A well-built law firm website is the cornerstone to any successful practice.
It’s the equivalent of a storefront for any physical building.
Think about it, if a business has a shoddy, outdated entrance, what are the chances your average passerby is going to pay a visit?
It’s the same for your website.
If you want to attract leads and convert them to clients with digital marketing, the first step is going over your law firm website design.
This article will teach you:
- What a Well-Designed Website Will Do for You
- Essential Web Pages for your Law Firm Website
- Tips for a Practical Law Firm Website Design that Gets Results
What a Well-Designed Website Will Do for Your Law Firm
But before we get into exactly “how” to design your website, let’s talk about “why” you should.
So here’s the question:
What can a well-designed website do for you?
Help Gain Inbound Traffic
When it comes to law firm websites, there are two things that they should do for you.
And the first thing is, bringing in traffic.
Many law firms’ websites leave a lot of room for improvement in this sector.
Convert Traffic into Leads
The next thing a well-built website does is convert that traffic it brings in.
After all, a massive wave of leads doesn’t matter if you can’t convert them to clients in the end.
What you want is a website that brings in large amounts of traffic and moves them down your sales funnel on autopilot.
You can orchestrate this a few ways, but a good start is to make sure you’ve got all the right pages and that they’re built efficiently.
Essential Website Pages for Law Firm Website Design
A website is nothing without all of the pages that create it.
There’s no correct answer on how to create one either. So, I’m going to analyze some of the essential pages that help law firm websites succeed and thrive.
- Practice Area Pages
- Case Studies & Results Pages (Show Your Credentials)
- An Easy Way to Contact You
- A Blog & Resource Pages
In keeping with our storefront analogy, the home page, or landing page, is the showcase of your business.
If a home page is where your visitors first “land”, then they need to see clearly and quickly what you want to tell them.
Note: visitors only need 2.66 seconds to focus on a key area of a website (Sweor).
How you build your home page will either make or break the website for many of your visitors.
It’s the first thing they see, and if they don’t like it, they’ll likely bounce (move on to another more engaging site) before they get a chance to see anything more.
All of the pages that make up your website deserve care, but think of the home page as a “hub” for the rest — and as the hub, it needs special care and polish to make sure it — and your law firm — shine.
An About Page
Your about page is a place for you to show your human side to visitors.
Remember, any leads for your firm are people, and as such — they have more trust in those that build a connection with them.
It’s a lot harder to gain the trust of someone who can’t connect with you on a personal level, and the About page is where you start that process.
Your About page should include information about your firm, the people who work there, your mission, and your values. It can also be a great segue into your case study section too. (more on that later)
Another critical but sometimes forgotten page is your location page (or pages if you have multiple locations).
The location page is vital because it shows interested prospects where they can come to work with you.
But possibly more importantly, it will help you rank for local keywords. For example, when marketing personal injury practice in Dallas, it could be worth searching for keywords that have “Dallas” in them.
Even local leads are more likely to find you online first. According to the SEO Tribunal, it is estimated that 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
The Location page serves a purpose on the SEO front too, as it gives you a place to list your NAP citations.
Not sure what NAP citations are? We’ll get to that in the “SEO” section later.
Practice Areas Page
If your prospects don’t know the areas you practice in, how will they know you’re the best choice for their case?
A practice areas page is a crucial way to provide visitors an idea of what you do.
Check out Levin Firm’s website as an example of this:
The Levin Firm’s “What We Do’ page highlights each of their niche areas, and then they take it one step further:
They’ve created a dedicated page for every type of case they’re familiar with and able to work.
This gives potential clients specific and detailed information about who the law firm specializes in helping.
Case Studies & Results Pages (Show Your Credentials)
Ever hear the saying, “Actions speak louder than words?”
Well, it’s right in marketing too.
Or to put it a bit better:
Your past results speak louder than words.
Any law firm can claim that they’re the best and get the results that their clients want, but how many of them have excellent track records to back it up?
A case study page is crucial in the initial trust-building stages of any lead that finds its way to your law firm website. Without a case study or results page, you’re already starting on the back foot.
An Easy Way to Contact You
Want to know a great way to get more clients? Make yourself easier to contact.
Plenty of law firms are unknowingly crippling their own business by not providing multiple easy contact methods for leads.
One of the most straightforward pages to find on your website should be the contact page.
If someone has enough interest to pick up the phone or write an email, don’t put any hurdles in the way for them getting there. Instead, you should create an extra smooth highway straight to the contact form.
We’ll take another visit to our friends at The Levin Firm to see an excellent example of this:
From their landing page, they provide multiple means of contact — there’s a phone number, a contact page, and a live chat, all within one click’s reach.
