Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics That Land High-Quality Leads
As the legal market becomes more competitive year after year, conversion rate optimization becomes increasingly important. Gaining clients is difficult, cult. 27% of small and solo law firms claimed that gaining new clients was their greatest challenge, according to a survey of small and solo law firms conducted by the Thomson Reuters Solo and Small Law Firm group.
The most successful attorneys will be the ones who understand how to not only connect with the right prospects, but also nurture those relationships in order to convert prospects into leads and then clients.
If your law firm is struggling to do this or you’re merely looking for an extra edge on the competition, read on to discover effective conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies that successful law firms use to increase their caseload without spending a fortune. Then, implement them at your legal practice to build a more successful automated attorney marketing system.
An irresistible lead magnet or other educational material
Whether you’re a solo or large law firm, or anything in between, a lead magnet (a valuable piece of content offered in exchange for a prospect’s contact information) is one of the best ways to generate leads and improve conversion rate optimization.
A well-written lead magnet—such as an e-book or checklist—lends your law firm credibility and sets you apart from the competition. For instance, the Law Offices of John P. Rosenberg offers a lead magnet about claim mistakes that could sabotage a personal injury case. Compared to other legal practices in the space, which are offering only free blog articles, this book provided by the Law offices of John P. Rosenberg stands out from the crowd.
The benefits don’t stop at branding. This e-book acts as a comprehensive data source for prospective clients, providing key information that they need to make a decision about consulting a law firm. In other words, a great lead magnet like the piece above delivers incredible value while demonstrating your legal practice’s expertise.
How objectively successful are these pieces? A well-developed lead magnet with a dedicated landing page (a standalone webpage focused on convincing prospects to complete a specific task, such as opting into your email list or reaching out for a free consultation) can reach thousands of prospects—especially if it’s an evergreen piece that remains relevant for years.
Overall, consider lead magnets a necessary investment for your law firm marketing plan. When crafting yours, keep these best practices in mind:
- Focus on a specific, need-to-know topic that other law firms haven’t addressed or a common question or problem that you hear from clients.
- Think about what prospects would type into the Google search bar (e.g., “If I was hurt in a car accident, is the other person responsible for paying my medical bills?”) and write content specifically addressing that question.
- Look at what your competitors are producing… and then create content that is twice as good.
- Brian Dean of Backlinko popularized the skyscraper content technique, which involves creating long-form content pieces that easily outperform what is available in his space and then reaching out to influencers for backlinks in order to improve law firm SEO. Each of Backlinko’s guides typically receive hundreds or thousands of downloads in just weeks.
- Don’t skimp on content creation and design.
- It can be tempting to cut corners in order to save money or push a lead magnet out faster, but this strategy will most likely backfire. Contently reports that there are 16 million text messages sent every minute of the day and 3.5 million search queries typed into Google; unless your quality standards are high, prospects will simply move on and find another piece to download.
Tip: Don’t have time to craft your own lead magnet? Try the James Legal CRM (Client Relationship Management system), which comes with 100-page, specialty-specific books for your prospects.
If you decide not to develop a lead magnet, at the very least your law firm should be providing plenty of educational material to help prospects decide whether to reach out for legal assistance. This could be in the form of blog articles, FAQ guides, or similar content pieces.
For instance, Arnold & Itkin LLP provides a detailed common questions guide for their audience, offering video and written answers to prospects’ most frequently asked questions. Not only does this help prospective clients address their urgent concerns and learn about next steps, but it also enables Arnold & Itkin LLP to showcase their significant expertise. Who do you think prospects will call should they decide to reach out to a law firm?
Similar to event-triggered email, the aim of content personalization is to connect your prospects with material that is relevant and valuable to them, thereby increasing the odds that they will engage with your law firm and become clients. Although personalization is among the most difficult attorney CRO tactics to implement, it is also the second most effective strategy.
Make your life easier with a tool like the James Legal CRM, which comes loaded with branded and specialty-specific 100-page books to educate prospects in the information-gathering stage, extensive FAQ guides for on-the-fence contacts, and more. You’ll have access to the entire library of content so your law firm can send high-quality content anytime without dedicating hours and thousands of dollars to content development.
