Everything you know about law firm marketing is evolving – quickly. And that’s mostly because the way people find lawyers is much different than it used to be.
Law firm Moses & Rooth, together with NiftyLaw, conducted a survey of 1500 people nationwide nearly 15% of whom claim that internet research, along with Google search, was the way they found a lawyer. Together they topped every other method of discovery, which included “a friend” at 13.6%, “a referral” at 8.9%, and “word of mouth” at 5.4%.
These findings are in line with new research from Alyn-Weiss, which indicates that 70% of lawyers say their website was the single most effective way of bringing in new clients. Other forms of new media were similarly effective, with search engine optimization coming in at 22%, email newsletters at 21%, LinkedIn at 16%, blog at 12%, and media coverage at 9%.
The change in the way people search for legal help has prompted law firms to make changes to their marketing.
Law firms specifically say they plan on allocating more of their budget to website development, search engine optimization, email marketing, and LinkedIn while cutting their spending on print advertising, TV & radio advertising, and mailers.
Brett Ledger, of the Ledger Law Firm, says that search engine optimization and pay per click advertising have been integral to the success of his business, admitting that he pays around $20 per click for keywords relevant to his business. But research from WebpageFX and SEMrush has shown that legal pay-per-click advertising is an even more expensive game than Mr. Ledger lets on. In fact, of the 100 most expensive keywords on Google, 78% of them are related to law firms – which is indicative of just how much law firms stand to gain from search engine traffic.
The most expensive keyword search in 2015 is “San Antonio car wreck attorney,” coming in at a whopping $670.44 per click.
Seeing as how almost 15% of people find lawyers through Google and internet search, I thought I’d see if I could find one myself using the same method (not to solicit their services, but to test the effectiveness of their landing pages).
Surprisingly, I had to work pretty hard to find law firm landing page examples. Of the 30-40 PPC ads I clicked on, only two led me to what could be considered a landing page by definition. Let’s take a look at those below to find out what they did right, and how they could boost their conversions.
Here’s a page from the California Injury Partner Attorneys At Law:
What we like about it:
Navigation links are missing, which is great. By leaving your website navigation up on your landing page, you increase the chance your prospect abandons your page. And when the only goal of your page is to convert, that means you decrease the possibility that happens.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) badge is designed to create trust in the mind of the prospect. The thought is that if your business is accredited by the BBB, they’re reputable. To the right of that, you’ll see a testimonial. Testimonials are an excellent way to convince people to use your services in any industry, but especially when it comes to finding a lawyer. Almost 10% of people said they found one through a referral.
You’ll notice there’s not very much copy on the page. Just 62 words to be exact. And they’re organized in a neat, skimmable fashion using bullet points and subheads.
The headline and sub-headline are clear and benefit-oriented. “Complete the Evaluation for a Free Consultation,” and “See if You’re Owed a Cash Settlement” offer readers a free consultation to see if they’re owed money.
Whoever wrote this page must have also known the two best words to use in copywriting. The first one is “You,” and the second is “Free.” Using “you” makes the reader feel like you’re directly addressing them, and the word “free” is pretty obvious, isn’t it? We all like free stuff. Both are used here numerous times, and one occasion, “free” is even written in all caps for emphasis.
All the other words are written in plain language because they know their target audience doesn’t speak legalese.
Lead capture form
It’s short and to the point – which means it’s going to generate more leads than a form that’s longer and contains more fields. It’s also a completely different color than the rest of the page, which creates contrast, making it easily noticeable. The same is true for the call-to-action. There’s no question about where the user needs to click after submitting his or her information.
What we don’t like:
Landing page images have the potential to boost conversions, but this one misses the mark. A stock photo like this one comes off as lazy and impersonal. If you can, try to get pictures of real clients using your product or service. Then use those images to tell a story that your prospects can relate to, or to guide your readers toward your call-to-action.
Points of exit
While we praised the page earlier for having no website navigation, we noticed the footer has links like “Sitemap” and “Attorneys: Join Our Network,” which serve as points of exit from the landing page.
Remember – your goal should be to remove all those exit points. Get rid of your footer, and don’t even link your logo to the homepage of your website. There should be no way for your prospect to leave your landing page other than by clicking your call-to-action button, the “back” button, or the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of their browser.
