Website Design Guide to Grow Your Law Firm in 2023
In a 2020 survey by the American Bar Association, 89% of respondents said that their law firm has a website. However, less than half of the respondents to the survey had a dedicated marketing budget. In 2023, having a website for your firm is not enough. That website has to stand out from the crowd. Visitors to your site will evaluate the quality of your firm based on the quality of your website, so you want your online presence to be as polished and professional as you are. Learn how to optimize your law firm’s website design and how professional web design can improve growth and bring in fresh leads.
What are the benefits of web design for my law firm?
Web design is a valuable component of your lawyer website. Having a website is step one. Ensuring your law firm’s web design functions at its best is even more vital. But why? Why should this be such a valuable component in building your practice? There are actually quite a few reasons.
One of the biggest factors in lawyer website design is the way it connects with your potential clients who visit the site. In 2023, many people turn to the internet long before they ever contact a law firm. They want to find answers to their questions without having to ask an attorney. They may want to conduct their own research on the top or simply want to evaluate your firm’s credibility before contacting you. In some cases, they use the website to gather insight into whether they have a personal injury case or if they can just handle their personal injury or family law matter on their own.
Your website is the first impression many potential clients get of you and your firm. Long ago, the focus was often on having the top office in the biggest building in town to impress your potential clients. Today, it’s your website. An attorney website that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and polished resonates with them. You want to be sure that the first impression is a good one.
Another core factor that helps the best law firm websites stand out is their branding. A well-designed website built for search engine optimization (SEO) is more likely to rank in the search engine results. That means that when people who need help with a specific area of law go to search engines to find the help they need, they see your attorney website listed and can click on it.
Studies show that the number one Google-ranked websites account for about 27% of the number of Google-related click-throughs. In other words, prospective clients are more likely to click on the law firm ranked at the top of the search engine results list than any other. The more you rank visibly in Google’s top results, the more people will be aware of your firm and the services you offer.
This can directly impact the number of new clients you get. Ranking well can help even a small law firm to see an increase in the number of leads they get to their landing pages.
Following through on that, consider what rankings do to leads themselves. Where do your new clients come from? According to one source, the following occurs:
- Email has the highest number of conversions at 4.5%.
- Organic search results – which is where SEO comes into play – accounted for 4.2%.
- Social media channels only accounted for 1.6%. That includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
That means ranking for organic searches is one of the most efficient ways of converting leads to clients. Getting people to your social media page is great, but it usually doesn’t turn them into clients. What does is having an effectively designed website that has high-quality content on it. When they visit your landing page, learn about your law firm, find out which practice areas you provide help for, and have a good user experience, then they request a consultation.
Organic SEO is a very valuable component when it comes to building the value of a website. Organic SEO for law firms is a service that Array Digital specializes in, but know that SEO is an additional component of the web design process itself. With well-designed, optimized websites, you can see a drastic improvement in your website’s ability to bring in well-qualified leads. Surveys found that 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search — that’s a huge factor. Optimizing your law firm website for organic search means bringing in more traffic with a higher conversion rate. This makes the overall value of your website drastically higher.
Bring in ideal clients
Your design can also speak to your brand. You can tailor your website to appeal to your ideal clients. If you are in business law, you want a very different client than if you are a highly prolific injury lawyer, for example. Ideally, a site targeting mid-sized businesses would not look the same as one targeting lower and middle-class people in need of legal services.
What is the best way to get clients from a legal website?
You may be working on a new website or revamping an old one. The key is to turn website visitors into new clients. How does that happen? Like all types of legal marketing, it needs to be targeted and done with care by highly experienced professionals to ensure the best outcome. Having a website with some basic information about your law practice and a phone number is not likely enough. So, what can we do to turn your website into a lead generator?
Ensure quick loading times
Functionality matters just as much as the law firm marketing you are doing. If you pay a lot of money for a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and the prospective client comes to your website but cannot get any real information about your legal practice, they will move on. One core problem is a lack of function.
Google factors the loading speed into the rankings. If your website doesn’t rank well, then that impacts how many people see your site. Additionally, studies indicate that faster sight loading speeds have a higher conversion rate. For sites that load in 1 second, the conversion rate is 3x higher than a site that takes 5 seconds to load, and it is a whopping 5x higher than a site that takes 10 seconds to load. That does not give you much time to make that solid first impression!
Utilize an online contact form
Another valuable tool in creating success for your law practice through your website is making it easy for people to get your help. An online contact form is one of the easiest ways to do this. It should be:
- Visually distinct
- Short and to the point
- Easy to find
You don’t have to offer a free consultation or a free guide to legal services to get people to request help if your website is doing its job. Just remember that you will need to respond to these submissions when they come in! Having a contact page is also important as it ensures people can find your phone number, office address, and information about what they should do next.
Place multiple calls to action
A call to action, or CTA, is a must. CTAs are short statements intended to encourage a reader to convert to a client. They usually involve an invitation to take some action:
- Schedule a consultation (or free consultation if you offer it)
- Fill out a contact form
- Download a free eBook
- Visit the office
- Get more information
A successful call to action needs to be short, sweet, and consistent with the tone and branding of your website content. It should work well with the rest of the page.
