Hiring a lawyer is risky. Choosing the wrong lawyer could mean ending up in jail, losing custody of a child, and other terrible things. So naturally people are nervous when it comes to hiring an attorney. In this post we’re going to learn how to optimize your law firm’s website so you can build trust, track results, and give your prospects the confidence they need to hire you.
Setup tracking right away:
The first thing to do is setup analytics tracking. Without tracking you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. You don’t just put up a billboard ad and cross your fingers. You need to track your results and experiment to see how well each “campaign” is working and where your best clients are coming from. Here’s a couple suggestions your law firm can implement:
Google Analytics is a great way to begin tracking results. You can easily see which pages are leading people to your site, which pages people are most interested in, what social media gets the most traffic, how long they’re staying and much more. It also integrates with hundreds of other tools that your team may use in the future.
The easiest way to setup Google Analytics is to use the WordPress plugin MonsterInsights. (The free version is perfectly fine) It gives you basic information right in your WordPress dashboard. Even if you don’t have a dedicated marketer or SEO company, having analytics setup will give the SEO company more information to work with from the start.
Track Phone Calls:
The only metric that matters is how many clients you’re getting per month and knowing where they’re coming from. In order for someone to become a client they have to either CALL you, visit your office, or send you an email, so tracking your phone calls is a good idea.
There are plenty of software tools that can track your prospects journey. You’ll know which ad people are calling from, which billboards are getting you results, and even the quality of client each campaign brings.
CallRail is a great way to track phone calls that won’t mess up your NAP consistency (Name, Address, and Phone number).
Phone number always accessible
If your goal is to get people to call you, then a phone number should always be extremely easy to find. I really like seeing a law firms phone number right at the top of the page at all times. Have your phone number as a sticky item in the header so it’s always visible. Don’t make the user scroll all the way up to the page to call you.
Chat bots are a powerful tool for local businesses. Especially for attorneys. A phone call might feel too scary, or maybe they just have a quick question. Giving someone the ability to pull up a live chat and ask a quick question is a great way to get clients to reach out. Chat is also great because it typically has an image of a real person, making the connection feel more human.
Https is simply better than http. I won’t bother getting into the technical details, but the “s” at the end of HTTPS stands for “secure”. Most people think you only need https for pages where credit card info is submitted, but Google even gives a minor ranking boost to sites using https. Anytime I see a site not using https I get a little nervous; You want your prospects confident when they’re on your site.
The easiest way to setup HTTPS is to talk to your web hosting company or have your web developer do it.
Dedicated Testimonials Page.
84% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. The top three clicked-on pages on a law firms website is their home page, the attorney profile page(s) and the testimonials page, so you should have both a healthy number of reviews off-site, and a dedicated page for reviews.
Make sure you sprinkle testimonials throughout the entire website. Everywhere a person goes on your website should have someone saying something good about you nearby.
Off-site reviews are also important. Google My Business factors in the number of reviews when ranking, and your website isn’t always going to show up in the top of the search engines. It can be very difficult to beat Yelp, Avvo, Justia, etc… Just take a look at the query “Real estate attorney in Portland”.
Most people are going to click on the first three results, and in this case that means you want to be on Yelp, Justia, and Findlaw in order to get clients from this search term.
After you have completed a case or project for a client, have a feedback form asking how you did and how you could improve. On the form you could ask them if they’re willing to give you a testimonial. If they check the box saying they’re willing then you have permission to get a review! It’s a non-invasive and non-threatening way to get feedback AND a testimonial. Just make sure that you’re not breaking a policy, which is slightly different for each review site.
Dedicated Profile Page for Each Attorney
The number one keyword for a law firm website is often an attorney’s name. By creating your very own page within the website you’re increasing the chances that you show up when someone searches your name, and it gives you the opportunity to put in the keywords you’re trying to rank for, like the services you do and the cities you do business in.
Dedicated page for each service
The worst thing you can do for SEO is to rely on a tiny little blurb about a service and expect it to rank in Google. Having a dedicated page for each service like “Real Estate Law”, “Immigration Law”, “DUI Attorney”, etc… allows you to put a keyword in the URL of your page, AND talk about the entire topic within that page.
Google “crawls” your pages and tries to figure out what the page is about so it can put the most relevant page at the top. If your page talks all about “Real Estate Law” and links to articles about Real estate law, then Google is going to be more likely to rank the page when someone types in “Real estate law”. Whoever provides the most value usually wins.
Blog about your industry
Blogging goes hand in hand with your service pages. By writing more in depth articles about a topic in your industry, you’re able to improve the “internal linking structure” of your law firm’s website. Your service page can link to more detailed blog posts, and the detailed blog posts can link back to the service page.
LivenGood Alskog in Kirkland Washington has done an excellent job with their post on the Washington State estate tax exemption. In fact, the blog post is their #1 source of organic traffic! Blogging about your industry also builds trust and establishes you as the authority in your niche.
Blog about local events
Blogging about local events might not get you a ton of traffic through search, but it’s a great way to build relationships with local businesses, news sites, political figures, etc. By writing about things in your local area you’re able to fill your website with content and keywords that include your surrounding cities. When Google sees your content about X city, they’ll be more likely to rank you in search for that city.
Blog about roads being built, elections, do interviews with city council members, local news, and any other happenings in your area. You could also do “Top restaurants” or “best activities in X city”. Don’t just blog about these things on your site. Write guest posts for other sites in your area and point back to your site with links in the article or in the author bio.
It’s very difficult to rank in the map pack for surrounding cities due to distance/location being one of the strongest signals, but a huge percentage of people click in the organic results, and that’s where city pages help you rank.
To have a better chance at ranking in surrounding cities, create a dedicated page for the most important cities you operate in. Do NOT just copy/paste the same content across each city page and change the city name. Each page needs to be original and talk about that city. Talk about things to do in that city, challenges, growth, and other relevant information about that city. Provide testimonials from clients who live there and list the services you provide along with plenty of photos or videos.
The page must be valuable by itself. Make sure it’s a part of the navigation or easy to get to from anywhere on your site. If the page is low-quality, then your entire website will get smashed by Google. This would be the last thing I’d suggest doing, and you have to be careful. City pages without enough value can be considered “doorway pages” and will hurt your rankings.
There’s a lot to do when it comes to local SEO and optimizing your law firm’s website. The end goal is to give your visitor the best experience possible. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for, display your authority and reputation, and make it easy for Google to understand what you do and where you do it at.