If your law firm primarily gets cases via referrals, then lead generation is probably not a high priority for you when it comes to online marketing. However, a website is still important—and there are unique considerations when designing a website for referral validation.
Referrals are so special. You previously delivered good service to someone and they referred you to a friend. Now, this referral is just looking to confirm that you are, in fact, reliable and professional. It sounds easy but it can be surprisingly difficult to convince a referral to take the next step!
To help you make the most of your referrals, here are five things you need to know about referral validation websites including whether you need to pay for SEO and which web pages are the most critical according to potential clients.
You don’t need a pricey SEO plan
SEO is helpful for targeting organic searchers but it’s not really necessary for referral validation websites. In fact, you don’t even need to rank on the first page of Google for legal-related keywords. None of this stuff matters if the primary purpose of your website is referral validation.
Since referrals will generally be searching directly for your name or your firm’s name ask your website developer to help with branded visibility so that anyone searching for that specific phrase will find your site front and center.
Attorney profiles matter much more than you think
Attorney profiles are the most visited pages on your site after the homepage. Invest in your attorney profiles! The text and photos on this page are especially important if you are being vetted by a referral for the first time.
Your attorney profile is a chance to earn—or lose—someone’s trust. Don’t squander the opportunity!
If you haven’t had a professional photo taken in a few years, book some time. It’s also worth hiring a copywriter who specializes in writing attorney profiles to effectively convey you and your team’s experience and professionalism.
Clear FAQs build trust—and save you time
Referrals usually have similar questions about what to expect from working with you. Get ahead of their questions and create a Frequently Asked Questions page that addresses what you’re most often asked by referrals.
Your FAQ page can help you build trust by demonstrating a familiarity with common concerns. As a bonus, a comprehensive FAQ page can help reduce the number of inquiries your admin team has to manage.
Make it easy to contact you
Include a Contact Us form, chatbot, and phone number on every single page. Don’t make someone search for a way to reach you—it only takes a split second of frustration to lose someone’s business.
To seal the deal, set clear expectations for communication. If someone submits a form, how long until they will hear from you? If they initiate a chat on the weekend, when will someone write back? Setting expectations can reduce anxiety and create a better first impression.
Think long-term for best results
Even if you are not publishing weekly blog posts or trying to improve your site’s organic rankings, websites should never be one and done.
Referrals expect up-to-date, high-performing, and valuable content—so make sure you have a long-term strategy for your referral validation website. Schedule semi-annual reviews with your developer to keep the website functioning smoothly.
Review and next steps
When a friend tells you about a new Italian restaurant in town, you Google it. Prospective clients who are referred to your office will likely do the same.
The smartest approach to referral validation websites is to nail a few key features (FAQ page, attorney profiles, Contact Us options) and steer clear of unnecessary services (costly SEO).