Marketing proves key to a successful legal practice of any size. A beginning practice needs publicity, but advertising can be costly. A well-designed, informative website helps you advertise cost-effectively.
It’s more than an Internet billboard. Its words, phrases, and meta tags combine to create the search engine optimization that produces the search engine rank that draws visitors.
While every website has minimum requirements to meet, some aspects bear more importance on attorney sites.
The following fifteen tips give you a starting point to produce an optimum web design that represents your firm well and that users love.
Use responsive design
That means that your website automatically recognizes the type of device accessing the page and responds accordingly by serving a design version suited for it, i.e. mobile phone, tablet or Web. This helps you in multiple ways. Google boosts responsive sites in its rankings, showing mobile-optimized sites higher than others.
Optimize every feature for a quick load
Most visitors use their mobile phones to surf the Web. Considering those speeds range from 4G down to 2G, you need a scaled down site for visitors to access. They won’t sit around and wait either. If it takes three seconds or longer to load, 47 percent of visitors will leave.
Update your content regularly
Your firm needs a blog with regular, helpful content. It’s also important to highlight changes at the firm. Update when adding new staff. Create a new page for a recently added practice area.
Include detailed critical pages like “About” which should focus on the lead lawyer(s)
Potential clients want details about the person that will represent them, not just information on the kind of law they practice. Talk about your background, education, outside interests, and photos. Remember that they’re hiring a person.
Incorporate your social media into your website
Link to your Avvo and LinkedIn. Embed your active Twitter feed into a sidebar. Provide methods for visitors to share your blog posts to their social media.
Communicate through visual imagery
Your website should use a mix of photos of the firm, its staff, and illustrations. The site’s colors, its logo, and graphics communicate your brand. For example, the front page of Lipsky Lowe features a powerful boxing graphic to deliver strength and the powerful punch the firm packs.
Leverage new technology
In the 21st century, a website needs to be more than brochure text, a photo, and a call-to-action. Offer a chatbot, online appointment setting, and credit card and PayPal payments on your website. Clients need to see that you’re a new firm in touch with the day.
Own more than one domain name
Point them all to your website. Purchase your firm’s name as the first domain name. Also, purchase a name that includes the city or state and type of practice. For example, a personal injury attorney in Denver, Colorado might choose DenverPersonalInjury.com or ColoradoPersonalInjury.com depending on the size of the method.
Use sans serif fonts throughout
Limit yourself to two fonts for a cohesive look. As newspapers discovered long ago, sans-serif fonts like Arial are easier to read than serif fonts like Times New Roman. This matters more on the Web due to the eye strain people already experience from looking at the glowing screens.
Use the largest font size possible without producing a cartoonish look
When designing for mobile devices, this becomes even more important. Visitors using feature phones will have a 3.5-inch screen or smaller usually. Those with older Androids will view your site on a 4-inch screen. Make it easy to read.
Provide your contact information in more than one area
List it in the footer. Feature it in larger type in the sidebar. Create a contact page that allows the client to send you an email from the website but also lists your contact information. Contact information means your street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email.
Include a sitemap
This refers to a single page that lists to every web page in your site. It can do so alphabetically, topically or by site structure. A complete site map functions like the index in the back of a legal text and makes it easy for visitors to find all pages related to your site.
Organize your pages and menus intuitively
Positive user experience means its easy to navigate, and the layout makes it easy to read.
Test your links and update non-functioning ones
While it may not seem like a design issue, regardless of how unique your design or intuitive your layout, broken links make you look unprofessional.
Use black or very dark text for headlines and body copy
Lighter colors on a dark screen prove vexing to read on a mobile device or even on a computer over the long-term.
Beyond design, you’ll need to secure the firm’s website. This can get in the way of the design’s functionality if done incorrectly. Carefully plan your security measures. You need to protect against hackers while ensuring the accessibility of the site. Test your options to ensure they load quickly.
Protect visitors who need to process payments using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Using SSL on the site ensures that information passed through it remains protected.
If you let visitors submit evidence or information regarding their legal case via the website, password protect that area. You’ll need to set up an area that lets clients create a username and password. This keeps their data safer though. The key is to create a visually attractive, easy to use interface. Make it easy for them to create their account. Also, make it easy to reset their password.
Use a third-party security firm like Sucuri to monitor the website. It detects hackers and can clean the site after an attack.
An intuitive, informative website can be yours. Use these tips to get started. You can learn more from our main Source: Serpco Legal Websites.