Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Website Design and Marketing for Attorneys, Doctors, and Other Professionals
Below are some questions many clients have when they first contact Foster Web Marketing about the online marketing world.
The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find your answers here, you should contact us for answers to any questions specific to your firm.
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How do I get more law firm reviews?
Getting great online reviews is tough, especially for law firms. People who will enthusiastically review a retailer or product might not feel as comfortable leaving a review for legal services. And that sometimes means that the people most motivated to leave reviews for law firms have had the worst experiences. So, it’s really no wonder lots of attorneys struggle to get reviews.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you sit down, think out a solid law firm review strategy, and make it a real goal to get on top of your reviews, then you will. You just have to find the right ways to motivate your clients and partners and then make those techniques a regular part of the marketing you do.
In the dark about how to get a review strategy going? It’s actually not as hard as you might think. Below, let’s go through some of our favorite ways to do it and talk about how you can make those techniques work for you.
1. Make It Easy to Leave a Review for Your Law Firm.
A big part of getting great reviews is taking down the barriers that slow down would-be reviewers. You have to make it easy! You can’t force people to leave reviews, but you can point them in the right direction and seed the idea in their minds. Sometimes, that’s all it takes!
Get started by choosing a few review platforms to focus on. You want people to have some options, so you might go with something like a mix of Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and Avvo or other legal directories. Claim your profiles on the platforms you choose, and fill out those profiles completely.
If they allow photos, images, or links back to your website, take advantage of it! You want each profile to look great and really show off the brand personality of your law firm.
Once your profiles are claimed and ready, let people know that you welcome their reviews. Tell them on social media. Link to review sites on your website. You might even want to create a dedicated “Rate Us!” page on your website that calls people to action and puts the links to popular review sites right in front of them.
2. Automate the Ways You Ask Your Clients to Leave Reviews.
You should ask people to leave reviews if you want to get reviews—that’s fairly obvious. But finding the right moment to do it, or even remembering to do it, can be tough. That’s why so many attorneys that have successful review strategies automate the process with law firm CRM software. Whether you’re creating customer feedback campaigns, tracking and managing your leads, adding review links to existing campaigns, or just keeping your contact list in order, you’re going to find it a LOT easier to stay on top of if you have the right software to automate it.
You shouldn’t totally automate your review strategy, though. There are still some parts of a great review strategy that require a personal touch.
For example, you know which clients are happy with your service. You know those clients are usually happiest right after their case is resolved. So, when you wrap up a case with a happy client, ask them if they would like to leave a review for your law firm. You might be surprised how willing people are to leave a positive review if you just ask—so, make it a habit.
It's also a good idea to ask for reviews somewhere in your regular communication with clients. Make it a routine part of your customer service contacts. Add some review links at the bottom of your regular emails. Ask for reviews in your newsletter and any print mail you send out.
These little things can make a big difference without a lot of sweat!
3. Respond to All the Reviews Your Law Firm Gets.
You should respond to every review your law firm gets—good, bad, and everything in between. This shows people your law firm is alive and attentive, and it shows you care about the client experience, even after the case is resolved.
For a positive review, this can be as simple as, “Thanks for your review! We loved working with you!” Don’t copy and paste the same response every time. Instead, mix it up and make it sound genuine. No one wants to feel like they got a “canned” response.
For a negative review, responding can be a little bit trickier. Make sure you get the facts and understand the situation before your office responds. Who worked with that client? Why are they unhappy? With the facts in mind, acknowledge the issues the reviewer brought up and direct them to offline ways to resolve their issues. Keep it short and simple, and don’t get lured into an argument.
Find out more about how to respond to a negative review.
4. Get Everyone in Your Law Firm on Board With Your Review Strategy.
You might know what you need to do to get great reviews. You may have already implemented automated email campaigns and wrap-up scripts that should generate reviews. The truth is that none of that stuff actually matters if the rest of the people in your law firm aren’t on board with what you’re doing.
So, get everyone involved. Tell everyone that your goal is to get genuine reviews from happy clients. Be clear about your expectations for making it happen. Enlist a friend to pose as a new client, and verify that the experience of your “secret shopper” is as excellent as it should be.
And don’t forget to let everyone on the team know when those great reviews come in! Seeing the fruits of the labor makes everyone feel good—and it keeps everyone motivated to keep up the good work.
Need some inspiration? Here’s just one example of a law firm that built up its review generation strategy into a huge success.
Get Your Law Firm Review Strategy Started, and Watch It Take Off
Once you have lots of 4- and 5-star reviews coming in with a consistent strategy, it’s all gravy from there. Potential clients use those reviews to make their hiring choices, and they’re more likely to join the positive voices singing your praises if there’s already a sizable choir out there.
It's definitely worth the effort! Law firms that improve their review strategies usually also enjoy an increase in leads, referrals, search rankings, and brand visibility. You just can’t beat that.
So, what are you waiting for?
Find out how to encourage more reviews with DSS, or join us for a free DSS demo to see it in action. You can also give us a call at 888.886.0939 to talk about how our team can make review generation a breeze for your law firm.
How long does SEO take to kick in for a law firm?
You’ve just launched a new website for your law firm, or you’ve just started dipping your toes into law firm SEO. Are you getting impatient to see the fruits of your labor?
The truth is that it typically takes around 6 months to a year for attorneys to see the biggest gains from a new SEO strategy. But it doesn’t necessarily stop there—as long as YOU and your marketing team keep it going.
And, truthfully, this is where a lot of attorneys go wrong with their SEO. They get impatient!
While you might see some positive changes within a matter of days or weeks, it’s truly a case of good things coming to those who proactively wait.
Why Faster Isn’t Always Better for Law Firm SEO
SEO feels like a science. It feels like you should be able to plug in the right keywords, turn the right knobs, and get a great result as soon as you “turn it on.” And that’s kind of the way it used to work, years ago.
But modern SEO is a lot less black and white. There is a lot more to keep track of. You’re usually trying to be seen for lots of longtail, natural-sounding keywords and phrases. You’re working a lot harder on little things that increase your reputation and authority. You’re working on getting things just right on the technical backend of your website. You’re competing with more law firms for your perfect clients’ attention. It’s about a lot more than getting to Page One with whatever the biggest, most obvious keywords are for your law firm. It’s frankly a lot more confusing than it used to be!
