This article originally appeared on Law Quill's website and can be found here.
People looking for legal assistance start with a Google search, so your law firm website needs to be functional and helpful. Using design elements, published content, and advertising campaigns can create a strong online presence for your firm. However, too many attorneys are making the same law firm website mistakes that reduce their lead conversions. Learn how to avoid those mistakes and stay on top of best practices.
5 Law Firm Website Design Mistakes
The design of any website is the first element a visitor will take in when they click on a URL. They will notice the color scheme, photographs, design elements, and response time. To have an optimized website design, consider the following common mistakes:
1) Poor Color Pallet
Your firm’s color pallet may have a more significant impact on lead conversions than you may think. The colors on your website, social media profiles, and ads are essential. You want the colors you choose to match how you handle your cases. For example, red is a bold color that can imply aggression. If you want clients to know that you manage your cases like a battle, red might be the way to go. No matter what color pallet you choose, it should ensure a consistent message across all platforms.
2) Too Much Stock Photography
The photos you use on your website say a lot to clients about the type of law firm you are. No matter what area of law you practice, too much stock photography can feel impersonal. While stock photos have their place, including pictures of your practice and its attorneys is important. This humanizes your firm and makes clients more comfortable with reaching out.
3) Unresponsive Design
A responsive design means your website performs just as well on a smartphone or device as it does on a desktop computer. Your text should flow to a single column to encourage scrolling ease, images should resize to fit narrow windows, and your site’s menu may need to be presented in a different way to help the user experience. If your website does not quickly adapt to mobile, you will lose a significant number of leads.
4) Slow Functionality
Your website needs to be fast. This means avoiding outdated graphics like flashing images and carousels, which only slow your website down. You only have a few seconds when visitors click on your URL to encourage them to navigate through the website. If those precious seconds are wasted on load times, they will likely leave. To speed up your website, optimize your images, avoid heavy graphics, and consider your web host.
5) Unclear Navigation
Your law firm’s website should follow its sitemap to a tee. This ensures that visitors can navigate to their desired destination as efficiently as possible. When you make structural changes to your website, it is crucial to update your sitemap. In addition to creating paths with your sitemap, remember to prominently display your menu bar, search bar, and contact links.
5 Law Firm Website Content Mistakes
Blogs, practice area pages, whitepapers, infographics, etc.–all types of common law firm website content. Even if you include all kinds of content, you need the content to be optimized for user experience. To avoid the most common mistakes when it comes to website content, consider the following:
1) Too Much Legalese
Your content needs to be compelling and digestible. As an attorney, you are no stranger to legal speak, sometimes called legalese. While there are times when it is appropriate to discuss specific statutes or complex legal subjects, that type of material is typically not needed on your website. If your content is difficult to understand, you run the risk of discouraging clients from reaching out to you because of intimidation.
2) Unbalanced CTAs
The calls-to-action (CTA) on your website encourages visitors to reach out to you for more information or schedule a consultation. Your CTAs should give clear instructions to users on their next steps. While you want CTAs to make it easy for site visitors to contact you, remember that you do not want CTAs to disrupt their website experience. The most popular forms of CTAs include contact forms, live chats, and phone number banners.
3) Poor Spelling and Grammar
It may seem obvious to proofread and edit content before posting, but not all law firms do so correctly. Careless grammar and spelling errors can have a more significant impact on your firm’s site than you may realize–particularly in regard to your reputation. If you want to improve the content on your site, consider outsourcing your content to a digital marketing company.
4) Poor Keyword Usage
If you want your content to rank, you need to implement a keyword strategy. If you have never intentionally used keywords before, start by conducting research. Think about the areas of law you practice the most and use tools like Semrush to help you determine what keywords you should include in your content. Once you have an idea of the types of keywords you want to target, you need to understand how to implement them on your website strategically. SPrinkling them through your content may not be enough. If you are unsure how to boost your website’s content creation strategy, consider outsourcing to a digital marketing company specializing in law firm content creation.
5) Irrelevant Content
Every piece of content on your website should address pain points for potential clients and offer solutions. No matter how you structure your content, you want to consider a potential client’s hierarchy of needs. In that hierarchy, clients want to know what you have done, how enthusiastic you are about your practice, and how much you care about your clients. If your content fails to acknowledge those questions, you may struggle to convert site visitors into leads.
5 Law Firm Website Advertising Mistakes
While the majority of advertising is done away from your website, how and where you advertise can have a significant impact on your website. You should be thinking about social media, reviews, and PPC ad campaigns and how you can use those tools to better your website’s advertising tactics. The most common advertising mistakes include:
1) Ignoring Social Media
Social media is a significant component of your law firm’s online marketing strategy. Suppose you fail to create a profile on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. In that case, you stand to miss a significant number of opportunities in terms of clientele and professional relationships. If you use social media actively, remember to include icons on your website that lead to those profiles. Neglecting to do so could reduce potential leads.
2) Inaccurate Biography
Your public biography can be an excellent form of advertising for your law firm. Unfortunately, too many lawyers fail to update their information. In some instances, unethical attorneys falsify their education or include specializations or certifications they do not have. Not only does an inaccurate biography make it harder for potential clients to determine if they should choose a given law firm, but it could also put a lawyer in hot water with their ruling jurisdiction.
3) No Testimonials
Testimonials are crucial to your firm’s advertising strategy. Most people searching for an attorney are going to conduct significant research on multiple firms–including reading reviews. One of the best ways to explain what you do and how you operate is to promote testimonials from previous clients. If you are lacking in testimonials, reach out to previous clients and ask them to share their experiences. You can do this personally or outsource to a review management company.
4) Uncoordinated Marketing Strategy
Your website, social media, and any PPC ads need to coordinate. This means having consistent colors, using the same law firm name format and logo, and using a distinct tone of voice across all content, ads, and posts. If your marketing strategy is uncoordinated, you risk clients not putting the pieces of your marketing puzzle together and, instead, they may get confused and seek legal guidance elsewhere.
How Law Quill Can Help
When you avoid law firm website mistakes, you improve your chances of actively increasing your firm’s clientele and revenue. If you are looking to revamp your website and want professional guidance, Law Quill can help.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at email@example.com.
About the Author
Annette Choti, Esq. has over twenty years of combined legal and digital marketing experience. She founded Law Quill, a full-service digital marketing agency for law firms and businesses in the United States and Canada. Annette is a sought-after CLE and keynote speaker for Bar Associations and legal events throughout North America. She creates and hosts the Legal Marketing Lounge podcast, and is the author of the bestselling book, Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so far from the law, if we are all being honest.