Is your website’s homepage modern and professional looking, but not very good at attracting new clients? If so, there’s no need to panic. There are several ways to go about making your homepage more attractive to new leads, that don’t involve a complete design overhaul. In this post, we’ll share some helpful legal marketing tips from our friends Matt Peschong of Mankato Web Design and Rodney Warner of the 3 Bald Guys Talk Marketing podcast.
When we recently reached out to Matt Peschong, he broke down for us four of the primary reasons his team at Mankato Web Design sees law firm homepages struggle to convert new lead opportunities.
Homepage Title Tags Aren’t Being Used Correctly
For those unfamiliar with the term, a title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages as the clickable headline for a given result, and are meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. According to Peschong, general practice firms tend to have a hard time gearing title tags toward their target audience.
“A general practice firm with their homepage will often try to stuff as many practice areas as possible into their homepage title tag, in order to not upset partners within the firm who practice various areas of law,” Peschong said. “Unfortunately, Google limits how many characters your homepage title tag will display and if your firm practices 20 different areas of law, you’re simply not able to cram them all into the title tag for the homepage (or even the description tag). Generally, you would appeal to your local market by including your geographic area and the name of your firm only. Maybe a tagline or slogan as well. But keep it short and simple.”
Law Firms Are Relying On Cliches Rather Than Showcasing Value
When introducing people to your firm via your homepage website, you’ll need to find a way to make your firm see trustworthy, without using tired and overused braggadocious language. Prominently featuring uninspired content will almost always result in uninspired site visitors.
“How often do we read that a lawyer or law firm is the most respected, aggressive, experienced?,” Peschong said. “Almost always. It gets tiring to hear lawyers say these things, thinking that they are true. What makes your firm different should be more concrete than this. You should educate your customers and show your success. Rather than telling them you’re the best, showcase your case results, awards, speaking engagements, leadership positions and any other successes on your homepage. Even if there’s not enough room to cram it all in, add these items to prominent places on your main banner for the first 3 second impression of your firm.”
Site Visitors Are Being Scared Away By Legal Jargon
Attorneys need to remember that the legal language they use with colleagues on an everyday basis, is not a universal one. If your website’s homepage is heavy on legal jargon, you’ll likely be light on new client opportunities.
“Nothing turns off a visitor to your website more quickly than bulky boring paragraphs filled with legalese,” Peschong said. “If you want to have your website visitors read your website and take action, write your copy as if you were speaking to a complete novice. Otherwise, they’ll probably be too scared to even pick up the phone. Remember, you’re the lawyer and they’re the client, so keep it simple and make them feel comfortable. Lawyers are scary enough without having to read legalese.”
There Isn’t Enough Focus On The Customer’s Needs
As a lawyer, you should have a strong awareness of the types of problems your target client is dealing with, and the questions they’re asking on an everyday basis. If your law firm homepage isn’t prominently featuring solutions to those problems and questions, it may be time to rethink your content layout.
“Although it’s a good idea to showcase your success remember that your potential clients came to you looking for answers,” Peschong said. “They have a problem, and need a solution. Your website text should focus on the needs of your visitors by providing helpful information and resources. Don’t always be afraid of ‘giving away too much’ and thinking that a website visitor will try to handle the law in their own hands. You include a legal disclaimer for this very reason.”
The Homepage Is Too Difficult To Navigate
Rodney Warner, a marketing professional who has worked on law firm websites all across North America, has noticed that many attorneys are struggling to make their homepages easy to use, and notes poor usability could be a significant culprit for a website failing to convert new leads.
“The homepage is the gateway to the website, it’s like a door,” Warner said. “If you can’t figure out how to open it, you’ll walk down the street to open another. Does the home page have on it, or does it provide easy access to the information website visitors want most? People aren’t going to spend 30 seconds scrolling down a web page looking for something. You might get five to ten seconds of someone’s attention. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they are gone.”