Enhancing the user experience will propel your law firm’s website and increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Adding a Search Bar could be just the tactic needed to accomplish this. A search bar is a powerful tool that increases user engagement on your website. Learn more about website search bars and how they can help a law firm’s website by reading today’s post.
What Exactly is a Search Bar on a Website?
A website’s search bar is like a search engine’s search bar. You type keywords or questions into a box, and then the search engine looks for information related to your keywords and questions on that specific website. A website search bar is limited to only what is included in a website; it does not search the internet.
A search bar is often at the top of a website or on a blog page, making it easy for visitors to plug in what they are looking for. It saves the reader from having to scroll and click on different links to find the topic they want.
Do You Need to Add a Search Bar To Your Law Firm’s Website?
There are several benefits to having a search bar on your website. The benefits include:
Quick Access to Relevant Information
Users must simply type the topic they are interested in into the search box. Results will pull up all relevant information. This saves a potential client from trying to find information randomly by looking at numerous irrelevant pages.
A search bar increases website user satisfaction and will increase confidence in your law firm. People tend to revisit websites they have had success on previously. Additionally, having access to immediate information, will provide answers that a potential client seeks. This may eventually lead to new clients.
Highlighting Your Expertise and Specialties
A search bar highlighting your expertise is easy and will help you stand out from the competition. For example, if someone is searching for what to do when they are in a car accident, your search bar may provide them with useful information.
Your search bar may pull up information on what to do in that situation, but it could also pull up testimonials in similar cases that you recently won for someone involved in a car accident.
Instant Answers for Potential Clients
Everyone uses search bars when utilizing search engines for specific information. 21st-century internet users are used to immediate gratification and want an answer immediately. Consumers may leave your website if they try to find information that takes too long. Including a search bar on your website provides that instant gratification visitors expect and appreciate.
Reduced Bounce Rates
A bounce is when a user only visits one page on your site. Bounce rates refer to how long it takes a user to navigate away from your website. Search bars make it easier to keep potential clients browsing around your pages.
The more user-friendly your website is to visitors, the lower your bounce rates will be, and the more likely users will remain on your website, and continue interacting with it.
Queries Contain Valuable Information
Search bars can help you discover what potential clients and users are looking for and what they want from your website. Integrating your search bar into Google Analytics can gather useful information to help you optimize your pages. This data analysis will allow you to anticipate needs and respond accordingly.
A Mobile Friendly Site
Devices change user experiences on websites. Search bars can be helpful for mobile users because they enable a user to input exactly what they want and will search specifically for that topic. Sometimes a website is not user-friendly on a cell phone, and it can be difficult to navigate. The search bar makes it easy and more mobile-friendly.
Best Practices for Adding Search Bars
Adding a search bar is a smart marketing tactic and will drive more traffic to your website, generating new leads. The following best practices are recommended:
An Easy-to-Find Search Bar
Your search bar should be easy to find. This will prevent users from bouncing. The best places to add a search bar are the top-right or top-center of your webpage. Do not place a search bar in the footer or a menu, as it will not be visible. It is wise to include the search bar on every website so the user can easily move from page to page and topic to topic.
Use Familiar Text Field Boxes, Search Buttons, and the Search Icon
Always give the user what they want. Use the familiar search box and a search button, just like they see and use on Google searches. Users will recognize the magnifying glass icon for their searches. You can place this icon on the search button, inside a text box, or on a button that shows or hides the search bar.
An Appropriately Sized Search Bar
A search bar should be large if you want it to be noticed, especially if it is your primary navigational tool. You must also consider how long the user’s input may be. Users want to see their entire question or keyword in the search box.
While you may want the search box to be prominent, you do not want to overwhelm the page. Remember that mobile users will also use the search bar and design your search bar accordingly.
Users appreciate when they type in a question or a word, and the search bar automatically completes their thought. Their search makes sense. They can see that others have the same questions.
This provides comfort. With autocomplete, you can tailor predictions based on your firm’s practice areas and the content on your web site. It is possible to limit the autocomplete suggestions so a user is not overwhelmed. You can further enhance a user’s experience by allowing them to select a suggestion and/or use their cursor to move up and down the list of suggestions.
Other High-Tech Functions
Search bar functions can be enhanced by making search results show specific pages before others. If a user searches for “workers’ compensation,” the workers’ comp practice page or successful recent cases can populate before a blog.
Drop-down menus may be added to filter results, and results can populate even when words are misspelled or have alternate keywords.
Digital Marketing Next Steps
Search bars are user-friendly, increase website traffic, and can potentially help you acquire new clients. Ensure your website has the proper search bar by making the first steps to include one on your website.
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. Annette wrote the bestselling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a sought-after keynote and CLE speaker throughout the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at at firstname.lastname@example.org.