“When we increase our ad spend, we don’t see an increase in sales”.
This is a line I’ve heard in almost every meeting with a small or medium sized law firm. A firm increases their Adwords budget and sees a miniscule rise in sales. They tweak the ad copy, change the target demographic and increase the max price per click to no avail.
These firms are aware that there’s a problem but aren’t sure how to fix it, so they’ve called us for a meeting to look at their ads. In each case, the issue hasn’t been the adverts and no amount of tweaking ad-copy and keywords will fix their problems.
We delve into their analytics and find that these firms are getting the clicks. With every extra pound spent on ads, they get extra visits in positive correlation. The ads, we tell them, are working. The problems lay in the conversions, or lack thereof because of fundamental problems with their website.
Here’s what we see in almost every case, and why each point is devastating to a law firm’s conversion rates.
A lack of information on specific services
Dedicated pages for each service offering is essential. I see so many firms advertising divorce, for example, and then linking that ad to a generic family-law page with no information on the specific service.
A divorce ad should lead to a page detailing the divorce process and how you can assist alongside related testimonials and case studies. Ads for wills should lead to a dedicated wills page, again with related additional content.
These two services should not be detailed or listed on the same page; they should be entirely separate. Social proof (testimonials) and extended information (news and case studies) shows that you’re great at providing this particular service. It shows that it’s a core service offering.
The service pages of the impeccable Lewis Silkin website are a great example carefully considered design and content. Check out the Brands and IP page for example. Beneath the main text content you’ll find news posts and case studies related to that specific service. This demonstrates competency in the field; it proves to their visitors that they have the knowledge and experience to handle their case.
Bad and difficult to understand content
Law firms often rely on partners to produce the copy for their sites. In theory, getting those most acquainted with the topic to write the content makes sense but in reality, a solicitor tends to forget who they’re writing for. A solicitor will often use extensive legal jargon usually reserved for contracts and agreements. Your website is no contract though and this type of copy confuses your customers.
A specialist law copywriter will understand the topic at hand while delivering easily digestible information. A copywriter will also produce persuasive text, specifically designed to convert the reader into a customer. On top of this, copywriters can help produce regular content for your news pages, ensuring you’ve got the additional content I mentioned earlier.
Finally, good copywriters tend to know the fundamentals of SEO (search engine optimisation) and will optimise their copy accordingly. In terms of news content, they’ll find out what’s being searched taking into account current affairs, and will write content that fits those search criterias.
There’s no mobile support
It seems so obvious, but a lack of mobile support is often the biggest cause in poor conversions. Today, the majority of your users will be browsing your site on their phone. Why then do so many sites within law lack basic mobile support?
Google recently rolled out yet another algorithm change that further thwarted search placements for non mobile-responsive sites. It’s only going to get worse; non mobile-friendly sites will continue to be penalised in search rankings.
This is fantastic news for the firms that saw this a mile off; they’ll see their traffic continue to rise. But for those who’ve neglected to cater for the mobile user base, their visits and conversions will continue to dwindle.
Technically, it’s possible to make an existing design play nice on mobile but the process usually involves redeveloping the site from scratch with the original design for reference. For optimal results, firms should be be prepared to speak with a development agency about a full redesign.
Right, so now what?
Increasing ad spend isn’t necessarily required to get more enquiries, despite what Google’s Adwords reps might tell you. You just have to be smart, ensuring your site is well optimised for conversions.
With that said, assuming you’ve effectively implemented the above, you can feel safe in the knowledge that increasing your ad spend will also increase your receptionist’s workload.