All that additional complexity slows things down—and, in some ways, that’s really a good thing.
Even Google raises an eyebrow at sites that gain too quickly in the rankings. Why? Because it assumes you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing. Just like I said above, that’s just NOT the way SEO works these days!
Your goal with SEO isn’t to race to a predetermined endpoint and then relax. Instead, you’re building up a complex strategy and constantly monitoring and adjusting it to keep it going and make it better. No matter how much you do or how skilled your law firm’s SEO partners are, there will not be a point where you can just rest on your laurels. You have to stay fresh and keep moving if you want to keep a stronghold on your search domination. Scammers and tricksters get flushed out with each new Google update, and earnest lawyers that provide what their potential clients want slowly move up.
Think of that first year as the time you spend EARNING your rankings and wins. Google knows it takes time, and it doesn’t want to push sites to its own users that aren’t up to its standards.
So, it’s really not about how fast you can get there; it’s about sustainability and the quality signals you send over time.
What Can Attorneys Do to See SEO Results Faster?
The most effective SEO strategies right now are a cocktail composed of:
- Technical SEO—you know, things like keyword research, optimization, search-crawler friendliness, etc.
- Consistent, high-quality content
- Clean backlink profiles
- Ongoing maintenance of all the above
So, if you want to speed up your results, make sure that your content strategy is on point. Play by Google’s rules and follow its guidelines for speed, structure, security, and other best practices. This will clear out a lot of bumps in the road that would otherwise slow you down.
Other things you’re already doing to market your law firm can support your SEO efforts, too. Community outreach, PR opportunities, social media involvement, your review strategy, and even email and newsletter outreach can pump up excitement and word-of-mouth referrals. And all those things can give Google more subtle signs that your brand is trustworthy and that your site is hitting all the marks for your perfect clients.
It won’t guarantee you faster or bigger wins, but it sure will support those goals and put you in the best position to achieve them.
Staying on Top of the Things You Can’t Control
Of course, there are things you can’t control that can and will impact how fast your law firm’s SEO strategy gains traction. The quality of the sites you’re competing with matters. The age and authority of your current website matter. Google’s constant algorithm changes matter. But that’s one of the big benefits of working with a skilled SEO partner who can explain the lay of the land and warn you when big changes are coming.
Ultimately, you don’t WANT to see huge, sudden gains that disappear as fast as they appear. That’s usually a bad sign. Instead, what you really want to see are steady gains in traffic and conversions over time. It’s totally normal to see a pattern of fast growth in the first year, followed by slower but steady growth after that. This pattern shows your progress as you trample over poorer quality sites in the beginning before going head-to-head with stronger competition on your way up to the top.
And the best part is that, if you maintain it, your SEO strategy only gets more powerful. It might start slow or feel like it hits a plateau from time to time, but it’s really getting exponentially stronger in the long run. You’ve heard us say it before, but it’s a whole machine that runs faster, better, and more efficiently as you work on it.
Not getting the results you want from your law firm’s SEO efforts? Not sure why it’s taking so long to see results? Join us for a free website analysis, and let’s take a look under the hood together.
Should I work with multiple law firm marketing companies?
If you’re marketing a law firm right, then you’re probably spinning a lot of plates. You have to keep up with your website, SEO, email campaigns, content creation, paid ads—the list goes on and on. It’s a lot to keep track of, so most successful law firms end up hiring a company to keep track of it all for them.
And that’s great! It makes sense to bring in the professionals when you want professional results!
The problem is that some law firms can’t stop there. They keep hiring MORE law firm marketing companies—and that’s dangerous.
I do understand the impulse, though. It seems like getting more companies involved will improve the kinds of results you’re getting. But here’s the thing.
If you don’t like the results you’re getting from one marketing company, is it really a good idea to add more law firm marketing companies to the mix?
Chances are that you don’t need a mix; what you need is a switch.
Now, to continue the pattern of answering your question with more questions, I’m going to ask you two more questions below. But I think that, by the time you’ve thought through both of them, the answer to your question will be crystal clear.
So, let’s get into it!
Question 1: Why Do You Want to Hire Multiple Law Firm Marketing Companies?
Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to hire more than one marketing company. I won’t bore you with a long list of reasons here. Instead, I’ll just break it down into simple math. You won’t make more money by hiring someone to do something someone else is ALREADY doing.
So, you need to think about why you’re even thinking about adding someone new. What is motivating your search?
Are you doing SO well that you’re riding on the high and want to do even better? Hiring another marketing company or two for your firm isn’t likely to boost your success. Instead, it’s likely to cut your results in half or wreck them entirely. Think about it—you’re just asking someone new to come in and get in the way of the pros who are already killing it for you. It’s a “grass is greener” or “fear of a better option” mentality, and it will keep you chasing your tail forever.
Of course, it’s more likely that you’re on the hunt because you’re not getting results or hitting your goals. First, you need to look at your expectations. Are you being realistic? Great marketing takes time, and no ethical company can guarantee overnight results. You want to see small and steady improvements. You don’t want to see sudden and drastic results that quickly fizzle out.
With that out of the way, you need to question why you’d rather pay for more than one marketing company than make a clean break. Are you worried about losing the work you’ve already invested in your marketing? Are you afraid the company you’re working with will retaliate or hold your website prisoner? Don’t give in to the fear. You’re going to be better off moving to a new marketing company that you CAN trust and that WILL help you make the move.
Question 2: How Will Adding Another Marketing Company Actually Benefit You?
If the answer is, “I don’t know,” let’s stop and dig a little deeper.
Is it because you don’t have the time to oversee your marketing? Hiring another marketing company just means you’ll have two sets of marketing strategies you don’t have time to deal with. Instead, you might be better served by hiring an in-house marketing manager that can work directly with your law firm marketing company.
Is your current marketing company too limited in what it can do? This is a tough one. Sometimes, it makes sense to work with another company to do something VERY specific, like sending out your print newsletter or developing a book for your law firm. HOWEVER, if you’re running into lots of limitations with your current marketing company, you might have to face the fact that you’ve outgrown them. It will save you time, money, and frustration if you hire a single, more substantial company instead of trying to piecemeal tasks between two companies.
