An attorney recently said to me, “I’m not happy with my website.” I asked why. “It doesn’t bring in what I desire.”
That’s an interesting phrasing. I liked it. “And what do you desire?” The desirous lawyer replied, “More estate planning.” So, I looked at the site.
The most obvious thing about the home page was the scales of justice. Then, a generic headline about life’s challenging moments. That was followed by a sentence (that might as well have been bullet points) about practice areas and geography. Finally, a click for a free consultation.
So, above the fold, it's a gigantic Post-It note. It says: “I’m a lawyer and I’ll talk to you. Click here.” Who is this lawyer? What is the lawyer’s focus? And why should the prospective client care?
“If you could have only one client ever, who would it be?” That is one of the questions Firm Appeal asks when we’re working with someone new. In this case, the answer is, “An estate planning client.” We’d always ask more questions and drill down. But for the sake of this exercise, let’s be satisfied with wanting estate planning cases.
Why isn’t that the first thing an estate planning prospect is seeing? When landing on the website, why are they seeing scales of justice? There’s no estate-planning focus, no feeling, no difference, no brand. And this is a common challenge. It’s not just this website. It’s many websites.
Part of the problem is this lawyer’s site looks like a good website. That’s a challenge. As a website, this is a marketing-like device. It talks about things that seem to matter. The colors are good. It looks nice. It says many nice things.
But at the end of the day, this website doesn’t matter. And that’s a shame. Because someone who needs an estate plan matters. They deserve a pro to ensure the family’s future. And you know who else matters? This lawyer. Everything I’ve learned about this lawyer is honorable and admirable and excellent.
And that’s why this lawyer’s desires are not being met. The website isn’t offering a message that meets the desires of the prospect. And that prospect is the most important person being discussed on that website. If the website treats the prospective client as important, the prospect and the lawyer both win.*
*This is a fictionalized account based on many true stories. No one website is actually represented here because so, so many of them share this problem.
IT IS PRESENTED AS A TRUTH THAT "Without SEO, lawyers die." What if you defy this ostensible truth? In a business where referral is king, SEO is useful. It just isn't a silver bullet. Instead, be human. Be evocative. Be the best part of you. A search engine can't understand that. But your client can.
Blaine Parker writes good words for good lawyers. Learn more at Firm Appeal.