12 Best Design Tips for Law Firm Websites
First impressions last, and if your law firm website doesn’t look and feel good at first glance, chances are people will neither come back again nor convert as leads or clients. That’s why designing your site in the best possible way is a must.
Below are tips and advice on how to build an effective law firm site that attracts and retains many visitors and compels them to become your leads and clients.
1. Ensure Your Homepage is Clean and Represents Your Brand
You must focus on optimizing your homepage when launching your website. Visitors usually just scan the page for words, sentences, or images that interest them. So, communicate your core message as briefly as possible. The fewer words site visitors have to read, the likelier they’ll read the entire content on your homepage and process the information faster.
You can also feature what your law firm’s website is about and the legal services you offer above the fold, which is the section on the page that loads on the screen first. You immediately get to show what your law firm is about and encourage people to keep reading or take action seconds after getting to your homepage.
Consider adding photos on your homepage, too. Images help break the monotony of text on your homepage and can even communicate more than words can. You should use quality vectors and icons that align with your brand to ensure consistency across your homepage elements. If possible, hold a photoshoot session with your legal team with a professional to produce personalized images for your homepage.
Ferguson Hill Filous implemented the suggestions above to great effect. The above-the-fold features a short copy of the law firm and a photo of its partners. The blue design theme is prominent across all page elements. Not only was the color used in the navigational bar and buttons, but it’s also the color of the suits the partners are wearing in the photo.
2. Use Compelling Call To Actions (CTAs)
The type of CTA you must use to mobilize people into action depends on the landing page‘s intent. Normally, you want to offer free consultation across all pages on your site as a clickable button since you can generate leads and clients with it. However, not all visitors are potential clients ready to commit. Some want to learn more about your services, while others wish to send you a message from your contact page.
Since each visitor is in a different stage of your marketing funnel, assign the appropriate CTA for each site page. For blog posts, you can link to a page where they can download a free guide relevant to their legal issues. You can present your free consultation as the CTA of a page featuring customer testimonials.
Next, identify where you should place the CTA on the page. Most law firm websites feature a static CTA button above the fold or below the copy, but there’s a chance some people might miss it. To make your button stand out, enlarge it and use a color contrasting your site design. You can also use a sticky bar on top or below the page with the CTA so visitors will see it regardless of which part of the page they are on.
Thompson Consumer Law Group, PPC uses a sticky navigation bar that follows visitors as they scroll up and down the web page. The bar features the free case review CTA in orange, contrasting with the blue bar. This approach to CTA makes the button hard to miss for visitors.
3. Avoid Intrusive Pop Ups
Pop-ups help visitors find what they’re looking for, allowing you to convert them into leads or clients. An example is an exit intent pop-up, which appears when website visitors are about to leave. The pop-up occupies the entire screen and shows the CTA offer they should click on or fill out.
At the same time, pop-ups can harm your site’s conversion rates if misused. Setting an exit intent pop-up for your free consultation offer on all your site pages will annoy visitors who aren’t prospective clients just yet. Creating this negative user experience for this segment of your audience prevents you from building and cultivating leads for your legal practice.
Like CTAs, show the appropriate pop-up according to your page’s intent. If possible, limit the pop-up to just one to avoid clutter.
4. Reduce the Use of Stock Media Files
As mentioned, using high-quality images on your site breaks the text into bite-sized paragraphs, making them much easier to read. As a design element, they can also establish your brand identity, especially if you use legal portraits of your boutique corporate law firm.
You won’t be able to achieve this with stock photos and videos. They don’t add value to your brand because they are generic and don’t show people who work in your firm. Worse, other law firm sites may have used the same stock images on their web pages.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use stock media on your website. A blog post would benefit from a stock photo or two to help illustrate and convey your message. But for your practice area pages, use images of your law firm taken by a professional photographer.
Cordoba Legal Group’s home page uses a background video of the firm’s people working on the above-the-fold section. It makes the firm look more trustworthy to visitors. If you want something like this on your site, check On The Map Marketing’s legal portrait and video production services.
5. Craft Persuasive Copy
A great law firm website uses the right words and language to communicate its message and compel visitors to take action, whether it’s your homepage or attorney bio. To do this, you must understand what led visitors to your website. Focus on their problems and needs and build your case on how your legal services can solve and fulfill them.
Also, sympathize with your audience’s emotions. Make them feel that you understand what they’re going through. By aligning with their emotional states, convincing them to hire your law firm becomes much easier.
To top it off, make your language free of legal jargon. Simplify the words you’ll use in your copy so that people get what you’re saying.
Personal injury law firm Senft Legal boldly uses “Justice. Equality. Trust” in big letters. These words are universal, allowing the firm to attract people who resonate with them in their current legal troubles.
Scrolling down the page, you’ll see an even more persuasive copy that makes sense of the firm’s services: “Accidents Happen But Winning is No Accident.” This statement shows Senft Legal’s awareness that choosing a law firm that will fight for their personal injury case is not left to chance. And if people want to win their case, they must choose Senft Legal.
6. Make Your Content Easy to Read
Years ago, people read content online in an F-shaped pattern. They gaze at the top-left part of the screen before moving to the right. Then, they return to the top-left and gaze down the bottom-left part. Finally, they fix their eyes in the middle left and then scroll to the center of the page.
Nowadays, the prevailing web design trend is that people use the lawn-mower pattern to read content faster. Just like lawnmowers move from one side to another end, then move down the next row and go back to the initial side, people scan content the same way.
