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 on 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 and Machine learning that’s really exciting and something we will explore.

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to start a website redesign
St
Strategy

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.

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.

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Know your potential clients
Ux
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.

My name is Andy Adamson and in this video 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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

Understanding intent of your potential clients
Ui
User Intent

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.

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

Improve the look of your website.
IxD
Interface Design

This is a subjective topic. So, how do we improve the look when it’s unlikely everyone will agree with you?

This is about creating aesthetically pleasing web pages that expresses your brand and present easy to access content.

Here are a few things you can do to help. Firstly it's going to help if you work with a customer centered approach - becoming customer centered will remove guess work, internal ego and opinion. This approach will deliver results based on empirical evidence.

Your primary concern is your law firm website should to satisfy the needs of your existing and potential clients. We use techniques like scenario planning, customer journey planning and testing to create the perfect webpages. Most important is to talk to them and understand what they need, I’ve talked a little about that in this article.

Remember it’s the content that will define how your website looks. The functional elements of your pages are different and typically includes; header, footer, online forms, navigation and sub menus. These elements on the web page should be intuitive and largely invisible. They are only there to guide your website visitors from A to B or help them with an action or task. 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 brand colour is purple your website doesn’t need to be purple – not all your users will like the same colours and we know male v female have different colour preferences.
  • Have a photography editorial policy – photography guidelines will help with a consistency look and feel.
  • Take a similar approach to any graphics you may commission.
  • Pick two colours and reserve one extra colour for an accent colour, this will be used for calls to action.
  • Keep your web page design balanced and consistent on every page.
  • Choose your website’s fonts carefully and make sure they fit in with your brand guidelines.

So what makes a website look good? Let’s get into a little more detail and look some other elements you can consider.

Interaction.

Interaction is about designing a website for people first. Understanding how humans interact with computers will help you shape your web pages specifically for them and the tasks they want to perform, which then helps with conversions. This is created with a goal oriented process and focused on satisfying the needs and desires of the clients who interact with your law firm website.

You can use techniques such as mouse over effects and animated touch feedback which confirms to your potential clients they have been heard and that the website is responding. It's important to remember how potential clients experience your brand across any number of devices and channels. It's one of our roles to make sure your brand appears consistently to them all. 

Client research.

I’m not going to apologise for dwelling on this because it’s so important. First you need to understand who your clients are and a good starting point is look at your current client database.

Your primary focus is your website needs to satisfy the goals of your potential clients. Whether that’s finding information, answers to their questions or anything else you care to think of. We use techniques like scenario planning and client journey planning to create the best possible law firm website. If you don’t already have your client profiles you can make things a little simpler for yourself by just understanding what tasks they want to perform and what questions are they likely to ask.

Content design.

Good content design needs to follow information design principles and methodologies. Your pages should be structured so they are intuitive to your clients and makes sense to them based on what you know of them and the tasks they want to perform. This will make sure your clients find information on your website more easily and more likely to take an action.

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 the tasks they want to perform and their intent. If they are not ready to buy you need to provide links to information about your company, products and services and case studies. 

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 the harder it will be to locate information, try to be as descriptive as possible in your navigation labelling and make sure it’s 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 clients may have completing a task. Here are a few key questions to ask your team:

  • Why do people visit your website?
  • What do they want to achieve?
  • What other websites did they visit?
  • Was there anything that stopped them from completing a task?
  • What nearly stopped them 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.

 

__________

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Create clear messages
UVP
Unique Value Proposition

So far you have profiled your clients and understand their needs and understand their intent. I’d like to go onto the next steps on your clients’ journey through your website – but again I’d like to start with evidence based research, it gives the backbone to everything we do. 

With over 50% of your website traffic comes from organic searches we know when they land on your website “they don’t want to be made to think” and “will have a task in mind” – that is “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 don’t know who you are. The first thing you need to confirm they have landed in the right place. We do this with a “Unique Value Proposition”. Then you can add you “Unique Selling Points” Make an emotional connection with your values and people.

