In today’s digital age, when it comes to gaining new clients, your law firm’s website can make or break you. A majority of people begin their search for an attorney online, and many of those individuals received your name along with a few other referrals. It’s crucial that your website makes a great first impression and encourages that person to call you for assistance with their legal trouble.
Unfortunately, most law firms have been slow to join the online era. They have a 5, 10 year old website that they have not updated in years and that just consists of a lot of legal mumbo jumbo splattered across the page. No matter who your target market is (other professionals, the regular Joe), this likely will not cut it.
If you are interested in standing out amongst your legal peers and bringing in new business through your law firm’s online presence, here a 8 tips to consider when building a new website, or reexamining your current one. However, it’s important to keep in mind that website optimization never really stops — it’s an ongoing process.
8 Tips for Building a Great Law Firm Website
1. Social Media Links
Your clients and potential clients are spending more time than ever on social networks and don’t you want to meet them there? Consider setting up business profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc… and then linking to your website and vice versa. This provides the viewer with easy access to everything you want him or her to know about you and your law practice.
2. Mobile Website
It’s no secret you need a mobile website. In fact, the ‘Over 55’ demographic is driving the growth of mobile search and social networking. Despite this, and the fact that Google has said that it will start removing websites from search results that are not mobile-friendly, recent data has shown most law firms have yet to add this critical piece to their websites. Smart phones are not going anywhere. Get mobile, get business.
3. Quality Incoming Links
You’ve probably heard an SEO person mention ‘links’ or ‘backlinks’ at one point or another, and for good reason. Search engines like Google and Bing still base their rankings off links and if you are going to have a great website, why not get it placed in search results? Submitting your business to large a local directory like YP.com is a great place to start.
4. Contact Information
This one seems like a no-brainer but you would be shocked. Make sure you have a phone number listed in an easy to find place. A contact form is also a great idea, especially if you don’t want to give your email address to the world wide web.
5. Clear Heading
Obviously, most viewers land on your website for a reason: to find out information about your practice and/or some area of the law. Make this search easy for them. Separate practice areas and legal resources with clear, easy to read headings. Set up your blog so that categories are easily defined and accessed.
6. Site Description
In addition to a clear heading, a to-the-point description of your practice is key to keeping potential clients on your website and interested in how you can assist them. Ask friends and family to check out your website. If they don’t ‘get your point’ in under 30 seconds, it’s back to the drawing board.
7. Lots of Good Content
As legal content writers, we are strong believers in providing unique, high quality content. Add pages specific to each practice area. Also, establish yourself as a legal resource in your community by offering an educational, information blog that is consistently updated. Don’t forget, the average Internet reader reads at the 6th grade level, so make sure your website speaks to your audience.
8. Images and Video
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google (which owns YouTube). Not only are videos great for search engine optimization, they allow you and your law firm to stand out among the crowd. Educate potential clients with a quick video on a popular legal topic and drive more traffic to your website at the same time. It’s a win-win.