3 Ways to Make Your Website More Competitive

Is your law firm website competitive? In other words, does it help you stand out from your competition and rank well in the search engines? Here are three ways to make your law firm website more competitive.

Why us?
First, ensure that your website answers the question, “Why us?”

Why should a potential client choose you or your law firm over other lawyers or law firms that do what you do? Why are you the best solution for them?

Talk about what’s different about your experience, about the services that you provide, the way you provide those services, or even the way you charge your fees. But make sure that your website answers that question, why.

Use keywords or keyphrases strategically

Second, include keywords and key phrases in the content on your website that your potential clients would use to search on the internet for a lawyer who does what you do.

What words and phrases do they use to describe their problems or challenges? What would they actually type into Google if they were looking for a lawyer who does what you do? Incorporate those keywords and key phrases in the content on your site, but make sure that you’re doing it in a natural way that flows conversationally in your content, don’t just shove those words in for the sake of putting them on to the website – you’ll actually get penalized by Google for doing that.

Pay attention to your site’s metadata

Third, make sure that the metadata on your site signals Google and other search engines what your site and each page on that site is about.

Metadata is code that your web visitors don’t see, but that search engines use to return the most relevant results to any search query. That means those keywords and key phrases that those clients are searching for should be incorporated not just in your body content, but also in your site’s metadata.

Two big places to make sure that they’re included in your metadata on every page, are (1) the title of your page, and (2) the meta description. Those two things together are what make up the search results. When you type something into Google and you see a result, what you’re seeing is the page title, and the meta description.

To recap, use keywords and phrases in both the content and the metadata on your website.

If you’d like to chat about how your website is working for you and how I can help it become more competitive, please email me.

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3 Ways Video Can Help Your Law Practice

Are you still not using video in your law practice? Here are three easy ways to incorporate video into your law practice.

Marketing
The first one is marketing. And it’s probably the most obvious.

People do business with people they know like, and trust. But these days, we’re not getting to spend too much time with people. We can’t go to big events, and we’re not doing in-person networking. For many of us, we’re not even seeing our family and friends, so it’s that much harder to get the word out and to meet new people. It’s all virtual.

That means video is now more than ever, a really important tool for you to help people get to know you. When they watch a video. It’s like talking to you; they feel like they know you before they even pick up the phone or send you an email.

Answer Clients’ Frequently Asked Questions
The second way that you can use video in your law practice is by answering clients’ frequently asked questions.

I often talk to my clients about putting frequently asked questions on their website for potential clients. But the same thing is true for your existing clients.

You’ve probably answered the same questions over and over from clients – and it’s time-consuming. If you create a video library to answer clients frequently asked questions, you can send them there first and free up some more time for you to do important client work. It’s a great reference tool for them.

Onboarding and Training New Employees
The third way to use video is to onboard and train new employees.

A lot of my solo and small firm lawyers tell me that it’s really time-consuming to train. And they often don’t want to hire somebody because they don’t have the time to spend training – they need help.

If you create training videos or videos that explain what your firm does, how you do things, and who your clients are, and give them training on the specific ways that you do things differently than other firms might, you only have to create the vidoes once. That takes some of the burden of training off of you. And it also creates a place that your employees can go back to for reference if they have questions or if they’re not sure how to do something.

I’m sure you can come up with even more ways that you can use video in your practice. Video doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to produce. For example, I’m creating this video on a Videosocials call. (I highly recommend Videosocials – if you decide to try them out, let them know I sent you!)

Want more tips about how I can help your practice? Contact me – or watch more of my videos:

Is Your Website Turning Off Potential Clients?

In today’s video, I talk about three common mistakes that I see lawyers make on their websites. Or if you prefer, scroll down to read about these three mistakes.

It’s not easy to find what I’m looking for

The first one is that it’s not so easy to find what you’re looking for on the website. That might be because the navigation is hidden; your main menu should ideally be on the top or on the left side of your website.

Or it could be that the navigation buttons just aren’t clear – maybe you’re using legalese – using terms that lawyers use for what you do, instead of using the terms that your clients would use.

Or perhaps your navigation menus are just too big, and you have drop-down menus that continue off the page, making it very difficult to click through to find what you’re looking for.

You’re wasting prime real estate “above the fold”

The second mistake that I see a lot of lawyers making on their websites is that they waste the real estate above the fold, which is what you see when you first arrive on that very first screen on the website.

Too many lawyers put huge images above the fold and don’t leave enough room for copy to explain what they do and who they do it for. And it’s even worse when the image has absolutely nothing to do with what the lawyer actually does, or the image doesn’t mean anything at all to their web visitor.