The emergence of responsive design and zigzag layout prompted a change in people’s reading patterns. The layout type refers to alternating text and images on each row. For example, the first row shows text on the left and an image to the right, the second row shows the image on the left and text to the right, and so on. Using this pattern makes scanning your page content much easier.
Also, avoid inserting pull quotes in the content as they disrupt the reading experience and cause users to scan the page instead of reading it.
Other factors that help improve content’s readability are the font’s size and typeface. The usual font size of the text body is 16 pt, although you can increase it to improve visibility. Use serif and sans-serif typefaces for a more straightforward look for your content. Finally, limit your fontfaces to three: each for the title, subtitle, and content body.
7. Leverage White Space
Another technique you must use in your law firm web design is whitespace. Cramming page elements close to each other makes your homepage cramped and more difficult to look through. By spacing each one out from another, you give your homepage a sense of balance and allow visitors to browse the elements much more conveniently.
8. Optimize Your Design for Mobile Devices
A mobile-optimized site design ranks much higher on search engines due to Google’s mobile-first indexing policy. In fact, Google is responsible for 93.87% of the organic mobile device traffic. This is why many law firm websites have designs that adjust to the device’s screen size for optimal viewing to provide mobile users with a positive user experience and appease Google search.
To check if your site has a mobile-responsive site design, use Google Lighthouse from your Google Chrome browser. Open Chrome DevTools and click on the Lighthouse tab from the menu. Click the Mobile radio button under the device before analyzing the page’s load performance.
9. Ensure a Stellar Loading Speed
Like mobile responsiveness, a fast-loading site is a critical search engine optimization (SEO) and UX factor. Google prioritizes ranking sites that load efficiently on mobile and desktop. From a user perspective, the faster your website loads, the more your visitors will stay and browse its content, and the greater your conversion rate will be.
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to identify how fast your web pages load. Enter your website URL and click “Analyze” to view your site’s scores divided into four factors: performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO.
Scroll down the page to see the Diagnostics section, which shows issues preventing your site from loading more efficiently and how you can resolve them. You may need help from a web developer to implement the suggestions you’ll find here.
10. Prioritize Accessibility Features
Enabling these features opens your law firm website to a new audience: those with disabilities. You must present your site a certain way so they can view it correctly. For example, if you don’t have alt text for your images, visually impaired visitors might not understand what the photo is about.
Here are other accessibility features you must consider:
- Text-to-speech – Allow people with reading disabilities or who prefer auditory learning to convert text on your page into speech.
- Contrast and color – Let color-blind users enable high-contrast color schemes on your website if they find the color combinations on your site design difficult to distinguish.
- Resizable text – Help people with eyesight issues to increase or decrease text size without breaking your site’s layout.
- Closed captioning and transcripts – Enable hearing-impaired people to read the speech from your audio and video files in text format.
- Tooltips Provide visitors with additional information and context about a page element, enabling them to navigate the website more effectively.
AccidentLawFirm.com uses Accessibly to help its website comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). Featuring this widget on the law firm’s site pages accommodates visitors with disabilities and prevents your website from accessibility-related legal issues.
11. Display Your Social Proof
Telling people how good your law firm is isn’t how to win their trust. It must come from someone else telling them how effective your legal services are. This is why social proof is essential in establishing trust with your audience. Instead of telling people why they should come to you with their legal issues, show them.
There are different types of social proof you can display on your website. Hipskind & McAninch, LLC uses customer testimonials to showcase its effectiveness. The law firm features snippets of the positive reviews it generated over the years. It also compiles all of the reviews on the site for visitors to check out. Finally, the firm makes leaving reviews easy to help clients share their experiences working with its legal team.
Awards and associations are another type of social proof that helps show prospective clients how the legal industry views your law firm. Meyers Injury Law shows off its recognition and ratings from award-giving bodies, which help associate the law firm with authority and prestige. Another example of this social proof type is authoritative publications that feature your law firm.
Finally, you can use case results to show you are good at your work. Hansford McDaniel shows the settlement amount it won for clients. Hovering over the case reveals more information about it and what the law firm did. Showing your legal successes this way with permission from your client allows your work to speak on your behalf and drives up more interest in your legal practice.
12. Make Reaching Out to You Convenient
Don’t hide your contact details from your site visitors. As much as possible, remind them they can contact you by calling your number, emailing you, or filling out a form. Other law firms forget to display their contact information clearly and consistently, which may result in lost clients.
Take a cue from The Law Office of Jack M. Shapiro, which uses a sticky menu bar to feature its phone number as its CTA. But users who can’t call can now click on the “Schedule My Free Consultation” link to complete a form. They can also visit the law firm office using the address and connect with the firm on social media by clicking on the icons. Covering all bases on how your audience can reach you increases your chances of conversions.
Another communication option is the live chat widget. Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP has this widget on the lower-right part of the screen. Visitors can type in their questions, and the law firm’s customer support will reply shortly. This is a great way to get a quick answer from the law firm before committing to a phone call or consultation.
Let On The Map Marketing Revamp Your Law Firm Website!
If you can’t implement all the tips above, On The Map Marketing can help. Our law firm marketing agency has designed great law firm websites that help increase their search engine rankings and convert visitors into clients. Whether your existing website needs a redesign or you want a brand new one,
Article by Christopher Jan Benitez
Chris has 15+ years of experience providing top-notch content for agencies and consultants across various industries. He has expertly weathered through and adapted to the ever-changing demands of client content creation. Outside work, he has a healthy Nintendo Switch obsession and plays terrible guitar.
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