Law Firm Website Design: A Simple Guide For 2023
Your law firm website is the primary platform for prospects to learn about your firm, your services, and your attorneys. But they won’t get to this part if you lose them within the first few seconds of landing on your site.
That’s the reason you need an eye-catching website design that can hook your website visitors, help you stand out from the competition, encourage your prospects to take action, and actually get you more leads.
Let’s understand it in more detail.
Why is it important to Have a High-Performance Lawyer Website
Website design is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. Because web performance directly impacts user experience, which is a ranking factor for search engines.
Plus, it’s the first impression prospective clients have of your law firm–you’d want to ensure a positive one.
For instance, a slow-loading, clunky website will frustrate potential clients, causing them to leave quickly and potentially never return. Conversely, a fast, responsive legal website will keep visitors engaged, increase their dwell time on your site, and boost the chances of converting them into new clients.
As per Clio’s survey, the majority of attorneys invest money in professional law firm marketing websites and domains.
So, if you want to beat the competition, a high-performance website is an investment you need to make for your law firm’s success.
Law Firm Website Basics: How to Make a Strong First Impression
Research shows that it takes only 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about your website based on its visual appeal. So, as discussed above, making a strong first impression with your law firm’s website is critical to attracting potential clients.
To ensure that your website makes a positive first impression, you need to focus on several key elements.
First, your website design should be simple and clean, avoiding clutter and overwhelming your audience.
Plus, make it easy for your web visitors to consume content and find what they’re looking for, without causing frustration or confusion. Using clear subheads, big fonts, the right visual media, tons of white space, and clear CTAs can do the job
Second, including good visual media, such as high-quality images and videos, is an effective way to engage your audience and communicate your firm’s message. The hero image or background you choose for your law firm site can set the tone and make a strong first impression.
Third, easy navigation is critical to helping your audience find what they need quickly and efficiently. Use clear and compelling call-to-actions, scannable content, and the “F” pattern to ensure your audience can easily navigate your site and find what they’re looking for.
Finally, make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. The majority of internet users access the web on their mobile devices, so it’s crucial to ensure your site is easily navigable and optimized for smaller screens.
By focusing on these elements, you can create a law firm website that makes a strong first impression, engages your audience, and helps to convert visitors into clients.
Key Pages a Law Firm’s Website Needs
Even if it’s a big or a small 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.
For example, Oykhman criminal defense law firm engages its audience right off the bat with an engaging hero and clean design, and a good color scheme.
Similarly, Staver Personal Injury law firm provides their prospects with every piece of information right in the front that they might need to get to the next step.
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.
For instance, Staver Personal Injury Lawyer does a good job of building credibility with its awards, testimonials, and online rating.
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.
So, it’s essential to have the biographies of all your attorneys on your website with their track records and a professional headshot—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 law practice areas.
You can either have these sub-pages as a drop-down menu like Gary Personal Injury Law Firm has done.
Or, you can take inspiration from McClellan Law, the law firm has dedicated pages for each sub-niche.
That way, you can answer your prospects’ relevant questions related to that particular legal practice area and include the right keywords as well.
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. Especially, if you have law offices in multiple locations.
This is the place, where you display your contact form, email address, phone number, address, and social media accounts in one place.
How to Optimize Your Law Firm’s Website for SEO
Once you’re done with the design, you need to make sure that your website actually shows up in the search results when someone looks up the services you offer. And that’s when Search Engine Optimization comes into play.
To optimize your law firm’s website for SEO, start with keyword research and create quality content targeting those keywords.
The right positions to place your keywords are title, subheads, meta descriptions, throughout the content like blogs and FAQs, internal and external links, web page URL, and image alt text.
Additionally, optimize your site for off-page SEO by earning and building backlinks and establishing a good brand reputation. You can get backlinks with the right strategies, for instance, by creating news content.
To build brand awareness, collect as many good reviews and ratings as you can.
The hierarchy of your web pages – the way they’re connected to each other – also plays a vital role in your website’s SEO. You can take inspiration from the structure Semrush shows in the image below.
Besides that, having high website accessibility is equally important as it ensures that everyone can access your website with ease, regardless of their disabilities, impairments, or limitations.
The Modern Law Firm, a divorce and family law firm, has done a good job of creating a website with high accessibility.
You should also focus on optimizing your website for the official ranking factors. For instance, having a good website loading speed, fresh and updated content, and local SEO.
Ethical Considerations for Attorney Websites
While building your law firm website, you cannot afford to ignore ethical considerations.
For example, as per the ABA Rule 7.1, lawyers cannot provide any false or misleading statements on their website, such as misinterpreting a fact or omitting required information.
Additionally, ABC Rule 7.2 (c) restricts lawyers from claiming to be a specialist in a specific field unless they have been certified by an approved organization and have clearly identified the certifying organization in their communication.
Many state bar associations require attorneys to include a disclaimer on their website, and even if it’s not mandatory in your state, it’s always a good idea to add it to avoid any misunderstandings.
So, make sure to follow these ethical guidelines to ensure that your website accurately represents your legal services and maintains your professional integrity.
Best Practices and Tips for Law Firm Web Design
Create Attorney Bio Pages to Improve Your E-E-A-T
EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, which are the qualities that Google uses to assess the overall quality of a website’s content.
Creating separate attorney pages can help you improve your law firm’s website’s EEAT.
Because those pages will highlight the education, experience, and professional achievements of each attorney in your firm.
This information can help establish the authority and expertise of your attorneys, making it easier for potential clients to trust in their abilities. Plus, it can improve your website’s credibility and reputation, ultimately leading to increased traffic and a high conversion rate.
Craft Persuasive Website Copy
Crafting persuasive website copy is crucial in getting your web visitors to take action.
While website design can catch attention in 0.05 seconds, your copy has about 10 seconds to hook your audience.
For instance, Richar Hochhauser’s DWI and Criminal Defence law firm uses plain language free from any jargon to engage with their prospects.
A well-written copy can convert a passive reader into an active client. That’s why it’s important to invest in a good website design and hire a professional copywriter to create compelling content for your website that encourages readers to take action, for instance, to book a free consultation call.
Your Lawyer Domain Name Matters (But Not So Much…)
While domain names can impact your SEO, they’re not the be-all and end-all of your SEO strategy.
If you’re starting a new website or rebranding, including your specific keywords in your URL can be helpful for search engines and customers alike. However, changing your domain name just for the sake of SEO may actually hurt your rankings and confuse visitors who are familiar with your old domain name.
So while deciding the right domain for your law firm, it’s important to consider the bigger picture and not make drastic changes without careful consideration.
Hiring a Lawyer Website Design Agency Vs. DIY
Which one is right for you?
Well, it totally depends on the purpose of creating your website. For instance, if you want to have an online presence so that the ones who already know you or the referrals can find out more information about your law firm, then a basic DIY website can do the job. WordPress offers many good templates to get you started.
Although, if you want a custom-coded website with good functionality to get more clients regularly. Then hire a good legal marketing agency that offers marketing services, including website design, SEO, and PPC, within the pricing your budget allows.
Effective Attorney Website Design for Better Results
A well-designed website can attract potential clients, establish credibility, and differentiate a law firm from its competitors. So, focus on creating a professional, user-friendly interface with strong branding elements and informative and engaging content to create an effective website.
Plus, make sure to keep your website updated and optimized for search engines to improve your visibility and attract more traffic.