A common issue for many law firms is that a large proportion of the leads and enquiries that come through their websites are never destined to be an accepted case. Dealing with poor quality leads can be very time consuming for staff and will never bring a return to the business.
Whilst attracting high levels of organic traffic to a website can sometimes be heralded as the ultimate marketing success, it doesn’t make a difference to your bottom line unless they are the right people, who truly have a need for your services. If your marketing efforts lead to an increase in traffic, it can sometimes be seen as a necessary evil to have to wade through lots of poor leads as a result. However, there are several ways in which you can use your website content to help pre-qualify more of the enquiries that come through. This article covers four techniques that can be implemented on legal websites to make a significant difference to lead quality.
By understanding where your website users are on the conversion funnel from the point that they land on your site, you can essentially personalise their journey through your website to direct them towards the content that best meets their needs. By providing them with the information they are looking for at the right time, and showing other relevant content and CTAs to direct them afterwards, you can help to move them forward in their journey towards conversion.
To start on this path, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience segments and what their informational needs are at all stages of their journey towards becoming a lead. This will include understanding what keywords they use to search when looking for this information and what their intent is when they are searching.
If you need some help with audience insight, find our legal persona guide and free template here.
There are a number of different ways to find the keywords that are relevant to your business which show a clear user intent. At Hitsearch, we most commonly use:
The example above shows some of the Answer the Public keyword results for the query ‘conveyancing solicitor’ and indicates which questions people are asking. There will probably be irrelevant keywords for your purposes that you can discount immediately, such as ‘how to become a conveyancing solicitor’, but it can include some angles that you may not have thought of previously but show a clear intent that can be mapped to a specific stage of the user journey. Is that a question that someone would ask in the awareness, consideration or decision phase?
The intent-led keywords that you feel are most relevant to your target audience will need to be mapped to specific landing pages on your website (whether reworking existing site pages or starting fresh with new ones), so that these pages can be optimised for search engines and can start appearing in SERPs for these terms.
There is no silver bullet with SEO. Creating landing pages that provide the most useful content possible for users on this subject, along with ensuring they follow current best practice for on-page and off-page strategy, should help you start ranking over time.
Once these landing pages are optimised for search engines (they can also be used in PPC campaigns!) and are visible for highly relevant, intent-led search terms in the SERPs, each one becomes a new landing point for a potential new lead.
Your next step is providing the right links and CTAs for people on these landing pages to move onto next. The way that this looks will vary, depending on your specific audience and their journey stage. This could be blog content that answers a question they have now that they have read your landing page e.g. how much is my personal claim worth? So, you may next want to direct them to a compensation calculator, as in the below example.
If the intent-led page they landed on indicates that they are further on in their journey, perhaps at the point when they know what they need and are ready to make a decision about which firm to choose, being directed to a relevant case study for a case just like theirs might help to assure them that you are the right solicitor for them and give them the final push to become a lead.
Another content technique that you can use to help ensure people are more pre-qualified by the time they make an enquiry is to ensure that you comprehensively answer questions that are commonly asked by people higher up the funnel on your website. This might involve more generic search terms, without a clear intent behind them, rather than the questions you are answering on your intent-led landing pages mentioned earlier.
It may feel a little counter-intuitive to be spending time and effort on people who aren’t at the right point to convert yet, but when you answer someone’s question in full on your website, they won’t need to get in touch with you to get the answer directly, which is likely to save you time long-term.
What your website will do with this approach is help to establish you as an expert in that particular field, with lots of very useful and thorough content that clearly outlines and reinforces the eligibility criteria and the kind of evidence needed for a strong case. You can also answer questions for people further down the funnel of course, but there will be a point at which you can’t give any further useful information without finding out the specifics of their potential case, which is the point at which you want them to contact you.
Making sure that you utilise FAQPage schema as a great way of giving your SERP listings greater appeal to people searching for answers to specific questions or areas of information. Answering several themed FAQs on one page and implementing the schema correctly can make a real difference to how engaging your listing is and the number of clicks that you get, even if you don’t currently have the very top rankings. See the example below:
For some more best practice tips for writing FAQs in the legal space, click here.
When speaking to some of our legal clients, a recurring issue they mention swallows a lot of their resource is when people who are not eligible for a particular legal service make an enquiry about it anyway. The specifics of this will depend on your area of law, but some common eligibility issues could be:
Whilst including eligibility information in page content is usually done already to some degree, you can cut down on the number of people making enquiries who are not eligible by making this information much more prominent on your site pages, or giving it strong visibility in your FAQ sections.
The below example displays the geographical eligibility information near the top of the page to help make sure that people who don’t meet that criteria don’t waste their time (or anyone else’s) by reading on and potentially making contact with the firm when a successful claim isn’t an option.
Using the previous technique to try to inform readers of eligibility criteria is a great way to help ensure that the enquiries you get through stand a better chance of becoming good leads. However, it might surprise you how many people who don’t meet the basic eligibility criteria will try to submit a contact form anyway.
One final line of defence that can work well for legal services that have fairly black and while criteria is to incorporate these questions into your contact forms. For example, if you’re offering a legal service that is only valid in England and Wales, you can set the first field of the contact form on that service page to be confirmation that they live in those countries. If they don’t confirm this, they cannot complete the rest of the form.
Whilst it may seem to fly in the face of online marketing’s core principles to actually make the conversion journey more difficult for some people, the savings that you can make by pre-qualifying legal leads somewhat in this way can make a big difference to firms that get a high volume of irrelevant enquiries currently.
With a website that does a great job of pre-qualifying more of your leads using these techniques, your legal firm can use your internal resource much more efficiently to get better results from your new, higher quality enquiries.