Did you know that 75 percent of Netflix users pick a movie based on the service’s recommendations for them? Similarly, Amazon reports that 35 percent of sales stem from its recommendations for shoppers. These behemoth service providers stand out as shining examples of how content personalization can make a huge difference in user experience and conversion on a website.
But let’s face it. You are not Amazon or Netflix. You can’t afford to invest a boatload of money in real-time personalization algorithms that predict what legal services each user may be interested in (at least not right now). However, you do have a wealth of knowledge about your clients at your fingertips, and you can use that knowledge to customize content that will appeal to prospective clients visiting your site.
Here are a few simple factors to consider when developing personalized content for your law firm website:
Identify Your Target Audiences
Think about your current clientele. Can you divide them into some basic groups based on demographics or their general intent when they come to you? For example, if you are a divorce attorney, you may be able to segment your clients into moms and dads. Or maybe a majority of your cases involve catastrophic injuries, and the people who contact you are split between injured victims and family members looking for help.
When you define these basic client groups, you can build specific personas to act as the target audience of your content. For example, you may have one page of content geared toward a middle-age woman with two children who is looking for a divorce but is worried about all the issues that come with it. On the flip side, you may also have a page of content geared toward a dad who needs a divorce attorney and is fearful of what the future holds. Your main divorce landing page can prominently push your audience to the personalized content that best suits them.
In the same vein as the Amazon and Netflix models, you can also develop personalized content that zeros in on your clients’ typical problems. Think of it as “Clients Who Were Interested in This Also Wanted to Know About …” For example, if you have a robust workplace accident practice, many of your clients may come from the construction industry. Even more narrowed down, many may have suffered injuries in falls at construction sites. So when potential clients land on your main workplace accident page, they should also see that you have personalized content on construction accidents and construction site falls specifically.
Creating custom content that is tailored to specific personas can help you form a more immediate connection and showcase your experience as it relates to a potential client’s specific problems.
Determine Your Target Locations
The chances are, no matter where your firm is based, you serve clients from surrounding communities, cities, counties, and possibly other states. Personalizing content for those clients with location pages is one way to show website visitors from these areas that you have their needs in mind.
You don’t have to create a location page for every pocket of your service area, but you should at least consider covering any cities where you have an office location. In addition, you can turn back to your client data to identify specific geographic areas that you want to target. Then create robust content specifically tailored to clients in those targeted locations. This content should show that you are very familiar with the area and are well prepared to meet the legal needs of its residents.
Make the Most of Social Media and PPC Ads
If you are going to spend time and money on social media or PPC advertising, you shouldn’t waste the opportunity to give a personalized page of content to those who click through. You should already have identified your target audience for this advertising, so make sure you are not simply linking to a generic landing page.
When you create a social media or PPC landing page, the content (both text and imagery) should closely match your advertising messaging and give visitors the information they were looking for when they decided to click. You should also include a personalized call to action that capitalizes on the users’ intent.
Make It Convenient for Mobile Users
It’s important to analyze how potential clients are accessing your site in order to develop personalized content that improves their experience. Your site should be designed with a mobile-first strategy in mind, and content should reflect that.
Of course, there are the typical best practices of keeping content clear and easy to scan for mobile users on smaller screens. But also consider specific features based on your target audience. For example, if you want to improve conversions from younger people who are accessing your site by cellphone, you may decide to add a texting option as a call to action.
Encourage Visitors to Engage
Your intake process doesn’t have to start with a phone call or email. You can begin to identify good leads on your website by asking a series of questions right off the bat. Encouraging your users to answer questions in a survey will engage them and can direct them to personalized content that is more likely to meet their needs (and convert).
You may want to structure your questions to determine whether the person likely has a good case, with the ultimate page of personalized content including a strong and urgent call to action. Or you may use the questions to determine which of your persona-based pages would most likely appeal to the visitor.
Reject the Cookie-Cutter Approach to Content
You already know that every client is different, so why take a generic approach to content? Research by Hubspot has shown that personalized content performed 178 percent better than generic language on calls to action.
Let that be a call to action for you! Look at your client data, decide who and where your target audiences are, and start working on personalized content that will increase conversions.
If you would like to learn more about writing for the web, we suggest that you download our free e-book, A Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Online Content.