Many attorneys spend a lot of money on their websites, investing heavily to make sure the sites are mobile optimized and feature new headshots of the lawyers. A website does not need to include bells and whistles to be effective, as animations going across the screen can ultimately be distracting and lead to lengthy load times for pages.
Some of the most memorable websites that I have seen are actually very simple but do a few things that help them stand out. Here are ten areas you should make sure your legal website focuses on.
Blog Updates — Lawyers often go on about the great length they have gone to update their websites, but then you look at their legal blog and see it has not been updated for six to twelve months. When you have a blog, make sure to update it regularly. A lengthy delay in recent posts may lead a website visitor to question whether you are still practicing.
Strong Design and Content — The best websites are not saturated with crazy color combinations and do not have AutoPlay videos or other sounds that play automatically. The sites also are not cluttered with long copy full of legal jargon that the average person does not understand. The content is simple and in layman’s terms. I have found that the best websites stick to using only two to three colors. I prefer white for the text background because it makes it easier to read and is easier on the eyes.
Appeals to Multiple Kinds of Buyers — There are four types of buyers that a good legal website needs to appeal to. The first type is a competitive buyer who makes quick and logical decisions and wants an attorney to show what they have done to distinguish themselves as a top level lawyer. The second type of buyer is spontaneous and wants an immediate response, feedback, or way to contact the attorney right away. The third type of buyer is methodical and is seeking a long-term relationship. The fourth type would be a humanistic buyer who is also slow but is trying to relate personally to the attorney.
Distinguish Yourself — Be creative. Many attorneys think that they distinguish themselves by including badges that say things like Top 40 Under 40, member of XYZ legal group, or a badge for their state bar association or state legal association. Almost every legal website has these things. Try not find something about your firm that is truly unique.
Live Chat — The live chat is very important to the spontaneous buyer, who wants to make contact right away. The chat function can also be useful for the other three types of buyers who may not take advantage of the feature right away but could utilize it later. Live chat provides instant answers to many questions people have.
Biographical Information — You should undoubtedly cover your qualifications, including your education, to prove your qualifications. Do not, however, overlook the importance of sharing additional interesting details about your life.
Record of Verdicts and Settlements — Show off your success in the courtroom. Whether it is dollar figures won or the number of cases you have won, help visitors know that you get results.
Guarantee — A slogan such as “We’re Going to Fight for You,” “You’re Our Top Priority,” or “You Don’t Pay Unless We Win” helps potential clients know what to expect. Such guarantees will not necessarily distinguish yourself from competitors, but it will help people get a better idea of what to expect.
Videos — I have seen criminal defense attorneys do videos that discuss frequently asked legal questions about legal subjects. These videos often show up high in YouTube search results, get a lot of views, and ultimately help with the site’s organic search engine optimization (SEO) ranking on Google.
Human Side — Show that you are human, not just a lawyer in the courtroom all day, every day. Let people know about your outside life, your hobbies, the sports teams you root for, the places you like to visit. I knew a Colorado attorney who was obsessed with Ford trucks and had pictures of him driving his truck around the mountains with his dog. Another one was a huge Arkansas Razorbacks fan. Even his Engage Live popup had sports logos, and everything on his website was dedicated to the Razorbacks.
Keep these factors in mind when looking at your own website, and you can likely see an improvement in the interest it generates.