About this guide
i
Introduction

Hello I’m happy you are here to explore WEBs' essential guide to Law Firm website redesign, where we help you create the next generation website that keeps your clients central to everything you do.

In this series not only are we going to give you a framework you can use to maximise your budget, but how to attract the right sort of clients onto your website and most importantly how to convert more of them into enquiries. 

What follows is a series of videos and supporting content on how you get your online business working best for you – we’ll talk about website design, online marketing and the latest technology we feel can help you – there is certainly a buzz around AI, Chat Bots and Machine learning that’s really exciting and something we will explore.

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We have also create an online marketing benchmark survey – some of the details the subsequent report will tell us are;

  • What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  • How your online marketing budgets are divided.
  • Marketing tools or technology you couldn’t live without.

It will allow you to benchmark yourselves against your peers. This is not about you all as competitors but a community who can learn from each other in an open and sharing way. We will send the results to those who take part. Please take the survey - the link is below. 

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to start a website redesign
St
Strategy

In this article I’m going to take you through how to start your website redesign. I’m guessing if you are reading this you’re feeling a combination of excitement and trepidation – after all this is your opportunity to impress your clients and your peers - so no pressure there then?

As it’s not every day you do this and it doesn’t matter if it’s your 1st or 10th time, we have created a simple process for you that takes away the pain and is it guaranteed to help you focus on your clients, which in turn removes internal opinion and that’s a challenge we can all do without.

This image describes our process, listen, invent and improve

First we need to put this in context and by that I mean making sure everyone internally is of the same mindset, that is; what you are about to produce puts your clients at the centre of all you do. It’s about simple mind set shifts and new ways of looking at problems through empathy and collaboration.

That means your new website is not for your partners or your directors, view what you are about to produce as a gift to your clients, I hope that resonates and I hope makes sense?

Broadly speaking there are three key steps to a website redesign for your law firm that keeps your clients central to everything you do.

  • Step one: listen to your clients and document their challenges.
  • Step two: be inventive and solve the challenges they face.
  • Step three: test a prototype with them, improve it and go live.

By following those simple stages we keep focussed on your clients and don’t get stuck in other people’s opinion because there is only one opinion that really counts – that’s your clients. Our process will also give you the biggest competitive advantage because your competitors have been looking at each other and they’re going around in circles – but you need to make sure everyone understands the mindset of client focused thinking before you start.

Okay lets go into a little more detail on those three steps.

Step one: listen to your clients and document their challenges.

Listening to your clients is the lifeblood of any law firm website redesign. It will provide you with your biggest competitive advantage, so let me explain why.  

If we are not listening to our clients you could be making some fundamental mistakes in how you deliver your services. Common sense would say – instead of designing your website by yourself in a room with others, maybe we should go out and talk to the people you are designing it for. So, all we have to do is stop guessing and just ask?  

During these conversations ask for their ideas, learn what their challenges are, the types of content they look for and the tasks they want to perform. These insights set the stage for the entire project uncovering actual opportunities and help you give your clients what they can for.  

By putting your clients first you can understand everything from, how they find you, the language they use, how they want to engage your content and to what happens when they exit your website. You may hear this referred to as the client journey and the user experience.  

Working this way also helps your internal team look further into themselves and learn about a great client experience for your law firm. This needs the right people, cross business representation; getting different departments working with each other on collaboration.  

This process is worth the effort and really helps you understand the challenges your clients face. 

Methods 

Let me take you though some of the methods you use in step one; 

  • Client interviews and surveys.
  • Sales & support review interviews.
  • Finally, define what success looks like. 
  • Website analytics review.
  • Frequently asked questions review. 

Activities 

Now let’s look at some of the typical activities in step one 

  • Follow ethical guidelines and identify clients who are willing to help with interviews or surveys and document who they are.
  • Listen to their challenges, their intent and the tasks they want to perform.
  • Pay attention to sentiment.
  • Involve internal teams for feedback and use empirical evidence from analytics to corroborate findings.
  • Define the challenges and document.

Okay let’s turn our thinking to step two. 

Step two, be inventive and solve the challenges your clients face. 

It seems we are learning a lot about people, what they do on websites and their intent. So if we now incorporate that knowledge into some of the decisions that we are making, we’d produce better online businesses, not just an improved law firm websites. 

If you get the client research element right then you're 80% of the way there, as it sets the basis for the rest of the website structure and this method will provide you with the most improvements for your law firm website redesign. 

You need to solve the challenges your clients face. To do that think about creating client scenarios, how they flow through your website and specifically focus on creating engaging content based on what you know of their intent. Remember, we are here to help you understand key opportunities and provide clarity on future challenges.  

Methods 

Now let’s look at some of the typical methods used in step two; 

  • We create use cases and goals.
  • Look at business process and measurements.
  • Develop clear messaging directly addressing your clients’ challenges.
  • Information Architecture.
  • Content marketing plan.
  • Wireframes.
  • Interaction & Visual Design.
  • Prototype Development. 

Activities 

Now let’s look at some of the typical activities used in step two; 

  • We identify technical features to best support your clients and only then select appropriate technology.
  • Develop a prototype design with functions based on requirements and goals.
  • At this point, we also start creating client focused content. Remember to use the same terminology they used in the interviews and avoid what you use internally.
  • Solve the challenges your clients face. 

So lets look at the final stage and that’s testing. 

Step three: test a prototype with them, improve it and go live. 

We know people don’t behave how they say or how we think they will. So that’s why this step is so important, that way you can improve your return on investment by choosing a design that is based on performance and not subjective likes or dislikes. 

What do we test? 

You may well have an idea what is working and what is not, for example you would like to increase the number of times your enquiry forms are used or the number of email newsletter sign ups. Each website test is very different and depends a combination of elements, here are just a few; 

  • Amount of text on the page (short vs. long).
  • Page title or description
  • Colour and placement of button’s. 

Its worth noting when making changes to isolate each iteration and measure for at least 3 months. 

Methods 

Now let’s look at some of the typical methods used in step three; 

  • Usability and task testing.
  • Quality assurance and accessibility evaluation.
  • Revisions and optimization.
  • Training and documentation.
  • Create feedback loop.
  • Go live. 

Activities 

Finally let’s look at some of the typical activities used in step three; 

  • Select the clients that helped you with the initial interviews or surveys.
  • Deploy appropriate testing and validation methods to make sure systems work well for the people who use them.
  • Last of all the final website build converts the creative vision into reality with functionality based on requirements, goals and revenue focused brand experience. 

