In trying to provide the best content and the user experience on a website, a common problem faced by law firms is how to best define and differentiate between services aimed at business clients and private clients.
A business approaching a law firm will have different requirements and expectations compared to an individual. The services offered to these user groups are often very different too, so in many cases, it will be important to successfully promote different types of content to each audience.
While there is no standardised strategy that suits everyone, there are a number of different ways firms can better position themselves and their content to successfully market their services to businesses and individuals looking for different types of legal services.
We have analysed a few websites from the top 100 that we think have implemented good techniques in order to appeal to both the private and business sides of their client base.
BP Collins have a number of different features to help give visitors arriving on their website a more personalised user experience. On the left-hand side of the homepage, there are two prominently positioned buttons: one for Business and one for Personal. When clicked on, these lead through to different landing pages with the same style interface as the homepage.
Having clicked through to Personal, the tab stays highlighted to make users aware that they are viewing content focused on individuals rather than business clients. Visitors are then given the option to segment requirements by the audience category they fit into. For example New Families and Young Professionals or Senior Years. Using simple, transparent language will help visitors define themselves so they can find content related to their needs, while also offering a much more approachable tone for those looking to hire a lawyer for non-commercial issues.
The business pages use a different tone of voice and style of language which comes across as more corporate than the personal content. BP Collins have also successfully used differing styles of imagery that back up the tone of voice and content in the two areas of the website.
Another feature is the pop-up form that appears in the bottom right corner. It uses brighter colours against the dark background (similar to the eye-catching notification buttons on social media sites) which helps to draw attention to the tool. With only four fields to fill in, the form is concise, ensuring that the user can fill it out in a short space of time. This is a great addition to a website as it helps visitors get in touch easily so they can be looked after by the correct area of the business.
While the Browne Jacobson service offering if aimed more at private and public clients rather than at individuals, we think that creatively, the website does a great job of portraying an extremely approachable law firm. It uses a lot of techniques which give the website a friendly look and feel.
The imagery is displayed in polaroid style frames with captions for each area of expertise. The images are set at slight angles which also makes the website look and feel slightly less formal.
A drop down menu labelled “how can we help?” has been added in a prominent position at the top of the website banner. When clicked on, visitors are given access to help and support resources which funnel traffic through to content focused on services and sectors, as well as information about the firm and careers. Using approachable language in this panel will help guide visitors who may not be 100% sure of the process they need to follow in order to find the content they need before getting in touch with the firm.
Browne Jacobson also use a search panel to direct traffic through to each of the sectors and services pages. This drop down increases the usability of the website by making the content easily accessible to all clients.
Farleys’ homepage offers a very clear distinction between business and private client content. Two panels are prominently positioned on the home page, one for personal and one for business. Each displays the areas of expertise underneath to help visitors quickly find the areas of content they are looking for.
The imagery used on the site gives visitors the chance to connect with the Farleys brand. They have a friendly “family” feel, making them more relatable to individuals looking for personal legal services.
The section below the Individuals and Business practice area panels contains confidence building content in the form of awards and client testimonials. These are a great way of building credibility and trust, by showing that the firm has been recognised by impartial external sources.
Another good feature of the Farleys website is the live chat facility which allows visitors to get in touch and receive an instant response. This is another aspect of the website that will help improve retention and conversions by allowing questions to be answered in real time which will help instigate more contact with the firm.
Taylor & Emmet
Taylor & Emmet define their business and personal services in a few different ways.
The most prominent position on the homepage is dedicated to a rotating banner with messaging aimed at both businesses and individuals: ‘For Your Business’ and ‘Legal Services For You’.
The top navigation panel features dropdowns for Business and Personal, offering clients a clear choice to make between the two areas of business. With each of the options, Taylor & Emmet offer a concise description, both using different tones of voice relevant to the audience. The Personal overview uses a more friendly and approachable tone, while Business comes across as being more commercially focused.
Another good feature is the drop down navigation panel under Personal and Business which contains three options alongside the practice areas: ‘Ask a Question’, ‘Send an email’, ‘Find a solicitor’. These three calls to actions will help funnel more traffic through to conversion focused areas of the website.
Calls to action positioned under the home page banner are labelled “How can we help you?”. The area contains three calls to action: Legal Services for Business, Legal Services for You and Our People. This again gives visitors the chance to narrow down their search with one of the first pieces of content they will see.
Coffin Mew make great use of video to engage with their audience. The bottom panel of the text overlay contains options for “You and your family” and “Services to business”. These transparent calls to action give users an opportunity to access the content most relevant to their needs. When a selection is made, the background video changes to show imagery relevant to personal or business services alongside navigation options which funnel visitors through to practice areas content.
The top right-hand corner contains a ‘quick enquiry’ drop down which displays a form with four fields that allow visitors to get in touch. The last free text field is entitled ‘Nature of enquiry’ which will enable visitors to give an overview of their requirements. Designing the form with a small number of fields will encourage more people to get in touch by making the form submission process extremely fast.
Every law firm will have a different service offering as well as differences in the audiences they want to reach.
In order for the information across the user interface to be correctly prioritised to maximise the potential to funnel different user groups through to content, it is important to identify the different audience types. Knowing exactly who you want to see the content and how important each audience is to the websites business objectives will ensure that the user interface is fully optimised to allow people with different requirements to find the information they are looking for.
Analytics packages will help define current usage which can be used as a base when making decisions regarding the best ways to position content for both private and business areas of a law firm. Studying factors such as the levels of interaction on pages, search engine rankings and levels of retention on pages will help build up a picture of how people are arriving on each page and whether or not it is doing the best possible job of serving the content people are looking for.
When identifying the user journeys made by different groups, it can also be useful to analyse the practice area titles to check they offer the best chance of attracting the right kinds of traffic. Practice area names should be transparent and written to appeal to the type of client you want to visit the page. A common issue is where practice area names on a website are based on the names of internal teams. For example, a page of a website could be named ‘Property & Planning’ due to property matters and planning matters being looked after by the same area of the business. In this case, new pages could be implemented to attract more targeted traffic, for example:
- Commercial Property
- Residential Property
- Property dispute resolution
- Property finance
- Property planning
Looking at alternative page titles can help make content easier for clients to find and can also sometimes be easier to rank for in search engines listings as there may be less competition in some niche areas of law. As a general rule of thumb, make sure the language used in each part of the website is the same language prospective clients would use to describe the service.
Another area that will help communicate content more efficiently between private and business clients is the tone of voice. Using a tone of voice that resonates with each audience type can help ensure content is easily digested and correctly communicates with end users. The tone will also need to fit the visual identity so messaging will need to be correctly positioned alongside chosen styles of imagery.
Imagery is another way of differentiating between business and personal services. If used in conjunction with good content, the two can help attract the correct users to the right business areas before correctly communicating the message a client wants to hear in order for them to instigate communication with the firm.
Tela deliver website, online marketing, lead generation and conversion optimisation campaigns to some of the UK’s leading law firms.
If you are interested in finding out how Tela could help improve your law firm’s website and digital marketing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.