Every business needs to create opportunities in order to grow. And in order to succeed, law firms need clients to represent.
Legal practices face the never-ending task of generating fresh leads, diverting at least part of their energy into marketing and business development.
A thriving law firm in a niche practice area might already have a solid lead nurture campaign in place, ensuring a steady stream of new cases, but there are many practice areas that require a continuous effort to generate leads.
So how do you ensure that the leads you’ve worked hard to cultivate online actually convert into meaningful results for your firm?
Attracting the right type of leads is vital for any lead generation strategy.
You don’t just want any old enquiry, you want the right kind of enquiry. One where the user has the intent to become a paying client and you’re likely to make a profit.
You need to establish what the right type of lead looks like through your business’s ‘onboarding process’ and try to get as much information about a potential client up front, to save wasting time following up with them.
Your law firm’s website should be a lead generation machine and your best source of new business. But to feed that machine, it needs to be ‘conversion optimised’ to ensure the right type of clients are making enquiries and engaging your legal services.
Firstly, you need to structure your website in such a way that visitors can find the information that they are looking for, and search engines can see a clear relationship between pages.
For example, you may have a section on family law with a parent page that then links off to a series of child pages:
You’ll want to make your most popular content the most linked-to on your website to help visitors find it and also tell Google and other search engines that it’s important.
Across all channels, the legal sector on average tends to see a 2.6% conversion rate for inbound calls and form submissions.
Using Google Ads to get more visitors to your site is the conversion-rich tactic of choice for many legal firms, and it’s a great way of getting your practice in front of potential clients, quickly.
This pay-per-click (PPC) method means you pay every time somebody clicks (or views) one of your ads, and you can also show ads across the Google Search, display and YouTube networks.
It’s an effective way of bringing visitors to your site, rather than relying on them all coming from organic search results.
The value of these clients could potentially be enormous, and year after year, law firm-related keywords are ranked among the most expensive keywords searched for in Google.
Keywords that are heavily location-based create very strong regional competition, and this can drive up the cost per click (CPC) significantly.
Once you understand what your clients are looking for in search engines like Google and created relevant ads that show how you can help, you’ll also need to invest in high-converting landing pages to help funnel users into taking the required next steps to become a qualified lead.
This approach requires a balance of healthy on-page SEO, backlinks and quality content.
If campaigns are not set up well, firms can spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on clicks to drive users to an unoptimised site, only to have them quickly leave without converting.
Great law firm landing pages help visitors solve problems quickly.
They let them know that they’re in the right place, providing valuable content and encouraging them to make an enquiry via optimised enquiry forms or clear contact details.
Landing pages with high conversion rates have:
Clear contact details, including a mobile ‘click to call’ option or an easy-to-complete form
Supporting images or text
Your site should, of course, have plenty of useful content. Successful legal firm websites generally have two main types:
Service pages that demonstrate how your business can help clients overcome a legal issue
Blog or news sections that serve as entry points from search engines and answer questions about a specific issue or aspect of the law.
You should write content for your website that’s user-centric and answers questions that your potential clients are already asking in search engines.
Your content needs to be more valuable than competing search engine results – for example it might be longer and may have more valuable, up-to-date statistics.
In order to increase conversions, all of your content needs to be well-structured with clear, concise sections that allow both users and search engines to understand what it’s about.
Having a well-designed mobile version of your site is a vital for conversion rates.
As of May 2022, 58.26% of all web traffic came through mobile phones, so when you’re looking at how users interact with your site, you need to be considering the mobile version first.
It should be well laid out so that users can find information and easily make an enquiry.
Speed is also very important and has become a major ranking and conversion factor. You can see how Google views your mobile page speed here using the Google page speed tester.
One of the most effective ways to increase site traffic is to utilise your firm’s social channels, either by regularly posting compelling content or by taking advantage of social media advertising.
Channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram can all help potential clients to make a decision, and by advertising here you can take advantage of the various platforms’ user demographic data to target ads appropriately.
Social campaigns can be specifically targeted too. For example, a recent successful campaign on Facebook targeted men and women over 40, within 15 miles of a firm’s location. The advert was for pre-nuptial agreements.
Because of the increasing specificity of demographic targeting that’s possible, social media ad campaigns are becoming an increasingly important way of driving traffic to legal practice websites.
Remarketing allows you to show ads to potential customers who have previously engaged with your website or social media channels.
Thanks to cookies, you’ll have probably seen remarketing ads across Google, YouTube and the Google display network whilst browsing.
For example, if somebody has visited your property conveyancing page, but not made an enquiry or requested a quote, you can then serve them relevant ads that they’ll see when they’re browsing elsewhere on the internet.
This high-visibility technique increases the chances that they’ll visit your site again, and if it’s been optimised, ultimately convert.
Reviews are another vital way of convincing potential clients to visit your site with confidence, and choose your practice.
Customer reviews can appear on your ‘Google My Business’ page, or you could use third-party sites such as Trustpilot, Feefo or yell.com.
You can then use positive reviews in your marketing materials, for example highlighting how many five-star reviews you have and using quotes and testimonials across your website.
Many other organisations use email marketing to successfully generate leads – and law firms can too.
While this may not be appropriate for certain legal sectors, it can be very effective in areas such as HR or commercial law.
One tried and tested approach is to give away free guides, thought leadership pieces and authoritative content in exchange for a user’s email address, allowing you to build email lists and regularly follow up with those who sign up.
This will also help you stay at the forefront of their minds when potential clients need your legal expertise.
If you don’t know what’s working well with your marketing and your website, and what’s not quite hitting the mark, how will you know where to invest your time and money?
By using Google Analytics, you can measure how many enquiries you’re getting, where they came from, and where potential clients dropped off in your sales funnel.
Then by investing more time and money in the channels and methods that work for you, you’ll see higher conversion rates and better results for your firm overall.
Ascensor are an award-winning digital agency based in Leeds.
If you need more advice on how to focus on conversions and results, we’ve got a proven track record of helping legal practices get more from their digital assets.