What should a great attorney website look like?
Many attorney websites do a disservice to the law firm. They do little to build credibility and drive now new business. Even worse, some attorney website are so bad that they chase away prospective clients.
Attorneys make the mistake of creating the wrong content for their sites. They write like a lawyer. People who search for attorneys don’t use lawyer language. If your content reads attorney talk, you will alienate potential clients fast. Don’t use attorney jargon that might confuse the average person. You may see those words every day, but your clients don’t.
The best attorney sites are not designed to impress people.
Attorney websites should serve the following purposes:
- Build credibility – If your website does it’s job, it will position you as a credible service provider. If your website is out-of-date or poorly designed, people will look for help on another website. You might not think that a professional design is important, but most people do.
- Position you as an expert – People want to work with the best. Is your website selling you as the best attorney to help them? Again, this is not about impressing people. It is more about telling the story why “you” are the attorney they want.
- Educate – No everyone is ready to call you to set an appointment to meet with you. Yet, they are still valuable for your law office. They might not be ready today, but they might call you next month or six months from now. Or, refer you to someone else within their network.
- Build a following – Yes, you do need a following. I get it, you are not a rock star. Yet, for long-term success, it will help to grow your law practice tremendously. Attorneys with a following don’t have to chase clients. The best way to build a following is by collecting email addresses and sending monthly email updates.
Contact us now and ask us how to improve your attorney website.
Your website can be a real asset for your law office. Don’t think of your website as a brochure. It is simply not enough anymore. Your website must show you as an authority within your field. If you are business attorney, build your website to show you as the best solution for business law within your region. Your website can and should differentiate you. And, I promise you that it will, if you are willing to do what it takes.
Here is what your law firm website must have to differentiate you from all the other attorneys out there:
- Humanize your law firm. Most attorney websites are faceless boring corporate brochures. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can add personality to your website without going crazy. People want to know that they are dealing with people instead of an institution.
- Add – a lot of – content. Yes, your website should have a lot of content describing how you help your clients. Some attorneys, wrongly, think that they are giving free advice with content. The fact is that, having great content, it is how you can get your search rankings up. The higher rankings is what will get you ahead of the thousands of other law firms competing for the same clients. If you are a DUI attorney, write advice about DUI issues. If you are family law attorney, write about divorce issues. Yes, I am telling you to give free advice on your website. And, lots of it. It will pay off.
- Avoid legal jargon. You are not impressing anyone. Actually, you are turning people off. Talk like a person, not like a lawyer. Stick to language on your site the average nonlawyer would understand.
- Testimonials and reviews. Check with your state attorney discipline agencies about using testimonials and reviews. Don’t assume that you can’t show anything.
Here is what to avoid if you want a great attorney website:
- Never settle for a template designed for attorneys. Using a template is the sure way to a boring and unappealing website.
- Don’t hire an amateur to design your website. The great thing about amateurs is that they are cheap, but you will pay for it in the end. Hire a professional web design company.
- Hire a web designer in the same country you are doing business in. If you are a US based attorney you probably wouldn’t advise someone to hire an Indian attorney. So, why would you want your website built by someone in India?
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If your website is not optimized for mobile, people will not use it. Today, there are more mobile searches online than anything else.
- Avoid large attorney website factories. Your website will not get the personal attention that you will get from a web design company.
- Using too much stereotypical “law” stock photos will also make your firm look generic. You want to stand out to your client so that they’ll remember you. If your website looks too much like other attorney websites, you make yourself forgettable. Take some pictures of your own firm at work and use those instead. Photograph meetings or your team working with clients who have given permission. Instead of a generic stock photo of a courthouse, use some of your own practice and office.
A well designed website isn’t everything. If you don’t use search engine optimization (SEO) clients won’t be able to find you at all. When someone searches for your law firm, your website should be at the top of the page. If you’re not sure how to go about implementing SEO techniques, ask your web designer.
Finally, you should keep your website updated. If the copyright notice at the bottom of the page is from 2007, your entire practice will look out of date. Keeping an updated blog will also help you stay current. Include links to articles you’ve written or ones that have been written about you. Add new content when it comes up. Don’t just leave the old content sitting there for years.
If you follow the above tips your attorney website will stay ahead of your competition.
Contact us now to get help with your law firm website.
photo credit: Roof Top View – BlogWorld New York