If your law firm has a website – or is in the process of getting one – you should understand the key elements of a great site. Don’t be susceptible to getting bamboozled by a website provider. Read on.
What do great attorney websites and obscenity have in common?
You’ll know them when you see them.
That’s what Justice Potter Stewart might have said about websites, anyway. (Who could forget his class
ic definition of “obscenity” at the Supreme Court in 1964?)
Mind you, websites weren’t around in Stewart’s days, but in our experience, a lot of lawyers living and breathing in the 21st century say the same thing.
“What makes a great law firm website?” we ask.
“Well, I know one when I see one,” they say.
Fair enough! But as web designers for attorneys, it’s our job to know all the backend, design, and SEO tactics that separate the sites that merely look good from those that also work well.
Because while both those things matter, it is the latter that’ll make your firm more money, and that’s what this is ultimately all about.
Your Law Firm’s Web Design Can Directly Impact Your Bottom Line
If you’ve at least read our domain name, you know we’re geeks. And like most geeks, we’re really into acronyms. So let us introduce you to one that truly matters in attorney website design: UX.
It stands for User Experience. (X for E? Double geek points. Score.)
The term is fairly self-explanatory, but it’s also extremely important. Setting aside all the coding, functionality, and optimization that we’ll get to below, your user’s first-hand experience of your website is the thing that determines whether they become clients.
Is your site intuitive? Simple to use? Easy on the eyes? Is there a clear path to the information the client wants and to contacting you for follow-up?
The answer needs to be yes. Otherwise, most users will quickly click away.
Stated differently, UX drives the conversion from visitor to client.
Functionality: Pay Attention to the Code Behind the Curtain
We’ve all visited websites that don’t function well.
They’re slow to load. Things don’t pop up or drop down where they’re supposed to. Images don’t quite fit right. Maybe they look like they’re meant for someone else’s computer screen. Even worse… they look like they’re meant for a computer screen, and you’re on a mobile phone or tablet.
Google cares about these things — and tests them. If your site is a little slower-loading than your competitor’s, it could cost you in Google rankings.
Invisible things matter too: scripts, codes, plugins, permalinks, and metadata.
A great law firm website will fit any screen or any device, load in a flash, and send an “all clear” signal to search engines.
Know Your SEO
Of course, even the most fetching and functional website won’t do you much good if nobody finds it. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
SEO is a science all its own, and it involves a lot more than keyword stuffing. (Actually
, the wrong approach to keywords can backfire… and often does.)
Last month, we wrote about how attorneys can do SEO on their own. While you’ll get a lot more mileage out of a professional agency, budget-challenged attorneys in small or solo practices would do well to learn some SEO basics for themselves. It’s the #1 driver of new clients to your firm.
As it happens, that’s exactly what we do at Internet Marketing Geeks: affordable SEO training and website design for small law firms. We can create a spectacular site for you, engineered specifically to attract traffic and then convert those leads into clients, all for one low monthly rate.
We also offer a lot of one-off SEO and Content services, giving you better control over what gets done when, instead of paying an SEO agency a monthly fee for… well, whatever it is they’re doing.
Get in touch and ask how we can help you grow.