98% to 99% of your website visitors will never call. There is a solution to this problem: having a law firm website that effectively markets your legal services and attracts qualified traffic.
We talk to countless lawyers and law firm marketing managers. And this is what we hear:
“We have a website, but it doesn’t do anything.”
If you’re not getting new clients from your website, or enough traffic, your website is probably like most of the law firm websites we see — digital brochures with information prospects don’t care about.
This is why 72% of law firm websites fail.
At the time of writing this, we typed “law firm Chicago” into Google search and were met with about 130 000 000 results within 0.73 seconds! Although the legal industry is saturated and competitive, not having a law firm website isn’t an option as nearly 100% of people seeking legal counsel start online.
A high-performance law firm website will help you stand out from the rest. It establishes your firm as an expert in your practice areas and is an important component of your digital marketing strategy.
When developed correctly, it creates trust, and credibility, and converts visitors into new clients. The bottom line: Without a website, prospects won’t find you online. If they’re unaware of your law firm’s existence, you’ll lose out on your share of the online market.
Decent website builders are easy to use, and typically provide templates and features based on web design best practices like mobile responsiveness and search engine optimization. Their plug-and-play options deliver quick results. However, they can be limiting.
Whether you choose to DIY your own website depends on the size and scope of your law firm. More often than not, it’s better to hire professionals, so you can focus on your business.
If you want to explore website builder options, we suggest:
We recommend doing a website audit at least once a year. Search engine algorithms and online client behavior are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up to date with the latest best practices.
You should consider updating your law firm’s website when:
Updating a website doesn’t mean a complete redesign. It could be you just need to make small adjustments to the page layout or tweak SEO.
Whether you’re a small law firm or a large conglomerate, getting new clients via your website can be distilled into two things; providing a good user experience, and keeping things simple. Your law firm’s website can deliver incredible results if you have clear objectives, and it’s well-designed.
Below are seven tips to get you started:
User experience is a web design term that combines ease of use, clarity of information, and the speed of your website.
Ease of use means your website needs to be super intuitive. Your calls to action should be clear and encourage visitors to act. If you want visitors to call, design a button that says, “call us,” for instance. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, then have a clear lead capture form.
Keep in mind that litigation for most people is intimidating. The last thing you want to do is scare away prospects due to a confusing website design!
Clarity refers to the language you use. Don’t use jargon, just use common terms.
To put it in perspective, people looking for a service provider, such as an attorney, will make up their mind 2/3rds of the way on whom they want to hire before calling anybody.
So, answer prospects’ questions using a language they’ll understand. They need to see what you do and who you do it for and how you’ll ultimately help them.
Finally, speed is the most straightforward of all. If your website loads slowly, visitors will leave. And remember: Google’s watching, too—if many people bounce off your site thanks to slow loading speed, its ranking on search engine results will drop.
Make sure your audience can contact you, so you can nudge them further down the sales funnel. The more intuitive the contact process is, the better for your business. Some law firm websites list their emails and telephone number on a contact page.
However, we’d suggest designing a contact form as it is more useful in growing your email address database. That way, you can easily track your visitors and send specific email marketing material to different target groups.
As a rule of thumb, a good contact form should contain one to five fields; the lead’s name and telephone number and email address. Only ask for important information. The shorter your form, the more likely visitors will fill it out.
Your service page should clearly break down your primary services. Most importantly, it must have a strong call to action that directs prospects to get in touch with you.
If you have multiple service areas, then it might be useful to have a separate web page for each. Always communicate major benefits and selling points, providing just enough information for new clients to understand why they should work with you.
When it comes to blog page design, your law firm website should, at the very least, have a menu, search box, and archives page. A great business blog attracts new users to your website, offering expert insights and valuable information that drives sales to grow your business; therefore, it must be simple and easy to navigate.
A “good enough” website design is attractive, clean, professional…or not?
Looking good enough isn’t good enough for a law firm website. Most websites for lawyers look the same—just switch out logos and colors. And so, if you only expect your website to look “nice,” it will end up bringing in average results.
Your website design must be competitive, and it has to stand out.
Your law firm website has to make a visual impact. Visitors must be able to differentiate you from your competition. Start by looking at other law firms’ websites for inspiration. Take note of how they design their contact forms, what their value proposition is, and whether they do any content marketing.
Gather ideas for your own law firm website, and work with your web design agency to build a website with clear competitive advantages that will really make you stand out. Today’s clients are tech-savvy. If your new website isn’t up-to-date or looks like it was made in the 1990s, there are high chances potential clients won’t hire you.