Your Results: SHOULD You Work With Multiple Law Firm Marketing Companies?
Now that you’ve mulled it over, what do you think? Do you still think more equals better?
Probably not. In my experience, law firms get much better results by sticking with one marketing company at a time. It gives them a chance to see what that company can really do, and it gives them the focus and clarity it takes to capture the wins they want. Even more importantly, they avoid the disastrous situations that arise from having too many people in one place trying to do the same thing a hundred different ways.
That’s never the better option!
Having trouble pinpointing your problems? Developing “trust issues” with law firm marketing companies that just confuse and use you? Give us a call at 888.886.0939, or request a free marketing analysis. You’ll leave knowing more about YOUR marketing, and you’ll be armed with the information you need to make wise decisions.
How do I get more law firm leads?
Every law firm wants more leads. That’s probably why you’re here!
- The best way to get more leads for your law firm is to understand the leads you want to attract.
- Your best potential leads probably aren’t searching for the terms you think they are.
- Your best potential leads are looking for the right answer in the right moment.
- Your best potential leads are waiting for you to ask.
If you aren’t getting leads, you obviously want more leads. If you ARE getting leads, you probably still want more leads. And if the leads you’re getting aren’t good for your law firm, then you probably want more BETTER leads.
And it’s only natural—those leads turn into clients and keep your business growing!
Of course, if you do a Google search for “how to get more law firm leads,” you’re going to see all kinds of advice out there. Most of that advice comes in list form, and it covers all kinds of specific marketing modalities and things you can try—from emails to content to PPC.
And, sure, there are lots of little improvements and tweaks you can make to all those facets of your marketing that will help you get where you want to be. But, for all that overwhelming advice, what I want you to do is step back and look at the big picture. There’s really only one “perfect” way to get more “perfect” leads for your law firm:
You have to understand your leads and apply that knowledge strategically.
What Law Firms Think Their Best Leads Search for Versus What Leads ACTUALLY Search For
If you want to improve your law firm’s leads, take a look at the keywords you’re using to draw them in. As it turns out, people may not be searching for the kinds of words and phrases you THINK they’re searching for. For example, if you’re already a little savvy about digital marketing, you know that most people searching for a lawyer won’t type in terms like “atlanta personal injury lawyer” or “product liability attorney.” They’re a little too technical, and they’re terms that probably aren’t on your average new client’s radar.
The next piece of advice is usually to use simpler words and phrases to describe what you do. But here’s what might really surprise you—your potential clients probably aren’t searching for plain-language phrases, like “car accident lawyer” or “slip and fall lawyer” or “traumatic brain injury lawyer,” either.
Instead, you have to really get into the mind of your potential clients. You have to think about why they’re searching Google for answers. You have to think about what motivated them to do so. And you have to think about how they communicate those concerns BEFORE they know a lot about it.
And what are people REALLY searching for?
They are not searching for generic terms. They are not searching for neatly packed keywords. Instead, they’re searching in their own words for what they think they need at the stage they’re at. That means they are more likely to type in searches like “do I have whiplash” or “football helmet injury” or “bicycle head injury” or “fell in parking lot what to do.” In other words, they are searching for things that accurately describe the problem as they understand it.
So, it’s not really just about getting specific with the keywords you use in your content—it’s about getting specific in a way that your perfect client can understand and relate to. Remember, you can’t talk AT people; you have to talk TO them.
Think about it—lots of people don’t know the terms “TBI” or “traumatic brain injury” until AFTER they’ve received treatment and called an attorney. That means a fair number of the leads that do come from those keywords are likely people who have already started taking steps to solve their problems. They may even already be in communication with several other law offices! That’s why it’s almost always going to be better to capture those leads on their first search, not when they’re already 5 or 8 searches down the line.
Website content that speaks to your perfect client’s or first-time searcher’s needs will drive better leads than content that focuses on a generic keyword. And you’ll probably also find that kind of insightful and highly targeted content is much more likely to rank highly in search.
Make sense? Here are some other ways to get more readers for your law firm’s website content.
You don’t have to guess what people are searching for when they search for you. Instead, here’s a quick and easy way to see what kinds of search terms real people are using to find your business:
In your Google My Business console, go to Insights, and take a look at this:
On the left, you can see where viewers are coming from and if they got to you on desktop or mobile. This is great information that gives you more insight into how to create and structure your content.
On the right, you’ll see the top search terms real people have already used to find your business. (Just click on “see more” at the bottom to see more than five.)
Let me stress that these are real words and phrases that real people have already typed in! You know for sure that those search terms sent them to your business profile, and that means you know that they really work.
The only way to convert searchers into leads is to bring them to your website, and the only way to bring them to your site is to create content that speaks to them. So, don’t take wild guesses.
Instead, look at how people have found you already and make strategic decisions based on what you know.
Worry More About “Micro-Moments” and Less About Traffic
It’s great to get traffic to your website, but it’s not about just bringing in “more.” Ultimately, you’re not really trying to get lots of traffic with your website; you’re trying to speak to a micro-moment.
You want your website to resonate with that one person out there with a million-dollar case who needs your help. If you go too general or broad trying to capture a ton of clicks, you risk missing that one click out of all of them that actually matters. It’s the click that creates a relationship, makes another happy client, and increases your revenue. So, stop focusing so much on the hundreds of other clicks that don’t go anywhere.
When you look at your website traffic data, you need to take a hard look at what kinds of user behaviors those numbers represent. For example, you don’t necessarily just want a huge number of new visits. You want to see return visits, as well. Those return visits mean people are finding that page on your website and saving or bookmarking it to come back to later. That’s a good sign that you’re providing something useful to people that keeps them engaged and coming back for more.
It’s also worth looking at how many pages people go through when they visit your law firm’s website. The truth is that more isn’t necessarily better here, either. If people are digging through a lot of pages when they land on your website, it might mean they aren’t finding what they need on the first page they visit.
For example, if someone searches for “football helmet injury” and lands on your main TBI practice-area page, they’ll have to go digging on their own for a more specific answer. If someone searches for “football helmet injury” and lands on a blog post about football helmet injuries, then it immediately speaks to their needs, meets the micro-moment, and answers their questions in a relevant and specific way.
That’s a much more helpful and memorable experience!
