Your prospective clients have countless options for legal counsel. So, do you want to look like your competitors—and blend in—or do you want to stand out? Start with a competitor analysis.
In our kick-off calls with clients, a new client will often point to a competitor’s website when we ask about design preferences. This is common especially when new players in an established market are taking a lead from a firmly entrenched player with a history of success.
On the one hand, it’s natural to keep an eye on your law firm’s competitors. But on the other hand, you should not take direct inspiration from your competition’s design choices. Instead, you can use competitor analysis to find your unique angle.
Here are the key elements for a law firm to consider during a competitor analysis. Let’s dive in.
Competitor analysis will help your firm stand out
Competitor analysis is a process of thoroughly examining the websites and digital presence of your competitors. This can help you gain valuable insights and identify opportunities to differentiate your firm.
During the attorney selection process, the majority of your website visitors will also visit your competitors’ websites. That’s why—before you decide on a design direction for your own law firm—it’s important to research your competitors so you can stand out.
#1 – Colors
Colors play a significant role in shaping perception and creating a memorable brand identity. It’s not uncommon to find many firms utilizing similar color palettes, often featuring navy blue, white, and gray.
Action: Identify common color choices among your rivals.
Action: Select a unique and visually appealing color scheme for your own firm.
#2 – Photos
Does every one of your competitors’ websites have a photo of the attorneys in the hero posture (arms-crossed looking scary)? Are the websites loaded with stock photos? You can stand out by choosing unique and authentic images that convey professionalism, approachability, and trustworthiness.
Action: Find out what kind of visuals your competitors have on their websites.
Action: Differentiate your firm by featuring high-quality, personalized images.
#3 – Tagline
A compelling tagline can leave a lasting impression on visitors and encapsulate your firm’s unique value proposition. Are they generic and uninspiring, or do they effectively communicate their distinctive qualities?
Action: Collect your competitors’ taglines and see if there’s an opportunity to stand out.
Action: Craft a powerful and memorable tagline that resonates and sets your firm apart.
#4 – CTA
An effective call-to-action (CTA) can guide website visitors toward taking desired actions, such as scheduling a consultation or downloading a resource.
Action: Evaluate your competitors’ CTAs for clarity, positioning, and effectiveness.
Action: Identify how you can improve your own CTAs to create urgency and engagement.
#5 – Contact method
Consider how your competitors facilitate communication with potential clients. Is there a prominent contact form, live chat functionality, or even an option to text the firm? Does the firm offer self-scheduling?
Action: Assess your competitors’ communication channels for accessibility and convenience.
Action: Innovate your contact methods in alignment with your clientele’s needs.
#6 – Productization
The concept of productization, commonly seen in transactional practices like estate planning firms, involves packaging legal services into standardized offerings. Offering clearly defined service packages can simplify decision-making for clients and differentiate your firm in the marketplace.
Action: Find out if your competitors have embraced productization.
Action: Consider the potential benefits of productizing certain services within your own firm.
#7 Content strategy
Content is king in the digital realm, and a well-executed content strategy can position your firm as a trusted authority—especially if you fill a need that your competitors do not sufficiently answer. Remember to look beyond blog posts. Consider podcasts, white papers, and local engagement.
Action: Review your competitors’ content and look for gaps and opportunities for improvement.
Action: Create your own robust content strategy that provides valuable insights and addresses the gaps.
#8 Languages available
Language accessibility can be a significant advantage over your competitors. However, inclusivity goes beyond Google Translate. If your firm has the resources and serves diverse communities, consider translating your website or providing multilingual options to broaden your reach and attract a wider client base.
Action: Evaluate whether your competitors offer their website content in multiple languages.
Action: Create a multilingual website, if appropriate for your firm.
Review and next steps
Legal websites can be pretty darn similar. For clients, it can be tricky to make sense of who to hire. But by diverging from the crowd with a different design approach, you may find that your firm comes out ahead.
Conducting a competitor analysis is a vital step toward creating a distinctive digital presence for your law firm by identifying opportunities to differentiate your firm from the competition.
An important caveat: If you’re successful, your competitors will follow your lead. A competitor analysis should be performed at least once a year.
As a digital agency, we perform competitor analysis frequently because it’s so important in ensuring that a firm stands out. Reach out to Omnizant and let competitor analysis serve as a springboard for your firm’s success.