What you are creating is not just a website but a shared vision across your law firm. 

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Know your potential clients
Ur
User Research

In this article I’m going to take you through learning to listen to your potential clients and further into this guide use that knowledge to inform the rest of your website redesign.

Understanding your potential clients is part of a much bigger process of User Research. Where we learn about behaviours, needs, and motivations through;

  • Observation.
  • Task analysis.
  • Feedback loops. 

The sole purpose of this is improving the way potential clients use your website and help them convert into clients. This is often done with designers, engineers and leaders and used across all stages of a website redesign from listening, inventing and improving.

With over 25 years of insights from producing websites we’ve learnt when it comes to a website redesign fundamentally it’s about;

  • Getting to know your potential clients pain points.
  • What language they use.
  • The terms they use when searching for law firms online.
  • After they leave your website how do you nurture that relationship? 

Let’s look at why do this?

This is a simple mind set shift and a new way of looking at a website redesign through empathy and collaboration. By listening to them will inform the rest of your website development. This is about your law firm understanding the challenges your potential clients face. 

So we listen and stop guessing to what they want, the alternative is spending endless hours looking at your competitors when all they have done is looked at what you are doing.  

It means designers can create the very best for you directly from client insights rather than worrying solely about internal opinions or what your competitors are doing. It will certainly give you the biggest opportunity for growth and biggest advantage over your competitors.

By defining exactly who your legal services are created for also builds focus within your team. For example would potential client “A” find this information useful?

Looking further ahead if you wanted to evaluate an existing design – your knowledge of who your potential clients are will help or recruit the right people for discussion or testing.

Who should you interview and what questions do you ask them?

Firstly research can be done anytime. For example even if you are considering new features or a full website redesign, the benefits of research will deliver a stronger client focus and best use of your marketing budget.

There any many methods that reveal challenges they face and opportunities to improve their experience online. For now I’d like to focus on the most direct method – interviews. This is a fast way to help you build an understanding of why they behave the way they do. Interviews help you understand attitudes and words they use. You can discover what’s relevant for your potential clients and you can then put the challenges they face in context, uncover any new challenges and spot trends – when you go through this process be prepared to get  surprises. 

So, which groups make up the best people to listen to, here are three to start with;

  1. New clients, as part of your on boarding process.
  2. People who have made enquires and are either not ready to work with you.
  3. Existing clients who came to you “out of the blue”. 

What questions should you ask?

We have discovered the questions that typically reveal the most, here are two you can ask;

  • In the perfect world how would you like this service to work for you?
  • What one thing nearly stopped you from making an enquiry with us? 

Listening to these answers can reveal insights that inform your long term online strategy.

Research Outcomes.

By listening to these groups you can start to understand how they want to use your website and spot potential pitfalls. There are other methods like behavioural research which is about watching your potential clients actions online, we’ll talk more about that later.

The outcomes represent goals, language, stress levels and your potential clients’ behaviours. Put simply, understanding who they are helps put a human face to a strategy, improves their experience and ultimately helps them on their journey through your website to become a client.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

Understanding intent of your potential clients
Ui
User Intent

In this article I’m going to take you through understanding your potential clients’ intent. Do this well and not only will it help create more engagement on your website but ultimately a consistent flow of enquiries.

For now I’d like to focus on the two intents that will bring you the most benefits, that’s research and enquiry. Let me describe how they present themselves; typically the researchers are searching online for law firms who can help them with their problem. Whereas enquirers already have awareness and want to make contact with you. What’s important is you need to create content based on both these two intents. I'll explain further, but first let me summarise how your potential clients are finding you online.

We know around 50% of your website visitors are coming from online searches. We’d expect around 85% of that figure to be potential clients who are unaware of your law firm and are searching for content that solves their problem, that’s the research phase. The rest will be made up of casual browsers and those who are already aware of you and are ready to make an enquiry.

Let’s get back to the main topic content vs intent.

Did you know Google listens to your potentials clients’ intent.

They do this because they want to give the most relevant search results by presenting website content that matches their users’ intent.

You can also use this method to help with content ideas for your law firm website, which will help you appear higher on the search results pages along with other methods.

Google looks for terms that not only help them separate types of intent but service offerings too. For example this could be lawyerssearching for jobs with terms like “legal employment and hiring” or potential clients specifying “family, criminal or divorce lawyer”.

We call this difference in search behaviour “intent modifiers”, it sounds technical but it’s just a method that helps us present the right sort of content people need from your law firm website.   

How do we spot intent modifiers in search requests.

Let me give you two examples of how this works. If we start with a common search "best law firms", this implies your potential client is researching and wants to compare law firms. When the user adds other modifiers for example “best criminal lawyer near me”, we know the user is of an “enquiry” mind set and it’s a local search.

So you can see now why it’s important for law firms get their websites appearing in the search engines for not only relevant search phrases but intent too. Not considering your potential clients intent could lead to a mismatch between what they are looking for and what your law firm offers – or in the worst case search engines won’t offer your website to its users because there is no matching content or intent.

You may find it helpful to understand better which searches are already bringing people to your website. You can do this with Google and Bing Webmaster Tools.

What content should you provide for the “researcher?”

In the first instance, you should always make sure your potential clients’ searches and intent match the content you provide on your law firm website.

When you spot a potential client is researching we know it’s more than likely, they are not going to engage with your lawyers yet, so don’t “sell to them”. Instead, show them your;

  • Expertise.
  • How you help solve their problem.
  • Results.

So to get your ideas flowing I’d recommend making a list of intents based on your law firm offering, then provide problem solving content around those offerings. You can test your list by researching search term volumes in Google, this will give you an ideal of the popularity of your offerings.

To add to this you may want to encourage them to subscribe to your webinars, white papers and social channels as they get to know you.

What content should you provide for Enquirer.

It's worth noting enquiry searches aren’t always just about enquires, that’s why they also need to be included in your user research phase. Potential clients who want to make an enquiry will typically need content types that help them convert into clients, we’d recommend;

  • At least one page per law firm offering.
  • A strong unique value proposition for each of your offerings.
  • Case studies.
  • Who to contact for each offering.
  • The next steps.

Guiding them to your team pages and contact forms is the most important step, we do this because it lets them see who they could be working with. Adding social proof to your contact pages will help too.

This method is really exciting and can be so effective - you are now on the way to creating a great law firm website!

