Category: Law Firm Marketing Tips

Five practical tips to better law firm web design

Your website will likely be the first interaction a potential client has with your law firm. So their first impression must be a positive one. It stands to reason then that if your law firm website makes them feel like they’re dealing with a professional, well-organized law firm, the greater the likelihood that they’ll reach out to contact you. 

Here are five key concepts to grasp when planning your new law firm web design project:

1. Your website is a reflection of your law firm.

It’s important to remember that your website, for better or for worse, is a reflection of your law firm. Accordingly, your website should convey the image you want your law firm to project. It should be professional, organized, and responsive. It should be clean, concise, and engaging. It’s how potential clients first find you and how existing clients may regard you.

If your website is outdated, poorly designed, and doesn’t reflect the kind of law firm you are, the cold hard truth is that it may reflect badly on your law firm. A poorly designed website can look cheap and unprofessional, turning website visitors off. A well-designed, information-rich website will engage your visitors and make them more likely to use your services.

2. Formulate clear goals for the website beforehand, then execute them.

Your website can be a powerful tool, but only if you know what kind of tool you want it to be. Some people think, “I have to have a website, so I better get one,” without delving deeper to ask, “What do I want from my website?” “What is its purpose?” “What goals are we trying to achieve?”

Is the purpose of your website to provide information about your business? Or are you looking to do more than that? Do you want to grow your law practice? Perhaps generate leads and build a client base? Maybe you want to share your passion for a cause or sell a product? Maybe you want to educate your potential clients about a legal topic.

For some lawyers and law firms, just having a “web presence” is the primary purpose of their website. This group is less focused on lawyer SEO and lead generation and more focused on having a professional website that reflects well on the firm. This group tends to get most of their business via their existing client base or referrals.  

Other attorneys, especially street-level, consumer-facing attorneys like criminal defense attorneys and personal injury attorneys, want to use their websites to generate business. They typically want their website designed to encourage website visitors to take action, like completing a contact form or picking up the phone and making a call. In addition, SEO and lead generation will likely be more important for this group, so creating a website with these goals in mind will be a the forefront.

3. Provide information in a clean, well-organized fashion

You want to ensure that your website conveys the appropriate message to your targeted audience. Your message is expressed through visual design and the words and text on the page. To that end, make sure you have a good range of information on the homepage, including a value statement or bold headline that captures the essence of your firm. Perhaps an introduction to the firm, a summary of your firm’s services, and your contact details.  

A helpful exercise is to imagine you’re someone in need of your law firm’s services and stumble upon your website. Why are you there? What are you looking searching? Are you searching for a particular attorney? Are you looking for a specific type of law firm? Are you searching for a particular area of practice? Do you need to find the contact information of a lawyer? Do you want to hire a lawyer? Do you need to find the address of the firm quickly? Anticipating the needs of your target audience is an excellent way to organize your website’s information.

4.  Focus your website content on your target audience, not the search engines

When writing website content, it’s essential to write for people and not for search engines. We’ve all come across attorney websites where keywords are overused to an evident and awkward extent, rendering the content almost unreadable. This strategy worked to help rank content back in the day, but search engines have since wised up and become more sophisticated. In short, those days are long gone.

Generally speaking, you should focus on the quality of your website content. Quality website content starts with writing for your readers, visitors, and potential clients. Search engines like to return the best results to their users, beginning with quality content. Of course, there’s more to ranking well in search engines than just writing quality content, such as key SEO factors, but it all starts with quality content written for people, not search engines.

5. Long-form content tends to rank better than short-form content

If ranking well organically in search engines is important, it’s critical to remember that long-form content tends to rank better than short-form content. While the definition of long-form content varies, for our purposes, the range is somewhere between 500 words and 1500 words on a single web page. 

Here are just a few reasons why long-form content tends to rank better than short-form content:

  • Search engines are constantly looking for a way to make sense of what they’re reading, and more content provides more context.
  • Long-form content tends to be well-researched, substantive, and purposeful as opposed to content that is poorly written and stuffed with keywords and keyword phrases. 
  • Search engines value the time it takes to read an article and give it more weight in their ranking algorithm. 
  • Long-form content also tends to rank better because it’s more likely to be shared, and search engines like content that others will share.  

Prime candidates for long-form content on a law firm website include topical, individual blog posts and specific practice area descriptions.