At any given moment, day or night, your potential DUI clients are actively looking for you. They’re likely having – or reliving – one of the worst days of their life, and they’re ready to fix the problem and put the experience behind them as soon as possible.
These individuals know they have a limited window of time to “stop the bleeding” of their bad decision. As a DUI defense attorney, that means that all you need to do is ensure your website is in the right place at the right time to offer that solution.
DUI Website Design: Digital Marketing Tips For Client Accessibility
Consider when and where your clients are likely to look for your legal services. It may be in a moment of panic right after they’ve been booked, spurring them to hurriedly look for representation on their phone. They may look later, when their summons arrives in the mail, and they realize the seriousness of the DUI conviction they’re facing. Because both scenarios are plausible, it’s important to ensure your site design is responsive – that means that it appears in the correct proportions for both small smartphone screens and larger computer monitors.
While some templates and website frameworks have this capability as an option, the most reliable way to build in this important functionality is to work with a third-party service. A firm that offers SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) assistance with your website build will also typically incorporate responsive design into any site they create.
- Why is this important? Without responsive design, at minimum, you risk losing the business of clients searching on their phones. When images don’t “shrink” to fit the size of the viewing screen, they often cover up important information, such as your contact information, and make text difficult to read. That’s an issue that makes DUI attorney marketing an uphill battle it doesn’t need to be.
Responsive sites can offer a different experience for the viewer depending on their device – placing a unique “click to call” button at the top of a page when it’s viewed on a mobile browser, for example. Finally, the very act of a searcher triggering that responsive design can deliver valuable insight. If your marketing team notices more mobile browser usage on your site, it could signal that advertising dollars might be better spent on smartphone-targeted ads, rather than billboards or direct mail marketing.
DUI Website Design For Content: Streamlining Your Strategy
Thinking back once more to that panicked or worried client, they are outwardly searching for a DUI attorney or law firm, but what they’re really looking for is reassurance. While legal professionals are prevented from using certain phrases or making certain assertions in their marketing, delivering information about state statutes and laws is fair game and smart site design. Incorporate questions-and-answers that you often hear from your clients, staying as neutral and informative as possible.
- Why is this important? Your potential client may not start their online search looking for a lawyer, but rather with questions like “Do I need a lawyer if I was drunk driving?” or “Traffic stop laws in [Your State].” If you address and answer these questions on a “Q & A” page, you’ll be attracting traffic from those web searches and creating a captive audience.
In addition, the written content on your DUI lawyer website is also prime territory for geo-targeting. This practice involves incorporating local landmarks, highway names, cities, and other points of interest into your Q & A answers and text on site. Your DUI lawyer marketing firm can research and offer suggestions on which towns and cities would most benefit from this focus, and help you work in geo-targeting practices for blogs, site page content, and more.
DUI Website Design For Authority: Building Trust With Prospects
Your client has made a mistake by getting behind the wheel drunk. It may be the first time they’ve done it, it may be the second, third, or more – either way, they’re likely feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and worried about the future. Part of that worry is expense – they may already realize they need legal representation, and they know that’s a significant expense for most budgets, even though it’s well worth it. Through the lens of that expense, assuming time limits aren’t forcing a fast decision, they’re going to be very selective.
Compounding that selective hurdle is attention span: even in serious situations like researching lawyers for a DUI charge, most web users spend less than 15 seconds judging if a site is “worth their time” or not. If nothing catches their eye, or they don’t immediately feel like your law firm is knowledgeable and capable, they’ll leave the site – a percentage metric called “bounce” in marketing-speak. Your site needs to grab their visual interest immediately, and follow it up with carefully-crafted content that answers a question they barely knew they were thinking about.
- Why is this important? This nuanced approach is one of the reasons why most high-powered firms delegate their site design and advertising campaigns to a dedicated marketing firm. While you have a solid professional understanding of your DUI charge clients, as well as their needs, they need to find and remain on your site in order to forge that initial connection.
DUI Website Design: Maximizing Your User Experience
Many law professionals view a website the same way they’d view a storefront, or a billboard. In other words, a site is thought of as a stationary place where potential clients can see accolades, credentials, and make contact if they’re inclined. In reality, a website can and should be an integral part of a law firm’s “onboarding” approach for new clientele, turning searchers into warm leads in a matter of moments through smart site design.
A well-built DUI law firm website should:
- Incorporate contact capture: When a client calls in, your firm is limited in information-gathering capabilities: it’s often a one-way conversation that relies on the client calling back. On a site, clients are often far more willing to leave information like an email address, their own phone number, and even the best times and ways in which to contact them. Collectively, this information lessens the chance they’ll miss that important first contact attempt from your firm.
- Ask basic questions about a pending case: Even simple questions like “When did you receive your DUI charge?” and “Was a field sobriety test administered during your traffic stop?” can help you and/or your colleagues at your firm determine the right approach. These passive questions also help foster a sense of partnership that makes your services an easier “sell” for a client on the fence.
- Weed out clients in the wrong locale: Your firm may be located on the border of a state you don’t practice in, or your town name may be a common one that results in mixups. Asking for location before submitting a contact form can help minimize accidental time wasted on behalf of both you and your would-be client. A DUI client in “Springfield,” for example, may be in any of 32 towns of the same name scattered across the United States. If your form narrows that contact down to your state’s “Springfield,” you’ll know it’s a contact worth following up with.
- Work seamlessly with your other marketing endeavors: Once again, this is why it’s a smart idea to delegate site design, particularly to your existing marketing team. If your Google ad campaign, direct mail campaign, and website all have different messaging, it’s jarring to your clients and may even look unprofessional. A website should act as an extension of your perception as a legal professional, a visual, interactive business card that increases trust and positions you as an excellent choice for DUI clients.
- Serve as a live snapshot of your business: A great law firm website shouldn’t be a “set and forget” line on your corporate to-do list. The clients you take on, your availability schedule, your firm’s partners, and even the areas you serve may change, and thus your site should as well. For example, given the effect of the pandemic on court procedures, a smart and savvy firm might add court appearance video conferencing links on a site page for their clients to use at their appointed times.
If your current DUI site is falling short in these areas, the good news is that there’s plenty of room for improvement and growth. Working with a dedicated marketing firm can save you not only time and money, but also help improve your client onboarding process by eliminating unknowns before an appointment is ever set.
- “The 15 Second Rule: 3 Reasons Why Users Leave a Website.”CrazyEgg (crazyegg.com), May 14, 2020, https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/why-users-leave-a-website/#:~:text=And%20keep%20in%20mind%20that,also%20depended%20on%20the%20industry. Accessed January 21, 2021.
- Black, Nicole. “8 Tips for Court Appearances Via Videoconference.” My Case (mycase.com), (no published date, https://www.mycase.com/blog/2020/04/7-tips-for-court-appearances-via-videoconference/. Accessed January 21, 2021.
- “Explained: Update to advertising, marketing rules.” ABA (americanbar.org), July 2019, https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/publications/youraba/2019/july-2019/explained–update-to-advertising–marketing-rules/. Accessed January 21, 2021.