Integrate Psychological Triggers Into Landing Pages
Emotions tend to push people to make decisions far more often than logical decisions. Understanding these emotional situations and integrating appropriate psychological triggers to guide those emotions can significantly increase conversion rates and improve the performance of your law firm marketing.
For instance, loss aversion—the preference to avoid losses over valuing gains—can make people jump to act when they normally wouldn’t, such as switching to a cheaper cell phone plan to avoid losing money.
Promoting loss aversion on a landing page (a standalone website page that is dedicated to a single purpose like converting leads into clients) for a law firm specializing in Social Security Disability benefits can be as simple as editing a headline from “Get the benefits you deserve” to “Don’t lose the benefits you are owed.”
Utilize Heat Maps
A heat map is a visual tool that displays where website visitors look and click most often. In the three examples below, taken from Nielsen Norman Group, the red splotches indicate the most heavily read areas.
Source: Nielsen Norman Group
The Nielsen Norman Group found that across the board, most people read in an F-pattern, with most of the attention falling on the left side of the screen.
Take that to heart and place your most important website copy and content, such as convincing website copy or an email opt-in form, in the top left area of the page. It could help to convert more website visitors into leads.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
Experiment With Calls-to-Action
Your call to action is among the most important elements of your lawyer website because it strategically prompts viewers to become clients. Highlight your call to action by making the CTA button a vivid color that stands out from the background, using a Hello bar, banner, or pop-up on your homepage, or featuring small icons or images to draw the eye.
Speaking of calls to action… featuring the right CTAs on your lawyer marketing collateral can be the difference between landing a new client and letting that website visitor just slip away.
The best CTAs are simple and action-oriented, and showcase the benefits of taking advantage of what is being offered. For instance, a medical malpractice law firm could try:
- “Get your free case evaluation”
- “Don’t wait to get the help you deserve”
- “Yes, I want to talk to an experienced legal professional”
Great CTAs can also make attorney marketing emails, social media posts, and direct mail pieces more powerful.
Run A/B Split Tests
One of the best ways to improve your conversion rate and boost your law firm’s internet marketing is to run A/B split tests. The key to successfully split testing your website or marketing emails is to experiment with one small tweak at a time, to determine which change(s) most affect your conversion rate.
For instance, try featuring a different headline on your email opt-in form, or changing the pop-up box that appears once a website visitor has stayed on your homepage for 10 seconds. A/B split testing these elements consistently over time can discover what types of website copy or email subject lines most resonate with viewers and push them to convert.
Both the most effective and least difficult tactic, A/B split testing is a must-do attorney CRO tactic for all legal practices looking to improve their attorney marketing. If you’re unfamiliar, A/B testing involves changing one element of your website—say, the headline of a landing page that prompts visitors to download a free guide about Chapter 13 bankruptcy—in order to determine which changes result in greater conversion.
54% of respondents in Ascend2’s survey rated this as their most effective CRO tactic, and it’s no wonder—even altering something as simple as the size or color of a call to action button can have a huge impact on the number of people who convert from website visitors into prospects. For instance, one tech website found that replacing plain link texts with “download now” buttons decreased their conversion rate from 6%-80%, since their audience tended to mistrust big, colorful call to action buttons.
The lesson here for your law firm: don’t just sit back and relax after you’ve designed your attorney website and rolled out landing pages with tempting offers. Always strive to improve the way in which you communicate with your audience to not only better serve them, but also to continuously pump new business into the funnel.
Tip: New to split testing? Learn how to run an A/B test on your attorney website here.
Extend A Time-Sensitive Offer
Infomercials are great at time-sensitive offers. Phrases like “order within the next ten minutes and we’ll double your offer” instills a sense of urgency in consumers because they don’t want to lag and miss out on the deal being offered to them.
Do something similar with your lawyer website to improve your conversion rate. Try promotions such as “Today only: Call us at 888.888.8888 and we’ll send you a free copy of our popular bankruptcy FAQ guide.” You could also apply time-sensitive verbiage to other parts of your website like your calls to action.
