Earlier this year, Draw Group released its third Legal Sector Digital Benchmark study into the web sites of 30 law firms – analysing 55 touchpoints on the “path to purchase” model (awareness, engagement, conversion and loyalty).

Of the 30 websites the report examined:

  • Website design
    • Conventions are changing. Designs that are “big, bold and simple” are increasingly popular
    •  Mobile: 18 are optimising for multiple screens, with 11 reaching the “excellent” grade
    •  Usability: Only four websites reached the “excellent” grade. There’s still too much clutter.
    •  Wragge & Co’s website is the only one to be using the “shrinking” animated navigation bar effectively.
  • SEO
    • Irwin Mitchell are way out in the lead, with an estimated 901 results on page one of Google UK, up from 513 in 2014.
    • Only five websites reached the “excellent” grade for basic technical search engine optimisation.
  • Customer segmentation
    • Only Irwin Mitchell and King & Wood Mallesons reached the “excellent” grade.
    • Personalisation: Only one website – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – is using personalisation to slightly customise the user experience.
  • Content
    • In the sample, only two websites are using video on their sector pages.
    • Law firm websites are becoming more visually attractive, with 21 making good use of photography.
    • Social proof: Only two ‘sites are displaying extensive social proof of their firm’s achievements.
  • Search
    • Five websites are now offering an auto-complete search function
    • Lawyer-finder tools: One of the strongest elements of these websites, with eight judged to be “excellent” and 12 “good”.
  • Social media:
    • It appears that the legal sector still enjoys talking to itself – broadly, the most shared content from law firm websites is “internal” news.
    • When attempting to engage a general audience on social platforms, topical legal news articles and in-depth reports receive the most shares.
  •  Calls-to-action
    • Only 12 websites are employing clear calls to action on their pages.
    • Habit-forming activity: No websites reached the “excellent” grade, and only one reached the “good” grade for its long-term engagement activity.

The report’s conclusions were as follows: “When we place the research results into a simple “path to purchase” model, it’s clear that, across the sector, law firm websites are strongest at building awareness and engagement (we awarded many “good” grades in the SEO and content marketing categories, for example). It’s the websites’ conversion and loyalty-building activities that are largely undeveloped. Until these issues are addressed, many law firm websites will continue to be suboptimal, they’ll remain brochures, rather than dynamic marketing tools that are actively shaping client preference”.

The full report can be downloaded here https://www.drawgroup.com/latest/2015-uk-legal-sector-report-released-by-draw/