Why do small law firms need a website?
Legal marketing has gone through a massive shift over the past several decades. Years ago, lawyers took out large ads in the Yellow Pages or on TV and billboards. While you’ll still see some of those strategies in play, the most effective legal marketing is online, starting with the firm’s website.
For your law firm’s prospective clients, your website fills the role of your digital front door. According to the Thomson Reuters 2021 US Consumer Legal Needs Survey, 64% of legal consumers seek legal help through a search engine. That means your website will be their first impression of your firm.
Law firms began creating websites roughly twenty years ago, but the digital landscape has shifted dramatically over that time. So instead of just being an online ad for your law firm, a website in today’s marketplace should serve several purposes.
Focus on your law firm’s homepage
Many potential clients will visit your website’s homepage before they’ve even considered giving you a call. The first impression your website gives can make or break a partnership.
It’s important to keep in mind that your homepage is written for potential clients, not fellow attorneys. This might be their first encounter with the legal system, so the language and tone should reflect that. Your homepage should communicate quickly and succinctly who you are, what you do, and the benefits you offer to clients.
On the technical side, your homepage also needs to be SEO-optimized, secure, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate.
Showcase your experience
When a person has a legal issue, they’re looking for an attorney with the expertise to solve it. This is where your website can pay dividends.
Potential clients will want to know about your experience with their particular legal matter. You have opportunity to highlight all of this through pages on your website, such as practice area pages, attorney biographies, and resource pages.
A blog is another way to connect with your website’s visitors. They can read ongoing content you’ve posted on your blog that addresses specific questions they may have or topics they are researching, which can establish you as an authority in your field.
A website also helps your firms build credibility. Even with a word-of-mouth recommendation, a potential client will find you more credible if you have a website when they do their preliminary research.
A website not only showcases what you have to offer in terms of legal services but also gives you a way to establish trust through your results. You can ask previous clients for testimonials, link to your Google My Business reviews page, and outline some of your past case successes.
Make it easy to find you
Last, but certainly not least, your website should let readers know how they can get in touch with you. For example, most legal websites are clear about the areas the firm serves, such as “serving clients throughout Delaware” or “representing clients in the greater Atlanta area.”
However, beyond your office’s physical location and markets served, you’ll want to provide options for short-term contact to your visitors. There should be a “Contact Us” tab in your navigation bar as well as phone numbers and a contact form prominently displayed throughout the website.
The most important thing to remember about legal websites is that you need one. There isn’t a single component of your law firm’s website that acts as a magic bullet. But the complete package will attract and engage your target audience, converting them into new clients.
Since you probably didn’t become a lawyer to design and build websites, you might appreciate a helping hand. FindLaw specializes in helping law firms develop and execute winning digital marketing strategies.