Is your Firm’s Website Compliant with the SRA Transparency Standards?
Now that the Legal Services Board (LSB) has approved the new rules and reforms that were proposed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), legal service firms have until to December 2018 to comply with the proposed changes.
Whilst we are in the midst of summer, visions of the festive season are still a summer holiday and autumn season away. However, the remaining months is actually very little time to ensure that your company’s website adheres to the extensive proposals.
The following legal sectors will need to publish information pertaining to price and service:
- residential conveyancing
- licensing applications for business premises
- road traffic offences
- employee and employer tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal)
- debt recovery (up to £100,000)
- immigration (except asylum)
It is within your best interests to ensure that your website design is not only compliant with new regulations, but also, in the new highly competitive market the SRA envision, your website should highlight all the admirable qualities, skills and expertise your firm has to offer. In order to successfully accomplish this, your website should consider the following to be a priority:
What it means to become truly transparent in terms of fees is something that the legal services sector need to consider. It is not just enough to be clear on what a service will cost, the consumer will want to know what this means in terms of timescales and details of the services that will be carried out.
Fixed cost legal service providers, like conveyancers, that offer a fixed price for the service could use pricing calculator systems to highlight the fees they will charge.
Private client companies could issue the hourly price of the legal service provider in order to show a transparent cost.
However, the SRA also want companies to become a lot more transparent as to what a client will receive for their money and how long the service will take from instruction to completion.
Legal service providers should therefore aim to consider the service they offer and why it delivers value for money. Being able to sell your price and why you are good value to the consumer will become an integral part of converting enquiries in the age of price transparency.
Design and Functionality of your website
How your website looks, and its functionality is massively important in helping to convert site traffic into actual business.
- Ensure that your firm proudly displays any trust indicators. New SRA regulations state that companies will need to display the SRA digital badge of approval that will also enable users to click over to the SRA pages that will display client protections and advice. Failing to apply these indications of trust will enforce non-compliance measures from the SRA.
- Make sure that your website looks and operates with a level of sophistication. Most legal service users are technology driven and will be impressed with a website that can function in a modern interactive way whilst maintaining a stylish professional look.
- Are you able to portray the skills, experience, expertise that your company enjoys? People are increasingly looking for specialists and experts to instruct. Promoting these, along with the bespoke services you offer, will comply with services transparency as well as recognising the firm’s professionalism.
- Ensure that your company’s brand, values and unique selling points are clearly displayed and promoted.
- Overall, creating a professional first impression could be enough to secure a client researching the company, enquiring and using the service.
Case Studies, Testimonials and Social Proof
According to Search Engine Land research: “85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews before feeling they can trust a business.” A survey from Dimensional Research further highlights: “90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions.” Social proofing by using testimonial comments and statistics are therefore imperative in finding new business and customers. By showcasing the positive things people have been saying about your company, you are a lot more likely to increase the business you receive.
The content of your site is a perfect way to establish who you are and what you represent as a business. You may have the most impressive experience within the company, but if it is not clearly promoted, people will leave the site unaware of what you offer. Under new regulations, you will need to publish clear information on pricing. This is your opportunity to show the potential client what they will get for their money. Highlighting the experience, expertise and services across the range of legal sectors your business specialises in, will comply with SRA standards and help your company shine even brighter.
If you have published blogs or articles, or if you have been asked for an industry comment for this type of publication in the past, make sure that you ask for a link to the content and share it on your website. This helps to portray your company as trusted and respected experts within the sector.
There is a saying that people buy from people. Promoting the people working for the company and the job they will be completing is important in making the client feel connected with the people they may instruct. It also starts the relationship as people like to put a name to a face.
Promoting accredited awards you have won, professional bodies you are a part of, will build up a picture of reliability and quality. Again, SRA regulations will also ensure that the SRA digital badge is prominently positioned to ensure regulations are met.
Human beings are consumed by information and there is no faster way of communicating to a sizeable audience than by using social media. By ensuring that your social media is relevant, interesting and up-to-date, you are able to increase your profile whilst also sharing knowledge and engaging potential clients.
Solve Legal Marketing understand how to ensure your business will comply with all SRA regulations. However, we specialise in helping your firm to create a digital footprint that will improve your online presence and help increase your business activity. If you need help with your digital marketing, we are waiting to offer that guidance and support.
Contact us on 0800 133 7127 or email: [email protected] to talk you through the costs, process and timescales to create a professional and compliant website to represent your business.