I was served a good ad the other day. It was well-targeted and for a product I had been considering purchasing, although I had never heard of the specific brand the ad was for.
Putting aside questions about how they had acquired my data, I thought, “Well done brand, I am interested, let’s see what you have to offer.” And I took the bait.
When I landed on the site — and this is a promotional landing page — I was greeted with a message telling me there were three simple steps to exploring the product. One of the steps involved downloading a Chrome extension. And that was the end of that relationship.
I was a bit disappointed; I had genuinely wanted to know more. However, asking a visitor to install an extension creates a huge barrier to entry. Why would anyone at their company have thought that was a good idea?
The experience got me thinking about conversion optimization and how decisions get made to implement features that ultimately that make it more difficult for visitors to become clients. Many of the things that become conversion blockers stem from thinking about what you need from the visitor rather than thinking about what they need from you.
Some barriers are obvious, like those in my experience, while others may be more subtle, like poor wording on calls to action. Here are five ways you can make it easier for your website visitors to contact you.
1. Offer multiple ways for visitors to contact your law firm
People have different preferences as to how they reach out to an attorney. Some may insist on talking on the phone while others might find the concept of that initial call intimidating. Age and temperament both play a factor. For example, younger people are more likely to send a text than talk on the phone.
Because you cannot predict every visitor’s predilections, your law firm's website should provide several different ways for a visitor to reach out so that contacting you is comfortable for everyone. This includes showcasing a phone number as well as a simple contact form, text and live chat options.
2. Create individual location pages
If your firm has multiple offices, each office should have its own page on your website with contact information, a form and an embedded map. This both helps people find your firm through search and makes it clear to them that they are speaking to someone at the correct location. People often make choices based on convenience, so it should be obvious that you have a location near them. Remember, there is a right and wrong way to create location-based pages on your site.
3. Optimize your Google Business Profile
Google allows law firms to set up a free Business Profile that helps them manage their digital existence and reach local clients. A well-managed Google Business Profile is critical to a successful location-based SEO strategy.
Google offers detailed tips about profile optimization, but at its most basic, an optimized Google Business Profile contains as much information as possible. This includes fundamental information like your law firm name, logo, address and phone number as well as supplemental items like photos, reviews and hours.
This helps with your law firm's local SEO efforts and gives potential clients another way to contact you. Make sure you utilize all of Google Business's offered methods of contact. For example, it's not just about phone calls. You can enable chat using Google Business Messages.
4. Set expectations for what will happen once a visitor contacts you
Just as different people have different contact preferences, each visitor brings individual backgrounds and experiences to their time on your website. Therefore, the more information you can provide about how the process of hiring a lawyer in your practice area will unfold, the more likely you are to ease all visitors’ potential anxieties about talking to you.
If you offer free consultations, make that clear, and tell visitors what a “free consultation” means. How long will they be able to talk to you? What should they bring to their first meeting? What happens after the consultation? How will you handle communication? Uncertainty is a genuine barrier to entry, so try to answer questions proactively on your site.
5. Create different ways to contact your law firm based on the user's device
While mobile usage is ubiquitous, some practice areas like estate planning still tend to see more desktop-based browsing than do sites in other professional or e-commerce spaces. Some of this is likely due to the complexity and potential stakes of hiring a lawyer. People may perform more extensive research on law firms, research that is more easily done on a desktop computer.
However, personal injury law firms and other practice areas are starting to see an increasing amount of smartphone traffic and their websites must be easy to use for those visitors as well.
The key is not to go all in on one method of contact. Recognize that mobile users will need a simplified menu and easy-to-click phone number to call or text and execute those features for smartphone viewports. Know that desktop users may prefer a form or live chat, and make those features easy to find on larger screens.
At its core, conversion optimization is the process of removing barriers and making it as easy and comfortable as possible for prospective clients to contact you. Tactics like providing a clickable phone number and simple forms as well as those like setting expectations for how a professional relationship will move forward, all help visitors feel as though their time and needs are being respected.
If you’ve invested in a website and digital marketing, you want the site to look great and perform for you. Thus, your lead generation should remove rather than create obstacles to make first contact with your firm as easy as possible.