As attorneys, we have a lot to offer our clients, and we have a tendency to want to put those offerings front and center on our web pages. The problem is that sometimes we decide what goes where too quickly. We make major design decisions without doing significant research or asking ourselves about the effect content placement will have on visitors. So before you dive headfirst into a site upgrade, grab a cup of coffee, and take these six points into consideration.
Whether a potential client is looking at your webpage on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the experience needs to convert a casual browser into a client no matter the medium. In order to make sure your web page’s impact is consistent, check it out on different devices. For an expert opinion, talk to your web developer to make sure your webpage is ready for any device your potential clients may use to search the web.
White Space, White Space, White Space!
Most attorneys’ landing pages are filled with photos, areas of practice, descriptions of their abilities, client testimonials, wins at trial, blog listings, logos from associations, awards, and everything and anything the attorney believes will attract new clients. In truth, too many elements on the landing page, (or any page of your web site) can cause “friction.” Cluttered web pages, no matter how well-intentioned, overwhelm the potential client, and they are more likely to click out of your web page than contact your law firm. Tidy up your landing page by transferring essential content to its own page, giving your landing page a spacious, clean look. This is known as “white space.”
Above the Fold, Below the Fold
Above the fold is the part of your web page that can be seen without scrolling. Your headline is above the fold, and it must be informative and relevant and paired with copy that echoes its sentiment. Additionally, the button your visitors click to submit their contact information should have copy that is either reminiscent of your headline or somehow related to it. “Get Help” or “Get your questions answered” would be far more effective than a simple “submit.” We typically recommended that you keep your form and submit button, more commonly known as the “call to action”, above the fold. Though this is typically the industry standard, you should always feel free to test this advice and see what yields better results for your law firm.
A/B Test, Also Known As Split Testing
Good news – your web developer can also help you test what layout draws in the most clients. By developing two landing pages, you can drive half of your traffic to page “A” and a half to page “B” with elements and copy arranged differently on both pages. After testing, you can see which of the two layouts was more effective in converting visitors from mere window shoppers to actual clients. A/B testing can be used throughout your website to help you fine tune your online marketing strategy. Although moving your submission form around, limiting copy, and removing photos may seem like small changes, you may find that you see a great deal of difference in the number of people who contact you about their case.
Submission and Contact Forms
Many contact forms are simply uninviting to website visitors. The boxes asking for personal information are often small, aesthetically unappealing, and intrusive. So what’s the fix? Start with a good graphic artist who can make your contact form look more attractive. Next, consider your submission form copy. While asking the right questions is essential, not asking the wrong questions is vital. As an attorney, the most critical information you need to gather is first name, phone number, and case type. If you ask for more information than the potential client may want to divulge (email addresses, addresses, and extensive details), visitors will often close out of your web page, and you’ve just lost a lead.
Another strategy is to use a two or three-step process. Instead of asking your potential client to fill out a form, provide them with a simple button labeled “Get Help Now” that leads them to a single field asking for their first name (Step 1). Once completed and submitted, prompt them to enter contact information: “How May We Contact You?” (Step 2). Finally, “What can we help you with?” over a small text box (Step 3). This approach could gently lead the potential client through the initial contact sequence and yield higher submission rates.
Accolades and Client Testimonials
When creating your web page, it’s pretty easy to forget the importance of speaking in terms that your audience can understand. The average potential client does not know what it means to be “board certified” nor do they tend to be savvy about the issuer of the awards, merits, and accolades you have earned. While these achievements are extremely important to share on your bio page, they do not belong on your front page. At best, they’ll clutter up your landing page. At worst, they could give the impression that you are not genuine. On the other hand, testing shows that client testimonials tend to be enticing on your landing page. If you have a good collection of solid client testimonials, consider testing them out on your landing page!
At the end of the day, all of the elements of your landing page should be reviewed. Eliminate anything that clutters the page, leave ample “white space,” and concentrate on the elements that drive visitors to want to contact you. The more elements you have, the more information a visitor has to sort through before they make the decision to contact you. Don’t overwhelm them, make it easy for them. They only need to know what your firm offers, that you have helped others in their situation, and that you are qualified. Most importantly, the call to action should be right at their fingertips. Once they know they can get the help they need, you are just a click away.
We work with lawyers from diverse practice areas and sizes throughout the United States. If you’re in need of legal website design, social media management for attorneys, and legal SEO, Schedule a 15 minute consultation to find out how to take YOUR practice to the next level