As an attorney, you recognize the importance of building and maintaining a reliable website to attract and engage more clients. However, simply having a website does not mean it automatically brings in new business. When it comes to website design, there are several mistakes that you should avoid, as these common issues can cause potential clients to click away from your website or fail to understand the value of your legal services. This post will explore some of the most common legal website design mistakes and a few strategies to help ensure your website is welcoming, engaging, and effective in connecting with potential clients.
Failing to Understand Your Target Audience
One of the top mistakes that law firms make when designing a website is neglecting to consider their target audience. Some attorneys believe that demonstrating their deep understanding of complex legal issues is critical, but this often results in long, dense paragraphs stuffed with legal jargon. Rather than being impressed with this content, most website visitors will lose interest and click away to another website that is more streamlined and client-centered. As you design your website, consider the primary concerns and needs of your ideal client. Are they looking for reassurance or trustworthiness? Pinpoint what they need to hear and write your content in anticipation of these specific needs.
Cluttering Your Website
When someone is searching for the answer to a legal question, they want a simple and straightforward answer. If they arrive at a website that is full of dense paragraphs and too many pop-up features, the experience can be overwhelming and off-putting. The eye craves simplicity, so consider a “less is more” approach to your law firm’s website design. For instance, choose simple and soothing backgrounds, keep visuals (like photos) purposeful and minimal, and break up text blocks with strategic spacing to encourage readability. Remember, you do not need to bombard clients with all the information upfront; the goal of your website is to catch their attention and invite them to contact you.
When Your Website Loads Too Slowly
With so many law firms to choose from, potential clients gravitate towards firms with websites that load quickly and provide clear information. You should check to see how fast your website loads, both on desktop and mobile devices. Most people click away from a website if it takes more than two to three seconds to load, so make sure your firm’s website appears quickly. One of the best ways to support a fast page loading speed is to avoid filling your website with informationally dense images. Keep the images you use as small as possible, and remove any complicated or high-resolution images to see if this reduces the time it takes for your website to load fully.
Forgetting to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Most websites are designed using a desktop or laptop computer. However, people are increasingly using their smartphones and mobile devices to search for information and services. With this in mind, it’s essential to test how your website loads and presents on a mobile device. Check to see if it loads within three seconds, and make sure all the important information and images load properly. Do the navigation tools still work? Can site visitors schedule an appointment or find contact information easily from their mobile devices? Failing to make your website mobile-friendly can cost you a significant number of potential clients, as they will click away from your site in favor of a more client-focused, smartphone-friendly website.
Poor Organization and Navigation
As you design the layout of your legal website, put yourself in your client’s shoes. What do they want to see most when they arrive at a law firm’s website? In general, most people land on a legal website because they want an answer to a legal question or to find a highly-rated and trustworthy attorney to help them resolve their issue. Using this information, design your website in a way that helps visitors find the content they are looking for. Make sure the navigation bar is organized and intuitive, and include calls to action (CTAs) on each page to encourage site visitors to contact you.
Forgetting to Consider the Power of SEO
Having a client-centered website is great, but you need to take steps to make it visible to those searching for legal services in your area. Following best practices in search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website rise to the top of the search results pages and reach more potential clients. Incorporating keywords into your headings and content (as naturally and organically as possible) and mentioning the primary areas your law firm serves gives search engines the information they need to rank your site higher. Additionally, requesting and responding to online client reviews, maintaining a regular legal blog, and becoming active on social media can boost your website’s ranking.
If you are interested in making your law firm’s website more client-centered and effective, call LegalRev today at (800) 893-2590 to discuss your goals.