Motivate Potential Law Firm Leads to Take Action Before You Lose Their Attention
You’ve probably heard that you should include “calls to action” (CTAs) in your content and on your website—and that’s absolutely true.
The catch here is that you can’t just copy and paste a generic blurb with your phone number at the bottom of every page. That’s not going to work well! Instead, all your CTAs need to be unique and robust. They should ask the reader or viewer to reach out. They should tell people how to take the next step. They should guide people along in their customer journey and move them toward a relevant goal.
Your CTAs should be just as interesting and compelling as the “meat” of your content!
Keep in mind that placement matters, too. You want your CTAs to be in front of people when they are ready to act or unsure what to do next. For example, you might want to put your CTA near the bottom of a whitepaper or long-form article because people tend to read that kind of content all the way to the end. However, on your shorter blogs or FAQs, you might want to put your CTA “above the fold” or at the halfway point because lots of people will quickly scan through that content and cherry-pick the bullet points. Go ahead and get the “ask” in before you lose their attention!
Ultimately, you can’t be afraid to ask people to take the next step. You can’t leave them hanging and wondering what to do at the critical points when they’re ready to act. You have to put it out there, and you have to try to make a connection.
Even if it’s just a well-placed contact form, people will appreciate the nudge in the right direction, at the right time.
Add a Little to a Little and You Get a Whole Lot
Understanding how your perfect clients find you and why will take you a long way, but only IF you use that understanding to adjust your law firm’s marketing strategy in smart ways. There is absolutely no silver bullet that will magically get your law firm more leads. Instead, there are just lots of different things you can and should do to move the needle ahead a little further.
If you can find a niche where you’re already doing well, boost it. Maximize what you’re getting out of your efforts BEFORE or ALONGSIDE doing something totally new. The more strategized each piece becomes, the more powerful your overall marketing machine will get at attracting the leads you want.
And, hey, if you want some pro insight into where you can lean in to get the most out of your efforts, schedule a free marketing analysis. You’ll get a quick breakdown of where you are, where you could be, and how you can get there—and that’s everything you need to get started on a path to success.
How important is loading time for law firm websites?
The “loading time” on your law firm’s website matters a lot more than you might think—and only a matter of seconds can make a HUGE difference. Research from Google as far back as 2016 shows that, as page load time increases from 1 second to 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 90%. And it gets worse as load times get slower:
- 106% probability of bounce as loading time increases to 6 seconds
- 123% probability of bounce as loading time increases to 10 seconds
Does that give you an idea of how important loading time is for your law firm’s website? We’ll get into this a little deeper below, but you should know that it’s not JUST potential clients bouncing away from your website that you have to worry about.
At the end of 2020, Google announced that its new page speed criteria would go into effect in May of 2021. While Google has been interested in loading time for a long time, this shift makes it even more important for your website to load quickly. Fast websites will be favored in the ranking mix, and you’ll need to get your loading time under 3 seconds to avoid problems.
What does all that mean? While loading used to impact your rankings a little, it will soon impact your rankings A LOT. So, in terms of importance, it’s now up there with other major factors like backlink health and relevant content.
Loading time isn’t the only measure of your website’s success. Check out the 5 most important metrics for your law firm website, or give us a call at 888.886.0938 for more answers about your website’s performance.
Why Do Visitors to My Law Firm’s Website Care About Loading Times and Page Speed?
Most of us perform at least a handful of Google searches each day. And most of us have clicked on a result only to be met with a blank or broken page that seems to be hung up while it loads.
In that moment, how often do you wait for the page to load? How often do you instead click back to the search results to try a different page? Are you more or less patient with a page’s speed when you’re using your phone to view a website?
If you’re like most people, you probably click away pretty quickly. And, even if you don’t, you start your interaction with that website already frustrated.
Your website is the first impression many of your potential clients will have of your law firm. If it loads so slowly that they get impatient, then they won’t see the experience you worked so hard to create. They won’t see your homepage or click through your compelling content. Instead, they won’t see anything but the “back” button as they click away to a faster competitor’s site.
This is why your website’s loading time has such a big impact on your traffic, leads, and conversions. Even speeding it up by a second or two could have a dramatic effect!
Why Does Google Care About Page Speed?
Your potential clients aren’t the only ones paying attention to how fast your law firm website loads. Google wants to provide a good user experience for its own users, so it favors websites that will make users happy and helpfully answer their search queries. Law firms that provide a thoroughly excellent website user experience rise in the rankings; law firms that don’t will fall.
While there are lots of facets to that “user experience” in Google’s eyes, page speed or loading time is a part of it. And, just like your potential clients, Google wants you to serve up website pages that quickly load and become interactive for the user. Google doesn’t want to send its users to slow sites that people get frustrated with and “bounce” away from—it’s not good for their own business!
While page speed has been a part of the ranking algorithm for a while, Google is putting much more weight on it in 2021. Starting in May, slow loading times will have a much bigger impact on your overall ranking than ever before. So, you need to take the speed of your website seriously!
Get Back to the Basics With Your Ranking Factors
Ultimately, Google rewards the things that make your website better for your perfect clients—and you can’t really go wrong with that. After all, Google has access to a huge amount of data about user behaviors online, and they set the pace for all things search-related. It’s up to you to use what they know to your advantage!
Nailing the new page speed criteria set by Google has everything to do with the foundation your website runs on and how you use and optimize the heftier elements on each page. And, since page speed isn’t the ONLY thing Google is looking at it, it’s also an excellent time to improve other core ranking factors, too. Remember, it’s not just fast sites that rise to the top of search; the real winners are fast sites that go the extra mile to give their “perfect clients” exactly what they want.
Ready to get back to the basics and build a speedy site that delivers for YOUR perfect clients? Schedule a website design consultation with our team, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 with your questions.
How to Make the Most of the Thank You Pages on Your Law Firm’s Website
It’s polite to thank your potential clients when they download your book or reach out to your law firm. But, if your thank-you page is too simple, it can leave your potential clients hanging at a very critical moment.
And no one wants to disappoint a curious potential client right after they’ve taken the first step!
Sure, it might seem like a small thing. However, the thank-you pages on your website can be so much more, and they can do so much more for your business. The trick is to apply some smart strategy to the small details, which we’ll get into below.
