Stop Googling Yourself

If you grew up with an older sibling, cousin, or mean-spirited family member you might remember the “game” where your own hand was forcibly and repeatedly pushed into your face while the offending party mockingly taunted, “why are you hitting yourself?”

The game, if you can call it that, really only served the purpose of making you feel bad. It was a stupid exercise and entirely unwinnable.

Fast forward to now. You have a business. The days of having someone else bullyingly smush your hand into your face are way behind you. You’re all grown up.

Instead, you sit down at your computer and play a new equally unwinnable game: you Google yourself.

Why are you Googling yourself?

It’s easy to rationalize why checking in on your online presence by pretending to be a prospect would be the right way to stay tuned in to what’s really going on.

But it’s not.

Here are the reasons Googling your business is about as constructive as repeatedly hitting yourself in the face.

  1. It’s incredibly inefficient

How does a handful of one-off (and highly personalized) Google results provide you with any actionable information?

The best-case scenario is a lot of back patting and self-satisfaction. You’re number one in the rankings for the search you ran while logged into your gmail account and sitting in an office at the business you own. Well done. Now what?

Inversely, the worst-case scenario is your result is buried pages deep and now you’re combing through dozens of competitors that are kicking your ass for whatever search you just ran. What do you do with that information?

Either way, the answer is to start digging into more detailed metrics. Why not skip the first part and focus on the items that really matter?

This leads to the next reason…

  1. You have better metrics at your disposal

The most misleading rationale for Googling your business is the idea that you, “want to know how things are going.” That’s deceptive at best.

You already have a strong sense of how things are going.

You have access to your own books, your own analytics, and all your account information. You’re firmly dialed into the daily results and have a strong sense for how business is trending.

At the end of the day, most business owners will prioritize profit. This means clients and revenue are the most important metrics.

Beyond the bottom line of money and clients, qualified leads and inquiries are what drive your sales pipeline and keep business growing. Measuring inquiry volume, close rates, average cost per inquiry, and your average cost for each new client is where you can see the data that actually impacts your success or failure.

If your lead volume has dropped from an average of 100 inquiries per month down to 50, is it going to provide solace that you’re still ranking number one for a few key searches?

Similarly, if you’re not finding yourself on page one, but your website is generating a high number of quality leads from search, there’s a high likelihood you’re only focusing on a couple isolated data points from a much bigger set.

  1. You’re not your customer (and never will be)

Google has estimated that approximately 15% of their search volume is completely unique. That’s about 500 million searches a day that Google hasn’t seen before.

Your prospective customers aren’t always finding you the way you’d expect.

Yes, some high-level search terms are nearly universal, but that’s only one piece. Rather than trying to simulate a few results from the “research phase,” it’s more valuable to look at the complete picture.

What do your clients consistently ask about? What are their biggest concerns? How can you address those questions on your website in such an effective way that they’re immediately convinced they don’t need to look anywhere else?

Take time to read your competitors’ websites. What are they saying or doing that differentiates them from you? What can you do to stand out?

Building unique and creative content that provides a perfect answer for a never before seen Google search is going to convert better than another “me too” white paper, resource, or article on a topic that’s covered on 1,000s of pages across the web.

You should already know your customer’s profile, needs, concerns, and goals. Mimicking a query for the search term you hope they’ll use to find you is a fruitless exercise.

  1. It can have a negative impact

Worst of all, your attempts to monitor your own online presence can actually be detrimental to your online presence. How’s that for a Catch-22?

You probably already know that clicking on your PPC ad is the equivalent of taking money directly from your wallet and handing it to Google. But even when you don’t click on that ad you’re generating an additional impression.

When an ad appears frequently and fails to get clicks it starts being shown less and your cost of bidding for that search term goes up.

The impact on your organic rankings is less dramatic, but clicking on competitor listings and spending time on their site stewing about how your business is better still sends a signal to Google that this was a quality result.

None of this should suggest there’s no value in knowing where you rank relative to your competition. There is.

Yes, the importance of individual rankings is often grossly overstated. But there are still plenty of reasons this information can be useful and should be monitored.

That’s why there are tools available like GetStat, SEMrush, and BrightLocal that allow you to obtain more accurate analysis. That way you can get more reliable data without impacting your site’s performance in the SERPs.

Still not convinced Googling yourself is a bad idea?

Fine. You’re going to do it anyway. Human nature is a funny thing.

At least make sure you’re using a VPN and a private browser whenever you sit down for another session of slowly smacking yourself in the face.

