A best practice guide for building a successful law firm website
In today’s ever-evolving online society, prospective clients are increasingly using the internet to search for legal representation. They are more likely to be influenced by PPC and Facebook ads than traditional print and television ads. Online advertising is quickly surpassing old-form advertisements in lead generation, and it’s essential for law firms to capitalize on the post-pandemic culture of accessible online services
Search engine and social media ads are great for generating leads, but conversions become unlikely if the advertised law firm’s website is outdated and generic. A law firm’s website should be its digital office, and just like a firm’s physical address, the location and appearance of its website matter.
For a website, its location in page rank is vital. Needed traffic will become less viable if a site is not on the first page after a search. For a law firm’s website to rank high in search results, it must contain search engine optimization.
The appearance of a law firm’s website is open to significant judgment in the eyes of potential clients. They are seeking expert legal advice and will doubt a law firm’s capabilities if its site is bland and displays little effort.
The physical offices of most law firms have beautiful decor and other elements that project the firm’s persona, brand, and validity. A website should look professional, and confidently and accurately echo a law firm’s ideals. Moreover, it should be fast, a source of information, and an experience.
Updating a Law Firm Website
Outdated websites are relatively useless in today’s online climate; if it’s been ten years since its last update, it’s not getting organic traffic. Websites need a constant stream of fresh content to stay relevant. They need SEO content with relevant keywords, pictures, graphics, videos, testimonials, call-to-actions, and live chats. Websites also need to be mobile-friendly and have fast site speed.
Improving a law firm’s website can seem daunting, but it should be a part of any long-term marketing strategy. Online ads are great for generating leads, but a website needs to be able to generate organic traffic, as well. SEO and online ads have a symbiotic relationship; both are necessary to establish a healthy influx of clients.
How SEO Generates Traffic
Writing SEO content with relevant keywords (e.g., area of practice and services) will help a website rank higher and ultimately bring in more traffic. Header tags (H1, H2, and H3) containing keywords are a big part of SEO writing, but the writing needs clarity, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Putting time and effort into creating original expert-level content (e.g., blog posts, landing pages, and case studies) for the edification of potential clients will project authority and earn trust. Whatsmore, the content will boost a website’s rankings. A website must be in the top half of the first search engine results page (SERP) to successfully bring traffic to its landing page.
Using SEO content to generate traffic is an ongoing process; even if a law firm’s website ranks in the top half — the job is not over. The foundation is in place, but fresh content must be produced continuously for a site to remain in the top half and ahead of the competition.
Website Design and Functionality
Once prospective clients visit an SEO-optimized website via the SERP, the last thing one wants to deal with is a high-bounce rate. It’s crucial to ensure a website is interactive, easy to navigate, fully responsive, and functional to avoid having individuals bouncing back to the SERP.
Most of the individuals who visit a law firm’s website are there seeking answers and want representation. The website has captured their attention; the following steps are keeping them on the page and getting them to submit contact information or schedule a consultation.
Every page on a website should load in under two seconds; the site needs to be mobile-friendly, as most of the site’s traffic is from visitors on their phones.
Case studies, testimonials, and team profiles (with professional photos) bring a human element to a website, allowing for more of a connection between prospective clients and a law firm.
Call-to-actions and live chats are essential features for any law firm’s website. CTAs are button icons that should be visible throughout a website encouraging visitors to submit contact information or schedule a consultation. Some law firms even offer free consultations. Live chats are an extremely beneficial tool as they help provide potential clients with immediate service.
Monitoring all reviews is perhaps the most important key in page ranking. A website can have a great design and SEO content, but bad reviews take precedence and will lower a website’s page rank. So it’s necessary to keep tabs on all incoming reviews.
If a law firm receives a negative review, someone on the team should reach out and try to resolve the issue. Furthermore, someone should reach out to all reviewers; their feedback is valuable information that can improve future strategies.
Additional Features and Promoting a Website on Social Media
Offering free services is one of the best ways to keep visitors on a law firm’s website. Lead Magnet is a term used to describe free downloads like white papers, surveys, checklists, and resource lists. Video content is another way to keep visitors on a website. A popular choice in video content amongst law firm websites is hosting webinars.
Lead magnets and webinars are also helpful in promoting a law firm’s website via social media. Additionally, uploading links to a website’s blog posts and landing pages on social media helps to increase traffic. Don’t put social media pages on the back burner; they can be a catalyst for driving traffic back to a website.