How to achieve award-worthy website design

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It would have been nice if at the stroke of midnight on January 1st everything changed. No more social distancing. No more remote work. Alas, new year – same theme.

Setting your firm up for success in another distanced year means your legal business needs to ensure its digital presence is pulling its weight – after all, that’s exactly where deals nowadays are lost or made. And that starts with a good look at your law firm website.

With more than 50 national digital awards won in 2020, FindLaw knows exactly what’s needed when it comes to law firm website design. Here are a few important elements that won’t only turn heads, but will also help turn traffic into clients.

Keep your website design simple

Think about your own experiences online. When you’re researching a question or looking up a business, you want to find information quickly and easily. The same is true for legal consumers. When a potential client is searching for legal help, the last thing they want to do is sift through clutter on a website.

Your law firm website should have a clean design and a clear navigation system that will help visitors immediately understand who you are and how you can help. Pages on your website should have short, clear names, such as “Practice Areas,” “Contact Us,” “Our Team,” etc. And images on your site should be thoughtfully chosen, used minimally and for effect, and convey the overall tone you want to set for clients.

During a time when in-person visits are kept to a minimum, your website should be utilized as a digital office. You wouldn’t have clients stepping over case file boxes to sit down face-to-face, don’t make their online experience muddled either.

Content should be direct and concise

In the same spirit of keeping your website design simple and clean, you should also be cognizant of the amount of text you have on each page of your site. Visitors don’t want to trip over a lot of words looking for the information they came to find.

In fact, the most important pieces of information – especially your contact information – should be noticeable and accessible from every page of your website.

Keep text on your pages short and to the point. Or, on pages where more text is needed, keep paragraphs shorter to provide the reader with ample visual breaks. After all, the words on your website are a reflection of your firm. And legal consumers are looking for someone who will be direct and clear with them in-person, so make sure your site is a preview of that.

Speak to your potential client

Your website is for your clients. While you may want to proudly tout your degrees, cases, and awards (and you should, briefly, and on an appropriate page on your site), your law firm’s website is actually a space for you to talk about what a client would want to discuss.

Potential clients are likely dealing with a stressful situation – injuries, divorces, bankruptcies, etc. They’re coming to your website to learn about what’s in store for their legal journey and how you can help them navigate it.

When building your website, look at it through the eyes of your clients. Are there commonly asked questions you’re consistently having to answer? Build a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website. Are potential clients asking you for a list of references? Highlight past client testimonials on your website so they can hear firsthand from others who may have once walked in their shoes.

Designing your website to speak directly to prospective clients will help convert visitors.

Make sure your website is mobile responsive

It’s no longer an option, your law firm’s website needs to be mobile-optimized. That means, regardless of whether a potential client is visiting your site from a desktop computer, their phone, or their tablet, the design of the website automatically adjusts for the best user experience. That includes your phone number converting into a click-to-call button when accessed on a cell phone. After all, you want to make contacting your firm a quick, thought-free action.

Mobile optimization also includes your website’s load time, which needs to be kept at one to two seconds. That means that all pages and images on your law firm’s website quickly appear for a visitor. If your site doesn’t load, not only are visitors more likely to bounce from your website and seek another, but Google and other search engines will actually ding you in their organic search results for creating a poor user experience.

Learn more about law firm website design

Your law firm’s website design may be impacting the bottom line of your business. This year, be resolute in the work you do on your site and improve the digital experience for potential clients as they come to learn about who you are and what you have to offer. For more information, read the free FindLaw guide on website design must-haves. Or, if you’re stuck with where to begin, the FindLaw digital marketing experts are here to help, from getting ideas started to getting an award-worthy site up and running.

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