Seriously, what are they thinking?!?! Well, I can tell you what those lawyers are not thinking about when they are having their websites built.
They’re not thinking about their long-term strategy. They’re not thinking about proper architecture and positioning.
Instead, they look at 50 other lawyer websites, pick one they like – one that looks pretty – and say, “I want that one!”
Design is important, but you don’t have a website because you want something sexy. That's a different kind of business.
You have a website because it helps you generate the right business. It’s a marketing tool, not a beauty contest. Does pretty hurt? Probably not. But, since I (somehow) managed to find a wife, I can attest that substance beats pretty.
SO - if you want more clients, it's time to fix these five things on your website:
1) No Professional Headshot
Hello, Captain Obvious. Or not as obvious as it should be, because I’ve seen many lawyer websites that don’t have a professional headshot.
Hiring a lawyer is a trust-based sale. How can someone trust you if they see stock photography on your website, but no picture of you?
In fact, if you want your “About” page to be really effective, include a picture of you with your family. This humanizes you. It shows you’re accountable and makes you more approachable. You’re no longer the big, scary lawyer. You’re a regular person with a family.
2) No Reason to Talk to You
The typical lawyer website is nothing more than a resume, a list of practice areas and a “Contact” page. Maybe, some language about "client service" that could be traded with some other lawyer's website and nobody would notice.
There's a huge problem with that strategy: You’ve given visitors to your site no reason to actually get in touch with you.
Offer something of value to people who visit your site. Create a quick guide that can help them better understand a specific area of concern. A checklist. Something of immediate value.
Think about it this way, if the only thing you’re offering on your website is a free consultation, people know what that really is. "Free sales pitch."
Wonder why you have website visitors and no consultations? Remember, lay people are a little afraid of lawyers. A free consultation is kind of like asking people to sign up for a free visit to the lion cage. At feeding time.
That’s why you see us giving away helpful information in our marketing (like our Client Referral Cheat Sheets) which enable us to continue the dialogue with visitors.
Some visitors will become members of Practice Alchemy programs. Many will just read our content and look for things to use at their firms on their own. Either way, it’s much better than having people visit our site, bounce off, and forget about us.
3) No Contact Information
Contact information shouldn’t be limited to your “Contact” page. The more clicks a potential client has to make to get in touch with you, the more likely they are to go somewhere else.
Look at your most visited pages on Google Analytics. There’s a good chance your contact information doesn’t appear on those pages. People want instant information. If you don’t give it to them, the easiest thing for website visitors to do is take no action.
Include your phone number, email address, physical address and any other form of communication someone can use to get in touch with you on every page of your website.
4) No Calls-to-Action
Including your phone number, email address, physical address and other contact information is important, but if you want people to actually contact you, that’s not enough.
You can’t just assume they’ll do what you want them to do. Or, that you think they'll do. You’re asking too much of your website visitors. You have to tell them - explicitly = what the next step is and make it easy for them to take that step. You have to tell them what will happen and how they’ll benefit.
That’s what a call-to-action is. And does.
Remember, calling an attorney is a scary thing for most potential clients. If you explain the process to prospects, step by step, they’ll feel comforted that they won’t be attacked by the big, scary lawyer-monster.
5) No Ownership
Most lawyers don’t realize that when you hire some lawyer website services, you don’t own your domain. And you don’t own your website.
The day you stop paying their exorbitant fees is the day all of the hard work you’ve put into your website turns to zero.
Regardless of who you’ve hired to build your website, ask if you own your domain and your website.
If you’re not getting straight answers, look up your domain and see who is registered as the owner. If it’s not you, it’s time to have a sit-down with your website company. Don't let your web company own a piece of your business.
Now that you know five things you should be doing, make sure to fix them. If you're not sure how, just ask us. We're here to help.