The best type of traffic to your website is a hot prospect—someone who is actively searching for the legal services you provide and ready to make a purchase decision immediately.
But the reality is that these visitors make up a small percentage of traffic to just about any website. More common is the visitor who is researching and exploring options, but isn’t ready to make a decision immediately. The problem is, even if the visitor likes what he or she sees, most of the time you won’t have any way of following up with them. This means that you are dependent on THEM to remember you and ultimately hire you when they are ready to make a decision.
But if you can capture their contact information and then begin to follow up with them, YOU maintain some level of control and can actively do your best to stay near the top of their mind when it’s time for them to make a decision.
How can you do this?
Most law firm websites aren’t built for the task. Most websites do a decent job of appealing to the visitor who is ready to make a hire immediately, by providing contact information and maybe offering a free consultation. But for the visitor who wants to learn more without committing to anything? There’s often nothing to appeal to them.
What should you do differently? The key is to give them what they want. Provide the information that they’re looking for. And do it in a way that establishes your expertise and credibility—so that when the prospect is finally ready to commit, you’re the person they think of. Specifically…
1) Help them educate themselves. No offense, but most potential clients on your website don’t care where you went to law school. They want practical information about their case or legal matter, not a glorified biography. So give it to them. One great way to do this is by creating a White Paper or Special Report that that they can download, which answers a common question or concern. (If you’re a tax attorney for example, a report entitled “Five Steps to Prepare for an IRS Audit” could work well.) Provide this content for free, but require an email address. This allows you to follow up with the individual later, and even if all you do is add them to your email newsletter distribution list, you’re now establishing regular touch-points which will help keep you on the potential client’s radar screen.
2) Create engaging blog and video content. Give visitors a reason to come back to your site. One great way to do this is by creating ongoing blog and video content. Blog regularly and provide practical answers and information for your target market. And consider an ongoing Video FAQ section as well. Video is generally even better than written content in terms of viewer engagement, so a regularly updated Video FAQ section can be a great way to keep visitors coming back to your website. Here’s an example from one of our clients.
3) Use ongoing marketing to stay “top of mind.” You’ve captured the prospect’s contact information. Now what? Continue to educate the prospect. Continue to establish your expertise, credibility, and value. Reach out from time to time to see whether the prospect is ready to commit. One great way to accomplish this is through email marketing. Monthly newsletters work well for this purpose. Social media is very effective too—if you can prompt the prospect to follow you on Twitter, ‘Like’ your page on Facebook, or connect on LinkedIn, you now have the opportunity to communicate on an ongoing basis. Remember, even though your ultimate goal is obviously to generate business, you want to focus on educating the prospect and demonstrating your value—NOT on sales. Too many overt sales pitches and the prospect will opt-out of your emails and tune you out on social media.
The majority of the traffic to your website consists of prospects that are unready to make a decision immediately. The question is… are you going to seize the opportunity to educate and engage the potential client? If not, chances are good that he or she is going to slip right through your fingers. Don’t let that happen!
Want to know more about how your website can help you grow your law firm? Click here for FREE access to an infographic we’ve created entitled “The Ingredients of a Great Law Firm Home Page.”