We’ve decided to compile what we think are the Top 10 Mistakes, made by Law Firms; the potential damage they can cause; and how to avoid them or undo them!
Ensure you are not making ANY of these 10 Mistakes, and you will be well on your way to having a much stronger digital marketing approach for your Law Firm in 2019 and beyond.
So here they are, in no particular order…
Mobile optimisation. It’s a HUGE issue in digital marketing / web design today. In the B2C market, over 85% of your users will be viewing your website on a small screen (a tablet or mobile). But even in the B2B Market, it’s well over 50%. If your website gives them a frustrating experience, what do you think they’re going to do? Go to another Law Firm, that’s what.
A lot of websites look like this on a mobile screen. It’s just like the desktop site, only from 50 yards away, and nothing works. INFURIATING. You’re spending all that money and time marketing online and on social media, yet well over 85% of the people that click through from those marketing efforts to the site will have a terrible experience and leave, having not managed to use the site.
If your website looks like this on a phone, then STOP spending money driving people to it TODAY, and sort it out first. Otherwise you are just flushing budget down the toilet.
We now take the approach of “Mobile First”.
It makes sense to us that if more people are going to access the website from a mobile than they are on a laptop or computer, then we will design the mobile experience and layouts FIRST, and the rest second.
It gives you a far cleaner, leaner, faster website with a much better user experience for everyone.
Take the opportunity to tailor the mobile navigation experience to suit your particular users. Use analytics and session cams to understand how they use the site when on a mobile and cut it down to the important actions / functions.
In the Legal Profession, Credibility of your expertise via Social Proof is everything.
Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.
There are many types of Social Proof, from reviews to testimonials; to expert opinion; to the opinions of your own friends etc. and many ways they can be leveraged on your website.
Social Proof can be presented in the way your site appears in search results (through “rich snippets” that show how rated your site is), through social media (by sharing and encouraging love and respect from followers and clients) and across your website, by highlighting testimonials, videos from happy clients, and review scores etc.
Law Firms not leveraging Social Proof are missing out on huge opportunities to convert otherwise unsure visitors / potential clients.
We have lost count of the amount of Law Firm websites we’ve seen that use the same stock photos from page one of iStock using the search term “business” (think handsome men shaking hands!).
This is an instant turn-off for potential customers for many reasons. Firstly, your potential customers are very savvy online — they do their research, they’ve seen all your competitors’ websites, and they’ve seen all of your social media and Google reviews. You are being judged within seconds of them landing on your website, and the first thing that hits them is the imagery used. If you’ve used obvious, poorly placed, stock imagery that they’ve likely seen elsewhere, you look like a “so what” law firm that brings nothing new or unique, and may not even be credible.
Using harder to find stock images, or even better, your own commissioned photography, is a far better attraction strategy. Even the way you place or treat the imagery gives you a chance to stand out and create a brand that is appealing.
Don’t forget to think about your market and what they aspire too. If you are in Family Law, think carefully about using positive imagery. If you are in business law, try to avoid the stereotypical imagery we’ve all seen before.
The whole reason you built this website in the first place is to get people to pick up the phone to you, right? To get new clients, yes??
So why, oh, why do we still see so many websites that make it very difficult indeed to get the phone number or address of the business?!
Let’s have the phone number, the quick enquiry form, front and centre. Dead easy and obvious. Permanently available!
Why are you not giving your users INSTANT ACCESS to your business?
Expectations with users these days are through the roof!
As consumers on the web we now expect, nay DEMAND, instant access to everything and everyone!
We might not all think that’s a healthy thing, but it is a fact, and it is also an opportunity not to be missed…
Consider trialling live chat for a few months on your website.
It’s easy to setup and install, and if your users take to it, it can help to increase your enquiries online and provide your customers with a better service.
We recommend a service called USER LIKE. It’s around 20 dollars a month, and they provide the code to just drop into the site!
Think about what you can do before people leave your site to encourage them to get in touch, making it easy for them, such as a “Call me back” facility, and fast social responses.