So your potential clients now know they have landed on the correct website and can start navigating through the content they came for. But let’s get back to the messaging and how to get that bit right for your law firm.

How to create a unique value proposition for you law firm. 

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 service or product offers.
  • Clearly describe what makes these benefits valuable in as few words as possible.
  • List your clients' main challenge.
  • Make a list that differentiates your from your competitors.

You may want to download and complete a Lean Canvas below - this video will help explain how to do it.

 

Consider your messages from all types of links.

We have discussed how and why your potential clients get to your site, once they land they won’t perform the action you want them to straightaway. Key content and actions can guide your visitor flow through your website as they get answers to their questions. First you must let them know they have landed on the right website or web page with a clear message but keep in mind the following entry points;

  • Potential clients via Google after asking a specific question. 
  • They arrive on your landing page from paid advertising. 
  • Visitors from a post on social.
  • Visitors from email newsletter.
  • Links from external websites.
  • Direct - visitors who have previously visited your website and know your website address.

 

 

__________

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How visitors flow through your website
Bf
Behaviour Flow

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

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

Broadly speaking what you are looking at is the intent of your website visitors and what 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 with flow through your website based on their intent – that is either to research about you and your company or to make an enquiry. You just need to make sure you have both those journeys in mind and your messaging is spot on for both.

Three sample potential client touch points.

This is a process which will help you relate to your potential clients touch points with your brand and business processes. It will reveal how you could improve the flow for all channels and how it connects to create achievable goals for your law firm website but more importantly your clients. 

Understanding your clients touch points brings together an understanding of who your clients are and your services – it lets you see the big picture and reveals opportunities. Capturing your customer’s journey will help you find opportunities to provide a better experience.

Each touch point should be well considered and relevant which will add up to an overwhelmingly positive experience. Everything you do should be designed from a clients perspective that integrates your processes and is relevant for delivering what your client is looking for.

So how do you expect your visitors to flow through your website, this may help you structure your content. Here are three scenarios to consider.

1. The Search Engine Question

In this scenario the potential client has a question based on a problem they are trying to solve - they are more than likely not to know who you or your law firm are.   

2. Direct, some knows your website site address 

In this scenario the potential client has completed their research, had their questions answered and has an intent to convert - they are likely to know who you or your law firm are. 

3. Pay Per Click online advertising - PPC

In this scenario the visitor has an intent to convert.

  

Identify content your visitors need

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

  • What are their needs or desires?
  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • What information do they need to take action?
  • What questions do they have?
  • What are their fears or hesitations?

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

We also engage clients through tactical inbound and outbound marketing activities, designed to drive visitors who want to know about you, making them valuable acquisitions rather than just casual browsers.

Provide the right content at the right time

For your potential clients to convert through your websie 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 ask for the sale or signups too soon, they will 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 demonstraight 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 4543 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

How do you engage your users with technology that is also easy to use behind the scenes? This can be anything from software products, custom software and inventive applications of technology. The key is to create modular systems around a cohesive human centered strategy. It involves innovative thinking by successfully combining new solutions with your existing one transforming them into a seamless business solution. Let’s start with 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 a system they have previously used, which is okay. I feel it’s worth delaying your choice of Content Management System until you have explored the requirements of your clients and any technical and reporting needs of your internal teams.

The main considerations when selecting the right content management system are:

  • How easy is it to use?
  • How long will it take to learn?
  • How long will it take to update our website?

You may also want to consider;

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

What Content Management Systems do you have experience of? With over 60% of all installations WordPress is the most popular open source CMS worldwide with Joomla as the second biggest. If you’ve already worked with WordPress sticking with the same system may boost your productivity. 

Consider scaleability - many Content Management Systems can be added to with plugins or bolt ons. There a no limit on the number of pages your website can have with any CMS and 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 Opitisation 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 Content Managment Systems you could use and as an open source content management company we have expertise with different platforms and systems including; 

Summary

The most important thing to consider is make sure you selct the right tool for your company and consider a Content Management System that works best with the functions you 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 extension that later causes 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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

Make your website useful and accessible
Ux
User Experience

It’s not easy creating a website that your visitors like using, it really isn’t.

