With this modern age of instant food, music, entertainment, etc. there comes a mindset that’s becoming more and more prevalent across multiple generational spectrums: people need more concrete reasons to actually commit to something. It can be easy for people to want to just skirt through companies’ websites, looking through products but without having any sort of proactive intention to commit to anything. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people do not want to, or will not commit to buying a product, it simply means it’s harder to get them to that point. This is as relevant in regular marketing as it is in legal marketing, if not more.

The bane of your law firm’s website might be people just “browsing”, but not wanting to actually commit. It can be hard to see the reasoning behind having a website with lots of useful information if you think it’s going to keep potential clients from going all the way to actually talking to an attorney. A prevailing mindset to support this thought is the simple fact that when people actually show up to a place and talk to a person, it can seem far easier for them to commit. Think of it like buying a car. If you go to a dealership website, you want them to have lots of information about the vehicle you’re looking for, such as price, specs, etc. You don’t want to have to drive down to the dealer just to get that information. However, the dealer still has to build in tools to get people from “I’m just browsing” to “Sure, I’ll come in and meet with you/look at the car”. There has to be a clear indication that “if you want more info, you’re going to have to go and meet with someone.” Something similar must happen in legal marketing as well.

So just how can you find that sweet spot between browsers and true potential clients? Well, one of the ways revolves around website design. You should always have a well-designed website with lots of factual, modern information, but on top of that, start with making sure your website is efficient, smooth, and fast. Up to 53 percent of browsers on mobile devices will give up and leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, a study says. Make sure your website is designed to not have any unnecessary latency, so that your potential clients can get where they’re going quickly. This ensures that they’ll not only stay longer on your site, but that they’ll develop a positive opinion on how your firm gets important information to them. Also, make certain your website is mobile friendly!

You don’t need to know all the in’s and out’s of website design, coding, etc. but you need to make sure you’re proficient with online technology. Even the American Bar Association has added additional aspects to the idea of achieving and, more importantly, maintaining legal competence:

“Maintaining Competence [8]  To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.

Make sure you are proficient with email, social media, and modern technology in general, on top of everything else. It will prove to be invaluable in this process of conversion.

Perhaps most important in converting a browser to a client is the call to action. As stated earlier, many people are willing to commit to working with a lawyer if they’re “hooked” in the right way. This sounds odd, but it’s true. You don’t need to be kicking down their metaphorical door, but there must be persistency and consistent application of a pressure in order to encourage each visitor on your website to make a commitment and follow through. Use wordplay in your website design that encourages and demonstrates the benefits of committing, such as “Get Your Case Started Now by Calling…” or “Let One of Our Attorneys Take a Look at Your Case Now!” This type of language suggests that your firm is willing and able to meet any of your client’s needs, when they need it. It engenders a sense of trust, and nothing is more valuable than trust, especially in the increasingly-contemporary legal field. You want your clients to know, not just “think”, that you are willing to genuinely try and improve their situation, therefore it’s vital to curate your website content to reflect that with the appropriate vocabulary and imperative statements, without being too pushy.

A lot of this conversion can be helped along by having a good chat service on your firm’s website. Here’s a list of a few that have been proven to be very successful, and one of the biggest reasons they’re so popular is the ease with which they facilitate this call to action. They allow either your own agents, or 3rd party legal agents to field visitors to your site to begin a dialogue, and start creating an avenue for your firm to get the browser to commit.

Going from “browser” to “client” always requires this call to action. You simply cannot expect your future clients to always come running right to your law firm just because you have a well-designed, smooth website, etc. You have to pull the hook and extend a commitment to the potential clients to get them to feel comfortable and confident enough to actually meet with a member of your team. Remember to keep a certain level of pressure and urgency, but not to go overboard. Paraphrasing an old adage, if you manage to get a bird in your hand, if you squeeze too tightly it’ll instinctively try to escape, and if you don’t hold tightly enough, it’ll fly away. A good, fast website is like having good birdseed, and that final “hook” is finding the right pressure with which to hold onto the “bird”. Each firm is different, so be willing to fine tune your process a little, but overall, you should strive to find the perfect call to action, and as you do so, your number of browsing visitors that bounce right off your website will assuredly decrease, and the number of committed clients will increase. You’ll never completely move any of your clients to “off-line only”, but you can streamline your online presence to create the perfect environment for more and more clients to find and stay with your firm.