When it comes to trying to get a better grip of why your firm’s website doesn’t convert the number of leads it receives, there is invariably a lot of finger pointing going on. Some point to the content, others point to the web design itself and others point to the SEO providers. Like SEO (search engine optimization) has largely dominated the online marketing conversation over many years, CRO (conversion rate optimization) is superseding it in leaps and bounds. Why?
Because these days with a succession of Google algorithm changes, the role of SEO has become much more subservient to content strategy, and of course at the heart of why firms generate content has to be the question of who is this content for and what am I asking the reader to do next. Hence, the reason why CRO is becoming a discipline unto itself and is enmeshed in a wider SEO strategy generally. For example, driving SEO efforts to drive visitors to your firm’s online presence that is constantly reviewing and optimizing its conversion rates.
Simply put, CRO is the process of creating an experience for your website or social media visitors that will ultimately convert them into clients for your law firm.
In better understanding CRO, there are a few essentials that you need to know. Conversions should happen across your firm’s website. In other words, law firms typically will focus all design attention to the homepage, ensuring online forms, online chat integration, downloadable guides etc, but they fail to acknowledge that if they have a robust content strategy in place, potential clients will not find the firm through the homepage, but a blog or another page. Hence the need for every page and post to be treated as lead generation.
CRO is essentially the practice of optimizing those pages and posts by assessing and regularly reviewing the rate of conversion on particularly the calls to action. Primarily it’s about enhancing say your visit-to-lead rate from 24.1% to 29.4%. Or your lead-to-client conversion rate from 1.2% to 1.8%.
There are plenty of ways you can tackle conversion rates, but there are primarily three core areas firms should initially focus their attention on if you’re looking at some quick wins.
1) Segment your visitors
You know as well as I do, that when you look at your firm’s analytics there are vastly different types of people visiting your website or social media profiles. In the case of a personal injury firm, the 3,056 people who visit your law firm website each month aren’t all going to convert into clients, because there are so many different cohorts of people with very different objectives. Some are people who will be simply researching options, others will be qualifying your firm with many others they are looking at, some will be competitors or people looking for employment and the rest, SEO companies (tongue in cheek) wanting to get your details so they can bombard you with marketing spin.
We talk a lot about identifying your “perfect client,” and taking it to the next level be creating perfect client personas. Once you start thinking of your marketing objective as a means of identifying, reaching and converting your perfect client, then you’re able not only to be targeted with your messaging, but your calls to action become screens for further qualification as well.
If your firm’s marketing software has the ability to use smart content, creating targeted content and design concurrent CRO strategies for visitor segments, you will be able to start converting more leads into clients. For example, it may be the case that your firm wants to engage not only those motor vehicle accident claims that are ripe now, but also those people who are only researching at this stage. In this case, a cohort of your website visitors might just want to learn about what is involved in an accident claim, while the ripe leads are actually more interested in engaging much more quicker. The great thing about smart content is that you’re able to design your calls-to-action to those two different segments on the same page or post. In this case, one CTA (call to action) would be to learn more about accident claims, and the other would be about becoming a client of the firm and the reasons why a lead should.
2) The Right Content
SEO has influenced content strategy to the extent that many law firms now know they have to publish content to rank well. The downside of it is, that firms without a skerrick of thought generate content just for the sake of it. In other words, the content is purely looked at through the SEO lens and not one that is going to enhance your CRO.
You have to think about creating client-centric content for the “perfect client” at the different stages of engagement that they’re at and on top of this, you need to focus on what you want the lead to do after they have read the content and of course, run A/B tests to see which copy and content format types are perform best in terms of your CRO.
3) Design & User Experience
Test, test and test some more!
Designing CRO tests will include things like testing color, spacing, alignment and page layout. You don’t have to get carried away with massive changes. We have seen the mere movement of CTA’s increasing conversion rates by near 25%. Color is another big one. Easy to change if you have a robust and ongoing relationship with your web design and development team.
The bottom line is that to seriously improve your firm’s CRO’s, you have to think more granular about your marketing strategy. It saddens me to see so many firms, many who have in-house marketing expertise, who still get stuck on site aesthetics and nothing else. The real magic sits behind the aesthetics and is motivated by a deep commitment to creating great user experience that converts leads into perfect clients.