The legal industry is a highly competitive marketplace. In order to elevate themselves from competitors, legal practices would be well served to consider things like law firm website design and marketing. In our digital age, crucial elements such as website design and effective SEO services will help a law firm stand out in the saturated legal market. In this article, legal marketing experts discuss 11 things an excellent lawyer website should have.
“In regards to an excellent website of a law firm, they must:
Establish credibility – The information on the website must instantly make visitors perceive the law firm as an authoritative figure in their industry to compel the visitors to submit a quote form or give the firm a call. Some things that aid this are: a list of settlements the firm has recovered for clients, or their litigation success rate. List of big cases they have successfully litigated.
They must also show “social proof” of their service to enhance the likelihood of visitors submitting a quote form or call – They can do this by inserting reviews from prior clients.
The law firm must also appear “trustworthy and transparent”. – They can do this by adding a picture of each attorney in the firm. The law firm must also provide useful information that visitors are looking for. They must include a practice-area constituent page with answers to frequently asked questions and general useful information regarding the practice area.
Superior user interface also helps with establishing credibility – The website is the first impression of the law firm for digital visitors. A clean and easy to read font style, corrective use of color, mobile-first website.
Superior user experience to avoid users from leaving the page due to distress – Fast load time, stable containers that don’t shuffle or move, smooth scrolling, a font that’s sized correctly, a static navigation bar to avoid people from scrolling all the way up (esp for phones) when they’re ready to make a call or navigate to a different page of the website.”
Nicholas Cho, Digital Marketing Manager, Melmed Law Group
“A great law firm website needs to strike a balance between honestly touting your achievements and know-how, while not seeming overly or artificially boastful. I always wince when I see things like, WE FIGHT AND WIN FOR YOU! because no one who knows anything about jury trials can ever reasonably guarantee a win.
The other balance to strike is letting prospective clients know a little bit about who you are as a person, but keeping those details related to the job you will do for them. For example, a family lawyer might want to mention if they are a parent, because that says something about their ability to handle a custody case in a sensitive manner. But extraneous details like I love beer and baseball might humanize you to some, but be a turnoff to others.
The absolute best websites should feature some media appearances. If the local news station asked you to explain a recent change in the law, or reported on your court case, that can really boost your credibility. Media outreach is key here, and might be time-consuming and expensive if you hire a PR pro, but when a prospective client visits your site and see that you’re not just an attorney but also a media go-to, that can make a meaningful difference in terms of the number of phone calls you get.
Finally, an excellent lawyer website should be up-to-date with a fresh or timeless style. And if your site has a blog but you’re not adding to it regularly, it may be better not to have a blog at all than one that looks neglected. Compare your website to that of other firms, large and small. If yours looks dated or poorly maintained with broken links, clients will go elsewhere.”
L.J. Williamson, Litigation P.R. Specialist, NewsroomPR
“Many times finding and hiring a lawyer is an emotionally-charged purchase, either because there’s a highly personal issue these people are trying to solve, or they are making a large investment. With this in mind, it’s incredibly important to create a connection with your website visitors and make them feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone and call you. The best way to do this is to actually show YOU!
Photos of your team and you are the most effective way to build your rapport online. And to take that a step further, be sure to include a video of yourself as well. A video at the top of your home page will engage visitors immediately, making them more likely to stay on your website longer, learn more about the company, and reach out to work with you.
The most engaging videos pique a viewer’s interest within the first few seconds with an impressive fact or eye-catching visual. From there, you should introduce yourself, welcome the visitor to your website and let them know what sets you apart. Mission statements and promise statements are also great to include because they can easily create connections and develop a like, know, trust factor. The best videos are unscripted videos that sound human. Nobody wants to work with a robot!”
Caitlin Strempel, CEO, Rising Ranks Digital
“Every law firm’s website should have an SEO-friendly content strategy in place at least one month before the copy for the website is due to the development team. A website is only valuable when there are potential clients finding it and if you do not have a content strategy that drives users to the website, you will not see the ROI that you may be expecting. Paying attention to SEO before, during, and after a website build is going to be the difference between your website being a brochure and a lead-generating machine that helps to grow the firm and allow your attorneys to spend more time billing clients and less time doing business development.
In order to create an SEO-friendly content strategy, you will need to look at each page on your website and make sure that you are giving as much relevant information as possible about the subject that you are covering. If you are creating an attorney bio page you should include you undergrad and law school degrees, awards that you have won in your field, a bio with a minimum of 300 words that give potential clients an idea of who you are and what kind of attorney they should expect, and a high-resolution image that is formatted to not hurt load speed. When you are writing practice area pages you need to give as much information as possible so that readers have a complete understanding of what the practice area is, what situations they need to hire you for, previous outcomes of cases (depending on the practice area), and a call to action that entices the user to contact the firm. If you do this across all of your firm’s main pages, you will see an increase in organic traffic, and users will see you as subject matter experts and will be more likely to retain your services.”
Bryan Pattman, Lead Digital Strategist, 9Sail
Suffice it to say, the legal profession is an exceedingly crowded industry. Now more than ever, lawyers, attorneys, and law firms must possess an impeccable online presence and reputation. In addition to professional web design, legal professionals must think about key things like website maintenance to exude the necessary professionalism. In turn, this builds brand credibility which coupled with a proven marketing strategy, will attract more clients and maximize growth.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at Little Dragon Media. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.