Do lawyers need websites? Yes! An online presence is a must regardless of what industry you’re in, and as a law firm, the most important place to start is your website. Your online presence is considered by many to be the number one determining factor in your law firm’s success. Yet, despite its importance, there are plenty of law firms that don’t put enough energy into building one. Regardless of your law firm’s size, you should be prioritizing not only creating a website but fine-tuning and optimizing it to get the best possible results out of it.
Why does a law firm need a website?
Establishes Credibility as a Law Firm
Nowadays, it's considered downright strange if a business doesn't have a website. Having a website for your law firm proves you're the real deal. In the absence of a website, people may question how legitimate you are as a lawyer, and possibly even find you scammy.
Your web page is the ultimate tool for showcasing why you're the best person for the job, and how you compare to the competition. Legal clients expect to be able to read up on a lawyer they're considering hiring, and if they can't find you online, this could hurt your chances of them choosing you over someone else that has a strong and convincing website.
In other words, potential legal clients are much more inclined to hire you if you have a high-quality page.
Not only do consumers expect a business to have a website, but they also base their choice on how professional your website looks. First impressions count, so make sure that your website is ready to impress from the minute a visitor lands on your page.
Generates Legal Leads
From building a following on social media to sending out newsletters, there is no shortage of different marketing efforts that your firm should be combining into your marketing strategy. The cornerstone of your overall marketing strategy, however, should always remain having a powerful and optimized website.
If you have an optimized website, then you'll show up higher on Google search results. That means when people are looking for a lawyer in your area, your name will come up — preferably first. Simply put, the more that you optimize your website to produce organic traffic, the more opportunities you have to increase the number of legal leads coming in.
With greater visibility comes more opportunities for attracting leads. You can be the best lawyer in the world, but if Google can’t find you, It doesn't matter, because they don’t even know you exist.
Becoming a lawyer and hoping your credibility will reach the right people naturally isn't realistic. You have to build awareness around your law firm by targeting your ideal client with an established website.
People are more inclined to buy something that's advertised right in front of them. So, the more visibility you have, the more you distinguish yourself from competing law firms.
Better Customer Service
A website is there to give customers information on your legal services any time of day.
In the old days, if someone wanted to find out more information about a lawyer, they'd have to wait until business hours to call. Today, a website serves as non-stop customer support that gives your customers everything they need to know.
If you don't have the budget to hire front desk staff, then it's especially helpful to make your website your own personal receptionist. Not only should your website provide any FAQ’s, and helpful information about your firm, but it should also offer leads the option to fill out a legal client intake form that goes directly into your customer database thanks to legal client intake software. This added convenience doesn't just benefit your customers, but also you. Rather than having to manually input interested leads’ information, your website can get the information you need for you.
It's no secret that lawyers are extremely busy. With all of the tasks that it takes to keep a practice going, it's not always possible to answer the phone or reply to an email right away. When you're busy focusing on your current clients, it can be distracting and time-consuming having to answer questions like where your location is and what your business hours are. Your website can give your leads all the information they need for you, so you can continue focusing on what matters most at your law firm — without taking the attention away from your paying clients.
What should a lawyer website contain?
Your law firm's website is the very first impression prospects will have about your law firm. It's your chance to make an impression, and stand out against competing lawyers. So, instead of slapping together a DIY ready-made template that's impossible to distinguish from all the other law firm websites out there, why not create something entirely unique?
Branding your website goes far beyond choosing some colors and pasting a logo. Branding is the magical ingredient that turns leads into paying clients by grabbing their attention and sparking a connection. Your website's branding should reflect who you are as a law firm and your personal values.
What kind of message do you want to communicate to potential clients?
What sort of lawyer do you want to come across as?
Are you a bulldog who promises to fight ferociously?
Or do you want to market yourself as compassionate and solicitous to help others?
Your branding should be an overall reflection of the kind of perception you hope to elicit from potential clients visiting your page. From your font choice to your color scheme, to your choice of images, great branding is the total package of elements shaped together forming the overall mold of your brand.
Don’t hesitate to do a Google search for other lawyers in your area and use their law firm website for design inspiration. Sometimes your competitors can be your best resource for what makes a good law firm website.
Make Your Logo and Firm Name Stand Out
Your firm’s logo and law firm name should be the main focal point of the page along with your areas of practice. Keep the layout simple to avoid your law firm’s name getting lost in the clutter. The best law firm websites clearly communicate their name, a description of services, and where they are within the first few seconds of glancing at the page.
Use Your Law Firm Name in The URL
Using your law firm's name in your URL makes it easy for people to remember you. Choosing a difficult to remember or generic phrase as a URL won't do your brand any favors.
Clearly Display your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Give people a reason to stay on your page and want to find out more by stating from the get-go what makes your law firm the best choice for the job. Stress your accomplishments, and choose a tagline that grabs people's attention. The idea is to outline what kind of issues you tackle, and what makes you distinct from other law firms. Feel free to get imaginative. Catch people’s attention by showing them something that they haven't seen everywhere else.
