It’s a meeting that all of us have had. You’re frustrated with your website and you want answers from your webmaster. It’s time to hold the webmaster accountable for the almost complete lack of new cases from your website and you’re sick and tired of spending a ton of cash for a website that doesn’t produce results. Perhaps it’s time to move on to another webmaster or just give up.
But the meeting with your webmaster doesn’t quite go as you planned. Your webmaster pulls out his laptop and shows you hard proof that, in fact, you website is showing up on keyword searches for your practice areas, “car accidents” and “truck wrecks”, to name just a few. Your webmaster convinces you that your lawyer website is rocking the internet and it’s just a matter of time and a little more money before your website reels in your next seven-figure case.
This is when your webmaster tells you about some fancy new internet gizmo that will be a game-changer for your website. For just $1,000 more per month, you will just be crushing your competition with your website. Fancy internet jargon (that you’ve never heard before) is tossed around and now, instead of firing your webmaster, you’re on the verge of throwing even more money at your website.
The First Step: Just say “NO” to Webmasters
You’ve got to hold your webmaster accountable for the lack of results from your website. And no, being number one on a Google search for “car accidents” is not the result we’re talking about. That’s right, fancy award-winning logos and impressive flash animation are just not enough—they’re really meaningless.
The bottom line for your website: NEW CLIENTS AND MONEY. Nothing else counts. If you’re not getting new clients from your website and making money, your website is worthless. Okay, that’s great you say, but how the hell can you make money from your website when the webmaster guru can’t even do it for you?
The Second Step: a Mindset Overhaul
Have you ever noticed that every lawyer website looks pretty much the same? Some lame lawyer logo like the scales of justice and then story after story about the lawyer’s amazing verdicts and settlements and your professional accolades galore. Remember: consumers don’t care about you!
This is where the mindset overhaul comes into play. Instead of boasting about your professional accomplishments, your website should be an INFORMATION POWERHOUSE. Yes, a website that provides a ton of great information that you just give away to consumers—think of Wikipedia.com or WebMD.com. You visit these websites because they aren’t asking anything from you—instead they’re just giving great information that is useful and educational.
Once you commit to providing consumers with valuable information and giving away the secrets inside your head, your world will change. Now, consumers are stopping their internet search with your website, spending time reading it and yes, even calling you about their problem—because you answered their question with the great content on your website. All of sudden your phone starts ringing (from clients all over the country) and you’re actually getting new clients and making money from your website.
The Biggest Key to Rocking the Internet with your Website
But it’s not enough just to change your view of internet marketing. You have to implement changes to your website that will start reeling in new clients, so let’s start with the most basic “must have” for a website. You “must have” a website that allows you to add new web pages as often as you want at no extra cost.
Most webmasters (sorry, Findlaw) require you to pay money every time they add a new web page to your website. JUST SAY NO! If you have to pay an extra $1,000 just to add a new web page to your website, your website will always suck! You will be stuck with just 40-50 web pages on your website and adding more web pages will be cost prohibitive. Do NOT hire a webmaster that charges you for adding extra web pages to your website.
To blow away your competition, you really only need to do one thing: add new content to your website EVERY DAY. The major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) index websites according to the relevance of the content and the new content that is added to the website. If you’re not adding new content to your website every day, your website be lost in cyberspace.
How to Add New Content to your Website with Almost No Effort
Okay, great, but how do you add new content DAILY to your website and still get the “lawyer work” done? If you have to spend a couple of hours writing new web pages every day, your work day will never end. You need a solution that will give you time for your “lawyer work” and still add new content to your website every day with no effort on your part.
You don’t write the content for your website—you hire someone to do it. Yes, there are plenty of young law students at your local law school just craving for some extra money and chances are their writing skills are better than anything you can write. So you outsource the writing of new content for your website to a local law student, pay $12 per hour and the content is flowing to your website. Life is good and you can sleep at night and get your lawyer work done.
The Biggest Mistake of Lawyer Websites
The best way to convert website traffic into clients is an irresistible “Call to Action” that almost forces the consumer to stop web browsing and call you immediately. A “Call to Action” is a free gift that requires an immediate response from the consumer, just like the infomercials for Ginsu knives on TV, i.e., “call in the next five minutes and you’ll receive an extra bonus set of knives.”
Your irresistible “Call to Action” can be a free book or audio CD about the most common mistakes made by injury victims when hiring an attorney or perhaps a live chat service, such as Ngage Live Chat, where consumers interact with a live person who responds to their questions within seconds of going to your website. How’s that for instant feedback? Do all of the above and suddenly you’re reeling in new cases.
The Second Biggest Mistake made by Lawyers
Now, your internet marketing is flowing with new clients and plenty of requests for your free book or audio CD. You’re on your way to making money and getting new clients from your website, but what do you do with these new leads? This is where all lawyers mess up. A killer website won’t accomplish anything if you’re not following up with new leads.
You must have an automated sequence of follow up with new leads. As soon as the consumer raises her hand for your free book, an automated email is generated thanking her for the request and informing her of the next step. Your website then sends a series of follow up emails following the delivery of the free book or audio CD that provides educational information and asks the consumer to call you if you can help them. Once you set up the automated sequence of follow up emails for new leads, you’re on your way to converting prospects into clients.
Why is follow-up crucial for internet marketing? The consumer might not have a case today or next month, but there’s a decent chance that in 6 months, they might have a friend to refer to you. If you’ve got a follow up campaign (a/k/a the “back end”), you will stay “top of mind” with the consumer and when she has a case to refer, guess who she’ll be thinking of?
photo credit: Visual Content Internet Law via photopin (license)