One of the best ways that attorneys can compete and win online is by focusing on conversion. Despite all the focus on rank and search engine traffic, the vast majority of attorneys still get the bulk of their business from referrals. Since referrals tend to be given out in number (ie here are 2-3 attorneys you can contact), it is important to know how you stack up against your referral competition and how best to convert those referrals to clients.
The majority of referrals are looking up attorneys online BEFORE and after they meet you. If you don’t believe this is happening, you are living under a rock. I see this behavior growing in my work and hear examples of this daily now from other attorneys. The fact of the matter is that people are making judgments about attorneys based on what they are “seeing” and reading online. They are creating an impression of your brand long before you even have a chance to sell your brand to them in person or over the phone.
Beyond having a highly professional website (for both PC and Mobile), which every attorney should have by now, attorneys now need to focus on conversions and the most effective conversion tool online today is video. Conversion is nothing more than the art of turning people into clients / cases. Since most attorneys already have a website, additional factors now come into play such as “what kind” of website are they seeing and “how are you different?” This is where video can give you the upper hand.
WHY VIDEO IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ATTORNEYS
Most people truly know little / nothing about the legal profession. So when it is time for them to deal with a legal issue, most people do not know who to go to and often rely on others to help them with that decision. Most matters requiring legal representation are also emotionally charged (good or bad) and people are making buying decisions about attorneys based on the same mindset. When people look at attorney websites today, most have a lot of text – thanks to Google. The problem is that most people don’t not want to read a website alone when making an emotional buying decision – they need something more. They need to better understand the attorney, see if they can connect, speak competently about their issue and if they can trust you. All of this can be better conveyed by video than by written text. We know this to be true. Video producer Animoto recently found in their own studies that video helps persuade 73% of people to purchase a product or service.
HOW VIDEO CAN SET YOU APART
I commonly tell attorneys to write down the names of your most common referral competitors. Next, do a Google search for each of them by name and firm name. Do you see any search results that include videos? Guess where people’s eyes (and clicks) go when videos are displayed in search results? Look at each attorney’s website; which ones have video and which ones do not? If referral competitors have video and you do not, you have a conversion problem. If nobody has video, you have an opportunity to better compete and win. It is always better to be a leader over a lemming and video allows you to do just that.
WHAT KIND OF VIDEOS DO I NEED?
The most effective videos deal with brand (you), your firm and your practice areas. The benefit of the web is you can create as many videos as you want – the challenge is to understand “why.” If you receive the majority of your business by referral, then people want to know more about you (the brand). In these instances, you should always have a profile video of yourself. If referrals are commonly sent to “your firm” and/or your firm is well known by name, you need a video about your firm. Finally, if you have focused / unique practice areas, you should create videos speaking to each practice area (or your most important) and list them on the respective practice area pages.
HOW LONG SHOULD MY VIDEOS BE?
A recent study released by socialbakers found that typically the shorter the video the better. In their studies of videos on Facebook, they found that a typical video is around 44 seconds long and only 57% of videos were watched in their entirety. This video “completion rate” finding helps to address a question I receive all the time from attorneys; how long should my videos be?
In the study, videos with the highest completion rate ran around 21 seconds on length while those with the poorest completion rate ran around 2.5 minutes. The happy medium tends to be around the 1 minute (60 second) mark – which is where most attorney videos should not exceed.
In summary, most videos perform the best when they do not exceed 30-60 seconds. If properly edited and produced, you will be surprised just how much you can produce in such limited time. More importantly, this allows you to create multiple videos that can each be independently optimized and positioned relative to their topics.
HOW DO VIDEOS SHOW UP IN SEARCH RESULTS?
Beyond placing videos on your website, you can also post them on popular video sites as well such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Most social media orientated sites (facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) are increasingly added video capabilities and you should take full advantage of them. The first place to start is to create a new channel for your firm on Youtube. As you can see from this video, this will only take a few minutes to complete and allows you to easily upload, optimize, manage and track the performance of your videos on YouTube. Since YouTube videos are most commonly displayed in Google search results (hint: Google also owns YouTube), this is the most important place to start. For each video, make sure to include a title, description and links that are relevant and optimized for each video. Other authority building SEO tactics also apply to improve the search results and visibility of your videos in Google.
Videos are one of the most effective ways to convert new clients and referrals online. Created targeted videos depending on your brand and needs and keep them to 30-60 seconds in length. Once created, make sure to distribute them outside of your website and optimize them for maximum search engine results.
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