7 Law Firm Website Secrets

For Generating More Clicks, Leads & Clients

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It has become increasingly difficult for law firms to stand out.

Every firm wants… 

  • more leads,
  • more paying clients, and
  • more revenue

But, for the most part, all firms use the same marketing strategies to get there.

Fortunately for you, this is an opportunity.

As the hub of your marketing activity, your website should be the beacon that draws high quality leads into your business.

So, how do you get it performing?

Having spent years analyzing the best law firm websites around the world and reverse engineering the strategies that work best for our clients, we’ve distilled the process down to its core principles.

A combination of top-notch design, inspiring content, and effective marketing campaigns works on three key levels:

  • Creates a positive user experience
  • Gets your site ranking in Google, and
  • Generates a flow of high-quality leads

Whatever your law firm’s main practice areas, here are seven secrets you need to understand to dramatically increase your website’s effectiveness.

Step 1

Choose the right platform

In our opinion, WordPress is the undisputed champion of law firm websites.

wordpress-website-cms

n fact, you’ll find many of the world’s most popular websites using it, including the likes of TED, NBC, CNN, and The New York Times. As the graphic suggests, WordPress claims to power 32 percent of the Internet.

Here are seven very good reasons why WordPress should be your law firm’s platform-of-choice:

  • It’s off the shelf – but also highly customizable: Get your website up and running easily and quickly but add a chosen theme and custom functionality to provide your users with a unique experience.
  • You remain in control of updates: No web developer needed. You can make changes to your website through the easy-to-use, built-in editor:
  • It’s constantly evolving and improving: With 32 major versions of WordPress since 2003, regular improvements are made. Being open source, development remains relatively unrestricted.
  • It’s highly secure: Law firms concerned with the security of their website will find that WordPress has you well-covered. As well as regular updates, you can install plugins that limit incorrect login attempts, hide login URLs, install two-factor authentication for admin, and track WordPress dashboard activity.
  • It’s easy to improve the user experience: A collection of over 50,000 plugins make it easy to add contact forms, ratings, functionality, and SEO elements to your website – improving both the user experience and administration of the website.
  • WordPress is loved by the search engines: WordPress websites feature high-quality coding, logical site architectures, sitemap features, and easily index-able pages that make it easy for the search engines:
  • Speed!: Google’s recent interest in accelerating the development of WordPress means that it’s about to get faster. A development team from Google is helping WordPress to support the latest web technologies – with an emphasis on speed and reliability.

Step 2

Pay attention to your website's most critical page!

Your homepage is the single most important page on any law firm website – whether you’re a solo attorney or a large international law firm. More clients and potential clients will see it than any other page.

You don’t have long to make a good first impression. Focus on the following to stand out:

Design for user experience

Consider what your users want to know and do – and design your homepage around that.

Rather than simply adding “bells and whistles” that offer limited practical value, do everything to create the user experience they expect.

For instance, the ACAPO website immediately channels visitors to the right place to find the service they need rather than providing general marketing spiel about the organization.

acapo-law-firm

Communicate succinctly what you do & the benefits you bring

You know what Spectrum Family Law specializes in the second you land on their page.

spectrum-family-law

Grab attention with images and messaging

You have a few seconds to make a lasting impression. Look at the stunning image that Foot Anstey uses, along with succinct messaging that make its value proposition clear.

foot-anstey

Establish immediate credibility

You want visitors to know that you’re leaders in the field and get results, just like Gomez Trial Attorneys do here.

gomez-law-firm

Provide a brief overview of services

Resist going heavy on text but give people a taster of the services you provide so they’re clear on what you can help them with.

Dawson Orr does it high on their homepage with simple headings (you may want to include a sentence or two to explain each service).

dawson-orr-home-page

Encourage visitors to take the next step

nclude a call to action. Let them know how they can take the next step with you as Oykhman Criminal Defence do here.

oykhman-criminal-website

Help users contact you quickly & easily

Some visitors will want to get in touch with you immediately. Make it easy for them by clearly highlighting contact details and/or a contact form. O’Meara Law leaves people with no doubt how to contact them.

O-Meara-Law

Keep it simple and uncluttered

Nobody appreciates blocks of text or confusing paragraphs.

Keep sentences short and readable (like I do in this article).

