9 Website Design Mistakes Your Law Firm is Making
With millions of people relying on the Internet as their primary source of information, it’s important for every business owner to have a website of their own. Law firms are no different. Having a website that outlines the products and services your business offers can help increase visibility and improve your chances of landing new clients. But, it isn’t just about having any website.
It’s imperative for your website to include key design elements, otherwise, you could end up turning visitors away and leading them straight into the arms of the competition. Regardless of whether you are going to design your website on your own or have it designed by a professional, you don’t want to make a costly mistake that could end up doing more harm than good. Here are some of the most common mistakes your law firm should avoid making when developing your website design.
Testing With Actual Users.
Once you have your website up and running, you should have it tested to see what real users think about the layout, features and overall design. Getting feedback from people who would be interested in enlisting the services of a law firm is going to be far more valuable than just assuming everything on your site looks great.
Create a focus group of 10-15 individuals from various backgrounds to get a diverse range of feedback. Don’t enlist a group of participants who are all from the same area, age group or background or you will end up with biased results. Once you know what real people think about your website, you can begin making changes based on their feedback.
Page Loading Speed.
People today lead busy lives. They don’t have time to sit around waiting for a website to load. If they land on your homepage and it doesn’t load within a couple of seconds, they are going to end up heading elsewhere. When a website takes more than five seconds display your content, a visitor will likely end up looking for another law firm online.
If you have a homepage that takes too long to load, consider contacting an IT professional who can get to the bottom of the problem. It could be that you need a different hosting company, or you may simply not have enough storage space on your current hosting plan. Either way, a professional can ensure your law firm’s website is running as smoothly and as quickly as possible, helping to ensure potential clients stick around to learn more about the services you have to offer them.
Too Much or Not Enough White Space.
Layout and spacing is an integral component of your website design, as it helps break up large blocks of text and makes your design aesthetically appealing. However, it is to have the right amount of white space on your website.
The key is finding a good balance of white space in relation to the amount of content on your website. Aim for 10-12 pt. spacing between paragraphs, which provides just enough space to let your users know where one paragraph starts and another one ends. Helping visitors to scan through the content easily, is crucial because people want to find the information they need as quickly as possible. By adding in headings and spacing between paragraphs, you can provide your visitors with the tools they need to make an informed decision quickly and easily.
Many users use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will. To ensure your website looks the same on everyone’s computer, be sure to test it in all the major web browsers. You don’t want your site to appear one way in Google Chrome, another way in Safari and yet another way in Microsoft Edge. It should look identical, regardless of what browser a visitor happens to use.
After designing the site, test it in each browser to make sure everything is in order. If something doesn’t look right, make whatever tweaks or adjustments are necessary to prevent confusing your visitors and to ensure your website design looks amazing across the board.
Failing to Identify the Purpose of each Page.
Every page on your website should have a main focal point that draws the visitor in and lets them know the importance of that page in mere seconds. If there is no focal point on the page, your visitors will wander around trying to figure out what it is that you have to say. Whether the focal point is an infographic or a table, make sure there is a main point on your page that catches the visitor’s attention and makes them want to learn more about your law firm.
Law Firm Branding.
Every good law firm should have a well-designed logo, and consideration should be given to where you will be displaying your logo. Displaying your branding in too many places may create a vanity site and too few may cause a decrease in client conversion. Regardless, your logo should contain a working link that redirects visitors back to your homepage once they venture to other areas of your website. When a visitor clicks on your logo, it always sends them back to your home page so they can navigate their way from there.
Make it as simple as possible for the visitor to get the information they need. No one wants to waste time trying to get back to where they started. If the visitor can quickly get back to the homepage and access all the main links to secure your services or find out more about your firm, they will likely stay around long enough to learn more about what your firm can do for them.
Links are an important part of any website. They can take your visitors to various pages and allow them to connect with you quickly and easily. While a link will start off blue, that link should change color when the visitor clicks on it. This lets them know that they have already visited a page on your site and prevents them from wasting time going to pages that they have visited already.
Most websites are configured so that a link will change to a different color after it has been clicked. Make sure your site has this feature built in to prevent your potential clients from getting frustrated by constantly clicking on the same links over and over. By saving your visitors time and making the process as simple as possible, you can help give them the tools they need to find out more about the line of services you have to offer.
Failing to Build Trust.
Regardless of what type of law firm you have, you need to do whatever it takes to instill confidence in your potential client. If the client doesn’t feel like you are going to be able to take care of their problem, they are going to head elsewhere to find a lawyer who can. The best way to instill a sense of confidence and trust in potential clients is to make sure all the information on your website is as neat and organized as possible, not to mention accurate.
You don’t want to give your visitors inaccurate information that you cannot back up. If your client feels like they are being lied to or given a sense of unrealistic hope about their already stressful situation, it is only going to end up causing even more problems down the line.
Make sure your site accurately represents the services you can provide to your potential clients. Include stories from other clients and highlight actual results (with appropriate disclaimers) that show your skills and how much you are willing to go to bat for them. People like seeing real results from clients just like them. Imagine if you had a client come to you who was in an auto accident recently and suffered serious injuries. Now, consider that you just settled a case for another client in the same situation for $250,000. Putting that information online will give the potential client a better idea of what you might be able to do for their particular case. That’s huge to someone looking for hope and answers.
Content, Content, Content.
Content is one of the most important components on your website today. But, it isn’t about just having any content online; it needs to be the right type of content for it to make a difference. The content you put on your website needs to be relevant to your practice. It also needs to provide the visitor with quality information that is going to benefit them in the long run.
When a potential client comes to your website, they should be greeted with content that tells them everything they need to know about what you can do for them. That content should also include relevant keywords that are going to help your law firm rank higher in search engines rankings.
Jared Pierce hung his own shingle right out of law school and has spent every minute since then discovering the joys and difficulties of chasing success. Anyone who has ever met Jared will tell you h