With this advice and a little effort, you can maximize what your website’s thank-you pages can do and put more of your fresh leads in a hiring mood.
Hey, by the way, your thank-you pages aren’t the only little details that matter on your website. Check out these 7 small details that really pack a punch in law firm website design.
Wait! What’s a Thank-You Page?
On most websites, visitors are directed to a thank-you page directly after completing a goal, like requesting a book, signing up for a consultation, subscribing to a newsletter, or otherwise filling out a contact form. The thank-you page typically thanks the visitor for reaching out and delivers the offer requested (or tells the visitor when and how it will be delivered).
While that’s the most basic idea of what a thank-you page is, the reality is that it’s not quite enough. Keep in mind that this is the first thing that someone will see after deciding to reach out to you! They’ve taken their “customer journey” to the next level, which means it’s a perfect opportunity to really show them what you and your law firm are about.
So, don’t just use your thank-you pages to say thanks! Below, we’re going to talk about five ways to really make the most of the thank-you pages on your law firm’s website.
Tip 1: Link to the Best Content on Your Law Firm’s Website
If someone is interested enough in your law firm to fill out your contact form, then they’re probably going to be interested in your website’s best content. A thank-you page is the perfect place to suggest some further reading that might answer questions, inform, or otherwise be relevant to the requester’s needs.
Think about your very best blog posts, FAQs, and articles. Choose a few that are relevant to the offer the thank-you page is linked to. Thank your potential client on the page and point them toward those resources. You’ll increase engagement, build a stronger connection, and provide an awesome user experience—and all you did was add a few extra links to your standard thank-you page content!
Tip 2: Tell Them About Your Other Relevant Offers
You don’t have to stop with blogs, FAQs, and articles. The thank-you pages on your law firm’s website are also a great place to point to your books, offers, law firm newsletter, webinars, local speaking engagements, and other “extras.” Make sure the offer is relevant enough to make sense on the page, and make it clear if you will be sending them newsletters or emails in the future.
Pointing freshly converted visitors to another relevant offer on your thank-you page is like a little “upsell” that comes at just the right moment. Your potential client gets the heads up about other offers that might be helpful to them, and you get a stronger and more informed lead.
Tip 3: Ask for Feedback
People like it when you ask their opinions, and feedback from potential clients that are actually using your website and interested in your law firm is like gold. So, make the most of your thank-you page by including a survey or an invitation to submit comments.
You can make this even more powerful if you ask questions in your thank-you page content that encourage people to answer. For example, you might ask, “how was your experience on the website?” Or you might ask, “how do you feel about video consultations?” It just depends on what kinds of feedback and information from your potential clients is most valuable to you. Be sure to also let them know where to click or call to leave their comments!
Tip 4: Ask Them to Refer a Friend or Family Member
Lots of law firms get their best clients and cases from word-of-mouth referrals, but not a lot of law firms actually ask for those referrals. In the moments after someone has requested something from you, it’s more likely that they’ll be willing to:
- Do something that helps you, like sending a friend your way
- Tell their friends that you are offering something that might help them, too
So, it’s the right time to ask! You don’t have to get complicated with it or sound like you’re begging for clients. Instead, it can be as simple as saying, “If you found this offer helpful, share it with any friends or family members that could use it.”
Doing something like this on your thank-page is a truly easy way to multiply the power of each lead you get through your offer forms. Plus, it makes your potential clients feel good when they can share the “insider knowledge” they learned from you with other people they care about!
Tip 5: Link to Your Social Media Pages
Follow up your gratitude with links and buttons that welcome people to get involved with your social media pages. Make it easy for people to share your offer with their friends and family on the most popular sites, and invite people to “like and subscribe” with your brand around the Web.
Whether it’s YouTube or Facebook or Twitter, most Americans spend a big portion of their time each day on social media sites. Adding social media signals to your website reinforces the idea that your law firm is real and ready to help. Plus, it gives your freshest leads an easy way to get to know you better and get involved with your brand!
Create Thank-You Pages for Your Law Firm Website That Put Your Leads in a Hiring Mood
Thank-you pages are simple but very powerful. They constantly work for you in the background, while consistently multiplying the power of your campaigns and putting your leads in a hiring mood.
But keep it simple! Don’t bowl people over with thank-you pages packed with ALL the options above. Instead, test out one or two ideas at a time. You can track and measure what works best for the types of potential clients you attract, and you won’t overwhelm visitors with all your enthusiasm at once.
Need to create a thank-you page that rocks? Schedule a website design consultation with our award-winning team, and let’s start talking about your ideas.
How do I know if my law firm website is successful?
What makes a law firm website a success? Some people will tell you to look deep into all kinds of analytics data for your answers—especially your traffic and engagement numbers.
And, while all that analytics data can be legitimately helpful, there is really only one number that matters. Why did you build a website in the first place? Was it to get more people on the internet to come look at your website? Was it to bump up your traffic or get people to spend more time on the page before they leave? Absolutely not!
You built your website to bring in more cases and clients. Period.
If your law firm website converts visitors into leads, then it’s successful. If it doesn’t, then it’s really just a “pretty face” that isn’t doing much for your business.
You can have the prettiest website in the world. You can have a ton of traffic that you’ve paid for with your time or your money. However, if your law firm website’s design isn’t consistently converting that traffic into real cases and clients, it’s failing in its primary duty—and you need to get to the root of the problem.
Conversion is absolutely the most important thing to look at, but other metrics matter, too. Find out more about all the law firm website metrics that matter the most.
Why Isn’t Your Law Firm Website Successful?
Lawyers and law firm website designers often get overly focused on the wrong stuff and end up designing law firm websites that fail. Why? There are lots of reasons, but it’s often because they fall prey to a bunch of common misconceptions, like the four I’ll talk about below.
Misconception #1: My law firm website should be designed to get to Page One.
Too many websites are designed, developed, and written for search engines. However, law firm websites that are created to get to the top of Google’s Page One often give a disappointing performance after launch. People are not search engines, and they use Google searches to find answers to their questions. They don’t care that your website is seeded with keywords, and they don’t care how much you spent on pay-per-click (PPC) for stuff like “Texas product liability lawyers.” They aren’t searching for those kinds of keywords, anyway!
