Why should website best practices matter for your firm? Aren’t attorneys, lawyers, and other law professionals often found via word of mouth? While some of your clients may have been referred to you, they were likely to spend time online researching your, and possibly others, firm’s website. On Google alone, there were just over 12,000 searches for “attorneys near me” in April of 2017.
(Source: Google Keyword Planner, June 2017)
We’re also seeing this increase 50% year-over-year showing that more people are in need for your services. With online searches increasing, attorneys and lawyers have a huge opportunity to be found online by adopting current best practices and developing a digital strategy focused on distinguishing your brand, communicating your areas of focus, and highlighting your attorney profiles.
Mobile/Responsive and Fast
This goes without saying because agencies have been preaching this for years and your firm is probably sick of hearing it, but mobile is important. For that same search, “attorneys near me”, mobile search represent 50%.
AMP informs the user that the page will load quickly which is important to reduce bounce rate on your website and keep users engaged with your content. On top of building your website with AMP, be sure to choose the proper hosting solutions, optimizing images, and prioritizing which content to load first.
Additionally, consider character count per line. On average readers read only 20% of your website copy.
Make your website easy to read
Does your site have a lot of text and copy? Does it use small fonts? Sites are easier to read when they make use of larger fonts with dark text on lighter backgrounds. Additionally, be sure to choose a font that is legible. Fancy fonts make look pretty, but if they are illegible your audience may not receive the message you’re trying to communicate. Contrast is important.
Additionally, consider character count per line. On average readers read only 20% of your website copy. By keeping each line on your website less than 100 characters, you’re making it easier for your audience to read the copy.
(Client website: Carney Law)
Additionally, by breaking up content with headers, bullet list, links (underlined in above example), or simply making important facts bold.
Unique, Fresh, and Simple Design with easy-to-use Navigation
Your website reflects your brand. It is often the first impression your potential clients will have of your firm and attorneys. Avoid creating a website that gets lost in the sea of you attorney websites. Make your website stand out by ensuring that it reflects your brand and uses photos of your attorneys and offices, not stock photos only firms can purchase as well.
(Client website: AlerStallings)
Additionally, limit the clicks to find information. As your clients return to your website to find contact information of their attorney, or location of offices, or just to read up on resources your team has created, make it simple and easy for them to find this information. This requires thinking about different use cases and ways that people may be looking for information and a thorough content strategy process.
If your team isn’t sure the navigation is simple enough or the homepage design isn’t work, we recommend spending time after the launch of your website on conversion optimization and a/b testing.
Personalize When Possible
Web personalization allows your firm to identify, segment, and target audiences based on behaviors they take on your website. Hubspot, a leading marketing automation platform, states that website personalization is a great way to increase conversions by making the conversion process easier for your audience.
Your firm can create a personalized website experience for your audience by mapping out your content and creating a smart website that dynamically adjusts calls-to-action based on your audiences click behavior or time on pages. For example, if a user spends more time on an attorney profile, your calls-to-action could be updated to contact that specific attorney.
Serve Up Your Nearest Office
If your firm has multiple locations, make use of geolocation. Geolocation requires a bit of custom web development but allows your website to serve up the closest office location based on the IP address of your audience. This simplifies the conversion process making it easier for your audience to find the contact information.
Easy to Contact
Your firm’s website should always give quick and easy ways to be contacted. This includes providing a clear call-to-action in the navigation but also including a form and contact information on relevant pages.
Some lawyers are comfortable with having contact information on attorney’s profiles, some aren’t because they’re afraid of initiating a client-attorney relationship too soon. This doesn’t mean a contact form that goes to a general email address can’t live on these pages. Anything your firm can do to increase the number of conversions or web leads is great.
Additionally, be sure to explain why someone should contact you, include your phone number and address, keep the form short, and redirect form completions to a thank-you page to track the number of form completions for website performance measurement and optimization.
A website launch is just the beginning. Each website should be tested and improved month after month. Some tests you can run after the launch of your website are:
- Homepage banner image test
- Homepage headline test
- Call-to-action test
- Form fields test
- Content organization
By testing these elements and making the appropriate changes, your website should evolve month after month into a higher performing, lead generating machine.
Additionally, continue to create content. As mentioned earlier, your audience is going online to find information. Be sure your website includes not just attorney profiles and contact information, but resources your audience can learn from, content that promotes thought leadership, and content guides users through stages of the selection process (attracts, educates, and converts).