The other day, I was talking to a potential website design client and I couldn’t help but comment on his website.

“Man, who built this for you?” 😧

He proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t even remember because he had it built over 10 years ago. 

You could imagine the look of horror that was written all over my face.

Time and time again, we see lawyers and attorneys losing leads and potential customers because their website isn’t: fast enough, easily readable or optimized for mobile. 

So, if you’re about to build your law firm’s website, re-design it or are just looking for some tips on how to improve your existing site, then this blog post is for you. 

#1: Not having a clear goal for your website.

Turning your law firm’s website into a valuable destination for your current clients, as well as prospective clients and leads all starts with setting a clear goal.

What exactly is a website goal?

A website goal is a specific statement as to what you want your website to achieve.

For example, do you want to book more direct phone calls? Are you trying to encourage email opt-ins? Is displaying relevant information to your current clients of most importance to you?

Before you jump into website design mode and calling 5 different website design companies, ask yourself what it is that you’re looking to achieve.

If you’re in a fast decision making niche of law, perhaps you want to design a website that encourages phone calls and form fills.

If you’re in a slow decision making niche of law such as estate planning, or business law, you may want to include a lot more educational content and pages within your site.

So, before you go calling 5 different website design questions, fill out your answer to this question:

Ask: I am a (niche of law) looking to (goal) from our website. How will your design help me achieve that?

Example: Were a family law firm looking to book consultations from our website. How will your design help me achieve that?

#2: Making snap decisions on your website.

Most lawyers don’t take the design of their websites serious enough. Therefore, they don’t critically think through WHO is going to be designing your website.

You can’t just have your 24 year old nephew design and build your website because he’s “a milennial and he’s good with that technology stuff“. 

Your website is your online storefront.

It is THE ONLY representation of your business online that you have full ownership and control over. Markets are getting tremendously more competitive online – you need to think through how you’re going to position and present yourself online. 

Before you go having Johnny Boy your nephew desing your website, think through the long-term implications of not properly designing your site.

#3: Not owning your website, content or URL.

This is a huge mistake (maybe even the biggest mistake on this entire list). 

It’s quite sad that there are still website design companies in 2019 that are holding websites hostage from lawyers, attorneys and other business owners.

If you have somoene build and design your website, you need to get it IN WRITING that you have full ownership of your website, the content within that website, and your URL.

Not having ownership to those three things can turn into a major headache down the line. You need to OWN your website. 

#4: Building your website “on the cheap”

Websites are a huge investment. Think about them like buying a house.

Would you rather purchase a “fixer upper” that’s going to take tons of time, renovations and resources.

Or, would you rather purchase a “ready to go” home where you can move in immediately.

Most lawyers and attorneys decide to go the “fixer upper” route – hiring some run of the mill website design agency and  running into tons of errrors down the road. 

This can lead to tons of bugs, errors and crashes – causing you unnecessary stress and a potential loss in clients. If your website isn’t up and running, how will any lead ever find you?

#5: Not designing with a “mobile first” mentality

Folks, it’s 2019.

The majority of online traffic is driven from mobile devices.

Think about it, if someone gets into a fender bender – do you think that they’re going to wait until they get home to start Googling for a car accident attorney?

The answer is no. 

They’re going to reach into their pockets, pull out their phones and start searching for car accident attorneys near them.

You must design your website to be mobile-friendly first. 

This means ensuring that the text is legible, your menu bars are fully functional, and your site loads fast when being viewed on a mobile device.

#6: Show faces, not badges… People buy from people.

Your SuperLawyer 2009 badge is cool and all, but it’s not going to inspire someone to sign up with you.

Too many times, we see lawyers flaunting all of their badges and certificates on their websites without ever making a human connection.

At the end of the day, people buy from people. 

Your badges and certificates are a great compliment for your website, but they should never be used as a supplement. 

#7: Making your website YOU focused, instead of THEM focused.

This is a common mistake across marketing as a whole, not just websites. But it’s extremely amplified when it comes to website copy.

Too often, I see lawyers focusing all about themselves and what they have to offer. There’s no copy that speaks to the potential client and what THEY are looking for. 

People want to feel heard, understood and cared for. Your website should convey that same message.

#8: Not budgeting for video.

Having a video on the homepage of your website can do wonders for building trust and rapport with clients and prospective clients.

A good video can evoke emotion and inspire action.

Most lawyers don’t factor video production into the budget of their website. However, it’s a very real and necessary component to your overall website design.

#9: No above the fold phone number or lead capture

Above the fold refers to whatever is shown on your website, BEFORE someone has to scroll.

If you take our website for example, we have both a phone number and contact page on the top right hand corner of the menu.

This menu bar scrolls with the page – so no matter where a lead is on the website, they’ll always be able to get in direct contact with us.

You want to be able to have potential clients easily find your contact information, and get in contact with you. 

#10: Not SEO optimized or ready

This tip deserves it’s own full blog post, but essentially you want to ensure that your website is easily readable by Google.

If it is, Google will favor your website (among other factors) and start to rank your website on the first page of Google.

Why does this matter?

It allows for potential clients to find your firm within the top search results without having to pay for it through PPC or Google Ads.