In a bid to grow their businesses and attract more customers, many business owners, including lawyers, often focus a lot of attention on the amount of traffic their website gets. For businesses that have a local brick and mortar presence, and/or are more heavily geared towards serving a local audience, this is sadly a wrong approach to take. Reason being that, for a business that serves more of a local audience, simply getting an increase of visitors to your website is really no guarantee of that audience turning into actual clients.
In order for a website to stand a chance of turning a visitor into a lead or a customer, two elements must be present.
They are: The website traffic must be targeted, and there must be the ability to convert that targeted website visitor. Only when these two elements- targeted or relevant visitor and conversion capability- are present, can this increased traffic lead to an increase in leads or clients.
Who is a Targeted Visitor?
A targeted (or relevant) website visitor is someone who arrives at a website and who is actively looking for, or is in some way, shape or form interested in the products, services or information offered on that website. To that end, simply getting an increase in website traffic will often provide no real value to that website or business, if these website visitors are not necessarily looking for or interested in what the website has to offer.
In the case of a lawyer or law firm, a targeted website visitor is much more likely to be someone who is either looking to retain the services of an attorney or law firm, or is looking for information regarding a potential legal issue they may be facing. These are the kinds of website visitors who are much more likely to potentially tun into a lead.
On the flip side of that coin, is the ability to convert that targeted website visitor into an actual lead and/or client.
What is Website Conversion?
Website conversion, particularly in the case of a attorney or law firm, refers to the ability to convert a website visitor into a lead. And going one step further, converting that lead into an actual paying client.
Broadly speaking, and as previously stated, there will usually be two categories of targeted website visitors, those who are actively seeking to retain, or at least speak to a lawyer regarding a legal issue they are facing; and those who are only looking for information about a legal problem they have or might potentially have in the future.
The definition of conversion therefore, within these two contexts, will vary slightly. Converting a web visitor who is actively looking to speak to, or retain the services of a law firm will involve getting that visitor to actually call, email in, or fill out the contact form on the website. Conversely, in the case of the visitor who is looking for general information, conversion might involve any one of several actions that the business or website owner might have previously defined, such as getting them to click on a specific link within a piece of content, getting them to share the piece of content on social media, subscribing to a newsletter or opting to receive a free download such as an e-book, initiating a chat session on live chat, among others.
Only when one or both of these two elements are present, will it actually be very beneficial to a website or business to get an increase in traffic, as this increased traffic will often have a higher possibility of turning into leads.
The absence of one or both of these two elements in the face of increased website traffic will mean things like the increased web traffic being people who just happen to stumble on your website but have no interest whatsoever in what the website is about, or it might be people who actually need the services of a lawyer, but they are in a far off location and at such it will make no sense to engage a lawyer who is so far away from where the individual is located. E.g. in another locality, state or country. Yet another scenario being that the website visitor might indeed be looking to hire or speak to a lawyer, but the law firm in question does not practice the particular area of law that the individual is concerned with.
Having said that, here are some general reasons, after taking into consideration the two above elements, why an increase in website traffic may not necessarily lead to an increase in sales leads.
Use of generic/non-targeted keywords on website
People use specific keywords when using search engines like Google and Bing to find specific information they are looking for. It is the presence of these words on your website, among other things, that will then lead a search engine to include your website in the search results presented to the searcher.
Obviously, the absence of these keywords will mean that your website may not be presented to the searcher. And even in cases where it is presented to the searcher, and the searcher does indeed visit your website, but the website does not address the concern of the searcher, or is not relevant to what they are looking for, then there is absolutely no chance of them turning into a lead.
So for a practical example, if a personal injury attorney targets or ranks for keywords like “looking for a lawyer” and “searching for an attorney”, they might definitely receive a lot of visitors who are looking for a lawyer, but chances are many of those people might be looking for a business attorney, a divorce or family lawyer, a litigation lawyer, or any other type of lawyer besides a personal injury attorney. You know why? There are numerous legal fields and all the people looking for a lawyer for different reasons will hit your website. Unfortunately, only a very small fraction of this traffic might be interested in a personal injury attorney.
No clear call to action
Another reason why an increase in your website’s traffic may not lead to increase in leads is when the existence of great content on your web pages is not followed up with a clear call to action, or placing such call-to-actions or in places that are places. Many potential leads may not know what to do after reading a piece of content that has been helpful to them. A good call to action more often than not can lead them to take a desired action, such as giving you a call, subscribing to a newsletter, sharing a piece of content, and more.
Poorly written content
There is a famous adage within the SEO world that says “content is king.” The reason behind this adage is because content or information is the number one thing that people go online to look for. Likewise, it is this same content, and a properly written one at that, that will convince a search engine to serve your website to a web searcher. Lastly, it is this same properly and engaging content that will convince a web visitor to take a desirable action on your website.
To this end, a poorly designed website, or one that has poorly written content, is more likely to drive a site visitor away, than to keep them long enough to be able to turned into a lead. It is for this reason why any and all pieces of content on your website must be properly written, compelling, informative, engaging and easy to understand.
As a lawyer, it is a great idea to list out your achievements but you also need to tie them to benefits for potential clients. Saying you have 10 years’ experience may not be so attractive. Rather, tie your years of experience to your win-loss ratio. That is more beneficial to clients. Brevity, precision, and conciseness are also important too.
Availability of little or no trust elicitor on web pages
Unless you have become a household name, people will generally not trust you enough to pay for your legal services except you convince them. There are several things you can do to convince someone to trust you enough to want to give you their business, a few of such things are using trust badges on your website, such as a BBB badge, Good Business Commission or a Trust Guard badge. Other things include having actual customer reviews visible to new visitors, awards and recognitions received from known organizations, clients worked with and testimonials from such clients, among others.
Not localizing content
A retail store can ship products to different parts of the world so buyers do not always necessarily consider the location of the store before they order from them. However, it does not work that way with lawyers or other local services. More often than not, only people that reside in your state, and more likely those who are in relatively close proximity to your office will likely want to user your services.
So it is imperative that you ensure that your marketing or advertising campaigns, as well as the message of your website is largely targeted at local residents of the state you operate from. While it is not impossible that you will sometimes get out-of-state business inquiries from, these are very likely to be very few and far between.
This idea of localizing your content and marketing campaigns for the most part speaks to local SEO for which the widely successful product by Google product, called Google My Business, and the less popular Bing Places for Business was built.
Fixing and avoiding all these mistakes, in addition to doing other things like proper SEO for your lawyer website, will not only get your website to potentially increase its traffic, but just as importantly make sure that this traffic is highly targeted and is more likely to turn into leads, which is exactly how your business is likely to grow.