Law firms have gotten to understand that they have to gain visibility for the services they are offering to potential clients. To that effect, a law firm website that is well designed and professional-looking has the capability to attract the attention of potential clients and have them contacting your law firm for their services needs.
In the old days of law practice, a lawyer or law firm would need several years of practice in order to gain a strong foothold and become attractive to potential clients who are interested in their practice areas. However, the same is not the case today: the Internet has rendered everyone to become global citizens, meaning that even an attorney with barely a month’s practice under his legal belt can gain more visibility and attract more clients online than an attorney or law firm that has over a decade practice but who/which has little to no visibility. The Internet has placed everyone on an equal footing because the same resources can be accessed by everyone.
Before delving into creating a law firm website, there are certain basics you must cover.
When creating a law firm website, it is paramount that you create your law firm website pages concept map before you begin its implementation. Drawing your website pages outline will help you to know precisely what you are developing for the website and how to link them all up through internal hyperlinks. Please consider the following:
When you have drawn up the above, then congratulations, you have drawn your sitemap and you are ready to proceed to the next step.
With your law firm sitemap ready, you have to create the proper content that will go with each page, starting from the website’s homepage. When creating content, you have to consider the type of page each one is and know if there are any additional add-ons that will accompany them like images, graphics, videos, etc. Also note that the content marketer/copywriter will write the content with localized SEO in mind.
You choose the design elements you want to use [or your developer does that for you] and then you evaluate same to ensure that it is suited to your needs. Fonts, colors, spacing, everything that will go into the website should be evaluated at this point. You have to also note that your website outlook should go in line with your Branding imagery and logo so as to make for a consistent branding outlook for everything you are doing.
Your law firm website should have intuitive navigation and should be easy for even the biggest Internet novice to find themselves around the core pages of your law firm website and find these areas in your law firm website:
Every professional website needs a lead generation form. Some would prefer to use the term contact form. Whichever one you want to call it, you have to note that there are certain basics you have to take notice of:
It has to be easy. You have to ensure that the information needed from the potential client at that point is merely basic. Ideally, potential clients on your law firm website should have to fill these: their name, contact info and email address, and a brief summary of why they are contacting you for their needs. Anything more should be shelved for either when the prospect is facing your attorneys in a meeting or when you are making a follow-up of the contact.
There are several law firm practice areas; you already know the practice areas you are targeting. Use compelling headlines and sub-headings to explain your practice area expertise across each of your law firm website’s practice areas. Headlines are important because they present to the reader in precise, popping terms the content of the page they are navigating into/through. Point to note:
Unique Value Proposition: Your unique value proposition for your law firm prospects must be easy to glean from whatever page they are navigating through. At a glance, your law firm website visitor has to understand the value your law firm is proposing to them and how you intend to deliver that value to them. Make this as perfectly clear as possible.
The whole internet has agreed that content is king. Whether it is static content, or long articles, or blog posts that are geared towards making people understand your subject matter expertise, content is important for any website. There are no two words about it.
Your law firm content could take any form. It could be videos, podcasts, blog posts, long form articles, infographics. They are all content. If your law firm can develop a content marketing strategy and follow it through on their website, then the benefits are enormous. When people have legal issues they need answers to, the very first thing they generally do is to go online to search for answers. If these people who need these answers–and their problems form part of your law firm practice areas–come upon your law firm’s informative content on your website, they can also seek your services out for solutions to their legal problems.
Content creation and marketing opens up your law firm’s brand to visitors, there is no doubt about that. It also has the capability of showcasing your law firm to be a subject matter expert in a specific law practice niche, say Private Client & Offshore Advisory. And all these are beneficial to your law firm. They can help your law firm convert your visitors into paying clients.
When you are done crafting your content guidelines, please read: “How to get started on your law firm content marketing strategy” for more information on how to Kickstart your law firm content marketing.
These are proof-of-service. They are signals that you have done the work you showcase as part of your law firm’s service expertise. Creating case studies of your law firm’s past work experience on your law firm website is actual proof that you have service experience in the areas of expertise you claim you have on your law firm website. By analyzing the work you have done for clients in the past [within the bounds you are able to disclose per your Bar ethics codes and client agreement], you are showing potential clients that you have done the type of work they may need in the past, which means you have experience in that area and can do it again for them.
The speed of your law firm’s website is extremely important. Any website that has slow loading times is definitely off-putting for any user and they will click out of the web site with the same speed they clicked into it. Kissmetrics has estimated that slow-loading website suffer a lot, and the reason is simple: your users expect your law firm website to load within 3 seconds flat. Anything longer is a waste of their time and will increase your website’s bounce rate. And when your website’s bounce rate is going on the high side, Google will take notice and conclude that your website is not delivering value for search users when they enter your website through the Google SERPs.
What could be causing your law firm website’s slow loading times? It could be heavy, uncompressed images that load simultaneously with the page, or graphics that bog down the page being loaded. Or it could be due to the use of too many plugins; these can also affect a website loading speed. Whatever it is, try to find out. For images, you can enable lazy loading images. Just note that you have to bear in mind that there are several factors that can lag your law firm website loading speed; whatever they are, you have to ensure that you make them disappear so that your website can be as fast as possible.
SSL (Secure Socket Locator) Certificates are scripts that show that your website is secure. It is identified by the https prefix that comes before your law firm website address at the address bar of the Internet browser used by your site visitors. If your website has SSL Certificates installed, then the https sign is shown on the top left-most side of the address bar in the form of a green-colored padlock.
SSL certificates is important for your law firm website, particularly if your law firm’s website has client log-in areas through which your law firm clients can log into the law firm portal and access their case files and other important aspects of their cases with your law firm.
If you have read this article on the things your law firm website should include, then it means you are really interested in giving your law firm a digital brand identity. Note that first impressions matter with people, and your law firm website may be the first point of contact a prospect is going to have with your law firm before making their decision to either call in or consider hiring you to service their needs.
Do you have a law firm but don’t have law firm website? Do you have a law firm website which you feel isn’t optimized well enough to be a lead-generating machine for you?
If the above is the case, then reach out to us at Kabbiz via email@example.com so we can discuss your needs. We understand law firm content marketing and web design; after all, members of our team have law degrees and have been working in the legal services industry for years. If you are interested in taking your law firm practice to the next level, then feel free to book an appointment with Kabbiz so that we can help you elevate your practice to the next level of its legal services practice.