Website Design for Law Firms: A Simple Guide
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Most law firm marketing campaigns start and even end with your website. Whether you’re designing your law firm’s website from scratch or redesigning an existing one, it involves many moving pieces.
Over the last decade, our team has built 300+ technically robust, SEO-friendly attorney websites. Today we want to share a DIY website design guide for your firm. If you’re short of time, you can always hire our law firm website design services. Let’s start with the basics:
A marketing website and domain is one of the key things attorneys indicated spending money on in a Clio survey:
So why is a website important for a law practice?
It’s like your firm’s online home. Your prospective clients can get information about your firm, generate brand awareness, and provide a convenient way to connect with you. Indeed your potential clients compare you and your law firm with your online competitors. In your absence, your website does the talking on your behalf.
Hence, it’s essential to have the best law firm website that can prevent your website visitors from bouncing back and encourage them to take the action you desire.
There are several ways you can get your website up and running within a matter of days once you find the method that will be the right fit for your needs. First, let’s discuss the different techniques to develop a website, then we’ll look at which will be right for you.
The first way to build a website is to do it yourself. Before you begin the process, you can look at the website designs of other law firms for inspiration.
Afterward, just buy a domain and a web hosting plan from sites like Bluehost, Godaddy, or Hostinger, and build your website using one of the website builders: WordPress, LawLytics, Squarespace, Wiz, or more.
It’s one of the most popular and trusted website builders. You can get several themes and plugins to work with. Plus, it’s super user-friendly, and hundreds of tutorials are available for it on YouTube. So, if you encounter a problem while using it, you may get a solution quickly.
To get started, just install WordPress after buying your domain and a web hosting plan, choose your theme, install the right plugins, and you can begin customizing the pages as per your needs.
This is another website builder with easy-to-use themes and templates to work with. Currently, it has over 3 million users. The process of creating a website with it will be the same as WordPress. All you need to do is customize your template as per your requirements.
This website builder is exclusively made for lawyers. All features are designed keeping law firms in mind. To begin, you’ll need to enter your website requirements based on your law firm’s size, the number of offices you have, and whether you currently have a website or not, and they will provide you a quote depending on that.
The platform is a little more expensive than the other website builders, but you’ll also get marketing services to generate more traffic and grow your business.
If you’re short on time and need a professionally built or custom-coded website, you can opt for an expert to do the job for you.
The first option you have is to hire a freelancer. The cost will vary depending on the expertise of the web designer you hire and the amount of customization you need on your website. However, you may need to spare a few hours for management time.
Another option available is hiring an agency like ours to develop your website. We have a talented and experienced website design team with a decade of experience building websites that get traffic and generate leads. You can even bundle our law firm SEO and law firm PPC services by hiring our legal digital marketing service.
It totally depends on the purpose of creating your website. For instance, if you just want to have an online presence so that the people you interact with or the ones who already know you can find out more information about you, then a basic DIY website can do the job.
If you want your website to bring in a few leads here and there and you’re on a tight budget, then opting for a freelancer to build your website with limited customization can work for you just fine.
Want a custom-coded website with good functionality to get more clients regularly? Then hire us. We have a robust 90-day web development process to bring your website design to light:
The great law firm websites have the following pages with these essential details.
Despite the size of your law firm, you need a homepage that can grab the attention of your prospective clients, communicate with them directly, and provide them with the answers they’re looking for.
Moreover, it must be clutter-free, clearly define your law practices, show credibility (reviews and testimonials of existing clients), provide your contact information, and encourage your target audience to take action or book a free marketing consultation call.
Your about page is where you share the story of your law firm and your business. This is the page where you tell your prospects that behind the screens and a big business name, you’re all humans, after all, so they feel comfortable in taking the next step.
Show them how your firm built credibility over the years and how your business’s mission, vision, and values align with the needs of your customers.
In the legal industry, trust and privacy are some of the biggest concerns of your target audience. They want to know who they’ll deal with if they decide to move forward with you.
Hence, it’s essential to have the biographies of all your attorneys on your website with their track records and a professional headshot. It helps build trust and credibility.
If you’re a big law firm offering more than one service, it’s good practice to have dedicated pages for all your legal services. That’s where you answer the relevant questions that your potential clients have about those practice areas.
You can either have these sub-pages as a drop-down menu or mention each practice area as a subhead on your primary service page and link the individual pages with those keywords.
Even though your contact information should be easily available on all the pages of your website, yet, it’s essential to have a dedicated page where you display your email address, phone number, address, and social media accounts in one place.
Plus, make sure the information is consistent on all your social media accounts and Google my business page and is present in a similar format.
