Most lawyers’ journey with digital marketing goes through a few stages. You start out with a foundation and some ideas. You build authority and interest. You cast a wide net. You start to get some traction. You get excited. That’s the easy part.
The next step is start narrowing that circle and really homing in on who you want to work with and what you want your practice to be known for. And this is where it starts to get really tough. You’re out of the beginner stages, and you’re suddenly slamming right into the advanced class.
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: You can have jaw-dropping amounts of traffic to your site. You can get all kinds of clicks on your forms and offers every week. On the surface, it looks like you’re winning. But, if you look just under the surface, it turns out that you’re actually struggling for your life.
And it’s because your law firm marketing is successfully driving traffic, but it’s all from irrelevant leads and non-ideal clients.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that the amount of traffic to your website is entirely trivial. I’m not even saying that there’s some magical land where every single on-site conversion or call you get is 100% right for your practice.
I’m just saying that one perfect client will always be worth more than 1000 clicks that go nowhere for you. And, if you’re drowning in non-ideal clients, there’s a cure.
But, first, let’s talk about why it happens. Here are 5 common reasons that law firms get the wrong kinds of clients from their websites and marketing.
1. Your Website Doesn’t Explain What You Do and Don’t Do.
I think a lot of lawyers’ first impulse is to cast way too wide a net with their websites. You have to remember that your goal isn’t to get as much traffic as humanly possible from anyone that searches for anything related to law or law firms. Instead, you want to get specific about the types of cases and clients you take.
Be clear about what you do, and point people toward in-depth information about each of your practice areas from your homepage. Your branding should also match what you actually want to be doing. Your geographic location matters, too. So, for example, if you want mostly local clients, you should be targeting local with your website and SEO—not necessarily the whole state or region. If you want fewer real estate clients and more estate planning clients, don’t make real estate a huge part of your website’s message.
As you optimize and target, you may see your overall traffic decline. But it should be accompanied by an uptick in highly relevant leads and increased interest from potential clients that you really want to work with.
2. You Don’t Tag and Segment Your Contact List Effectively.
Your website isn’t your only tool for driving better leads to your law firm. Your email and direct mail communications can go a long way, too. However, you don’t want to send out “blanket” emails and promotions that try to be everything to everyone. There are all kinds of tools available that let you tag and segment your contact list. And, when your list is squeaky clean and tagged appropriately, you can narrow your target and always be sure you’re talking to the right people at the right time.
For example, I’ve seen a situation where an attorney was sending out every email to everyone on his law firm’s contact list. This might not be an issue for a law firm that’s narrowly focused on one or two complementary practice areas. But, for this law firm, it was a huge blunder. They covered all kinds of practice areas, from personal injury to criminal defense. And, because he wasn’t tagging and segmenting his list, he was potentially sending emails promoting DUI defense to everyone the law firm had ever worked with—including people who had been injured in drunk-driving accidents. Yikes!
I’m definitely not saying you should lie or pretend like your law firm doesn’t take both kinds of cases. But you DO want to avoid uncomfortable situations like the above by making sure that the targeted communications you send are actually relevant to the person on the other end. If you send everything to everyone, you’re likely to not just get irrelevant leads, but also actively discourage the kinds of leads you really do want.
3. You Aren’t Writing and Creating Marketing Materials for Your Perfect Client.
In a similar vein, you want to make sure that you’re using your content and email copy to make a connection with the people you want to reach. Think about your “perfect client” avatar. What are they interested in? Why are they searching for a lawyer? What kinds of questions are they asking? What do they need to know, and how can you show them that you really understand?
If you write all your content and marketing communications for your perfect client, you’ll almost magically start getting more relevant leads. You’ll automatically incorporate highly specific, long-tail keywords that match searchers’ queries. People will know that you really “get” what they’re going through when they look at your content, and Google will know that people get highly relevant information and answers from you. So, it boosts your rankings, and it boosts the positive connection people feel with your law firm.
Without a good strategy for reaching your perfect clients specifically, you’re more likely to wander off course and start attracting leads that aren’t the perfect fit for your law firm.
Not sure how to create content that drives great leads? Get started with these 8 elements that elevate your law firm website content.
4. You Aren’t Clear About What You Want People to Do.
Even if you’re absolutely nailing everything above, you can still lose your most relevant leads if you don’t tell them what you want them to do next. That’s why you need a conversion-focused website that funnels the most relevant leads toward the right goals.
For example, don’t leave someone hanging after they’ve read your FAQ about what to do after a car accident. Instead, ask them to schedule a consultation or download your book about car accidents.
Strong, specific calls to action tell people where to go and what to do next. And, unlike a generic page with your phone number, they specifically encourage only the most relevant leads to reach out to you. If you set it up just right, your best potential leads essentially qualify themselves!
5. You Aren’t Nurturing the Good Leads You Get.
Most people only need a lawyer a few times over the course of their lives. It’s an important decision. People ask friends and family for advice, and they often spend a long time in the “research phase” before they decide to reach out to someone.
Did you know that people typically need 5 to 7 touchpoints with you before they choose to convert as a client? It’s something worth really thinking about. A ton of people that seem like “bad leads” at first DO come back around and hire you (or refer a friend) within a couple of months.
So, you have to have your head on straight about what’s a good lead, what’s a bad lead, and how much effort you need to put into them. If you’re dismissing every lead that doesn’t want to hire you RIGHT NOW, chances are that you’re turning away a big chunk of people that could have been your perfect clients with a little extra effort.
Get Targeted and Stop Getting the Wrong Kinds of Law Firm Leads
It’s not that hard to get tons of traffic to your website. It’s not even that hard to get people to call you or fill out your contact forms once in a while. These are the kinds of data points that law firms look at when they’re trying to determine if their efforts are “worth it.”
And, honestly, this is where they get led astray. The amount of traffic you get to your website doesn’t matter if it’s not turning into great clients and cases for your firm!
You can’t cast a wide net and just hope that the right clients will come to you. Instead, you have to take motivated action to reach for exactly what you want. Not getting the right kinds of cases and clients? Getting too many irrelevant queries that waste your time and bog down your best efforts?
Highly targeted, conversion-focused marketing is the cure.
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If you have been seeking an experienced marketing agency to help your law firm or medical practice attract more leads, close more clients, and make more money, Foster Web Marketing can help. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.866.0939 to schedule your free consultation with our experienced marketing team. We have been helping clients throughout the United States and internationally since 1998 and are confident we can help you not only reach, but exceed your goals.