old copyright date tells prospects your site is out of date. By extension, it says you are out of date, too.
- Personalize your profile.
Your parents care about where you went to law school (especially if they paid for it). Your granny cares. You care. Your prospective clients do NOT care. Oh sure, they will probably check your profile to be sure you actually attended law school, but it’s really to validate a decision they have already made to hire you.
The job of your law firm website is to help people make that hiring decision. People make decisions emotionally, so your site should include some personal tidbits that help them connect with you on an emotional level.
Maybe you decided to become a divorce lawyer because your parents went through a really ugly split and you want to help people disconnect humanely. Maybe you practice criminal law because your brother was wrongly convicted of a crime and it ruined his life. Maybe you and your dog visit children in the hospital. If you have a compelling story, tell it.
- Feel your prospect’s pain.
We all want to be understood, and prospects are coming to you not only hoping you will heal their pain but that you truly understand their journey. Does your content convey empathy? You must show prospects that you understand their problems, what they are going through, how it affects their families, etc.
- Show the real you.
As tempting as it may be to have a photo of yourself taken a decade or more ago, resist the temptation. If they won’t recognize you when they show up, it’s time to take down that first-year lawyer photo. And don’t be afraid to post photos of your real life -- taking a vacation, fishing, a nice family shot. It humanizes you and forges the connection.
- Write for people, not search engines.
Google no longer rewards websites that are stuffed with keywords, and it was never a good idea as far as enticing actual human beings to read your content. I mean, how many times do you need to read “Sacramento divorce lawyer” on a home page before your eyes glaze over? You are trying to get people to feel a connection to you on your law firm website and you only have a limited time to do it -- so forget the SEO stuff and concentrate on speaking directly to your prospective client.
- Say why.
People are looking for reasons why they should hire you and not the next guy or gal, so tell them. Tell them why you practice the type of law that you do, and why you are better at it than anyone else. “Because I care” doesn’t count. Everyone cares (or say they do). This is not a differentiating factor for you.
- Bring on the benefits.
Too many law firm websites focus on features and not enough on benefits. If I make the decision to hire you, what’s in it for me? Exactly what kind of benefits do I get from you? Are you a former prosecutor who now defends people accused of a crime so you know how the other side works? That’s a benefit to me.
- Make it easy to call.
Don’t make your visitors hunt for your phone number. Put it upfront on a banner on every page. Have an interactive email form. And for mobile users, make sure your number is clickable so all they have to do is press to call.
- Talk about your fee.
There isn’t anyone who hires a lawyer who doesn’t want to know what it is going to cost. Give prospects an idea of what their legal matter may cost by posting a range of fees for your services. People aren’t looking for a hard number, just a range will do to give them a feel for what they may pay. Transparency builds trust.
- Post free info.
Post your articles, ebooks, blog posts, etc. to your law firm website. Have a detailed FAQ section that answers the questions prospects are most likely to ask. You are not giving away anything for free, you are providing a sample that will help showcase your expertise. Be like Starbucks -- give a little sample so prospects want more.
- Ditch the hard sell.
Don’t litter your site with gadgets and widgets that pop up to encourage visitors to “Buy! buy! buy!” While one or two skillfully placed conversion tools can help you convert visitors into qualified leads, it’s a mistake to overload your site with these distractions. You want your visitors to be able to focus on the valuable information you are providing on your site. Too much of a hard sell turns them off.
You only have a few moments to make a positive impression on people visiting your law firm website for the first time. Making these small tweaks, you can create a site that helps you build trust and, eventually, a relationship.