Apart from these primary pages, you can also have a separate testimonial page, a resource page to display case studies and educational content, a process page, a dedicated page for FAQs, and landing pages with a consultation call form and offering lead magnets.
Besides a good design, you’ll also need to optimize your law firm’s website so it shows in the search engine results when your potential clients go online to find information about law firms.
Hence, let’s go through the basic ranking factors you must consider while designing your law firm website.
Content is the basic need for a law firm website. It includes words and other visual content like images and videos.
High-quality SEO content serves the purpose of user intent by answering all the questions related to your services (or the keywords) you’re trying to rank for.
The best on-page SEO practices are incorporating the right keywords in your headline, alt text of images, meta description of pages, title tags, and URL slugs and having internal links on your website.
Here are some examples of how to include the right keywords in your content.
Technical SEO is simply how well your law firm’s website is technically optimized to rank on Google. The first ranking factor here is the end-user experience; how well your law firm website is structured for your target audience. It includes web pages’ loading speed, site responsiveness, site structure, and overall website accessibility.
Here’s an example of a responsive website:
There are many other factors to consider. You can go through Webmaster Guidelines to familiarize yourself with them.
Another essential element of the website design for law firms is security. If you’re asking your customers to make online credit card payments or share their sensitive information, you need to ensure that their data is secure.
Although it’s impossible for a website to be always free from cyber attacks, you can use the following preventive methods to reduce your site’s vulnerability.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It keeps your law firm website safe and prevents any interceptions to happen on the internet while the content on your site is in transit.
For example, when a customer fills out a form and submits their private information or enters their card details, SSL ensures that the information going from client to server, in case of details submission, or server to server, in case of payments, is encrypted. That way, it becomes impossible for hackers to read it.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is another protocol you see in URLs. It uses SSL (or TLS) to encrypt the normal HTTP requests and responses—for instance, when a user clicks on a hyperlink, the browser sends a series of HTTP requests to get the content of that page. If you’re using HTTPS, they’ll be encrypted.
Hence, you’ll need HTTPS for your law firm website, not HTTP.
The padlock symbol in the web browser signifies that your website’s connection is encrypted.
Using a unique password for every login request can save you from hackers accessing your website. Computer-generated passwords are the strongest ones. You can always save them in a separate file to remember.
Choose a web host that provides security features, for instance, spam blockers or other sophisticated security measures like Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Unknown User Disabled (FTP), Rootkit Scanner, file backup services, and security upgrades.
Here are a few things you should
The main reason to avoid a non-responsive law firm website is that it’ll hurt your search engine ranking. Google prefers responsive websites. Although, when it comes to the users, studies show that most people use desktops to look for a lawyer online, this trend may change in the future. Plus, the last survey done on this was in 2016.
If your law firm’s website is difficult to navigate, your traffic will bounce back. Bad website design includes a cluttered or not user-centric layout, hidden navigation menu, and lack of color contrast.
For example, if you have a big attractive image on your homepage, but the users can’t find your navigation menu because it’s hidden behind three dots, or if heavy visual media is slowing down the loading speed, then your website may be beautiful, but it’s not serving its purpose.
Your website should have one overall goal: to convert prospects into customers. If you offer free consultations, put a CTA button in your navigation. Every page on your website should have one clear call to action — typically to contact you.
There’s always a way to convert negative situations into positive ones, and inserting the correct links on your 404 pages is one of them. If a prospective client lands on your website and hits a wall due to a broken link, directing them to something interesting instead of merely saying “Error 404” can keep them on your website for longer. It may increase their chances of taking action as well.
Arranging your graphic elements by order of importance is called the visual hierarchy.
To do this right, you need to think of how you want your audience to interact with your law firm website—for instance, after reading the text on Hero, what do you want your audience to see, or where would their eyes naturally go next? Based on that, you can encourage them to take the desired action.
For instance, an image followed by text would keep your audience more engaged on the page they’re on than an image followed by another image. The latter is an example of an unclear hierarchy.
Similarly, a color combination that helps your CTA stand out in the background will draw your prospects’ attention, and they may click on it.
No one likes to read content written in the format of an old newspaper. It overwhelms the readers. Instead, leverage white space on your law firm web design as it focuses on the essential elements on the page.
The best law firm websites are clear, professional, reflect their firm’s branding, and help you achieve your law firm marketing goals.
A well designed website can help you attract the right leads and convert them into clients. Depending on the size and needs of your law firm, you can decide which approach, whether creating your website yourself or hiring a professional, will work the best for you.
Article by Sadaf Tanzeem
Sadaf Tanzeem is a B2B SaaS and Marketing writer. She collaborates with overwhelmed content marketers and business owners to take the burden of content development off your shoulders.