Your law firm’s online presence is only as good as the quality of its website content. You know it’s a hyper-competitive industry, with a crowded mishmash of marketing strategies, all screaming for your prospects’ attention. That’s why it’s so important to build a website and content that gives you the best chance of attracting and keeping clientele.
Here’s a look at some of the critical factors which should be considered when designing a website for a law firm.
The Benefits of a Well-Designed Website
Your law firm’s website should be able to serve as the backbone of all your marketing efforts. Gone are the days of simply supplying a phone number in the Yellow Pages. The internet is the go-to point for the vast majority of prospects seeking legal services. Long before picking up the phone, they will want to check what you and your competitors have to say; that’s what makes a quality online presence so crucial. There are several important benefits of a high-quality website, for just about any business, including a law firm.
- Establish Your Law Firm’s Online Presence – That means having pages that are meaningful, engaging, and project expertise and competence. This includes elements of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which make sure that prospects and clients can find you online when they make a generic search – e.g. law firm, my city, or a specific one e.g. XYZ Lawyers, ___town. You want to be found online; and when you are found, you want to present quality content. Remember that there are probably many law firms similar to yours, all blasting out a similar message. Your law firm’s website should present you at your very best.
- Build Your Law Firm’s Credibility – This would include both the content you present on your web pages, as well as the design elements you incorporate. Very often, for example, testimonials from past clients, and positive reviews, can make the difference in whether a prospect chooses to contact you or not. As well, your pages should prominently display and make reference to your specific areas of expertise. There’s no point in being ambiguous about the type of law you practice.
- Attract Leads – Like every other law firm out there, you are in business to find and serve customers. The internet has become the de facto pre-qualifier for most people seeking services of any kind, and that would include lawyers. You need to put your best foot forward, therefore, via your website. It should be designed so that the prospect is encouraged to:
- Ask questions
This will require a comprehensive content strategy and strong calls-to-action (CTA) to help your law firm attract and engage with your target audience.
- Establish a Marketing Funnel – Your law firm’s website should serve as a focal point for your entire marketing strategy. Any other advertising or marketing you do will likely point towards your site “for more information”, as the catchphrase goes. Finding new clientele is a challenge for any business, whether brand new or mature and established. Your website should be serving as a funnel of inquiries and interest that may be converted to actual, paying customers. Keeping prospects engaged via your website can help tremendously, by building trust, via testimonials, and positive reviews, along with blog posts, case studies, news, and other interesting content.
Design Considerations for a Law Firm Website
Because law is generally a very serious business, a law firm needs to carefully consider the optics that its website projects. There are tons of businesses and services that can get away with garish, loud, brash text and graphics on their pages. Unless your firm strongly believes in bucking the trend, a flamboyant website is probably not in order. The very best law firm websites project a relatively solemn, professional air, along with high-quality written content and graphics. An understated, minimalist approach can work very well, with muted colors and business-like, clear and easy-to-read fonts.
Important Content to Consider Within a Law Firm’s Web Pages
There is some content for a lawyer’s website that can be deemed essential. These would include:
A “Holistic” User Experience – The content, feel, and layout of the site should be designed to engage and impact the visitor. Providing a proper flow will ensure that what you present to your prospects – every page and link – resonates with them in a positive way.
Areas of Practice – A clear, upfront identification of exactly what sorts of legal services are provided, such as corporate, criminal, real estate, family law, etc.
A Clear Description of Qualifications and Experience – Your firm needs to demonstrate competence, a track record, and if possible, differentiation from the competition. For example, a statement that a firm has been in business for multiple generations gives it considerable instant credibility. Within this information, it is a good idea to also include bios of the principals and leading associates.
Expression of Compassion – combining experience and integrity, the site as a whole should communicate understanding client needs as a primary concern. Developing a concise mission statement that describes this commitment is a great way to summarize this sentiment
Testimonials, Positive Reviews, Sample Cases, Success Stories – all of this help communicate competence, but they are impactful because they come from voices outside the firm. There is no better advertising, as they say than word of mouth. Including this type of content in a law firm’s website can be very effective.
Contact Information – any website seeking new customers, including a lawyer, needs to make it easy to communicate. Contact buttons, phone numbers, email addresses, contact forms – all of these should be strategically placed throughout the website so that a prospect that is interested can act.
High Quality, Original Graphics, Photography, and Video – Cutting corners is never a good idea when it comes to what hits a prospect’s eyes. Using stock, stereotypical photographs should be avoided. They should be customized and produced specifically for your firm and the market you serve.
Everyone recognizes that a website for just about any business – including law firms – is essential in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace. The content you put online will play a major role in whether or not a prospect will choose to take further action i.e. making contact, and hopefully, engaging your services. Taking the time and giving careful consideration to the words, images, colors, and video you present to the world online should be a major contributor to your marketing funnel. Make it the best it can be.