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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 those with an intent to “research” and those with an intent to make an “enquiry”.
Let me describe how they present themselves; typically researchers are searching online for law firms who can help them with their problem. Whereas enquirers already have awareness of your law firm 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.
They do this because they want to give the most relevant search results by presenting website content, that not only matches their users’ keywords or voice searches, but their intent too.
You can also use this same method to help with content ideas for your law firm website. This will help you appear higher on the search results pages along with other methods.
Typically 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” or potential clients specifying “family, criminal or divorce lawyer”.
We call this difference in searches “intent modifiers”. It’s just a way for us to present the right sort of content for your website based on what they are searching for.
Let me give you two examples of how this works. If we start with a common search "Show me best law firms", this implies your potential client is researching and wants to compare law firms. When the user adds other modifiers for example “find me best criminal lawyer near me”, this implies 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 based on their 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.
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;
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 search 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. You can learn about the right sort of content for your website here.
You should always make sure your potential clients’ searches and intent match the content you provide on your law firm website.
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;
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!
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Know your potential clients >>
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