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

How to improve the look of your website.
IxD
Interface Design

In the article I’m going to take you through a process of how you can improve the look of your law firm website. This is a subjective topic, be prepared, not everyone is going to agree with you so let’s aim for two things;

  • Web pages that present relevant content.
  • A Website that expresses empathy and your brand values.

Firstly it's going to help you if you take a client focused approach. This will removes guess work, internal opinion and ego and deliver relevant results based on what your clients need.

Your primary concern is your law firm website should assist with your existing and potential clients’ tasks. We do with methods like scenario planning to create the best possible webpages. To keep your website relevant the most important thing is to listen to what they need.

Here’s a few key points that help your law firm website look better.

Firstly I’d like to separate the website into two main components – its content and its functional elements.

Remember it’s the content of your website that will define how it looks. The functional elements of your pages are different and typically include; header, footer, navigation, sub menus and online forms. These elements on the web page should just be intuitive to use.

The main navigation elements are only there to guide your website visitors from A to B. Adorn these elements with distracting colours or graphic elements at your peril.    

Lets talk about the basics on how to improve the look of your website

  • Start with your brand guidelines but remember if your brand colour is purple your website doesn’t need to be purple – because not all your users will like the same colours and we know female vs male have different colour preferences.
  • Consider users with visual impairments. 
  • Pick two colours from your brand pallet and reserve one extra colour for an accent colour.
  • Use those colours to create a visual hierarchy, mapping features and functions to colours, for example your calls to action buttons but be aware of users with visual impairments such as colour blindness.
  • Keep your web page design consistent on every page.
  • Choose your website’s fonts carefully and make sure they fit in with your brand guidelines.
  • Have a photography editorial policy – as this will help with a consist look and feel.
  • Take a similar approach to any graphics you may commission.

So what makes a law firm website look good?

This may come as a surprise but your clients don’t worry about how your website looks, they just need information and are more impressed by the experience of using your website.

I’d like to help you with a few key elements to make your website redesign a success, that’s;

  • Content design.
  • Interaction design.
  • Navigation.
  • Testing.

Let’s get into a little more detail these key elements.

Let’s talk about content design first.

Good content design needs to follow information design methods. That is your pages should be structured so they are intuitive to your all your users based on what you know of them and the tasks they want to perform. This will make sure your users find relevant information on your website more easily and more likely to take an action.

Interaction design – how should your website respond to your users.

This delivers a law firm website that enables the users to do what they came to do in the best way possible. This could be how the website responds them with aesthetics like, motion and sound.

You can use techniques such as mouse over effects and animated touch feedback which is designed to confirm to users they have been heard and that the website is responding.

Understanding how humans interact with websites will help you shape your web pages specifically for them and the tasks they want to perform, which then helps with conversions.

Navigation.

Just a note on what to add to your navigation, firstly only add links that help your clients get to where they want to be – this is based on tasks and their intent. For example; if they are not ready to buy you need to provide links to information about your expertise, case studies and your story to nurture them. 

Make sure they are clearly labelled so clients coming from other websites get the hang of your navigation straight away. The more items you add to your navigation the harder it will be to locate information. Try to be as descriptive as possible with your navigation labelling and make sure they are phrased in a language your potential clients would use.

Testing your website.

Testing your website will help confirm actions and questions asked in the initial client interviews. It’s a great way of discovering any barriers potential clients may have completing a task. Here are two good questions to ask;

  • What do you want to achieve on our website?
  • Was there anything that stopped you from completing a task?

There are lots of other things to test on your website like the size and placement of buttons, the screen colour, the typography and other visual cues but these are a good starting point.

Client research.

Everything you do on your website should be underpinned by what your users want. So you need to understand who they are - your primary focus is to them.

That could be finding relevant information, answers to their questions or anything else they tell you. If you don’t already have your client profiles, you can make things a little simpler for yourself by understanding what tasks they want to perform and what questions are they likely to ask based on each of your offerings.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Create clear messages
UVP
Unique Value Proposition

In this article I’m going to take you through a tried and tested method of how to create clear messages on your law firm website with a unique value proposition.

So far you have learnt who your potential clients are and understand their intent. I’d like to go onto the next step and that’s what needs to happen when they land on your website. First, allow me to frame how potential clients find your website, this can be;

  • Via Google after asking a specific question. 
  • Or they arrive on your landing page from paid advertising. 
  • Or from a post on social.
  • From email newsletter.
  • Links from external websites.
  • Direct - visitors who already know your website address.

I’d like to start with evidence based research, it gives the backbone to everything we do. Over 50% of your website traffic comes from organic searches we know when they find your website;

  • They don’t want to be made to think.
  • They will have a task in mind.
  • The majority are researching their problem

What happens when potential clients land on your law firm website? 

On the assumption they have come from a search engine they will be leaning about your law firm for the first time. So you need to confirm they have landed in the right place in a very short space of time. We do this with a “Unique Value Proposition” not only will this tell them who you are but also how you solve their problem.

Once this has been completed they know they have landed on the correct website and can start navigating through the content they came for.

Remember not all website visitors land on your homepage, so you need to consider your messaging for all landing pages.

Let’s get back to the messaging and how to get that bit right for your law firm website.

Your value proposition is one of the most important conversion factors and is the first thing your potential clients should see on your law firm website. Your message should be understood by them in 5 seconds – remember your value proposition is not a slogan or positioning statement.

Creating a value proposition will allow your customers to see your competitive advantage by clearly articulating why someone would want to work with your law firm over your competitors.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to create your Unique Value Proposition; 

  • Make a list of all the benefits your law firm offerings.
  • Clearly describe what makes these benefits valuable in as few words as possible.
  • Define your potentials clients' main challenge and how you solve it.
  • Differentiate from your competitors.

This image describes the 4 features of a Unique Value Proposition

The image above describes the key 4 features of your Unique Value Proposition.

Here is a sample Unique Value Proposition (UVP) template to start with.

You may want to try the same template below; 

UVP Template

  1. For  ____________ (target customer)
  2. who ____________  (statement of the need or opportunity)
  3. our (law firm offering name) is  ____________  (category)
  4. that (statement of benefit) ____________ .

UVP Sample

  1. For tech start-ups
  2. who need to form a company with shareholder agreements and policy documents in a rush
  3. our simple online “tech start-up package”
  4. gives you a legal piece of mind to start trading. 

Download and complete a Lean Canvas below - this video will help explain how to do it.

