How to Build & Optimize a Website for a General Practice Law Firm: Capturing the Right Clients - Martindale-Avvo

How to Build & Optimize a Website for a General Practice Law Firm: Capturing the Right Clients

As a general practice litigator, you’re on the hunt for new clients daily. Do you want to attract people who are browsing businesses for any type of need or those who are ready to retain you for their specific need? As you hunt for the ideal client, you want clients who seek answers to questions that are transactional (where is the closest divorce attorney?) rather than informative (what does a general practice attorney do?)

When you build, redesign or optimize your website, make sure that it is helping you hunt for the right clients.

How do I attract potential clients?

To attract potential clients rather than casual shoppers, you want to make sure you are capturing the type of visitor who knows what they are looking for. If they are trying to figure out what type of attorney they need, they are not near the purchasing decision within the buying life cycle. At this point, they have recognized:

  1. They have a problem.
  2. They are searching for help.
  3. But they haven’t yet decided whether they even need a lawyer.

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If your goal is to target more visitors rather than the right visitors, you’re going to dilute your website content and miss out on a lot of potential clients.  So when you are on the hunt to convert more visitors, make sure you are focusing on the right kind.  Use well-written content and clear calls to action.  Your content should define who, what and why; your call to action (CTA) should define where and why.

How do I target the right client?

Know your niches.

A recent blog talked about Google liking niches. That might make you think that Google favors niche websites and ranks them higher or quicker in their search results. But because niche websites are more specific, they inherently target an audience that is more specific. The more specific a search phrase is, the less competitive it is in the search results.

Targeting clients with higher specificity = focusing on more nichey areas = pulls fewer competitive keywords in the search results = higher potential to rank for the right client’s search= gets better quality leads

Why is one search phrase less competitive than another?

What makes a keyword search phrase more competitive than another has to do with the probability that Google will index it as relevant. The vaguer a searcher’s keyword phrase is, the lower the probability that Google pulls search results relevant to that searcher’s intent. Because Google has so many website options to pull from, the likelihood that Google understands the searcher’s intent is very low. This instinctively compels the searcher to narrow down their search with more targeted phrases and longer tail searches so that their results will match their needs. For example, an accident victim searching for “lawyer” would find results on Google that might range from divorce attorneys to bankruptcy lawyers. So he would turn to a more targeted phrase such as “accident attorney” or an even more descriptive phrase such as “motorcycle accident lawyer” if he was on a bike at the time of his crash. If he doesn’t see results near his home, he may even type in “Sea Girt motorcycle accident lawyer.”

Why target search phrases that are broad?

So why would a multi-service business want to build and optimize their website to target search phrases that are broad? Using a general practice law firm as an example, they would want to do this to cover all the areas they represent. General practice law firms can have multiple attorneys who handle all types of cases including divorce, bankruptcy, wills and trusts, landlord/tenant disputes, etc. If you search for “general practice lawyer,” you will get this same information, because Google assumes that the searcher’s intent for “general practice attorney” is to find out information on what a general practice firm does, not where it is. Searchers with specific legal needs are likely to search for an attorney in that field. That isn’t to say they won’t hire general practice firms; they just won’t search for them as such.

You’re not on the hunt for window shoppers, so why target them?

Your website is a window to the services you provide. When visitors reach your site, you want them to be able to see that you offer the help they need, not the kind of help they might need.

Those peeking in the window are wondering what you do. If you sell sunglasses and shoppers strolling past are already wearing their favorite pair, they are going to move on. What you want are people who need what you offer — those who are ready to come in and poke around. You don’t want window shoppers; you want potential buyers.

To ensure your website presents your firm and services effectively, it should address in detail:window shoppers

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. Where
  4. Why

By doing so, it can quickly weed out the window shoppers so you get people who need what you offer.  If someone doesn’t know what a general practice attorney is, they can find out quickly enough by searching the term. They don’t need a law firm website.  But if they search “divorce lawyer,” a good website will quickly tell them:

  1. Who you are (a firm who practices divorce)
  2. What you do (regarding divorce)
  3. Where you’re located
  4. Why they should hire you (for their divorce)

Congratulations! A potential client has clicked through to your site. But don’t celebrate too soon. Another post explains how to build and optimize a lead-generating website specifically to convert a potential client to a lead.

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