Your potential clients are looking for an attorney online. This is the reason your website design is critical for your firm. Consumers looking for a lawyer often base their decision on websites. Regardless of how clients actually find attorneys, approximately 57% search for information online. One of the most common methods is visiting legal websites. Your potential clients are interested in online recommendations for their legal issues.
FACT: Over 75% of consumers (or potential clients) say that they make assumptions and judgments about a business, as well as the quality of the products and services they carry based on the look of their website. (Direction)
Basics of Attorneys and Law Firm Web Design
Once you make the decision to improve or create a website, you need to decide what will work best for the needs of your firm and which type of appearance appeals the most. The amount you spend is dependent on your specific practice and legal niche. If your firm relies on repeat business and referrals, consider a simple website with your basic information including your business name, phone number and address. This confirms the identity of your practice online.
If you need to stand out from your competition, investing in your law firm web design is recommended. You have two basic choices, you can either design your website yourself or hire law firm website designers. If you are not experienced with web design, hiring a professional is your best option.
DIY Law Firm Web Design
If you have the experience to create your own website, there are some excellent tools available including:
One of the most trusted and popular platforms is WordPress. You have access to customer support, desktop and mobile apps and a website editor tool. WordPress enables you to stream your content seamlessly. For example:
(Image Credit: WordPress)
LawLytics is a platform specifically created for smaller law firms. This is a good option to improve your current website or design a new site. Once you purchase a membership, the technical and design aspects and maintenance of your website receive full support. For instance:
(Image Credit: LawLytics)
Jurispage was created for every size law firm. The marketing agency was founded by an attorney and places the focus on impressing referrals, generating new business and potential colleagues and clients. Your intake process and lead generation can be streamlined. Keep in mind you will need to have some experience to create a professional website for your branding and image.
Professional Law Firm Website Designers
You can obtain professional website services for just a few hundred dollars or spend more than $100,000; which will also cost to maintain. If you have a small law firm, a website developer can create a unique and comprehensive design including support and training for a few thousand. Your overall cost will be affected by how many pages you have, additional features and content support.
You have a lot of digital support options whether you hire a professional or design your own site. If you are on a budget, consider either the DIY route or hiring a professional to design your website then handling the maintenance yourself. You should continually test, revise and learn since an investment in a website is an investment in the growth of your law firm.
Images and Speed
Appearance is extremely important for your law firm website design. This will affect your number of potential clients and the way your website is used to gather additional information. Once you start thinking about accessibility and digital media, you should consider the following questions.
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Did You Choose the Right Images?
The images you choose say a lot about your firm. Depending on your selection, this can be either negative or positive. The images for your attorney website need to be polished and professional. Select only the highest quality images reflecting your brand. Numerous expert designers recommend professional headshots for attorney websites.
Are Your Images Slowing Your Site Down?
In addition to selecting high-quality and clear images, you should also consider the size. If you overuse your photos, you can slow down the speed of your website. Unfortunately, the result is a loss of revenue. According to Google, the speed of mobile websites drives growth. You will lose clients due to a slow website while attracting new clients with a fast site. If you are concerned about the speed of your website, Google offers a Test My Site tool to check your speed. For example:
(Image Credit: Search Engine Land)
You should select the smallest images possible. Make certain you do not sacrifice the quality of your images. You have a lot of choices for image optimization, but your best option is starting with something simple. Your images should not be any larger than necessary. Your image quality should be downgraded without any noticeable changes.
Attorney Website Design and Mobile Devices
As of November of 2016, more consumers began using tablets and mobiles for accessing the internet than desktop computers. This is the first time in history this has happened, with the trend continuing. Despite this, if you own your firm, more of your users will come from a desktop computer. Mobile-friendliness is one of the main ranking signals Google looks for regardless of the type of website. This means even if your users prefer a desktop, your website must be mobile-friendly.
