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Best Online Marketing Practices for Law Firms
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Appealing to Clients: Best Online Marketing Practices for Law Firms
Building a law firm website can be a tough project if you don’t know how to get started. A primary question to ask when creating one should be, “Who am I trying to appeal to?”
Understanding and learning who your potential clients are, will allow you to deliver useful content in order to appeal to them and better serve them.
If you want to appeal to more customers you need to embrace the opportunities afforded by the 21st Century—namely the Internet. Many law firm websites have trapped themselves in the past through their use of design, features, and functionality.
Law firms can benefit from this remarkable digital/information age if they simply take advantage of it. We are living in an age where this and future generations, process information differently because of technology.
Law firms need to begin attracting these individuals in order to better promote their services online. So, what is this information and digital generation attracted to?
Say No to Text Overload!
After comparing many local law firm websites, many seem to have one thing in common: too much text. In a study discussing how we read online, Nielsen Norman Group, a computer user interface and user experience consulting firm, discovered that only 16 percent of subjects read text linearly online.
The study used eye tracking research, which operates with special equipment to detect where people’s eyes focus on a computer screen. The firm explained that “this form of usability research makes it easier to understand what part of a design users are attracted to, and which parts they tend to overlook.”
Given that only 16 percent of the subjects in their study did not read linearly, but instead skimmed through the text, it is a waste of valuable space for law firms to cover their entire webpage with words. Instead of occupying page after page with print, law firms should be concise.
The best law firm websites briefly state their function, their practice areas, and their benefits. Think about it as a short persuasive proposal.
Having enough text—and the right kind of text—is important for SEO. Lawyers should cater their text to appeal to every person’s “What’s in it for me?” mentality.
They shouldn’t talk so much about themselves, but talk more about how clients benefit from hiring the firm.
Appealing Through Visuals
Now that you know you should not have a website bogged down in text, you must think about what your purpose is, what makes you different, and why a potential client should choose you.
Not only will stating this clearly and concisely help you, but also the way in which you go by designing it. In other words, your uniqueness should be expressed not only through words, but by visuals.
Technology such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Windows 8, are increasingly being utilized by this generation. So one of the things to think about when trying to appeal to this audience is what these devices or programs have in common.
Many of these devices and programs have apps which can then be grouped into their own specific neat category.
By applying the concept of apps, which reveal organization, neatness, and conciseness, you will be appealing to clients in an effective manner.
Moreover, when designing your website, you want to ensure that your visuals, color, and layout are not overdone.
If they become overly designed, it will be very messy and distracting. The navigation bar should be easy to find, and visual and text elements should complement one another, not compete.
A good use of the concept of apps can be seen on the law firm website steinsperling.com. The firm’s website homepage is designed with an interesting grid, has nice colors, can be easily navigated, and is not submerged with lots of text like other websites.
Clients will not want to sit and read through excessive text. Another important factor to consider when designing your website is typeface, because the fonts you choose are just as important as color, clarity, and website organization.
The fonts you choose will affect your reader’s ideas on what your firm is like and what kind of people work there.
By revealing your law firm’s function, features, and benefits through a concise, color scheme manner like in steinsperling.com, you will be visually catering to potential clients who are accustomed to not only using apps, but also social media sites.
Taking advantage of social media sites through constant updates and posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, will also be a good start to promoting your firm. Social media sites are a great way to share information and keep people updated.
For instance, every time you make a new entry or post, your followers who “liked” your page will be notified on their newsfeed. It serves as an excellent reminder to people that you exist and are still active.
In addition, social media websites allow you to keep track of the number of potential clients you have attracted.
Lawyers and Blogs
Blogs are another great way to promote your law firm because they can give you a chance to express your personality and uniqueness, and to allow your clients to get to know and trust you.
If you are thinking of creating a blog, it should not be on the main page of your website. Potential clients are there for one purpose: to decide whether or not they want to hire you.
When you begin your blog you should make sure you write entries on subjects pertaining to what you do. In other words, if your firm handles energy law, don’t write entries on family law.
In addition, be aware that search engines like Google usually find the latest and freshest material, so if you do plan on having a blog, you must be good at updating it with fresh content.
In addition, tagging serves as a useful tool when blogging. After each blog post, you should make sure to add specific tags, which will in turn boost your chances of appearing on Google searches.
Do you need assistance creating a website for your law firm? Call Chatter Buzz Media at 321-236-0083 for a free consultation!
Guest post by Alexa Serrano, a senior at Wesleyan College pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English
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