 

You don’t need to complete all the sections – this is just about creating your unique value proposition. You can find some other samples here 

Remember if you are creating landing pages for each your offerings then you need to create a UVP for each offering.

There are other methods and techniques to help convert like “Unique Selling Points” Make an emotional connection with your values and people I’ll talk more about this here.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How visitors flow through your website
Bf
Behaviour Flow

In this article I’m going to take you through the different ways visitors flow through your law firm website.

You may have noticed which web pages your visitors look at. If not, log into your Google Analytics account you can find lots of detail about this is under “Behaviour” > “Behaviour Flow” or “Site Content”.

Looking at the results you will see how importance content is because it shapes how your potential clients flow through your law firm website. It will ultimately help you nurture future leads.

Broadly speaking what you are looking at is the intent of your website visitors. The content they look at reveals what stage they are at their buying process. Understanding this is really important because it will inform you of the types of content you need and how your users want to browse through your website. 

Your potential clients will flow through your website based on their intent – the two main intents are to research or to make an enquiry. You need to make sure you have both these intents in mind with the content you provide and your messaging is spot on for both.

Here are three sample ways visitors flow through your website.

This process will help you see your potential clients touch points. It will reveal how you could improve the flow from all channels to and through your website. It will help you create achievable goals for you and your visitors. 

Understanding your touch points brings together an understanding of who your potential clients are and your law firm offering. It lets you see the big picture and reveals opportunities and provides a better overall experience.

Each touch point should be well considered and relevant which creates a positive experience. Everything you do should be designed from a client’s perspective that’s relevant for delivering what they are looking for.

If you are unsure how your visitors to flow through your website, this may help you. 

Here are three scenarios how potential clients flow through your website.

1. The Search Engine Question

In this scenario the potential client has a question based on a problem they are trying to solve or type of law firm they are looking for – it’s unlikely they know your law firm at this stage. 

Sample search questions:

  • “How long does divorce take?”
  • “Best law firms near me?”
  • “Best criminal lawyer?”

2. Direct, that’s someone who already knows your website address 

In this scenario the potential client has completed their research, had their questions answered and has intent to convert and make an enquiry - they are likely to already know your law firm

3. Pay Per Click online advertising – PPC

In this scenario the visitor has intent to convert because your online ad’s will only be displayed based on their keywords and their intent.

  

How to identify what content your visitors need

When designing the best possible visitor flow for your website, you need to understand your visitors; 

  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • What information do they need to convert into a client?
  • What questions do they have?
  • What are their fears or hesitations?

The best way forward is not to guess the answer these questions - simply listen to your potential clients and learn about them and their needs.

Provide the right content at the right time

For your potential clients to convert through your website you must give them the information they need just when they need it. They will take action when they find content they are looking for - so don't sell to them too soon, they will take an action when they get what they came for. 

Your potential clients are looking to solve their problem or get answers to their questions, optimise content with that in mind, here are a few other things to consider;

  • Provide clear, benefit oriented statements.
  • Provide a clear value proposition.
  • Explain how what you provide is useful and how it works on each stage.
  • Back up your claims with social proof.
  • Minimise friction on online forms - ask for the minimum amount of information.
  • Create clear calls to action that help solve their problems.

In summary

Broadly speaking you need to provide at least two routes that allows your potential clients to solve a problem they have, or at least show your expertise in those areas and provide clear calls to action to your enquiry forms – that way you will improve conversions through your law firm website. 

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Easy to use website technology.
CMS
Easy to use Content Management System

In this article I’m going to take you through technology that’s easy to use with a focus on Content Management Systems.  

But first I just wanted to briefly discuss exciting developments in LawTech, particularly Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Broadly speaking this is about two things, automating your internal systems and making life simpler for your clients. If the two come together then that’s a win win for all.

Currently when we talk about Lawtech we are really talking about:

  • Systems and document automation including smart contracts.
  • Artificial intelligence that provides predictive outcomes.
  • Machine Learning chatbots that assist your internal teams with knowledge management and clients with online services.

Once investments have been made the benefits to your law firm will be:

  • Better outcomes for your clients.
  • Improved productivity.
  • Reduced running costs which means more profit.

So how do you engage your users with technology that’s also easy to use behind the scenes? For technology to be successfully adopted it needs to be a natural extension of what we as people already do. So we create modular systems around a people that involves inventive thinking. It can combine new technology with existing technology transforming them into a seamless business process. So, let’s start with the application that manages your website, Content Management Systems.

What do I need to consider when selecting a Content Management System (CMS)? 

Never an easy thing to get right - most companies opt for systems they have previously used, which is okay. I feel it’s worth delaying your choice of Content Management System until you have fully explored the requirements of your clients and any technical or reporting needs of your internal teams.

The main considerations when choosing a content management system are:

  • How easy is it to use?
  • How long will it take to learn?
  • How easy is it to be manged from a technical point of view?

You may also want to consider;

  • Can it be scaled?
  • Are backups taken?
  • Is your data safe and secure?

With over 60% of all installations worldwide being WordPress it’s the most popular open source CMS with Joomla as the second biggest. If you’ve already worked with WordPress sticking with the same system may boost your productivity in the short term. 

Consider scalability - many Content Management Systems can be added to with plugins. There a no limit on the number of pages your website can have with any CMS. They will allow you to upload many different type of files such as PDF, word documents, photographs and embeded video.

Any CMS will help you with Search Engine Optimisation and will allow you to add meta data, page titles and descriptions.  

Ownership and control.

Once your new website is live you will own 100% of your site and will have full access via logins to the Content Management System.

There are a number of systems you could use including; 

Summary

The most important thing to consider is make sure you select the right tool for your law firm and consider a Content Management System that works best with the functions your clients and your team require.

Just a note on technical support - It's important to make sure your web partner can support you and your team should technical issues arise or upgrades are required. 

Remember try not to be seduced by a Content Management System that has a plethora of plugins available to you for sake of it - they may not help your users and only act as a superfluous extensions that later cause you upgrade headaches. 

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Make your website accessible
Ux
User Experience

In this article I’m going to take you through how to make your law firm website accessible and welcoming to all.

What does the law say about website accessibility?

If your law firm website isn’t accessible to all users you could be sued for discrimination - commercial reasons aside there are also ethical reasons why you should comply to the Equality Act 2010. These laws have been introduced to deal with the issue of disability discrimination.

Making your website accessible to all is the law and right thing to do.

