No matter what goals you’re trying to achieve with it, your law firm website needs to represent you as well as you represent your clients. Here’s what you need to make sure yours delivers.
We thank the team at Lawyerist.com for this helpful guest post. Before jumping into this practical primer, check out the extensive writing on website design and development Heidi has published here on our blog, and plan to get caught up.
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As of January 2018, there were more than 1.3 billion websites on the internet. With so many sites innovating, raising the bar, and vying for web users’ attention, it is imperative that your site cuts through the noise. If you follow some generally-accepted web design best practices, you’re sure to create a great law firm website that delivers.
DEFINE YOUR WEBSITE’S GOAL
First, you’ll need clarity about why you have a website in the first place. That means you need a well-defined goal. If you are unsure of what you want your website to accomplish for your law firm, consider some common goals we see from other lawyers:
- Reinforce word-of-mouth referrals
- Attract search-engine traffic
- Build your email list
- Get signups for an online course
- Simplify how prospects and clients can schedule meetings with you
- Grow your firm’s brand
There is no right answer here. But you must have an answer. Get clear on your “why” before moving forward with your firm’s website design or redesign project.
WEB DESIGN BEST PRACTICES
At Lawyerist, we’ve identified five elements that are crucial to a great law firm website.
- Clear calls to action (CTAs). Make it easy for your website visitors to do what you want them to do. Place clear, compelling CTA(s) front and center on your site’s home page. And limit your CTAs to one or two.
- Client-centered value propositions. Weave your value proposition—and what it conveys—through your website design by smart use of color, layout, imagery, and copy.
- Clean design. Keep your site design clean and clutter-free to make it easier for visitors to understand your message and take action. For example, white space is good space. And your design needs to be clean everywhere — it needs to be mobile responsive.
- Bold colors and photography. The right mix of colors and imagery can leave a lasting impression in a visitor’s mind. Ensure your CTA color stands out using a complementary color.
- Eye-catching typography. Remain aware of how easy it is to read the words on your site. This requires you to consider not only type of font, but also font size and color.
These design elements make up just a handful of the top 10 elements we’ve identified to make your law firm website great. To get the full list, with in-depth descriptions and examples, please download our guide, 10 Things the Best Website Designs Have in Common.
Find a Web Designer to Fit Your Needs & Budget
Now that you know your law firm website design needs, you should identify who can help you bring those needs to life. Not all website designers are created equal. Some differentiate themselves by platform, such as WordPress versus Drupal. Others promote their niche service offerings, such as professional services websites (as opposed to, say, ecommerce websites).
To help you find the right designer who can create a site using your particular goals and preferences while staying within your specific budget, we welcome you to fill out our free needs assessment. We’ll connect you with a top law firm website designer.
We’re also here to help if you believe your website isn’t the only thing holding your firm back from greatness. Take our Small Firm Scorecard to identify steps you might take to position your law firm for growth this year.
Mass LOMAP maintains this listing of referrals for website and app developers.
And we have one more resource from LOMAP to help you optimize your website by creating a intentional branding that really reflects your work as a lawyer. Check out the third workbook in our Career Research & Development Series: Brand Yourself for the Right Career as a Lawyer.
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This post was delivered by the Lawyerist.com team. Lawyerist is home to the largest online community of solo and small-firm lawyers in the world, where we help lawyers start, manage, and grow successful practices.