When it comes to websites, there really isn’t a one-style fits all. It’s crucial to make sure your site reflects your firm and its practice areas, values and overall mission. But how? Too often than I care to have seen, I’ve come across a law site donned with arms-crossed, smiling attorneys and enough copy to fill up an LSAT practice test. The web pages are overwhelming and often unuseful. It’s important to Remember to think of your end user and include some (if not all!) of the following must haves for great law firm sites:
Clearly-Defined Practice Areas
First and foremost, what kind of firm are you? It’s imperative for people to know the type of law you practice upon first coming to your site. If they can’t easily find this information, chances are they won’t be returning for a second visit. McMahon DeGulis uses their homepage to their advantage, showcasing very clearly that they practice in environmental, toxic tort and litigation.
Properly optimized web pages will help your law firm be found through search. For those specific practice pages we just went over, make sure the content on each pace speaks clearly to relevant keywords. Do you practice appellate litigation? Ensuring your web copy describes how your firm briefs and argues appeals in cases helps a user to find your service page when searching related terms and information. Also, optimized content will be extremely helpful for location-based searches. Is your firm based in Cleveland or do you have multiple offices throughout the country? Including cities you serve will help users narrow down law firms in their area.
Contrary to what you may think, people want to know you on a personal level! Now, I’m not suggesting you divulge family secrets, but including bio pages on your site will only help the user connect with you and your colleagues. The bios should include your areas of expertise as well as some sort of personal information, whether that be where you went to school, awards you’ve received or even a fun fact about yourself. And please, use headshots and images of your in-house attorneys! Stock photography should be limited as it often doesn’t truly represent your firm.
Including directories will help people easily navigate your site. Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP included an interactive directory right in the main navigation. Not only can I look up someone by name, but I can also search by their practice, office, title, as keyword as well as their education.
Mobile-Friendly / Responsive Design
OK, so this one isn’t just specific to law firm sites but, nonetheless, is a must have. Previously, Google would give “bonus points” in its algorithm to sites that were mobile friendly. Now, the search engine giant is taking it one step further and actually negatively scoring sites that are not mobile friendly — hindering these sites from appearing in search results and giving clear preference to responsively designed websites. Why? Because smartphones and tablets are increasing in popularity with more people searching the web on their devices than ever before. If your current website isn’t mobile friendly, now is the time for a redesign.
Looking for more advice on what your law firm website should feature? Join us at our next event, Law Firm Sites: What Works & What Doesn’t, and talk to one of our marketing experts!
Justine Timoteo is an Inbound Marketing Strategist who serves as a high-level advisor and go-to person for strategy and customer happiness. Most of her days are spent developing a marketing plans that incorporate content strategy and creation, SEO, demand generation tactics and marketing automation. When she’s not developing successful strategies or reading up on the latest marketing trends, she’s off exploring Cleveland or adding stamps in her passport. Connect with Justine on Twitter and LinkedIn.