Three Psychological Factors that Drive Website Success

A well-designed law firm website can function as the linchpin of your law firm’s marketing efforts. It allows you to make a first impression with potential clients. It conveys the essence of your firm’s unique brand. It’s the main way that most people find lawyers these days (particularly if it’s optimized for mobile search). And it plays a crucial role in the conversion process.

What is conversion? The term simply means converting website visitors into paying clients. With that in mind, every aspect of your website should work to motivate potential clients to take an action — namely, to contact your firm. Online tools such as Web chat can help immensely in that regard. On a more elemental level, however, incorporating a basic understanding of human behavior into your site’s design and functionality is a powerful way to help boost its conversion rate.

1. Conformity vs. Originality

Numerous studies have pointed out that humans have an inner tension between our attraction to fresh, unique ideas and the warm embrace of conformity. Taking that into account when you design or redesign your site can pay dividends. Check out your competitor’s websites. Do they feature the ubiquitous muted, conservative color palettes? Do you see clichéd images of gavels or the scales of justice? If so, consider veering away from the familiar. This isn’t to suggest you should festoon it with rainbows and unicorns. But a family law firm, for example, might want to use a warm, inviting color palette and welcoming photos of its partners. Both can prove comforting to site visitors (who are probably under tremendous stress) and boost the odds of converting them into clients.

2. Safety

Our shared desire for safety is another critical conversion factor. Case in point: Numerous psychological studies have demonstrated that the fear of losing something — such as a large amount of cash — can be a more powerful motivator than the likelihood of gaining an identical sum.

How can that affect conversion? It’s relatively common for personal injury attorneys to develop messaging around the concept of how much a potential client has to gain by contacting them. A more effective approach could be to flip the equation and focus on what the person stands to lose if he or she fails to contact the attorney. The same logic could apply for a criminal defense lawyer, whose website landing pages and calls to action could speak directly to a website visitor’s potential inability to keep his or her job if convicted of a crime.

On a related note, the more specific you are with your website messages, the more powerful they’ll be. Consider the difference between these two phrases:

• “We will protect your rights.”
• “If found guilty of a felony, it may be extremely difficult to find or keep a job in the future.”

Which one would motivate you to contact the law firm?

3. External Reassurance

Without question, concise, descriptive website text is a powerful conversion tool. But external validation of your firm’s qualities can often help seal the deal when it comes to converting clients. That validation can take a variety of different forms — everything from online reviews to Facebook likes and shares, positive media attention and more.

Want to learn more about the psychology of the legal consumer? Read the FindLaw white paper, Why Most Law Firm Websites are Designed to Fail: Logic, Emotion and Today’s Legal Consumer.

Ready for a website that converts traffic into tangible business? Then you’re ready for FindLaw. Our law firm websites combine award-winning design with messaging that resonates among legal consumers. Contact us today to start inspiring your site visitors to take action.

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