A lot of family lawyer websites are “all sizzle but no steak” because, with today’s technology, it is relatively easy to have a website that looks good or even dazzles visitors with all its bells and whistles. But does it deliver what you really want?
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- Does my website reflect my branding and marketing positioning of my practice properly? (Read “Personal Branding for Lawyers” to learn more about this.)
- Did I get any appointments or business from my website?
- What is the traffic to my website and how do they come to my website?
- Does my website offer useful information and resources that visitors can use to help them make decisions during separation and divorce?
Consider the following factors as you prepare to (re)design your website.
Before you start the process of creating your website, make sure you hire a firm that understands family law as well as your practice, business objectives, desired prospective clients, positioning statement, and branding strategy. Most website designers are designers first; as such, your business objectives will take a back seat. Be sure to discuss what elements you need to include on your website to generate business.
See Your Website Through Your Prospective Clients’ Eyes
Contrary to common practice, your website should not only be about your law firm and lawyers – but it should also be about serving the needs of visitors and prospective clients. Prospective clients are interested in more than reading a firm overview and the lawyers’ biographies. They want to know whether they’ll feel comfortable with you and your law firm and whether you can deliver their key objectives. Most divorcing people are prone to making emotional decisions during this highly emotional time. The graphics, pictures, and text displayed on your website must address what a tough time this is – appealing to their hearts as much as their heads.
Post Plenty of Top-Quality, Relevant Content
Improve your visitors’ lives by easing their pain of going through a divorce. Include a “Resource Centre” on your website, adding relevant and easy-to-consume content regularly in these formats:
- Videos – This is the most powerful way to give prospective clients an idea of what it would be like to work with you.
- Podcasts – This is a simple way of providing useful information that costs less than videos.
- Text and Video FAQs – Divorcing people have lots of questions and want them answered now.
- Monthly eNewsletter – A good way to demonstrate your knowledge and keep in touch with your referral sources.
- Blog posts – Another great way of educating visitors and letting them know you in a more personal and informal manner.
Providing the above will accomplish the following business objectives:
- Bring more people to your website.
- Increase the chances of them returning to and sharing your website with others.
- Increase the chances they’ll contact and retain your firm.
- Enhance your image as a thought leader and authority in family law.
- Improve your search engine ranking if the content is optimized for search engines.
Make Your Website Visitor-Friendly
Visitors to your website need to be able to see immediately where they should go to get what they want. Keep in mind that website surfers are generally impatient. Use conventional navigation so they do not have to learn how to use your website. Make sure the navigation buttons are self-explanatory, not hidden or laid out differently from page to page.
Your prospects and clients are not lawyers, so keep unnecessary jargon off your website. Use “we” and “you and your spouse,” instead of “the parties” and “the file.”
You Need a Responsive Website
With approximately 60% of people viewing websites on mobile devices, you need to make sure you have a mobile-friendly website that adjusts itself and displays well on smartphones, tablets, laptops, or TV.
Make Your Website Search-Engine Friendly
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big topic – much too big to handle as part of this short article. You need to deal with website designers who understand this subject inside and out, as it is complex and ever-changing. At a minimum, you need to:
- Optimize your web text and images. When using key phrases, consider long-tail key phrases and voice searches for answers to questions such as, “How long will my divorce take?”
- Use best practice for meta tags. Don’t focus on just “Family Lawyers” or “Family Lawyers in New York”. Each page has to have its own unique title and description that will entice people to click on your website from their search results.
- Optimize the speed of your website. When more people are visiting websites on mobile, the speed of delivery matters to them and to Google.
- Get backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites. This will improve your website’s value in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Don’t fall for any scams that get you 1,000 backlinks from one website; that is a red flag for Google.
Make Full Use of Calls to Action
If you are interested in generating business from your website, invite visitors to contact you, and make it easy for them to do so. Some visitors prefer to call right away or set up a time to call and some prefer to do it by email. You have many options, including:
- A submission form on every page above the fold, so visitors can see it without scrolling down.
- Showing your phone number right on the top of your website on every page.
- A pop-up that asks if they want to schedule an initial consultation by phone or in person.
- A chat service.
Make sure potential clients can call or email you with one click – and without having to hunt for contact information.
Dan Couvrette is a marketing expert for family lawyers and divorce-industry professionals. He is the co-owner of Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, DivorcedMoms.com, and the CEO of Divorce Marketing Group – a marketing agency dedicated to promoting family lawyers and divorce professionals. www.divorcemarketinggroup.com