Having a good website is an essential part of your online marketing strategy. Yet I still see so many law firm websites that look like they haven’t been updated since 1999. A website is not something that you just put up and let sit there forever. It’s a living, breathing part of your law firm’s brand. It needs to be updated to reflect modern design trends and meet people’s changing expectations. Here are 5 things visitors want to see on a law firm website to help you get up-to-date.
5 Things Visitors Want to See on a Law Firm Website
One major reason we recommend a DIY law firm website built on Wordpress or Squarespace is that making updates is easy and you can do so frequently. Both these platforms have tons of different themes that are mobile friendly, and constantly updated with the latest designs.
If your website has fallen by the wayside, here are the 5 things you should focus on when making your next update:
1. A clear statement of what you do
You need to immediately let visitors know who you are and exactly what you do the moment they land on your website. Failing to do so will cause people to leave your site, discourage them from contacting you, and lead to a higher bounce rate.
Use clear, simple language and a large, bold font, preferably right in the middle of your home page. You should also include the same language in the “title” attribute for your homepage because it helps with search engine rankings.
Don’t overthink it or try to sound too sophisticated. Just get the message across in a dead simple way.
- Good Example: “Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys”
- Why? It lets visitors know who, what, and where in three simple words that anyone can understand. If you’re in Chicago and considering filing bankruptcy, you know 100% that you’re in the right place.
- Bad Example: “Advocates for Justice”
- Why? It might make you sound sophisticated or powerful, but people don’t really know what this means. You don’t want people to have to think or investigate further – just tell them who you are and what you do.
2. Your contact info and easy options for getting in touch
According to a survey done by BrightLocal, the number one reason why people choose not to use a local business after visiting its website is not having a phone number clearly listed.
Assuming you have a website because you want to get more clients, then you need to make it easy for people to contact you. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s imperative that you get it right.
Different people have different preferences, so give people as many options for getting in touch as possible. We recommend all of the following:
- Phone number
- Contact form
- Live chat
All of this contact info should be prominently displayed and easy to access. Also, be sure to have clear calls to action throughout your website encouraging people to contact you with questions or inquiries.
3. Testimonials from past clients and industry recognition
In the sometimes shady world that is the internet, establishing trust is a necessity. Particularly for lawyers, who have been know to have a bad rap at times.
Two ways to establish credibility for your law firm on your website are through past client testimonials and lists of your awards, accolades, or other industry recognition. We believe client reviews are particularly important because third party assessments give people a sense of reassurance.
You should consider having an entire page on your website dedicated to client testimonials and post your best reviews from Yelp and Avvo there, along with links to the actual reviews.
The industry awards and recognition items do not need to be quite as prominent, but having them at the bottom of certain pages or in the sidebar can help reinforce positive perceptions.
4. Lists of services and pricing information
This one is sure to be controversial since most lawyers are very reluctant to openly display their pricing. But statistics show that not having prices listed on a website is one of strongest factors that discourages people from using a local business.
Clearly, some practice areas don’t lend themselves very well to this (PI, civil litigation, etc.). But for the rest of us, perhaps it’s time to loosen up and give the people what they’re looking for. At the very least, it’s a good idea to have a list of services you offer and/or types of matters you specialize in.
Much like a statement of what you do, a list of services should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid legal terminology whenever possible. Your goal is to help people determine that they have come to the right place when they visit your website.
5. Good design and easy navigation
Last, but certainly not least…people really appreciate websites that are well designed and easy to use.
Your website is your law firm’s identity online. You wouldn’t come straight from the gym wearing your sweaty workout clothes to meet a new client. Having an outdated, poorly designed website is essentially the same thing – it gives a bad first impression.
Here are some quick tips for good web design:
- Keep page layouts simple
- Avoid having too much text or too many buttons and links
- Use high quality imagery
- Use a consistent, appealing color scheme
- Utilize white space around your content
- Use clean, professional fonts
- Provide clear calls to action on every page
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly (about 40% of your traffic is from mobile devices)
We hope you found these 5 things visitors want to see on a law firm website useful. Be sure to check out our post about how to design a good law firm website for more information.
Photo Credit: pictureyouth.com via Flickr (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License)