What Your Legal Website Says About Your Law Firm
If you are a solo practitioner or small firm, you might rely on word-of-mouth and online marketing. Word-of-mouth is in some ways the easy part: networking, excellent client service, and strong case results can help elevate the success of your practice.
But when the internet is cluttered with legal websites, how can you stand out online? You probably know the basics: pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO) and do your best to show up in neighborhood search results.
The next stage is actually convincing potential clients you are the best lawyer for them. They’ve landed on your website because of a word-of-mouth referral or Google search. Now, ask yourself what your legal website says about your practice.
It should quickly identify you, your strengths, and who can benefit from your representation.
Who You Are
Often legal websites don’t have a picture of their partners on the home page, but with a few design elements, you can tell potential clients who you are. Pictures and color schemes convey a specific mood. That mood can send a message of warmth, compassion, professionalism, or whatever idea you want to provoke.
This mood gives people an expectation of how they will be treated when they contact the firm. Warm and welcoming is perhaps your best option if you practice family law, as you want clients to feel comfortable opening up about deeply personal matters. If you are a bankruptcy attorney, your legal website might want to convey the fact that you are reliable, practical, and can help them make the best decisions about their business or personal finances.
Of course, one of your website pages should be an “about” or “bio” page that does include photos of you and your team, with a little bit of information about your background. You can tailor your text to include information that’s relevant to your potential client base, such as your own history as a small business owner or training in accounting if you practice bankruptcy law.
What You Do
This is the nuts and bolts of a legal website. It tells your potential clients exactly what kind of law you practice. More than that, it lets people know exactly what you do from their perspective. Your potential clients probably aren’t lawyers and might not know the difference between a personal injury lawyer handling car accident cases and a criminal defense attorney offering D.U.I. services. To someone outside of the legal industry, these both might fall under the heading of “motor vehicle lawyers.”
Your legal website should therefore have a section on services that identifies your key areas of practice. Preferably each page should focus on an issue that’s relevant to your clients. A family lawyer might have pages on spousal support, child custody, and prenuptial agreements. This tells a potential client whether or not you can help them.
Your services page should be easy to find. Most law firm websites have clear on-site navigation that makes it simple to find what you do with a few clicks. The layout of your home page and internal pages should be straightforward and intuitive.
It is important to spell out everything you offer clients, so you don’t miss any potential leads. A family lawyer who only posts information on divorce and separation won’t get a call from a person who is about to get married and needs a prenuptial agreement. If that’s the kind of work for which you are searching, advertise it. Let people know the full range of your services.
Who You Serve
People need lawyers for all sorts of reasons, but you might not be the right lawyer for every person, even if the representation they need falls into your area of practice. A personal injury lawyer might focus on people hurt by the negligence of others and might not act for those who are accused of negligence.
Your legal website content should refer to your clients frequently and consistently. For example, a statement such as “If you want to regain your parenting rights, call us today” can let people know you represent people who have lost or relinquished custody. Saying, “If you want to enforce a spousal support order, speak to us,” tells clients you can work on behalf of someone whose former spouse is not upholding their legal commitments.
Images throughout your site can help let people know who you serve. Images of children, families, small business owners, and people facing criminal charges all convey that instantaneous message that you are here for them.
Why You Are the Best Choice
Legal websites are in constant competition with one another. Every lawyer in a given region has colleagues after the same business. As a matter of professional courtesy, and perhaps bar association rules, you don’t want to speak ill of other attorneys. But your legal website should tout your unique accomplishments, abilities, and legal services.
Ask yourself the direct question: what does your legal website say about your law firm? Does it tell people about what makes you stand out? Consider adding a few elements to your site to send this message:
- Five-star Google reviews
- Positive client testimonials
- Lawyer rankings such as “top small firm in region 2023″
Pepper your legal website content with unique experiences relevant to your clients. Consider statements like, “As a former prosecutor, I have worked the other side of D.U.I. cases. I know prosecution strategy and can use that information to defend you against a D.U.I. charge.”
Your personality and human touch might also help you to stand apart. As you speak to your potential clients through your website, adopt the tone you will take with them. “There is no shame in declaring bankruptcy. In many cases it is the practical and wise choice to protect you and your assets,” tells clients they can speak to you openly and honestly about their legal needs, even if they are facing a challenging time.
Be sure to list your credentials on your bio or about page. Your education, previous experience, and why you love what you do can all give you an edge when a potential client is reviewing your legal website.
Up Your Legal Marketing With Martindale-Avvo
Martindale-Avvo can help elevate your practice in the online marketing space. We offer comprehensive legal marketing solutions including website services and online legal profiles. We can help you to deliver your message to potential clients.