You have either invested a lot of time, money or both in creating your law firm’s website. Aside from the fact that almost every business – big and small – needs a website in today’s age, arguably the most important reason to have a site is to generate new leads and clients.
You’ve probably heard something before along the lines of your website is your 24/7 salesman. It doesn’t eat or sleep, it’s always there, ready to serve visitors with useful information.
If you’re not receiving many new inquiries or referrals from your site, then you should consider looking at your law firm’s digital marketing funnel. Provided you have ample site traffic, then you should investigate why your site isn’t achieving conversion rates that are on par with the industry or your competitors.
While the conversion rate will change depending on your practice (family law, personal injury, criminal, etc) as well as your acquisition channels – how visitors are finding you (i.e. SEO efforts, PPC, Facebook Ads, Yelp, etc.), you will experience different conversion rates. Although data for such specific scenarios (to our knowledge) don’t exist, you can refer to a studies like those published by WordStream, where they found that the average conversion rate for Facebook Ads in the legal services industry was measured at 4.6%, 6.98% for Google Search Ads and 1.84% for Display ads for legal services.
So knowing that our conversion rate can vary depending on the type of advertising or marketing channel we’re using, the metrics above indicate that there is an opportunity to convert between 1.8 – 6.9% of our traffic into leads that inquire about our firm’s legal services.
So assuming you’re using one or a combination of ad channels, the next thing to do is to optimize your visitors’ experience to maximize your conversion rate. It also means that if you’re using marketing channels like PPC (pay-per-click) like the ones mentioned above, then you’re paying for 100% of clicks, only 2-7% of them convert into an inquiry. This, conversely, means that if you are generating a satisfactory conversion rate, then 93-98% of your clicks are NOT generating leads. So it’s really important to ensure that you’re landing page is extracting as much value for your firm’s practice as possible.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the key elements that your law firm’s landing page should contain in order to maximize your conversion rate.
Is a Landing Page my Website’s Homepage?
A site’s home page and landing page can refer to the same page, but they aren’t necessarily one and the same page.
What is a Home Page?
The homepage of your website is the page of your website a visitor sees when they type your domain into the browser.
All web pages sent to your browser are HTML. When someone visits www.example.com the server will look for a file that is called the index file.
(The file will have a full name of index.html or index.php, but that is technical specifics beyond the scope of this article).
This is what we define as the home page of a website.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page refers to a designated page that serves the purpose of having a user take an action.
Landing pages are typically used in PPC (pay-per-click) ad campaigns so that when a user clicks on your google or facebook ad, it sends them to a carefully optimized landing page to maximize conversions.
Any page that receives traffic from PPC campaigns, is, in fact, a landing page. When you refer to where your ad’s traffic is being sent to, you’re referring to the landing page.
Conversion objectives will vary by industry.
Email marketers use landing pages to convert users into newsletter subscribers. Companies like Salesforce.com use landing pages to capture lead information on people that have expressed in a free trial or demo of their software products.
Lawyers and law firms use landing page to get potential clients to fill out a contact form or call them during business hours.
This article refers to a landing page in this manner. Specifically, we’re going to discuss how to set up a landing page for a law firm to generate more phone calls and leads through our contact form.
When are they the Same Page?
It’s not uncommon that a business will opt to have their website’s homepage to be designed in a manner to generate leads right then and there. Whether it’s though a form or displaying a phone number.
If you’re driving a lot of your PPC traffic to your homepage, then you would refer to it as a landing page.
Tip #1 – Make your Marketing Message Consistent
A visitor lands on your page after finding your search result in google or clicking on your ad. They clicked on your listing or ad because of the message displayed. Something in that message was compelling enough to make them click on your site. So it’s important that when they are presented with your landing page, that the message displayed on your landing page is consistent or relevant with the message they saw that made them click in the first place.
Imagine the last time you googled something or clicked on an ad, just to be redirected to a landing page on a website that was either broken or unrelated to what you had initially searched for. You may take a second to see if something on the landing page relates to you or what you had clicked on, but chances are you’re going to leave and click on a different result.
For instance, if you’re a personal injury lawyer and you run an ad targeted towards car accident victims and you direct your advertisement’s traffic to a page that is about personal injury in general or lacks any clear and concise message about car accident victims, then your conversions will likely suffer as a result.
