Matthew Horn 2017-06-23 01:45:17
Lead Generator Four best practices for websites aimed at garnering new clients. As a solo or small-firm practitioner, you know that time management is crucial to success. It makes sense then that your website is a major source of business development and new client lead generation. Advice abounds on how to make a website effective—so much so that it might be difficult to determine where to start. Focus on the four best practices that follow for developing and managing a site that is aimed at lead generation and garnering new clients. 1) Choose the Right Web Platform Most law firms’ websites do not require complex functionality like e-commerce capabilities or a client portal. But all websites nowadays should be mobile or responsive (easily viewed on a smartphone) and have an easy-to-use content management system, or CMS, allowing designated staff to quickly edit the website. There are many platforms available, such as Wordpress and Wix, and some even provide law firm website templates. Make sure that your law firm website uses Google Analytics so you can measure traffic resulting from the next topic, search engine optimization. 2) Utilize Search Engine Optimization Many platforms have plugins or widgets that help the user install required information to achieve natural, organic, or free search engine traffic, also called search engine optimization, or SEO. Proper SEO determines your website rank on a search engine results page. Of course, most users only click on the top three search results. And because law and legal keywords are extremely competitive, it can be difficult to achieve these top positions. That said, your websites should have the following on-page SEO: page titles, meta descriptions, alt or image tags, sitemaps and XML sitemap submission, redirects/301 redirect, and URL structure. Most platforms have plugins to assist with on-page SEO or you can also hire a qualified consultant. In addition to on-page SEO, off-page “link-building” is still important. Guest blogging is a key tactic. Local SEO, or “local citations,” involves submitting your contact information to local directories, while ensuring consistency of name, address, and phone number, or NAP. You can read more about these directories at legalserviceslink.com. 3) Curate Website Content Did you know that attorney profiles are often the most visited pages on a firm’s website? To capitalize on this interest, make sure each attorney profile includes practice areas, a professional headshot, a unique differentiator, newsworthy legal issues the lawyer has resolved, and his or her experience and education. Qualifications and education are important to prospective clients, but remember it is also essential that prospective clients know what you can do for them. Have a page on your website that lists your top practice areas, which can link to individual pages for sub-practice areas or further information. Consider linking to attorney profiles that specialize in each practice area to aid in the hiring process. In addition to helping visitors find the information they need fast, practice area pages can provide an SEO benefit for your website. Many visitors who find your page through a search engine will be looking for a specific practice area and location, for example, real estate law firm Houston. Practice area pages can help you get found. Having a blog on your website is a great way to position you or your firm as a subject matter authority on legal issues. Beyond gaining credibility, blogging has SEO benefits and helps prospective clients find your website on search engines. A good goal is to maintain a blog frequency of at least six posts per month. You can find examples online of content ideas from other lawyers who blog. Recommendations from third parties are often more trusted than from the source itself. Build credibility by adding client testimonials, awards, and recognitions to your website. Keep in mind that attorneys must comply with advertising guidelines as required by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. Contact the State Bar of Texas Advertising Review Department at texasbar.com/adreview for more information. 4) Remember Contact Information This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many websites don’t have contact information easily accessible. Here are some tips to consider: • Add a phone number in the header of your website so it appears on every page. • Consider making phone numbers on your website click-to-call links to streamline the process for mobile users. • Link to a contact page from your primary navigation. • Include a general inquiry form on your contact page. • List an email address or phone number for individual attorneys on their profile pages. • Create registration pages to capture prospective client information. MATTHEW HORN is a co-founder of Legal Services Link, focusing on connecting attorneys with clients. He is a frequent speaker and holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/SoloSmall+Firm/2818998/419639/article.html.