What Not to Do With Your Law Firm Website

Last week on Legal Marketing Live, Marc and I shared our top “pet peeves” when it comes to law firm websites. We’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of lawyers across the United States and we’ve reviewed thousands of lawyer websites since we launched Spotlight Branding back in 2011. As a result, we’ve got a strong grasp on what works, what doesn’t, and where many lawyers are being led astray.

Below are four of the most critical mistakes that we see on a regular basis and how to avoid them:

1 – Don’t write your website content for SEO, write it for your prospective clients. It’s really important that you get your website content right – that it’s written to resonate with your target market, to establish your credibility, and to build trust with people that are thinking about hiring you. Your content should be written with this as your primary goal. Once you’ve done that, you can think about tweaking the content to help your search engine rankings, but don’t sacrifice the experience of your human website visitors! For more on this topic, check out this blog entry.

2 – Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. A significant percentage of the traffic to your website is mobile users. So for obvious reasons, it’s important that your website is optimized to give them the best possible experience. Make sure that the most important information – such as your contact information – is featured front and center on mobile devices. In addition, Google and other search engines have begun penalizing non-mobile-friendly websites in their mobile search results. In other words, if someone searches for your law firm using their iPhone, and your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it may not even show up. Considering nearly 50% of all searches originate on a mobile device, this is a huge deal.

3 – Let strategy dictate design, not the other way around. What is your website supposed to accomplish? Our approach is simple. Your website should:

  • Make it clear who you serve and how you help them.
  • Make it clear that you’re very good at what you do.
  • Make it easy to get in touch with you.

There’s more to it than that, obviously, but those are the most important goals. So keep this in mind when you’re having a site designed. It’s great to create a unique design that represents your firm. But don’t go so far down the rabbit hole of “trying to be unique” that you lose sight of the fundamentals.

4 – Make important information easy to find. Many law firm websites are cluttered and difficult to navigate. Oftentimes they don’t start out that way, but over time as new information is added to the website and the original framework is modified, they end up a disorganized mess. This is a costly mistake – studies show that you have a matter of seconds to capture the attention of a website visitor. If their immediate response to your website is confusion, they’re going to hit the ‘back’ button on their browser and look elsewhere. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate, that important information is clearly identified for your visitors, and that your menu is intelligently laid-out.

If you can avoid these four mistakes with your website, you’ve got a leg up on much of your competition. If you’d like to learn more, or if you’d like some help creating a website that engages website visitors and helps you grow your practice, click here to schedule a call with my team today.

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Daniel Decker

Daniel Decker is a co-founder and Partner at Spotlight Branding. In addition to helping lawyers stand out from the crowd, he spends his time writing, dreaming up new marketing strategies, and coming up with catchy subject lines. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing sports, guitar, politics, and Minnesota sports.

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