  • break text up with images, paragraph breaks,
  • use bullet points and number lists,
  • keep it uncluttered, and
  • use white space

Just like this example.

solliday-law

Step 3

Include these 9 must-have pages

Apart from an eye-catching homepage, what other pages should a high-performance law firm website feature?

The following are irreplaceable.

About

The About page is the second-most read web page after the homepage. It’s a chance for you to help visitors understand a little more about the background and personality of your firm and learn why you’re different from the rest.

See how Drumm Law do it here.

drumm-law-firm

Lawyer biographies

Visitors want to know the expertise behind your law firm. Briefly introduce your lawyers and help people put a face to your firm.

Johnny Pak is clearly an established lawyer at Vogel LLP.

vogel-profile

Dedicated practice area pages

Dedicated practice area pages not only help people to find the information they’re after; they help you target specific keywords that get your service pages ranking.

For instance, criminal defence may be broken down into assaults & threats, criminal driving, domestic violence, drug offences, impaired driving, etc.

ocd-practice-area-pages

Sub-practice area pages

You can further break down your service pages into sub-practice areas if you provide a wide spectrum of services. For instance, criminal driving offences may be broken down into dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for the police, etc.

Again, this helps your users zero in on the information they need and allows you to get more targeted with your keywords.

ocd-sub-practice-area-pages

Resources centre/Blog

Demonstrate your expertise and, at the same time, help people find answers to the key questions they’re looking for. Include helpful articles, videos, etc. like Werman Salas here.

resource-center-werman

Contact us

Don’t leave visitors guessing how to contact you. Include an address (with Google Map listing), phone numbers, email addresses and a contact form to cater for all communication preferences.

spectrum-family-law-contact-page

‘Request a consultation’ form

f your main call to action is “Request a consultation” (like many law firms) create a dedicated form or page for people to take the action. This will ensure they are not left guessing or “hanging”, unsure how to get in touch.

vogel-law-firm-contact-form

Testimonials/case studies

Don’t just state your case – back it up with evidence. Proof of results aids credibility. This will help your users build trust in your firm and make it more likely that they will contact you.

Consider adding at least testimonials and case studies on your website, and include statistics or video content that back up your claims, like Knutson & Casey.

knutson-casey-testimonials

FAQs

Your visitors may be looking for a lawyer, or they may just be looking for information. Help them find the answers they’re looking for. Oykhman Criminal Defence does a great job of this.

ocd-faqs

Step 4

Design your website for conversions

Building a website that keeps visitors engaged and spending longer on your pages is great for user experience, for search engine optimization, and also potentially for conversion rates.

Aim to increase time on the page and reduce bounce rates and you won’t go far wrong. A few standout features will help you get there.

Provide a live chat option

Consider live chat for its ability to help you turn interest into paying clients.

live-chat-stats

The importance of demonstrating to visitors that you are active and “open for business” cannot be underestimated. It‘s increasingly expected nowadays in an “always on” world. The Jurewitz Law Group understands that.

jurewtiz-live-chat

Contrary to popular belief, live chat can be offered tastefully, non-intrusively, and confidentially so that privacy laws are respected and the user experience is enhanced.

Add video

Static, text-based websites are rapidly looking dated.

Unless you include more interactive multimedia elements (sound, video etc.) that enhance the user experience, you’re in danger of “losing” your audience.

Attention spans are shorter – even when it comes to understanding important legal matters. So you have to work harder to maintain engagement with your visitors, like Colorado Legal Group does.

colorado-legal-group-video

Video can help you do that with:

  • How-to videos explaining legal matters in plain English
  • Client testimonials
  • Behind-the-scenes peeks into your law firm
  • Attorney profiles

Provide multi-lingual functionality

US law firms – do you have a Spanish language website or just an English one?

Canadian law firms – do you cater to French and Chinese clients?

You may be able to broaden your target market and connect with a new group of potential clients by providing multilingual functionality on your website.

multi-lingual-website

Make telephone numbers and contact forms prominent

f you want people to contact you, make it obvious how to do that. For starters, don’t hide your telephone number away. Make it prominent like this.

calgary-dui-lawyer-telephone

Secondly, allow people to contact you through a form. They may prefer this to writing an email. Make it simple to complete – don’t ask too many questions. Here’s an example.

new-mexico-legal-contact-form

Step 5

Design for mobile devices

Unless your website is built with a mobile audience in mind, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with your target audience.

