What does it take to create a user friendly website for your law firm?

More and more of the business we conduct takes place virtually, which means that your online presence is typically the first thing people see when they encounter your business.

Having an outdated or confusing website is the best way to lose a promising potential client.

The worst part about an outdated and poorly designed website is that people won’t call you and tell you how bad it is. They just won’t call you. They’ll call your competitor. You won’t get the business.

You don’t want to be seen as behind the curve technologically or incompetent. Websites act as the face of law firms.

Here are some of the best practices for law firm websites that you can put into action.

Perhaps the most important factor when designing a website for your law firm is that it can be accessed easily from a mobile device. Studies show that the majority of internet browsing is now done by users on their smartphones or tablets, so having a website that does not adjust to the requirements of those devices will be seen as outdated or frustrating.

You don’t want your readers to have to struggle to re-size or pan just to read your content. That gets old very quickly. Contact your website provider to upgrade your service if your design is not currently responsive.

It’s one thing that a website that is not mobile optimized turns off your human visitors, but it also hurts your search rankings. Google had announced it that it will rank such websites lower than mobile-friendly websites.

Along the same lines, your site should be designed to be as easy to read as possible. Avoid small fonts and dark colored backgrounds that make your writing difficult to read. The ideal color scheme for ease of reading is a light background with dark lettering. Keep your design as simple as possible to avoid problems and complications. It’s easy to get carried away with customizing your site’s design too much.

Similarly, the menus and navigation of your site should be clearly laid out. Consider having a simple, easy to read menu on your header that appears on every page of your site that includes all of the important pages a potential client will need to access.

You can consider adding a search bar for your site if you have a lot of content, but a clear menu that lays out the main elements is preferable.

The goal of your website is to allow clients to contact you with minimum hassle, so your contact information needs to be displayed prominently. Give your customers a variety of different contact methods including phone numbers, email addresses, physical address and even your social media accounts. Putting the primary method of contact in your header will insure that there is no confusion for even the most inexperienced web browsers.

You can also include links to the main social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, your firm uses for even greater connectivity. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have great direct messaging options.

Finally, urge your readers to contact you immediately with a call to action, such as “Call us today for a consultation” or “Contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff for more information.” A clear directive will improve the chances that visitors to your website take action immediately, increasing the business that your website generates for your firm.

Remember that websites should be designed to encourage visitors to engage even further with your business. If you keep in mind this list of best practices for law firm websites, you will soon have a clearly organized, user friendly resource for potential clientele.