“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
That is a quote by American humorist, Will Rogers, and while he was obviously not talking about lawyer websites—since he was born in 1879 and died in 1935—that quote is as relevant to law firm web design as it is to a myriad of other subjects. The website is the place where most people will first discover a lawyer, so it has to make a great first impression to all visitors.
A good lawyer website design will garner the interest and attention of visitors; a bad lawyer website will likely cause most users to leave and never return, regardless of the competency and qualifications of the law firm behind the lamentable website. At On The Map Marketing, we only design top-quality lawyer websites because we know all the good design practices to use and the bad ones to avoid. There is a stark difference between a good lawyer website design and a bad one, and the following are some of the ways of identifying what separates the two.
No matter what site you visit, you don’t want to sit around waiting for it to load, and that is especially true of lawyer websites. People generally visit lawyer websites because they need help or advice on a certain legal matter. If that help is too long in coming, then the visitor will simply look elsewhere to find someone who can offer them advice in a more expedient manner.
Websites that load quickly on one device, but slowly on another are also bad. You want to attract clients no matter how they find you, so having a website whose loading speed is optimized for all devices is one of the primary hallmarks of good lawyer website design.
Poor Mobile Responsiveness
Following up on the previous point, a website should be eye-catching and easily navigable no matter the kind of device it is being viewed on. This is called mobile responsiveness and it is one of the best ways to make sure that a law firm attracts as many clients as possible. People browse the web on a variety of devices, from smartphones to tablets, so a website should be easily accessible on all of them.
Not Enough Legal Information
As stated previously, people visit a lawyer’s website because they are seeking advice on a particular subject. They are not looking for the lawyer specifically; they are looking for how the lawyer can help them. If the website lacks substantive legal information, then the visitor may be disinclined to believe that the law firm can help them with their particular problem. Good lawyer website design will always have pertinent legal information that is up-to-date, relevant, and readily available.
If you visit a lawyer website and see that there last new content was over a year ago, then you would be rightful to suspect that their claims to competency or quality are in doubt. Laws are continuously changing and a lawyer’s website needs to show that they keep abreast of the shifting legal landscape. Also, search engines like fresh content, so a website with stale content will slip down the rankings. A regular influx of new content displays the law firm’s legal knowledge and keeps them relevant.
Content Organization and Structure
You want to make sure that this fresh content is structured and organized in a way that gets people interested in reading it. There is no point in having good content if it is difficult to access or if it is presented in an unappealing manner. Content should be presented in easily digestible chunks so that visitors are not overwhelmed with a wall of text showing what what the attorney does and how they do it.
A good lawyer website will have high-quality content that is promptly identifiable and separated into distinct categories. There should also be a good amount of white space to separate the content, since that makes it far easier to read on any device. Large title headers and a contrasting color selection also makes a website much easier on the eyes and makes it far more likely that visitors will stick around to read that content.
A Clear Call To Action (CTA)
This is the single most important element in turning visitors into clients. Any website offering a service needs to have a clear and concise way for the user to partake of that service. In the case of a lawyer website, that is likely to be a button or prompt showing the visitor that they can contact the law firm. That button can say “contact us”, or “call us now,” but whatever it says, it should be prominently displayed, so that the visitor can take action once they have decided to use the services the website is offering.
The modern trend is to have a single, clear, call to action on each page instead of multiple CTAs on one page, as that can look spammy, unappealing, and desperate. The CTA should stand out as much as possible, so using colors that contrast with the rest of the website or giving it some form of subtle animation is a good way to highlight it in a way that does not come off as obnoxious or intrusive.
A Good Website Design is Good For Business
You could be the most highly qualified attorney in your field, but that won’t matter if no one ever visits your site to retain your services. Because one of the ways people judge the professionalism of a lawyer is by the professionalism of their website, your website needs to be as professional as you are. If you want your website to look professional, you need to get professionals to design it.
On The Map Marketing has a wealth of experience designing websites for law firms of different sizes and distinct areas of practice. Whether the website is designed from a template or it uses a custom design, you can be sure that the website will have all the characteristics of good design that will attract visitors and convert those visitors into clients.