People don’t tend to visit legal websites on the hunt for interesting little nuggets of news or gossip.
Sites that offer legal services don’t have to be entertaining or fun or funny.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be engaging.
In clear, concise, and compelling terms, legal websites should provide potential clients with all the information they need to make a decision about what kind of advice or representation they want.
They should convey an image of competency, professionalism, trustworthiness, and reliability.
So, with all that in mind, here are five great tips for lawyer website design that will really sharpen and enhance the appeal of your practice.
The first thing your law website needs is a practice page: an explanation of what your firm does, what kind of law it specializes in, and what the likely rates are going to be for your legal advice and counsel.
Do you specialize in the intricacies of tax law?
Can you represent workers at employment tribunals?
Are you an expert defence attorney?
These question should be answered immediately, and in the clearest terms possible, for the benefit of anyone browsing your site and thinking about hiring your services.
Quick, Clear, Convenient Methods of Contact
The second thing your site should do is offer prospective clients several, very prompt and straightforward methods of contacting you.
A general inquiries contact form, a phone number emblazoned across you site’s header image, and email addresses for all the lawyers listed on your staff profiles page (Check out the six mandatory features of a law firm website), will help people who are keen to talk to you to do so in the fastest way possible.
A badly designed site will hide this information or make it difficult to understand.
That, clearly, is a mistake.
A good contacts page is one of the key features of effective lawyer website design.
Check out the 8 features of great lawyer website design
Who you have on your team, and what kind of law they specialize in, will be one of the first things that anyone landing on your site will want to check out.
Prospective clients will want to know about the people who might be representing them in court, why they got into law, what their qualifications are, and how deep their experience runs.
Head shots and pictures, together with a short but illuminating bio, are excellent way of personalizing staff members for your target market.
Client testimonials and reviews are another hugely effective way of summarizing what your firm does, as well as highlighting the quality of your legal services, for prospective customers.
They demonstrate that you have a track record of success with a real base of clients.
The law isn’t completely uniform across the country.
Immigration, tax, and residency rules, for instance, vary from province to province.
It is, therefore, vitally important that your site displays any and all formal disclaimers required that are in your area of law or in your province.
Lawyer Generated Content
Original content, written by your staff (or perhaps a legal expert you have commissioned to cover a specific legal issue), is a smart way of showcasing the depth and breath of intelligence and expertise that exists within your firm.
It is also an innovative use of the intellectual resources you have at your disposal.
Legal websites don’t have function simply as adverts for your services, even if the principal goal of your site is to sell your services.
They can also operate as a publishing platform for local legal knowledge.
If people start seeing your site as a source of useful information about the law, they are more likely to visit it regularly – and you are more likely to be hired more frequently.
Rich, in-depth content about your area of practice area, coupled with commentary on current legal trends that are relevant to your target client base, will also increase the amount of time prospective clients spend on your site.
Your website needs to mobile friendly.
A high proportion of the visitors to your site are likely to visit using a mobile device.
It’s not uncommon for websites – even expensively designed ones – to malfunction for mobile users.
So make sure that yours converts for prospective clients who don’t have access to a desktop.
Clarity and purpose of design are essential.
Not only should your site use images that convey the appropriate tone and style, it should also tailor its imagery around your specific area of practice.
If your firm specializes in environmental law or corporate law, your website should illustrate that with relevant images.
Your site should also include lots of calls to action: forms of language and digital mechanisms that invite visitors to contact with you.
For some reason, lots of legal website don’t do this – and they lose huge amounts of business as a result.
Try to put yourself in the mind of someone who needs legal advice.
What are you going to value most about a firm, as you search around online for the best practice?
The company that articulates is specialisms and its personality most clearly, and that is the easiest to contact, will be the firm that attracts the most business.
Remember these principles of lawyer website design, and your firm’s website will soar.