Your law firm website should be designed for your perfect clients and referral sources—not for search engines. Buying your way to Page One with PPC might get you more traffic, but it probably won’t get you more clients, at least not on its own. And you can try to calculate the perfect set of keywords for organic search, but it’s going to fall flat if people don’t find what they actually need on your website when they get there.
Ultimately, if you design your law firm website solely for search engines, you’re choosing search traffic over actual, valuable conversions.
Misconception #2: My homepage is my most important page.
Lawyers often put too much focus on the homepage of their websites. They assume that everyone will come in through the homepage, so that’s where they need to put all their effort.
The problem is that this really asks the homepage to do too much on its own! You need those supporting pages on your law firm’s website to be just as great.
A lot of your best potential leads will never even see your homepage. Instead, they’ll land on a supporting page and call you. So, you really have to think about how consumers find an attorney and what steps they take to get there.
For example, most people facing a legal problem will first ask their friends and family if they know a good lawyer. If they get a recommendation, they’ll type the attorney’s name or the law firm’s brand name into search. These are the people that will come in through your homepage. It’s where you want to concentrate on capturing those kinds of referrals, orienting them to your brand and personality, and helping them navigate to the right place for their concerns. In short, homepages are all about referrals and brand-name searches.
However, if friends and family don’t know any lawyers, then most people will turn to Google with their questions. They might type in something like, “lawyers near me” or “estate planning law firm” and land on one of your practice area pages. Or, even more likely, they might type in questions or long-tail keywords that lead them to your blog and content pages, like “what is probate,” “rights in PA after truck accident,” or “why do I need an attorney after work injury.”
The point is that there are at least three different ways people might find you online, but only one of those ways involves your homepage. So, if you want to succeed, you have to look at your website holistically and really strategize how it all works together to bring in all kinds of leads.
Misconception #3: Content doesn’t matter.
If your website isn’t converting, it’s probably because you’re not feeding it content—and I mean actively, frequently, and in a disciplined manner.
I touched on this a bit above, but the content you stock your website with matters. Some folks get so distracted by sleek designs and flashy widgets that they forget to stock their websites with videos, articles, blog posts, images, and other compelling content. The law firm’s website design LOOKS amazing. But, as people visit it and try to dig in, they don’t find enough substance to match what the style seems to promise.
If you want your website to convert visitors into clients and leads, then you have to create relevant, original content that answers questions and educates.
Need some tips for feeding your website the content your perfect clients crave? Find out how to think about content and write like an expert.
Misconception #4: People will figure it out on their own.
Some people will visit your website, get what they came for, and then call you or fill out your contact form without any prompting. However, you’re going to get a much better rate of conversion if you design your law firm’s website to take people on a logical journey that periodically ASKS them to reach out.
The organization of the content on your website—and the design of your navigation—should help people get to the specific kinds of answers they’re looking for. It should take them from the general to the specific and give them options for pursuing the information that is most relevant. Along with that, your design should also incorporate relevant “calls to action” on every page that let visitors know how to take the next step as soon as they’re ready.
Grow Your Success With a Law Firm Website Design That Converts
If you aren’t sure if your website is doing what you want it to do for your business, test it out for yourself. Do some searches that are relevant to your practice and see where you show up. Try to get to different kinds of information on your website. While you do it, don’t think like an attorney. Instead, think like the consumer—a.k.a. your perfect client. With that mindset, it’ll be easy to identify the areas where your website could use some work.
Is your website design getting in the way of your success? Are you ready to invest in a conversion-focused website that resonates with your perfect clients? Start with a fresh foundation that focuses on the things that actually bring you new clients and cases.
Join us for a website design consultation, or talk to my team at 888.886.0939.
How do the links on my attorney website affect my Google ranking?
This is a great question! The links on your attorney website definitely affect your Google ranking—but there’s a lot to know about what those links are, what they do for you, and how to use them.
There are a ton of elements that go into Google’s special sauce for ranking websites, and links are an often-overlooked piece of that puzzle. If you’re at all in doubt, you just have to keep in mind that the original Google “PageRank” algorithm looked almost solely at the way websites linked together—and that’s the foundation for the much more complex algorithms and ranking elements Google uses today!
In short, we might not always know exactly what goes into Google’s secret ranking algorithms, but we DO know that links matter—and they matter a LOT.
Getting Started: Three Types of Links That Affect Page Ranking
Since this is a big question that calls for a big answer, let’s get started with a simple breakdown of what we mean by “links.” There are essentially three types of links that you need to think about for your website:
- Internal links. These are the links on your website that link to other pages on your website.
- External links. In this context, external links are the links on your website that link to outside websites.
- Backlinks. These are the links to your website that come from other websites. You can’t totally control what sites choose to link to yours, but these kinds of links still have an impact on your rankings!
How you handle your internal links, backlinks, and external links can make a surprisingly big difference in your rankings—and each type affects the user experience on your attorney website in its own way, too.
So, with the basics out of the way, let’s get to it! Below, let’s break it down further by type of link and talk more about how each type affects your rankings.
1. What Internal Links Do on Your Attorney Website
Internal links are the links on your website that link to other pages on your website. For example, we might link internally from this FAQ to our attorney SEO services page—just in case this FAQ is motivating you to get on top of your link management!
Search engine crawlers can learn a lot about your site through your internal links, so it’s an important place to focus your attention if you’re concerned about your rankings. Internal links essentially point search engine crawlers to the rest of the pages on your site for indexing. They help crawlers establish a general structure and theme for the content on your website, and they help readers get to other pages that interest them. If you use relevant keywords as the anchor text for those links, it boosts that understanding even more.
With truly savvy internal linking, you can direct potential clients and search engine crawlers toward the most important landing pages on your website, as well as maintain a logical flow of traffic through all your individual pages.
And, if you get a really good link structure going, each internal link on your website that links back to a practice area page will give that practice area page a little more “ranking juice” in Google’s eyes. You’ll also constantly point readers back to top-level, action-oriented pages, which is great for garnering more leads and conversions.
Building a solid strategy for internal links on your attorney website isn’t easy, though. Some of it is in how your website’s basic navigation is designed and organized. Some of it is in how you use internal links in your blog posts, articles, FAQs, and other pages.
