First impression is everything. Regardless if you are a start-up, small firm or a large firm with multiple locations you must have a good website. It’s the same old adage you here about many things in life; you buy with your eyes. And I’m here to tell you that rings very true with websites. Think about it. Let’s say you and your top competitor are just about neck in neck in terms of your law firm experience/services. Let’s also say you both have websites. Theirs is nice, shiny and well built. Yours, well not so much. So who do you think your potential clients will pick based off their web experience?
Here are some of our suggestions for having a great looking law web design.
Responsive Web Design
Chances are you have already heard about this. In today’s world people are surfing the web from not only their desktops/laptops but also on their phones and tablets. In fact soon the numbers will show more people are seeing your website from their phone/tablet than from their personal computer.
In a nutshell responsive web design ensures that all visitors can view your site properly from any screen size whether that may be a phone, tablet or whatever.
So why does this matter? Well for starters Google more or less requires your site be mobile friendly. I wouldn’t use the term ‘punish‘ like many people are using but your ranking it affected if your website is not mobile friendly (responsive). For example, if someone is searching on their phones for ‘DUI attorney’ and your site is not responsive/mobile friendly, other law firm websites that are mobile friendly will be shown ahead of yours in the search results. So since a large number of people are surfing the web from their phones is this something you want to gamble with?
Fast And Convenient Methods To Contact Your Firm
This is ever so important. Nothing worse than going to a website and wanting to contact them but finding any contact info is like searching for a needle in a hay stack. Info like this needs to be there right in their faces in multiple fashions. It’s a must that potential clients have different method choices in contacting your firm. This could be in the shape of a contact form, a giant button that says ‘Free Consultation’ or just a simple standout phone number in the top-right of your website. Don’t make your clients jump through hoops to solicit your services.
Having content and fresh content on your website is key in helping generate new traffic and sustaining that traffic. This can easily be achieved by blogging. Regardless if you will write the articles yourself or hire a firm such as Advantage Law Sites to do so for you, you should post regularly. This means at minimum once a month.
This is a great way to increase traffic especially if you piggy-back on top of your blog posts. Posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and ect. is quick and easy to do and something that generates instant communication with potential clients and site visitors.
In addition to hitting the social media stream as a firm, your attorneys should also be involved by listing their social media channels on their profiles page. This gives your attorneys added value as well as personality that you can connect with. What’s better than ‘connecting directly with your attorney?
I know what you are thinking. “I never believe those things” or “they look tacky”. There was a time where I would agree with you. But after being in this business for 8+ years I realize their importance.
Let’s rule out the one bad thought about testimonials right away and, that is they look bad. With a little effort we can make a testimonial section look great and flow well with the design of the site. In my opinion this is a non-factor when considering whether to have reviews or not.
The other argument is if they are credible or not. Sure there are plenty of sites who fake their testimonials. But a lot of a law firm’s success comes from referrals and word of mouth. Why would you not capitalize in this? Yes, it’s an old tactic but it can create credibility, trust and even personality of your law practice.
Practice Areas and Proper Linking
You wouldn’t believe how many ‘bad’ law sites we’ve encountered where they loosely mention their practice areas on a single page. By loosely I mean a simple list and maybe a brief description. Nothing else.
For starters your practice areas should be a major focus on your home page and your website. From there you can direct to single pages dedicated to a specific practice area such as DUI or domestic abuse. It’s a given to have each practice listed in your main menu and/or another side menu. Well, at least we think it is.
Outside of committing a heavy focus to creating interest in your practice areas you will want to link back to each service as often as it presents itself. For example if you are writing a blog post on Maritime Law you will want to create a hyperlink within that article linking to your Maritime Law services page. If you mention other practices areas you offer on other pages you will want to do the same.
Another great way to linking is by creating tags/categories in your blog that can serve as a focus to tap into your practice areas.
Avoid stock photos if you can. This one is a lot harder to do than the other tips I’ve mentioned in this article. This means hiring a professional to shoot your firm and your attorneys. Great photos do not come cheap. But in the end it is well worth it. Clients will have an actual face of your firm. Something they can cling to from the start. Nothing beats a candid shot of your lead attorney during a meeting in a conference room.
Now don’t fret. If you can’t swing custom photos there are plenty of high resolution stock photos to be had. We use them frequently and design great websites with them.