According to a survey conducted by FindLaw, nearly 40% of people looking for an attorney conducted their search online in 2014. Internet searches are now hands-down the most commonly used way claimants selected attorneys to hire.
If potential clients find their way to your firm’s website, they might learn how your firm can help them win their claims, but the wrong images on your site could put them off working with you.
Here’s the million-dollar question: How do you pick the right images for your website?
Your firm’s images are immediately apparent to the viewer. They also act as a psychological primer, subtly influencing the judgments your prospective clients make about your site.Since you want your website visitors to become your clients, it follows that the images that you put on your site should entice them to become a client. When choosing images for your site, there are a few guidelines that will help you choose images that send the right signal to the viewer:
Make it “Feel” Right:
If you’re using stock photos, they can sometimes look a bit “too perfect”, especially images with people in them. Avoid photos that look staged. If it a stock image looks fake to you, it looks fake to your visitors as well.
Images like these may also convey a low-rent quality to your site, and by extension, your firm. Someone searching for an attorney to hire will have no reason to pick one that appears cheap. Moreover, who wants to have a cheap looking website?
The best stock images are ones that convey the qualities that you want people to think about when they think about your law firm. Be very discerning when it comes to these images. Let’s take a look at two examples:
This stock image lawyer looks attentive, helpful. It communicates those qualities to your prospective clients.
This man looks like he was told to look frustrated by a photographer. It has that staged quality that may make it inappropriate for your website. Additionally, it conveys that concept of frustration to the viewer. Would you want to associate “frustration” with your firm?
Make the People in Your Images Your Ideal Client :
This will vary by practice area, geography, and other factors, but it’s a good practice to make your images reflect the clients that you want to attract. People respond more to images of people that most resemble themselves.
Care should be taken to make sure that this is not done to the exclusion of other prospective clients. As such, it should be targeted.
For example, if most of your Social Security disability cases are blue collar, older men, then putting an image of an older, blue collar man on your page about disability cases will help reinforce that your firm is the right fit for them and their disability case. If your firm handles bankruptcy cases and finds that many middle-aged couples file for bankruptcy, consider using an image of a married couple.
For pages that are less specific, you should add images that are more reflective of your client base as a whole.
Make it Clear Who is Who:
One of the largest pitfalls of choosing images is ambiguity. If your visitors can’t tell who’s the lawyer and who’s the client in an image, it’s hard for them to subconsciously see themselves working with your firm. Their ability to place themselves in the image is important, if they aren’t able to, then the image fails to prime them to become your client.
Use Faces to Your Advantage.Humans naturally tend to look where other people are looking. This may seem trivial, but it has big implications for anything on your website that you want to draw attention to. Consider a “contact us” form as an example. If the models on your website are looking away from your forms, most likely your readers could be drawn away as well.
If a person looking directly at the form is too awkward looking, you may want to have images where the models are looking at the viewer rather than anywhere else.
There’s no magic bullet spell that will turn any visitor into a client, but there are ways to skew their perceptions in your favor. By applying these simple priming techniques, you can tap into the powerful psychology of images. An image may be far more valuable than a thousand words for you and your practice.