More web users now access the Internet with mobile devices than desktops. It makes sense not only to make your website mobile responsive, but to design everything with mobile users in mind.

The Google Mobile-Friendly Test tells you how friendly your website is for mobile.

Your pages should display clearly on all screen sizes; call-to-action buttons should be easily clickable and forms easy to fill out. Otherwise, you’re damaging the conversion potential of your website.

Fortunately, if you choose WordPress (as recommended earlier), most of its themes are inherently mobile-friendly.

Get inspired for your next project by viewing the Best 17 Mobile Law Firm Websites.

Step 6

Get ranking in Google with SEO

Build it and they might come – but they might not!

t takes a little effort and know-how to deliver a steady flow of traffic to your website. There are no shortcuts to ranking –  just sound strategy that creates a strong user experience and attends to the technical aspects of SEO.

Let’s distill what needs to be covered into a few steps to make it easy (more information on each of these aspects of SEO can be found in our guide to law firm SEO.

In-depth keyword research

Find the phrases (usually related to your practice areas) that best describe your law firm to your target audience.

Without keywords, there is no SEO. Get specific, drill down into your niche and build your website around them.

This should include:

    • Informational Queries: queries that include a question, where the user is searching for information related to your practice area (ex. How do I get a divorce?).
    • Evaluation/Comparison Queries: queries intended to research or evaluate your firm compared to its competitors (ex. Vogel LLP Reviews, best criminal defence law firm, Oykhman Criminal Defence successful cases).
    • Transactional Queries: queries related to completing a transaction (hire a family law firm, divorce lawyer in New York).

A couple of tools to help you plan your keywords are Google Keyword Planner (for which you’ll need an AdWords account) and KeywordTool.io.

On-page SEO

This is the process of optimizing a web page’s content and code to improve results in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

It revolves around keyword usage: but a variety of factors, including keyword placement, readability, dwell time, usability, image usage, URL optimization, and other factors all come together.

It generally focuses on two main areas:

    • Content-related SEO: usually for copywriters to attend to – long format and in-depth content, optimized for universal search, and creating topical authority.
    • Technical on-page SEO: usually for web developers or SEO specialists to attend to – involving page load speeds, social media share-ability, location optimization. mobile responsiveness, indexation, sitemaps, and Google My Business optimization, etc.

Off-page SEO

This refers to all the ‘other’ techniques used to improve rankings in the search results and includes practices like:

    • Link building – Google still uses backlinks as an indicator of authority.
    • Citations – ‘mentions’ of your business name, address, and/or telephone number in quality directories will earn you valuable SEO ‘juice’.
    • Reviews – used as a ranking indicator and also help potential clients understand your services better.

The old SEO methods you need to avoid:

  • Keyword stuffing – this produces low-quality, unreadable content
  • Link farms – this associates your website with low-quality links
  • Content farms – this almost guarantees low-quality content

Why’s all this so important?

According to a Google consumer survey in 2013, 96 percent of people seeking legal advice use a search engine.

The bottom line: your target clients are looking for lawyers through search. You need to be ranking near the top of the first page of Google for them to find and contact you – rather than the competition.

Around 60 percent of clicks are generated by the top three SERP results.

Be on page one – nothing else matters!

Step 6

Generate quality sales leads with Google Adwords

Your law firm website is built. You’ve got it ranking. Bingo!

But your marketing efforts don’t stop there. If you want to create a steady flow of high-quality convertible leads from your website, run pay-per-click campaigns that send traffic to dedicated landing pages.

AdWords is the tool you need here. These ads are increasingly dominating the top of Google’s results pages.

“Up to 80% of search results now contain AdWords ad placements… and these are covering as much as 85% of the space above the fold on the results page.” (Moz)

You need a piece of this prime real estate when people search for your keywords.

adwords-law-firms

If you’ve attempted campaigns in the past but got your fingers burnt, don’t be put off. Legal terms are competitive but getting it right brings handsome dividends.

Let’s assume that you’ve already got an AdWords account (if not, go here), have set aside a realistic budget to fund your campaign, and know who your target audience is.

