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Is Your Firm Making a Good First Impression Online?

Getting and keeping clients requires making a good impression in every industry. But first impressions for law firms are typically not face-to-face meetings, or a memorable product experience. Rather, prospects first “meet” your firm after clicking on a link that takes them to your website. As with an in-person meeting, things can go wrong right from the start. But fortunately, you have the ability to control all the variables when it comes to your website.

As the primary means of providing clients with information during their initial visit, your site is either compelling prospects to stay or driving them away. Generally, the more conversions you get the better the impression on potential clients. A conversion includes actions like live chat requests, phone calls, and submitted contact forms. There are specific sets of information you can look at to determine whether you need to do a better job with your website.

Google Analytics will tell you how many people who visited your website over a specific period of time went through the process of submitting a contact form/inquiry. Based on the number of visitors, you can also calculate the percentage of visitors who reached out through your Live Chat service. Calls that originate from your website may be tracked through various systems that can be integrated with your Google Analytics data.

On average, studies show that 9.87% of the total views to your site will result in a conversion. Compare this average to your Analytics data to determine if you need to make some changes to improve a prospect’s first impression of your business.

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Must-Have Features for Your Law Firm Website

Client-focused content – It’s easy to fall into the trap of emphasizing how great your firm is, but prospects want to know where they fit in. Create content that focuses on how they would benefit from working with your firm. Discussing how you can solve someone’s problem(s) is a great way to get their attention.

Content your clients can understand – Legal issues are complex. A visitor may not be able to determine if your firm can handle their legal needs if your content is full of complicated jargon. Unless your practice serves fellow attorneys, keep your information simple and straightforward. If you decide to insert some complicated terms, be sure to explain what they mean.

A unique design – If your website is more than three years old there’s a good chance it looks outdated. This indicates that you are not investing in making a good impression and are satisfied with the status quo. If you cannot put the effort into designing an appealing website that sets you apart from your competitors, how are prospects going to trust that you can handle their case with care and attention? Visitors should be visually pleased by your website design.

Quick load time – Websites that take more than 5-7 seconds to load have likely lost their visitor. Research suggests that you have less than one second to make a good first impression and if your site does not load in a timely manner, they will not wait for it. They have other options as they can easily go back to their search page and choose another law firm.

A phone number on every page – Your phone number should be visible on every page on your website. If you make prospects search around to find your contact information, you are giving them unnecessary work. They will get frustrated and they will go elsewhere. Phone numbers should typically be placed in the upper right-hand corner of your website.

Location details – Just like your phone number, you must make it blatantly obvious where your office is located, as well as which geographic locations you serve. This will help visitors understand right away whether or not you can even help them with their legal situation.

A responsive website design – According to recent reports, adults consume digital media through their mobile device half the time. Law firms must cater to leads who search on various devices by making their websites alter in size and scale.

A list of services – A potential client has landed on your website because they were searching for a specific type of law or service. That practice area or service should be obvious as soon as they get to your website. The more they click around due to lack of information, the higher the chance they will eventually click off your site.

Client profile – Who does your firm serve? Is your core client base entrepreneurs? Corporations? Employers in workers’ comp cases? Commercial real estate investors? You’ll save your time and theirs in the long run if you are upfront about the clients you serve.

A contact form – As with phone number and office location, provide an easy way for people to get in touch with your firm. Incorporate a contact form on the homepage – the higher up, the better.

Appealing images – A website that is bombarded with text can be hard to consume. Insert relevant images that will resonate in a positive way with visitors. Avoid using awkward stock images of attorneys sitting around a conference room or leaning over a desk. If you want to include similar shots, use original photographs taken by a professional.

Demonstrate your expertise – While it is definitely easier to impress potential clients in person, it can be done online in a savvy manner. Use one section of your website to post articles about current trends in your specific practice area, or weigh in on newsworthy cases that are making the headlines.

If you successfully convert website visitors into paying clients, you are doing the right things. However, you must still take advantage of the control you have over your entire site. Manage your website on a regular basis to upload new content, update old/irrelevant information, add details that are helpful to your clients, and revamp the design as necessary.