What Is a Conversion? And How to Get More of Them for Your Firm

Conversions Are the Single Most Important Element of Legal Marketing

Today we’re going to condense the entire legal marketing enterprise down to a single word: conversion. That is, transforming a user into a lead by encouraging them to take a specific action that results in capturing some aspect of their personal information—usually an email address or a phone number.  

Every digital marketing strategy and each tactic within that strategy should have an end goal of generating quality conversions. They are the essence of what you’re trying to accomplish through your marketing efforts. Conversions become leads that will hopefully become clients that generate revenue for your firm.

It’s true that developing brand awareness or establishing thought leadership are just two of many valuable marketing initiatives that aren’t directly tied to conversion marketing, but even those approaches are meant to eventually create conversions at some point in the marketing funnel. Once a user converts into a lead, you can then begin marketing to them directly through email campaigns, user-friendly content, direct mail, social media, paid search, remarketing, and other proven tactics. Most importantly, you can respond to them almost immediately, which, as we’ll learn more about here in a minute, is paramount in turning a conversion into a client.

So, what is considered a “good” conversion rate and how can you implement and improve your firm’s best practices to eclipse that figure? Keep reading to find out!

What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

This is a tricky question that relies on the marketing medium in question, the preferred conversion type, and several other user-specific variables. For instance, a visitor casually browsing your homepage on behalf of a friend who has recently been in a car accident is far less likely to convert than the victim of that car accident who is purposefully scrolling through their phone while resting in a hospital bed and discovers a call-only paid search ad with a click-to-call option.

Still, we need a benchmark to build upon, so let’s focus on the legal industry conversion rate average for paid search campaigns, which, according to a 2015 study conducted by Search Engine Watch, is 4.35%. The overall average for all industries is just 2.7%, so it appears that the legal industry is a more conversion-friendly environment. Meanwhile, on the high end,

However, what this study doesn’t account for is the number of law firms in the United States and how the market share is divided by practice area, firm size, and firm revenue. Unfortunately, I don’t have those numbers in front of me either, but I’d be willing to bet that between 10-20% of the largest and highest earning firms in each practice area are accountable for a major portion of that 4.35%. They have the budget to bully the competition in paid search and to hire great marketing firms to create successful campaigns and landing pages. This isn’t to say that 4.35% can’t be achieved by a smaller, local firm, but it will require some creative strategies, persistence, and vigilance.

Rather than focusing on a specific number, we suggest focusing on consistent improvement. If you’re only converting 1% of website visitors, try to crank that number up to 1.5% within a month or so. From there, push the number to 1.75%, and so on. Update your content, keyword lists, design, headlines, etc. regularly to optimize your marketing tactics and achieve gradual improvement. A/B test with trackable variables to improve your numbers respective to each component of a paid search, email, or social media campaign and leverage that data to update asset elements across digital marketing channels to improve conversion rates.

If you’re not clear on how to calculate your conversion rate, check out this helpful guide from Top 10 Website Hosting in the UK. In short, the formula is: conversion rate = sessions with conversions / total sessions.

Most importantly, don’t abandon your marketing strategy just because early returns aren’t what you would like them to be. Optimizing digital marketing tactics is a gradual process that requires real commitment. You’re not going to get it right on the first try, but learn from your mistakes, track your progress, and make thoughtful changes based on real-time data. Take responsible risks with best practices in mind and increase your budget based on success, not frustration.

All Conversions Are Not Created Equal

Taking a quick step back, it’s important to note that not every conversion should be considered a quality lead. Internet users are prone to completing forms or dialing numbers without taking the time to read the content of your site’s pages, which can result in irrelevant contacts and wasted resources. It is nearly impossible to eliminate these occurrences altogether, but you can definitely minimize them by taking a few simple actions.

