Everything You Need to Know About Website Design for Law Firms
When you’re building a website for a law firm, your biggest focus should be to make sure the information is available and easy to find. This is an important part of any website, but law firms specifically are often a big investment of time and money for potential clients. Hiring a law firm—even having a consultation or getting in touch—is a big decision, and people will likely spend a lot of time researching before they reach out to anyone. With that in mind, it’s very important to make sure your website visitors can find what they need right away.
Do you think your law firm’s website design is better than your competitors? If the answer is no, then you’re probably losing potential clients to these other lawyers. People tend to scope out four to five law firms online before they actually choose one to call. If your website isn’t user-friendly, rich with information, or even visually appealing, then these consumers are likely to pass you by. Large or small, your firm’s website is most likely the first point of contact for many potential clients. Don’t skimp out on this crucial part of your business!
Here are five reasons why your law firm’s website design is an essential part of your business:
1. It represents your brand
First impressions matter, especially online. What kind of image are you projecting to potential clients? If your web design is outdated, bland, and confusing, then these leads will undoubtedly think your law firm is the same. Most potential clients don’t know who you are when they first visit, so greet them with a modern, visually appealing site that they’ll feel comfortable with.
2. You can stand out in a crowd
With more than 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, competing online can be grueling. In a sea of professional and qualified attorneys, how do you differentiate yourself? Most of the time, potential clients are looking at law firms for the first time ever, so they need to remember you. Having a great web design that reflects your uniqueness and capabilities can give you a leg up!
3. Increase conversions
While we all want to see our websites get flooded with traffic, conversions are even more important to the bottom line. When developing a website, you always need to think about getting users to actually pick up the phone or fill out a contact form. Visitors need to follow a clear and understandable path throughout your website that leads them to that first communication. They need to be shown strong content that’s easily readable on both desktop and mobile devices. Don’t forget about placing noticeable calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your site so they have an opportunity to connect at each turn. Users aren’t afraid to leave a bad site immediately.
4. Rank higher on Google
If this isn’t a priority, it should be. Google monitors user behavior on websites constantly using analytics. It can see how long people are spending on your website, and if it’s not for very long, you’re in trouble. A great website is designed to keep people on the site for as long as possible. You’ll want potential clients to be learning about your offerings, specialties, history, and lawyers. If they’re leaving almost as soon as they arrive, then this tells Google that your site isn’t good, which will leave you stranded on page 2 or worse on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This means that potential leads won’t ever be able to find you.
5. Better search-engine marketing
Going off of the previous reason, having a well-designed website improves every aspect of your online marketing strategy. Firms wouldn’t invest thousands of dollars each month on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and retargeting ads if they weren’t confident in their website. These lawyers understand the value of showing up on the first page of Google, so they take the time to make sure their strategies are golden. Best practices include maximizing SEO and local SEO, clear web content, helpful blogs, and correct contact info.
Even if you just get referrals from word-of-mouth and don’t care about all this search engine stuff, you still need a distinguished website built by a professional that perfectly represents your business. The internet isn’t going away anytime soon, and users tend to research a lot online before choosing a product. Therefore, it’s essential to make your product easily accessible, understandable, and attractive. Your bottom line will thank you!
One quick tip before you get started on your full web design is to start with a simple, clean layout. Though the website should, of course, look professional, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your (likely already overwhelmed) website visitors. Anyone actively searching for a law firm is probably already under stress. Make the process easier for them by making your site simple, informative, and easy to navigate, so they can find what they need quickly and easily.
Striking the balance between being professional and overwhelming can be difficult. If you’re having trouble in the planning stages, try talking to a website designer. Good design can go a long way when you’re trying to organize a lot of information in a simple, clean way.
Once you have a simple and clean foundation, here are three things your law firm website design MUST have:
1. Attorney bios
You may not think that a “get to know us” page would be necessary for a law firm—but even short descriptions and headshots can help website visitors feel like they know who you are, which goes a long way in building trust with future clients. When you’re building the page and writing bios, think: What would you want to know about someone who could represent you in court?
