So much changed about the way we work the past year. From ramping up remote work to increasing concerns about privacy on digital platforms, legal marketers dealt with a lot of transformations. One thing that didn’t change, though – and never will – is the need to attract prospects, and then convert them into new clients. One critical component of meeting that goal is conversion rate optimization (or CRO). In this post, we’ll explore conversion rate optimization (CRO) and the trends that will drive this important part of law firm marketing in 2021.
A Conversion Rate Optimization Refresher
We’ve shared lots of insights on CRO before. Just in case you need some reminders though, CRO is the strategy around getting people to your site and then turning those visits into tangible, revenue-generating outcomes.
“Conversion” doesn’t necessarily mean those visitors instantly become a client. A conversion can be downloading a white paper, signing up for a newsletter, or booking a consultation. You’ll develop a desired goal for each area of your website, and your conversion rate is the percentage of people who completed that action. That means CRO needs to be considered from two perspectives:
- How people get to your site (the journey they take from content, social media, etc.).
- What people do once they’re on your site.
There are plenty of touch points along the journey from awareness to conversion – including advertising, landing pages, website copy, emails, etc – and your job is to optimize each step to increase the chances of someone completing your desired action (or goal).
Conversion Rate Optimization Trends for Law Firms
Optimizing your digital experiences is critical for gaining new leads online and also achieving a strong ROI on digital marketing efforts. To help you do that, here are 5 things to keep an eye on this year:
1. UX is more important than ever.
User experience was always important, and becoming more so, but now Google is placing increased emphasis on it. According to a May 2020 Google Webmaster Central blog post, Google Search will now factor UX signals into its rankings, including new Core Web Vitals. With these updates, Google is signaling its own greater emphasis on “enjoyable” web experiences for people—on websites loading fast, easy to use and find, and accessible across all devices and platforms. Sites that can deliver this caliber of user experience will be rewarded with better search visibility, yes. However, there’s a broader takeaway for folks in CRO, which is that the user needs to be at the center of every decision you make. Which explains why all of a sudden—and despite how well they sometimes perform—things like pop-ups are souring in the eyes of web visitors and CRO people alike.
Now the question becomes, how can we execute pop-ups in a way that maximizes conversions across your law firm’s website while adding to the user experience on your site? This will be the work of CRO specialists in 2021. Because bad UX leads to bad bounce rates, which directly impacts conversion rates and search rankings.
2. Site speed is a big deal.
Again, this is an area we’re sure you’ve thought about before. But new research shows that even a 100-millisecond delay in website load times can hurt conversion rates by 7%. In fact, 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. With so much more research being performed on mobile devices, it’s essential that you’ve tightened up your load time across devices. For tips on how to make your site faster, review this past post.
3. Mobile optimization should be top priority.
Right up there with site speed is mobile-first optimization. Ideally you realized mobile was a big deal years ago, but today’s focus should be on optimizing for a proliferation of new mobile experiences, including voice assistants, augmented reality (AR), and mobile “Near Me” search experiences. Go through your site and test pages on a variety of devices, screens, and operating systems, and see where improvements can be made.
4. Personalized experiences make a difference.
Prospective clients that land on your law firm’s website want to feel like you understand them and their needs. That means legal marketers need to find new approaches to segmentation and personalization in 2021. Consider planning and creating different digital experiences for different groups (or personas). You can use third-party tools like Optimizely to load unique versions of your site for different users. You can take things even further by only showing certain versions of certain page elements, such as images and calls-to-action (CTAs), based on specific “conditions” (user data). As well, use personalized landing pages in conjunction with highly segmented programs like email campaigns to drive conversions.
5. Trust and transparency matter.
2020 was a big year for data breaches as well as increased scrutiny around how platforms attain and use user data. You might hear the term “transparency in design” and that simply means giving users the ability to control the data they share with you, thereby increasing brand trust. Tactics like disclosing data usage loud and clear, showing that you invest in secure systems and vendors, and telling users which apps have been granted access to their information can go a long way in creating that trust.
Related: The 5 Types of Conversion Rate Optimization Tools Law Firms Need
One of the most important conversion rate optimization techniques you can do post-2020 is to keep user experience and client sentiment in mind across all of your law firm’s digital efforts. Trust and transparency are more important than ever when it comes to driving conversions among traffic. This list is a great start when it comes to conversion rate optimization trends for law firms to watch, but there are plenty of other creative ways to drive more conversions this year.
Ready to chat about conversion rate optimization for your firm’s website? Contact us today for a free consultation.