In the digital age, your website is the modern equivalent of a business card. Without an online presence, clients will move on to lawyers whom they can easily verify the legitimacy and credentials of.
35% of consumers begin their search for legal services online.
This number comes directly from a Google Consumer Study conducted in November of 2012. That number has likely grown in the past 2 years, as individuals and businesses increasingly look to online resources for legal help and guidance.
However, even lawyers with websites often miss the mark. Check out this diagram below to see where the disconnect is:
There are a few key things that every single attorney (or firm) website should have:
- Contact information
- Attorney Biographies, Credentials, & Photos
- Pricing information
As pictured above, 93% of lawyer websites have no email address listed and 49% have no phone number listed.
Understandably, many attorney websites have contact forms. However, consumers often have arbitrary preferences for wanting to contact lawyers directly through an email address versus use of a contact form versus by phone. The goal of any website is to turn site visitors into paying clients client. With that said, it is best to give clients as many ways to contact you as possible.
To capture the largest consumer market possible it is recommended that you include all of the following:
- Email address
- Contact form
- Phone number
Attorney Biographies, Credentials, & Photos
This section of your website is important for two key reasons: credibility and personal connection.
Clients often come to lawyers with sensitive information. The work attorneys do can often have a dramatic impact on the client's life or business prospects. Because of this, potential clients are eager to know who they're interacting with. The use of biographies, credentials, and photographs can fulfill this need.
Attorney information sections should feature:
- Education history
- Bar licensure
- Practice areas
- Brief personal biography (including hobbies and interests)
- An up-to-date photograph
Clients are price conscious. A paper published by Fordham Law School cited the use of technology, a reduction in support staff, and simplified office designs by innovative new law firms as a means of lowering overhead costs.
Lower overhead costs allow innovative new law firms to undercut traditional law firm pricing by 30% to 50%.
Whether your firm uses a hourly pricing model or a flat-fee model, it is prudent for your website to make this information transparent to price conscious consumers from the start. If more specific pricing is available to be posted, that is helpful as well.
60% of lawyers do not have mobile websites or do not know if their website is accessible on mobile devices.
With 48.4 million US adults using only mobile devices to access the internet, having a mobile optimized website widens your pool of prospective clients and can result in more paying clients.
Metrics & SEO
Incorporating metrics and SEO into your website is important for one key reason: you cannot optimize your sales & marketing funnel if you don't know how many potential clients land on your website versus how many of those prospects turn into paying clients.
Not sure what the sales and marketing funnel is? Check out this handy diagram below:
Social Media Presence
You can utilize social media to do many things for your practice.
- become a source of news in your practice area
- get potential clients from your network, rather than your followers
- let your clients know you outside of work (and build trust in the process!)
"I have used [Twitter] extensively to get information out there and to show my particular expertise in a way marketing dollars could never do," Dr. Lisa Haile, Partner at DLA Piper reported for a 2010 Mashable article