Online presence plays an ever-expanding role in the success of modern law firms—according to the National Law Review, 74 percent of people who visit law firm websites are looking to take legal action. This means that your website plays a key role in helping potential clients decide whether or not to use your services.
To stand the best chance of converting your site’s visitors into clients, your website must be engaging, informative, and intuitively laid out. To create such a website, you’ll need a few essential ingredients, including:
- Professionally taken staff photos
- Bios of your attorneys
- News and developments
- Contact information
- Descriptions of your practice areas
- Your firm’s philosophy
High-Resolution Staff Photos
Hire a professional photographer to take the pictures that appear on your website. Professional photographers understand lighting, composition, and posing. They can produce photos that will have the type of polished presentation you want to present. A skilled photographer will have ideas for composing creative and engaging photos that will make your website stand above those of your competitors.
Bios of Your Attorneys
Potential clients want to know who they’ll be dealing with. Give them as much relevant information as possible. You never know which fact about a lawyer on your staff will connect with the reader. It could be a college alma mater, a place of birth, or even a middle name.
Avoid publishing bios sound like encyclopedia entries. When visitors read these bios, they’re looking for someone to identify with on a personal level. For that to happen, they can’t just list statistics—they’ve got to have real substance.
News and Developments
Regularly update your website to report the latest court battles that you’ve won. You’re sending a message to potential clients that you’re active, newsworthy, and successful. Be sure to keep this section current—you don’t want visitors to get the impression that business is slow.
If you don’t have a recent outstanding legal victory to blog about, you can keep readers up to date on the latest events in the professional lives of your staff. For example, you might consider making mention of any awards they receive or training sessions they complete. You’ll also want to announce any new hires.
Your website design should clearly communicate what steps the reader needs to take to communicate with you.
- Tell the reader how to schedule a consultation with you
- Provide a live chat option
- Give a phone number & a fax number (if needed)
- Include a form on your website that potential clients can use to communicate with you
- List your firm’s public email address
- Post a physical mailing address where people can write to you
- Tell visitors whether or not you accept walk-ins
If your location isn’t easy to find, consider including a map on your website.
What principles govern how your firm operates? What sets you apart from everyone else?
Try to be creative with this and avoid relying on the worn-out clichés that appear on other law websites. Your reader wants to hear about the unique core values that shape your approach to the legal profession.
Potential clients want to receive assurance that your former clients were happy and content with your services, so be sure to provide lots of testimonials. Testimonials are one of the most useful tools for potential clients looking to determine a law firm’s competence. A lack of testimonials will understandably make visitors suspicious.
Description of Your Practice Areas
People want to know that you have handled cases similar to theirs, so it’s important to be specific about the type of law you practice.
Other Ingredients to Consider
In addition to these essential ingredients, you could use your website to exhibit noteworthy content authored by you or another partner at your firm. This could include legal papers, white papers, industry journal articles, or even blog posts.
Also consider uploading other types of media, such as recordings of conference presentations or webinars.
While some of the tips we’ve reviewed in this article can be implemented fairly easily, others require a certain level of expertise. After all, website design is an art and you can’t be expected to get it right on your first attempt. If you want to build an engaging site that will increase your client base and strengthen your reputation, consider employing a professional to help you throughout the design process. A small investment upfront can lead to a much larger return in the future.
Also, while these website practices are wildly important, don’t neglect other aspects of your firm’s online presence. Regularly update your social media profiles, and consider building a profile on a high-visibility legal network—a presence on such a site can refer a great deal of traffic to your own firm’s website.