The testimonial used here is clearly a fake — and if it isn’t, then it’s the most fake-sounding real one we’ve ever read because it’s not attributed to any one person or organization. Fake testimonials have the ability to hurt your conversion rate as much as good ones have the ability to boost it. If you don’t have any reviews from customers, do yourself a favor and don’t make one up; all you’ll do is create distrust in the mind of your prospect.
Here’s another example from Gomez Trial Attorneys, one of the few law firms that directed me to a landing page instead of its homepage:
What we like about it:
When it comes to preventing users from abandoning your page, Gomez Trial Attorneys almost got it perfect. Almost. Here you’ll see this page isn’t connected to their navigation, which means the only way off the page are through the few links they’ve left scattered around the page.
Optimized for mobile
In numerous spots on the page, you’ll notice the firm’s phone number has been hyperlinked. That means when you reach this landing page on your mobile phone, you’ll be able to click those links to call the law office directly; and if you click those links on a desktop, you’ll be able to call using apps like Skype. It’s a great way to get mobile users to skip filling out the form altogether, and talk to a firm representative about their case.
You’ll see that there’s not much copy on the page, and it’s presented in a way that’s easily digested by the reader — with short paragraphs and bullet points. The first paragraph introduces the problem and creates urgency with the lines:
“If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, time is not on your side. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim on your injury.”
Below that, the firm relates to the frustrating process of trying to get help after a motorcycle accident with the line:
“You’re going through pain, your motorcycle needs repair, and the insurance company is probably trying to place you at fault.”
In the closing line, they highlight their experience by saying:
“We’ve helped hundreds of motorcyclists just like you get back on the road.”
Below that, the bullet points convey some valuable information, especially:
“No Fee Unless We Win Your Case”
A powerful guarantee like that could be enough to make a prospect choose your law firm over another.
Embedding a video is among the most powerful ways to boost conversions on your landing page (and that’s easy to do with our pro and premium accounts). A staggering 51% of marketers say it’s among the content mediums with the highest ROI. In addition to that, it gives the landing page a personal touch. Working with an attorney requires a lot of openness on the part of the client, so using video on law firm landing pages is a great way to establish comfort.
What we don’t like:
Points of exit
You’ll see that in the “Serving You Locally” section, they’ve tried to make it easier for prospects to locate their offices. Instead what it’s doing is making it easier for them to leave their landing page. There’s no need for the “View Map” links since the full address is already listed. If they want to visit your offices, prospects can plug the address into Google Maps or a GPS, or at worst, open up a new tab to see where you are located.
This call-to-action is boring and unremarkable. You should never use the word “submit” on your CTA button. Instead, try using powerful phrases to drive prospects to action, like “Get me the money I’m owed” or “Schedule my free consultation.”
We’re not so partial to the blue background on the upper half of the page. Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against experimenting with color, especially when it can boost conversions on your landing page. But in this case, the blue just makes the black text hard to read; and when the goal of your copy is to guide your reader to your CTA at the bottom, any friction like this has the potential to scare off your prospect.
Law firms may also consider using these on their landing pages:
1. Cases won – Cite examples of cases you’ve won to give the reader confidence in your ability to win theirs.
2. Professional certifications and affiliations – If you’ve been named to a prestigious list or belong to a well-known organization, display it on your landing page to establish more authority. Here’s a great example from the law offices of Robert Vaage:
3. Money earned – Give readers even more confidence in your ability to get them the money they feel they’re owed by sharing with them the money you’ve earned for other clients. Here’s another great example from the law offices of Robert Vaage:
4. Offer short whitepapers, guides, or checklists for people to download in exchange for their personal information. This portion of a landing page from the Herrera Law Firm is superfluous, but it would make a great digital asset for visitors to download:
How will you change your law firm’s marketing tactics in 2016?
A surprising 72% of firms don’t have a full-time in-house marketer on staff. That could mean that either law offices outsource their marketing to agencies, or they’ve discovered they can do it themselves for a fraction of the cost, and in half the time with software like Instapage.
After all, when you can create and launch landing pages in minutes, then seamlessly integrate them with services you already use (like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, Salesforce) without any technical knowledge, you won’t need a dedicated marketer to do it for you.
Is your law firm making the same changes to its marketing that many across the nation are? What channels have been most successful for your business? Let us know in the comments or make a smart decision and build a landing page for your marketing campaigns today!