Nearly three of four small firms say acquiring new business is a challenge. Some small firms are growing rapidly, while others struggle to survive. What separates those who thrive from those who don’t?
The firms that not only survive – but thrive – in a competitive marketplace understand how their potential clients find attorneys, what those potential clients need to build trust, and what they want to experience. These firms act accordingly to provide a client-centered model that encourages engagement.
By understanding your potential clients and their behavior, you can focus your marketing efforts on the most important parts of your web presence to get in front of leads where they’re most likely to see you.
In this blog post, we explore potential client behavior and how to meet these potential clients where they’re at.
How do potential clients find attorneys?
When you’re looking for a doctor, how do you decide which to choose?
You might ask a family member or friend for a referral; you might use an online directory; or, alternatively, you might conduct Google searches about a specific doctor or questions related to the health issue you’re experiencing.
When potential clients look for attorneys, they do the same thing: They’ll ask someone for a referral. They may look to online directories. But most, if not all of them, will conduct online research about you and their case or matter.
When these potential clients do research about you and their legal problems, what will they find? This is where having a robust, client-friendly web presence comes into play. Your law firm’s website will be one of the first things potential clients may – and should – see about you.
In fact, according to a recent study, more than a third of legal consumers reported using law firm websites as a resource. Compare this to the nine percent who cited print advertising (and the five percent who cited TV/radio advertising as the resource they used to find a lawyer), and it’s clear that your law firm’s website can be a valuable and cost-effective resource to develop your business.
Consumers do almost everything online – a behavior that we’ve seen accelerate during the pandemic. This means you’ll want to focus your marketing efforts on things you own and control, such as your law firm’s website.
What do potential clients need from you to build trust?
A highly visible website is key to your law firm’s marketing. If your website isn’t easily found in Google searches, make sure you focus your effort on your online visibility. You’ll want a website that’s easy for potential clients to find and is trusted by search engines.
Once a potential client is on your website, what do they need from you to build trust? More than ever, marketing is about relationship building. Trust forms when potential clients have the right information – in the right layout – to make an informed decision.
Building trust also matters to Google: Sites with useful, relevant information tend to rise to the top of searches. Google tries to move less useful information toward the bottom of search results.
Information – about you and about how you can help potential clients solve their problems – should make up the foundation of your website.
Do you provide information about your firm’s services and practice areas? Do you provide information about yourself and your firm’s mission? Does your firm’s website provide reviews from happy former clients? If not, now is the time to begin building a website that is a rich information resource for potential clients.
Your website’s information is the single biggest driver of search engine rankings, visitors, and leads because Google is in the business of connecting searchers with the most useful content. Google depends primarily on text to predict if a website page will provide a good answer to a search query. The higher Google’s confidence in your content, the higher it ranks your content.
When potential clients can find the information they need to understand and solve their problem, the more confidence they have in reaching out to your law firm when it’s time to consult an attorney.
What do they want to experience?
Potential clients don’t visit law firm websites to be entertained. They have a problem, and they’re looking for answers. So, when they visit your website, can they easily find what they need? Or does your website confuse, distract, and weaken their confidence in your firm?
Much like the information on your website should be client-centered, the design of your website should be, too. Potential clients are subconsciously looking at your website’s design to figure out “Does this firm care about me? Do they care about my problem?”
Your site’s design, therefore, should cater to their needs. It should be easy to view, easy to navigate, and easy to understand. It should guide potential clients from one topic to the next, and facilitate contact when the potential client is ready.
If your law firm’s website is slow to load, distracting, or confusing, you’ll want to focus your efforts on creating a website that puts the needs of your clients front and center.
LawLytics helps you start and grow your website the right way.
LawLytics makes it easy for you to succeed with Google and potential clients by focusing your marketing efforts on the right elements of a successful web presence. The LawLytics platform is designed exclusively for lawyers and automatically produces the most effective user experience for your web visitors. It automatically complies with the latest standards and best practices and removes the guesswork of succeeding online.
If you’re not a LawLytics member and want to grow your firm’s online presence, LawLytics can help: To see it in action, schedule a free 20-minute interactive demo.