Whoever manages your AdWords campaign, here are the key areas to invest time and effort into:

  • Long-tail keywords – forget “lawyer” and “attorney”, which are astronomically expensive and go for highly targeted, niche-specific phrases.
  • Specify negative keywords – those keywords that you DON’T want your ad to appear for (e.g. certain provinces/states/cities, “Careers”, “free” etc.)
  • Use dynamic keyword insertion in your ad copy – to match a customer’s search terms, and customize ads to precisely match the search query.
  • Target zip codes and postal codes – not just cities: the more specific you can be for the search terms that people use, the better for your campaigns.
  • Run a cost-effective keyword bidding strategy & bid on your own branded terms – keep a handle on your budget and make sure your competitors don’t ‘hijack’ your brand.
  • Separate ‘ad groups’ by theme – segment keywords based upon your audience’s intent, and make campaign management easier and more effective.
  • Hire professional writers – who write compelling ads that incorporate your keywords naturally.
  • Test everything – from variations of your ad headlines and calls to action text to body text and display URL.
  • Use ad extensions – to help your ads stand out and increase click-through rates
  • Go local with your search ads – and attract more of your target audience from a defined geographical radius

Test landing pages to encourage conversions – your ad gets the click but it’s the strength of your landing pages that will decide the conversion rate

Bonus Step

What's next?

Unless you’re one of the few law firms with the technical expertise to build a successful, lead-generating website in-house, you’re reliant on outsourcing to a marketing agency.

But how do you best make a choice that could shape the future of your law firm’s digital presence for years to come?

Here are the questions you need to ask.


How will they help us reach our marketing targets, goals & priorities?

Before you can assess whether a digital marketing agency measures up, you need to determine exactly what you expect them to measure up to. Leads? New clients? Revenue? Branding?

At Inbound Law Marketing…

We start our campaigns with a free strategy session to collect information associated with your target audience, campaign goals and top priorities.

We then organize the information into a cohesive strategy with a workback schedule, demographic targeting, service recommendation, budget, and timeline.


What track record of success do they have with law firms?

The single most important question you’ll ask of any digital marketing agency you’re considering working with is: What experience do you have of delivering leads for law firms?

At Inbound Law Marketing…

We encourage you to check out the results we receive for law firms across North America prominently on our website.

We’re also happy to share the secrets of what works by contributing guest posts to industry blog sites, as well as regularly updating our own blog.


Do they have the capacity to help us meet our goals?

Are they too busy with other clients to provide the personalized service you need? Does their team have the required level of expertise to manage website design? SEO? PPC? Landing pages?

At Inbound Law Marketing…

Our team offers a wide range of digital marketing services specifically designed to provide comprehensive marketing assistance for law firms.

Highly specialized and knowledgeable in the field, we’re not to be confused with the many ‘generalist’ marketing agencies out there.


What are their standard work processes & reporting procedures?

How does the agency work? Will they partner well with you on a day-to-day basis? How will they work to get you the results you’re after? Are you compatible? What level of ongoing contact with you have with them?

At Inbound Law Marketing…

We walk you through the process – from the free strategy session to presenting and enacting the key strategies that bring the results you’re after (all in detail and with transparency concerning budgets and timelines – no surprises!)

And your dedicated account manager will be on hand to answer questions and provide recommendations as required.


Are there flexible contracts & favourable fee structures?

You won’t want to commit to lengthy contracts or pay set fees unless results are forthcoming.

At Inbound Law Marketing…

Long-term contracts are considered a thing of the past. You’ll never be asked to lock yourself into a long-term contract and our recommendation is don’t sign one with anyone!

nstead, we offer services on a month-to-month basis, with a 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee on our SEO and Google Adwords services. If you aren’t blown away, get in touch and we’ll refund our service fees (some restrictions apply).


Can they show proof of results?

Proof of results should extend beyond online reviews, ratings, testimonials, and case studies from the agency’s website.

At Inbound Law Marketing…

f the case studies, written testimonials, and statistics don’t blow you away, we’ll even put you in touch with paying clients who will verify the results we have achieved for them.

We’ll also show you where we rank for our own keywords in Google – so you can see our SEO prowess first-hand.


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