You don’t necessarily need to create one landing page for each case type either. Especially for smaller firms, this can become economically unfeasible. Instead, consider using some space on your page to outline a few different types of injury cases your firm specializes in – such as car accidents, truck accidents, brain injuries, SCI’s, etc.
Make sure that it’s above the fold on the landing page, so that your visitors can immediately relate to your page’s offering.
Tip #2 – Highlight the Benefits to your Client
Again, you have a limited amount of time to convince your site visitors that they have found what they have been looking for. Make sure to use that time wisely to capture their attention with the benefits they will see by working with you.
There are 2 types of benefits you can (and should) be promoting on your page; Differentiated and Undifferentiated benefits.
Undifferentiated benefits are things that any lawyer practicing your type of law is able to provide.
For a law firm promoting their injury and insurance practice, you help your clients in pursuing compensation for things like:
- Medical and Rehab bills
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Pain & Suffering
These are undifferentiated since they the same benefits that they can look forward to regardless of which law firm they work with (aside from the quality of the lawyer, of course – since a better lawyer should be able to get you a better settlement).
Differentiated Benefits are the features that your firm provides that – you guessed it – differentiates your firm from your competitors. Many personal injury law firms, for instance, are so focused on marketing and advertising, that they lack the core competency of practicing litigation – e.g. going to court.
They focus on client acquisition and case turnover time via settlements over trying the case in court to maximize the client’s settlements.
If your lawyers or firm have extensive experience in pursuing cases against the party at fault’s insurer, instead of relying on settling, then this is something that separates you from the pack. Think about how the client stands to benefit from working with you and what your competitors can’t or don’t do.
Some other differentiable benefits may include:
- Working personally with your lawyer, instead of a case manager or worker
- No fees unless you win
- The client’s interest above all else – we do what you want, whether we settle or go to trial
- Work on a 2-track system: try to pursue a settlement, but prepare for trial meanwhile. (I love this one, because what you seasoned lawyers usually discover through experience is by preparing for trial, you have more leverage during settlements conferences.)
Tip #3 – Focus on the Client, not your Firm
Remember that every prospect that visits your site and is considering your firm to handle their case is assessing whether they believe you can provide enough value to them. Even though you may have won large case settlements in the past or awards (and they can be useful), make sure to focus on what’s in it for the client.
Tip #4 – Promote your Law Firm’s Features
Now that you have listed all of the client’s WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) benefits, you can focus on talking about your firm’s credentials and how they reinforce your visitors’ trust when they read the benefits we discussed above.
You can think of these features as your chance to brag a little bit to your audience. Especially if your competitors have a hard time copying are advertising those same impressive metrics or features.
Your business’ features include:
- Firm’s Credentials and History: When was the firm established, or how long the lawyers have been practicing that type of law.
- Results your firm has achieved: How much in settlements and verdicts have you won for your clients. What courts have you tried cases in? The provincial or state supreme court? The federal court?
- Marketing Position of your Firm: Does you firm specialize in only injury cases? Then make sure that’s clear on the page. Even though lawyers aren’t allowed to say they are specialists or experts in a specific field of law, but they can position their firm in the market as only handling a specific type of case law. By doing this, your brand implies a strong sentiment of specialization which can help your firm seem more credible for this type of legal work.
- Awards and Media appearances: I’m personally not a fan of these types of elements – for many reasons, but they can work. If you do use them, don’t over do it. There are more important trust-building elements you can include on your landing page and we will talk about those a little later. Make sure not to over-saturate your page with empty or meaningless awards or “As Seen on TV” tags.
Your firm’s features should be seen as complimentary and in balance with the benefits we discussed above. When you decide on the benefits and features, respectively, that you’re going to put on your landing page, make sure there’s a strong cohesion and consistency between them.
Tip #4 – Let Users Know their Information is Safe
People can be hesitant when it comes to giving out there personal contact information, such as their phone number and email address. So let them know that their data is in good hands with your law firm.
Here’s an example of just that on the homepage of our website. It’s just a simple message that reassures them that you won’t mishandle or sell there information to others can go a long way in converting more visitors into clients and lowering your overall cost per case acquisition. It’s super simple, but effective and a great way to start off a relationship with a client before you even schedule an appointment with them.
