How to Improve Your Attorney Website Design
Every attorney or law firm, large or small, local or virtual, needs a website. You already know you need a website with a user friendly design and web content that is free of typographical and grammatical errors. What you may not know is that in order to create credibility and build relationships with potential and current clients you need the following:
A professional design: You have the option of hiring a professional attorney web designer who will create a custom design for you, or you can choose a template or theme. Web templates and themes can be an alternative to custom designs for a minimal investment.
Consistent navigation: It is normal on an attorney's website to have your navigation in more than one place within your design. Perhaps it is on the right side of your page and in your footer; but no matter where it is located, all navigation elements on your website must be identical in position and design to prevent your visitors from getting lost!
Visible contact information: Only criminals profit from having their contact information hidden. If you are a lawyer working virtually or from a home-based office, you do not have to provide an address, but always provide a telephone number and an e-mail address on the website. If your visitors cannot find you, they cannot do business with you.
A list of practice areas: Create a clean design with pages containing your practice areas, and give enough information so that readers can decide if they want to retain your law firm's services. Include pictures within the web design wherever possible.
Hours of operation: This is critical information for brick and mortar law firms, but it is also important for virtual attorneys that only work certain hours.
Information about partners, associates, and staff: Always have an "About Us" page that includes biographies of the law firm partners and staff. This helps potential clients build a relationship with your law firm or law practice. Include pictures if possible.
A law firm history: Include this even if your law practice is new. If your firm is well established, include a detailed history. If your practice is new, talk about your motivation for going into law and how you plan to help your clients.
A way to capture visitor information: On your website, offer a way to keep in touch with your clients, so you can tell them about upcoming law firm events, or new legal developments. Some attorneys do this by sending out a regular e-newsletter designed to be sent out via email.
Sitemap: A website sitemap has value not only for visitors but also for search engines. Don't make your visitors feel like they are hunting for treasure when visiting your law firm's website. Make your sitemap easy to follow, so it guides your visitors through your site.
If you include all of the above information in your website design, then you will be miles ahead of your competition. If you want to go a bit further in promoting your law practice, consider adding the information below.
Case studies: Laws for providing case studies can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with your bar association before including these in your website design.
Search capability: Google makes it easy to add a custom search box to your website. A typical attorney's website may not need this, but it can be especially helpful if your website has many pages.
A Blog: If you like to write, having a blog within your website design will pretty much commit you to posting at least twice a week. Do some research first to discover if this would be helpful for your type of clients, and if so, contact your attorney web designer to create a custom blog for you (WordPress is the preferred solution).
Capitalize on the investment of time and money you have put into your website design by designing a site that captures the interest and attention of your visitors. Keep your website up-to-date, make the design clean and easy to use, and constantly add new information so that your visitors will enjoy the experience enough to want to come back often!