Your law firm’s website design is the first impression you give to potential clients, legal professionals, colleagues, or opposing counsels. A successful website gives a law firm essential credibility as a professional legal practice. It unifies the firm’s brand in an accessible and engaging manner. Lawyer biographies are no exception to that standard.
In fact, individual lawyer bios can be an even greater challenge. Not only must they adhere to the overall brand that makes up the core of your firm’s website, but they must display the individual strengths and personality of each lawyer.
Typically, 56% to 70% of a law firm’s total traffic is made up of attorney bios. From there, 87% of people who contact a lawyer go on to hire that attorney, and typically three quarters of potential clients only contact one attorney.
We’ve compiled seven essential best practices to follow when creating an attorney profile. By boosting the individual profiles of your legal team on your website, you put your law firm in a better position to generate new clients and improve the overall firm’s profile.
1. What Problem Do They Solve?
From the moment a potential client opens a lawyer’s biography page, they should know what problems that lawyer can help solve. By identifying the pain points that can be solved by each attorney on your legal team, you can position each bio in an organized fashion to best suit a client’s needs.
Does that lawyer specialize in divorce law? Or personal injury? What types of businesses do they usually represent? Why should someone choose that lawyer over another at a competing practice? Prospecting clients are looking to solve a very specific problem and want to know exactly how and why a lawyer can help them.
This is also a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) opportunity. While you’ll be looking to optimize your entire website for search engines like Google, optimizing each of your lawyer pages as well can go a long way to establishing credibility in a certain field. For instance, if a potential client searches for ‘divorce lawyer toronto’ and the biography of one of your divorce lawyers appears on the first page, you’ll be able to draw in more clients.
2. Tell Their Story
Your lawyer’s biographies are not their resumes. A strong attorney bio is an opportunity to showcase who this lawyer is as a human being. This can go a long way to building trust with potential and existing clients.
It may be tempting to list off the top which law school an attorney graduated from or list specific achievements in the legal practice. Instead, sprinkle those facts throughout the biography rather than hit the reader over the head with them at the very beginning. Feature what makes a lawyer stand out above the rest. This could be anything from personal challenges that were overcome, to accomplishments, to how they engage with their community, how they go about tackling a case, and how they deal with their clients.
Ultimately, you want to provide insight into how that lawyer’s approach to the law.
3. Contact Info
This may seem like a no-brainer, but two thirds of law firm websites do not have a contact form that allows users to request more information. Even more, 68% do not have an email address and 27% do not have a phone number on their homepage.
On each lawyer’s bio, display the phone number and email address they can be contacted at, as well as links to social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
4. Link to Social Media
Social media is a vital tool in the arsenal of any lawyer in the digital age, and more and more lawyers are turning to social media platforms for professional purposes. According to the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey, 81% of lawyers indicated they personally used social media for professional purposes. Meanwhile, 77% of law firms also maintain a social media presence.
LinkedIn is far and away the most popular social media platform for lawyers. 90% of lawyers said that they had a LinkedIn profile, followed by Facebook and Twitter at 40% and 26% respectively. Attorneys are using social media for career development and networking, client development, education and current awareness, and even for case investigation.
The benefits of linking to a lawyer’s social media pages are tenfold and serves multiple purposes. Better yet, it makes a lawyer accessible to prospecting clients and colleagues, and can serve as a reference tool if existing clients are posting positive reviews on Facebook, or recommendations on LinkedIn.
5. Up-to-date Photos and Videos
Professional photos and videos can accomplish two things: further showcase a lawyer’s personality and expertise, and make a biography page more searchable.
Like anything else, when a potential client is searching through a bio, they want to see who that lawyer is. This should be an up-to-date professional picture and not a picture that looks like it was taken at a high school photo shoot.
73% of consumers want to get a feel for a lawyer’s personality before contacting a firm, and video bios are becoming a powerful way to do this. Video can be an effective way to showcase a lawyer’s personality – like how they may carry themself – while introducing them to a client. This can include information like detailing what that attorney specializes in and a past case example where they were able to help.
On top of that, law firm websites are proven to be more searchable when optimized with better video and photo content. This means you’re organically driving more traffic to an attorney bio compared to those who are lacking this type of content.
And unleash that portrait photo from a little box on the screen. Photos that are larger, show more of a person, and capture a lawyer’s personality, are far more approachable and effective.
6. Case Studies
Are the lawyers on your legal teams writing blogs? Have they published work in the past that showcases their expertise? What about papers or presentations that they have put together?
If a lawyer is regularly creating content, adding a brief section that links to that content can be a great way to provide credibility and expertise to a topic. It can go a long way to building trust with a client if they can read a lawyer’s work that proves their expertise on a topic they’re dealing with.
It is important to note that it is necessary to keep this type of content recent, relevant, and up-to-date. A section full of content from a decade ago isn’t particularly relevant to anyone.
7. Create a Responsive Website
Another must-have feature – your website has to work, and work well, everywhere. If it takes too long to load a biography page, or if the page isn’t optimized for mobile devices or tablets, you’re losing out on potential clients.
Not only does a responsive lawyer page increase your credibility as an expert legal source, but it also helps your legal team stand out above the rest if your competition isn’t responsive. Optimized web pages can also improve how your site is ranked by search engines, which further boosts your lawyers’ visibility.
Maximize the Potential of Your Law Firm’s Website
With the attorney bios on your law firm’s website, you want to distinguish your legal practice as an expert team that can professionally serve a client’s needs and exceed their expectations. Each individual page establishes credibility and expertise about a topic clients are seeking help with.
To take advantage of the benefits a strong lawyer bio can bring, you’ll want to leverage a web design agency that can place your lawyers a cut above the rest. Contact us today to get started with Pixelcarve’s team of law firm website design specialists.