Your website is an important piece of your legal firm’s marketing machine. It can serve as a brochure and as a hub for all of your online marketing activities.
A visit to your website is also likely to be the first interaction that people have with your firm. Your website’s design will make or break the first impression they have of your firm.
It takes about two-tenths of a second to form a first impression of your firm based on your website. The next 10 seconds or so will then reinforce that first impression.
That can determine if they stay on the site to learn more about your law practice, or decide to contact you for a consultation.
Read on if you want tips to create a website that makes a lasting first impression.
1. Be Creative in Your Design
Most attorney websites are predictable. There’s an image of at least one attorney in a suit, with sliders that highlight their areas of practice.
They also use the same colors (red or blue are typical), and the same template.
Since this is what people typically expect when they visit an attorney’s website, this is your chance to wow them right off the bat.
Go for something completely different, like a large image of you and your team in business casual attire talking to a client.
2. Be Approachable
Most people don’t like contacting attorneys because they think they won’t be approachable. Most attorneys’ websites don’t do anything to change that view!
Think about how you want someone to feel when they visit your website. Do you want them to feel intimidated or do you want to come across as a friendly, trusted advisor?
You might be hesitant to do something like this because you think it takes away from the serious nature of your work. When it’s done well, it will show you as caring, compassionate, and relatable.
That human touch can make a tremendous difference in the number of people who contact you from your website.
Take a look at the website for The Law Office of Julie Johnston. Take a look at her site to discover more. The site immediately hits home the seriousness of her clients’ issues, but she also appears very approachable. This is the balance you want to strike with your own website.
3. Know Your Ideal Client
A lot happens when someone visits your website for the first time. They’ll get an immediate impression based on the design of the site. They’ll look at your logo and other design elements to support that first impression.
A part of that process is scanning headlines.
This is why you need to understand your client’s needs. You need to craft a headline that captures their attention and has them say, “That’s me.”
4. Use Whitespace & Quality Images
Two basic website design elements that can be overlooked are images and whitespace.
When you use images, use images that support your brand and what you want to communicate.
Images that aren’t congruent with your marketing messages can easily confuse visitors. Avoid stock images, as they will come across as inauthentic and could turn off website visitors.
Keep your image sizes small and compress them before you upload them to your website. Not doing so will slow the loading time of your website.
Whitespace is essentially open space on a webpage. It can be used strategically to draw attention to the most important elements of your website.
If you fill up your website and have little to no whitespace, your site will be cluttered and difficult for visitors to see what they should do when they are on your site.
5. Keep Your Navigation Simple
Your site’s visitors need to be able to find information quickly. If someone can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they will leave your site.
Keep your navigation limited to the most important items and have them listed in an organized hierarchy.
6. Have Clear Calls to Action
Your goal for your website should be to convert visitors into clients. In order to do that, you need them to sign up for a consultation.
You can have several calls to action throughout your site, but each page must have only one call to action.
7. Get it Ready for Search
Your website can have the best design, but if people can’t find it in search results, it doesn’t exist.
The design of your website does impact search. Google bases its search results on over 200 factors in its algorithm. The most important ones related to website design are speed, site structure, responsiveness to mobile devices, and how long people stay on your site.
8. List Testimonials and Achievements
Building trust with potential clients is the most important element of the client/attorney relationship.
The visual elements of your site should build trust. You can reinforce that trust by having your accomplishments listed on your site.
Client reviews and testimonials can also reinforce trust by showing how you helped people just like the person visiting your website.
9. How Will You Show Progress?
Your final task in your website’s design is to set up tracking. You want to be able to measure your website’s progress.
The best tracking mechanism is Google Analytics. It’s free to use and easy to install. You can track how many visitors your site has, where they’re coming from, and how long they stay on your site.
You can also set up goals to track conversions. For instance, you can set up a goal when someone fills out a contact form. This allows you to see which marketing efforts are generating the biggest results.
Basic Website Design Tips That Gets Results
These basic website design tips are geared to inspire you to be more creative, and acquire new customers.
By being approachable and allowing your clients to see past the suits and credentials, they can find it easy to hire you because they feel that there’s a personal connection.
If you want to know more about using your website to drive leads and clients to your law practice, check out our blog.