Nurture Through Email
Many website visitors who have opted into your email list may be interested in your law firm yet not quite ready to sign that engagement agreement. This indecision could arise due to a variety of objections, such as:
- Concern about cost
- Lack of information about your law firm
That is why it is so important to focus on building a solid relationship and nurturing your leads until they are “sales-ready.” Email drip campaigns—sets of marketing emails sent out based on a specific timeline or recipient behavior—are an inexpensive and efficient way to build trust and interest in your law firm’s services in order to increase conversion rates and improve your attorney internet marketing.
A bankruptcy attorney could create a drip campaign similar to this sample from Salesforce:
An Email Nurturing Series To Follow The Lead Magnet
Sending the same email campaigns to your entire recipient list obviously doesn’t make sense—prospects who are debating whether to consult your law firm aren’t going to respond well to thank you emails aimed at past clients, for instance. Event-triggered emailing resolves this issue by automatically sending recipients targeted messages based on their behavior.
The James Legal CRM, for example, enables you to create a new prospect campaign that includes a welcome email, followed by a message containing an offer to access an educational piece of content such as a booklet about family law. If the recipient doesn’t open either email, they could be routed to a different campaign that includes a short quiz about divorce and family law, followed by a “welcome back” email geared toward cold contacts should they fail to open the third email as well.
This type of system ensures that each recipient receives messages that are relevant to them without your team having to spend time and money manually managing the process. And what do the experts say about event-triggered email? In Ascend2’s study, 33% of marketers believed this to be their most effective tactic and only 22% of people believed it to be their most difficult strategy. With that kind of support in the marketing world, law firms would be remiss to not try it.
After highly converting websites attract prospects using a lead magnet, they follow up with an email drip campaign. A drip campaign is an automated series of email messages sent out at predetermined intervals or when triggered by the recipient’s behavior, such as opening an email or clicking a link.
While there are several different types of email drip campaigns, one of the most powerful and common for law firms is a nurturing campaign designed to build relationships with new prospects and eventually convert them into clients.
Many leads coming to your law firm are not ready to sign a retainer agreement; they are simply looking for more information about how to resolve their problem—whether it be injuries after a car accident or an arrest for DUI. In fact, most people (88%) require at least 5 touchpoints before they are ready to commit to a decision. An email drip campaign ensures that these touchpoints automatically happen so you’re continuing to engage leads without having to manually manage the process.
The email drip campaigns included in the James Legal CRM are specialty-specific and designed to nurture leads into clients. Various sequences exist for prospects who:
- Haven’t called to set an appointment
- Have called but didn’t book an appointment
- Missed their appointment
An educational drip email campaign plus automated reminders, through the James Legal CRM designed for attorneys
With these customized streams, your prospects always receive email messages that are tailored to their specific situation and stage in the marketing/sales funnel. Personalization can significantly increase your odds of converting prospects into clients; research has determined that prospects who believe content to be tailored to their unique needs are 40% more willing to move forward than when they receive generic information.
Leverage drip marketing campaigns, especially those provided by the James Legal CRM, to more specifically address prospects’ needs and convince them to work with your law firm over the competition. In addition to drip email campaigns, the James Legal CRM library also includes supplementary pieces like:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM) software to automatically generate positive reviews for your law firm and “park” damaging or untrue testimonials
- 100-page books that are branded with your law firm’s name and logo
- Flyers, brochures, and guides
- An automated follow-up strategy that integrates email marketing and telephone follow-up
Try the James Legal CRM now and get access to our extensive marketing library! And for more information on nurturing sequences, check out our email drip campaign guide for attorneys.
Accurate, Relevant, And Enticing Page Titles
Page titles have the biggest influence on whether a potential client clicks on your page or a competitor’s page.
Unfortunately, most lawyers and their marketing teams create page titles that may be SEO-friendly but do not stand out from the competition. You can boil down most lawyer page titles to a simple formula: + + . For example:
Not only is the title truncated, but it’s not compelling in any way. It is keyworded for Google, but there’s nothing to distinguish this lawyer from the sea of other personal injury lawyers in San Francisco.
Now take a look at this page title, also drawn from San Francisco listings:
This title isn’t truncated, meaning there isn’t any valuable copy wasted, and it manages to incorporate both the location, the type of law and a compelling reason to consider this lawyer’s services over the others. Those attributes make this title accurate, relevant and enticing.