  • Create and Use Client Personas: Personas are fictional representations of your firm’s ideal clients based on market research and empirical data. Far too often, we’ve encountered new clients who dismissed the value of personas and thus dismissed the value of accurately targeting their preferred customer base. By determining your ideal client, you’re able to tailor your messaging to their demographic, interests, online behavior, and way of speaking. An added bonus is that while developing your personas, you’ll have a great opportunity to review your firm’s recent history, clients, and cases, which will provide you and your team with a more practical knowledge of what has worked for you in the past and what will likely work for you in the future. Once you’ve created personas for your firm, be sure that all relevant staff members (especially anyone involved in marketing activities) have a chance to review them and accesses them whenever they are considering updating or implementing a marketing strategy or tactic.
  • Concise, Direct Digital Forms: When adding web forms to your digital properties, limit your fields. Research consistently shows that fewer fields lead to more conversions. Fields should be in a single-column layout because multi-column layouts can disorient the user and interrupt their natural momentum down the page. Be sure to clearly distinguish between required and optional fields, especially if any fields require users to leave a comment or ask a question. In most cases, users are willing to give their name and an email address or a phone number, but they’d rather not reveal too much about the reason for their inquiry. The thinking, of course, is that the matter will be discussed further when they have the opportunity to speak to someone over the phone or in person.
  • Optimize Your Landing Pages: To begin with, (almost) every digital marketing tactic that is structured to redirect to a separate webpage needs to go to a dedicated landing page that is perfectly aligned with the overall purpose of that tactic and strategy. (The one exception is the majority of PPC display campaigns, but that’s another blog for another day). Dedicated landing pages are standalone websites that follow the branding aesthetic of your other web properties, but have limited, targeted content, an engaging call to action, brief and direct web forms, and, above all, zero navigation or links to ancillary webpages—including those on your firm’s primary site. If you give users access to your primary site, they are free to jump from page to page and will likely get distracted from their primary purpose (to convert). On one hand, driving relevant traffic to your website is never a bad thing, but, on the other hand, increasing your chances of conversion is the name of the game, so make sure that interested users are put in the best position to convert.
  • Immediate and Consistent Follow Up: Most importantly, follow up with new conversions as soon as possible—we’re talking within minutes, not days or hours. In fact, waiting longer than just five minutes to reach out to the potential client lowers the chances of successful contact with a lead by a factor of 10. Your potential clients are likely facing a crisis of some sort, which means they are looking for immediate help from a trusted source and will accelerate their purchasing cycle relative to the severity of their circumstances. To wit, if a potential client who has already converted is facing a serious tax issue with rigid deadlines imposed by the IRS, they’re not going to sit and wait for you to return their call or fire off an email campaign. You and your associates need to have a strict plan in place with protocols to respond to new leads within 10 minutes of conversion without fail. If not, there’s a good chance they’ll move on to the next firm on their list.

Convert LaFleur Marketing into Your Trusted Marketing Partner Today!

The main purpose of all digital marketing initiatives in the legal industry is to retain paying clients with promising cases and then succeed on their behalf. For decades, the best way to do this was through great referrals from former clients, contemporaries, and colleagues. Today, that is no longer the case. Your firm needs a strong online presence with a carefully considered and executed conversion marketing strategy and accompanying tactics.

If you’re not sure how to go about getting more conversions and better leads, we would love the chance to speak with you. We offer the full holistic suite of marketing services. When you convert LaFleur into your marketing partner, we help you track your potential clients’ progress through your sales funnel. We monitor your marketing plan, strategy, and tactics and make updates as needed to optimize the user experience and increase conversions, which, in turn, gets you more qualified leads and clients. In fact, we’re so confident that we can get your firm great conversions and help boost your client roster that we’re currently offering a free site audit for visitors who complete this brief form or call (888) 222-1512.

We’re excited to hear from you and begin marketing your firm the way it deserves.

Related Articles


30 lead conversion strategies. (n.d.). Marketing Wizdom. Retrieved from http://marketingwizdom.com/strategies/conversion

Demers, J. (2015, February 2). 39 quick ways to increase your website’s conversion rate. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242388

Hayes, J. (2019, July 25). eCommerce conversion rates in 2019 and beyond. Top 10 Website Hosting. Retrieved from https://www.top10-websitehosting.co.uk/ecommerce-conversion-rates

Hendricks, D. (2015, March 5). 10 marketing tactics to increase conversions. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/03/05/10-marketing-tactics-to-increase-conversions/#3b4ca9c21116

Kim, L. (2017, May 1). Everything you know about conversion rate optimization is wrong. WordStream. Retrieved from http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/03/17/what-is-a-good-conversion-rate