The Home page is so cluttered, it’s distracting

The third mistake is there are just too many distractions on the website. There are a lot of ways that this can happen:

  • Using chat bots that constantly interrupt the web visitor and messing up their experience or getting in the way so they can’t find what they’re looking for.
  • Pop-ups that appear on every page, again, getting in the way of letting the web visitor find the information that they’re really seeking.
  • Big carousels with scrolling images or text that goes by so fast that you can’t even read it.
  • Poorly done video. Video is a great tool if used properly, but it can also be a distraction. Don’t post a video that will automatically play as soon as somebody comes on the website.

If you’d like to know how I can help you improve the user experience on your website, and turn your potential clients on instead of turning them off, please email me.

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Does Your Law Firm Website’s Home Page Drive Business?

Is your law firm website helping to bring you business? If not, this video is for you.

During this time of stay at home orders, with canceled events, limited or no ability to network or meet clients, prospects or referral sources in person, you my have started to recognize that your website isn’t performing as well as you would like it to. That is not likely to change even as businesses open up – now that people are used to working virtually, a lot more of your business and your networking is likely to be done online. And that makes your law firm website more important than ever.

When I talk to lawyers about their websites, especially solo and small to mid-sized firm lawyers, they often tell me that clients don’t find them on the web – that their business comes from word of mouth. But whether that is true or not – and I’d argue that it’s less true than most lawyers think it is – you can bet that a potential client or referral source is going to do an online search for you, and they will probably be checking out your website.

Three Basic Mistakes Your Law Firm Website Home Page is Making

What they find there can either actively work to help convince them that you’re the lawyer or law firm they’re looking for and get them to contact you, or not.

While not all web visitors will come to your website through the Home page, let’s start there. Here are three big, very basic mistakes lawyers make on their website home pages:

1. Doesn’t adequately orient the visitor

Studies have shown that you have only 8 seconds when a visitor first arrives on your home page to provide crucial information that orients the visitor to whether they’re in the right place. That means you need to put the most important information “above the fold” on a laptop, tablet, or desktop screen so the web visitor doesn’t have to scroll or search around to find it.

When a visitor arrives on your site, they should be able to tell in 8 seconds:

  • who you are
  • what you do – not just that you’re a lawyer, but what are your practice areas?
  • how you are different from other lawyers and why you’re the right solution for them
  • how to find the information they are looking for

2.  Firm information not easily available

I’m amazed at how many times I go to a solo or small firm lawyer’s website and can’t easily find contact information. This should also be easy to locate within the first eight seconds. In the industry, this is called NAP – name, address, phone number. Don’t make me search for your phone number! If you serve a local area, as most solo and small firm attorneys do, make sure it is easy to find your address – clients and referral sources want to know if you actually practice in their local area. If you don’t want to include your address above the fold, make sure it is easily found in the footer on every page of the site.

3. What should I do next?

Your website Home page should include a clear call to action to let web visitors know what to do next. Do you want them to download an article, contact you for a free consultation, fill out a contact form? The call to action should be clear, concise, and prominent on your Home page.

If you want to learn more about how I can help you improve your law firm’s website, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Get More Mileage From Great Client Testimonials and Recommendations

In my last several videos, I’ve talked about client recommendations – specifically on LinkedIn, but also on other sites – we’ve covered the mechanics of asking for them, as well as the best way to ask, and also talked about what makes a great recommendation.

So what do you do after you get a great client review or recommendation? How can you get the most from it? Watch the video below, or read on to learn how.

The first thing you should always do after you get a great client review or recommendation is to say thank you! You can do it on the same platform where the client left the recommendation – by sending a thank you on LinkedIn, for example, or you can send them a thank you email or even a snail mail thank you card (hardly anyone sends those any more!)

But to really get the most out of a great client review or recommendation, when you thank the client, ask them if you can use their review or recommendation as a testimonial on your website. If you’re a lawyer or law firm, you’ll want to retain a copy of their consent, so it is best to get it in writing. Even better, ask if you can use their photo to accompany their testimonial on your website.

Testimonials are all about trust, and a website testimonial that is accompanied by a photograph of the client gives your web visitors a level of comfort that the testimonial is from a real client and isn’t just made up by you.

If you already have reviews or recommendations from clients that you haven’t added as testimonials to your law firm website, consider adding links to your reviews on other sites from your websites by saying something like, “see my other reviews on my Google Business page here.”

You can add reviews and recommendations as testimonials to your law firm website in several places – you can create a testimonials or client stories page where you collect all of your testimonials. You can also add testimonials throughout your site where it is relevant. Add testimonials that refer to a specific practice area on that practice area’s page. Put testimonials that talk about your stellar service to the page on your site that discusses how you work. Testimonials that refer to a specific lawyer in the firm can be added to the firm’s bio page.

Check out my other videos:

What Makes a Great Testimonial or Recommendation?