Conversion-Focused Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions, which consist of the black text found below Google’s blue page titles, are rarely used well. Most consider the meta description to be an afterthought. Some marketers will throw in the keyword once, and many won’t bother altering the words Google automatically chooses.
A good meta description elaborates on the page title, incorporates the targeted keywords, and appeal’s to the prospect’s curiosity, search for answers, or need for authoritative guidance. Note the appeal of the black text in this example:
Meta descriptions can also be used to prequalify the visitors who come to your site. If you work with only certain types of cases or clients you can use this space to ensure that only qualified traffic is coming to your site.
Do not simply list the types of cases you handle. That approach will not distinguish your listing from its competitors.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
Stand Out With Rich Snippets
This is an advanced method and is rarely used by law firms. That means it will be easy for your firm to stand out.
Rich snippets are the features that Google adds to your listing beyond the standard title, link, and description. One of the most common is the reviews/rating rich snippet:
Since most lawyers haven’t integrated rich snippets, your firm can in most cases be the only one with ratings displayed. For example, in a search for New York Personal Injury Lawyer, only one law firm in the first 5 pages shows a review:
Because law firms so rarely take advantage of these 3 techniques, it is easy to set yourself apart from your competition on Google’s listing pages. We hope you do.
A Key Differentiator
With so many legal practices to choose from, failing to differentiate yourself from the competition is a surefire way to miss out on business. The top attorney websites showcase their differentiators front and center to ensure that prospects realize their value. For instance, the homepage of The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj (designed by Optimized Attorney) mentions that Mr. Faraj has been rated 10/10 on Avvo as a lawyer, leveraging social proof to imply that he delivers unparalleled service.
Additionally, the website also showcases two other differentiators: that Mr. Faraj is a former Marine and that he possesses more than 25 years of legal and professional experience. All of these elements combined help Mr. Faraj differentiate himself from other attorneys within the niche and local area, and therefore, gain a competitive advantage. He then leverages this competitive advantage into greater conversion rate optimization with a bright call to action button underneath the headlines, which drives website visitors to contact his legal practice for a consultation.
Do something similar for your law firm. If you’re having trouble identifying or expressing your law firm’s differentiator, consider asking your clients:
- Why did you decide to work with us?
- What is your favorite part of working with our law firm?
- Have you utilized other attorneys before? If so, how does your experience with our legal practice differ?
Speak to as many clients as possible and analyze the feedback for patterns. Once you have identified your differentiators, integrate them into all of your branding and marketing materials. Ideally, these selling points should be a part of your tagline or elevator pitch to clients, such as “Work with an attorney rated 10/10 on Avvo” in the example above.
Tip: If you don’t have a superb attorney website that showcases your key differentiator, it’s time for a change. Optimized Attorney designed the website for The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj and we can help you stand out from the crowd as well. Contact us today to learn more about our affordable services!
Responsive design was rated the third most effective CRO technique and the second easiest by survey respondents, making it one of the most optimal strategies behind A/B split testing. This tactic focuses on optimizing sites to address each user’s specific needs, such as accommodating images and layouts for someone browsing from a mobile device versus a laptop. Today, with people spending 71% of their online time browsing from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, responsive design is incredibly necessary for law firms of all sizes.
Slight design improvements to your lawyer website can make a world of difference. Changing the homepage background and font color, for instance, can make your content more readable to visitors and increase the average length of time spent on your website.
Focus on implementing small aesthetic improvements. Clean up your website layout (especially above the fold) by removing any clutter, ensuring that the color palette is pleasing to the eye, and including short, digestible phrases and striking images.
If your legal practice needs to improve the user experience of your attorney website and online content, reach out to Optimized Attorney & Client Tech for a sophisticated, responsive, and affordable new legal website.
Build Trust With Testimonials And Photos
People only work with whom they trust, especially in the legal industry. Start building trust with viewers from the get-go by featuring testimonials on your lawyer website, perhaps within a rotating sidebar on your homepage that leads to a separate testimonials page. Other rapport-building options to consider:
- Logos and explanations of legal industry and local awards you’ve earned
- Excerpts from publications your firm has been featured in, with links to the full articles
- Social media icons leading to your pages: Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Twitter, etc.
