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In order for your law firm website to attract potential new clients, it needs to answer their specific questions and provide a positive user experience. These five tips can help attorneys maximize their firms’ online marketing efforts with websites that convert visitors to potential clients. (6-minute read)

More than one-third of potential clients begin their search for an attorney online. Many potential clients start searching online for information about their legal situations before they are even aware that they need a lawyer.

If your law firm is still operating without a website, it is probably losing business to competitors who maintain an active web presence.

But a law firm website that isn’t optimized for search engine users can be just as problematic as having no web presence at all.

Potential new clients who find their way to your law firm website and then struggle to find the information they are looking for — or find that your site does not offer the information that they need — are likely to leave your site in search of another piece of content that answers their specific questions. When this happens, follow-up searches are likely going to lead those potential clients to the websites of one or more of your competitors.

Your law firm website should be a resource that your potential clients turn to as a way to learn more about their legal situations. When members of your community begin to trust your site as a place where they can find accurate information about the law and associated legal processes, it helps them to trust you as an attorney.

When potential clients learn to trust in your skill and knowledge as a lawyer, it can help you to become a thought leader in your community. And when you establish yourself as a thought leader in your community, your site will be more effective at attracting leads for your law firm and converting those leads into actual clients.

What follows are five tips to help keep attorneys on the path toward a positive ROI from their law firm websites — tips that can be easily implemented with access to the right tools and a little bit of planning.

1. Make use of “white space” and avoid clutter.

Search engine users expect to quickly find the information they are looking for on a webpage.

If your potential clients navigate to a page on your site from Google’s search results, they expect to be able to easily consume the content that answers the question they originally posed to the search engine.

But if those potential clients land on your page and are hounded by annoying pop-ups or autoplay videos, or they find the number of images or ads on your site make it hard to locate the content they are looking for, those users are not likely to stick around to look for it.

Make it easy for users by keeping your site clean. Put the primary content for each page of your site right up front to make it easy to find. If you lose the attention of a potential client by providing a poor user experience on your site, it may well cause them to avoid your site when it appears in search results in the future.

2. Make sure your content is unique and provides value to readers.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines state that the content that website owners add to their sites should be meant “primarily for users, not search engines.”

When sites provide content that proves useful to search engine users, search engines aim to reward those sites with better rankings. Google tries to send less useful information toward the bottom of search results.

When adding content to your site, make it as detailed and informative as you possibly can. Do not provide pages that purport to offer specific information but then simply direct visitors to contact your firm for more information, for example.

Like with providing thin content on your site, duplicating pages on your law firm website is not likely to help your law firm website’s online visibility. Duplicate pages can occur when attorneys create multiple practice area pages and only change the city, county, or state names between them, for example.

When duplicate pages occur, Google is likely to either choose one page among apparent “duplicates” to display on a results page or to split the SEO benefit between pages that appear “appreciably similar.”

3. Make it easy for potential clients to contact you.

Law firm website content should provide answers to questions posed by your potential clients as they conduct searches. It should also build trust with those individuals in a way that causes them to reach out to your law firm as soon as they determine that hiring a lawyer might be in their best interest.

If your website visitors have a difficult time locating contact information on your site, you might miss the chance to convert those visitors to clients for your firm.

Include your contact information prominently on every page of your law firm website (preferably in a permanent header or footer of your site) and add calls-to-action (CTAs) to your content pages to make it easy for potential clients to reach out to your firm.

4. Make your law firm website easy to navigate.

Attracting a potential client to your law firm website is only the first step in the journey.

In order to convince website visitors to contact your firm, you will likely need to build trust with those users by answering additional questions pertaining to their legal situations. This can prevent those users from having to look elsewhere for that information.

You can facilitate the process of searching for information on your site by making sure to link to other pieces of relevant content with a deliberate internal linking structure. By using a carefully planned top-level navigation on your site, you can make it easy for potential clients to find the information that interests them most, which can keep users on your site for longer periods of time and increase your law firm’s chances of converting those users to potential clients.

5. Keep up with your content marketing strategy over the long term.

Not only does Google consider the freshness of content on a site when it returns results for relevant queries, but website owners who continually add fresh content to their sites get more web traffic and leads when compared to sites that are not regularly updated.

Simply launching a law firm website is not enough to ensure that your potential clients will be able to find your content — and your law firm — online.

To be found in search results for relevant queries, attorneys need to add content to their sites that addresses specific questions asked by their potential clients in search engines and commit to content marketing over the long term.

If you are a LawLytics member and would like to discuss creating or instituting a content plan, send us a support ticket.

If you are not yet a LawLytics member and would like to talk with us about building a law firm website that will attract potential clients to your firm, schedule a consultation with us.