Marketing and the practice of law, though very different, share a common goal of persuasion. As a law student, you may have become familiar with Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals: ethos, pathos, and logos. Your understanding of these theories can give you an edge in your marketing efforts if properly applied to your website and other marketing campaigns.
Ethos: Is Your Law Firm Credible?
There are many ways to show your firm’s credibility. Here are a few examples:
Show your years of experience.
Whether it is your own personal experience working as an attorney or the combined experience of the partners at your firm, display it on your website. Many prospective clients will try to find the lawyers with the most experience to help them with their case. People assume that the more experience you have, the more likely they are to win. Example: “Helping Accident Victims for Over 20 Years”
Show the success of your law firm.
This could be in the form of many things. If you happen to know your success rate (if your state bar allows these statements), add it to your site or on a campaign: “99% Success Rate.” Another idea would be to list settlement amounts received per practice area on your site.
Show that your law firm is a leader in your practice area.
The easiest way to achieve this is through your site’s content, whether it’s through blogs or static pages. Showing that you put in the time and energy to research, write and publish information about your practice area goes a long way. It shows that you are up to date on current trends and information, and also allows for you to rank for long-tail keywords. It’s a win win!
Along with the content on your site, you can also show your knowledge of your field through social media channels, by contributing to news articles, publishing an e-book or white paper, responding to questions on community forums, or getting involved with organizations related to your field.
Show that your firm is recommended by others.
Link-building is more than just a way to get links back to your site for SEO equity. It’s a way to show that you are recommended by others. This could be in the form of a directory link or a link in a guest post. So while you are reaping the SEO benefits by getting a link from a site with a lot of traffic, you are also persuading the potential client to contact you about their case – without even speaking to them!
Don’t forget about the power of reviews. You can display client testimonials on your website as well as gain reviews on Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, and more. We have many useful articles on the importance of reviews. Check out this helpful guide on gaining more reviews.
Show your firm’s awards and accreditations.
Awards are a great way to show your accomplishments within the legal field. People like to see that the law firm and lawyers they are considering have won awards. Awards also offer a visual on your website and social media outlets that potential clients will see. More awards can mean credibility, however, do not feel like you need to list every single award on your homepage. That can lead to a cluttered page and a less-than-great user experience.
Along with awards, getting accredited by known organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau, offers recognition and becomes a high-trust signal to potential clients.
Pathos: What Emotion Is Your Campaign or Site Evoking?
Most people have probably seen the ASPCA commercial with the sad dogs and the Sarah McLachlan song — and if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky, because you’ll want to empty your bank account and send it to save all the animals.
Try to come up with something for your site that evokes emotion in the viewer, something that will make them want to pick up the phone and call you or fill out a contact form. This could be any positive emotion: surprise, happiness, hope, etc. While an ASPCA commercial is hard to compete with, many people seeking attorney representation, especially for personal injury, need to know that they will be taken care of. If you can convey the message that your firm is caring and passionate about helping people, you are evoking trust and security among your audience.
Logos: Is Your Site Logical?
This is where user experience comes into play. The more “logical” your site is, the more users will determine that your firm is trustworthy, and you will have a better chance at conversion. A potential client assesses the logic of your site through its navigation. How easy is it to find the information they’re looking for? Are the page layouts and menus intuitive? If your site is hard to navigate or doesn’t make sense, the user will likely get frustrated and leave the site to find a different firm.
Examine the images on your website. Do they fit with the content? While the photograph may be visually stunning, a picture of a car driving on a mountain wouldn’t make much sense if you were talking about car accidents in the city. There are many stock photo sites that have an overabundance of options available if you need to update images to make more sense.
We encourage you to read more about some of the key factors you should consider in order for your website to make a good first impression here.
Update Your Website Regularly
It is imperative to know your target audience when considering your site’s ethos, pathos, and logos. If you already know your audience, start testing! Try a new layout or feature to determine what makes a great user experience. Taking the time to test and evaluate your website’s design through ethos, pathos, and logos, will lead to more conversions and greater SEO success.