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Why (and How) Your Law Firm Should Use Website Pop-ups

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by carlton smith in Blog
December 2, 2018
example of a subscriber website pop-up

For a while there, it seemed as though every website was using pop-ups just for the sake of jumping onboard the trend. Now that the furor has died down, we’ve had a chance to learn about how website pop-ups best contribute to the user experience.

With fewer websites utilizing pop-up messaging, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of. It’s simply a matter of understanding why visitors want to see website pop-ups and knowing how to effectively design them for to meet that expectation.

Why Should Your Law Firm Use Website Pop-ups?

Pop-ups are primarily something used to communicate a special message to visitors of your website. Most commonly, these messages aim to seal the deal and convert visitors into paying clients (or, at the very least, get them part of the way there).

And they’re pretty darn effective in doing so, too.

According to a Sumo study of nearly 2 billion pop-ups, it found the average conversion rate of a website pop-up to be 3.09%.

data from sumome's pop-up study

On the other hand, it found that pop-ups that were especially done well had a conversion rate of nearly 10%.

Think about that for a second.

Let’s say you were to use a free WordPress plugin to add pop-ups to your website. Aside from the initial configuration of the plugin and the ongoing monitoring piece, there isn’t much of a time or monetary investment.

In exchange, three to ten visitors out of every 100 “convert”. This could mean they sign up for a consultation, subscribe to a newsletter, or become a paying client. But those are three to ten more people you wouldn’t have necessarily converted if it hadn’t been for the pop-up.

Tips for Using Website Pop-ups Effectively for Your Law Firm

Now, with a law firm website, you want to be careful about how you use pop-ups as your pages contain vital information for prospective clients and you don’t want them to get in the way of that.

Here are some tips for using website pop-ups effectively for your law firm.

Tip #1: Consider the Type

Typically, there are three styles of pop-ups:

  • Modals -These are the traditional pop-ups that open in the middle of the screen.
  • Interstitials -These take up the full screen and are usually encountered upon first entering a website or right before leaving.
  • Banners – These are small strips that stick to the very top or bottom of the screen.

As screen sizes get smaller and visitors adopt pop-up blindness, banners are a smart choice. That said, there are some instances where a larger modal pop-up makes sense (like sharing a privacy statement or soliciting visitors to subscribe to a newsletter). Think about what you need to ask, where the ideal placement is, and then choose the right style.

Tip #2 Be Aware of Google’s Penalties

Google penalizes websites that improperly use pop-ups on mobile. Since Google now ranks websites based on their mobile versions, it’s important to abide by these guidelines.

Google has three rules it asks website owners to follow:

  1. Never allow a pop-up to cover more than a quarter of the web page, effectively blocking out essential information behind it.
  2. Never display a pop-up on the first page of a website and keep visitors from getting to the page they expected (unless it’s a privacy statement or age-related gate).
  3. Never use pop-ups that confuse visitors in terms of interaction (e.g. pop-ups that take up a full page, but can’t be dismissed because they require a user to scroll).

google's definition of intrusive pop-ups for a website

Basically, if it confuses visitors or intrudes on their ability to quickly access information, don’t use it.

Tip #3: Add Value

Unlike something like an e-commerce site that can display pop-ups to advertise special deals, promote a free gift, or ask visitors not to abandon a shopping cart, a law firm’s options are a bit more limited in scope. When creating pop-ups, think about what sorts of messages would be relevant and add value.

Take, for example, this banner from Small Law.

banner pop-up

It’s a brief news bulletin at the top of the website. When you click on it, you’re taken to a special page that announces their move to new offices (which is helpful for clients trying to find them).

With privacy an ongoing concern (especially in light of GDPR in Europe), more and more websites are displaying privacy notices in pop-ups as Springhouse Solicitors has done:

gdpr pop-up message for law firm's website

There’s the example of the triggered pop-up on the Arnold & Itkin LLP website:

website pop-up form

The free case evaluation pop-up only opens after a visitor clicks on the pen-and-paper icon stuck to the right side of the screen.

Live chat is another way to wisely use website pop-ups that are relevant to the content of the site and will be well-received by visitors.

Tip #4: Time It Just Right

Obviously, throwing a pop-up onto the screen the second someone enters is a bad idea. As such, take some time to understand your client’s journey as he or she walks through the site, so you can deliver a pop-up when they actually want to see it.

Tip #5: Keep the Design Simple

Keep all aspects of a pop-up simple and attractive:

  • Make the pop-up small, but darken the site behind it so as not to distract from the message.
  • Use minimal messaging and images, but display a strong call-to-action button.
  • Include a contact form, but make it quick and painless to fill out (no more than two or three fields).
  • Have an easy way out (an “X” in the right corner), but make the offer in the pop-up so intriguing they can’t help but click on it.

 

Website Pop-ups Are Here to Stay

The style of website pop-ups and the abundance of them may have changed, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they continue to be a powerful marketing tool. If you’d like to explore ways in which you can use pop-ups on your law firm’s website, give us a shout and we’d be happy to discuss the possibilities.

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