10 ways to make your law firm website stand out from the pack

law firm websiteTake an honest look at your law firm website. Most law firm websites look and feel the same…boring. While there are strict rules about advertising, it doesn’t mean your law firm website has to be cookie-cutter.  Use these 10 tips to make your law firm website friendly, accessible, and professional.

 

1. AVOID THE STOCK PHOTOS 

Photos can convey powerful meanings. However, a photo of a skyline is impersonal and does not convey anything about you and your legal services.  Similarly, stock photos of a gavel, courthouse, or law books do not sell your law firm. Ask yourself: What is the message you want to convey to your potential clients?

2. USE A CURRENT FRIENDLY PHOTO IN YOUR BIO

Clients want to hire lawyers they know, like, and trust.  Your law firm website should definitely have a picture of you. The photograph should convey your friendliness and accessibility. Although there may be rules about photos such as having a plain background. Avoid the “yearbook photo” look but check your bar rules.

3. CONSIDER A SHORT BUT SWEET INTRODUCTION VIDEO

Videos can make instant connections. Potential clients will get a sense of who you are and how you conduct yourself. This may make it more comfortable for them to contact you. A brief video can introduce yourself, your services, and why you do what you do. Show your passion and professionalism to inspire confidence in you. Professional videos are relatively inexpensive to make and can go a long way towards the “know, trust, and like” factor. 

4. SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY IN YOUR YOUR ATTORNEY BIO

Attorney biographies are important in showing your skills and experience. However, it should not read like a resume. Describe how your experiences and passion have lead you up to your current situation. You can include hobbies or interests outside of your law practice to show your personality.

5. MAKE YOUR SITE QUICK TO LOAD AND EASY TO NAVIGATE

Other than a brief video introduction, do not include fancy graphics or videos that may make your website slow to load. Maile Ohye, from Google, says “2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.” You don’t have to be as fast as Google but be mindful that clients may not have patience for a slow website. Similarly, your law firm website should be easy to move around. Clients should not have to hunt for information. Make your site quick and clean.

BONUS TIP: Most people look at websites on mobile devices. Check how your law firm website looks on a mobile device!

6. CREATE VALUE ON YOUR SITE

Reward potential clients for visiting your website by offer your clients useful tips. If you have a blog, keep it updated with timely content. For example, if you are a DUI lawyer, offer tips of what to do if you are pulled over by police. Or if you are an estate planning attorney, include forms or questionnaires that clients can fill out prior to a meeting with you.

7. USE TESTIMONIALS

If your state bar association allows, include testimonials from prior clients. The best time to ask a client for a testimonial is once the job is complete. Have them describe their experiences and sing your praises. Make sure the client gives details of what was done but doesn’t reveal information that is confidential. A testimonial from a client who leaves their name is more impactful than an “anonymous” referral.

8. LINK TO AVVO OR OTHER LAWYER DIRECTORY WEBSITES

There are many ways that potential clients can get more information about you. Review and update your lawyer profiles on AVVO and Martindale. I have seen countless attorneys with high ratings on AVVO that have not bothered to include contact information to their firm. Especially if you have favorable reviews, link them to your website. Some sites allow for client testimonials and feedback. Don’t miss opportunities to present yourself in a positive light.

9. GIVE A VARIETY OF CHANNELS FOR A CLIENT TO CONTACT YOU

A potential client may not want to fill out a contact form. Offer different ways for a client to contact you. Include your phone number and email address. If you have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram accounts, share the links on your website.

10. PUBLICIZE YOUR WEBSITE

Once you have put together a great website, get it out there! Look into free lawyer directory websites to list your firm.

MORE BONUS TIPS: Top 5 Tips for a Professional Law Firm Website

And check out Forbes article on the Hottest Web Trends for 2019.

Again, check your State Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct regarding your law firm website. Most jurisdictions consider blogs to be advertising and therefore must follow the rules of lawyer advertising and solicitation.

Catherine Hodder, Esq. and Kelly C. Sturmthal, Esq., authors of Law Office on A Laptop: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Mobile Law Practice, provide practical e-books, advice and support for solo practitioners and entrepreneurs.