Arrow with the word strategyDay 12 has arrived. Let’s continue yesterday’s discussion of how lawyers can convert the website traffic you’re already getting. Today we’ll make sure you stop making a mistake common to attorneys – using your website traffic to help your competition. “I don’t help my competition with my website” is what you’re saying. You may very well be doing that. Let’s take a look at how.

When a client comes to your website, they are visiting a property you own and control. In other words, they are visiting a property on which you can present yourself as you wish to be seen. The longer you keep them on your website then the more likely they are to contact you (duh). In spite of this many lawyers have their websites littered with items that drive the user to another site. To make matters worse, these other sites often give the potential client access to view the competition.

Attorneys should remove various website mechanisms which drive clients to other websites

There are two common examples of attorneys driving clients away from a property owned and controlled by the attorney. Stop making both of these mistakes immediately.

First, take those damn “review badges” off your firm’s website today. I mean those badges that show your “10/10” rating on AVVO or the ones that highlight your reviews on sites like YP.com. Attorneys put these badges on their site to highlight good ratings and reviews, which makes sense until you think about it for two seconds. Someone coming to your website looking for an attorney is likely to click that widget showing your ratings and reviews. That click takes them to the site of whatever other widget (AVVO, YP, etc.). They’ve now left a property you control and guess what – the review page you sent them to contains a search box that allows them to search for other attorneys. They are also being exposed to the paid lawyer ads appearing right next to your review profile. The presence of the search box and those paid ads are encouraging your potential client to check out your competition. Studies have shown that people’s attention when viewing a page can shift in only one second and you have possibly just shifted the potential client’s attention to another lawyer.

You certainly want clients to see your good reviews and it helps to control which review sites they look at. You’ll find that after your home page, your “attorney bio” section will be one of the most highly trafficked pages on your site. This is because once people read the page pertaining to their situation, if they are considering whether or not to hire you, they may decide to read your bio page. These are really good leads; they’ve already invested time in reading not just one of your web pages but two. At the bottom of your bio page include links (not widgets) to those review sites we just mentioned and make sure these links open in a new window so they still have your page open. The person who has taken the time to look at two of your pages is more likely to look at your review, like what they see, and call because they are already focused on you. The review widgets I mentioned, by contrast, drive them off of your web property before they have had the opportunity to focus on you as an attorney. You’d be surprised at the difference this can make.

Second, stop linking to statutes, court decisions, etc. Potential clients want to hear things in layperson terms so those links don’t provide them any real value. More importantly, you’ve just driven them off of the site that you own and control again.

Keeping your clients on properties you own and control as long as possible is a key to converting more of those leads. Driving potential clients away from web properties you control is hurting your firm.

Day 12 action items for attorneys wishing to increase profits

I mentioned yesterday that lawyers often think they need more phone calls and spend money to get them. They can achieve these phone calls by simply leveraging the web traffic they’re already getting. If you’re driving clients off of your website then you are decreasing the likelihood that someone will call. Today’s action items are simple:

  1. Remove any rating/review badges from your website.
  2. Place links at the bottom of your bio page which say “Click here to view [Name] review on [whatever website]. Make sure this links opens into a new window.

Tomorrow we’ll make your firm more efficient which will greatly increase profits. The efficiency step we take will simultaneously improve customer service (news flash – attorneys are known for bad customer service) which will also increase referrals.