So you’ve spruced up your website, you’re dominating social media, and you’re ranking first on the front page of Google search results. (Right?) But you’re not seeing the increase in cases that you’d like. Maybe you’ve seen an increase in traffic on your site, but you’re not actually landing many new clients. What’s the problem? What do you do?
Welcome to the wide world of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
A conversion, properly defined, occurs when a visitor of your website performs a certain desired action. For some businesses, that desired action may be the purchase of a particular product or signing up for certain service. For attorneys and law firms, the focus should be on landing clients and cases.
The perception many lawyers and attorneys get when they spend money or time perfecting their websites and web presence is that results are automatic and guaranteed. The reality, however, is that many attorneys and firms don’t take the necessary time to make sure their changes are effective over time.
We’re not interested in coming up with good ideas and crossing our fingers.
Though it’s not as bad as it sounds (we think it’s actually pretty fun stuff), you might still be wondering why it matters so much.
It’s because knowing where you can improve and how to do it will always give you an advantage over your competition – which is most, if not all of them – that don’t pay attention to CRO.
If that still seems a bit overwhelming, just remember this: You don’t need to be twice as good as the competition; you just need a slight edge.
So let’s get to it…
It’s All a Numbers Game
The only way to make sure CRO works for you is to be completely honest about your website statistics. Don’t treat your numbers like Schrodinger’s cat.
Take a tip from Dr. Phil and “get real” about your numbers.
By having concrete data from your analytics, you can identify how much traffic you’re really bringing in for your business, as well as how engaged that traffic is with your site. Most law firms don’t measure their current conversion rate, which is something we highly recommend to get ahead of your market’s competition. While you may be using tools like Google analytics, you have to make sure you’re looking at the right numbers.
- Current traffic. Knowing the current traffic of your website is the only way to know if it’s being utilized effectively or not. How many people are visiting your site? How many people are engaged with your site (i.e. how long are they staying on your site)? Where are these visitors going after they’ve reached your site?
- Cases/Clients. You should have records of how many clients you’re working with, but you should also keep track of how those clients found you in the first place. By knowing which clients found you through the web, and how they found you through the web, you’ll be able to better optimize your conversion rate.
- Contacts from the web. In addition to knowing how many clients you gain through the web, you should know how many people reached out to you through the web. How did they reach out to you? Phone calls? Contact forms? Live chats?
Once you know these numbers, how do you use all of these discrepancies?
Humans: The Life Blood of CRO
You can have all the statistics and numbers in the world, but if you’re not sure how to implement effective changes, those numbers don’t really mean much at all. You need to know how to hook your clients in, and to do that, you need to know who your potential clients are.
Ask yourself, “Who is my core audience?”
What people do you want to convert, and what are they experiencing when they’re on the web? Chances are, if somebody stumbles across your website, they’re probably looking for a lawyer. But what sort of lawyer are they looking for? You may practice both personal injury law and lemon law, but clients for those cases may have very different needs or questions. Personal injury clients may not want to deal with a lawyer, due to possible preconceived notions of personal injury attorneys, whereas lemon law clients may want more information upfront, such as that provided in FAQ sections of websites.
While these are generalizations, it’s important to know that every potential client is different. That being said, many clients can be broken down into one of four categories:
- Results-oriented. These kinds of clients want quick action. They want to see a similar, results-oriented person as their attorney. You can show your results-oriented side by having a professional and regularly updated website, staying on top of trends. Most importantly, perhaps, have content that is straight to the point. These people mean business.
- Amiable. These clients act with their gut, but also act quickly like results-oriented people. They want an attorney that is non-threatening and trusting, somebody who makes them feel safe. Testimonials are especially useful to engage amiable clients, as well as content that shows that you care about the clients you work for.
- Extroverted. Extroverted take a little longer to make their decisions. They socialize and talk with others before making decisions. Testimonials also work very well for converting these clients, especially those with pictures and videos. And they almost always zero in on your “About Us” pages.