If a website is designed, coded and produced properly people with disabilities can use them. Making your website accessible benefits everyone, by removing accessibility barriers and opens up your markets, here are a few stats to consider;

  • 940 million people have some degree of vision loss.
  • 246 million have low vision and 39 million are blind.
  • Between 5-10% of the population has dyslexia.
  • 6.5 Million users in the UK alone have a mobility disability.

The above figures don't include users with temporary injuries like a broken arm. There’s no reason to exclude anybody, your users will thank you and you will more than likely see increased traffic and conversions.

What to consider when making your website accessible.

Start by understanding how visitors to your website who may have a disability interact with it;

  • Motor disabilities – some users have challenges with a mouse have difficulty selecting some elements on your website.
  • Vision loss or low vision – those users who may have low vision or colour blindness find it hard to use websites that are low in contrast.
  • Hearing disabilities – those users who are deaf or have poor hearing have problems with video or audio content unless a transcript is available them.

A good way to comply is to have your website tested by a group of users with motor and cognitive disabilities, blindness and other forms of visual impairment. For further reading please visit the W3C working draft which describes best practices for making your law firm website accessible.  

The basics you can do now to make your website accessible.

Below is a list of basic features you can do now to make your website accessible and welcoming to all.

How to make your images accessible. 

When you are adding images via your content management system you will more than likely see a box that says “Alt Text”. This will allow you to add text which gives context and describes what the image is. This is then picked up by screen readers for those users who would have otherwise missed the image.

Worth noting alt text will help improve your site’s rankings in search engines.

How to make video content accessible.

Recorded, live video or slides with audio should have:

  • Captions
  • Audio description in the video or a transcription.
  • Sign Language

Recorded video or slides without audio should have text descriptions or effective audio descriptions.

Recorded or live audio without video

Recorded audio needs effective text descriptions and real time captioning.

If you would like to learn more about this please visit WCAG 2.0’s guideline 1.2, on Time-based Media.

Allow navigation to your major features via a keyboard only.

Your website should work without a mouse, this means if you want to be compliant your website’s features should be accessible via a keyboard only.

This is done by coding the pages so that users can navigate your website with their keyboard Tab keys. Pressing the Tab key allows your users to quickly jump to different sections on your law firm website.

Clearly label your online forms adjacent to the form fields.

When creating your online forms you need to make sure that each field is clearly labelled with what you would like to be entered. Then place your field titles or labels adjacent to its field. Make sure you have a high contrast colour for the “send button”.

Choose colours for those with visual impairments and dyslexia.

Some users prefer specific colour combinations and others find it difficult to read text on certain background to text combinations. If you can provide a feature on your website that allows users to change these combinations themselves then you can’t go too far wrong.

In general you will need strong contrasts for users with poor eyesight and less contrast or colour combinations for those with dyslexia.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

What content should you have on your website?
Cm
Content Marketing

My name is Andy Adamson and in this article I’m going to take you through what content you should have on your website.

There are many content elements to consider but first and most important is to create a strong content marketing plan. This should be a matrix of content that surrounds your law firm offerings. Don’t waste your time creating content on services you don’t provide for your clients. Get this content working well and you will see a steady increase of visitors researching topics based on what your law firm offers.

Let’s go into a little more detail.

Give value to your website visitors.

When a visitor lands on your website we know they will have either intent to "research" or "make contact". Remember it’s not about selling it’s about starting a conversation for the majority of your website visitors who are not ready to buy.

If you try to sell straightaway to everyone on your website you lose about 80% of your audiences. So I’d like to focus on the majority who are not ready to buy yet.

Make sense?

So they’ve landed on your website and know they are in the right place because you have crafted a great Unique Value Proposition that describes who you are and how you solve their legal challenges. 

What content do they need? 

  • Give your profiled customers something you know that will benefit them.
  • Something that is going to solves their legal challenge.
  • Better still give them an answer to the question they have asked. 

 Here are a few things for you to consider; 

  • Helpful reports – add facts that resonate and statistics that lend weight to your authority.
  • Case law/Case Studies.
  • Video content.
  • Client list – look at our clients, they are just like you.

Why should you do this? 

You want to be able to demonstrate your expertise as a law firm – it’s like saying we know something and we are willing to share it with you. This is your thought leadership piece that provides them with a buying alternative.

The key is to focus on your visitors and ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Which customer group am I writing this for?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • What questions are they likely to ask?
  • What are their fears?

You won’t go far wrong by answering these questions and you will have some really helpful content that will ultimately lead to a conversion.

Key an eye out for hot topics on the internet.

Always good to be seen keeping up with breaking topics, use your authority to put you views forward but back up with imperial evidence from references along the way.

Basic content requirements for you law firm website.

Let’s get into specifics, if you are planning your content strategy you should include the following pages;

  • Landing pages for each of your law firm offerings.
  • People profile pages, linked from the offerings pages.
  • News/Blog pages.
  • Case studies/case law.
  • Contact pages.
  • Enquiry pages.
  • Our story/About us.

Key content you should also include on your webpages

It's really important to create a clear description of who you are and how you solve their problems on each key landing page - confirm to your website visitors they have landed in the correct place with your carefully crafted Unique Value Proposition (UVP).

Customer testimonials are always good but make sure they are real – it’s easy to spot carefully curated words. Create Calls to Action in the right place on the page and use a visual hierarchy with accent colours to make it clear where they can take an action.

Note: You also need an easy to navigate menu structure – make all menu labels clear and based on the intent and tasks. Then place your phone number on your web pages because some users prefer the phone, so make sure it’s visible, this normally means surrounding it with white space.

Put your name on it

When you are adding case law or news content, visitors prefer to know you are a real person who is expressing their views – add a personal touch with anecdotes at the end of your content. You understand who your clients are so share the same challenges and frustrations with your visitors. 

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to encourage website visitors to complete an action
Cro
Conversion Rate Optimisation

Hello I’m happy you are here to explore this edition of WEBs' essential guide to Law Firm website redesign, where we help you create the next generation website that keeps your clients central to everything you do.

In this article I'd like to focus on how you can encourage your users to engage and take an action and convert on your website.

To justify its investment your Law firm website needs to generate qualified leads and acquire new clients. There are a number of ways to do this but first let’s define what we mean by “actions & conversions” and conversion rate optimisation.

What do we mean by actions and conversions on a law firm website?

