Law Firm Website: Avoid These Mistakes
You need a law firm website. There’s no question about it.
Your law firm website is a marketing tool, building credibility, enhancing visibility, and differentiation.
Like it or not, your firm’s website will require more than minimal attention. A website that was haphazardly thrown together is easy to spot. Don’t give your clients the impression that your firm doesn’t care enough to do things well.
The following are the five killer mistakes you must avoid with your law firm website.
One: Not having a Plan
When you design a website, you will face many different choices regarding design and set up. To make the best choices, you need to know what you want and what is most important to you. Before setting up a website for your firm, decide if you want your website to attract new clients or if you would like it to provide a service to existing clients or both.
Your website will be the first interaction they have with your firm for many potential clients, so it should support your brand and your firm’s values. You will need to have a color scheme for your website that works in concert with your print materials, including brochures and business cards. A discount divorce attorney’s website should look very different from that of a well-established tax attorney.
Two: Using Odd Domain Names
The most apparent selection for a domain name is the name of your firm. If your domain name is already taken, choose one that is simple and logical. If you have the names of several attorneys listed in your firm’s name, you will have to shorten the names, use an acronym, or come up with an original domain name that makes sense for your firm. Choosing a domain name is not the time to be humorous or overly creative; these domain names can be hard to remember and can come across as lacking professionalism.
This is especially true for your email address. You need to have an email address that matches your domain. Gone are the days when an attorney could have an AOL or Gmail address and seem credible.
Three: Having Poor, Disorganized Content
Many visitors will only spend a minute or less trying to navigate a poorly designed website. Your content should be organized in a way that is inviting and easy to use. Avoid moving graphics, bright colors, and loud backgrounds. Ensure that every page has a menu that lets clients move from one page to another with ease.
Break up your content into easy to scan chunks of information. Clients will read more text if it is broken up with headers, bullets, numbered lists, or unobtrusive graphics. Your website’s text must be free of typos, sentences that run on, and other grammatical errors. If writing is not your strength and you are designing your website, then have someone read it over for you or pay to have a professional copywriter do the job.
Four: Pages that Don’t Go Anywhere or that Appear in Duplicate
All links on your website need to go to pages full of rich and useful content. If your site is under construction, don’t put it up until it is done. Remember that your website says something about your firm. Again, this is an aspect of web design that will reflect on the competence of your firm.
Five: Leaving Out Critical Information
Make sure that the necessary information about your firm is easy to find. Your firm’s phone number, street address, and a map or directions to the office should be included. Another piece of critical information for a legal website is a disclaimer about legal advice. Clients and potential clients need to know when they visit your site that it is not the same as visiting the office. Your firm’s website may use a blog, or a Frequently Asked Questions link to answer common questions related to your specialty. However, it needs to be crystal clear that these statements are generalizations and do not take actual legal advice.
Designing a comprehensive and well-organized website may feel like too much to take on if your schedule is crammed with servicing clients and networking to get new ones. Keep in mind that a well-designed site can make your life easier. You can direct people there to get basic questions answered and learn more about your practice. Remember that a healthy website is not an option; it is a requirement.
If you want help with your law firm website, join my Private Client Experience. This is my one-on-one coaching program and we can focus on your priorities – including your law firm website.