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Do's and Don'ts for Law Firm Websites

May 2018

These days, more people than ever are using the internet to look for legal advice or hire legal counsel. In this environment, it is vital for law firms to have a high-quality website.

Related: Why Functional Web Design Is Essential for Your Law Firm

A good law firm website can mean the difference between landing a client or having that person choose your competitor. What does a terrific law firm website look like, and how can your firm build one? Below, we have listed out some of the basic do’s and don’ts of law firm website design to help your business succeed in this increasingly important area.

Do invest in strong SEO: The legal field is crowded, which means you are competing for visitors before you even start working on website design or content. You can have the most beautiful website ever made, but it won’t yield any conversions if your target audience isn’t finding it. Investing in strong search engine optimization (particularly local SEO) will do a lot to increase the visibility of your page and get it in front of the right people.

Don’t slack on content: One of the biggest mistakes law firms make is not having enough content. They have simple sites with three or four pages: a homepage, a page to list lawyers and their qualifications, a page to list services or specialties, and a contact page. These pages are important, but they are just the beginning of what your website needs to include.

Instead of one page with a bulleted services list, consider creating landing pages for each service or legal specialty you offer. Add a blog, an FAQ, or both. These pages are necessary for you to prove your expertise and are extremely valuable for SEO.

Do embrace mobile: Not only are most modern customers doing some (if not most) of their web browsing on phones or tablets, but Google also prioritizes websites that are optimized for mobile platforms. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, rectify this issue immediately.

Don’t ignore metrics: If you are going to spend money on SEO, advertising, content marketing, or website design, then you owe it to yourself to look at the metrics regarding your site performance. These analytics will tell you about the people visiting your website and their browsing habits. You can use this information to determine where your website is succeeding and where it is falling short. From there, you can make course corrections to maximize your ROI.

Do pay attention to navigation: The best legal websites—and the best websites in general—are the ones that are easy to navigate. Does your site have a simple and intuitive interface? Is it clear where visitors should go to find answers to certain types of questions? Do you have links to other parts of your website positioned in logical locations? If you can’t give a confident “yes” to all these questions, you need to go back to the drawing board.

Don’t be afraid to brag a little: No one likes a pompous professional, but don’t be so modest that you don’t make an argument for why you are the right lawyer for visitors to hire. Showcase things like certifications, awards, education, and years of experience on your site. Clients do make decisions based on these criteria, so it is important to shine a spotlight on them.