There was a time when attorney website design was mostly about aesthetics, about creating a presence that would turn heads and elicit compliments from your colleagues. It was all about the art of design, leaving functionality pushed to the margins. While pleasing looks will always remain important, attorneys need to broaden their focus when working with a website designer.
Today, understanding and creating a compelling experience for the user is the most important aspect of the job — a point attorneys must understand if they want to turn visitors into clients.
Designing to Convert
FindLaw has been in the business of online marketing and website creation for more than 10 years. As we have worked closely with attorneys, our aim has shifted beyond just creating a design that attorneys and visitors will “like.” Personal preferences are balanced with the goals of building a positive user experience and ultimately leading to a higher return on investment. We do this by driving conversion; in other words, encouraging users who may have a case to contact the law firm.
While multiple elements have an impact on conversion, site design plays a major role. Smart positioning of key elements such as contact forms, calls to action, phone numbers, and chat will guide users through the site in a way that will encourage them to contact the law firm. And by driving conversion, we drive a firm’s return on its marketing investment.
Creating a Better Experience
So how does a firm know when they have a site that is successfully designed to convert users to customers? With the help of sophisticated online tools, we can examine user flow through the website, spot problem areas, and continually optimize the site to better encourage conversion. For example, testing can determine if a portion of a site is too burdened with unorganized or distracting content which results in users leaving the site at that point.
With the help of online services available today, it’s easy to put together an attractive design for a website — but attorneys must consider more than what makes a pretty site. The attorney-designer team will only be successful if they deeply understand the users’ needs and motivations and then create a compelling experience that addresses those needs. They must meet the firm’s goals and master an expanding array of instruments that unlock the secrets of conversion.
Because a pretty website that doesn’t turn visitors into clients, is just another website.
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