Experience is Key

I received several email over the last 2 weeks pertaining to client acquisition. While I was going to talk about this a little later, I figured I would post a quick message about it. When we talk about client acquisition we talk about the ability of getting someone to your website and getting them to call you. One of the questions I received was from a lawyer out of Maryland. His question was, “Over the last year I have received over 1000 unique visitors to my website, but only received a handful of phone calls, what is the problem?”

I had the opportunity to view his site and after looking it over a bit, I came up with two conclusions; experience and focus. This seems to be an underlying problem with most of the questions I received over the last 2 weeks. I will explain.

Many of the websites that I looked at have a chop full of content. This is great for the search engines. Many of the sites were showing up on the first page of google, msn and yahoo. Outside of navigation and ugliness of the site, one of the major problems was experience. As a consumer when you are looking for information regarding a legal need you want to feel comfortable about the attorney you are going to hire. Comfort and experience run hand and hand. When developing your site the consumer wants to know you have the experience to take his case. One way is to create a biography page outlining your credentials; more of a brag sheet. Listed on this page will be the years of experience, practice area focus, awards (AV ratings) and law school to name a few. You will also want to consider creating a referral page. Referrals from your clients, newspaper clippings and even news footage. Many of my clients attribute their success on the internet to their brag sheets/pages. Based upon my client feedback by implementing their brag sheets into their websites made a huge difference in converting more leads.

The second is focus. When I talk about focus, I’m talking about focusing on one general practice area. For instance, if I’m facing 10 years for a criminal charge, I’m looking for someone that focuses the majority of their law practice on criminal law. Most of all the websites I looked at over the last week had more than one different practice area listed. I looked at one site that had personal injury, criminal law, family law, estate planning and business law on his website. I ask you a question, if you were searching for a heart surgeon would you hire someone that wasn’t 100% focused on open heart surgery? Probably not!

This is no difference in law. If I’m facing 10 years to life, I’m going to hire a lawyer that focuses on criminal law. If I see he practices 4 other areas outside of criminal law, I’m assuming he is A. not the best criminal attorney and B. he is not focused on criminal law. I am currently working with a client that practices three different practice areas; personal injury law, criminal law and family law. He was having the same problem; he had hits to his site, but no clients to show. We implemented several sites specific to a single practice area, including experience and testimonials and he has seen a huge increase in clients coming from the internet.

To wrap this up, implementing a few changes and perhaps creating specific sites for each practice area, will result in more business on the internet, I guarantee it.

This was a very short overview on both experience and focus. I plan to talk much more about experience and practice focus in the next few weeks. This was a short and skinny.

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14 Responses

  1. Good information, however I would like a little more general information on what to include on my bio page. I also looked at creating separate sites for each practice area but the company I work with charges too much money. Any suggestions?

  2. Kay, this is a problem that I’m having as well. I am a sole practitioner and don’t have the money to pay for additional sites. I’m also seeing a lot of unique visitors from my site but I’m not getting a lot of calls from it. I have 3 different practice areas that I promote. Any others having the same problem?

  3. Can you please email me with your contact information. My email is above, thank you.

  4. I was asked by one of the partners in my firm to ask a quick question. We are in the process of interviewing vendors for the development of a new findable website. Can you please provide me with a list of the best lawyer website companies on the internet? The information is very good however fat chance that any attorney in my firm will write their own content.

    Thank you

  5. I am having the same problem, a lot of traffic and no phone calls. My sales representative was trying to convince me I’m getting cases but truly I haven’t received C… from my site. I understand the concept but find it hard to believe its just that easy. Any other suggestions?

  6. Rich can you get him to post more about SEO and less on experience and focus? I will also be submitting a few more articles this week so please look out for them.

  7. If we have questions, where can we ask them? Can’t you put some sort of Q&A on this site. You obviously have enough people responding here. It would be helpful.

    My question: If my site can’t be found on the internet what good is my lengthy profile? How can you get my site found on the internet and not just by typing in my name? This information is irrelevant if you can’t get a site found!

  8. Edge, this is something that I considered in the past. One of the problems that I have is figuring out how to get the intake form on this site. I have no idea. The other thing is monitoring the questions, which I don’t have much time for right now. In the past I posted questions that I get through emails (which I still get often) and I posted those questions to the blog. If I can find a way to do this with getting involved I will implement it on this site. But for now if you have a legal question go to http://askinglaw.com for now. Check back in a month or so and perhaps that will change. You could also check out yahoo answers as I hear there are tons of legal questions there as well.

    Jason, I think he is going to send me a post on SEO soon. We got an overwhelming amount of emails regarding client acquisitions which he wanted to talk about briefly. Once I get the information from him I will post it.

    Chelsea, Kay and TJ, I told him to come in and answer that so wait a few and I’m sure he will provide you with the information.

  9. Ok so you guys want some recommendations? First, I will posting the next article in a few days. I’ve been extremely busy so stay tuned. Also, copy the RSS feed so you can get instant updates if you like the thread. First, I decided to comment on this topic because of the feedback. I will get the SEO portion over the next couple of weeks. Beverly, I emailed you my contact information but I’m warning you, I’m way to busy to take on any new clients right now. However, I would be happy to speak with you briefly about your site.

    Things to include in Bio: Experience, Association affiliations, awards, focus areas, awards, ratings and years in practice.

    Different vendors in the marketplace:
    findlaw
    lawyers.com
    justia
    lexblog
    lawyersites
    lawyeredge
    einsteinlaw

    *This is just a list and not an endorsement. I personally believe with a little time and you follow this thread, you can outdo any of these companies. I will explain this concept later.

  10. I agreed on focus but experience can be overcome by guidances. If you just ask someone who have experience.

  11. I work as a marketing representative for a very large law firm based out of Washington, DC. My duties include making brochures, creating advertisement campaigns (both internet and paper) and now the development of our website. The firm I represent is very reputable and over 90% of our new clients come from client referrals.

    The partners of the firm are now making a concern effort to increasing their overall exposure on the internet using search engine marketing. Needless to say, I have been asked to spearhead this project. I am finding out that the time that I spend researching and now implementing certain SEO techniques is a full time job.

    What I propose from you is a cheat sheet. Can you provide 5-10 different ways to help increase my search engine rankings?

    This is a great thread and I look forward reading more.

  12. I think this article is right on target. I have found that my blog is generating more traffic than my website. I promote one single practice area on my blog and it seems to be working great. I never looked at it as a focus but now after reading this article, I have mistakingly did something that is working!

  13. Experience, Experience, Experience is much like location, location, location. The key to being successful as an attorney is the experience you have representing said cases. If you can show you have years of experience successfully representing said practice area, then you distill a sense of confidence to the consumer that he or she is making the right decision by hiring you. If you can’t show that you have the experience in representing said cases, you might as well not have a website. Based upon what I have read thus far, sir you certainly know what you are talking about.

    I myself have been involved in the development of web solutions for attorneys for many years. I have worked with one of the largest lawyer website marketing companies in this industry and I can tell you that you know what you are talking about. In fact the company that I used to work for is one of the companies you mentioned. I will also validate that with a little effort from the attorney (writing content, submitting links and so on) you can single handily beat most of the sites that these companies build.

    If you would like me to contribute to this thread please email me. I too have tons of experience in building and creating content for lawyer websites.

  14. How about a Q&A format for best search engine practices? Something that was mentioned earlier was a cheat sheet. Take it one step further and format it in a Q&A. I think that would be much more helpful.

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