These days, you can’t have a business of any kind without also having a website. An online presence is almost mandatory if you want to build your customer base and by extension, your revenues. However, you can’t just throw up any website and expect it to perform the way you want it to, especially if you’re an attorney. A law firm must take special care to create a web design that projects its expertise, authority, and experience. If a customer has a difficult time navigating your website or can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll assume you aren’t the attorney they want to work with.
Fortunately, there are some tried and true practices for creating a gold-standard attorney website that you can use as a blueprint to develop one of your own. With the right web design, you’ll be better positioned to capture online leads, respond to client questions remotely, and provide valuable content to anyone who may one day need your services.
Keep It Simple
There are many bells and whistles that you can add to a website that can easily overwhelm visitors. For instance, some websites add music or gifs to their homepage, but those features can cause problems loading your website or turn off your visitors, especially if they’re not expecting to hear music when they click on the link to your page. Instead, keep your web design simple and functional. You don’t need a lot of features to have a professional website.
Just remember that your website is often the first impression a potential client will get of your firm. If you clutter it up too much or make it hard to navigate, you’ll be giving off the impression that your firm is not well organized or does not have the time to invest in making information accessible to customers. There are many templates you can use to create your website that evokes a professional theme but be careful not to be too cookie-cutter. You still want to stand out from other law firms.
Showcase Your Attorneys and Your Services
Your most important assets should be prominently displayed on your website. Since you’re selling a service, you’ll want to showcase the types of law you practice, your specific areas of expertise, problems you help solve, and any high-profile cases you’ve litigated or negotiated. Additionally, the attorneys in your firm should be front and center, since they’re the ones providing services to your clients. Provide full biographies for each person (don’t just give a sentence or two), including any awards they’ve won, prominent cases they’ve handled, and their years of experience.
While you shouldn’t overload your site with graphics and photos, you should break up the content with a featured image or two. This will make your page more interesting, but won’t overwhelm visitors with too much to look at. You do want to provide pictures of your attorneys, though, but they don’t have to be featured on the homepage. You can set up a separate section for your attorneys to ensure you have enough space to detail their accomplishments.
Testimonials are also an excellent technique for touting your services. Choose a few phrases from reviews that pack a lot of punch when it comes to praising your firm and display these on your homepage. It’s also a good idea to have a separate page dedicated to testimonials, but sprinkling key phrases throughout the design will provide more impact.
Keep the Page Load Speed Fast
This tip goes along with keeping your design simple because when you add too many features, your page will take longer to load. Remember that people don’t have long attention spans anymore and if your page doesn’t load quickly, your potential visitors will go somewhere else. Ideally, your homepage should load within a second or two of someone clicking on your link, so if it’s taking longer than that, consider cutting some graphics or changing web hosts to one that offers better page load speeds. It’s also a ranking factor; Google wants it to be fast, so be sure that your web hosting isn’t a bottleneck. You can read more about selecting a web host here.
Organize and Keep the Design Consistent
Humans are naturally drawn to order, so if your website is disorganized, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. They may not even realize that they don’t like the web design, but subconsciously, they will feel like something is off about the website and by extension, your law firm. Your web design is a reflection of your company, so if the layout isn’t conducive to finding information quickly, visitors may think that you’re not the right attorney for them.
In terms of consistency, all pages should have a similar feel to them. The main menu button and contact link should be in the same places on each page, the colors should be complementary to those used on the homepage, and the fonts should be bold and easy to read. In most cases, the main pages will all be similar to each other and the subpages to those main pages will be similar to all other subpages. This gets a little confusing, but essentially, all pages on a specific hierarchy should look the same but have different content.
Have Clear and Effective Calls to Action (CTAs)
The entire point of having a website is to get leads for new customers, so you need to make sure your visitors can easily contact you when they’re ready. You definitely want to have a contact button at various points throughout your website, including on each attorney’s biography, the contact information page, and each service page. However, you might have other CTAs, such as to download information about a topic, a request to learn more about a specific service, or even to provide feedback about the web design. These actions all provide you with an opportunity to capture lead information that you can follow up on by phone, email, or snail mail.
Provide Valuable, Relevant Content
Perhaps the best way to engage your visitors to your website is to offer valuable and relevant content. Often, lawyers have a blog that they use to provide information to their visitors on topics in their areas of practice or on the legal system in general. Videos, infographics, and articles are all excellent ways to demonstrate your expertise and provide visitors with valuable content at the same time. Be sure to keep your content fresh and current to keep readers coming back.
Attorneys have a wonderful opportunity to reach more potential customers by having a top-flight website. By paying careful attention to web design, you will quickly position yourself as an authority in your field of practice and capture new leads to grow your business.