- Analytical. Analytical clients take a step-by-step process in making decisions. They may suffer from indecision, or “analysis paralysis,” getting too wrapped up in your FAQ sections. The best way to convert these kinds of clients is to provide content that answers questions in simple terms.
So how does this all translate to what’s on your site?
Whipping Your Website Into Shape
When people find your website, you can be generally certain it’s because they’re in search of an attorney. Whether because of an ad, description, or your place in search results, they’ve deemed that your firm’s site is worth visiting.
If somebody came to your site because of something you mentioned in an advertisement, make sure they don’t feel cheated or lost when they view your site.
Make sure the content of your site is consistent with that of which you advertise and promote across the web.
- PPC. Or Pay-Per-Click. You can target people very effectively through PPC, leading them to targeted pages that should match up with what they’re looking for. If somebody is in search for an attorney after getting breast cancer from talcum powder, make sure when that person lands on your page that the content they find is about personal injury law as opposed to defective products. People don’t like to be on the receiving end of a bait and switch, so make sure your photos, bulletins and breakdowns all match up with your potential clients’ needs.
- SEO. Or Search Engine Optimization. Most people involved in any sort of digital marketing are very familiar with SEO, especially with the concept of keywords. Literally the words to seek you out, keywords are very important to CRO. You’ll want to make sure that these words are prominent in your heading, subheader and any other content you have on your site. Always be thinking about search intent and which keywords will properly lead potential clients to you.
Understanding Your Client’s Intent
People will get to your site a number of ways. Knowing why they’re visiting your site can be advantageous to converting leads into clients.
And while it’s impossible to know exactly why each user visits your site, law firms can understand the majority of their traffic under four common search intent categories:
- Navigational Intent – Clients who go right to your website. They already know what you’re about.
- Informational Intent – Clients who are trying to find answers to their questions. Provide relevant content and a call to action.
- Commercial Investigation – Similar to informational intent clients, just trying to scope the “lay of the land” and answer questions like “What kind of lawyer do I need?”
- Transactional Intent – These people have done their research and are ready to hire you. They need a lawyer so make sure your site makes it easy for them to contact you.
Bring It All Together: The Website Elements
While this may seem like a lot to take in, when it comes to how conversation rate optimization plays out on your website, there are really just a few key elements to pay attention to. Each of these can speak to the type of visitor on law firm’s websites, their intention for looking for a lawyer in the first place, and what they plan to do next.
The following website elements are the nuts and bolts to converting most clients:
- Hero Banner. This should include a hero shot or image and your unique value proposition. Good images and content in the hero banner can make an excellent first impression for clients, and connect especially well with results-oriented and amiable users who have transactional intent.
- Features and Benefits. Most clients want to know how choosing you will benefit them, so explain your services and why you’re worth of their time. Talk about who you serve, how you serve them, and what they can expect. This can help you reach the more extroverted and analytical users who maybe are not quite ready to buy.
- Social Proof. Testimonials are incredible social proof, but explaining how long you’ve been in business and talking about your experience can also help with social proof. Testimonials and other types of social proof work so well because they combine the emotional and the logical, appealing to a wide swath of prospects.
- Call to action. Even if people are impressed with you, if you don’t direct them where to go, they may never get to the point of contacting you for work. Always make sure to include a call to action to point potential clients in the right direction.
While all these elements are incredibly important, it should be noted that the conversion funnel does not end there.
Having a savvy person as your point of contact with potential customers can make or break a decision. Make sure the person handling phone calls, emails, and any other contact from potential clients is warm, comforting, informative, and putting your firm in the best place to succeed.
Feeling Lost? Confused? We Can Help!
When it comes to the world of digital marketing, things can be confusing and difficult. Keeping up with current trends in the market is the best way to know if your firm is working at an optimal level. If you want to learn more about current trends in digital marketing, we’ve compiled a list for you. And if you don’t have the time to handle Conversion Rate Optimization on your own, give us a call or shoot us a message. We’d be happy to help.