Everything You Need to Know About Generating Online Leads for Your Legal Practice
Generating leads is crucial for every business, including legal practices, to ensure sustainable growth.
While demand for legal services is growing after a brief downturn during the pandemic, increased demand doesn’t mean that it is easier to find new clients. The sector is highly competitive and proactive steps must be taken by legal practices to attract clients. Much of this can be done online.
Build a strong foundation
Before you start any lead generation or marketing strategy, be very clear about the type of client you want to attract. What are your specialist areas? Do you want to expand into new areas or are you more concerned about consolidating your existing business services? Are you the type of company that only wants to attract high-net-worth clients? Do you only cover a particular geographic area or are you nationwide?
Considering all this will let you paint a picture of who your lead generation strategy should be aimed at, which in turn will determine which channels to use and the messages to deliver.
Using your website
For many legal practices, the focus of their website is to let prospective clients know about the type of services they offer, together with details of the legal team working in the practice. This is entirely reasonable, after all, your website is your virtual shop window. Anyone who visits your website should leave with a clear idea of whether you provide the type of service they want.
That’s not all you need from your website, however, you need your website to generate leads. In short, you don’t just want people to know what services you provide, you want them to take the next step to becoming a client.
Traffic, but not just traffic
More and more people are ‘shopping around’ for legal services, and while personal referrals are still key, online presence also plays an important role in how people find out more about you and your services.
It is therefore to your benefit to ensure that they see your website before those of your competitors. One way to do this is to aim for your site to appear at the top of online searches. While this can be tricky to achieve, understanding who you are trying to appeal to will give you a head start when creating content that ranks highly. Knowing who you want to appeal to, and importantly what they search for online when looking for the types of services you offer, will provide you with the data to decide what to include on your website.
Once you’ve driven traffic to your website the trick is keeping people there and generating leads from their visits. Traffic without leads is of no use to you as a business. Your website should employ tools that capture lead data that can be used to grow your legal practice. Methods to capture leads include live chat, web forms, and offering downloadable guides.
Calls to action
Calls to action are just what the name suggests. They are the instructions on a website that tell visitors what they should do next. Examples of calls to action could include ‘Contact Us’, ‘Arrange Your Free Consultation’, or ‘Get Your Complementary Conveyancing Guide’. These make it clear what any prospective client should do next. The second 2 examples offer some type of incentive for taking that step. Offering incentives such as these may make it more likely that website visitors will provide you with their details, thus generating a lead.
However, so that your legal practice doesn’t end up with a large number of low-quality leads, you should aim to use calls to action as part of the lead generation funnel. For example, you would offer an incentive of a fee guide to conveyancing if you were aiming to build the conveyancing side of your business, as the people most likely to be interested in this product would be likely to be in the process of, or thinking about, moving house.
Use your reviews
When someone is looking for a solicitor, they will search in a variety of ways. They will look online (and hopefully find your website), they’ll check out the Law Society’s database and they’ll ask around for recommendations. Your website should provide them with recommendations for your services by including reviews from satisfied clients.
It’s relatively straightforward to pull data from different review platforms, including Google Reviews and Trustpilot, but this small step may increase the number of leads generated through your website as prospective clients feel more confident using your services.
Effective landing pages
Landing pages are standalone pages that are created specifically for a marketing campaign. This might be a campaign that you run on social media or using paid search options – such as Google Ads – or run via email to an existing customer database.
Landing pages have an advantage over standard web pages as they have a very narrow focus. Let’s consider the free conveyancing guide mentioned earlier. Your website may have a page describing conveyancing services. It may have a range of information including the option to download a guide (in return for some customer details of course). However, a more active lead generation activity may involve a Facebook Ad which only highlights your free guide. Anyone who clicks on that ad will be taken to a landing page that has the free guide as the key message. As this isn’t competing with other information, potential clients may be more likely to download the guide – simultaneously providing you with a lead.
The importance of tracking
These are just a few of the steps you can take to generate online leads for your legal practice, there are many more, but whichever you decide to use it’s vital that you track the leads generated.
Without tracking leads, you can’t determine which part of any lead generation strategy is the most effective. There are lead tracking tools included with platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, which are relatively simple to understand, but for a more nuanced picture of where your leads come from you may want to speak to a professional who can bring together tracking across different channels including phone calls and live chat.
The legal sector is highly competitive but taking just a few of these steps to generate your online leads could give you the edge over your rivals. If all this seems too complex and you want to focus on your day job, you can also talk to legal & solicitor lead generation specialists to help you develop effective strategies.