However, the guiding idea behind the strategy is relatively simple. You just want your internal links to make it as easy as possible for readers and search engines to understand and move through your website.
2. What External Links Do on Your Attorney Website
Unlike your internal links, which link to other areas of your website, an external link is a link to an outside website or page. For example, we might link to this definition of external link from PCMag’s encyclopedia.
Generally, you don’t want to overwhelm readers with a million links to websites you don’t own. If you already have—or can create—a piece of content that covers it, it’s typically better for you to link internally. However, sometimes someone else really has said it best, and there’s no reason not to send your readers there to check it out.
A lot of lawyers think that external links will encourage people to leave their law firm’s website or otherwise detract from what their website has to offer. However, there isn’t any real need to worry. Sure, you probably don’t want to link to a competitor’s website or some kind of spammy, sketchy page. But, as long as you choose external links with care and intention, it’s unlikely to harm you at all. In fact, using external links can help you by:
- Enhancing the user experience for your readers
- Encouraging links back to your content
- Possibly sending more positive ranking signals to Google about the quality of your website and content
But, again, you need to use those external links with purpose. Your main goal with external links is to enrich your readers’ understanding of a topic, issue, or term and improve the experience they have on your website. Any “ranking juice” you might get from doing so is just a bonus!
We’ll talk even more about this below, but we should also make it clear that you should never try to “game” Google by adding more external links to your site, and you should NEVER buy or sell links.
It’s also worth mentioning that, for external links, it’s much more important that the anchor text provides some context for the link and accurately describes what people will see if they click through. You don’t really need to worry as much about keywords here as long as the anchor text makes sense.
Again, everything about using external links well really comes back to providing a great experience for YOUR perfect clients! If you aim for natural, informative links to authoritative outside websites, and if you use them sparingly, it’s tough to go wrong.
3. What You Should Know About Backlinks From Others to Your Attorney Website
A backlink is a link to your attorney website from another website. For example, when we linked to PCMag in the section above, we gave them a backlink!
Updates to the Google algorithm over time have placed more importance on the quality of your backlinks. Google’s thinking is essentially that, if other great websites think your website is worth linking to, then it’s probably a quality website that’s worth sending searchers to. So, a great profile of backlinks from authoritative sites can have a positive effect on your rankings.
There’s nothing new about backlinks—they’ve been around for a long time. You might even remember when the process of obtaining and maintaining the backlinks to your website was called “link building” in marketing speak, but that term is a little out of vogue these days.
Instead, it’s better to think of it more as “link earning.” And, sometimes, it really does feel like you have to work to earn them!
You have to understand that Google isn’t looking for a certain number of links back to your website. In fact, going after backlinks too aggressively can backfire by actually harming your rankings AND your relationships with outside organizations and entities. You don’t want to engage in link schemes with other sites that are solely for the backlink, and you NEVER want to buy backlinks to your website. Ultimately, Google wants to see a backlink profile full of natural links from quality websites—and using link schemes or cheats clearly violates Google’s quality guidelines.
So, the real question is, how do you get great backlinks if you don’t control the pages that link to you and you can’t buy or trade links?
The key to earning great backlinks is really content, especially content that is written for your perfect client. Blog posts, FAQs, articles, and videos capture the attention of other content creators when they are fresh, unique, valuable, and highly relevant to your audience. You really just want to create content and videos that other people WANT to link to! If it’s compelling enough, and if people are seeing it, then those great backlinks will happen naturally.
If you really want to rev up your backlinks, you can also try just asking for them when it’s appropriate or you have an existing relationship—for example, check out these 9 ways to leverage PR for better backlinks and visibility.
The other side of the coin, though, is that any website out there can link to yours, and you don’t have much control over which websites do. A lot of lawyers see a bunch of junky websites linking to their pages, and that can wreck their nice, clean backlink profile—even though they had no choice in the matter!
However, while you can’t control who chooses to link back to your website, you can disavow links that are spammy, unnatural, or otherwise don’t belong there. If you try for great backlinks, and check in regularly to clean up low-quality links, you can build a backlink profile that shows Google that you have real authority.
Get Better Website Performance by Getting on Top of Your Links
There is no set number of internal links, external links, or backlinks you should use on your website—and there’s a good reason for that. Instead of asking “how many,” you really should be asking “why.” Is there a reason that link is there? Does it help your perfect client in some way? Does it direct people toward relevant information that clarifies or expands on what they’re already reading? If not, it probably doesn’t need to be there.
We’ll absolutely admit that getting the links on your attorney website “just right” is another one of those things that’s equal parts art and science—so don’t feel bad if it feels like there’s a bit of a learning curve! It’s worth it.
A solid linking strategy means that you’re not only giving off “good vibes” for Google, but also for your perfect clients.
And, of course, links and rankings aren’t the only things you should be thinking about. There are all kinds of ways that websites can be optimized for search engines and search engine users—and you need all those pieces to work together!
Don’t see your question answered here? Need a hand cleaning up your backlink profile or an expert opinion on how well your marketing strategy is working for you? Give the friendly FWM team a call at 888.886.0939, or join us for a legal website analysis that will give you HUGE insight into how to move forward.
How can I get more people to read my attorney website content?
No matter how good your law firm’s website looks, it is almost useless if visitors aren’t sticking around to read and view what you have to say. So, it’s important to look beyond an attractive design and into something a little deeper.
The truth is that lots of lawyers have trouble getting people to read the articles, blogs, FAQs, and other posts on their websites. Even if they’re able to attract great traffic to a page, an analysis of their performance data will often show worrying signs, like:
- People quickly “bounce” away once they’ve landed on a content page.
- People don’t dig deeper or visit other pages on your website while they’re there.
- People don’t engage with, comment on, or respond to the content you post.
- People aren’t motivated to call you or request more information when they’re done.
If you want to attract more potential clients with your attorney website content and encourage them to read more, your content needs to go a little above and beyond. So, as you write and post new content, make sure you’re ticking all the boxes below.
1. Optimize Your Content
People can’t read your attorney website content if they can’t find it! So, if you want to attract more readers to the content you write, you have to optimize that content for search. This is basic stuff for digital marketing—and it’s something that you don’t necessarily have to write a lot of fresh content to accomplish.
For example, find out how to perform a content audit to get on top of old articles on your website.