Softly, softly doesn’t work online. If you are too subtle, you miss the chance to persuade someone to make that enquiry.
We are all busy. We are all trying to clear our to-do lists and get home. We want to get to a decision, or a NO, as fast as possible.
There is a time and a place for long intellectual prose, and thought leadership, and there is a time for professional, strong, calls to action, such as the below:
Automatically play a “you’re welcome” video
Include an Offer/incentive
Ask them Book a webinar
Ask them to arrange an appointment
The web technology exists now for you to create fantastic automated experiences for your existing and potential clients online, through your website and social media.
Not only that, but you can extend that automation through their experience in hiring you, and through to their follow up.
Automation can come in many forms, from Chat Bots that can handle basic enquiries, through to full consultation booking, payment and on-boarding systems. The businesses that master these automated experiences are ahead of the curve, and give customers and potential customers a reason to choose them for a slick and “hand-held” journey.
Invest in automation now, and avoid lost customers later.
The way you position your law firm in words and stories online is absolutely critical. It’s the perception you create when people first encounter you, and it’s what they will remember about you when comparing their options.
Your messaging needs to convey so many things that it has to be carefully prepared and thought through, rather than written on the fly and blasted out the door. The damage from this if mishandled can be irretrievable.
A good Messaging Framework will enable everyone on your team to be consistent in the way you communicate the value of your products and services. It’s a simple to use reference point for all your marketing and sales communications — giving your business value, time after time. The design of the framework makes it easy to iterate and edit as you “battle-test” the messaging and/or evolve your proposition. This is the DNA of any marketing /communication work you go on to do.
Social Media and how things look are often front and centre when potential clients are reviewing your practice online: a poor quality approach with no clear strategy or brand guidelines can kill your reputation before potential clients even reach your website.
Decide well in advance what style of imagery suits your market. Create templates for each type or format of content, and ensure you are consistent with the imagery, presentation, colouring, and language used in all your posts.
On Instagram in particular, potential customers will decide whether or not to follow you (and engage you) based on the quality of your posts and your home page.
The first thing potential law firm clients are going to do is search for your reviews online. You need a strategy for reviews.
Don’t let your clients decide where to review you — get there first and control the process and the review platform. Whether it’s Reviews.co.uk, TrustPilot, Facebook Reviews, or Google Reviews, have a plan in place and “bake this in” to your client journey, so that you can build a strong review profile in one place, then use this to market your business.
Provide the entire process your customers need to follow in order to leave a review, encourage them, help them, and thank them when they do so.
Use the reviews as far and wide as you can — within your search results on Google, across your website, and on social media.
You’ve only got seconds to engage these people. They are busy and they are viewing multiple websites simultaneously. They may be on a mobile device (most likely these days) so attention span is even shorter, and whatever you present them needs to be easy to use with a thumb and a finger! What can you do to hold people’s attention and attempt to engage them BEFORE they leave the website?
VIDEO. Video WORKS and improves your chances of engaging a visitor as soon as they land.
In the Law world, live video is one of the most engaging formats you can deploy. Giving INSTANT answers to potential customer/patient questions, and giving reassurance about procedures etc. is a killer way to engage and build trust.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic that anyone can get online now and knock up a template website in 30 minutes, by following a tutorial.
That’s great. Particularly when you are just starting out.
But — for those of us with more mature companies, looking to grow…. this is your BUSINESS. This is your livelihood. This is the representation of your approach to quality, and service, and the digital representation of your brand. Please do not leave something so critical to your success in the hands of an amateur, or cut corners or budgets for the sake of saving a few pennies.
There is a massive difference between a poor half-baked website — massive turn off to potential customers, who have a higher expectation than EVER BEFORE of websites and online experiences…
… And a professionally built and designed site, that engages and converts visitors into enquiries. Make the smart investment, invest in your digital marketing, and it will pay dividends. Short cut now to save a few quid, and you will suffer the consequences later.
If you would like to discuss how I can help you to grow your Law business and engage more clients, please contact me on any of the below:
LTF: Experts in growing Law Businesses through On-Tap Digital marketing.