You know what they say about the power of first impressions—and for most law firms, first impressions happen on the Web. Potential clients may discover you through the phone book or a billboard ad, but they’re exponentially more likely to discover you through your website. As such, if you’re going to invest money on any aspect of your marketing and brand outreach, your website is probably the best place to do it.
But what does a good law firm website actually look like? What elements are critical to its success? Here are some guidelines for what a truly effective law firm website should encompass.
Best Practices for an Effective Law Firm Website
Keep it simple. The last thing you want is a website that overwhelms or confuses. No, what you want is a site that gets right to the point, laying out your brand identity and your value proposition with clarity. A clean, unfussy aesthetic is usually best. Look for a design that incorporates “hero” areas—big, bold, and simple text that immediately draws the reader’s eye.
Include a call to action (CTA) on every page of your website. You can’t assume that your reader will know what to do, or be willing to do it, without a little prodding. So, for instance, if you want people to call you for an appointment, you need to tell them to do so. Use some brief CTA text to make that happen, and be sure there’s a clear CTA on every page of the website.
Show off your service areas and your attorneys. Your site should go into detail about the services you offer to your clients, and the specific areas of expertise your practice has. Also consider adding profiles for each attorney at the firm, including a photo, quick career history, areas of focus, and educational background. This has a “humanizing” effect; readers feel like they know who you are, and are more likely to trust you.
Make sure the site loads quickly. You’ll remember that we advised simplicity. Part of that means a site that loads completely—ideally in no more than three seconds’ time. A slow loading time will cause potential clients to give up and Google for another firm. Check the site on multiple devices and browsers to make sure it loads promptly. If it takes too long, your site may be too image-heavy or complex.
Organize your site for ease of use. Put some thought into the architecture of your site—the different categories and sub-categories, and the way in which a potential client can navigate it. You always want to aim for accessibility here. Make it intuitive for a potential client to find whatever information they are seeking.
Include contact information. This one may seem obvious, yet you’d be surprised how often it’s neglected. If you want potential clients to pick up the phone and call you, you need to have your phone number posted on every page of the site—not just on a Contact Us page.
Don’t forget SEO. Finally, remember that search engine optimization (SEO) is key for ensuring your site is “discovered” by potential clients in your area—and SEO doesn’t have to be clunky or inelegant. In fact, a good marketing agency or partner can help you work in some SEO keywords naturally and unobtrusively.
Get the Website Your Firm Needs
A good website is the product of many hours of development, ideally with the expertise of a professional website development company. Driven2020 delivers its website expertise to law firms throughout California and around the country, and we invite you to contact us today to set up a website consultation.