Actions and conversions refer to something a visitor does on your website as part of their reason for visiting. Once these actions have taken place they are called a conversion. Here are three typical actions visitors could take on your website;

  • Completing an online enquiry form
  • Downloading a whitepaper or report behind a subscription page.
  • Subscribing to a newsletter.

Your conversion rate is a direct reflection of how well you assist your website visitors to the tasks they came to perform. 

What is conversion rate optimisation for law firms?

The “conversion rate” is the number of completed actions through your law firm website, divided by the website visitors over a given period of time. 

“Conversion rate optimization”, CRO, consists of a number of techniques that encourage potential clients to take an action on your law firm website.

You will find the most effect way to improve your conversion rate is to make small incremental improvements, then analyse what happens over a period of time. That way you can isolate each iteration and observe how it’s improved your conversion rate. 

Why should you use Conversion Rate Optimisation as part of your law firm marketing mix?

Law firms can get obsessed with the number of visitors to their website using techniques like Search Engine Optimisation. That’s in itself if fine, but you could be wasting your budget if they are being directed to poorly designed pages without much thought into who is visiting, why they are there and appropriate calls to action. 

Law firms spend less than 1% of their budget on Conversion Rate Optimisation. Law firms are spending 96% of their marketing budget on getting visitors to their website, with only 3% of these visitors converting into customers at best.

Where do we start with website conversions?

Previously we have discussed understanding who your potential clients are and their intent. When you know this you can specifically target content and actions that appeal to them. Typically this could be newsletter subscriptions, reports and whitepaper downloads. The latter could be used to gather email addresses before a user downloads documents - this is referred to as "Gated Content".

By nurturing website visitors in this way gives you the opportunity to; 

  • Weed out poor quality leads.
  • Educate your prospects with your expertise.
  • Increase transactions with your prospects that helps form a relationship.
  • Which then builds trust for when they are ready to “make an enquiry”.

What can you do to help your website visitors convert?

You now know website conversions are about guiding specific website visitors towards completing a specific actions – but how is this achieved?

A good starting point would be design triggers, typically start with removing visual clutter and write a strong value proposition headline.

  • Establish a visual hierarchy of colour or tone that gives users visual cues to the importance of tasks.
  • Draw the users' attention with white space around your buttons.
  • Add social proof - others have done this and they achieved this.
  • Offer them something of real value and helps solve their problem – you know what that is because you have asked them, right?

You may want to start making decisions about implementing changes based on what you have uncovered about your customers. The smaller incremental change the better, that way you can build and test one assumption at a time.

There are too many poorly optimised law firm websites that with even basic CRO methods will improve performance. After these simple steps are taken a more sophisticated approach can be taken to keep improving conversion rates further. We do this by empathising with your clients, understanding their context and walking in their shoes.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How make your website easy to use
Ut
User Testing

Hello I’m happy you are here to explore this edition of WEBs' essential guide to Law Firm website redesign, where we help you create the next generation website that keeps your clients central to everything you do.

In this article I'd like to focus on how you can make your website as easy to use.

Your website isn’t easy to use until you prove it. So a great starting point is to test it with real people. I’ve put together a few tips, not only will they help keep your visitors on your website but they will help them take the action they came for.

First here are just a few basic things to look over;

  • Understand who is visiting your website and why.
  • Create meaningful navigation titles or labels.
  • Test each webpage for a consistent look.
  • Make sure your website search feature works.
  • Ensure each page is relevant. 

When a potential client lands on your website or web page it’s important you meet their expectations. The one area to focus on is your navigation – if your website visitors can’t find their way around they will leave. 

Here are a few practical things to make your website easy to navigate.

  • Try not to use small fonts for your navigation and avoid menu icons.
  • Place your menu consistently in the same place on all pages and where your visitors expect to find them.
  • Make sure your menu is interactive and they look like links.
  • Create visual cues so your menus have enough emphasis and importance on the page.
  • Remove any visual clutter around your menus.
  • Use a contrasting colour in your links, some of your website visitors may have poor eyesight. You can review this with a simple squint test.

How and what do you test on your website?

Website testing will provide you with insights into how your website works for your visitors. It can be as simple or involved as your budget allows.

Here are a few ideas how to test your website;

  • Try “speak allowed testing” by asking them to describe how they feel as they perform specific tasks.
  • Testing relevant scenarios will help them relate to the task, for example, “Your company is considering merging with another company – find legal information about this and who to contact”.
  • Consider the basics like finding your location, telephone number or contact information. If your visitors are not able to find this quickly they will leave your website.
  • Test your conversions paths for example register for a seminar or sign up for a newsletter.
  • Test all of these functions on mobile first. 

A B Website Testing

We know people don’t behave how they say or how you think they will.

Different versions of your website or landing pages are created and the results are compared to find out which delivers more goals.

What do we test?

You may well have an idea what is working and what is not - the choice of what to test will more than likely reveal itself. For example you would like to increase the number of email seminar or newsletter sign ups - the examples below are some of what you can test against when looking for barriers that prevent users from signing up;

  • Variations of the types of fields in the form
  • The length of online forms
  • Wording - convincing visitors to sign up
  • Display of privacy policy

Each A B test is very different and can depend on a combination of elements – for example the visitor type and company offering. Here are some elements you can test first:

  • Amount of text on the page, short v long.
  • Page title or description.
  • Button’s, wording, size, colour and placement.
  • Layout and style of website.
  • Images on landings pages.

Three essential A B website checks

1. Test your “Call to Action” buttons.

A way to increase conversion rates is to run some tests on your call to action buttons. Make small changes to colour, label name, font, shape and where they are placed. Remove clutter around each button so it sits in its own space giving it importance.

2. Test Your Navigation Bar.

Find out which are your most popular pages. Then change the order of your site navigation bar and measure which order brings in the highest number of clicks for the pages that are most important for converting.

3. Test Your Login and Signup Buttons

If your website offers newsletter sign ups and/or log in, decide which action is more valuable. Is it more important to get new users to sign up, or to get people logging in? When you know which is a priority, try swapping the order or colour of these buttons.

This is sometimes a difficult choice getting real people to test your website and can leave egos bruised, my first time largely failed and I felt terrible. The benefits of asking people to constructively feedback will not only give you great results but will also out strip anything your competitors are doing. I’d consider testing in some way on a regular basis.

 

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to keep your website relevant
Ur
User Research

Hello I’m happy you are here to explore this edition of WEBs' essential guide to Law Firm website redesign, where we help you create the next generation website that keeps your clients central to everything you do.

