What You Need for a Successful Law Firm Website in 2024

by Jan 12, 2024

As you ease into the first weeks of 2024, you may be evaluating your marketing strategy and its impact on your business. For many attorneys, achieving a digital presence that actively works to drive business to their practice feels like a far-off goal. However, there are a few tried and tested web design practices that make a significant difference – without significant effort. 

Read on to discover what the impact of a high-quality user experience is for your potential clients, three website design elements to avoid, and what your website really needs to succeed in 2024.

The Impact of a High-Quality User Experience

What does website design have to do with my firm’s ability to drive business online? 

It’s a great question, and the answer is simple. Your potential clients have likely found your firm’s website because they are dealing with an important legal issue and they are looking for guidance on what steps, if any, they should take next. As an attorney, you should focus on elements of your website that easily convey who you are and who you help so potential clients can feel confident in their decision to hire you. In short, your website needs to deliver a high-quality user experience to be an effective driver of business. 

Now, how do you know if your law firm website is delivering a high-quality user experience to its visitors? For one, your website will exemplify your understanding of the intent of your potential clients. Most of your website visitors have been matched with your site by Google based on what they’ve searched for – this is typically a legal question or an inquiry for a certain type of attorney in their area. To support this, your website should make it easy for them to find what they came for, and then, keep them engaged with plenty of informative content.

Next, a website that achieves a high-quality user experience will embody the three following elements:

  1. Familiarity: Familiar websites match what a potential client expects when visiting your website. For example, your website’s navigation should be intuitive, conventional, and adhere to good information architecture.
  2. Approachability: An approachable website uses language easy to understand for those without a legal background. If you must use legal jargon, always accompany it with explanations and examples. In addition, your content should be as client-focused as possible to show potential clients that your firm cares.
  3. Actionability: An actionable website helps your firm improve your conversion rate and the effectiveness of your site. Your website is actionable if it has clear calls to action, accessible contact forms, and click-to-call phone numbers. Your website should also have a valid and universally applied security certificate to build trust and make a potential client feel comfortable to use your website to get in touch with you.

Three Website Design Elements to Avoid

Understanding the “dos” of website design is a great start for achieving a successful law firm website, but what are some of the “don’ts” of design that are important to avoid? While it can be overwhelming to consider what choices are going to make or break your website, there tend to be a few common design offenders that are both easy to avoid and address.

When assessing the design of your law firm website, it’s best to avoid elements such as:

  1. Flashy design. Overly complicated design choices like multiple image sliders or other moving aspects of your website can greatly reduce your page load speed. Websites with slower load times cause potential clients to avoid engaging with your content because they have to work harder to consume the information they’re seeking. They can also distract a potential client from their original intent – an effect that can impact your website’s conversion power.
  2. Mobile incompatibility. Your website’s ability to perform across multiple devices and browser types is a top determining factor of your site’s success. It’s true that more and more of your potential clients are using mobile devices to research their legal issues and shop for legal representation. Your firm’s website must be responsive and needs to function well for desktop, mobile, and tablet devices to accommodate the preferences of your potential clients.
  3. Any unnecessary or purely aesthetic design. To maximize the business driven by your law firm’s website, it’s best to focus on substance and value. Potential clients don’t come to your website to be entertained, so you should avoid overcomplicating the purpose of your website. The purpose should only be to inform, build trust, and convert visitors to new clients.

What You Need for a Successful Law Firm Website in 2024

What can attorneys consider as an effective website for their practice? 

A successful law firm website is built to be informative and drive new business. With so many potential clients starting their search for an attorney online, it’s imperative that your website employs design choices that support your potential clients’ intent.

In the below section, we cover the main website design elements that can help you achieve success online in 2024.

#1 Easy navigation

Good website navigation is easy to use and follows an intuitive information architecture. The goal is for your potential clients to seamlessly navigate your website while also feeling encouraged to explore more information. 

In order for your website to have good navigation, your website’s content must be organized effectively. Creating pillars of content, such as practice area pages, establishes a foundation for other subtopics (also known as topic clusters) to fall underneath. These subtopics help to provide a potential client with more detail on the legal matter that landed them on your website and can be built upon over time.

For example, a pillar page can cover a broad overview of the practice area. In a family law example, the page may cover topics like an overview, services provided, and the circumstances that would prompt the need for a family law attorney. For subtopic pages, more categories can be covered to provide broader coverage of information about family law. Examples include pages about divorce, spousal support, child custody, and more. 

