Are you confused about what makes up a website for a law firm successful? And want to learn how to develop a successful law firm website for your practice?
Then, you’ve come to the right place!
The truth of the matter is that there are particular elements that every successful law firm website has in common. In this post, we’ll discuss what your law firm website needs to attract more clients and make it successful.
But first, let’s understand why it’s so important to have a decent looking website and what it can mean to your business.
Why Is It Essential to Design a Successful Website for Law Firms?
Imagine that you are a client, driving to meet an attorney for the first time. You reach their office and see that it is located in a seedy-looking and run-down building. The brick siding looks like it caught fire at one point and the windows are a shade of hazy not seen since 1977. As you enter through the dingy and smudged glass door, you notice that the pavement out front is cracked, and the paint in the entrance hall is peeling due to water or sewage.
Inside, it looks like the furniture was salvaged curbside, and the plants in the corner are on their deathbed. Some light bulbs above your head are flickering, with flies fluttering around.
In this instance, you’re screaming in your head: Would a respected and competent lawyer work in an office like this? Why would I hire this person? You leave! Quickly I might add.
Likewise, if your website is poorly designed, out-of-date, and missing essential elements, you are providing every prospective client on the web the digital counterpart of this depressing, run-down office tour — and let’s not forget that it is their first impression of you!
So, why should you settle for an outdated and inferior website when you would never let your office languish in a similar fashion?
Elements of a Successful Law Firm Website
Remember that it’s always going to be particularly tough for up-and-coming and smaller law firms to compete with the massive, successful firms in their areas. But there are ways to give your competitors some stiff competition.
One effective way to do it is to optimize your site for organic search as it’ll allow more leads to find you online, and site architecture plays an integral role in accomplishing that.
Keep in mind that law firms are service-based businesses. Therefore, instead of creating a plethora of product pages with mere descriptions, your website must ideally feature:
- A homepage
- A blog
- A contact page
- As many primary service pages as you require to describe what your firm does
- An ‘about us’ section where you profess your firm’s mission statement, values, and profiles of your attorneys
These are the critical elements of a successful law firm site, but how should you structure and link them on the website itself?
Read ahead to learn how it’s done. And the better you do at establishing the below, the better success you can expect long term on the web.
Before you make another move, go to a search engine and type “best lawyer in…” your town or city. Take a look around at some of the other sites online. Note what you like and don’t like. Look in other large AND small metros across the country and do the same.
1. Focus on the homepage contents user experience
The homepage of your site is a logical place to start when you want to design an effective site architecture. The homepage of your law firm should convey a great deal of information all at once. It must display what your practice is about visually and in text, what legal areas your practice covers, and how much former clients trust your services. It should also be very easy to navigate and present this information in a very easy to understand way. Sounds ambiguous doesn’t it?
So, how is this accomplished? Here are the nuts and bolts with some jargon you probably haven’t heard before. We left this in place here so that you can use this to fact check a vendor you may be considering to build your site. So, there is no better time to dig in like right now.
– Competitive keywords
First, your site homepage should use competitive legal keywords. For example, ‘chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney Milwaukee’ illustrates high competition and receives only ten searches every month in Google’s Keyword Planner. The trick though is to not splash this all over the page. You need to weave these terms into the text and design of your home page. You will want to use specific text in specific places. The easiest way to think about this is: pretend you are designing the front page of the New York Times. You have the masthead, the sub headings and the body text of each article.
So, use such competitive keywords in your H1, H2s, and meta tags. What are these? Check out our blog on SEO.
– Past client reviews
Remember that you’re a service-based business that heavily relies on past client reviews to attain traction in your area.
Thus, you must designate a chunk of your homepage to showcase five-star customer reviews with brief praises about your legal services. Such reviews will help you to bolster trust among visitors to your website. Don’t have any reviews? GO GET SOME TODAY! Call your past happy clients and get them to post a review on Google for you.
– Main navigation
Your site’s main navigation bar will be one of the most integral aspects of its success as it is one of the first things a visitor views and interacts with on your website. Ensure that it’s clear and concise.
You should organize the navigation in a top-down, logical way. A ‘Practice Areas’ or ‘Services’ tab must drop down to a menu displaying organized columns or pages of your legal expertise.
Any type of ‘Our Firm’ or ‘About Us’ tab can break into a few sections that perhaps state your firm’s mission or stipulate the history of the firm. But remember people hire attorneys and not law firms, so make sure your attorney bio is displayed on a page in this section.
– Color Scheme
You’ll be surprised to know how much the color scheme of a site contributes to its success. The psychology of colors illustrates what effect a particular color has on us.
- Red is a poignant color and is best used for CTA elements.
- White means fairness and equality
- Blue is typically calming.
If you want your site to convey auras of professionalism, try to avoid vibrant, bold colors in favor of lighter schemes. Whites, light golds, tans, light blues, and charcoals/blacks are optimal choices.
2. Produce above-the-fold content
With a law firm site, you shouldn’t get too obtuse or fancy with presenting your content. People come to your website for help with their legal predicaments, and they’re probably anxious and hoping they can trust you for help.
Try to reward their effort of visiting your website by making it clear that you’re there for them. To do this, present your best content above the fold. Do not make visitors dig around to find the information they require for e.g., your service page.
Depending on how your site homepage is organized, provide some links to service pages, a contact form, or even reviews to encourage trust. Sticky content like videos, surveys, forms, etc., is also a good idea.
It is an absolute necessity of well-made site architecture to present crucial information above the fold.
3. Create an effective URL structure
It’s vital to get this right because you’re aiming to tell search engines and human users alike what your pages are about via the URL structure of your site.
The common suggestion for generating URLs is to eliminate excess words and incorporate a few keywords. Additionally, ensure that your URLs show visitors what can be found on that page.
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