Mobile users have a much smaller screen so your content must flow logically and be well organized. You need to make certain you are scaling your images for a considerably smaller screen size. Your mobile website design should be straightforward and very professional to impress your potential and current clients. Test your website to make sure that it is mobile friendly using Google’s mobile friendly test, for instance:
Lawyer Website Design Accessibility
There are all different types of accessibility enabling you to connect with all of your potential clients. Some of your clients will use a mouse alternative and others screen readers due to poor vision. You need to take all considerations into account with your design including the color of your pages, background and colors for color-blind clients. There is a wide range of tools available for evaluating the accessibility of law firm website design.
Start by turning off your website styling. You will be left with mostly text. This enables you to determine if the information has been arranged properly for your website. If you are satisfied with the code of your site, remove your CSS file link. If you are unfamiliar with this process, you can turn off different sections of your website’s code with the disable-HTML extension. Once you refresh, you can see what remains.
You can then make certain your headings make sense and see if any of your information has completely disappeared. This is a good way to determine if any of your images have text not appearing in any other area of your site. This will negatively impact the accessibility of your site.
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Basic Steps for Attorneys and Law Firm Web Design SEO
Simply having a website for your law firm is not enough. Potential clients must be able to find your website easily. This will help increase the number of clients. One of the most important concepts is potential clients conducting searches for law firm SEO. Despite the complex process, SEO is about increasing the traffic to your site by improving your position in the results from search engines. This means if you want your website to have a good ranking, it must be easy to find. The five main steps are:
- Optimizing your content for keywords
- Establishing and maintaining the online reputation of your law firm
- Writing high-quality content
- Handling all technical issues as they occur
- Promoting the content of your website throughout the internet
You can hire an expert to track your website SEO or do so by yourself. If you decide to handle your own SEO, be prepared to spend a lot of time on the process. Numerous lawyers hire a firm because in the long term they save both money and time. If you hire an expert, you need to check their reputation, experience and cost upfront.
Law Firm Website Copywriting Tips
In addition to looking good, it is essential the website for your law firm is both engaging and readable. Your potential clients need to read your content to be convinced you are the right law firm for their needs. You can accomplish this with good copywriting. Whether you decide to hire a professional, write a new copy or edit your current copy, the tips below will help with the creation of a copy that will convert.
Your writing should be for clarity and understanding. This might mean you need to use shorter sentences and simpler words. You want your potential clients to be able to understand what your content is saying immediately. If your content is overcomplicated, your clients will read the same words over and over and still not understand. Your potential clients will most likely visit the website of one of your competitors instead.
Knowing Your Readers
Your copywriting details are important, but make certain you do not become lost and forget about your audience. You are targeting potential clients, current clients and possible referrals. Consider your readers when you are writing. Do not alienate or confuse your readers by using legal jargon they will not understand.
Creating Calls to Action
Consider the action you want your users to take while visiting your website. Your main goal is the conversion of visitors into clients. This means the actions you take should help your visitors come to a specific conclusion. A call to action or CTA is a line of extremely clear text created to catch the attention of your visitors and entice them into taking action. For example:
When you use CTAs on your site, your visitors are guided to exactly where you want them to be. Use your CTAs to tell your visitors what action you want them to take clearly and concisely for the best results.
Ethics of Attorney Web Design
Your website is an excellent opportunity to enhance the growth of your law firm on the internet. As an attorney, you need to be aware you have a lot of responsibilities. You need to make certain your marketing is conducted completely ethically. This means understanding the rules for your jurisdiction. You can find professional guidance through the rule model available from the American Bar Association.
Remaining compliant with ethical obligations is critical for every lawyer with a growing firm. There are three ethical obligations you should consider before you decide on your online marketing and website design. These are:
Knowing and Following the Rules
The easiest way to break the rules is not knowing what they are. For this reason, it is essential you learn and follow the rules and ethics for client communication and marketing your law firm. A breach of ethics can not only drive away your clients, but it can also have serious repercussions.
Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes
Testimonials are an excellent way of showcasing the good experiences of your clients. Unfortunately, it is also very easy to make a mistake. There are a lot of ethics rules governing testimonials you need to be aware of. If you use testimonials, make certain the appropriate disclaimers are included.
A lot of legal websites now use blogs. The popularity is consistently increasing. Keep in mind there are certain state bars including California with ethical rules for advertising. This means you must use the correct label and retain copies of all of your blogs for a minimum of two years.
FACTS: The majority of companies (67%) use organic traffic to measure their content success. In fact, 86% of companies produce blog content compared to other formats. (Hubspot)
Website Design Tips
Your contact information should be clearly displayed on your website to ensure your visitors can find it easily. If your potential clients have to search for a way to contact your firm they will become frustrated. Numerous individuals requiring legal assistance are already in a bad emotional state. Making certain these individuals can find you when they need you the most is often the difference between acquiring a new client or losing out to your competition.
Your contact information needs to be accurate and prominent with a variety of contact options including telephone numbers, social media profiles and email addresses to ensure your potential clients can use their preferred method of contact.
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If you have satisfied clients, ask them if you can use direct quotes on your website. Positive referrals and word of mouth are powerful and can help your law firm. If you want exceptional testimonials, you need to be specific. Ask your clients their favorite parts of your service. This will help ensure your testimonials sound legitimate. You will also showcase your past successes to your visitors so they believe your firm is the best choice for their needs. For example:
(Image Credit: Flashpoint Marketing)
Your blog can be effectively used as a platform to discuss what you know including how the law affects everyday issues for the average person. Consider making a connection to anything newsworthy and current events. Your clients will find this information both interesting and useful. Just make certain your blog is in compliance with the ethical rules for your jurisdiction.
Ensuring Your Website is Easy to Understand and Use
Your website is not a puzzle meant for your clients to solve. Your site needs to be easy to use for specific tasks including making an appointment with your firm. Make your site accessible for a range of different tasks and clients. Some people have a hard time finding contact details while others prefer using a smartphone or desktop. You should make certain your site is easily accessible no matter which type of device or computer your clients are using.
Social Media Links
If you have a Facebook or Twitter page, social media links are important. The information you receive from your contact form will help you create a list of leads you need to follow up. All of this information should be captured. Certain systems offer online intake forms capturing the information directly from your site. Your information is then sent to your in-app contacts.
Essential Website Pages
Your site should be customized for your area of practice and firm. This means there are several sections you need to include on your website. Use an About Page as opposed to just listing where you received your schooling. Discuss the areas of the law you feel strongly about and the reasons why. Write your content to introduce yourself to potential clients just like you were talking in person. Your result will be personable, appealing and friendly content.
A contact page is essential for your website. Consider including a form. A lot of jurisdictions require your website to include contact information. The very least you should include is your phone number, email and firm address.
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On average to design a law firm website it should cost you between $3,000 and $80,000. This is all dependent on what tools you use and how customized and well written you want it. Of course, you can always find other ways to boost your website without spending too much money.
Below are a few tips to help you create your law firm website:
- Make sure to use the same logo and name you use for your law firm.
- Tell the audience your advantages.
- Sign up with Google My Business.
- Create social media pages that link back to your website.
- Utilize SEO strategies.
- Post testimonials and reviews onto your website.
- Display your achievements.
Here are a few ways to market your small law firm:
- Target a specific audience.
- Optimize your website for on-page and off-page SEO.
- Use social media consistently to spread word about your firm.
- Post unique and pleasing visual content.
- Create a well written and interactive blog.
To create a law firm website you need to do the following:
- Choose and register an easy to remember domain name.
- Set up your website using WordPress or any other web hosting site.
- Figure out your web design and layout.
- Insert the pages that are important to your website and add content that is necessary.
- Make sure to add a navigation bar to make it easy to find what you are looking for.
There are a few website tools out there that can help you create a law firm website for free. One of these tools is offered by Google and is called Google Sites. Google also offers a free blogging service called Blogger. Blogs can often service as simple websites.