Pillar pages and subtopic pages are effective because they explain and connect pieces of information in a highly organized fashion that benefits both search engines and your web visitors. Search engines understand the relationship between the content as organized in subtopics and pillar pages. The more high-quality information you provide and connect through internal linking, the more you’ll be seen as an expert on the topic by Google. This is rewarded with better placement on search engines when potential clients make related searches.

Through optimized, organized website navigation, you can achieve an easy-to-navigate, highly visible law firm website that attracts more potential clients from search engines.

#2 Fast page load speed

Page load speed refers to how fast a page loads once it is requested in a browser. While this can depend on the visitor’s internet speed and quality, certain design elements on your website can come into play as well. For example, the use of overly complicated design elements will likely hurt your website’s load time. 

Page load speed can influence multiple website quality factors like search engine optimization, user experience, and conversion rate optimization. While Google ultimately values high-quality website content much more than the load speed of your pages, a faster loading page will likely outperform a slower loading one of the same quality. As a result, it’s important to achieve a balance between content, like large images and media files, and design to help your website perform best on search engines. 

Tip: LawLytics websites are fully equipped with all of the technical must-haves for achieving fast page load speeds. Page speed elements include geographic caching, image optimization, and a streamlined code base.

#3 Optimized Contact Forms

Beyond their basic intention to help potential clients get in touch with you, an optimized web form can keep you more organized, deliver invaluable data points about your leads, and help you drive more business to your practice. The most effective contact form for your practice will follow best practices and have adequate support for each submission. 

To set up your contact form for success, you need a clear directive. Your contact forms should provide an obvious reason as to why the potential client should complete it. In addition, your forms should provide a timeline for when the potential client can expect to hear from you, communicate how their information will be used, and understand the best type of data to capture for the form’s purpose. 

Adequate support for your contact forms can be as simple as having a system for following up with submissions. Regardless of how you support your contact forms, be sure that the timeline you provide on your form is consistent with what your office can deliver. 

#4 Essential, Legal-Specific Pages

For your law firm website to succeed in 2024, there’s a few essential, legal-specific pages that your website needs to help convert website visitors into clients more consistently and reliably. These pages give potential clients more information about your firm, their legal issue, and what makes you the best choice for their representation. 

The following are the top pages to consider having on your law firm website beyond your homepage:

  1. About The Firm Page: Your About page is a great opportunity to brand your law firm by delivering your mission statement (why you do what you do) and establishing who you are as a practice (how your law firm differs from the competition). Essential elements of your About page include who you and your team are, what you practice, how you approach law, where you conduct business, and why someone should hire you. The About page is an essential part of the trust-building process for your potential clients.
  2. Practice Area Pages: When visitors read your practice area pages, they’re looking for easy-to-consume information about their problem, your firm, and a potential solution. The more value you provide to your potential clients through detailed, accurate information, the more likely you are to build trust with your audience and search engines. Tip: With LawLytics, you get unlimited access to our built-in smart content generation tool that is equipped with ready-to-use practice area pages for quick web content creation. Each page is optimized for search engine performance and easy to customize to your practice. Plus, we’re consistently growing our library of topics and currently offer around 320 topics across 20 practice areas. 
  3. Attorney Bio: The purpose of your attorney bio is to create an emotional and logical connection that shows potential clients that you are competent, caring, and the best person for the job. To make this page most effective, include elements like your journey to law, who you are as an attorney, who you’ve helped, and what you’ve accomplished. You should also include the basics like academic institutions and corresponding degrees, court admissions, bar admissions, memberships, and academic or professional highlights (e.g., awards, speaking engagements, or publications).
  4. Case Results and Client Testimonials: Your firm’s case results and client testimonials can be a make-or-break factor for potential clients. Both provide attorneys with the unique opportunity to hold a mirror to their potential clients and allow them to picture themselves with a successful outcome with the help of your services. These pages on your website should demonstrate the care you have for both your clients and your work and also give context to what a potential client can expect.
  5. Blog: Blogs can help you declare your stance on topics of interest to your potential clients and can be a great strategy for enhancing your website’s visibility on the internet. In general, blogs are increasingly niche in topic, offer space to address specific passions or develop thought leadership, and tend to have a conversational tone.