- Touching videos and stories from people that you’ve helped (with their permission)
- Names of major clients you’ve represented (with their permission)
As mentioned in tip #2 above, building trust with leads is paramount. If contacts don’t trust your law firm, they will never work with you. The best law firms know this to be true and in response, integrate trust-building elements onto their websites in order to help form a connection with site visitors.
W3IP Law, for example, leverages both client testimonials and upfront pricing to build rapport with website visitors.
Overall, positive online reviews like the testimonials above are a great way to build trust with your audience. 92% of your prospects already read online reviews to help them make an informed decision, which means that you have the opportunity to impress and build rapport.
How does increased rapport affect business? Loren Etengoff, a personal injury attorney who used the James Online Reputation Management (ORM) tool to create a library of positive online reviews, has more than doubled his caseload and claims that 90% of his new clients say they consulted him due to his strong testimonials.
On the other hand, leaving even just a handful of negative reviews where prospects can see them can significantly damage your reputation and the chances that a prospect will contact your law firm. Ensure that you’re building trust rather than scaring away prospects—try the James ORM tool to generate positive reviews and then feature these testimonials on your website in order to increase conversions.
Social proof in the form on positive online reviews can significantly increase both the number of promising leads coming into your law firm and the percentage of leads that convert into clients.
One Optimized Attorney client, Loren Etengoff of Vancouver, Washington, used the online reputation management tool included in the James Legal CRM (client relationship management system) to automatically gather positive reviews. Mr. Etengoff more than doubled his caseload, and 90% of his clients say that they contacted him because of the positive reviews they found online.
Law firms can also use the online reputation management system to “park” negative reviews before they hit the internet, limiting the reach of damaging social proof.
A positive online reputation can mean more leads and more clients.
Multiple Easy Ways To Connect
The best attorney websites don’t make visitors jump through hoops or keep them guessing. Ensuring your prospects can easily contact your law firm will improve website user experience and conversion rate optimization. You can facilitate contact through various channels such as:
- Online form
- Snail mail
- Live chat
- In person
- Via social media
Brylak Law, a client of Optimized Attorney, features three ways to easily contact his legal practice right on the homepage: an online form, a phone number, and a live chat feature.
No matter which method that Mr. Brylak’s prospects prefer, they can easily connect with his legal practice—this is an effective method of conversion rate optimization and ensuring that prospects don’t leave the website frustrated.
Implement Live Chat
Website visitors, though they may have questions about your services, won’t necessarily make the effort to pick up the phone and call for answers. Implementing live chat on your lawyer website can provide a fast, unintimidating option for web visitors to propose questions or address concerns.
This can not only increase satisfaction regarding your firm’s responsiveness and communication but also connect your attorney team to warm prospects it may not have otherwise found, boosting your odds of conversion.
Live chat is a powerful marketing tool that can benefit the bottom line of any business—law firms included. The service can initiate communication between a potential client and your firm, weed out visitors who don’t match the legal services you provide before an exhaustive amount of time is spent on both ends, and accommodate visitors in real-time who don’t want to fill out an evaluation form, or wait for a voicemail to be returned.
The ways are many, but here are a few key avenues live chat integration can increase conversion rates for your firm.
1. Usage Incentives
Companies often offer incentives to visitors who log on to their live chat, such as free gifts and promotional items (We do! Check out our live chat package for law firms here). This can benefit your business in two ways. First, you’ll increase your Live Chat usage because visitors who receive a free, quality gift will likely forward this promotion on to others. Secondly, if someone claims a free gift, especially if it’s a valuable one, they’re more likely to seek out your legal services.
2. The Right Place at the Right Time
Live chat is a 24/7 support application that’s installed right onto your website, so visitors can contact your firm using an instant messaging chat window at any hour of the day or night. Having this constant window of contact can mean the difference between a visitor who bounces from your site, or converts from it.
TIP: The best location for a live chat button on your website is at the top of your home page near a call-to-action prompt. This lets visitors know that they have a choice of calling your firm, using the contact form, or using Live Chat. This in itself is good for conversion rates, as it gives a potential client a choice of contact that is most convenient for them.