A design like this removes as many entry barriers as possible so prospects can get right down to business.
A Blog & Resource Pages
Blogs are some of the most useful yet undervalued website sections out there.
Not only do they help with SEO and search engine ranking purposes, but they’re another great place to share:
- Your expertise with case studies
- Informational post
- Share local news
- News about law firm awards
- Updates on lawsuits
Most law firms close out their blog posts with an option to contact the law firm if they have questions. They may also end a blog post with an opt-in box so website visitors who don’t need an attorney at the moment can subscribe to the email list for regular newsletters.
Blog page design also incorporates social sharing elements to encourage content shares on social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or privately by email or text.
The idea is that if someone reads useful information, they might know someone who needs to read it as well.
If your law firm’s blog design has a built-in social sharing system that makes it easy to share your blog content, you might get a few leads or backlinks to boost your rankings in search.
Tips for a Professional & Aesthetic Law Firm Website Design that Gets Results
Creating a well-designed website isn’t a challenging task, but many firms fall short because of oversights, overcomplications, or just a lack of knowledge on the matter.
So, let’s cover some of the quick basics of UI/UX so you can create a competitive website.
Keep it Simple
First is one of the most critical rules in website UI/UX building: Keep it simple.
While it may be tempting to let your creative artistic side flow unhindered, the fact is that a convoluted website is only going to chase visitors away.
Innovation is good, but ask yourself, “Is there anything wrong with the way this element is traditionally?”
Only innovate when it makes sense to do so.
Here’s an example — take a look at this home page:
Pretty standard, right?
It’s got links to other sections of the websites, a contact button, a number, and a live chat.
But is that a problem? No. Home pages are designed like this because they work.
And since Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers understand that, they didn’t have to waste energy, resources, or time trying to think of a creative way to reinvent the home page.
Expectations are a massive part of web design.
For instance, what do you expect to happen when you hover a cursor over a dropdown menu?
Probably something a bit like that.
If, for instance, a menu appeared from the right side of the screen, it’d be unique but not necessarily good — because it goes against expectations. (on top of being unintuitive)
Sometimes the norms for website design are there for a reason, so get into the mindset of a visitor and ask yourself, “What do I expect the site to do when I take a given action?”
If the website doesn’t do what you expect, ask yourself whether that’s a positive thing or not.
Using the Right CMS to Make Your Job Easier
One way to make the whole website design process significantly easier is with a CMS.
A CMS, or Content Management System, is a program or website that allows you to create, manage, and design a website without having to worry about all of the complex backend processes like coding.
While you might not know them as “CMS’s”, you’re probably already familiar with a few of them.
Take WordPress, Squarespace, or Webflow, for instance.
These are all platforms that make website creation into a streamlined, easy-to-digest experience.
Over 40% of all websites on the internet are made with WordPress.
WordPress tends to be the go-to for businesses that want a quick and easy way to launch their website.
And to give credit where it’s due, WordPress certainly brings a whole slew of benefits with it.
For one, the massive customer base that uses WordPress means it has integrations for all sorts of websites, plugins, apps, and themes.
But that doesn’t mean WordPress is flawless, either. In fact, it’s got a giant list of flaws.
For one, while the massive catalog of plugins is excellent, they’re not just add-ons. If you want a well-functioning website, you need your purchased plugins to support it, which adds complexity to the process.
In addition to that, WordPress is somewhat vulnerable, and has been known to go down at inconvenient times without notice.
For a law firm website, these down hours could account for multiple leads lost. So it is an essential factor to keep in mind.
Webflow is a bit of an underdog in this fight.
And while it’s much lesser known than WordPress, that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own in the ring.
In many ways, Webflow even comes out on top; let’s get into why.
To start, WordPress’s reliance on plugins doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue with Webflow.
And to add to that, Webflow is generally a bit more reliable and streamlined than WordPress. The servers don’t have the same outages, and there aren’t as many data loss cases.
However, Webflow doesn’t have the same support or online community that WordPress has, nor does it have as extensive a library of plugins.
Design a Site Architecture that’s Helpful and Makes Sense
Side by side with site design is site architecture.
The way you structure your website is just as important as your law firm website’s aesthetic, so let’s cover some tips on the architecture front as well.
Take Users and Search Engines Into Account
Take a look at this website chart:
It’s a pretty standard form of website organization, and for a good reason — it takes users and search engines into account.
But what do I mean by that?
Let’s take a moment to think of how search engines and users use and parse through a site.
When Google’s spider crawls a website, it’s trying to organize the information within it. It assumes that pages linked to each other are probably related somehow and attempts to figure out the best way to sort that info for search engines. When your site isn’t linked properly, that’s when lower rankings can occur.
