We Specialize in Web Design for Lawyers
Back in the late 90s, one question we often encountered was “I’m a lawyer…do I really need a website?” The idea of a lawyer without a website is almost laughable now. When working in an industry saturated by the competition, web design for lawyers is essential to help differentiate themselves. Websites are helpful for two main reasons: 1) they educate potential clients about your practice areas, and 2) they engage potential clients on a personal level.
Law Firm Websites as Educational Tools
Your website should be an educational tool for those in need of legal services. PSM Marketing has developed hundreds of law firm websites for attorneys across the nation. Through our experience, we’ve learned that potential clients are inquisitive. Don’t just tell them what services you provide—show them. The best law firm websites include client testimonials, case studies, blog posts, frequently asked questions, informative videos, and myriad other resources. Your website shouldn’t be a stagnant “brochure” of services rendered, rather, it’s an organic resource that’s constantly evolving to meet the needs of potential clients.
One of the biggest mistakes law firms make when it comes to their website is drafting the content themselves. Unless your undergraduate degree was in English or Creative Writing, please don’t write your own content. Lawyers have a tendency to write like, well…lawyers. In many cases, your potential clients will be dealing with a lawyer for the first time. Clients don’t want to hear the intricacies of guardianship and conservatorship rules…they want to hear that you understand their personal situation and will work with them from step one. They want to know that you are a fierce advocate for their legal needs.
Web Design for Attorneys that Engages Potential Clients
Clients care who you are. Do you know what the most consistently viewed web pages on law firm websites are? The biographies. SO many of our clients claim that “no one reads bios” and they consider them “fluff.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Biographies give potential clients a glimpse into who you are as a person, what you value, and how you operate. Clients like to research their options, hear what past clients have to say, and see tangible results that relate to their situation. Your website is your single greatest asset for engaging potential clients. You don’t want to lose business before they even walk in the door, which is why having a professional, modern website is absolutely critical for lawyers. We encourage lawyers to add the following information to their biographies:
- Summary of your practice areas
- Volunteer activities
- Awards received
- Association activities
- Representative experience (summary of cases or files you have handled in this format: Type of client, summary of the client’s issue, your approach, the solution)
- Client testimonials
- Blogs written
- Articles published
- Presentations given
Your biography should showcase your practice so that prospective clients can really see what makes you unique as a lawyer.
Strong Web Development for Attorneys is Crucial
Have you ever been to a website that was so horrendous it made you cringe? We love websites like that because we see the potential for that site. Components of a strong website include:
- Homepage: This is where the magic happens! Your homepage is your first opportunity to grab the attention of potential clients. What makes your firm unique? Be direct, succinct, and helpful. Your homepage should have a minimum of 900 words of content. Strong web design for lawyers means having a comprehensive homepage.
- Graphics: Website graphics have really evolved in the past 10 years. Believe it or not, clip art and cheesy stock images can actually be a liability when it comes to attracting new business. The photography on your website should be unique, applicable to your practice area, avoid trite and overused graphics (ie the scales of justice), and show clientele representative of real people.
- Biography Pages: Bio pages are the #1 most viewed pages of a website aside from the homepage itself. Make sure your biographies are insightful, detailed, and informative. You might just win the business because you share an alma mater- you never know!
- Calls to Action: Calls to Action, or CTAs, are really important for the flow of your website. What are you calling for visitors to your website to do on your site? Do you want them to contact you for a free consultation, fill out an intake survey, or connect with you on LinkedIn? CTAs help drive action.
- Reviews: Make sure you’re soliciting reviews from past clients. This gives potential clients an insider’s view on working with you.
- Ability to Contact: Make it as easy as possible for potential clients to contact you or your firm. This includes listing your direct and office lines and including each attorney’s email address.
- Social Media: Your website should integrate seamlessly with your various social media profiles (ie Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram).
Responsive Websites for Attorneys
All modern web design for lawyers is responsive. This means that regardless of the device used to view the website, the pages automatically resize and look phenomenal. The majority of website traffic these days takes place on smartphones and tablets, which is why having a responsive design is an absolute must-have. You’ve likely had the experience of visiting a website on your phone only to find that you can’t access the menu and the words are teeny tiny. Responsive websites are optimized for mobile viewing and eliminate that problem altogether.
Secure Web Design for Lawyers
Making sure your website is secure is important for the well-being of your site and your client’s privacy. Many of our clients use online payment gateways that allow clients to pay their invoices directly from their website. This is a phenomenal use of technology that simplifies life for everyone involved. It’s important, however, that your website is secure as possible- especially if you’re accepting online payments.
We recommend that every PSM client have something called an SSL certificate. Additionally, we integrate Google Recaptcha to ensure the submission of web forms is safe and private. When considering a web design for lawyers, we always think about security first.
Interested in Website Design for Attorneys?