#5 High-Quality Website Content

To achieve high-quality content for your website, a great place to start is with Google’s Search Quality Guidelines. These guidelines are the basics of what Google expects from website owners and define what a high-quality page should look like.

The quality guidelines most relevant to attorneys are:

  • Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T): These factors ultimately exemplify the credibility of the page, author, and website.  
  • Your Money Your Life (YMYL): This classification refers to pages that “could potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety” and applies to law firm websites. 

For attorneys, efforts to improve the E-E-A-T of your website and achieve a high standard of quality are primarily focused on meeting the needs of your potential clients. With search intent in mind, how can your website go above and beyond to meet their needs and establish your law firm as a trusted and qualified resource?

A successful and high quality webpage is likely to:

  1. Sufficiently answer the potential client’s question. The page expands on any answer beyond the bare minimum with satisfactory detail and information. The page must successfully educate potential clients about the question(s) they have regarding their legal matter. The page doesn’t solely act as a method of advertisement, but also provides valuable information.
  2. Offer a positive user experience. The potential client feels that their needs have been met and the content was easy to find, read, and understand. It is substantive enough that they trust your expertise and find your law firm credible and, as such, may navigate your website to review profiles, testimonials, case summaries, and more.
  3. Achieve its purpose. The webpage should successfully convert visitors to new clients. With sufficient answers to their most immediate questions provided, visitors should be impressed enough and ready to reach out to your law firm.

#6 Optimized Page Formatting

A conscious approach to formatting your pages will not only aid in the aesthetic appeal of your website but also in its user-friendliness and discoverability. For your potential clients, headers and subtitles help guide them through your content with visual cues on the subject matter and order of importance on the page. For search engines, headers and subtitles (when coded properly using H1, H2, and so on) help them quickly determine what the page is about, index the information, and use it to connect your website with more relevant and local search queries.

To see the most success with your page formatting in 2024, your headers and subtitles need to be both descriptive and concise. In addition, it’s recommended that you include local elements to attract your ideal client online. This means including language that is relevant to the questions your local, ideal client may be asking in search engines. 

Tip: All LawLytics pages are pre-formatted for H1 headers, and we offer a formatting tool so that you can easily create all other headers and subheadings. No guesswork and no coding required. 

#7 Brand Personality Elements

With consideration to your 2024 business goals, the design elements that impact your law firm website’s performance will likely include the brand personality you’ve set for your practice. A brand personality is the set of characteristics you attribute to that brand. For a typical business, this is curated to give a humanistic quality to the brand that will help the consumer connect with it emotionally. For lawyers, the goal of a brand personality is to communicate who you are and who you serve.

Without a strong brand personality, your website will have to work harder to develop trust and confidence. As a result, your website might be less consistent in targeting your ideal client. The more you understand your ideal client, the easier it will be to solidify your brand personality and apply this to your marketing.

On your law firm website, several key design elements contribute to brand personality, including:

  • Color: Color has the capability to impact how your potential clients think and behave. Take a look at what your website’s colors are and consider what those colors might be communicating to your visitors. For example, a family law attorney may want to associate their brand personality with different emotions such as security and trustworthiness. To achieve this, they may use a color palette including shades of  greens or blues rather than shades of red and yellow. Green evokes compassion while blue evokes confidence. On the other hand, red evokes passion while yellow evokes alarm.
  • Font: Familiarity is a pillar of what contributes to a high quality user experience on your website. Choosing the right font is an important aspect of achieving familiarity in that your website’s font should be clear, consistent, and traditional.
  • Layout: The layout of your website should also contribute to the familiar, approachable, and actionable pillars of a high quality user experience. Tip: LawLytics follows best practices for law firm website layouts. Plus, it’s free to refresh your website design at any point during your membership to ensure your site is aligned with your firm’s brand personality. 
  • Images: Any images on your website should align with your firm’s industry and practice area(s) to complement your brand personality. For example, if you are a family law attorney who encourages mediation, you might have an image of people around a conference table as opposed to a courtroom setting.

LawLytics is the “Easy Button” for Law Firm Website Design

LawLytics can help you with building a robust, lucrative, and fully supported website without overspending or struggling with conventional website design platforms. Our team works with your firm to strategically design a website that can easily attract and engage your ideal client. LawLytics also integrates with popular platforms and software you may already be using such as case management systems, chat features, phone tracking, and payment portals. 

To learn more about how our attorney-specific platform can best serve your firm’s needs, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo.

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