Your evergreen content and blog posts have a substantial effect on driving traffic to your site. But your homepage is still a first impression that needs to stand out, whether a potential client starts their visit there or navigates to your homepage later. Your homepage requires careful construction to have the right impact and to send the right message. We’ve seen some homepages that fail to capture the unique aspects of a law firm and that don’t make contact information readily available. Sometimes, we see homepage content that may unintentionally drive potential clients away. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself about your law firm’s homepage.
Are you trying to do too much on your law firm homepage?
Your homepage isn’t your entire website. Yet, some attorneys try to fit every single piece of information possible onto this page. The result is overwhelming and can drive potential clients away from your site. Consider these two webpages as an example. The website on the left is “fun” to look at. It uses every last bit of screen real estate; there are lots of bright colors and pictures, varied font sizes and styles. But this site doesn’t provide a good user experience. If you visited this site, would you know what to click? If you need information right away, do you know where to look? This is the danger of trying to squeeze too much information into a space, especially on a homepage. And, when something isn’t clear to a potential client, they’ll leave your site as their first line of defense. In contrast, look at the website on the above right. This site uses “white space” to its advantage. If you glanced at this site, the big block of words in the middle tells you that this site has something to do with “The business of design.” The content is broken into readable segments. The bright orange call-to-action button makes it easy for a user to learn more about this product or service. Of course, this isn’t a law firm homepage. But this homepage makes its purpose clear and gets users to interact without going overboard. Design considerations matter in general, but especially for your homepage. To learn more about basic law firm website design that brings in new clients, check out our “Start Your Law Firm Website” series. These webinars are free and now available on-demand.
Is your law firm website responsive?
A responsive website is an absolute must for attorneys. A site that is too slow to load or is hard to use on a mobile device or tablet will keep potential clients from reaching out to you. To learn more about why responsive websites are necessary to thrive online, see our webinar, The Case For Responsive Law Firm Websites. In this webinar, LawLytics CEO and Attorney Dan Jaffe offers a compelling argument for why attorneys should choose responsive web design over other mobile-compatible options.
Where is your law firm’s contact information?
If a potential client has to make an effort to find your contact information, you may have already lost their business. A law firm website homepage should have easily accessible contact information featured throughout the page. Make your address, telephone number and office hours clear. (If you have multiple office locations, make sure your potential clients know that, too. You may want a dedicated office locations page.) Feature contact information in the header and footer of your site. Make your telephone number interactive for mobile, such that all a potential client has to do is click on the number to call your firm. (At LawLytics, our websites use the latest in responsive design technology and our sites feature click-to-call phone numbers in mobile view.) If you have a contact form on your site, it should be prominently located and easy to use. You’ll want to avoid requiring your potential clients to fill out too many fields. Eliminating unnecessary data fields, like Expedia did, can encourage clients to submit forms.
Do your potential clients know what you do?
Some law firm websites fail to make the firm’s practice areas obvious to potential clients. Make sure that the services you provide and the practice areas you handle are easy to find. Don’t let your potential clients wonder whether you’re the right attorney to handle their case or matter — make it clear to web visitors about what kinds of clients you assist, too.
Do your potential clients know that you care about them?
Your potential clients will want to know about you as an attorney. In fact, attorney bio pages are one of the most visited pages on law firm websites. But, generally, clients have more pressing questions. They may be scared or frustrated and unsure what to do next. They want to quickly determine that they’ve found an attorney who can help them. Your potential clients want to know that you care about their case or problem. Once they know that, then they’ll want to know how enthusiastic you are, as well as what kind of person you are. But address their concerns, first. Make sure the content on your homepage is client-centric rather than being focused on you or your firm. Sometimes, we see attorneys who place their entire biography on their homepage. There’s a place to discuss your firm or your path to the law, and that’s the “About Your Firm” page, as well as your attorney bio page. But be cautious about the impression you’re giving. For example, an attorney might write: “During the winter months, attorney Jane Smith enjoys waterskiing and soaking up the sun with her family in West Palm Beach, Florida.” From your perspective, this may suggest that you have a playful and fun nature and that you enjoy sports and family time outside of practicing the law. But to a potential client, it may suggest an air of superiority. It can even suggest that you may be out of the office and unavailable when they need you most. Leave your biographical information to your attorney bio (and dedicate a specific page to it). To learn more about crafting attorney bios that convert web visitors into potential clients, check out our on-demand Attorney Bio Clinic.