Law firms are notorious for having terrible websites. If you doubt it, just run a quick Internet search of law firm websites. Many of the ones I found while doing a little Internet research were hard to navigate and/or buried the most important information about the firm including their specialties, contact information, and more. It shouldn’t be that hard though. After all, you don’t need the slickest website on the Internet to achieve your goals. Instead, you just need website that isn’t “bad” and is easy to navigate. So when creating your practice’s website just follow these simple tips to create a website that isn’t terrible.
1. Keep it simple.
Keep your website simple. For example, there is no good reason to use flash on a law firm’s website. Beyond the fact that it is unnecessary, it may make your site inaccessible to visitors using popular devices such as iPhones or iPads. It’s also not easily indexable for search engines, lowering the odds that visitors will find you through a Google search.
In general, before adding any element to your page ask yourself: “Is this necessary?” If the answer is “no” or you can’t find a good justification for the element, then remove it. Simplicity is key to creating an easy to navigate website that quickly shares your firm’s central message.
2. Make sure visitors understand your practice areas and specialties.
Right from the beginning you should clearly state what practice area you engage in, the types of individuals you represent, and the work you do. There are two important reasons for this. First, a visitor should understand what type of law you practice as soon as they land on your page. Otherwise, they may quickly navigate away from your page. Second, by including key terms in your page, you increase the odds of receiving traffic from Google or other search engines.
3. Make sure visitors know how to find you and contact you.
Be sure to include a statement indicating the geographic location of your practice. Again, this will help visitors make a decision as to whether or not your practice suits their needs. Additionally, it will increase the odds that your page will appear in search results if a potential client runs a search for (in example): “entertainment lawyer in San Francisco.”
It’s equally important you provide easy to find contact information including your email address and phone number on your site for potential clients, opposing counsel, and others. This way visitors know how to find you when seeking your services.
4. Make sure clients know why they should hire you.
This may be your only opportunity to convince a visitor to your site why they should hire you instead of another attorney practicing the same area of law, so take advantage of this opportunity. If your background or skills make you uniquely qualified to represent clients in your practice area, let them know what that background and skills are.
5. Avoid being generic.
It’s also good to let a little of your personality shine on your website. I recommend avoiding the use of cliche image as such as gavels, scales or law books. Of course it is your call, but I believe your website should help you stand out from other firms.