3. Live Chat Can Boost SEO
Live chat software can save records of visitors’ chats, and collect buzzwords and popular keyword phrases that your firm can use to boost lawyer SEO. Other analytics you can gather from live chat include visitor tracking (first time visitor or repeat), how long a visitor stays on your site, and location of said visitor (local or national).
4. Convey an Accommodating and Progressive Presence
Live chat not only conveys that your firm can accommodate your clients on a 24/7 basis, but that your firm is progressive, and stays up-to-date with tech-savvy programs. This is important to demonstrate even among clients who aren’t technologically savvy themselves. Why? Because your firm will appear advanced and more in-the-know than other firms who don’t offer such digital options.
Our Live Chat Product Can Make a Difference!
We provide comprehensive live chat services for attorney websites at a fraction of the cost of our competitors. For more information on how our live chat product can increase your firm’s conversion efforts, get a hold of one of our legal marketing experts today.
The Secret to CRO: Qualifying Leads and Segregating Your List
An effective CRO strategy involves more than the tactics listed above. In reality, your law firm’s conversion rate optimzation also largely depends upon focusing on the right leads that can transform into the right clients. These are the people who have the means, situation, and intention to become a good client.
Homing in on these promising leads and not wasting time on weak prospects can exponentially benefit your law firm. So how do you ensure that you’re on the right path? By qualifying leads.
If you can get a lead on the phone or converse with them online (via live chat after they ask a question, for instance), use the time to ask qualifying questions or gather information that can determine whether they are a good fit for your law firm.
- Consider your ideal client profile—do they match?
- Does their problem align with your service offerings?
- Do they have the means to afford your services?
- What is their timeline?
- Are they merely interested or do they intend to pursue their case?
- Have they consulted other attorneys regarding their case?
The more information you can source, the easier it will be to segregate them into the right category of leads (hot, warm, or cold). Then, you’re able to focus the majority of your efforts on quickly converting the hot prospects for a larger caseload of the right clients, and greater business success.
3 Common Legal Marketing Mistakes That Could Be Killing Your Lead Conversion Rate
Lead conversion can be a law firm’s best friend… and worst enemy. A high lead conversion rate means consistent new business routing to your practice while a low conversion percentage leaves you struggling to put new clients on the books.
It does not have to eat up substantial time or money—the truth of the matter is that your law firm’s lead conversion strategy can be simple yet effective. Just avoid these common legal marketing mistakes that could be killing your law firm’s lead conversion rate!
Mistake #1: Presenting the Same Marketing Material to All Leads
Even if your firm only sells one service—let’s say it is legal assistance with personal injury cases—that does not mean that all leads coming into your practice will respond to the same type of communication. This might be due to several reasons:
- They occupy different states in the sales cycle—some have done their research and are ready to start working with your bankruptcy firm while others are unsure about filing bankruptcy (either because they are wary of consulting an attorney or unaware of what your firm can do for them, for example).
- Each lead has a different personality and way in which they prefer to receive communication. For instance, one lead might like to receive a more casual email inquiry about a free consultation while another lead would prefer a professional phone call.
The lesson here is that failing to customize your legal marketing strategy and content per lead results in failed lead conversion. Customization may take more time and effort on the front end but it can also lead to a much greater payoff than generic marketing campaigns.
Mistake #2: Hiding Your Most Appealing Offers and Promotions
If you have found that marketing emails containing an offer for a free white paper consistently receive a great response, take note and prominently feature that offer on other platforms as well. Place a large banner on your website so that it immediately catches visitors’ attention or include that offer in a pop-up box containing an email form field.
If you can trade something of value for a prospect’s email address and more information about them, such as what types of legal services they might be interested in and whether they’ve consulted on their case with a law firm in the past, then your firm’s legal marketing and lead conversion strategies are on the right track.
Mistake #3: Not Doing Your Research
A huge portion of lead conversion involves analyzing data: what prospects are clicking on, which email campaigns receive the highest open and click through rates and which result in the greatest unsubscribe rates, the types of keyword phrases being searched most often on Google, when your website receives the greatest amount of traffic, etc. Use tools such as Google Analytics and email marketing analytics programs to do your due diligence, and put your law firm on track toward turning leads into clients.
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