PSM Marketing has a team of expert website designers, copywriters, and SEO specialists ready to make your modern website a reality. We understand the unique complexities and ethical considerations necessary for any law firm website and take special care to follow state and local regulations. Your website is often the first thing potential clients encounter when researching law firms. Make sure they like what they see. Contact the legal marketing firm for website development at PSM Marketing to get the ball rolling.
Common Questions about Web Design for Lawyers
The best law firm web design company is the one that you connect with. It’s the firm that has designed scores of other law firm websites and is familiar with the legal industry. It is also a firm that offers many scalable options for designing your law firm website – including pricing. The best law firm website design company is one you have met with, reviewed their portfolio, and asked their recommendations on your new website. Without hesitation they should offer to conduct a free website analysis of your existing site – no charge – and identify specific ways they would improve upon your existing site. Always check references to make sure your law firm web design company is the real deal!
Of course, the cost to design a website for a law firm is quite variable and will include:
- Number of lawyers in the firm
- Number of practice areas
- Amount of new content that needs to be written
- Ability for the law firm to make decisions efficiently and not get lost in marketing committees. This adds to the cost
- Review of competitor’s websites. We want your website to outshine and be head and shoulders above all your competitors
- Who will be making the changes to the website
- Type of hosting and maintenance requirements there will be required
- Original graphics that need to be purchased
- Quality of the lawyer headshots – they will likely need to be redone for consistency
- On-page SEO will need to be implemented on every page of the website
- Page-by-Page redirects will need to happen if the firm is doing a total website overhaul
These are just some of the variables that will affect the cost of a new website. That said, in general the cost for your new website, depending on its complexity will be in the $5,000 to $15,000 range.
When the website is being built, the website developer will conduct all the on-page SEO. This means that each page will be fully optimized using key words and phrases. Your website developer will also create the important titles, meta tags, and descriptions that allow search engines to index your site. When the site launches, your off-page Search Engine Optimization begins. This includes your law firm search engine optimization team adding your firm to directory listings and creating high quality backlinks to your law firm website. Over time, it is our goal to have all your keywords and phrases ranking in the top five organic results on Google.
In today’s marketplace, websites for law firms are no longer an option. Every law firm needs a website because every law firm has a website. Gone are the days of firm brochures (thankfully), which are out of date with the next new hire. A law firm needs a website because it will be that law firm’s biggest and best marketing tool for attracting new clients and referral sources to the firm.
PSM Marketing outlines every single step that will be involved in your website design and development. At PSM Marketing there are two distinct phases of website development: Phase I – designing and building the website, and Phase II – maintaining, enhancing, and adding new content to the website. Phase I is a fixed fee to be determined based on the complexity of the website. Phase II is variable depending on the level of search engine optimization your law firm requires, and how much new content the SEO team recommends we add to the site on a consistent basis.
Today, the design and functionality of your law firm website is important. You want clients to be able to:
- Easily navigate your website
- Find exactly the content they are looking for
- Be able to view the lawyer biographies easily
- Review all the services you offer
- Contact you – there should be contact forms on every page
- Have a blog page with related blogs
- Link blogs to each services page of your website where the blog directly relates to that service
- Search your website for specific keywords they are looking for
- Watch videos of you and your colleagues answering frequently asked questions
- Link to articles you have written and presentations you have given
- Possibly to include webinars you have delivered to clients
Today there are myriad things you can do on your website to offer features other lawyers may not have thought about including:
- Adding a video consultation room to your website
- Adding video introductions of each lawyer and staff member
- Creating interactive surveys on the website leading to contact forms. For example, Are you Married to a Narcissist? Take our survey to find out
- Incorporating an artificial intelligence-based live chat feature. We love www.Intaker.com
- Allowing clients to text you
- Providing many resource links and calculators on the website (what will I pay in child support?)
- The ability to schedule a meeting with a lawyer right from their biography. We use www.appointlet.com
- Using microsites to create practice specific content that includes everything related to a practice area including a practice summary, testimonials, articles written, presentations delivered, related blog posts and more
- Developing and promoting free e-books
It really depends. If the content is high quality, your law firm website development firm would likely want to edit the existing content to mirror any new content that needs to be written. Many times, the lawyers wrote the original content and, no offense, it sounds like it. In these cases, we recommend taking existing content and rewriting it and eliminating any legal jargon or highly technical information.
It’s OK! The beauty of a website is that you can change it! Unlike law firm brochures of the past, law firms would have to wait to print a new brochure to reflect its new marketing focus. The beauty of website technology is that at any time, new content can be added, and new SEO strategies employed to better promote a new focus area.
Yes. PSM Marketing simply will not develop a website if the client has no desire to also help people find the website. Developing the website is 50% of the project. On-page and ongoing SEO is the second 50% of the law firm website project.
Yes. WordPress is one of our favorite website development platforms. While we are also highly experienced using other platforms, we prefer the straightforward way WordPress websites can be designed for law firms, and the ease with which we can train those in the firm to make simple changes.