How To Build an Effective Law Firm Website In 2021
Whereas law firms in the past relied on direct mail campaigns, bus stop ads, television, and billboards to generate leads, the modern lawyer must compete online to get cases – and a website is the most important part of that process.
But how do you build a law firm website? How can you create something that looks authoritative, is lightning fast, converts well, and can help an attorney rank on search engines?
It’s not easy, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way.
Build a Website That Will Convert Visitors Into Clients
When someone is looking for an attorney to take a case, you can guarantee that they are sending the same email to several law firms in your region (or calling around). People are price comparing, personality shopping, and reputation gauging. Making it easy or compelling for someone to pick up the phone and call you has a direct impact on your revenue.
Feature Prominent Calls To Action
How easy is it for a visitor to get in touch? Do you have multiple contact points, and are they easy to find? You need to give people the option to call, text, email, or submit a form – because every singing web user is different.
Here’s an excellent example of a texting feature, courtesy of the Reiff Law Firm, a personal injury firm in Philadelphia.:
That feature should only be included on the mobile version of your site (we’ll discuss mobile-friendliness later).
You should also have a “floating” call button in the header of your website – you want this option to appear 100% of the time to your site visitors.
And lastly, on the desktop version of your site, you will want to have a “free case review” sidebar on every page of your site. This would need to be a simple contact form that visitors can fill out in about 15 seconds. Here is an example from https://www.injuryinfla.com/:
Be Upfront About Your Image and Personality
Hiring a lawyer is a deeply personal decision, and you should be honest about who you are, what your background is, and how you work with your potential clients. These are some things that site visitors genuinely care about:
- Your picture is front and center- do you look confident, dignified, and real?
- Does your “About” page share information that seems personal? You should talk about your career, experience, and who you are. Not a cold, impersonal biography. Attorney Ken Kieklak has an excellent bio page – it talks about his career, his alma mater, his hobbies – it gives plenty of opportunities to connect with his potential clients.
- Your authority in the field matters: have you been published or quoted in leading publications? Have you earned awards? Feature those on your website.
Display Results & Testimonials
This is a non-negotiable for law firms. Your results should be the second-easiest item on your website to find, outside of your contact information.
Firstly, create a page that lists your case victories and client testimonials. Place it in your navigation bar, and mix buttons to that page into your website content.
Second, create a site-wide content bar that features your best-case results, and place it on your homepage, service pages, and more. This bar should be an image (you don’t want the same words copied and pasted on every page of your site). Here’s an example for the Reiff Law Firm again:
Build a Website That Can Rank On Google
What good is a website if nobody can find it? SEO demands thousands of words on its own, but here is a general guide to how your website should be optimized:
Your Website Must Be Mobile-Friendly
If you build a new website on WordPress, Squarespace, or even Wix or another CMS, it will automatically display correctly on mobile devices. But there’s more to mobile-friendliness than content and images technically fitting the screen.
You need to code out custom calls-to-action for mobile vs. desktop. For instance, you wouldn’t want to feature a texting CTA on a desktop header – you would probably include a form instead.
Also, on mobile, each image equals another scroll for the visitor. So do you really need header images for each blog post on the mobile version of your site? Probably not – cut back on the design elements on the mobile version of your website.
Note – If you have an older site, or if you are building a new one, you need to test your website on desktop, mobile, and tablets. You’d be amazed at how often a website will look fine on iPhones, but look terrible on Android. Or how often a lawyer’s site will look good in Chrome but not Internet Explorer.
Take the time to test your website on multiple devices.
Your Website Must Be Fast
Google recently rolled out the Core Web Vitals report, and your developer needs to build your site in such a way that it will score well. If your site is slower than your competitors, all other things being equal, they will rank higher than you on Google.
Use a Logical Hierarchy With Internal Links
Your website will likely have:
- Service Pages (car accident cases, premises liability, murder defense, etc.)
- Blog Posts
Your homepage is the most authoritative page on your site, followed by services pages and blog posts. You will want to link your pages to each other accordingly. This passes authority from page to page, and it helps Google crawl your entire site. The linking structure could be as follows:
Blogs → Blogs
Test & Measure Everything
After your website is live, your marketing partners or in-house staff should be using Google Analytics and call tracking software, like CallRail, to measure engagement. Metrics to watch out for:
- Conversion Rate: Did you receive 100 visitors to your homepage with zero calls? That’s a problem.
- Bounce Rate: Are visitors instantly leaving when they arrive on your site?
- Behavior Flow: After a visitor arrives, how are they proceeding through your website?
Once you have these pieces of data, you can make informed decisions of testing and redesigning elements of your website.