Digital marketing today is getting increasingly harder throughout saturated markets. The criminal defense market is no exception, it's saturated since the market of potential customers is huge. It's also difficult for new business to get noticed, and most of the marketing budget is tied up with trying to drive traffic to a website. So what should you do to make sure your website doesn't get lost in the shuffle? And more importantly, what shouldn't you be doing?
1. DON'T BE DIFFERENT JUST FOR THE SAKE OF BEING DIFFERENT.
When you're designing your website, you don't want to just throw in a bunch of bells and whistles for the sake of being different. You need to be sure that every element on your page is actually serving a purpose. And remember, just because something is flashy doesn't mean it's effective – in fact, it could have the opposite effect. As much as you need to show the uniqueness of your firm, this has to be done in a way that doesn't distract from the marketing message you want to convey.
2. DO MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS MOBILE-FRIENDLY.
With so many people using their smartphones and other mobile devices to access the internet, it's important that your website is optimized for those devices. If it's not, you're going to be losing out on a lot of potential traffic. Statistica estimates 56% of organic website clicks are from mobile devices, and 63% of paid clicks are from mobile. Google uses a metric called Lighthouse to aid in ranking websites, which evaluates how well companies optimize their sites for mobile users. So make sure you're doing your part to be "Google-certified." They use something called mobile-first indexing, which means the search engine giant will rank websites primarily based on the mobile version of their pages, rather the desktop version.
3. DON'T FORGET ABOUT CONTENT.
One of the most important elements of any website is its content. You need to make sure that you're providing your visitors with valuable information that will help them solve their problem. If you can do that, you'll be well on your way to success. There are two types of content to focus on while building your website: primary and supportive. Primary content includes descriptions of practice areas, your law firm's background, and FAQs. Supporting content includes blog posts, testimonials, white papers, press releases, infographics, videos, and case studies. They both serve their own purpose, but without one or the other your site is incomplete. Primary content are things you wouldn't publish a website without, while secondary technically could. Secondary content is so important for criminal defense attorneys because it helps with organic search engine optimization and shows that the attorney is an expert in the field and NOT a robot!
4. DO MAKE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA.
Whether you're on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or another platform, it's important that you use them to their fullest potential. Make sure you're regularly posting fresh content, and be sure to engage with your audience. The more active you are on social media, the more likely you are to attract new visitors. Have you ever considered calling some company but checked out their social media only to see nothing? Imagine being a client looking for a criminal defense attorney and finding the same thing.
5. DON'T USE JUNK CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CMS).
Using old school Joomla or WordPress is fine, but when it comes to criminal defense website development you should avoid using cheap CMSs. Most of these systems are not designed with criminal defense in mind and can lead to lost leads and potential website visitors. A good web developer will be able to help you decide if a CMS is the best option for your site. Using a traditional, yet powerful CRM like WordPress, ensures your website uses the most reliable tech for managing leads and converting them.
6. DO USE GOOGLE ANALYTICS.
One of the best tools to track your visitors as they move through your website is Google Analytics. Not only can it help you improve your site, it allows you to track where your visitors are coming from and what type of devices they're using. When combined, these two things can help you make decisions about how to improve your website. Google Analytics allows you to see the average position for a specified keyword, the average click-through rate (CTR) on your site, and how much traffic you're getting from Google.
7. DON'T FORGET ABOUT KEYWORDS.
When it comes to website development for criminal defense attorneys, keywords are essential. You need to make sure you're targeting the right ones, and that they're included throughout your website. You can use them in the titles of your pages, in the content, and in the metatags. Doing so will help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Criminal defense attorneys should target keywords like "criminal defense," "defense lawyer," and "criminal lawyer." as well as a plethora of others that should be tailored to where you operate locally.
7. DON'T FORGET ABOUT HTTPS.
If you want your website to be seen as credible, you need to make sure it's using HTTPS. This is the encrypted version of HTTP, and it's quickly becoming the standard for online security. Google has even started giving a ranking boost to websites that are using HTTPS. If you take any payments through your website, you'll need to use HTTPS.
8. DO CREATE A CLEAR CALL TO ACTION.
Your website should have a clear call to action that tells your visitors what you want them to do. Whether it's filling out a form, calling your office, or downloading a white paper, you need to make it easy for them to take the next step. Not only will this help you build your contact list, it'll also give you a better idea of what type of content your visitors prefer. Those looking for a criminal defense lawyer may want to contact a firm and get the feel of who they might be working with, which a potential call back could help them determine.
9. DON'T FORGET ABOUT WEBSITE DESIGN.
Your website's design is just as important as its content. It needs to be easy to navigate, and all of your content should be easy to find. The colors and fonts you choose should reflect your brand and match the look and feel of your firm. It's also a good idea to have testimonials from past clients and a way of getting directions to your office. Statistics show that a poorly-designed website can hurt your business and cause potential clients to click off extremely fast.
10. DON'T FORGET ABOUT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO).
It's been estimated that 75% of internet users don't bother looking past the first page of search engine results. That's why it's so important for your website to have a good ranking on those pages. The more popular keywords you rank for, the more visitors you'll get. A good developer can help you with this as well as a company that specializes in SEO services. If criminal defense lawyers who practice in your area aren't paying for SEO, they're definitely losing out on potential clients. SEO is not an overnight process, so any marketing agency promising to get you to the top of Google rankings by the end of the week is likely overselling their services. Focus on the quality of your pages and your content will begin to rank over time.
Developing a website for your criminal defense law firm can be an overwhelming task. But by following these 10 tips, you'll be well on your way to having a website that not only looks great, but also helps you generate more leads and grow your business. When looking for a web design company or SEO specialist to help you with your criminal defense firm, make sure to do your research and ask for referrals. And most importantly, don't be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about what goes into website development, the better equipped you'll be to make decisions that are right for your firm. Web design and digital marketing is not a quick task, so it's important to invest in a company that is dedicated to staying on top of digital trends and developing quality content. If you have any questions regarding marketing your criminal defense law firm, contact Gold Penguin Marketing today.