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7 Elements Every Legal Website Needs

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How to Increase Leads for Your Legal Practice

Imagine you had an opportunity to bring in potential clients while you were fighting for your current ones. With a fully optimized website, you can. These best practices will help you determine exactly what you need to improve your website’s success. Let’s get started with some basics: can website visitors tell what your law firm does?

Make Your Services Clear

When a potential client visits your website, they need to know your specialty within five seconds. It’s the ultimate test of a website’s effectiveness. If that potential client can’t tell, then your services need some clarity.

Ensure your core services are on your home page with a short description for each. Then, link those sections to full pages for each service. This prevents information overload while still helping potential clients discover who you are and what you do.

Once you make your law firm’s services clear, you should begin to see an increase in extended website traffic with increased contact form submissions or phone calls.

Another way to make your services clear is to use video to share your story and services.

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Utilizing Video to Share Your Story

Stories connect with people, and video does that better than any other type of content. It’s tempting to focus on the facts of the case more than the story, but both have value. There are three types of videos every law firm should have on their website: a profile video, testimonial videos, and topical videos.

Profile videos share the story behind your practice and introduces the viewer to the partners. The best videos include a mixture of straight-to-camera interview scenes paired with shots of the team working in an office or walking near the local courthouse.

Testimonial videos offer an opportunity to share successful cases and the stories behind them. Choose past clients whose cases are within your core services, so these videos highlight your expertise. A testimonial video can include multiple clients in one, or a series of in-depth videos. (Or both.)

Topical videos share your expertise on your practice areas, and can be combined with testimonial videos. Ideally, there would be one video per core service, though one video will suffice. A family law firm’s topical videos could include establishing prenuptials, child custody, or the legalities of separation in your state.

With the right videographer, even the most hesitant of lawyer can share their story in an engaging way that connects with their audience. And that brings us to blogs, which is another way to connect.

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A Regularly Updated Blog Page

Blogging is one of the best ways to establish your authority in your area of practice while simultaneously increasing the chances of a potential client discovering your website online. There is no set number of blog posts recommended per month; the more important feature is that it is regularly updated. Remember, a website is a living resource!

We recommend two to four blogs per month, giving you an opportunity to share your expertise on topics that relate to your services. If you’re a divorce attorney, topics could include how to find a divorce attorney or how to handle child custody. A tax attorney could share how to minimize audit risk or everything a small business owner needs to know about filing state and federal taxes.

When establishing a blogging routine, be sure to consider topics your clients are most likely to use while searching. Perfect keyword matches aren’t as important for SEO as the topic itself, so there’s no need to overthink the exact terminology in each post.

The most important thing is that your firm is producing content visitors would find valuable. That content is best shared on social media, which can be done with and without a budget. Though, as you’ll read next, a budget for social media is a valued asset.

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A Relevant Paid Social Strategy

You may have heard that social media is now “pay to play”, and, to an extent, that’s true. Organic, or unpaid, reach on platforms like Facebook and Instagram have decreased significantly over the last few years, and a paid social strategy can support your efforts.

Even modest paid social budgets can deliver results, if managed well. This means implementing the Facebook Pixel to remarket to website traffic, using interest and custom audiences, and monitoring frequently and updating as needed.

It’s also a complex platform that requires a significant amount of time to learn. In order to get the best return on your investment, hiring an experience paid media agency can deliver results while you get you back to helping your clients.

In addition to paid social, pay-per-click advertising is another way to increase awareness around your firm.

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Managed Pay-per-Click Campaigns

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, including Google Ads, are a valuable way to improve your visibility online. Even though the legal industry is competitive in PPC advertising, it is possible to convert leads into clients.

This competition increases prices, but with carefully managed campaigns run by an Ads Specialist, even small law firms can and should begin using this advertising medium.

We recommend using primarily Search ads, which display at the top or bottom of search results. Search PPC ads can include your phone number, making it easy for potential clients to call. There are also Display PPC ads, which are shown on other websites, like news outlets or blogs. These are typically only used for awareness and can be more expensive.

When your PPC campaigns are managed well, you can beat the competitive landscape and improve your lead generation.

Now we move into more organic marketing strategies, like building links through website directories.

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Up-to-Date Listings on Top Directories

Law firm website directories are essentially aggregators that contain some basic information about your law firm and a link to your website. Once your firm is added, you have a higher chance of discovery through diversified site traffic while improving your SEO presence.

Not all website directories are equal, though. It’s important to use those within your industry that have a good reputation. The best website directories will have high editorial standards and will market themselves to your potential clients, not just to website owners like yourself. The best website directories for legal websites are avvo.com, lawyers.com, and superlawyers.com.

It’s important to focus on quality over quantity, because low-quality backlinks from these directories could negatively impact your presence on search engines. That being said, aim for three to ten directories, focusing on local ones. If you have an agency managing your website, they can help you choose the best directories and submit your information.

Once your information is submitted, be sure to keep it updated as phone numbers, physical addresses, and website URLs can change. You want to make sure these directories are still providing value, after all.

Providing value brings us to our last point, which is about creating a positive, engaging experience for website visitors.

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Prioritized User Experience

Have you ever visited a website and immediately left because you couldn’t navigate it? That website had poor user experience, and it could be bringing your website down. Even a website with the best content available will lose potential clients if website visitors can’t find the information easily and efficiently.

A skilled website developer will optimize your website based on your goal, like bringing in more clients, and the type of content you have, like videos and blog posts.

When hiring a developer, whether on their own or through a marketing agency, it’s important to hire one that has worked with other service-based companies, particularly other law firms. This ensures that the final product is exactly what you need to reach your growth goals.

In a nearly never-ending list of marketing tasks you want to focus on within your law firm, these seven best practices will help you prioritize your needs. From how you can improve your website to using paid media strategies, this list will help you increase the number of potential clients. For experienced help improving your law firm’s marketing presence, give us call at (415) 640-8009 or send us an email from the Contact page.

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By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.

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