When is the last time you got a call or a form fill on your law firm’s website? Is your website merely an Internet business card for your law firm or is it the rainmaker like it should be? When is the last time you invested any money into it? If you did what was it for: update it, revamp it, change the pictures on it, change your bios or market it?
If you didn’t answer “market it” then you’re missing out of the most important part of your website-how it could be making you money.
Websites today are commonplace; everyone has one and it is expected that you must (to remain of pertinent). There two types of websites: the ones that are making the firms money and ones that are not! Is your website making you any money? If not, have you asked yourself why?
Today if you think your web site is your marketing yellow brick road you’re gravely mistaken, however it should be the second to last brick in your yellow brick road of marketing your law firm. If you are not willing to see it this way your web site will never make you money.
Right now I think it’s really important, before I go any further in advising you how to market your law firm through your website, to make sure that your website is up to snuff. There are some essential basic things that law firm websites should have: any website needs to have a “call to action”. The potential clients that come to website don’t just want to read about you; it’s just not enough to espouse how great you are. In fact you DON’T want them to just READ about you. You want them to TAKE ACTION- that’s ALL that matters. Does your website have a call to action? Is there a contact form that they can fill out on every single page? If there is a form on every single page or even a single form on the whole site, what compels them to fill it out? Just because you SAY you’re a great attorney? Because you say you “give person attention” or “had great results” in the past or “communicate really well”? Guess what: YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE, BROTHER. How are you better? What is unique about you?
What are you giving them for their time? The less than 10 seconds of invaluable time a web-surfer graciously gives you needs to have a “bang for their look” offer for their visit. Do you have a free report for them on the gotchas of divorces? Are you just telling them about your results or giving them case law? If that is all you are doing – STOP! Ensure they have some piece of valuable, pertinent information they can “get” before they leave your website. Give them a reason to fill out your form so you can get their valuable contact info. Then of course (like I said the website is the second to last brick in the yellow brick road) the final brick of course is you picking up the phone and calling them after they’ve requested your report and had a chance to read it. But let’s not put the proverbial cart before the horse. Let’s focus on the website.
The number one viewed page on any law firm website (and in almost any professional services industry) is the About Us or Team page. Of course people want to know who you are; they want to trust (you enough to let you contact them). More importantly, what draws them into finding out about who you are? What are you doing to EARN their trust? Do you talk to them on every page? Do you even have a compelling message on your homepage? If you don’t, bye-bye web-surfer. Once you’ve compelled them to stay on your website (for more than 10 seconds) and click into a different page usually it will be the About Us/Attorneys pages and/or your Areas of Law pages. In fact do you know what is the most popular page on your web site? No? Better find out now! In any case every single page needs a pertinent call to action. If I’m landing on a divorce page from a search engine or web ad, I should have a free report on divorce gotchas/tips. If I’m landing on a Car Accident page I should have a free report on how automobile PI case can be”easily mishandled” by other attorneys*. These reports and pages should not just be boring diatribes. They should be the top 10 (or whatever number of) “secrets”, “tips” and “gotchas” on what to watch out for when searching for a lawyer in that particular area. Of course these are the things that you should hold valuable in your law firm. In fact, make the things that you typically pride yourself on over your competitors into a comparative checklist. This makes you the standard that the web-surfer will compare all others to. I heard from a great marketer once, “it’s not good enough to be the best. You need to be the ‘only'”.
The BIG question to you today: what makes you the “only” in your area of law and does your web site tell that story? We’ve got lots of work to do to get your web site ready for the third to last yellow brick in the road (marketing your web site)? Let me know if I can help.
PS. Not a law firm? These rules still likely apply to most professional services.
*Caveat lectur: check with your state bar associations to determine what can/can’t be stated in advertising. This is not legal advice.