Call to Action
If you don't ask your website visitors to take the next steps towards becoming a client, then who says that they will? A call to action should be listed on every page of your website. Some call to action ideas for your website include:
“Click here to call”
“Schedule a consultation”
“Click here for more info”
“Start live chat”
“Fill out a contact form”
“Sign up for our newsletter”
The idea is to urge people to become a client by inviting them to take the next steps. Think of it as inviting someone in the door — they won’t walk in unless you invite them!
Practice Areas Clearly Displayed
There should be no question about what kind of area of law you practice in from the minute a person lands on your page. If someone has to click around or scroll in multiple directions to find out whether you're a real estate attorney or a criminal defense lawyer, then your website needs some changes.
Whether it's just you, or you have a team of associates, make sure that you list all of your areas of practice and how you can help your clients. That way visitors know immediately whether you have the qualifications for their particular case.
Testimonials are especially important in the legal world. People don't want to just know that you practice law, they want to know that you can win! Testimonials should be proudly displayed throughout your page to give your law firm credibility and social proof.
Statistics show that 93% of customers read reviews before deciding on a product or service. So, it goes without saying that potential clients are much more likely to hire you if your website is peppered with positive testimonials.
Like it or not, we live in the age of Amazon, where people want proof and reassurance before making a purchase. Client testimonials increase trust and promise results. So don't be afraid to ask your satisfied customers to provide testimonials after a positive experience with you.
Statistics show that 69% of people browsing the Internet worldwide are using their phones, and the number is increasing every day. That's why you need to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile use. not only should the display look just as beautiful on a phone as it does on a computer comma but it should also be fast and responsive. If a visitor looking at your website from my phone can't easily navigate your page from the palm of their hand, it's only a matter of seconds until they go to the next law firm in their search results. When designing your page, make sure that your web page resizes itself for any kind of screen.
At this point, you've probably heard of SEO but you may still not be quite sure what it means, much less how to create a lawyer website. After all, you're a lawyer not a master of internet algorithms, and you know what? That’s okay.
However, since SEO plays such a huge role in the overall success of your website, it's probably time that you familiarize yourself with the term. SEO stands for search engine optimization, which involves strategizing ways to increase your law firm website’s result rankings on Google by using the right keywords.
Keywords are what tell Google to list your website in response to an internet user's search. So, getting to know the best keywords for your industry is crucial. You should be targeting specific terms that will attract your ideal legal client like your area of practice and your location. Doing so will increase your rankings and attract clients who are looking for a lawyer in your particular geographical area.
Get to know the best legal-related queries that you should be targeting, how popular they are, and any other valuable insights that can help you expand your audience. The best place to start is finding out what keywords your website is already being found by.
Analytics software like Google Analytics makes it easy to track down where your organic search traffic is coming from and get to know the keywords that are working best. From there, you can continue to build your list full of relevant keywords that your ideal customer might be searching for. You can use SEO keyword tools to help you come up with more ideas to make sure you choose the best possible keywords.
If mastering SEO sounds entirely too time-consuming for you (which it can be) then you should seriously consider hiring an SEO expert. It will require an investment on your part, however, the benefits will save you precious time, and ultimately find you more clients.
Today, it’s increasingly popular to use your website to establish your authority as an expert in your area of practice by including a blog. Since one of the best ways to drive people to your website is by offering valuable content to your law firm website. Adding regular fresh materials can be a powerful marketing tool. Not to mention, there are many strict regulations surrounding advertising your law firm, so a blog is a great way to promote your legal services without any ethical issues to worry about.
A good legal blog is one that offers valuable information that's engaging to read. The more content that you can add to your blog sprinkled with good old SEO keywords, the more that Google will lead customers to your website.
That’s not to say that you necessarily have to add a new post at 7 am sharp every day, but it should be consistent. The more interesting and thought-provoking material that you have in your website’s blog the more you’ll build your traffic and engage your audience.
Not to mention the added perk that when someone subscribes to your blog feed, their email goes into your CRM for lawyers and you can send them drip email marketing to keep them engaged by sending regular content.
In life, looks aren't everything, but when it comes to your website, they are. Images are one of the most important aspects of your website’s overall design, so make sure you choose carefully. Statistics show that your website will perform considerably better if you use high-quality, professional images.
Nothing turns off potential clients more than a sloppy website full of blurry or pixelated images. That's why it can't be stressed enough that hiring a skilled web designer is well worth adding to your marketing budget so you know it’s done right!
Get More Eyes on Your Law Firm With a Well-Built Website
Growing your law firm starts with increasing your online visibility through a strong and easy-to-find website. By following these guidelines, you should attract high-quality leads and lead them directly to your website. Remember, attracting leads alone isn’t enough. You’ll need to make sure that you’re prepared to handle all of your incoming inquiries by relying on a law firm client intake software like Lawmatics. When you have an influx of leads coming in, you need an effective method for taking down people’s information and getting back to them as soon as possible. It’s impossible to do manually when you’ve got paying clients and administrative work to take care of.
Without an automated system in place, you risk losing track of leads, and in turn, losing the return on the investment you made on building your website. What’s more, client intake software has built in legal reporting software that can provide valuable insights on how well your website is producing leads.