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Adding Sign-Up and Contact Forms to Your Legal Web Pages

Many webpages simply overlook the importance of contact and sign-up forms even though for attorneys in particular these areas should be given special emphasis. The contact form allows the web reader who has looked over your legal web pages and determined your firm meets their needs to easily submit their information. In effect, the contact form is your potential client’s way of initiating a conversation with your law firm.

 Keeping It Simple

Contact forms must be kept simple to be effective. Web users are typically extremely busy—they scan web pages rather than read them in the typical manner, and if your web page design and headlines have not grabbed the web user in a mere five seconds—you have probably lost them for good. Assuming you have hooked them securely by your design, headlines, graphics and content, then you don’t want to lose them when they are faced with an impossibly long or complicated contact form.  Keeping your contact form relatively simple also allows a minimal perceived risk to your user—the risk being the time it could take them to wade through a long form, or the questions in their mind regarding whether they will get phone calls or e-mails.

 Making Your User Feel Comfortable

If your user feels at all uncomfortable with these unknowns then there is a perceived risk, and you may have just lost a potential client. A great contact form asks for only the absolutely most needed information and should never, ever exceed the length of your browser. In other words, using “newspaper-speak,” keep it above the fold. Further, don’t simply say, “Fill out our form for more information.” State clearly and concisely exactly what your web user will get when they fill out your contact form. Will they receive a phone call, an e-mail, a newsletter? Users who understand exactly how and when they will receive contact or a reply are much more comfortable filling out your contact form.

 Is Your Contact Form Geared Toward Your Target Audience?

Of course everyone is aware of the importance of their keywords, content and landing page, however what truly drives your advertising campaign is your contact form. If the contact form fails to gear itself toward your target audience—new legal clients—and doesn’t request the “right” amount of information, then you’ve missed the point of a contact form altogether.  Remember that most web users today zealously guard their personal information—with good reason—therefore your landing page copy and design must create a sense of trust as well as plenty of great reasons to request more information from your firm. A contact form which is too complicated or too long can undo all the good you’ve done in a mere instant.

 Should I Require a Phone Number?

Asking for a phone number on your sign-up or contact form can be a double-edged sword. Many people are hesitant to provide their phone number because they want to avoid unwanted phone calls.  This means that on one hand you may be turning potential clients away by requiring a phone number. On the other hand, if an attorney in your firm can access a potential client via the phone, there is a much higher chance of conversion. Further, those who refuse to provide a phone number may simply be shopping around and are potentially less high-quality leads. Remember that your contact form is fragile and should always be handled with kid gloves. Even small changes can result in large effects—both positive and negative—so when you make a change, make sure to monitor the results closely. 

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