It’s shocking that the majority of law firm websites lack a clear call to action. Here are some theories about why this happens:
- They think it’s unseemly.
- They say it’s just not done.
- They think doing so might violate some arcane advertising rule.*
- They’re afraid of not doing it well.
If only we had shopping carts on law firm websites! That would make the call to action (CTA) process so much more straightforward and easy. But we don’t, so legal marketers must work harder to move the website visitor from passive reader > engaged prospect > new client.
Take a page from the PI firms’ playbook
When it comes to websites, personal injury lawyers get it right. The approach is unapologetic, and their content and design frequently encourage immediate, two-way communication. From the “Let us review your case” button to the ubiquitous stock pic of a smiling call center rep wearing a hands-free headset, the message is clear. You can count on seeing the firm’s phone number displayed in large type — on every page. Some PI firms go so far as to use a live chat pop-up feature. I find that to be incredibly annoying, but it is very useful, especially when folks are on the website after regular business hours.
Move in the right direction
Corporate law firm marketers and their web agencies need to get over the notion that it’s unprofessional to do anything more than offer contact information. Here are a few suggested steps to help your website visitor move from passive reader > engaged prospect > new client. For practice group descriptions:
Be direct. Not in-your-face direct — but helpful direct. Content should encourage the reader to take action, such as: “If you’d like to speak with an attorney in our practice, please use this form, and we’ll be in touch with you …”*
Send help. The final paragraph of any practice group description is critical for the reader’s journey on your site and might be your last chance to get readers to take action. Adding a sub-head like “How We Help Our Clients” or “How Can We Help You?” quickly communicates the desired response.
It’s all about your clients. The bulk of the content found in most practice area descriptions typically reflects what the firm has done on its clients’ behalf. To help move your reader to take action, use that final paragraph to remind readers how clients have benefitted by working with the attorneys at your firm. This is a perfect segue into your CTA.
Call me — maybe. Make contacting your firm on mobile super-easy. Check to ensure that all links to phone numbers are active when clicked. Likewise, be sure to include an appropriately sized call button for your mobile users.
*Many firms require additional language indicating that a client-attorney relationship has not yet been established, so be sure to seek guidance from your firm’s general counsel before making any substantive copy changes.