Creating a good experience of your company online is about having a deep understanding of;

  • Who your customers are.
  • Their intent.
  • What they need.
  • Their abilities and limitations.

We know around 80% of your potential clients search online for a law firms - once they find your website you have 5 seconds to confirm they have landed in the right place and express how you solve their challenges. 

This is about shaping your website specifically for your clients and the tasks they want to perform. We do this with a "goals first" apporach and focus on satisfying the needs and desires of potential cleints who engage with your website. 

Your plan should be to create engaging client experiences that generate leads from long term strategies. We would recommend a process that delivers a website designed with them in mind – that way they get to the information they are looking for quickly. 

To do this we first define who your products and services are targeting then create the right sort of experience for them aligning success criteria to create better experiences, resulting in happy clients and a healthy business. 

Each client journey is detailed with anticipated content and function to achieve your goals of increased lead generation and lead conversion. This delivers value to your clients by improving understanding of their needs with measurement points across every touchpoint. 

Consultation with your clients is such an asset to any ambitious company who wishes to improve its online experience and lead generation - why guess what your clients need? Simply ask, that way you can't be wrong and you don’t have to copy what your competitors are doing because they only copied what you are doing online. 

What does the law say?

If your online business isn’t accessible to all users you could be sued for discrimination - there are also ethical and commercial reasons why you should comply to the Equality Act 2010 (EQA) which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA). 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 you open up your market, 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 mobility disability - that doesn't include users with injuries like a broken arm.

What should you do?

Start by understanding how your potential customers who have a disability interact with your website;

  • 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 colorblind find it hard to use websites that are low 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 a website accessible. 

 

 

__________

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 4543 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

There are many things to consider but fundamentally it comes down to these two things; aquireing new visitors with content marketing and converting them in potential clients with key messages based on their intent, that is broadly speaking "research" or "I'd like to make contact".  

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

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 its visible, this normally means surrounding it with white space.

Customer testimonials are always good but make sure they are real – its easy to spot carefully curated words. Create Calls to Action in the right place on the page – use visual hierarchy with acent colours to make it clear to your clients how they can take an action.

Let’s go into a little more detail.

Give value, give value and give more value.

Remember it’s not about selling it’s about starting a conversation for the majority of your users. 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. What content do they need? 

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

 Here are a few things you could give them; 

  • Answers to their business challenges.
  • Helpful reports – add facts that resonate and statistics that lend weight to your authority.
  • Video content.
  • Case studies.
  • Client list – look at my clients, they are just like you.
  • Add social proof - others have done this and they achieved this 

Why should you do this? 

You want to be able to demonstrate your expertise – it’s like saying I know something and I’m will to share it with you. (This is your thought leadership peace) and it 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.

Hot topics

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.

Put your name on it

Visitors prefer to know you are a real person who 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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to encourage website visitors to complete an action
Co
Conversion optimisation

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. 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.

What is conversion rate optimisation for law firms?

The “conversion rate” is the number of leads generated through your law firm website, divided by the website visitors for a given period of time. 

“Conversion rate optimization”, CRO, is a method that guides potential clients to take an action on your law firm website. Here are few typical examples;

  • Making an enquiry
  • Downloading a whitepaper or report
  • Subscribing to a newsletter or social channels.

Your conversion rate is a direct reflection of how well you help your potential clients with the tasks they came to perform. Do that well, you will achieve your website goals and it's a great starting point is to becoming customer centric. 

The most effect method in CRO is to make small, incremental improvements and analyse what happens over a period of time. That way you can isolate each iteration.

Why use CRO as part of your law firm marketing mix?

We see law firms that are obsessed with Search Engine Optimisation and getting as many website visitors as possible. That’s in itself if fine, but you could be wasting budget if they are being directed to poorly optimised pages without much thought into who is visiting and appropriate calls to action. 