And before you do, please take a few extra seconds to consider “why are you Googling yourself?”

The Single Most Underrated Marketing Tactic

With the overwhelming number of channels and tactics available to market yourself to potential clients, it’s easy to overlook the one item with the greatest ability to drive conversions: authenticity.

While it’s easy to write off “be yourself” as trite advice, it’s equally easy to get swept up chasing new opportunities and lose sight of what makes you or your business unique. There’s a natural inclination to want to be all things to all people, but in many cases the result ends up being a watered-down message devoid of any personality.

Very few businesses have the ability to scale effectively and service an entire category of the marketplace. For everyone else, carving out and owning a niche is the more realistic path to success.

Even Amazon started as a bookseller and slowly added new categories over time. Is there any reason to think your practice is so remarkable it can offer solutions for every possible type of client?

The most successful firms we work with are the ones with a clear vision. They know who they are, they know exactly what their market is, and they’ve built their messaging around communicating and reinforcing the value of the services they provide.

Some of the best legal marketing stems from attorneys willing to embrace who they are and inject personality into their business.

There’s a reason attorney bios are typically among the most viewed pages on a website. People want to know who they’ll be working with.

More importantly, people want to work with the person they think will be best suited to help solve their problem. That means it’s often better to be the ideal solution for a small group than one potential solution for a large pool of “shoppers.”

What does this mean in practice?

Embrace what makes you different.

You may have seen this ridiculous ad for Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk:

Is this ad going to turn off a lot of people? Probably.

Is the ad memorable? Absolutely.

He’s not going to convert everyone, but for a specific type of client he’s exactly what they’re looking for. The same goes for TV’s fictitious Saul Goodman. Say what you will about his ethics, the man understands good marketing.

Highlighting the things about yourself that make you unique can be the best path to increasing conversions.

Are you a “type A” fighter? Might as well embrace it. People are going to find out anyway, so target searches for “Bulldog Attorney” or “Vicious Divorce Lawyer” and try to solidify your reputation for toughness.

Do you prefer a less confrontational approach? Emphasize your skills in mediation and working towards a thoughtful resolution.

Even if your personality is the equivalent of plain oatmeal, you can build value around your ability to get the job done without being flashy.

The key is to honestly assess what makes you unique and spin it to your advantage.

Once you’ve developed a voice for your brand it’s easier to figure out what clients are likely to hire you and where you should be advertising in order to reach them.

You don’t need to resonate with everyone in order to be successful. What you need to do is resonate with the people you’re already best suited to help and convince them of your value. If you can do that, the rest of your marketing starts to fall into place.

What do you REALLY need in your marketing mix?

We’re frequently contacted by clients who already have a clear idea of what they want from their online marketing firm. Sometimes they’re dialed in to the point where they already have a list of items they need help with and a clear roadmap for where they’re heading. However, this is far from the norm.

More often than not our prospective clients come to us either having previously worked with an agency (or multiple agencies) or as a blank slate looking to create an online footprint and start marketing their practice online.

In most cases, the bulk of our initial conversation is spent talking through the client’s goals and identifying which channels and tactics make the most sense in order to get them where they want to go.

For anyone asking, “what do we need to do in order to be successful online?” the response is always the same: how are we defining success?

In our experience, there are a few ways clients typically define success:

Success = Profit
I want to make money. If revenue is climbing I’m going to be happy.

Success = Specific Case Types
I want to target a specific type of case. Inquiries from other practice areas are a distraction or a bonus.

Success = Flexibility
I want to pick and choose which cases I can take. I want a high volume of inquiries and will pick which ones I want.

There’s merit to all three of these approaches, and each one necessitates a different set of tactics. This is one of the few aspects of our client’s practices where we can’t make an effective recommendation or provide any useful guidance. It’s up to each individual attorney to decide how they’re going to measure success and then let us adopt a plan that will help them achieve those results.

Stay Focused on the Big Picture

Once you’ve clearly defined what a successful marketing campaign looks like, it’s important to benchmark against your most relevant metrics (revenue, signed cases, or total inquiries) and make sure the tactics you’re prioritizing will help you achieve your overarching goal.

As an example, if your primary goal is to drive revenue, you shouldn’t get bogged down worrying about whether you’ve published any new content in the past month unless you’ve firmly established that new content is the best way to generate revenue.

Similarly, if you’re making a huge push for DUI cases it’s not worth obsessing over your site’s organic rankings for the more generic term “criminal defense attorney.” You’ll be better served keeping your eye on results directly relevant to the cases you’re trying to generate.

This isn’t to minimize the value of setting intermediate goals or looking at multiple trends, it’s merely a reminder to stay focused on what’s most important instead of getting paralyzed by the massive amount of data available on a monthly, daily, and even hourly basis.

So, what’s the most important thing in your marketing mix? Reliable data.

Measure What Matters

Almost no one comes to us specifically asking for business reporting, yet it’s arguably the most valuable service we provide. With all the data available through Google Analytics, AdWords, CallRail, Search Console, and countless other tools, it’s easy to identify which pieces are contributing to the success of your business and which ones are distractions.

Did you publish 5 blog posts and get zero clients and zero backlinks as a result? That’s probably not something you need to keep doing?

Is one channel driving 75% of your inquiries for car accident cases? You might want to expand your budget there…assuming your goal is either more PI cases or more revenue.

There’s no substitute for knowing what’s actually working. Gut feelings or informally polling your new clients about how they found you is unreliable at best and comically misleading at worst.

If you want to win at search, you should do the things that work and ignore the ones that don’t. That may seem simplistic—because it is—but it’s not possible if you don’t clearly define a goal, configure your infrastructure to accurately track everything you’re doing, and then allow data to guide your marketing efforts.

Blogging for the Sake of Blogging

the malleability of content
…You put content onto a blog it becomes the blog.

Sometimes you need to write a blog post. You might not have anything to say, but as the date since your last post gets further and further away you realize it’s time to publish something. Anything.

I’ve previously argued in favor of not having a blog unless you’re committed to updating it on a regular basis. Still, even the most committed of writers gets busy from time to time and starts visualizing tumbleweeds blowing across their blogroll and dust accumulating on that post from a couple months back.

There’s only one thing to do. Get motivated, get your ass in gear, and knock out a post to get things moving again. It might not even be good (this post sure isn’t), but it still beats continued procrastination.

Writing isn’t something you can force, but it is something you can jumpstart with a little creativity. There are a few ways you can rekindle inspiration if you’ve been distracted with “actual work” and haven’t had time to prioritize your blog.

Here are a few surefire tips for knocking out a quick blog post even when you’re completely swamped:

Write about what you know

The less research you need to do for your topic, the easier it’ll be to write something semi-intelligent. Topics you already know a lot about are great because you can pull from past experience or existing knowledge without having to spend hours fact checking or looking for sources. Oftentimes the knowledge you take for granted will be valuable to readers outside your field who may not share your expertise.

Focus on generalities

Not every blog post needs to be a deep dive into the specifics of your chosen topic. Sometimes a quick hitter, high level overview is more than enough. If enough readers find it interesting, you can always go back and write a follow up post later that tackles the same subject in more detail.

Link to other articles or people

Your blog doesn’t need to be 100% your own material. You’re more than free to share interesting articles and topics being written about elsewhere. Offering a quick analysis or counterpoint to something someone else wrote can be a great way to mine content.

Publish your post (and don’t second guess)

If you feel like you’re merely blogging for the sake of blogging, second guessing your own work is all too easy to do. As long as it’s not a habitual thing, you should allow yourself the occasional “lazy” article. What feels lazy to you could still be useful to some.

Meta bonus tip: use a list format

Lastly, if you’re struggling to structure a post or chunk a topic into easy to write snippets, turn your article into a list. There’s a reason no amount of mockery will stop Buzzfeed from continuing to knock out listicles at a breakneck pace. Lists work, they get shared, and they’re pretty easy to write quickly.

In Summary

Even though as an agency we’ve railed against the obnoxious misconception that “content is king,” there is still validity in staying consistent with your posting. You won’t always know which posts are going to resonate with your readers, and waiting for the perfect topic can quickly become detrimental to getting anything done.

None of this is groundbreaking, but it should be useful if you’re stuck wondering whether a blog that’s now three months from the last publication date could use a bit of a refresh. At a certain point you need to get back in the habit of writing…even if it feels a bit like word vomit at first.

As long as you’re still writing in your voice, sharing something (marginally) interesting, and staying (tangentially) on topic, there’s value to be gained from keeping active.

The alternative option is to shut down your blog and admit defeat. That works too. But if you’re going to maintain a blog you need to stay committed to posting (semi) regularly.

How to Handle 1-Star Reviews

what percentage of Yelp reviews are 1-star?
15% of Yelp reviews are 1-star. You’ll almost certainly get a few. (Data Source: Yelp)

That saying about not being able to please all the people all the time is 100% true. If your firm does any sort of volume—and even if it doesn’t—there’s a strong chance you’ll encounter the occasional 1-star review.

Fair or not, the rise of prominent user reviews on Google My Business, Avvo, Yelp, Facebook, and a large number of other platforms means you’ll be getting constructive feedback from people that may have been less than satisfied with their experience.

For convenience, let’s categorize 1-star reviews into these three buckets:

  • Legitimate negative reviews from actual clients
  • Misleading reviews from prospects that weren’t actually clients
  • Fake reviews from people you never worked with

In theory, you should be able to have items that fall into the latter two groups removed completely, since they’d be in violation of most site’s terms of service. However, in our experience that’s an uphill battle rarely worth fighting.

Options for Handling a Bad Review

Realistically, once a bad review is attached to your firm’s profile it’s probably there to stay. Now you’re faced with some options.

  • Let the negative review drown in a sea of positivity
  • Try to remedy the situation that led to the bad review
  • Respond politely and take the conversation offline

All three of these options have merits, and the idea of taking the conversation offline is always a best practice. Getting into a heated back and forth with a former client in a public forum isn’t going to be a good look regardless of whether you’re correcting false claims.

It may seem that all the power is in the hands of reviewers, and to a degree that’s true. Fortunately, shoppers are getting more sophisticated and increasingly view the occasional 1-star review as a signal that the 5-star reviews are more trustworthy.

Perfection is unrealistic, and a business with a massive amount of glowing reviews and a flawless 5-start rating can breed suspicion. Are they manipulating their reviews? Are all of them real? How can everyone be unanimously pleased with this magical business?

Having a few dissenters goes a long way toward validating praise from the majority. As long as you’re striving to deliver a 5-star experience every time, occasional negative reviews will only make your profile stronger.

Handling Negative Reviews from Non-Clients

This example is a fun one, and not entirely uncommon. Let’s take a 1-star review for the Las Vegas law firm De Castroverde Law Group. Along with their handful of glowing reviews, the firm also has this gem that questions the integrity of one of their attorneys:

1-star Yelp review from a non-client

Even ignoring the SNL Guy Fieri profile image, there are a few other red flags in the review itself. The reviewer doesn’t mention whether Carmen Amen was his attorney, but instead focuses on his overall displeasure with her presentation of facts. For a profession as adversarial as law, reviewing opposing counsel with a 1-star rating is actually a weird form of flattery.

Digging even deeper, you can see that this same person left a two-star review for a criminal defense attorney that, “ass kissed the very cowardly DA, William “Billy” Knowles after he continuously made up BS…and manufactured charges.” He posted a 1-star review for the Las Vegas Metro Police because, “you wonder what kind of IQ standards the police have in hiring.” And another 1-star review for Family Courts and Services Center, saying, “These assholes should change the name to Mommy Court because all they do is crush fathers.”

Is it possible everyone is conspiring to make Ben G’s life as miserable as possible? Sure, it’s possible. But the more likely scenario is that this is someone who needs to vent and is using Yelp as his venue.

Most consumers are savvy enough to make the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable complaints. This one doesn’t pass the eye test and shouldn’t cause the firm much (if any) concern.

Should You Respond Publicly to a Bad Review?

Whether or not to respond is at the discretion of each firm. There are pros and cons to both options, and there’s not always a clear right answer.

In the example above, it’s pretty evident that this reviewer seems to have a chip on his shoulder. And, given the overwhelmingly positive reviews sitting alongside this one, it’s not a bad decision to leave it be.

The other option would be responding with something along the lines of:

“We’re very sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant experience with one of our attorneys. Although Carmen was not representing you, we’d be happy to hear your feedback if you’d be willing to contact us directly. Thanks!”

This helps maintain your professionalism while also pointing out to potential future clients that your attorney wasn’t actually representing the person that left a negative review.

Whether you choose to respond is up to you. The only thing you want to avoid is doing anything to escalate the situation and present your firm as combative or uncompassionate. As tempting as it is to say, “We didn’t even represent you. Our job was to protect your EX-wife’s interests, not yours!” That’s hardly a constructive path when dealing with someone willing to take the time to review his arresting officer in a public venue.

In Summary

As long as you’re delivering consistently exceptional service, the occasional bad review is nothing more than a minor annoyance. It’s a cost of doing business and most consumers are savvy enough to recognize that. Don’t stress about the one-off rant from someone you couldn’t help, never worked with, or don’t even know. If you’re at 4.5 stars or better you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Should law firms have a blog?

law firms with blogs
Not every law firm has a blog. In fact, most don’t.

The number of firms with blogs has been holding steady at about 26 percent. Still, the fact that only one in four law firms has a blog doesn’t stop the common misperception that it’s a marketing necessity. Like most things related to marketing, the question of whether you or your firm should have a blog has an unsatisfyingly vague answer: it depends.

The reality is, blogging can be an extremely effective tool for building a brand, differentiating your business, and driving inquiries. On the flip side, it can also be a huge time suck that detracts from other easier opportunities that would yield greater results.

A post from Above the Law on the value of lawyers having a blog makes the point nicely, stating:

“The thing about blogging, despite whatever anyone says, is that it’s work. It takes time and effort to regularly sit down in front of a blank screen and churn out 1,000 words. You have to enjoy writing or you’re not going to do it… blogging is a pie-eating contest, and the prize is more pie.”

What does that mean for you? Should your firm bother with having a blog?

Before you decide, answer the following questions.

  • Do you like writing?
  • Do you have a distinct voice or something interesting to say?
  • Will you be consistent in your efforts?
  • Is this the best use of your time?

If the answer to any of those questions is “no” then you have a pretty clear answer as to whether your firm should have a blog. As tempting as it is to follow the (perceived) norm, there’s a reason 75-percent of law firms aren’t making blogging a part of their marketing strategy. I can guarantee you it’s not because 3 out of 4 firms are too lazy to blog consistently (although some most certainly are) but rather because they’ve decided other efforts will yield better results.

You don’t need to blog to be successful

Anyone who tells you blogging is an essential part of your marketing strategy is being misleading at best and dishonest at worst. A great blog is a fantastic way to market yourself and your firm, but it’s also only one possible component of a successful marketing mix. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for being successful, and authenticity matters. If you’re not a natural writer, don’t have an interest in publishing content regularly, or have a laundry list of other items that need to be addressed, you should scrap the idea of blogging all together.

The only thing sadder than a “blog” page on your site with a list of articles that hasn’t been updated since 2015 is having an external blog that’s costing you a couple hundred dollars each month to be a “thought leader” no one knows about.

Be honest with yourself and set your firm up for success by only taking on a blog if you’re committed to making it work. You can’t dip a toe in and expect anything. You have to genuinely enjoy it, and even then, it’s hard work finding an audience. However, if time is money, think long and hard about what you’re giving up in order to write another post that gets 4 or 5 visits and 0 comments.

Don’t Optimize for “Child Pornography” or: Why Titles Matter

A few weeks ago we were talking to an attorney that’s made a priority to produce an abundance of highly informative video content. However, during that discussion he asked us to look at his YouTube channel to see if there were any opportunities he may have missed when uploading and marketing his videos.

Here’s the first one I saw:

Definitely Not Child Pornography
Well…now we’ve got something to talk about…

One of the things he’d specifically asked about was whether we had any input on what he should be titling his videos.

The main point of optimizing your titles is to make sure expectations are clearly defined and your article or video aligns with the search intent of your potential audience. That’s why super generic titles are usually a bad idea in the first place.

However, for something as immediately off-putting as child pornography, it’s even more important to make it 100% clear what your video is about and why it’s not actually offensive content.

A better title would be, “Criminal Charges for Possession of Child Pornography” or anything else that clearly captures what the video is going to be about and increases the likelihood it will be found by someone worried about this scenario.

Granted, this is an extreme example of when generic titles go bad, but it illustrates the importance of fine-tuning titles for any content you intend to publish.

Not only is this a scary example of YouTube search traffic you don’t want to capture, it’s also likely this video’s nonspecific title will prevent it from appearing for searches where it would be totally relevant.

In short, if you’re going to take the time to publish content online it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to think through what it’s about and title it appropriately for its desired audience. That goes triple when you’re dealing with child pornography.

Hat tip to Christopher Morales for letting us use this example.

How to Write Website Copy for Diverse Practice Areas

For sole-practitioners and firms that handle a wide variety of case types, it can be challenging to win over visitors that expect a “specialist” rather than a “jack of all trades.” We’ve seen this messaging problem tackled a few ways and with varying results.

Some of the most common solutions include:

• Immediately funneling visitors to the appropriate landing pages (good idea)
• Building each practice area page as if it’s a home page (potentially effective)
• Creating different “specialist” websites for each practice area (usually a bad idea)
• Ignoring the problem and trying to be all things to all people (not actually a solution)

Short of specializing in one niche, there’s always going to be a possibility of losing prospects to competitors claiming to be focused only on one specific type of case. However, there’s a lot you can do with your messaging to mitigate that risk and turn “shoppers” into signed clients.

This is a good example of how to quickly move prospects to the practice area they actually care about.

(Screenshot courtesy of Gershburg Law)

As I’ve written before, all your clients really care about is what you can do for them. Regardless of the case type, if they’re shopping your site, it’s to determine whether you’re able to help solve their problem. If you’re focused on providing solutions to potential clients, the diversity of your practice becomes less important.

What sort of information are clients looking for?

Research from Avvo suggests that the most valued online resources are actual cases, laws, or court decisions. Even if you handle a diverse set of cases, you can leverage this by building out each practice area section of your website with information about previous cases you’ve handled, successful past results, and articles pre-emptively addressing questions you know clients typically have when they’re looking to hire you within that area of your practice.

It’s less about being a “specialist” and more about convincing visitors that you’re capable of solving their problem. In fact, you don’t just want to be capable, you want to be the ideal solution.

What can you do to set yourself apart?

We consistently see attorney bios showing up as one of the most trafficked pages for clients. People researching lawyers care who they’ll be entrusting with their case and want to know more about that person than where they went to school. You can use this to your advantage by telling your story not just on the bio page, but across the entire site.

Despite concerns to the contrary, a diverse practice is a lot less likely to cost you potential clients than failing to provide the basic information people expect when researching attorneys. Establishing trust with potential clients becomes more difficult when you’re having to build resources and write content across a diverse set of practice areas, but as long as you’re consistently tying your writing back to your core strengths as an attorney and reiterating your ability to provide value to your clients, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

In Summary

  • Build a unifying theme across your entire website by describing what clients can expect when they hire you to represent them.
  • Make it easy for prospects to find the section of your site relevant to their specific needs.
  • Use practice area pages to build on your overarching theme and offer information and solutions within that section of your practice.
  • Showcase your knowledge, experience, past results, and solutions for previous clients.
  • Inject enough personality that prospects feel like they know what the experience is going to be like before they even contact you.

It’s a lot easier said than done, but if you do all these things, the fact that you’re handling multiple case types shouldn’t turn off even the pickiest of potential prospects.

Focus on What Your Clients Care About

How do I decide what to include on my website?
When in doubt, consult the website content flowchart.

This might be one of the most obvious blog posts out there, but given the number of sites we run across that seem to be missing this critical piece of advice, it’s worth repeating. The way to turn prospects into clients is by focusing on what the client cares about and offering a solution to their problem.

Most clients aren’t overly concerned with where you went to school, whether you’re a Lawyer of Distinction, or what your Martindale Hubbell rating is. All they care about is whether you’re going to be able to help them. What exactly does that mean though?

How should you be selling yourself to prospective clients?

According to Avvo’s white paper on How to Adapt to the New Legal Consumer, “three out of five legal consumers go online at some point to investigate and/or try to resolve their legal issue.” This shouldn’t be shocking news, but that means 60% of your potential customers are coming to your website with a specific problem in mind and a hope you can help solve it.

As a result, tailoring your messaging, blog posts, and resources to what your clients are most concerned with will pay off in the form of increased traffic and conversions.

Your focus should be positioning yourself as an expert and doing everything you can to answer the questions facing your clients. If your messaging isn’t built around how you can help your clients solve THEIR problem, you’re doing it wrong.

The more resources you can provide to potential clients the more likely they are to view you as an authority in your practice area. Proactively answering questions and addressing the issues your clients care about before they contact you is a great way to signal visitors that you’re the right person to hire for their case.

This doesn’t mean you need to build 1000s of resources to answer every possible question a prospective client might have. All it means is that if you’re not focusing on answering the four or five most common concerns facing your clients you’re missing an opportunity to start building a relationship with clients before ever speaking with them.

The same Avvo study on the “new legal consumer” also found that “37% of consumers try to resolve their situation themselves once their issue is triggered.” While some of those clients might be successful, and may never need to contact you, there’s still a significant percentage that will ultimately fill out a contact form or pick up the phone.

None of this is to suggest you stop sharing your achievements, showcasing your credentials, or even posting a few select badges on your website. All it’s suggesting is that you don’t lose sight of what’s driving your customers to contact you in the first place.

Given the limited attention spans of people visiting a website, your initial message should focus on what they’re looking for, address what they’re concerned about, and show them why there’s no need to look anywhere else.

If prospective clients landing on your website feel like you’re providing a solution instead of talking past their needs, you’ll be in a great position to convert your site’s traffic into actual revenue.