Tip #5 – Use your Testimonials & Social Proof
If your firm practices good work and yields solid results for your clients, then it’s likely that your firm’s most under-utilized asset is the great things your former clients have to say about you.
With many review platforms including Google, Facebook and Yelp, you should be able to collect feedback and stellar reviews from your former clients and display this on your landing page. Here are several key elements you should include on your page:
- Your firm’s aggregated Review Rating from your most popular review platform. This could be google or facebook. The majority of our clients’ reviews are from Google. So if your firm has X number of reviews with an overall rating of 4.8/5 stars, then make sure you include that on the page. It’s actually a good thing if your overall rating is less than than 5 stars – more like 4.7 or 4.8. The reason being is that an imperfect score looks more authentic and realistic and say a page that says 5.0 stars over 129 reviews.
- Embed the Star Rating Graphic. With your overall rating score, you should include a 5-star graphic next to this number. Make sure the color of the stars is recognizable as the same or similar as you’d find the Yelp review stars or the Google or Facebook review stars. A general rule of thumb is to use the same color of the star rating graphic as the source they are coming from. So if they are coming from yelp, use the yelp star’s yellow. If the reviews are from google, then use the same yellow/orange color that Google uses for its star rating graphic.
- Written reviews or testimonials onto the page for visitors to read. Many consumers don’t just look at the overall rating, but will actually read the reviews. By having written testimonials on your page or even embedding all your google reviews with a WordPress widget, you can reduce the chance that visitors will leave your page to do their due diligence on you. Give them all of the information they need up front to make an informed decision to fill out your form or call your firm on the spot.
- Ensure that reviews or testimonials on your page are relevant to the type of casework you’re trying to attract. If your firm handles a wide array of services, but you are simply campaigning for more criminal / DUI cases or injury cases, make sure that your reviews are relevant to that type of case. Reviews are only as effective as they are relevant. If you’re building a landing page for car accident injuries and your leading testimonial is how great of a job your firm did in preparing someone’s will or divorce, then it doesn’t convey a strong sense that your firm has a lot of expertise in the types of cases you’re trying to attract.
Your firm can also include logos of associations you have received awards from. While I am not a fan of these types of social proof signals (particularly because of desperately artificial many of them are), we’ll still go through how you should present them if you do intend to resort to them.
- Grayscale the logos and award images. The variety in color will distract your audience from what you want them to focus on (i.e. the client testimonials and call to actions like your phone number or contact form).
- Use only between 3-5 of these symbols. Don’t add more than 5 and preferably stick to 3. The more you add, the more you’ll likely see your conversions decrease as your proof will seem more and more artificial.
- If you don’t have a lot of awards, you can stick to listing trial or barrister associations that you or your firm are apart of.
Tip #6 – Use an Image of your Lawyers or Team
Your image is one of the most important parts of your landing page. When we talk about trust, nothing is more personal than a photo of the lawyer or team that will be working on your case.
Ideally, you should have a list of team and individual images to choose from your photographer. If you don’t have a team shot, alternatively, you could have your photographer or graphic artist photoshop individual photos into a team graphic.
If you’re a solo practitioner or a small practice, then there are several approaches you could take:
- Photo of the main lawyer (or small team) with a Landscape oriented background. Remember that the photo will likely need to work in conjunction with a form somewhere on top of – or to the left or right side of the photo.
- Individual photos of lawyers photoshopped together. It’s really important to make a good first impression with your clients, so if you have to resort to something that is heavily photoshopped, make sure you invest in a high-quality finished product. Make sure to get half a dozen different renderings from your graphic artist. This will allow you to test different images to optimize your conversion rate (we’ll discuss this at the end).
- Use a good background image. Whether you’re using a background that naturally appears in your image or whether your photo will be heavily modified via photoshop, make sure the setting is attractive. This could be a team photo inside the office or an image taken outside the office. The background of the photo could be heavily blurred to draw focus on the lawyers/team. Whatever it is, make sure the background of the image produces a clean and attractive presentation.
Tip #7 – Avoid using Image Sliders
You may be tempted to use an image slider or slideshow banner on your landing page. Don’t do this. This is something that can exist on your home page, but not your landing page. These can distract users from the main objective of your landing page, which is to convert as many visitors as possible into retained clients. Image sliders are great in other applications, like I mentioned, the homepage of your site, but have no place on a landing page, especially when you’re paying for that traffic.
