This is a topic we have spoken about in the past and I think is a very important aspect of your marketing efforts for a law firm. Why go to all the effort of planning, designing and implementing a great website, when it does nothing to attract clients. Let’s face it, the ultimate goal is to get more quality clients, is it not?
5 Second Test
Open up your site, take 5 seconds to glance over what you see.
What is the message of your law firm website?
Yes, that simple, when it loads and your potential client looks at your website home page, what is the overall message they get about your firm. If they don’t get the message, they will simply move on to the net law firm website.
Have a look at your opposition pages – see if they communicate a definite message right off the bat.
Look at the CA Goldberg website for example, the message is right there – in simple text for all to see and realise exactly what they do. I am not saying the rest of the website is brilliant, but the 5 seconds test scores 100% here.
Call to Action
These people that come to your website that you paid so much money for and expect such great attrition from, what exactly do you want them to do?
This question should be asked before you even start your law firm website – what are you going to want your visitors to do on your website? Just about everyone wants the visitor to become a client, and first prize is for them to contact your firm as early as possible.
Give the people ways to contact your firm, straight away.
Don’t make your visitors browse around looking for ways to contact you, bam right between the eyes – contact us now.
Visit the Hutchison website, they have the telephone number, the email address and a Twitter handle right there as soon as you land on their site.
Geared for Mobile
My generation barely adapted to PCs and the Internet – so websites to us are always best read on a big screen when I am in front of my PC, or at worst on my tablet….but no longer, the younger generation (18 to 35) use their phones most of the time, especially if they are away from a PC – no waiting for a big screen, they browse right there and then.
Your site must work well on any smart device.
These days all the major CMS (content management systems) have a feature called “Responsive Design”, what that means is that your website, images and layout will all adapt to the screen size of the device it is displayed on.
Have a look at the Schneiders & Associates website, even on the phone screen the page flows, makes sense and is easy to navigate.
All in the Name
Google looks at many things when finding results for people doing the search. Don’t you think a law firm with the domain SmithsEmploymentLawyers.com will be more relevant than a law firm SEL.com?
Your domain name should reflect what people are searching for.
I’m not saying that all domains should only have the topic as a name, but it should represent the content of the website.
Let us say that your firm is “Low, Ball & Lynch Attorneys”, a domain name for the firm of “lowballandlynchattorneys.com” will be more effective than “LBL.com”?
You should get an idea of the business from the website URL.
While on the topic of domains, make sure your email domain address is the same as your law firm.
A global email address like the one above does zero for your online reputation.
Also when you email address is distributed, or shared with friends, the domain in the email address gives you free exposure and branding.
Have a video introducing your firm, or of a recent presentation by one of the partners – or of an overview of a department within the firm – maybe a referral of a happy client.
Google loves video – in fact so do people, give them video.
Upload your videos to YouTube, as Google owns YouTube, you get more traction there than you would through other video sources or from just hosting it on your website domain.
Before the Online Visitor Gets to Your Website
Do a search for your website and see what Google returns in the results listings. The descriptions there, plus the contact details should give the impatient browser enough information to be able to pick up the phone and call your firm.
Make sure your description in Google results is enough for the person to contact your firm.
Your Ugly Mugshot
As ugly as you think you are in photos, the effect to prospects will be 150% better than using online generic stock photos on the website.
Professional does not mean you have to wear a black suit, white shirt and dull tie – a picture of the partners in smart jeans and open neck shirts will be as good – as long as that is the same dress code for all the mug shots. Otherwise it will look like you gathered a few random pictures off the web and added them to your site.
Only use pictures from your people and your premises for images.
These few tips exclude the huge effect you could have when improving the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your website, but they will go a very long way in improving your ranking with Google searches and also the impressions your prospects have when seeing your website.