In this article I’m going to take you through how to keep your website relevant.

A great way to make sure your website is relevant is to provide relevant content that’s appropriate to your website visitors.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

To do that you can simplify things by focusing your content around two elements;

  • Your potential client profiles.
  • Your potential clients’ intent.

Let’s start by understanding your potential clients and what they could be looking for on your website.

Start with your client profiles

The relevance of the content on your website is dependent on your typical client profiles. We also need to consider their intent, we’ll talk more about that further into this article.

Relevant content generally is more about supporting dialogue than anything else. The chances are your potential clients have a problem they are trying to solve and they have a task in mind to find a solution.

So by understanding your potential clients you can create the right kind of content for them based on the tasks you understand they want to perform on your website. Broadly that’s either “I’m researching a problem” or “I’m ready to move forward and make an enquiry”. When you know this you can create more accurate content for each page, that will be some of the following elements;

  • Unique Value Proposition
  • Meaningful headlines
  • Summary content
  • Scannable content with sub headings
  • Appropriate calls-to-action

Once you understand them and their intent you can and only then provide relevant content for them. Client profiles can be as detailed as you want, we’ve more talked about here, but it sometimes easier online to focus on what tasks they would like to perform.

Understand your potential clients’ intent

So, understanding client intent connects so many elements together, not just your website, but online marketing too.

A good place to start is with the search engines because they record both voice and keyword searches. They also offer alternative searches requests so you can see search intent, for example can you see the two types of intent below;

“What should a legal contract typically contain when merging companies?”

Compared to;

“Law firms who specialise in company mergers”

The initial search infers research, the users is trying to understand what things to consider for a legal contract in a merger. The second search infers the user is now looking law firms who do this work - you can see the intent has changed.

Keeping your law firm website on track and relevant.

Now your website is relevant it’s important you keep it that way. Improvements should be made in small iterations and be ongoing. A fail safe method is setup a feedback loop. This ranges from client interviews or surveys, looking at Google Analytics and website satisfaction scores;  

  • Unstructured Feedback - Face to face interviews or online surveys.
  • Structured Feedback - Google Analytics or other tracking systems.
  • Recurring Feedback - website satisfaction scores.

Summary

Ideally you will have two type of content on your website to match their intent, that way you know your website will be relevant to all types of clients.

Just make sure you have content that supports common issues and provide example of how they may be able to solve them. Then show them your people with relevant experience and how to contact them.

Other things you should check are;

  • Make sure you use up to date high quality images.
  • Your website has a high standard of written content.
  • Clearly display your point of contact.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to find new clients online
Sem
Search Engine Marketing

Hello I’m happy you are here to explore this edition of WEBs' essential guide to Law Firm website redesign, where we help you create the next generation website that keeps your clients central to everything you do.

In this article I’m going to take you through how to find new customers online.

Attracting new clients online can fuel growth for your law firm more than other marketing method. Understanding how and what is best for your law firm offering will vary based on who you are trying to reach.

There is any number of different methods in place from podcasting to becoming a known expert through LinkedIn thought leadership. But I’ve listed a few basic options open to you as a starter for attracting new visitors to your website:

  • Content Marketing - this is a sustainable approach focused on you creating relevant content that attracts your potential clients based on what they are searching for.
  • Organic Search - this is when your potential clients speaks or types keywords in Google, Yahoo or Bing and your law firm website is listed based on its ranking.
  • Search Engine Pay Per Click Ad’s – this is the quick win option that displays your ad based on keywords or phrases your potential client’s type into search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. 

The diagram below illustrates a few more online marketing options for you to consider as part of your online marketing mix. 

This diagram illustrates online other marketing options like, email marketing and high traffic directories,

How should we attract more visitors to your law firm website?

So, all that hard work and your law firm website isn’t attracting new clients because it can’t be found.

We now need to consider search engine marketing. This is the process of gaining website visitors from search engines and is made up of two main activities:

  • Pay Per Click, PPC, is a form of online marketing where websites can increasing their visibility in search engine results pages, SERPs, through paid advertising links based on key words.
  • Search Engine Optimisation, SEO, which is gaining website visitors through unpaid or free listings, typically through Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Making your law firm website visible to search engines is something you need to bear in mind right from the beginning. Google rewards fast, well structured, compliant websites with higher rankings and penalises slow, poor structure and poor quality coding with lower rankings. So which would you rather have?

A good listing within the search engines is generally considered to be on the first page of search results based on keyword search terms.

Search engine marketing basics.

Here are some search engine basics to start with:

  • Selecting the most appropriate keywords based on what you know of your potential clients and their intent.
  • Increasing and maintaining optimal search engine rankings.
  • Getting your site listed in the legal and other relevant industry directories.
  • Increasing your link popularity.
  • Delivering reports to measure success.

Whilst Search Engine Optimisation can often refer to increasing the quality of traffic and attracting more visitors to your law firm website. There is also a very important component in that process, content marketing. This is where you create value for your clients with relevant content that in turn helps with your conversion rates. That is any action you’d you’re your potential clients to do on your website. SEO without content marketing is less likely to be successful.

Content marketing for your law firm

Using Search Engine Optimisation techniques your website attracts visitors who are aware and engaged with your law firm – it will attract more via content searches. To help with this you should identify your client segments and create content which is relevant, creates value for them and is based on their intent. This will also help with funnelling potential clients towards the outcome you desire.

You may want to consider the flowing steps:

  • Develop a content plan for each client segment that’s relevant and is based on their intent.
  • Create content funnels towards your goals
  • Develop a social media strategy to increase and engage your online communities.
  • Create content, both written and visual, for your website and social media.
  • Develop email communications.
  • Monitor and report. 

Your potential clients are permanently connected through a variety of devices and channels and they expect to stay connected to their world 24-7.

Marketing your law firm in all online locations is important for the simple reason that you must be where your clients are. It’s about giving your clients the choice and opportunity to interact with you when it’s most convenient for them - so it’s essential to be there when they are ready to engage with your brand.

Evaluate your clients by asking:

  • Who are they?
  • Through what channels do they prefer?
  • What information do they need?
  • What services do they need?
  • What devices do they use?
  • Who do they interact with?
  • What is their intent?

Your client messages should be choreographed, consistent and targeted across all locations online. We know your clients could experience your brand in a number of different ways;

  • At a bus stop on a mobile via social media, they’ll have a quick look and move on,
  • Then again on a desktop at lunch time some days later,
  • And again in the evening on their mobile or iPad.