Tip #8 – Be careful with Video Embeds
Videos can be valuable in establishing a personal and appealing impression to your site’s visitors. However, most people who visit the page are not going to watch the video. So I suggest you do one of three things:
- Make sure that the video you use has a great thumbnail. It may seem obvious, but it can’t be understated. If most people aren’t watching your video, then you still need them to make a strong and personal impression with them. The Thumbnail is the photo or still shot from the video, that is displayed before the user clicks to play your video. The thumbnail is your chance to reclaim your valuable image space – if you’re really set on using a video on your landing page.
- Hide the video and display a play button. Set up your landing page as if you’re not using a video at all. That means, follow the guidance above on using a photo of the lawyers or legal team. Then have your web designer place a video button on top of your image.
- Use your video lower on the page. Nothing prevents you from using a photo like the one mentioned above and then embedding a video further down on the page. After all, some visitors will scroll and scan your landing page for other useful information before they reach a decision on whether or not to contact you.
Tip #9 – Make it Simple
You can spend a lot of time delving into your firm’s experience and all the different cases you can handle, however, it won’t matter if all of that information gets lost on the person that clicked on your ad and dropped onto your landing page. Make sure they know that while they’re experiencing some pain with their legal issues, you’re here to remove it and it’s a simple process.
Use the rule of three and create a section above the fold or just under it with a heading like “How it Works” or “Getting Started is Simple”. Then break down how they can get a consult and legal advice quickly and easily. Assuring them that it’s going to be a relatively painless process can dramatically increase the number of people compelled to give your office a call or fill out a form.
Tip #10 – Make the Offer with Multiple Calls to Action
What we’ve found from our marketing research and experiments is that multiple calls to action provides optimal results. Some people are going to prefer to call you directly, others will choose to fill out a form and some people rather kick the tires via live chat.
You don’t have to add 4 or 5 different calls to action or methods for prospects contacting you, but you should have at least 2 and in some cases 3. Too many calls to actions will bombard users and can actually lead to them being too overwhelmed to take any action. Having too few options, however, can result in you converting fewer visitors into leads and hence raising your cost per client acquisition.
Tip #11 – Form: Optimizing your Form for Conversions
Just as it comes to finding the sweet spot for the number of calls to action you place on a page, the number of fields you require in your forms can make or break conversion rates and profitability. It’s imperative that you collect as much information as possible so that you can follow up with prospects either via email or phone, however, if you ask for too much information, your conversion rates will drop.
Make your forms simple, but not overly simple. Some lawyers only ask for a name, email, and phone number. Many people want to write a paragraph or two in the message field though. Give them the chance to discuss their situation. If you just ask for simple contact info and no message, your form comes off as a simple email and phone number grab, rather than a bridge between your new clients and their attorney. We recommend you use the following fields in your forms:
- Phone Number
Using this, you will get the gist of their case. Don’t split the name field into separate first and last name fields. This makes your form appear bigger than it needs to be at first glance and we find that 95% of the time people fill out a simple name field with their full name anyway. Also, don’t add a subject or type of case field, people can explain that in their message. Keep it simple and let people tell you their story. That will typically be enough to qualify your leads quickly and generate as many new inquiries as possible.
Tip #12 – Test these Elements to Optimize your Conversions
Finally, it’s critical to realize that these tips will get you quite a ways, but ultimately you should be experimenting by adding and subtracting elements from your landing pages on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. There’s no such thing as perfect, but we can keep optimizing. Trends and technologies will change over time and so will the methods and tactics that convert.
Several things to do to best perform experiments:
- Setup copies of your landing page and perform an A/B test on AdWords or Facebook ads
- Send a 50/50 split of your budget to each landing page to see which variation converts best
- Only test one variable or element at a time. Otherwise, you won’t know what’s causing the delta in conversion rates
In most cases, landing pages are the way to go for converting as visitors as possible into clients for your practice. Using law firm landing page templates are a great way to get started and you can definitely use them, just make sure that they meet the criteria discussed above and you can customize it to be the best page your firm can use with its online ad campaigns.