In my last couple of videos, I talked about LinkedIn Recommendations and testimonials – why you need them and how to ask for them.

But what makes for a good client recommendation or testimonial? Watch the video below and/or read on to find out!

The purpose of a testimonial is to help overcome client objections and to help your ideal clients to recognize themselves and see that you are a good choice for them.

You’ve probably heard testimonials on television commercials for lawyers that say something like, “I was injured in a truck accident. The insurance company only offered me $7500 to settle my case, but my attorneys got me $1 million.”

That kind of testimonial tells you what the lawyer does – plaintiff’s personal injury, but I don’t think it quite goes far enough, and it’s a little one-dimensional, focusing only on outcome.

But clients care about a lot more than outcome when they are working with an attorney. They care about what it is like to work with you, how easy you made it for them to navigate the process, whether they felt like you really cared about them and their problems, and more.

You may have also seen testimonials on lawyer websites that said something like, “Allison was great to work with on my estate plan. I highly recommend her.”

This tells you what the lawyer does and says something about the client experience, but it still doesn’t go quite far enough.

The best client testimonials tell a story about the experience – and it’s that story that the potential client reading your website will relate to. Even better would be if the testimonial demonstrates a before and after – what objections or concerns did the client have before retaining you? How did you address those concerns or objections? How does the client feel now?

You’ll want to include a number of different testimonials on your website and recommendations on LinkedIn that talk about various aspects of your service or that address the most common objections that clients have when hiring a lawyer in your practice area.

For example, look at the difference between the following two testimonials:

  1. “Mary was wonderful! She was so responsive, and we really felt that she had our best interests at heart.”
  • “Mary was invaluable in helping us through a difficult time. I was a bit skeptical at first that mediation would be able to help us resolve all of our divorce and custody issues, but Mary took the time to listen not just to what we were saying, but to dig deeper to find out what was really important to each of us and to develop a financial and custody plan that would work for our family. Mary walked us through the process and was patient, even when we got emotional during our mediation sessions. She answered our questions, no matter how trivial and found a compromise that is fair to everyone and enabled us to move on with our lives.”

A good recommendation tells a story and gives potential clients a good picture of what it is like to work with you.

As always, don’t forget to check the rules of professional responsibility in your jurisdiction to ensure that a recommendation or testimonial complies with the rules before posting it; if it doesn’t comply, you may need to ask the client for a quick revision.

For more video tips see below:

How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation

 In my last video, I talked about why LinkedIn Recommendations are useful for lawyers and covered the mechanics of asking for them. But I know that some lawyers are just uncomfortable asking for recommendations. They don’t want to appear to “salesy” or to diminish their professionalism.

There are ways to approach clients for recommendations or testimonials that aren’t pushy or overly promotional. The most important thing is to be genuine. If you truly believe that you have helped this client and that you can provide value to others with the services you provide, and you approach asking for recommendations with that attitude, it may be less uncomfortable.

By far the easiest way to ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation is to do it when a client says thank you or otherwise expresses appreciation for what you have done for them. An appreciative client will always be happy to spread the word about the good work that you do.

Tell the client you were happy to help them, and then ask if they can help you reach others in a similar situation by writing a Recommendation for you on LinkedIn. You can send them a link in an email or simply tell them that you’ll send a recommendation request and that they should look out for it in their LinkedIn account.

But you don’t have to wait for a client to say thank you before you ask for a recommendation. Y ou can make recommendations a part of your regular process. Build a procedure that automatically triggers a request for a recommendation at the end of every client engagement. You can make it a part of your closing documents or email including the link and instructions, or just add to your file closing checklist to hop on LinkedIn and send that recommendation request.

If the client is an ongoing client with no specific end to their engagement, such as a client you perform outside general counsel services for, you could ask for a recommendation every so often, for example at the end of the year, at the completion of a big project, or in conjunction with a certain event every year.

Say something like, “It was a pleasure working with you. Thank you for choosing me to help you with … I have found that potential clients like to read about what it was like to work with me, so I would be grateful if you would be willing to leave a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile.” You can leave instructions right then and there about how to do so and tell them you’ll be sending a request, or wait for the client to respond that they are willing to do it and then send them a recommendation request.

As always, you’ll want to check your jurisdiction’s ethical rules with respect to recommendations and testimonials, and review any LinkedIn recommendations you receive before you post them to make sure that they do not contain prohibited language. If they do, you can always ask your client to revise the recommendation before you post it. And if your practice area doesn’t lend itself to client recommendations with a name attached, you can use these techniques to ask a client for a testimonial that you can post on your website without their name attached.

Be sure to follow up with a thank you after the client leaves you a recommendation!

For more LinkedIn video tips see below: