This 2nd part will focus on several, simple, yet professional-looking tweaks to make to your law firm’s website so it attracts higher quality clients and more of them, consistently. Even if you’re not SEO or programming-savvy, these tweaks are fast and easy to implement.


Today, I’m going to talk about stage 2 of 3 in the 3 part series of how to become the most prestigious and preeminent and respected law firm in your metro and in your practice areas. In the first podcast, if you haven’t heard it, we talked about all the ways that you can improve your image online so when people are searching Google and AVVO and looking at reviews and all the stuff, before they even get to your website, when they’re Googling on various questions and keywords. It doesn’t matter your practice area, how do you stand out from your competitors so you get the click and they come to your website instead of someone else because if you can’t get them to your website, if you can’t show them that you are the one that they should call, they’re never even going to call you.

You will never know because they won’t have called you and you’ll miss out on that client. Next time you go to court, you’ll see those competitors that you don’t like with all the clients and they’ll be on the docket every single day and it’s going to drive you nuts. How do you do this? How do you become the one to hire, the firm to hire? We spent about 18/20 minutes going over many different ways that you can improve your prestige, your image and elevate the respect people have for you before they even get to your website and decide to call you. This is part 2 of the series. Once you’ve done all that and once they come to your website, this is a very precious thing because anyone can click back on the browser and just go back to Google.

Anyone on their phone can close the window or just re-Google someone else, it’s so easy and it’s unbelievable. Even if they sneeze too hard, they can leave your website and go to someone else. Once you get them there, you still need to work hard to get them to call you or to email you and to ask legal questions, to do an initial consultation. You may not think this is a big step but this is a big step and here is why. Most people are not repeat offenders or most people don’t have family members that die every week and need continual estate planning. Most people don’t get divorced 5 times a year and need a family lawyer over and over again. Legal situations are pretty rare and most people don’t have to deal with the legal system very much. They don’t like it. It’s ugly, it’s nasty and it’s scary.

I’ve dealt with the legal system in minor ways and it still will scare you. I couldn’t imagine being accused of a major crime or in some like huge lawsuit. It’ll be terrible or a nasty divorce. You have to realize that people are afraid and they don’t know anything about the law. They may be researching on Google or talking to friends but they don’t know that you’re better than John Smith down the road, they don’t know. The only way they know that is to read your information, to look at your reviews, to form an opinion about you before they even talk to you. That’s why it’s so critical to show up professionally, to show up prestigiously, preeminently and to really convince that person.

This attorney looks really good, really capable. I don’t want to do it but I’m going to call their office because I got to handle this problem, this legal problem is just chewing me up. I am thinking about it day and night, in the shower, I can’t sleep, it’s affecting my work. That’s the state a lot of people are in when they call. Those are the good clients because they really need somebody. Once they get to your website, what are they going to see? The first thing they’ll see is a lot of times your homepage but they may not come to your homepage, and here is why. Google treats your website as if it was a dandelion, fluffy white dandelions, you blow on the spores and stuff go all over the place.

What that means is every page of every website is exposed to Google search. Let’s say you and your wife are attorneys. You do criminal law, your wife does family law, and this is a very common arrangement. Someone’s Googling about a sex crime, what may show up in Google is the homepage of your site, or what may show up in Google is the section of your website that talks about sex crimes, and they may enter through that particular door of your website. Someone else, 5 minutes later, may be Googling about child custody, and they may enter through your homepage; they may not. They may enter through a child custody page, they more likely enter through that page onto your website. Why? Because Google is good at its job.

It doesn’t want to just throw everyone onto the homepage where it’s not relevant to them. If someone’s looking for something very particular, child custody, they don’t want to waste their time. Google wants to look good and have people say, “I Googled something, I got my answer two seconds later exactly what I was looking for. They want to provide good search results. That’s their job and they have billions and billions and billions in revenue because they do such a good job. That’s how your website is treated. Not everyone comes in through the homepage, it’s not like a lobby where that’s how everyone walks in to get to your office. They walk in through every conceivable door and window. They come from under the carpet, to the ceiling, that’s what’s happening with your website.

When they first get there, does your homepage look beautiful and the rest of the pages on the site just look like crap? Do they have just an article on them and not much? Does your website look like a movie set with a homepage, the façade is nice and it’s got all the stuff on it and every other page is ignored, bad idea because again, people come through every conceivable page. So you want all the pages of your website to look good. This seems like a really tough job but here’s the saving grace. There’s only about 4 different kinds of pages that make up an attorney’s website. There’s the homepage, there’s the attorney profile page, and the about us page, there are article pages where an article about a particular legal question and answer will live, and those make up most of a website’s pages that could be hundreds of them.

There’ll be a testimonial page, if you’re smart, and there’ll be a Contact Us page, so those are five actually. But really most of your site will be composed of article pages, Q&A legal stuff, the profile page, and the homepage. Really those are like probably the top three pages of the site and they make up 99% of the site. So, your job is not nearly as hard as you think. If you make the homepage look good, you got a good design and you make your article page all look the same except for the content and a few other tweaks but again, good design. Then if you make your profile page look good, you get three designs, they’re all still the same theme. But if they all look good, you’re light years ahead of most attorneys that have websites that look good on the surface but look bad once you get to any subpage. That’s the first step.

How do you make your site look good? How do you make yourself look respected and preeminent? You want to have really crisp, big, beautiful, smiling pictures of yourself. Why? Because people hire a person, they have confidence and trust in a person. They don’t hire ABC law firm; they hire Jane Smith of ABC Law Firm because “I didn’t realize that she is a single mother too and I am in the middle of the custody battle and she understands me because she went through the same thing four years ago”, that’s why you hire Jane Smith, not because she’s ABC Law Firm. That’s meaningless. People hire people, they do not hire businesses, they do not hire companies, they hire people.

This is true whether you’re hiring a carpet cleaner for your house or a lawyer or going to the doctor or any of that stuff. You’re hiring that person and that person’s attitude, personality, how well they empathize with you and understand you, how credential they are, how impressive they are, all these things boil down into your decision either to hire them or not hire them. Same goes for me when people hire our firm or hire me. Knowing that people need to experience you before they call because if they can’t see you and if they can’t hear you, and all they see is just legal gobbledygook on the site and nothing that speaks to the layperson and nothing that tells them what you look like, what you sound like, how you are.

They are less likely to call. People don’t want to call a blank wall. They want to call a human being, so humanize yourself. Have pictures of yourself smiling, not being grumpy and folding your arms or trying to look tough. That doesn’t go over well. People may want tough but again, if you treat them badly, if you look down on them and they’re afraid of that. They think a lot of attorneys are mean and a lot of them are. I’ve called a lot when I needed help and a lot of them are just downright mean. I don’t want to hire those people when they try to scare you. I want someone that’ll fight for me, that’ll be a real advocate for my case. Nice pictures, smiling, happy.
Make it even better; have some videos of you on the site, not just a commercial but answer some legal questions and put them on your website especially on pages that have to do with that same subject. Let’s say you do estate planning and you’re talking about Will Contest or Probate, and there are articles on the site about that. Have a video of you talking about the same thing you talk about in the article. This serves two purposes. 1) It gets to humanize you in case someone went onto that page; 2) people consume information in different ways. Some like to read, some hate reading and they rather watch. Some hate watching and they’d rather listen. People are very different. Some people will like to printout stuff and read it. Some people will read it on their Smartphone, a lot of them do.

Some people want to watch a video, so have pictures of yourself, have videos of yourself. People can see you and hear you and experience you and they’ll get a feel for your personality if you have that kind of stuff, it’ll go a long way to making you seem accessible and convey the image that you want to convey. This also gives you control of your image. You may not realize that. If you have nothing of yourself on the website, you actually have no image. If you want to convey yourself as professional, as skilled, as a powerful attorney that really knows what they’re doing and has empathy as well and that gets good results, what better way than to talk and to be seen and heard before someone even calls you.

Their fears are allayed and they get to know that you’re experienced. The next thing you want to do is remember those pages we talked about. Homepage, I’m going to start with that. Homepage is a great place to have testimonials. A homepage is also a great place to have those badges that a lot of people have. AVVO, 10.0 rating, NACDL (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers), member of PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association), member of the NACBA; the bankruptcy stuff. Whatever practice area you’re in, get those badges and put them near your picture because they essentially give a halo effect to you in your picture.

People see it and say, “This person is a member of all these things, a million dollar advocates club, whatever it is”. If you get media mentions, as seen on TV or on ABC news, or quoted in Legal Journal of Minnesota. All of that stuff is great to have near your picture and near your videos on the homepage. This also goes the same for your profile page and wherever you appear on the site, so credentialize yourself, give yourself a golden halo above your head, that kind of stuff helps. The number of cases you’ve worked on helps. If you’ve done thousand cases or 500 cases, the number of trials, that kind of stuff all helps to credentialize you. You want to have it on the site.

On the homepage, you want to have a great headline that doesn’t just say, “We’ll fight for you”, or, “Divorce is serious”, and that kind of thing. Have some bullet points. What I’d have is bullet points of the most common questions you get asked why because if you’re getting asked the same questions 8 times a week, guess what? There are like 800 people a week that are searching and have those same questions but never made it to your website, they never recalled you. The most common question is for a reason. You can trust them. If you get asked the same thing a lot, it’s being asked 10 or 100 times as much out there in the marketplace.

You want to hit people right away, with those things that they ask all the time and have it right there on the homepage. If someone’s on an article page, DUI page or auto accident page or bankruptcy page, same thing, you want to definitely have an FAQ section right upfront so people could see it because those most common questions are the first thing they need to have answered before they can go deeper and engage with you further. What else can you have? Have that free consultation stuff, there are ways to slice that and make it better, calling it a strategy session, calling it a 20-minute legal engagement, phone consult, that kind of thing so you can spin what it’s called to make it sound something different, which is always helpful.

Another thing you want to have is you always want to have your phone number on the top right of every single page of your website. Why? Because if you make people work and try to find the phone number, they’re much less likely to call you. Don’t make people work. In today’s world, people are so lazy that if they have to look anywhere to do anything, they’re not going to do it. So have that phone number on every single page of your site at the top right, so they know where to look. That’s where they’re trained to look, top right. Make it touchable on tablets and Smartphones because Smartphones now are 65%, almost 70% in this year, of all search, so mobile outpaces laptops and non-mobile now.

if I touch that number and it doesn’t load into my dial screen of my phone, of my tablet and I had to type it in, that’s a pain and I’m less likely to do it. Vanity numbers, don’t have a vanity number on your site. They don’t work anymore. People use to think 1800-calldui, or 1800-injured that kind of thing. Old phones, payphones, they used to have; number one had no letters associated with it, number two had ABC, 3 had DEF etc. Nowadays, in smartphones, a lot of them don’t have that. People don’t want to translate the letters, if you touch the number with letters in it, 1800-call-now, it’s now going to translate the numbers and it’s just an impediment to search, so don’t do it.

If you have to do it, if you’re in love with your number, have that but have the actual numbers above it. So, 1800-454-8181 and right below it, 1800-call now or something so at least people don’t have to go with the latter one because again, I’m seeing it an as impediment, not a help. We talked about testimonials and reviews, very important. You want to have them on all the pages of your site; you don’t want to have it clutter up the whole page but you want to be there because that’s the third-party proof that you’re good so you want to have that on all your pages. It’s very important to have. Let me go into a way to make it even better. I’m just going to go with criminal defense. Within criminal defense, there is not just one type of crime. There are theft crimes, sex crimes, DUI and traffic tickets etc.

If I am on a page about DUI, do I care if I see testimonials about traffic tickets or about murder? No, I care about DUI. I want to know you help people just like me. So a great way to make yourself look a lot better is on pages that talk about DUI, have DUI related testimonials on those pages, on pages that talk about sex crimes, if you can have sex crime type testimonials. If you’re a family law attorney, you have contested divorce, uncontested mediation, child support, child custody, spousal maintenance or alimony etc. On each of those pages, if you can have a testimonial related just to that, it makes it a lot more powerful than just having blanket testimonials or no testimonials at all.

Try to have the page with all your testimonials, but then handpick ones that are related to the content someone is looking at and have it on those pages. That’s a real huge bonus that could really boost the effectiveness of your website. Homepage, we got that there, now we’ll talk about your profile page. It’s very important. In your profile page, does it look just like a resume? Most people, that’s what they have. Mr. So and So graduated from Harvard University in 1980 with a bachelors and this and that and he’s been practicing for 50 years, that’s just like boring who-cares type stuff. What’s special about you? Have you argued the case before the Supreme Court? Are you certified in Federal Court? How do you talk about the type of law that you do? So do you say we just do injury law or what does that mean?

I do injury law, Great. I, on the other hand, deal with auto accidents, with both insured and uninsured drivers, auto accidents with death or serious bodily injury. I deal with medical malpractice, you could say slip and falls, trip and falls, dog bites, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, product liability, so you can really dimensionalize what you do and not just say one blanket statement. If you do criminal law, you do criminal law or you deal with sex crimes, drug crimes, theft crimes, DUI, traffic tickets and all of that stuff. You can dimensionalize it. Estate Planning, probate, will contest, trusts, wills, There are a lot of ways to dimensionalize any practice area you have; Immigration, family immigration, Crimmigration, provisional waivers and all of that stuff.

Have that on your profile page so people know that you do all kinds of cases. Have a link to testimonials on your profile page. What do clients say about you, what other attorneys say about you, that’s important. Have nice pictures and videos, a welcome video on your profile page really make this thing your profile, a living, breathing document. Also have personal stuff on there. I am not saying to tell people your personal life, and why you think that is relevant, it is. People hire people, they don’t hire businesses or blank walls, so tell people. If you have kids and you want to disclose that, say it. If you enjoy sailing and playing polo, say it. If you are a rock climber, say it. If you are injured and you’re missing a leg and you served in the military, say it. It helps people bond with you. These act as dog whistles.

Certain people that have had that similar situation, they will respond to you because of that. I have one DUI attorney that was arrested for DUI. He got off but he was arrested for it and he was afraid to put this out there. I said no, that’s your greatest asset because you went through the same thing that your clients are going through. Highlight it. We got him to do it and he’s doing far better, he’s going a number of calls because of it. If you’ve been divorced and you’re a family law attorney, say it. I know it makes you feel vulnerable but it actually elevates you in the eyes of clients, these personal disclosures, they really, really, really help, trust me. Any media attention, this is a place to put it on your profile page.

Education, fine, wonderful; any special training you’ve gotten. Let’s say you’ve been trained in field sobriety tests or you’ve been board-certified in your state or admitted to the Supreme Court or admitted to practice in federal court, or you’ve had special designations of any kind for any area of law. Put them in here because it shows that you stand out amongst other attorneys. This is your chance. When people look at you, this is typically a page where people will make their final decision to call or not so you want to have good looking profile page with a lot of great stuff on you because now, it’s all about you. The more prestigious you look the more likely they are going to call. That’s what’s going on profile pages, don’t just have a resume.

Article pages, we talked about this already. Have relevant testimonials, have different ways to consume it, not just the article but videos, audio if you can, maybe have stuff in bullet form, allow the articles, we print it, some people want to print and read, take stuff with them, let them bookmark it or save it to their phone, let it be emailable to them. All those things help people consume the article and you want to have that in your article pages. In addition, you want to have a lot of content on your site. If you do DUI and you just have one generic page that talks about penalties, fines, then you can have a 100 pages just on DUI alone, 10 DUI, over 21, multiple offences, high BAC, DUI with bodily injury or death, DUI on federal land, DUI for drugs versus alcohol, DUI when no one saw you driving, DUI when you are sleeping at the back of a car, DUI, boating under the influence. DUI when you refuse the breath test, there are a hundreds different things that can happen just in DUI.

This goes for any criminal defense type stuff, it goes for any injury case, and this goes with any estate planning case, immigration. If you have one article, fine. If you have a 100 articles and you answer every possible question people could have on a subject, well guess what, they’re going to spend a lot more time engaging with your site. There are more doors for Google to send searchers through different keywords to find your site and not just a few keywords. It’s very, very important. My clients that have a lot of articles on each practice area, they get a lot more traffic to their site. Once they do, this converts them because they say, “I got the answers here. I’m not just seeing a generic article.

Another thing with article page that’s very important is write in layman’s terms, don’t write in legalese. They don’t understand it, people have no clue what implied consent means, prima facie, etc. They have no clue what it means. They don’t know about the law, you do, you’re speaking those terms, they don’t. They don’t know what preliminary hearing is or administrative hearing adjudication, they don’t know any of that stuff. You have to speak in layman’s terms, very plain, very simple and it’ll come across a heck of a lot better. You can wow them with terms later on but talk at their level and trust me, people will consume that a lot better. No matter how sophisticated they are.

If you think, “My clients are college educated and they’re high-income and they’re people with businesses, guess what, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and all these high publications, they’re written at an 8th grade level; some of them are written at a 6th grade level and they work so well and they are so compelling because they are very easy to understand. No matter how sophisticated your client is, the easier they can understand what you write and have video off than everything, the more likely they are to call you. Intimidation does not work. Talking Gobbledygook does not work, believe me. Make it simple, make it clear.

Moving on, we talked about having videos, very important. I am going to go into that for a quick second. Don’t just have one video, don’t have a commercial. We here, the law firm of A, B & C, care about you. They won’t care about that stuff. Answer at least that’s common questions you get in a video format. The more videos the better. If they are minute-and-a-half long and they answer questions, you can easily get 10 of them done a month, you can do a all day session, get 50 of them done, sure you’ll be tired but you’ll have 50 videos done and that’s a lot. The great attorneys keep making more and more videos because each one answers one question typically one or two minutes long. People search on this stuff.

If you answer their question, they’re more likely to engage, come to your site and call you. So videos are very important. Another important thing is to have a welcome video. When people call, who will answer? You or an admin, what’s the admin’s name? When you call Rebecca, our admin, will answer the phone. Rebecca is a wonderful one person. She is going to ask you details about the case, then she’ll transfer it either to Mike or Sally. Mike handles this, Sally handles that. Mike has this credentials, Sally has that credential. Then our building is on the corner of Main Street and it’s a 2-story building with stucco and there is the sign on the door that says, “This is right across to McDonald”.

These little things help if you have an instructive video or audio that tells people about it. They know what to expect. It’s a fearful process to come to the officer or to call you, these things help, and you want to have them. Probably one of the last things is testimonials and case studies. You want to have them on the site, you want to use them all over the place. You want to differentiate them but you want to have a lot of them. Two testimonials are not going to cut it. You want to have at least 10, 20, 30 as many as you can. The more testimonials people see the more likely that feeling of wow, this attorney really knows what they’re doing sinks in. Some people will read through 5, 10, 20 testimonials, they just keep reading and reading because it’s like soothing themselves.

They get the feeling of like patting their head and soothing themselves the more testimonials they read. I’ve seen people get great results once they get beyond 10. If you can’t get even testimonials to be send in to you, handwritten or just replying to an email or get them any way you can but if you can’t get at least 10 and you’ve been in practice for years and years, I mean you got to get on it. It’s very important. You want to have them on your site. Another thing you can do in the meantime is a crutch until you get enough testimonials is get case studies. You worked on cases, dozens of them. Think back, this is how you do a case study. Let’s say you’re an injury lawyer. You don’t put the person’s name obviously and you obscure the facts that they need to be obscured to protect privacy. Here’s a case study.

Client won $250,000 for a rear-end accident with neck injury. You go like this, “Client was driving and stopped at a light and was rear-ended by a commercial vehicle at 30 miles an hour. The client suffered these injuries. In Negotiations with the insurance company, we were able to get the initial settlement offer raised from 20,000 to $25,000. Client is very happy with the result”. So that’s a case study. Let’s say you do criminal defense, case study, 5 years prison reduced to 3-years probation. A client was caught with a pound of cocaine and arrested and was facing 5 years in prison. When we challenged the lab method of handling the cocaine, it was thrown out and the amount was considered to be instead of one pound, one gram, which brought the charge down from 5 years to 3 years probation. That’s a case study.

You can do unlimited ones of these if you don’t have testimonials. They convey very similar results to people, people want to know your thought process, and how you handle cases etc., so this is a great way to do it is to have case studies on your site if you don’t have enough testimonials. Case studies can be put in the same place that you put testimonials on the relevant pages, on the homepage, on your profile page. Last thing, and we kind of talked about this already. Contact us page, have one. You want to have the phone number on the top right of every page, Contact Us page, here’s a problem what people do. People will put free initial consultation, they’ll put a box to put your name, email and phone number and tell us what happened and all that but they’ll put it all over the place and it’ll obscure pages, it’ll obscure content, it’ll just be like constantly bugging people, contact us now.

You don’t need to do that. 90% of your leads are going to come by phone anyway, and phone people, phone leads are much better than email leads. Usually email people turn into ghosts, so don’t push the email, push phone. You may not even need a consultation form to tell you a truth, have it but push phone because those are much better leads for you than just relying on email. Nowadays, most businesses don’t even answer the phone. It’s a terrible mistake. They want people to email them, they want people to go to their website; don’t push people away, don’t make them go to the website, get on the phone and help them and be available because otherwise, you’re going to lose out big time.

All these things are very important for when someone gets to your website to get in to take that huge step of calling you. It’s a huge step, don’t mistake it. This is the end of part 2 of the 3 part series. The last part we’re going to go into is when someone calls you, what’s going to be their experience? Is the phone going to be answered and they’re going to say, “Law Office”, or is it going to be an answering service that says, “He’s not here, call us back”, or is it going to be a well-crafted script that gets the client engaged? Is your phone going to be answered 24×7? These kinds of things we’re going to go into in the third part of the series because once you get someone to call you, they’ve overcome a lot of hurdles.

They’ve done a lot of work. If you mess it up at this point and a lot of firms do, you’re just burning $100 bills easy by doing this because it takes a lot to get people to call in today’s age. So this is probably the most important part of the series that’s coming up. If you need help in implementing the stuff that we talked about in this podcast or the first podcast, or the third one coming, call me 888-225-8594, or email Richard.Jacobs@speakeasymarketinginc.com. Thank you!


Richard Jacobs

About Richard Jacobs

My name is Richard Jacobs, and I've discovered quite a bit about the plight of solo practitioners and small, 2-5 attorney firms like yours these past 12 years.

I've come to understand the unique challenges in marketing ethically and effectively that attorneys face because I have:

  • Helped over 180 attorneys author their own practice area book and become the 'implied expert' in their practice area
  • Helped hundreds of attorneys successfully navigate Google's search algorithm changes, growing their websites from 2 potential clients calling a month to 4+ calls per DAY for some clients.
  • Interviewed and promoted over 507 attorneys nationwide, in practice areas such as:
  • DUI / DWI
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Bankruptcy
  • Auto Accidents
  • Social Security Disability
  • Slip & Falls (Premises Liability)
  • Real Estate
  • Estate Planning / Probate
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Expungements / Post Conviction Relief

Before you decide to invest in your marketing, it makes sense to first request your complimentary, custom, no obligation video website review.

Richard is the author of 6 books published on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com

Richard is available for speaking engagements on direct marketing for attorneys and has recently spoken at the following legal conferences:

  • PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association)
  • Las Vegas DUI Summit – Private event for DUI attorneys
  • New York Boutique Lawyers Association
  • Perry Marshall & Associates Marketing Academy (Marina Del Rey, CA)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)