Whether it’s an innovative product design, a captivating movie or television show or the latest addictive smartphone game, we human beings are attracted to fascinating new stuff. That’s particularly true if that new thing provides a surprising twist on what we’re used to.

In our recent white paper, Why Most Law Firm Websites are Designed to Fail: Logic, Emotion and Today’s Legal Consumer, we outline eight psychological motivators that influence website visitors to contact your firm. One of those motivators is surprise, or the human attraction to the new and unique. We are more likely to notice and pay attention to things we perceive to be new or different and are most attracted to things that we perceive as novel and yet also familiar.

You can turn an understanding of this basic element of human nature to your benefit when designing or updating your firm’s website.

Here are three tips to consider so you can stand out:

  • Don’t copy other sites too closely. If you see a law firm website that you like, you naturally might be tempted to imitate its design. But there are problems with doing that. For one thing, you might copy the website’s bad habits. That means you could be adopting less effective design elements or an overriding emphasis on the attorneys and their awards and degrees rather than on what they can do for a client. 
  • Be different – but not too different. Freshness and innovation are important to your website’s success, but so are established design and usability conventions. You should strive to stand out, not break the mold. 
  • Make your words impactful to your visitors. Every word on your website, from your slogan and value proposition to your calls to action, is an opportunity to distinguish yourself from your competition. Make sure your content articulates your unique perspective and speaks to your visitor in a compelling way.

It’s also essential to periodically update the look and feel of your site. Website design is never a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. If you begin from a solid foundation, a complete overhaul will rarely be necessary – even small updates to images, text and layout can keep your website fresh. And remember, a really dramatic change that creates a completely unfamiliar experience might even turn some visitors off.

Taking a look at your site through the eyes of a potential client who is attracted to things that are new or unique can help you identify opportunities to improve your site’s ability to do its job — turn website visitors into paying clients.

If you’re interested in learning about the other seven motivators we explored in our recent white paper, click here.

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