In a recent post from the Bear Creek Web blog, we examined a specific client vertical and key points to consider when designing a new website. Law firms need accurate and quality representation online, and a quality website is a large part of this. Here is the post from the blog:
Lawyers and legal firms have unique needs when it comes to web design. Like other professional service providers, law firms have to sell an intangible product – their experience and expertise in the legal field. However, lawyers also face the unique challenge of not being able to provide guarantees to their potential clients. Overcoming these obstacles requires careful web design and content decisions that put clients first.
Here are our top five tips for law firm web design to showcase your expertise and bring in more leads:
Law Firm Web Design Tip 1: Design for the UserWhen potential clients come to your website, you want them to be able to find the information they need, fast. With the competition literally only a click away, you can't afford to waste the time of your website's visitors. Gain their attention and build trust by:
- Designing your homepage to provide immediate information about how you help your clients
- Creating website navigation that is easy to use and is labeled logically
- Organizing your website in a way that is intuitive to laypeople (and not legal experts)
- Adopting a client-centric focus for both design and copy
Law Firm Web Design Tip 2: Answer Questions the Right WayChances are good that when someone needs legal help, they have questions about their situation. As a legal professional, you probably have heard many of the same questions repeatedly. While it can be tempting to put all of these questions into a FAQ section on your website, you risk missing out on a major opportunity to connect with potential clients if you go that route. Instead, consider:
- Creating blog posts around each topic/question – this allows you to provide a thoughtful response that will boost SEO, demonstrate your expertise, and give potential clients an avenue to respond
- Creating whitepapers/ebooks around common issues – if you collect information from people who download, you can follow up to answer questions and offer your services
Law Firm Web Design Tip 3: Localize & SpecializeHaving a great user experience and helpful information is only part of the picture. You also need to think about how your website appears in search engines. If you are creating good content around the topics that your potential clients are searching for, this will help your search engine rankings. Other ways to be sure you show up in search are:
- Create your Google+ page and include location information for your law firm to help you get found in local search
- Include your location information on your website, both on specific contact pages and in other areas such as the footer
- Include individual pages on your website about the specialties you cover, both for SEO and informational purposes
Law Firm Web Design Tip 4: Show & TellTrust is an important deciding factor in choosing a law firm and one that you must capitalize on to grow your client base. While the majority of trust may come from initial consultations and one-on-one interactions, there are many things you can do in terms of web design to build trust:
- Professional Affiliations (when they pertain to your legal expertise)
- Relevant Awards
- Client Testimonials
Law Firm Web Design Tip 5: Invite Contact Explicitly
- Describe successful legal outcomes (with the proper disclaimers)
- Educate potential clients on what to expect during the legal proceedings
- Link to places where potential clients can find more information
Contacting a lawyer can be a stressful proposition, and potential clients likely have different preferences for initiating that first conversation. Don't limit your contact information to your contact page – having a simple web form on multiple pages can increase the chances that your website visitors will reach out when they need help.
Likewise, tell your website visitors to contact you, and encourage them to ask questions via your blog or social media channels (if you have adequate support that will monitor those areas). For mobile websites, enable click-to-call functionality so that people can call you on the go and don't have to fill out a form.
When potential clients have an easy way to contact you and are told exactly how to do so, this reduces hesitance and can increase leads.
Putting the pieces together for successful law firm web design can be complex, but if you take it a step at a time and remember to focus on the needs of your clients, you will see greater ROI from your online investment.
If you need help designing a web site for your law firm, we're here to assist. Get in touch with us and one of our helpful design experts will be happy to walk you through the first steps.
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