They expect seamless brand communications and the same client experiences from content which is relevant to them.

Remember you can easily get obsessed with the number of visitors to their website using these techniques. Just be careful about wasting your if that traffic is being directed to poorly designed pages without much thought into who is visiting, you may want to read about conversion optimisation here. 

 __________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Build trustworthiness through your website
Co
Conversion optimisation

In this article I’m going to take you through how to create credibility and trustworthiness that’s key to converting potential clients through your law firm website.

In reality is each visitor needs different levels of convincing, but there are a few elements that can help you. As visitors move around your website reading content, they are sub consciously deciding whether or not they trust what you're offering and if they want to stay on your website.

Let’s dive into some detail so you can get a better understanding of how your law firm can gain more trustworthiness through your website.

Consider displaying links to social media and external review websites 

People often employ a wider approach when researching companies. They rely on sources like sector related directory websites, review websites and social media as well as what you say on your website. Displaying links to or having inbound links from these websites makes your law firm appear more established and credible. 

So it’s good to show you're transparent and confident about how your law firm is seen by others. 

Disclose your policy documents and create quality content. 

This follows on from creating clear messages we’ve discussed previously. Just as in a person to person relationship people don't like it if they feel misled or if important was kept from them. People appreciate it when websites prominently display clear links to FAQ’s and policy documents. 

Clearly outdated and poor quality information, of course degrades credibility. Conversely displaying relevant content that solves a potential clients problem builds trust and shows your law firm in a good light and more importantly is committed to being helpful. 

Design quality. 

Good design is subjective but design quality can be reflected in many different ways. For example by creating clear relevant messages, avoid using content that makes your website appear unbalanced and disorganised. Provide clearly labelled and meaningful navigation links. It’s important to reduce typos or broken links. Don't use stock imagery because inadvertently you would be trying to start a business relationship with a lie. It seems our approach online has been to hide from potential clients rather than tell them who we really are. 

Remember when you get enquiries through your enquiry forms make sure you reply in a timely way - it does help convince potential clients you're engaged, credible and a law firm that’s helpful they can trust.

Keep these trustworthiness elements in mind when considering your website.

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to use Chatbots
Ml
Machine Learning

There are exciting developments happening in LawTech, particularly in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In this article I’d like to describe how you can use chatbots and why they will help you and your clients.

Since 2007 when the first iPhone was launched, we all now carried mobile devices. You have this magic piece of glass that can transform experiences and bring people far away closer to you. It’s breath taking how this has evolved in such a short space in time of our history.

As designers we like to use conventions and metaphors as visual cues to show how something works – but ultimately for technology to be successful it needs to be a natural extension of what we as people already do. Chatbot are just that and have been around for a while, you find them in messaging apps on smartphones or on company websites.  

The following research by Flurry display the growth of messaging apps.

The diagrame below displays the number of monthly active Facebook Messenger users from April 2014 to September 2017(in millions)

How could you use a chatbot in your Law Firm.

We know technology has dehumanised commercial relationships. We now use technology to create technology which accelerates the development of new products. Combine this with what we are learning about people through analytics and behavioural studies, the results have given us chatbots with machine learning. They give us the opportunity to make online transactions seem human. We prefer to call chatbots “Digital Employees” and once they are trained, like a real person, can;

  • Facilitate your clients to buy legal services and solutions online.
  • Locate case documents with smart searches.
  • Assist with knowledge management for your internal teams.
  • Provide predictive case outcomes.

Digital Employees can have conversations with your potential clients and learn from their questions to deliver the correct answers – this has a dramatic impact on conversions and means we are getting closers to offering true customer experience, all from your mobile. 

Why should you consider chatbots in your law firm

Lawyers need to complete many routine unbilled tasks from administrative to financial but still need consultation time and to create legal documents. Legal chatbots help you to focus on client facing work and when they are trained can deliver what your clients need 24 hours a day. Generally speaking they can complete mundane tasks and deliver automated services that removes layers of costs to your law firm.

Remember chatbots are after all a representative your law firm so when having conversations with your clients they reveal your law firms values and can talk with your brand voice. 

What benefits can you expect from a chatbot?

Chatbots can have multiple conversations with multiple prospects at the same time so you don’t need to bring in teams of people to scale up.

Client facing chatbot applications are endless;

  • Giving answers to basic legal questions.
  • Conducting screening consultations.
  • On boarding of clients.
  • Take enquires and adding them to your marketing database.
  • Instead of filling out endless forms chatbots do this as part of a conversation, particularly helpful in estate agency work.

They are trained partly by you, conversations are logged which means you can match correct answers to the questions your potential clients are asking, that’s if your chatbot doesn’t already know the right answer.

Chat Bots How and Why >>

__________

WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark. 

This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:

  1. What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
  2. How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
  3. How your online marketing budget is spent.

Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

About this guide
i
Introduction
introduction
How to start a website redesign
St
Strategy
how-to-start-a-law-firm-website-redesign
Know your potential clients
Ur
User Research
know-your-potential-clients
Understanding intent of your potential clients
Ui
User Intent
understanding-intent-of-your-potential-clients
How to improve the look of your website.
IxD
Interface Design
how-to-improve-the-look-of-your-website
Create clear messages
UVP
Unique Value Proposition
create-clear-messages
How visitors flow through your website
Bf
Behaviour Flow
how-visitors-flow-through-your-website
Easy to use website technology.
CMS
Easy to use Content Management System
easy-to-use-technology
Make your website accessible
Ux
User Experience
make-your-website-accessible
What content should you have on your website?
Cm
Content Marketing
what-content-should-you-have-on-your-website
How to encourage website visitors to complete an action
Cro
Conversion Rate Optimisation
how-to-encourage-website-visitors-to-complete-an-action
How make your website easy to use
Ut
User Testing
how-to-make-your-website-easy-to-use
How to keep your website relevant
Ur
User Research
how-to-keep-your-website-relevant
How to find new clients online
Sem
Search Engine Marketing
how-to-find-new-clients-online
Build trustworthiness through your website
Co
Conversion optimisation
build-trustworthiness-through-your-website
How to use Chatbots
Ml
Machine Learning
how-to-use-chatbots
 
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Founded in 1995 based in Edinburghs' tech hood in Leith, WEB is a company specialising in machine learning, progressive web app's and website design for Law Firms. It's team includes design, software engineering and online marketing.
 
 

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