Check out our top 23 Best Law Firm Websites to get inspired.
You have to prove competence in the areas of law you practice most (or want to practice more of). The use of case studies is the best way to do this. For every type of service area you’ve worked on, write three to four case studies. Explain the problem your clients had, the challenge it presented, and how you helped them solve it.
We know that some Bar associations prohibit using case studies and testimonials, but there are ways to get around this. You must show proof somehow that you’ve “been there, done that,” because people need that confidence when hiring a lawyer. You can work hypothetical examples into your blogs if case studies aren’t an option in your state.
If it’s not possible to share case studies, then showcasing reviews (See: Reviews and Testimonials) is another option.
Answer clients’ FAQs. Your potential clients first search for answers to their questions (discovery phase), then for a legal practice that can solve their problems (decision phase).
You’ll attract more clients in the discovery stage by addressing the questions they require answers to, and not by telling them about your law firm (that comes later).
Make a list of questions your prospects ask. Create content marketing material (blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.) that answers these questions and post them on your blog before publishing them on social media. A tip: Make the question the title of the post.
You can also cross-link between posts (build contextual connections between posts) to get your clients to spend more time on your law firm’s website. This is “step one” of how your website blog can be the most powerful lead conversion tool.
Here is more on How to Turn Law Firm Blog into a Client Attraction Machine.
FAQ pages are excellent for informing and educating website visitors. Many FAQs tend to contain high-volume keywords, so using them will help your website rank higher on search engines as well.
A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service given away for the purposes of gathering contact details, like an eBook or free consultation, for example. Marketers use lead magnets to create sales leads.
A law firm lead magnet might be some type of resource that helps prospects map out their plan of action for the legal problem they face. For this marketing tactic to work, law firm websites implement a lead capture form, where prospects provide their email address in exchange for a resource.
You then follow up with occasional emails that offer MORE resources your prospects want. Did they download the Estate Planning Checklist? Then you know what legal service they’re interested in. Keep marketing valuable information, and you’ll build the trust needed to ensure your law firm is the one they call when they’re ready to pick up the phone.
Because law firms provide specialized services, most clients don’t know the lawyers they hire from a bar of soap. Naturally, they’ll seek social proof during the hiring process.
This is why 90% of customers read online reviews and testimonials before picking up the phone. Displaying reviews and testimonials on your website offers a concentrated pool of recommendations prospects can assess.
The power behind online reviews is real, especially with a solid policy in place to reply to all reviews—good and bad. And even where Bar associations do forbid posting testimonials and reviews on your website, there’s a simple and ethical workaround that your web design agency in Chicago can set up for your law firm’s website.
Talk to your web designer about installing review badges on your website. This is an icon on the site that links to either your profile on Google, Avvo, Yelp, or wherever else you have reviews. That little badge will update real-time with the number of reviews and your overall rating. Potential new clients can also click on those badges and read reviews if they wish.
Take those cliché, serious lawyer photos, for example. Yes, we get it. You’re important. And yes, you probably read that whole bookshelf of lawbooks behind you. But, here’s the truth: New clients only hire lawyers they like.
Chances are, your “serious face” isn’t as welcoming as a lawyer who looks confident yet approachable. Yes, be professional and look your best. But you would rather not look so corporate, so “the same” as all other lawyers, or SO legalese that you seem unfriendly.
Litigation is serious by nature. Like we said before, it is intimidating to most ordinary people. Therefore, your law firm website design should strike a balance between being professional and approachable.
We offer a full range of digital marketing services with an expert team devoted to creating successful law firm websites that have the right branding and calls to action to convert qualified leads.
Besides content marketing and paid advertising, our web design services include:
We don’t need to tell you that professionalism sells! And honestly, while it does come at a (worthwhile) cost, hiring professional website designers is a business investment. At Comrade Digital Marketing Agency, we’ve created websites for some top law firms in the country.
Our designers understand the technical aspects required for search engine optimization. We’ve created many attorney websites that have increased leads and helped our law firm clients get more traffic and revenue.
Now that you know what makes an excellent law firm website design, you might be interested in learning how we can help design yours! Why tell us more about your legal website aspirations?
Do you want a marketing plan that fits your individual needs? Let us craft a strategy that drives results to your company based on your objectives.
Please fill out the form to the right, and we will contact you within one business day for a free initial consultation.
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