Your law firm website is the initial point of contact for many clients. Your website must capture interest, provide engaging content, and convince visitors that you are better than the competition. Whether you need to create a new legal website or revamp your current one, these website design tips will give your firm a marketing edge.
For many attorneys and paralegals, developing a solid website is outside their wheelhouse. Moreover, it can be daunting to design a website when you spend your days writing legal briefs and presenting cases in court. But to grow your firm, it is vital to have a dynamic and intuitive website.
After all, no matter how a legal client finds an attorney, they will almost always check online to gather information. One report estimates that 57% of consumers found an attorney by visiting a law firm’s website or search engine. So, many legal prospects want to learn more about you, regardless of where they got your name.
Even if your law firm obtains plenty of business through referrals, remember that clients will still look you up online. And for people who do not have a friend to recommend an attorney, how your law firm designs its website is even more critical. Now, on to our best law firm web design must-haves:
The first page of your law firm website should inform visitors about your most important messages. Visitors should not need to click or read too much on the homepage. Remember that people scan pages online more than read them. So, your legal website home page should be designed for easy scanning. This means creating the page for a short attention span by:
The bread-and-butter of every law firm website is outstanding web content that addresses legal questions and provides confidence to the visitor. Readability measures how quickly people can read the site’s words and sentences. When a law firm website has high visibility, visitors can scan content. Your law firm can increase readability by:
Your firm can organize the site’s text for easy readability by using consistent fonts, headers, subheaders, and smaller page copy. Doing these together makes the pages easy to scan.
The legal website web design also should be functional. As possible legal clients visit your site for legal advice, and they should be able to find the information they want fast. The navigation should be simple to follow and tell the visitor who you are and why they should choose you. Make sure you have essential navigation elements such as Contact Us, About Our Attorneys, Specializations, and more.
Your legal website might have the most informative content on the planet. But if the site takes 10 seconds to load, only some people will see it. Web browsers are impatient, and slow load times will reduce conversions. If the website has many graphics, ensure your IT provider has the hardware and bandwidth to handle the load. You also can decrease site load times by selecting excellent web hosts and keeping the design elegant and simple.
Remember that the most economical hosting provider may be easy on the bank account but may increase load times. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Tool to determine how fast your site loads.
Social proof helps your cause because people are more likely to hire you if they know someone else did. Your legal website should not look like you have never had clients. Visitors want to see proof that you are a successful attorney. This is even more important in the legal field because people rarely want to trust someone with a vital legal issue unless they have strong social proof.
Offering social proof means providing your visitors with case studies and proof of your previous settlements and verdicts. Every time your law firm closes an exceptional case, you must share it on your site and social media pages. You can amp up social proof by getting permission from satisfied clients to talk about their cases. Case studies provide helpful information for site visitors so that you can help them with their legal issues. After all, you did it for someone like them before.
Another way to provide social proof is to have short testimonials from your delighted clients. All you need is perhaps a paragraph or even two or three sentences from satisfied customers. Also, many visitors could come to your site from almost anywhere, so it helps to have at least one testimonial on every web page. For example, you do not want a legal prospect on your site without seeing at least one happy legal client.
You also want to have reviews on your site. Legal reviews are often general and will not delve into case details, but they still provide social proof. One way is to grab some of your best Google reviews and post them on the homepage.
Did you know that more than 50% of web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets? Unfortunately, for most visitors, websites not optimized for mobile devices are hard to read and slow to navigate. In addition, viewing a non-optimized website is frustrating enough for many visitors to leave and go to a competitor.
If more motivation is needed to do web design for mobile devices, remember that it makes it easier for prospects to read about you. This is because Google and other major search engines use mobile-friendliness as a page ranking factor.
You should do everything possible to ensure your law firm website is as optimized as possible for the almost 90% of users who never look past page one on Google.
The prospect may come to your website because of the firm name, but they will stay and connect with an individual attorney. So, you should ensure that every attorney on the site has a complete and detailed profile. An attorney profile should include their education, awards, experience, settlements and verdicts, and publications. High-quality attorney photos help because most people relate to images better than text.
Before anyone reads a paragraph of text on your site, they will see the images. Remember that high-quality photographs sell your site services while poor-quality ones do the opposite.
There are many times in life when average photos are ok. For example, posting a picture from your cell phone on a Google My Business page is better than nothing. But when it comes to your legal website, it pays to focus on high-quality photos.
You should only pull pictures from Google Images with permission. You will get into copyright infringement issues. Giving attribution to the site or photographer is not enough; you need attribution and written permission.
You also can take your high-quality legal images or buy stock photography. Stock photography from major online vendors can do the trick, but many legal visitors are wise enough to know the difference between stock photos and authentic images of your law office.
After you have assembled some excellent website photos, you will need to compress them. This may be accomplished with Photoshop or photo compression websites. Using an image that was not compressed for the web will significantly slow the load time, and that is terrible news for Google and your visitors.
It is wise to compress your legal images enough to save plenty of space without degrading the image too much. However, JPEG compression usually does an impressive job; only some people can see the difference between a 15 MB image and a 500k image.
Now that you have provided your visitors with good information, you need to tell them what to do next. The point of bringing legal prospects to your site is to initiate contact. This is where a compelling call to action is needed. Examples of effective CTAs include:
Effective law firm web design relies on the aforementioned best practices. Also, review other top legal websites to see what they are doing. An intuitive and attractive website is one of your law firm’s best marketing tools. See examples of our award-winning law firm web design here. Whether you are creating a new site or refreshing your current one, Forward Lawyer Marketing is ready to help at (888) 590-9687.
Online marketing for law firms matters. The legal field is an extremely competitive market, and having expert advice gives you an edge. Here are some examples:
Our goal is to learn your law firm marketing goals, then help you achieve them. Please contact FORWARD Lawyer Marketing at (888) 590-9687 at your earliest convenience to get started with a no-obligation consultation. For some real-world examples of what we do and how it can impact your legal practice, feel free to check out a few of our case studies.
This case study shows how a single-attorney family law practice started attracting more high-asset, financially complex divorce cases.
Click here to read about a family law firm that increased caseload five-fold in a few months.
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At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing we believe in taking a “leave no stone unturned” approach when it comes to our legal clients. With that in mind, we employ extremely experienced people in the industry. Our SEO Director has been marketing online for well over two decades and oversees all SEO tasks including editing content and performing on-page optimization as well as internal and external linking. Our specialty is law firm marketing and SEO for lawyers at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, call us at (888) 590-9687 to discuss how we can increase the revenue of your law firm.