Potential clients enter law firm websites a number of different ways. They may click on a link to a blog post they found on social media. They might find a link to an evergreen page in search engine results when they make a relevant search. They might also have been referred directly to your law firm’s website.
No matter how potential clients access your site, at some point, they’ll likely see your firm’s homepage. What message will your homepage send to potential clients?
A well-designed homepage with the right content can help a potential client decide to engage with your law firm, while a poorly designed or confusing homepage can drive potential clients away.
Here are five of the most common law firm website homepage mistakes, plus tips for how to fix them.
1. Your law firm website’s homepage is hard to use.
If your homepage (and your website in general) is hard to use, potential clients may become frustrated or confused, ultimately leaving your website without contacting you or getting their questions answered.
If your law firm website homepage is too distracting, doesn’t clearly guide potential clients, or doesn’t make it easy for them to navigate to other areas of your site, they’re likely to leave your site and go elsewhere. Potential clients don’t want to do extra work to get the information they need.
On that note, don’t make a potential client work hard to figure out what you do and if you can help them. Make sure your homepage clearly describes which services you provide and the practice areas you handle.
2. You try to do too much on your law firm website’s homepage
Attorneys sometimes want to explain everything about their law firm on the homepage, or add unnecessary bells and whistles. They will often ask web designers to fill every last bit of space with text, images, video, and animated design elements such as sliders.
This strategy can backfire on attorneys. Filling every inch of available screen real estate usually distracts potential clients more than it attracts them.
Think about trying to have a conversation in a noisy, crowded restaurant. The background noise makes it hard to focus on the conversation you’re having. It’s easy to get distracted or to miss something important.
Think about your homepage (and the rest of your website) in a similar way. Too many elements serve as visual noise, and are likely to distract your potential clients from contacting you. When it comes to web design, less is often more.
Make it easy for potential clients to focus on the key elements of your homepage: what you do, why you care about their case or matter, why you’re the right law firm to help them, and how to contact your law firm.
To help guide potential clients to the most important information, minimize the number of elements you include on your homepage to include the most important information.
Embrace the use of whitespace — the space between columns, text, and images. Whitespace allows a potential client to better absorb the information on your homepage without being overwhelmed by too much information or too many choices. White space, when used correctly, is often perceived as neat and tidy, which is visually appealing.
3. Your homepage doesn’t capture what’s unique about your law firm.
Your potential clients have a hierarchy of needs.
They want to know how much you care about them and their problem. They want to know how enthusiastic you are about what you do and their matter. And they’ll want to know why they should choose your law firm over a competitor.
We’ve seen some law firm homepages that may say vague things such as “We are committed to our clients,” without providing any additional context or information.
The problem with homepage copy like this is that it doesn’t meet the potential client’s hierarchy of needs. It doesn’t give potential clients a reason to choose you over all the other law firms that say something similar. It doesn’t tell a potential client what practice area(s) you focus on or how you might be able to help them.
When designing your law firm website’s homepage, think about what makes your firm unique. For example, are you a criminal defense attorney who is a former police officer and/or prosecutor? Including this additional information on your law firm’s homepage can encourage a potential client to choose you over another attorney.
4. You don’t have contact information on your law firm website’s homepage.
Some law firm websites don’t have easy-to-find contact information, and this can drive potential clients away.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Put your firm’s contact information in a prominent location on your homepage. The top right corner and the footer are common locations for contact information.
Make sure your firm’s phone number is “touch-to-call” enabled for mobile devices, meaning a potential client can call your office just by touching the phone number on their mobile device screen.
5. Your law firm website’s homepage doesn’t use the right images.
Choosing the wrong images can give a potential client a bad first impression of your law firm. Here are things to avoid when choosing images for your law firm website homepage:
- Images that don’t speak to potential client’s needs. A generic stock photo of a gavel, legal books, or the scales of justice on your homepage (or elsewhere) may not resonate with potential clients. Potential clients want help with a specific problem, and generic photos may not convey anything about how your law firm can help them with that problem.
- Unprofessional images. Just like the text on your homepage, you want the images to convey something about how you will handle a potential client’s case or matter. That doesn’t mean every photo needs to be a stiffly posed portrait of you in court attire, but you do want to convey a certain level of professionalism.
- Low-quality images. A blurry, poorly lit, or badly posed photo also gives the wrong impression to potential clients. Make sure your photos are well-lit, that the background isn’t distracting, and that they aren’t blurry or pixelated on your homepage.
- Too many images. Images draw the eye. If you have too many of them, a potential client may not be able to decide what to look at next, and they may become confused or distracted. Everything on your homepage (and your website) should have a purpose and function. Be selective in choosing images, and don’t include images just for the sake of having an image.
- No images at all. Not having any images at all can also be a problem. A law firm homepage that’s a giant wall of text can be intimidating. It also doesn’t give potential clients a sense of who you are or what you do. A few well-chosen images can help move your homepage from dull and uninspiring to effective and engaging.
Stop struggling with your law firm website design
If your homepage doesn’t give a positive first impression, a potential client may simply leave your website. They may even choose to visit a competitor’s website instead.
If you want to turn your homepage — and the rest of your law firm’s website — into an effective marketing tool that engages new clients, LawLytics can help. Our law firm website platform makes creating an effective website easy, and an effective homepage style is included.