Why Most Attorney Websites Suck
The Top 5 Mistakes Attorneys Make With Their Website
Every time an attorney becomes a member, we take a look at their website. We do this for a two reasons; 1) We want to check on your online marketing knowledge. 2) We like to see what mistakes people are making and how we can help. Each month, we see at least one website that is measurably awful.
The majority of website we look at all make the same mistakes. If your online marketing is under performing, take a look at the list below to see if you are making these errors with your website.
1. You only offer a “free consultation,” or no offer at all.
Most small businesses offer a “free consultation.” So much so that most website visitors ignore it completely. Think about the last time someone came into your office and said, “I saw that you offered free consultations and knew you were the attorney for me.” If this has happened at all, consider yourself lucky.
The only surefire way to make an impression is to offer something the visitor is not expecting. If most attorneys in your area are offering “free consultations,” do something different. Look up lead generation techniques and view the different options out there.
2. Your [INSERT TECH SAVVY RELATIVE OR FRIEND HERE] set up the website.
Unless your relative or friend is actually a web developer with years of experience setting up high performing websites for small businesses, then you wasted your time. Most people can start a WordPress website, but only a few understand internet marketing, SEO, and local online marketing.
Most of the time, the website set up by a friend looks bad, doesn’t perform in Google rankings, and has little chance of impressing your customers.
3. The only part of your website you focused on was the “hero image.”
We have had painful conversations with attorneys who are desperate for an opinion on their “hero image.” We try to tell them that it is not the most important thing on their website, but they insist that it is.
If you don’t know, a “hero image” usually refers to the large web banner on the home page. For attorneys, this image is typically a gavel, scales of justice, or the outside of a courthouse. Like the “free consultation,” that hero image usually doesn’t make an impression. So many attorneys select very common and forgettable images that do nothing for their conversions. Despite this, people will spend weeks deliberating the image.
The best “hero images” we have seen aren’t groups of attorneys standing back to back, or cityscapes, but pictures that really make the attorney stand out. One of our member, Brenda Geiger users a family picture on her website (GeigerLawOffice.com). This is certainly more personal and stands out in a sea of boring banner images.
4. Describing yourself with adjectives such as “aggressive” or “trustworthy.”
Those without a good marketing foundation often use phrases like “Professional, Aggressive, and Trustworthy.” Often, attorneys have to use vague terms like these because of bar restrictions on advertising. Those words make a weak headline. Most people expect a lawyer to be “aggressive.” Describing yourself in those terms doesn’t set you apart (Why wouldn’t you be? You want to win the case too!), it broadcasts that you are minimally good enough to take their case.
What you will learn is that a good headline is much more than just using adjectives to describe yourself or your law firm. Good headlines inspire the reader to take action. The first headline on your website is probably the most important, so take your time here. Don’t resort to those hammy phrases that don’t set you apart.
5. You are not using Google Analytics or some other tracking.
After marketing for so long, we are still surprised to hear that Google Analytics is a new idea for attorneys. If you already use it, good for you. If not, you should add it to your site right away. It is important to know the exact metrics for your website. A Great Legal Marketing, we encourage people to know their ROI. That means you should know where your next hour, or next dollar, will be spent and know that investment will make you money.
For example, if you don’t know the metrics of your website, you could find yourself investing a lot of time in a page that gets no traffic. Or, you could be neglecting to update your highest performing page! Most quality web developers will set your website up with Google Analytics. Even better, they will have Google Analytics embedded in the dashboard of your website.
For 5 more BIG mistakes that attorneys make with their websites, visit this page to get the exclusive report on online marketing for attorneys.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.