The best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) change all the time. However, at its most basic, the idea is to seed relevant keywords in your content and give search engines all the other signals they need to match related queries to your content.
In the past, lawyers would “stuff” their content with keywords, often to the point that it was awkward to read or understand. Now, the focus is on incorporating keywords naturally in your content, headlines, page titles, and section headers—and, really, you should stick to one keyword (or a handful of very similar keywords) per page to avoid confusion.
Don’t sweat it too much, though. If you’re writing truly relevant content, then it’s likely that those keywords will almost put themselves into what you write!
Of course, SEO is about more than keywords. There are elements of your website’s code that have an impact. How your content pages link together has an impact. Once you start following the thread of content optimization, there can be a lot to unravel.
So much so that optimizing content often feels more like an art than a science!
While we could try to cover every single thing you need to know RIGHT NOW to optimize your content to attract, convert, and retain more readers, this is really an area where you want some advice from a current expert. The best blend of keywords and optimization strategies for your law firm is very unique, and it’s also very difficult to determine on your own.
There’s a lot of bad, outdated advice out there. So, don’t be afraid to get an expert opinion before you do it yourself. A bad optimization strategy can drive away readers and get you in trouble with search engines—exactly the opposite of what you want to accomplish.
Need a hand getting your on-page optimization just right? Learn more about our SEO services for lawyers.
However, it’s not necessarily all about keywords and SEO. There are lots of ways to optimize and promote your content to get it in front of more readers. Have we piqued your interest? Take a few minutes to find out how to promote your website content and drive more traffic.
2. Create Content Your Potential Clients WANT to Read
It’s not really about attracting just any reader—you want to attract readers that are also potential clients. So, it only makes sense that your content should be relevant and meaningful to the type of client you’d like to attract.
This sounds pretty simple, but hear us out before you rush on to the next section. This is where SO MUCH attorney website content goes wrong.
People use search engines because they want answers and information. When they type something into the search bar, they want the results they see to match their question and give them the substantive answers they need in that moment.
Google talks a lot about catering to the “micro-moment,” and we think that’s a great focus for your content strategy. What questions are people asking Google just before they hire a lawyer? What answers do people need to make a decision about their legal situations? What kinds of search terms do YOU use when you have a question? Those are the kinds of thoughts that should be guiding your content strategy.
After all, if you want readers, you have to produce content those readers want to read! And you can’t drown them with jargon—it has to be content they can understand!
If you’re only interested in seeding keywords to “game” readers into clicking onto your site, then you’re playing this game all wrong. You won’t fool anyone with thin content that doesn’t offer any value, and your potential readers will know it the second they visit your page.
3. Update the Content on Your Attorney Website Regularly
We wager that about half of what makes the internet so great is that it allows access to constantly fresh, constantly updated content. If nothing on the internet had been updated in all the time it’s been in our lives, very few people would have any reason at all to use it in 2020!
Of course, that’s an extreme example, but freshness does matter. If people visit your website and only see content from a few years ago, they’ll notice—and they’ll wonder if you’re still in business. If people are led astray by outdated answers in your content, they won’t come back the next time they have questions. Instead, they’ll turn to someone that can give them current information.
Even Google, when determining your rankings, looks at how often you add new stuff and update old stuff. So, if you think content can be a “one and done” deal, you’re dead wrong.
Fresh content gives people a reason to keep coming back to your attorney website and reading your content. It lets them know that you are engaged and care about giving them the answers and information they need. It shows search engines that your website is fresh, and it keeps your content working in harmony with your current campaigns, messages, and services.
In short, keeping your content fresh is all benefit, with no downsides!
Not sure what “regular” means here? Have questions about how much is really enough? Find out how often you should update your attorney website content.
4. Edit All Content Before You Post
No matter how informative or interesting your content is, it WILL drive away readers if it’s full of misspelled words and formatting errors.
Poor grammar and bad formatting are things that most users of your law firm’s website will associate with spam, scams, and scummy ads. As a result, readers will tend to trust you less, and they probably won’t put in the time to decipher what you were really trying to say.
So, don’t sow that seed of doubt with your visitors. Always edit and proofread all the content that’s posted on your website. Look at the live page after you’ve posted it to make sure that everything looks right, every time. If you notice a lot of people bouncing away from what should be a great page, pull it up to look for broken images, confusing grammar, or other little “oopsies” that drive people away.
If you have a lot of old content on your website that could use a once-over, don’t be afraid to go back and edit or correct it now. Just like we said in the section above, freshness matters—even if it’s just a fresh coat of paint. Find out how to make great content look even better.
5. Offer Suggestions for the Next Move
Have you ever run into a great article somewhere online—only to never visit that site again? There are a lot of choices out there, so your piece of great content needs to also be the “hook” that draws readers further into your website and brand.
As you write new content, think of ways that you can link to other content on your site. For example, you might link to a blog post that clarifies a term you’re using. You might suggest some articles for further reading. You might show other recent posts in a sidebar or panel. You might illustrate a topic by linking it to a related video or case result.
When you can connect each piece of content you write to other relevant content on your site, you keep readers engaged longer. They get more familiar with your brand and personality, and they start building a sense of trust in your authority on legal topics. And, when you make it easy for them, more people will take that step from one-time reader to brand follower.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to add a “call to action” to every page of content you post. People are often reading content on attorney websites because they have questions about their own legal issues. It’s helpful to the reader—and just good customer service—to let them know how to call you, contact you, or request more information if they liked the content they read.
This is important because, in the end, it’s not just readers you want—it’s readers that become new cases and clients.
Not sure what a call to action is or how to use it? Get some answers and find out how to avoid the 4 biggest mistakes lawyers make with calls to action.
Great Content Is the Foundation of an Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy
Attracting tons of readers to your online content is tough, but it’s really just about giving them what they want and making sure they can find it. And, if you’re successful, you’ll be rewarded with more traffic, more leads, more interest in your brand, and—ideally—more cases and clients for your law firm.
Fresh, relevant content is the cornerstone of some of the most effective law firm marketing strategies out there. If you ignore it, or if you cut corners, it’s easy to get trampled by competitors that are on top of it.
Need a hand getting the upper hand over your attorney website content? Reach out to FWM at 888.886.0939 to talk about our law firm content services.
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