Secrets of a powerful law firm web site

friday, 20 july of 2007

Secrets of a Powerful Law Firm Web Site

by Trey Ryder

When marketing legal services from your web site, you attract more clients and increase referrals when you provide information your prospects need. Here's how to design a web site that will improve your attorney marketing results.

Secret #1: Your web site should contain information that achieves the six essential elements for marketing success: Credibility. Differences. Interaction. Urgency. Commitment. Loyalty.

Secret #2: Your web site should be one place you display your entire marketing message. Your message should include:

(1) a powerful title,

(2) substantive content identifying your prospect's problem, proving it exists, identifying the solution, proving it works, and building yourself into the solution, 

(3) advice on how to hire a lawyer in the area of law you want to promote,

(4) a call to action spelling out the action you want your prospect to take,

(5) print articles that support your message,

(6) your photo and a detailed biography,

(7) articles you've written (published or not),

(8) results you have achieved or transactions you have completed for clients,

(9) testimonials from past clients (if permitted by your bar's rules of ethics),

(10) letters of recommendation from colleagues and professionals (if permitted by ethics rules),

(11) references by name, or an offer to provide them,

(12) a detailed list of services you offer,

(13) a services letter that explains to prospects how to hire your services,

(14) the many ways prospects benefit from hiring you,

(15) a list of your competitive advantages identifying how you differ from all other lawyers,

(16) a list of your prospect's objectives, which they can mark by priority and return to you by fax or e-mail, or bring them to their first meeting with you, and

(17) a written schedule of fees.

Secret #3: Your web site should contain in-depth information about the area(s) of law in which you want to attract clients. Each field of law needs its own marketing message. Make sure you provide enough educational information so your prospect concludes you are a respected authority in that field of law.

Secret #4: Your web site should answer every question your prospective client might ask. The more information you provide, the more comfortable your prospects feel. Don't worry about your message being too long. If prospects are genuinely interested in your services, they will read even a long message, providing the message is well written and relevant to their needs. Long marketing messages work, not because they're long, but because they're complete.

Secret #5: Your web site should offer reliable information that will involve prospects for long periods of time. You want prospects to see you as an authority. Also, you want them to see you as the only source of information they need. The more information you offer, the more prospects rely on you, trust you, and feel they know you.

Secret #6: Your web site should offer articles with attractive titles on your site's top level. Compelling titles seize your prospects' attention and draw them into your site. If you don't put these articles on the top level, your prospects might never see them because they might not navigate deeper into your site. So put articles on the top level where the titles will seize your prospects' attention immediately.

Secret #7: You should put "calls to action" at many points around your site. A call to action invites your prospect to contact you for one or many reasons. Put a call to action at the end of every article or page on your web site because that one article may be the only article your prospect has time to read.

Secret #8: Your web site should provide several reasons for prospects to interact with you through submit forms. You can use these forms to invite your prospect to (1) request articles not on your web site, (2) ask to be added to your mailing list, (3) request a copy of your seminar schedule, (4) ask you a question, (5) ask you to contact him, (6) request a case evaluation based on facts he sends, and so on.

Secret #9: Your web site should offer prospects many methods through which they can contact you. Some prospects prefer to make their first contact by e-mail. Others prefer the telephone. And yet others might prefer to send a fax. Make sure you offer prospects many ways to get in touch with you because you never know which method will most appeal to a particular prospect.

Secret #10: Your web site should project a dignified, professional image. Your web site projects an image, even if you don't want it to. Elements that affect your firm's image include your choice of colors, wallpaper textures, fonts, lines, designs and photographs. I encourage you to hire a professional designer who can help ensure that your web site projects the image you want.

Secret #11: For your convenience, your web site should need only minimal maintenance on an ongoing basis. If your web site requires heavy maintenance, you'll soon grow tired of the time commitment and cost. Design your web site so it requires only occasional updating of things such as seminar dates, recent issues of your newsletter, and so forth. Otherwise, your web site will become so much trouble that your staff will grow to resent it and you'll lose the many benefits it could provide.

Secret #12: Your web site should reach all of your audiences. Don't put information on your web site that appeals only to prospective clients. You can also post information that will appeal to current clients, referral sources, editors and even vendors. I have a link on my web site for editors and reporters. And while it doesn't generate a lot of traffic, occasionally an editor calls me in response to this information.

These attorney marketing secrets help you attract more genuine prospects to your web site -- and build the highest possible level of trust. These 12 techniques help you build a powerful web site that is highly effective at marketing legal services.

© Trey Ryder

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