Your website should have pages organized both vertically and horizontally for the best of both worlds.
Use Strategic Internal Links
Internal links and your website’s architecture go hand-in-hand. They’re what connect each page together to make up part of your site architecture.
Think of your websites like a pipe system, and the “authority” of each page is the water that flows through those pipes.
If you want to get the most out of each high-ranking page, ensure your website is internally well-connected to pass off authority.
Every page should link to other relevant pages on your site. This helps users find relevant content and it helps Google determine what a page is about.
Integrating the Right Keywords
Another element that is important for SEO is using the right keywords.
Keywords are the phrases that Google uses to categorize each page on the web.
For instance, “law firm Oregon” might be a keyword you’d want to rank for if you were a law firm in Oregon.
If you want to get ranked for #1 on Google (which you definitely should since 90% of people don’t go past the first page), you must identify keyword opportunities and integrate them into your website.
Implement a Content Marketing Strategy
If you want your law firm website’s design to be seen on search engines, you need content.
Even with all the right keywords and a perfect website structure, none of it will do you any good if you don’t fill out your website with valuable content — the reason many searchers click on your site in the first place.
Web content can rank from lengthy case studies to short Q&A articles and everything in between, but the real kicker is developing a strategy to keep you moving in the right direction.
Again, if you’re serious about ranking online, I strongly urge you to check out our guides on SEO for a strong start.
SEO is becoming increasingly important for companies in all sectors, and for many law firms — it’s the primary profit-generator.
Optimize for Mobile
Did you know that over 52.6 percent of all web traffic comes from mobile users? (oberlo)
That’s why it’s critical to keep this in mind: users will be on their phones more often than not.
This means you need a website that functions well on both desktop and mobile devices.
How to Check Your Mobile-Friendliness
To start, it’s a good idea to check your website’s “mobile-friendliness” with Google’s free tool.
While the Mobile-Friendly test isn’t the end-all to the mobile-optimization process, it’s an insanely helpful start that gives you a quick overview of some of the surface problems that might need fixing.
The next free tool by Google you should implement into this process is the speed test.
Google’s mobile-friendly tool checks how well your website works with mobile devices, but the speed test checks how fast it’ll load on those devices.
If you don’t want users to bounce, get your website speed as fast as possible. Here are a few ways you can reduce page load times to do just that:
- Compress large images
- Implement plugins like WP Rocket if you use WordPress
- Pick a reliable hosting platform.
- Enable browser caching
For a more comprehensive guide on reducing page speed, check out this post on Search Engine Journal.
Picking the Right Themes
On platforms like WordPress and Webflow, not all web themes are created equal, especially regarding responsiveness.
There’s a large list of options.
Specific themes may look nice but not operate so well, or perhaps they’re explicitly designed for audiences on specific devices.
A straightforward way to learn whether a theme is well optimized for mobile is by researching and checking the reviews.
Maintaining an Uncluttered Screen Through White Space
Here’s a small but crucial tip to keep in mind:
Implement. Proper. Whitespace.
When it comes to online content and webpages, many of us get into the mindset that we’re writing legal papers or essays. Still, blog posts and web pages are fundamentally different from any legal writing for multiple reasons.
One of the main reasons is that your content has to be visually attractive to your audience.
Take a look at the last section without proper use of white space and tell yourself honestly: Would you read a whole webpage that looked like this?
If you’re like most, the answer is probably not.
Online users don’t want to struggle reading thick, complex, difficult writing; we want easy-to-digest pieces that don’t scare us away.
So keep in mind, when writing content, implement these practices:
- Whitespace and small paragraphs
- Images to break up the monotony
- Bold and italic fonts
Basically, keep in mind that the value of your content only matters if it looks interesting enough to keep a user engaged.
Add FAQ Sections
One easy way to improve the user experience is by including a simple FAQ section.
Our friends at Dolman do this and go the extra mile by including video content too.
FAQ sections are significant because they can address your visitors’ concerns and questions without them having to call or email — which saves both parties valuable time.
If your firm has attorneys who can work in another language, make sure to highlight that as well.
Providing for non-English speakers gives you a massive advantage against firms who don’t have the ability to support leads who don’t speak English.
Get Feedback & A/B Test
And lastly, remember:
No matter how good you think the website is at first, there’s always room for improvement.
One of the best ways to find those areas for improvement is by asking for feedback or running A/B tests.
Find friends, colleagues, or even staff in your firm and ask them to go through the website with a constructive mindset.
But most importantly, listen to the data. Run tests on different versions of your site’s pages to determine what works best.
Essential Elements of a Law Firm Website Design
What are the most important elements of a law firm’s website design to you? Let us know in the comments.