Professional developing a website planI’m writing a quick post to discuss an important point that I see many attorneys miss. That point is that your law firm’s website should be treated like a brick and mortar store. In this I mean that if you owned a physical store that sold products you would, hopefully, recognize two things. The first is that your store would only have a finite amount of space. The second is that you would only want to stock your shelves with items which actually sell. Well, for reasons I’m about to dive into, you need to view the layout of your website as you would the layout of a store in that you should only use up space with information, links, or other content that people will actually click on. Let’s get to it.

Why do I say your website is like a store? Because, again, you have a limited amount of space on which to place content or other items of interest to potential clients. If you clutter your site with items which no one will be interested in then you just missed a golden opportunity to make the most of that space and it’s no different than stocking a store shelf with items which won’t sell. Here are a few examples of items which shouldn’t be placed on your website:

  • Testimonials from past clients
  • A “recent blog posts” section
  • Badges which link to sites like AVVO, Superlawyers, etc.

Why do I say these are bad ideas? Simple. If you have a page featuring testimonials, and you look at your analytics, then I’m willing to bet you’ll see that the testimonial page actually gets little traffic. Why? Because people who want to see your reviews are going to look on third-party sites like AVVO, etc. They don’t care about the self-serving and cherry picked reviews you chose to place on your website. I say a “recent posts” section is a waste because the space is better used with a “popular posts” section which features the most viewed content on your blog as opposed to links to content which happens to be the most recent. By focusing on popular posts you feature content which people are more likely to click on (those posts are popular for a reason after all). Why do I say those badges are a mistake? Because, as I discussed in a post on why your law firm’s site is helping your competition, they drive people from your site to another site which helps to search for other attorneys. If you owned a store front then you wouldn’t hang a sign in your store encouraging people to shop somewhere else. Well when you put those banners on your site then you’re doing just that.

Want to get more from your website? Make sure you maximize your real estate. I’ll be writing in my next post on some tips to maximize how you’re using your design space.