Why is law firm website design important?
Put simply, your website is your online storefont.
Potential clients scour the internet, looking for law firm’s who provide services that you offer.
But if these potential clients and leads can’t find you, or don’t have a good experience on your law firm’s website… They’ll never even give your firm a chance.
They’ll just move on to the next URL and law firm down the list.
What makes up a good law firm website design?
A great law firm website design is: clean, easily digestible, well-organized, and easy to navigate.
ESSENTIALLY: can your clients and potential clients easily come to your website, find what they are looking for, and take an action. Whether that’s calling into your law firm, submitting their contact information, paying their retainers.
So, how do you know if your law firm has a great website design?
We’ve outlined 10 mistakes to avoid when designing lawyer websites.
MISTAKE #1: Not clarifying your website’s goal.
Every great endeavor starts with a goal. The same can be said for your law firm’s website design.
Ask yourself: What am I looking to accomplish with my law firm’s website?
Do you want to attract and land new clients?
Are you trying to easily display information for current clients?
Perhaps you’re looking to do a combination of both.
If you’re in a fast decision making practice area such as Personal Injury, you’ll want to include clear call to actions on your website such as: FREE CONSULTATIONS and CLICK TO CALL BUTTONS.
If you’re in a slower decision making practice area such as Estate Planning, you’ll want to host a lot of helpful blog post and information for potential clients. Additionally, you’ll want to give them the option to Opt-In to your marketing emails so that you can gently send them valuable and helpful information and nurture the leads.
MISTAKE #2: Making snap decisions on your website.
The decisions that you make for your website are important, and all too-often we find that lawyers put these decisions off until the last minute and therefore making uninformed choices for their law firm’s website.
You need to take this as serious as you do any other marketing endeavor.
Your website is your online storefront – it is a powerful tool to attract new clients to your business as well as keep past clients coming back or referring their friends and family members.
Make sure that you put your law firm’s website design as a top priority for you, not a mundane task at the bottom of your list.
This also goes for who you decide to help you design your law firm’s website.
If you’re on a budget, you’re probably considering trying to install a random theme yourself or hiring a family friend to design your law firm’s website.
But this can become a hairy situation, as you want to ensure that your website is set up properly on the back-end.
MISTAKE #3: Not owning your law firm’s website, content or URL.
If you only take away one thing from this blog post let it be this: owning your website is a MUST, not an IF.
All too often we have lawyers coming to us saying that their former marketing company is holding their website and content hostage. The only way for them to get it back is to pay for it or purchase their own website from their former marketing company.
This is flatout unethical and a really poor way for marketing agencies to keep clients.
So, before you go hiring someone to build your website, make certain that you’re going to have full ownership over your URL, content and entire website.
For a list of the exact questions you should ask your marketing company before building your website to ensure ownership, check out our latest video.
MISTAKE #4: Building your law firm’s website “on the cheap”
Your family friend, or your sister’s daughter who just graduated college with a marketing degree are most likely not the best bet when it comes to building your law firm’s website.
You need to find a person, or a company, who is well versed in building law firm websites.
Understanding the technical work that goes on “behind the screen” is vitally important because it can make or break (literally) your website.
MISTAKE #5: Designing your website for desktop first, instead of mobile.
After helping over 100+ law firms and attorneys generate more cases through online advertising, we’ve got a few data points up our sleeve.
Over 80% of our search volume comes from mobile devices, not desktop.
That means that over 80% of people we’re getting in-front of online are searching for us using their phones.
Most lawyers fail to understand or adhere to the basic principles of mobile optimization.
It goes far beyond condensing your website.
Mobile optimization is ensuring that your website is still legible and easy to navigate while being viewed on a mobile device. It’s properly positioning your contact forms and phone numbers so that mobile searchers can easily call you directly from their phones.
MISTAKE #6: Show faces, not badges – people buy from people.
As an attorney, we understand how proud you may be to have been voted Super Lawyer 3 years in a row.
But the fact of the matter is, people buy from people not badges.
Showing all of your accolades and awards won’t instantly build trust with a potential client.
Having a video and a photos of yourself, your office and your staff will build trust and rapport with potential clients.
Sure, you can absolutely use the badges and awards on your site – but don’t make them your main focus.
MISTAKE #7: Your law firm’s website is YOU focused, instead of THEM focused.
If you put your client at the center of your website, instead of yourself it will speak way more clearly to them.
All too often we find lawyers who are so focused on themselves, what they have to offer, and why potential clients should work with them, that they forget all about the client.
The best lawyer websites focus on the client. Answering their questions, helping them feel more confident and secure in this sensitive time in their lives, as well as clearly communicating in a way in which they will receive.
MISTAKE #8: Not budgeting enough for a law firm video.
As we mentioned earlier, having a video on your website can pay dividends for building trust and rapport with potential clients, and enticing them to contact your law firm for a consultation or to hire you for their legal needs.
Most lawyers neglect the importance of having a professional and high quality law firm video.
So, when you’re planning out your law firm’s website design – make sure that you include at least $500-$1,000 for a professional and high quality video.
MISTAKE #9: Not including an above the fold phone number of lead capture.
Have you ever heard the saying, “don’t write checks that your website can’t cash”.
In other words, never send paid or organic traffic to a website that won’t be able to “cash-in” or collect a potential client’s information.
Whether that’s through a contact form, newsletter sign-up, or a direct call – you want to make sure that your website is properly set up to handle lead capture.
Additionally, including an Above The Fold phone number is essential to increasing the likelihood that a lead calls into your firm.
Take our website for example, in the top right hand corner you clearly see our phone number as well as a contact button.
This follows you around on each page of the website no matter where you are: top, middle or bottom.
MISTAKE #10: Not SEO optimized or ready.
You know the book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit #2 in that book is: begin with the end in mind.
The same can be said for your website. Properly setting up your pages and the menu structure of your website can pay dividends for your law firm’s SEO (search engine optimization) strategy.
You’ll also avoid having to go back later on and fix mistakes that you made in the first place.
Simple things like: properly working links, fast load speeds, properly sized images, clear sitemap, no dead pages.
Need help with your Law Firm Website Design? We can help.
With over 100+ law firm marketing clients under our belt, you can trust your firm in our hands. Schedule a free marketing consultation today.