Four Ideas To Improve Your Law Firm’s Website
Even If Your Law Firm’s Site Is Close To Perfect…
You need to improve your legal website. Period. Even if you’re convinced that your firm’s website is already top-notch, I can almost guarantee that there are improvements to be made. And now is the perfect opportunity to make some of those long put-off improvements. The time is perfect because this is when ANY business’s online presence is more crucial than ever but also because, face it…most of us have more time on our hands to now do these sorts of things; so let’s take advantage, shall we?
And yes, improvements can always be to your legal website. The two reasons being:
- As we’re all aware, algorithms change constantly
- Your competition is always thinking of interesting new ideas – especially if you’re not!
In August of 2020 during “covid” I decided to spend a week or so looking at some of the best legal websites I could find – not just in my area of upstate New York but around the country – and to make an (almost comprehensive) list of the elements that I thought really gave those websites an edge. An edge both in terms of aesthetically pleasing design as well as functionality.
I quickly found that my list of ingredients that lent a legal website its awesomeness grew a LOT faster than I expected it to. So, while this article will focus on only FOUR elements, it’s pretty likely that I will turn this into a series of extremely useful articles for the legal community so that I can share everything that I have found in terms of what you need to do to improve your legal website and not limit the number to just four items!
Without further adieu, here are my first 4 items that I feel can dramatically, positively affect your law firm’s website.
LEGAL WEBSITE TIP NUMBER ONE: Make Your Site Visually Pleasing
Visually Pleasing is a subjective term that covers a lot of ground. I get that. So here are a few guidelines and items that fall under that umbrella that will help make your firm’s website top notch.
PHOTOGRAPHY: For the love of God, hire a professional to do team photos and headshots! Do NOT have the office secretary shoot them with a smartphone unless she or he is absolutely a professional.
COLOR PALATE: Make sure your web designer at least knows how to use a color wheel and can work with color combinations that convey whatever it is that your firm wants to convey! In other words, the emotions (confidence, power, steadfast, trustworthiness etc) you want to evoke in your potential new and existing clients. There is a an entire psychology around the use of colors and the emotions they evoke. Use it. ESPECIALLY in this line of work!
MODERN: I am not saying you can’t use classic color schemes here (see above) and things of that nature. I am saying there are trends in web design. Simple example: navigation menus work differently now than they did just a few years ago. Boxy types of layouts used to be king, now everything needs to be responsive to the type of device it is being viewed with. Who knows what the trend(s) will be in another 2 years?
Remember, we are now (and have been for some time) living in an age where your website is very often the FIRST impression the general public will have of you. I really shouldn’t need to tell any attorney how CRUCIAL first impressions are – especially when we are discussing your livelihood! Put forth the perception that you have pride in your firm and it will pay huge dividends in the long run.
And let’s also address an elephant in the room. Clients (current and potential) are probably expecting to pay you a good chunk of their hard earned money AND the public perception of lawyers (true or false, for better or worse, real or fake) is that of a community that has a lot of money. If you’re not willing to put forth the effort and a few extra dollars to make the first impression the general public receives in their bio-computers a good one…well…we can just leave it at that.
How else can you improve your legal website? Read on!
LEGAL WEBSITE TIP NUMBER TWO: Make It Easy For People To Reach You!
This one is mostly self explanatory but here are a few ideas anyway…
Place the firm’s phone number above the navigation, make it very noticeable AND make it clickable so that people who found you on their phone can simply tap the number and call. If your designer knows what they are doing, you can make this section only visible on mobile phones, too, in order to take up less real estate on your website when folks use other devices.
Have a Contact Form somewhere above the fold on the home page. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant with conditional logic and bells and whistles – save THAT for your actual contact page. Something simple is just fine.
Repeat the basics of your contact information in the footer of the website, too, so that the information is site-wide and a potential new client NEVER needs to look far to get in touch.
Install a chat window. This one is optional I would suggest you ONLY use it if you truly believe it will be beneficial for your customers and NOT just nuisance.
Simply making it easy for your potential legal clients to get to your contact information within 5 seconds of loading your website will improve your legal website dramatically. It may sound simple, but it is ALWAYS the little things that are overlooked and that make the biggest difference.
NUMBER THREE: Add a Blog Component to your Firm’s Website
(And USE it!)
There are so many benefits to doing this it’s hard to know where to begin! From your point of view (partners/staff of the firm) probably the biggest benefit would be the boon the firm would receive in the search engines – again IF the blog is actually utilized. You can’t just let it sit there idle. One thing search engines look for (among many) are websites that continuously add fresh and relevant content.
From your clients (and potential clients) point of view, having well written and informative information regarding topics that are either extremely interesting OR potentially relevant to their particular case or situation (or both!) right at their fingertips is worth its weight in gold.
There are even more benefits revolving around the topic of optimizing your law firm’s website for search engines too, but to be honest…there are just too many to name. Suffice to say that using ANY of the tips in this article could potentially help you kick some major butt online, but this one just might be the most important.
Talk about improving your legal website! Constant fresh new (quality) content = game changer!
LEGAL WEBSITE TIP NUMBER FOUR: Give Your Clients the Ability to Pay Their Invoices Online
Especially now, at the time of this writing (September of 2020 – in the midst of ‘corona virus’) people will especially appreciate this. But even during normal times, this just makes things incredibly simple for your clients and your staff.
One thing I have seen many (MANY) firms doing in recent years is using a service called Law Pay. At the time of this writing it looks as if the service is about $20/month and I am assuming this is beside normal credit card merchant fees. All in all, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal at all. Check out their website here https://lawpay.com and no, I am not an affiliate. Since Law Pay is tailored to Law Firms I am sure that they have taken into consideration any little quirks or nuances specific to the industry/field that some other online invoicing systems have not – but even with that said, I am QUITE sure they are not the only option your firm has….just a very common one.
In this article, I have attempted to give some easy, workable tips to your firm in order to improve both your legal website’s usability and its ranking. Whether you (the person reading this) would be the one to implement them – or you need to pass them along, I hope that the information proves useful. Ill go a step further and say that IF these ideas ARE implemented I can almost guarantee marked improvements in the business that satellites your site.
Further…I have FAR more than just 4 tips for law firms to do better online. If you’re interested in more, keep an eye on my website and my facebook page.
If you’d like some help implementing these tips (or any tips for that matter) into your law firm’s website,
just shoot me a message below and I’d be happy to chat with you.