Your website is one of the most important marketing and business development tools you have. The primary purpose of your website is two fold: 1) to help potential clients find you; and 2) once they find you, to tell them about you and what you do.
Whether a small or large firm, there are 6 website features that are crucial to generating more leads: Mobile, Contact Info, Attorney Profiles, Practices Areas, Testimonials and Reviews, and a Blog.
Potential clients are almost certainly searching for your services on a phone. More often than not, searches with local intent (e.g. a local lawyer) are performed on a mobile device. This shift in mobile preference makes it even more important to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. If a user visits your website and it isn’t optimized for mobile, it can make it more difficult for them to see and process the information on the site—but more importantly, you immediately come across as unsophisticated.
In early 2015, Google announced that they would be using “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal for mobile searches. What does this mean for your law firm? Beyond the importance of a mobile website for user experience, if you don’t have a mobile or responsive website yet, you may find your rankings dropping in mobile search results. Try out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure your website is optimized.
Easy To Contact
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many websites don’t have contact information easily accessible. Here are some tips to consider:
- Add a phone number in the header of your website so it appears on every page;
- Make phone numbers on your website click-to-call links to streamline the process for mobile users;
- Include a link to a contact page in your primary navigation. Your contact page should include a general inquiry form; and
- Include email addresses or a phone number for individual attorneys on their profile page.
Did you know that attorney profiles are often the most visited pages on a firm’s website? As much as 56% of visitors to a law firm’s website will visit the attorney profiles (Above The Law). To capitalize on this interest, make sure each attorney profile has:
• Practice areas
• Professional headshot
• Unique differentiator
• Newsworthy, relevant legal issues
• Experience and education
Qualifications and education are important to prospective clients, but it is also important that they like you! Consider adding a level of personalization to build a connection with clients.
It is important that prospective clients know what you can do for them. Have a page on your website that lists your top practice areas, which can link to individual pages for sub-practice areas or further information. Consider linking to attorney profiles that specialize in each practice area to aid in the hiring process.
In addition to helping visitors find the information they need, practice area pages can provide an SEO benefit for your website. Many visitors who find your website through a search engine will be searching for practice area + location (ex: real estate law firm Chicago). Having practice area pages can help you get found in search engines.
Recommendations from third parties are often more trusted than from the source itself. Build trust and credibility by adding client testimonials, awards, and recognitions to your website. You can even embed or link to reviews on third party sites (e.g. Yelp or Google) as an additional source.
Having a blog on your website is a great way to position you or your firm as a subject matter expert on legal issues. Beyond credibility, blogging has SEO benefits and helps prospective clients find your website on search engines. TIP: maintain a blog frequency of six or more blogs per month because blogs that are infrequently updated actually hurt credibility. Here are examples of content ideas for lawyers who blog.
Do you have practice area pages on your website like we mentioned earlier? Consider adding a feed of blogs relevant to that practice area on each of those pages to further demonstrate expertise or aid visitors on their quest for information.
Having a website is a must, but merely throwing something together will get you nowhere—it needs to be a good website. Ensure that you incorporate 6 features that every law firm website should have: Mobile, Contact Info, Attorney Profiles, Practices Areas, Testimonials and Reviews, and a Blog.