Only 1% of law firms are spending budget on CRO. Law firms are spending 96% of their marketing budget on getting visitors to their website, with only 3% of these visitors converting in to customers.

Where do we start with website conversions?

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

By nurturing website visitors gives you the opportunity to; 

  • Weed out poor quality leads.
  • Educate your prospects with your expertise.
  • Increase transactions with your prospects.
  • Help form a relationship.
  • Build trust for when they are ready to buy.

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?

This can be done with design triggers, typically start with removing visual clutter and write a strong proposition headline is a good starting point.

  • 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.

 

 

__________

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How make your website is easy to use
Ut
User Testing

I’ve put together a few quick tips on how to make life easier for people visiting your law firm website. This will help keep them on your website and take the action you want them to take.

Your website doesn’t work well until you prove it, so a great starting point is to test it. Here are just a few basic things to consider;

  • Understand who is looking at your website and what they need.
  • Test each webpage for a consistent look.
  • Ensure each page is relevant.
  • Test how meaningful navigation titles are.
  • Make sure your website search feature works.

A B Website Testing

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

We know people don’t behave how they say or how you think they will so you can improve ROI by choosing a version based on performance.

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 newsletter sign ups - the examples below are some of what we 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 website test is very different and depends a combination of elements - the audience type and product offering. Here are some elements we test first:

  • Amount of text on the page (short vs. long).
  • Page title or description
  • Button’s, wording, size, color and placement.
  • Layout and style of website
  • Images on landing and product pages

Three essential A B website checks

1. Test Your Call to Action Buttons.

A way to impact conversion rates is to run some tests on your call to action buttons. Make small changes to color, copy, font, shape and where they are placed placement. Make sure you don't clutter the zone around a CTA button.

2. Test Your Navigation Bar.

Find out which are your most popular pages of your website. 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 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 into their account? When you know which is a priority, try swapping the order or color of these buttons.

Web also engages audiences through tactical inbound and outbound marketing activities, designed to drive visitors who want to know about you, making them valuable acquisitions rather than just casual browsers. 

Remember you can learn more about what we'd love to do for you by calling us 0131 454 3311 or by using our online contact form.

 

 

__________

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to keep your website relevant
Ur
User Research

A great way to make sure your website is relevant is to provide relevant content, sounds simple doesn’t it. To simplify things focus your content around two elements;

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

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 online.

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;

  • Meaningful headlines
  • Summary content
  • Scanable content and 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.

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 contain when merging companies?”

Compared to;

“Law firms who help with company mergers”

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

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 and potential clients.

Just make sure you try and have content around common issues and how they may be able to solve them. Then show them your people with relevant experience and how to contact them.

 

 

 

__________

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 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.

 

How to find new customers
Sem
Search Engine Marketing

What’s the point in putting all that work into your law firm website if it’s not attracting clients because it can’t be found online?

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

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:

  • Search Engine Optimisation, SEO, which is gaining website visitors through unpaid or free listings, typically through Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • 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.

Making your law firm website (and your business) 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 for key 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 client and their intent.
  • Increasing and maintaining optimal search engine rankings.
  • Getting your site listed in the directories.
  • Increasing your link popularity.
  • Delivering reports to measure success.

Whilst SEO 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 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

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.
  • Marketing your company in all online locations.

Your 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 firms 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 ipad.

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

 

 

__________

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 4543 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
Ux
User Research
know-your-potential-clients
Understanding intent of your potential clients
Ui
User Intent
understanding-intent-of-your-potential-clients
Improve the look of your website.
IxD
Interface Design
interface-design
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 useful and accessible
Ux
User Experience
make-your-website-useful-and-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
Co
Conversion optimisation
how-to-encourage-website-visitors-to-complete-an-action
How make your website is easy to use
Ut
User Testing
how-to-make-your-website-is-easy-to-use
How to keep your website relevant
Ur
User Research
how-to-keep-your-website-relevant
How to find new customers
Sem
Search Engine Marketing
how-to-find-new-clients
 
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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.
 
 

Work in progress since 1995.
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