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When you’re setting up a website for your law firm you most likely want your potential clients visiting from the web to use your service. Many law firms make design mistakes that can put off potential clients which results in them going to to your competitor's website instead.
So to start with, here are five mistakes for you to avoid so you can ensure that your law firm website design can effectively communicate with your prospective clients.
1. Your Website is Filled with Legal Jargons
Avoid jargons, no matter the audience. It is often the case that lawyers write their website content in the language that they are accustomed to and often forget the client might not understand all the legal-jargons. If they don’t understand what you’re saying, chances are they won’t hire you. Don’t step on this communication pitfall and instead pull back on your jargons and writing style. When you spend all day going through cases and motions, it’s hard not to think in that language but I urge you to always ask yourself if your average Joe will understand what’s being put on your website - if the answer is no then you know to use plain language.
Take a moment to think about who you are trying to communicate to and you’ll save yourself a hefty load of time editing content. Write content that can be easily understood by non-attorney acquaintance and see where their confusion lies. Always remember that the majority of your clients will not be familiar with the law or have been through law school.
2. Your Website Looks Like it’s Copied from Templates
Some vendors out there promise a cheap and fully customised website for your law firm. Except, in reality, there are no cheap and fully customised websites. When you get your deliverables, you might find your website looking like other firms out there just with different photos and colour tone. How do you explain this?
Cheap templates. There are a plethora of cheap legal website themes out there. Many website building companies recycle the same website templates over and over again, changing the photos, themes and company logos, while retaining the site structure. It saves them A LOT of time and money, but they still charge you for a site built from the ground up - and you get a website that looks like everyone else’s.
Find a professional web design company. Get the actual proposal and make sure they fully understand your requirement. If the quote seems too good to be true then start doubting their design process - ask them straight up if they use a template or will they design and develop from scratch. If you’re fine with the templates then it’s your decision to make but if you are looking to achieve more complexity and high quality web design with flexibility and functionality - invest in building your website up from scratch- all custom.
3. Overuse of Law Stock Images
So you website has pictures of people talking, the scales of justice and a beautifully laid gavel.
Well guess what? Every other law firm has those pictures too. This makes your firm much less unique and unmemorable to the client who browses several firm websites before picking their lawyer. By the way, the photo above is also a stock photo. You get the point.
Instead of over-used stock photos, replace them with your attorney brandishing your brand of justice in court, pictures of your firm meeting with clients (who gave their consent, of course), your attorneys on cases. Even include images of your firm office - make them feel connected to a real law firm - investing in taking these professional photos can set you ways apart from your competitors. Be unique.
4. Not updating your content
When clients look at your website, they want to see your latest accomplishment and recent contributions to the legal community like news and events. They want to read useful articles you wrote but if your latest contents are from 2012 then they’re going to question your activity.
Update your website content.
First gather your most recently published articles, news, videos and photos. Second, post these in your News/Article page through a newly written article. It’s like updating your blog. Link these new information back to your website or sites where you have been published. Always generating content - this is also an effective way to improving your Google ranking.
If you don’t have time to create all the content, hire a legal intern or even some bloggers to help you create content. Once you have updated your website content, keep them updated!
5. Ignoring your SEO
Your website may look professional and unique but it won’t mean a thing if your clients can’t find you. When people search for a law firm, your website should be on the first if not second page of google. Most people won’t go further than that. When they type in your company’s name, it should be the first result that come up. Ignoring your search engine optimisation means the chances of people finding you are slim.
Doing the SEO techniques yourself or hiring a third-party SEO consulting company to do SEO for you will do you justice. SEO ensure that your website appears more prominently in search engine results, as when someone searches for your firm common search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
Hope you have thought some of these points through and hopefully you would have figured out how to make effective changes to your law websites and draw in more clients who now understand your service better than ever.