Depending on your firm and the type of work you do, it’s likely best to have very professional bio pages with details about legal experience, education, and more. You definitely want your attorneys to look approachable—like people one could talk to—but with plenty of professional success to make a reader feel comfortable reaching out to your firm.
2. Multiple ways to get in touch
Lead generation is ultimately what most law firms will want to get from a new website, so it’s important to make it as easy as possible for website visitors to get in touch. Make sure your contact information is prominent on every page of your site.
Calling for a consultation is a big step for anyone, and not everyone who visits your website will be ready to make that commitment. So it’s always a good idea to have ways to contact you at many different levels—from social following buttons to an email sign-up, to a contact form. That way, even if your visitors aren’t ready to call you or request a consultation, you can stay on their mind in the meantime.
3. Responsive design
It’s now more important than ever to make sure your website is optimized for mobile, for many reasons. For one, Google and other search engines check your site for mobile-friendliness when ranking search results, and websites that aren’t optimized for mobile will have a much more difficult time being found.
People are using mobile devices more than ever, and on-the-go searches often result in actions taken, such as leads generated, within the first hour after a search is made. Search results are more valuable than ever, and if your website isn’t found on mobile, the odds of generating leads online will rapidly shrink.
Once you have these three major things that every law firm website design must have, it’s important to start taking steps to make sure you can stand out in a very competitive market. Formulating a website is no longer just a possibility regarding business growth. It’s actually a best practice and something to seriously consider. A website is a significant marketing tool for any business, and that includes your law firm. Whatever web presence you create for your firm will act as the first impression and a point of reference for people looking to learn more about your firm.
Currently, whenever we want to look up something or find the information we head to the internet to do our bidding. So what makes you think it will be different when it comes to your business? Web marketing is a terrific strategy that can lead to further business and a long client list. Giving potential clients a face to put with the name will also make your firm seem more approachable to a diverse clientele.
While you may want to focus on high-profile cases, there will still be low-profile clients that come to you for advice and even for representation. Providing them with a place to see who your company is and what they stand for is a great starting point for selling your services. But that isn’t the only reason to have a website, nor is it that simple to have a successful website. Here are some tips to make sure your law firm’s website design stands out amongst the crowd:
Domain names can be created and specified to truly capture the essence of your company brand. Contrary to popular belief, you can purchase multiple domain names that are unused that will bring readers to the same main page. While purchasing dozens of domain names isn’t a best practice, it is smart to have a few just to keep them out of the hands of other companies or competitors. In addition, having a domain name that is unique to your firm could make it easier for customers to remember. Or better yet—easier to find while they are searching online.
Your audience will be the most crucial aspect of making your law firm website a success. You’ll want to market your firm in a way that is tasteful and appealing. The competition for any business can be fierce and depending on where your firm is located, it could make the competition shrink or grow exponentially. Think about whether or not you are building a site for one-time visits or if you want someone to visit your site often.
Your audience will be a mix of current clients, prospective clients, referrals, other lawyers, potential hires, and even journalists researching stories on cases. Provide up-to-date information about your firm, put your best foot forward for new clients, showcase recommendations, and talk up your expertise.
Keep things simple
The website you create for your firm will represent your brand. It will be the first impression visitors get of you and your firm. If you utilize an exhausted template, it will only make your website look exactly like the other firms already in existence. On the other hand, you don’t want to choose a template that is so far out there it’s confusing and hard for visitors to navigate.
Instead, go with a simple and clean look. Not only will it give a strong first impression, but it will be easy for visitors to navigate and find exactly what they are looking for on your website. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to impress clients, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them.
The content on your homepage is also of the same importance as a clean look. Don’t crowd the homepage with text, determine the most important content and images and forget everything else. Less is more.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your Law Firm’s web design, please reach out to our team of professional website designers today.