When your law firm’s website balances form and function, it’s more likely to attract potential clients and cause them to reach out to your firm when they’re ready to contact an attorney.
If your law firm website isn’t performing as you’d like it to, there may be a number of issues at play. There’s no doubt that good website design can contribute to a positive experience for potential clients when they visit your site. But when it comes to law firms and their potential clients, good website design has nothing to do with fancy, flashy designs. Good website design for attorneys considers aesthetics, usability, and the needs of the potential client.
In this blog post, we take a holistic look at how to create a law firm website that engages potential clients and puts you ahead of the competition.
Good law firm websites are designed for potential clients
A well-designed law firm website should make it easy for your potential clients to engage with you and contact you when they’re ready. A well-designed site is also one that has your potential client in mind.
When there’s a misalignment between what you want your site to look like — and what meets the needs of a potential client — it can keep them from contacting you.
Avoid adding “bells and whistles” on your law firm’s website. These things may make a site look “neat”, and these features are often popular among attorneys. However, your law firm’s potential clients likely have a very different set of needs than the average consumer, and, as a result, bells and whistles can distract them or frustrate them as they’re trying to learn more about their case or matter.
Before you add something to your law firm’s website, ask yourself: How does this benefit my potential clients? If the answer isn’t clear, you may want to avoid adding the element to your site.
A good law firm website balances form and function to create something that’s both aesthetically pleasing and useful to your potential clients. Your potential clients should be able to easily navigate around your site to learn about their problem, about you and your firm, and about how you can help them.
When you’re evaluating a site design, consider the position that many of your potential clients come from: They’re likely worried or embarrassed about their situation. They’ve got questions about what to do next. They may be unsure if they need an attorney or they might be unhappy about needing to seek counsel altogether. They’re likely not worried about whether or not your website has a video background — they’re worried about themselves.
Your law firm’s website may be their first impression of you and your firm. If it’s too difficult or confusing to use, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on engaging that potential client. Attorneys who focus on the aesthetics of their site alone are likely missing out on opportunities in this way.
You should have a site layout that’s logical, intuitive, and makes it clear what you want your potential client to do. Your website’s design should respect your potential clients.
Can your potential clients quickly identify who you are, where you are, and what you do? Do they know at a glance how you can help them? When you’re thinking about your website’s design, remember that you only have moments to catch potential clients’ attention — as a result, the layout and information on your site should be straightforward.
For more information on choosing a site design that works, see the following posts:
- “Law Firm Website Design and the Price of Beauty”
- “Five Things Web Designers Wish Attorneys Knew About Websites”
Good law firm website content will set you apart from the competition
One of the best ways to create a law firm website that sets you apart from the competition is through your website’s content.
Your website’s design and content should work together — if a site has great content but a frustrating design, your potential clients will likely leave your site before they ever read the content. On the other hand, a great design without content is unlikely to be found by your potential clients. If they do find it, it’s unlikely to make a connection with them.
A client-friendly design with client-friendly content is the key to a high-performing law firm website.
Just like a design that respects your potential clients, your content should also respect their needs. Why are they visiting your law firm’s website? What are they looking for? Content that provides them with details about the issues surrounding their case or matter will go a long way in building their trust and confidence in you.
Make it easy to locate and consume proof of your competence in the form of substantive legal information, as well as social proof such as past successes and recommendations from former clients.
The LawLytics software’s intuitive page creation, menu structuring, case results, and recommendations features make this extremely easy, so attorneys don’t need to worry about the mechanics of how to deliver this content, and can instead focus on what they want their potential clients to know.
Write compelling CTAs that encourage your potential clients to take action.
When a potential client is finished reading content on your website, what will they do next? It’s important to guide potential clients from one point to the next.
A good call to action (CTA) can encourage your potential clients to contact you by guiding them to the next step that you want them to take.
At the end of the page, provide a unique and focused call-to-action that drives potential clients to contact your law firm. CTAs are likely to vary in tone and style based on your practice area and the unique aspects of your law firm. For example, CTAs could look something like:
- “Allegations of criminal activity are serious. We represent defendants accused of crimes in the greater metropolitan area.”
- “Prosecutors want to convict. Judges do not take crimes lightly. You need a defense, and you need it now.”
- “If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, you can expect the book to be thrown at you. A conviction could mean jail, fines, and a whole lot more: like your future. Get a defense lawyer today.”
You can learn more about how to develop tone and style in this post: “How to Use Tone & Style to Brand Your Law Firm and Engage Potential Clients.”
Create forms that make it easy for potential clients to get in touch with your law firm.
Some potential clients may want to call your firm on the phone — one reason that it’s important to have a prominent telephone number on your website.
However, others may be more comfortable contacting you through the internet. When that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure that you provide potential clients with an easy-to-use contact form.
Make sure your form is intuitive, and only ask for the information you absolutely need. Every additional piece of information that a potential client needs to supply to complete the form (beyond the necessary information such as their name, their telephone number, etc.) makes it increasingly likely that they’ll exit the page.
With LawLytics, it’s easy to create forms to capture potential clients’ and clients’ information and send submissions to your email or to your law firm management system. (LawLytics natively integrates with Clio and Lexicata.)
From contact forms to intake questionnaires, LawLytics lets you create and manage forms with ease. You can easily nest forms on web pages and blog posts or create sidebar forms on your web pages.
Beating the competition means thinking like your potential clients
Your website must prove three things to your potential clients. It must show them that you care about them and their goals or plight; It must provide them proof that you’ve successfully helped people just like them, and it must establish you as an expert.
The best way to do that is to think like your potential clients. Do they want to see an elaborate, flashy design? Or do they want a user-friendly design that clearly guides them from page to page? Do they want to be advertised to? Or do they want detailed information that helps them understand what to do next? Should they have to search to find your phone number or a contact form, or should it be presented clearly to them from the start?
Law firm websites with easy-to-use layouts and easy-to-read information go a long way toward developing a relationship with potential clients — before they’ve even stepped foot in your office.