At the same time, it needs to be visually distinct and attractive in some way to encourage a clear course of action for the reader. For example, having a call to action that appears as a button on the home page to the contact page allows a person to move easily through the site to take action. It stands out just enough to get them to click.
How to start your law firm’s website design
Law firm web design is uniquely different from just about every other industry. There is much to consider here. Beyond anything else, you need to ensure that your site is eye-catching and works well in the search engines. Yet, it also has to steer clear of any compliance risks or overpromising. You want your law offices to be highly desirable places to visit (in person) when they land on your site. Here are some factors that can play a role in this process.
What do you want your site to look like?
Your site should look as polished and professional as your law firm. You should choose a design layout that is visually appealing, easily navigable, and easy to read. You can find a template to use that may be fitting, but you can also hire a web design company to carry out your vision and make something truly custom. As with any component of your marketing strategy, it’s important to make your website your own.
Structuring your site
Does it matter how the site looks or how many pages you have as long as your practice areas and contact information is present? Yes, it does, and for very good reason.
The optimal structure of your site is called the Hub-and-spoke model (or pillar and cluster model). The model has “hub” pages that cover a larger topic. The spoke pages, which go into further detail about topics related to the hub, contain links that point back to the hub pages.
Let’s consider this for a moment. If you are a personal injury law firm, you need to have a page dedicated to providing information on personal injury law. Since personal injury is so broad, this can likely be your homepage. You can then have individual web pages that cover the various types of personal injury work you do, such as vehicle accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and medical malpractice. This way, people can move deeper into your site as needed.
Google favors this structure because it increases your site’s relevancy and authority for a broad topic via internal linking. It also improves your site’s overall SEO and user experience.
If your firm primarily focuses on family law, you could have a hub page for divorce with blog pages (which would be spokes) that go in-depth on particular questions related to divorce. This would signal to Google that your site is an authority on the topic of divorce, increasing your ranking and traffic for searches related to that topic.
Five essential pages for your law firm’s website
Let’s take a look at the ideal website structure. Remember that this will impact not just the way people interact with your site but how the search engines rank it.
You need a main landing page, also known as a home page. This page grabs the reader’s attention. It should have an easy-to-read format that also makes it simple for people to navigate to other pages of your website. It should clearly define what type of practice areas you serve, such as personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning, and so on. Let people know they are in the right place.
Design your home page to encompass your branding. The best-performing lawyer websites will have updated headshots of their attorneys and videos of lawyers interacting with their clients or speaking about their problems.
The next step is to include an About Us page, which should provide an introduction to you and your services. Make it personable, as if you were speaking face-to-face with a prospective client. Explain your passion, your mission, and your qualifications. Use this page to help readers trust you.
The American Bar Association has also required that any lawyer communicating about their services online must include, at minimum, the name and contact information of at least one layer or law firm responsible. Place that information here, too.
Your contact page provides the details your prospective clients need to contact you and get the services you are offering. It should include the following:
- Your phone number
- Business address
- Email address
- Social media links for your firm
- Contact form
Another very valuable page for your prospective clients is a testimonial page. This page allows people to read the positive feedback left about your law firm. Testimonials increase your trustworthiness both with your reader and with Google’s algorithm.
There are many reasons to have a blog attached to your website.
Answering your reader’s questions
One of the key reasons to incorporate it is because it allows you to answer your reader’s questions. Many people come to attorney websites as people search for answers to their questions. You can conduct research to learn what these questions are and then create FAQs and blog posts that center around the answers to them. Be clear, easy to understand, and factually accurate. This helps increase your authority as readers associate your firm with the topic they learn about. This then encourages them to use your law firm to get the legal services they need to settle their concerns.
Links and keywords
For SEO purposes, your blog helps you to get more content on your site and allows for additional backlink and internal linking opportunities. When you write a blog post that targets specific keywords, you encourage click-through from Google. By writing clearly and in an engaging manner and then linking to other content on your site, your readers spend more time there. That helps to increase their likeliness of turning into a client.
How do I decide which law firm website design company to hire?
Like with any aspect of your digital marketing, you have to choose the right company and marketing services to meet your law firm’s needs. Your website is a critical component of your success online. We encourage you to take the time to find a web design company that you feel offers you the very best level of service and support for your needs. Here’s what we think matters most.
Knowledge and experience
Find an agency that has a history of working with law firms. There are a lot of agencies out there that write for many industries, and some will include law firms under that umbrella. However, you need a website design company equipped to create a site that fulfills your firm’s needs.
The agency you choose must be familiar with the legal restrictions regarding comparative language, guarantees, and more, keeping your site in compliance with ABA regulations.
Array Digital specializes in law firm marketing. That is all we do. This allows us to have a very high level of knowledge that is very specific to the legal industry. We focus on supporting law firm success. We also understand exactly what lawyers can and cannot say on their website according to both state and national Bar regulations.
An experienced web design company will have a portfolio you can examine. Look at it. Pursue several of the websites the company has created. Be sure to look at these sites through a laptop but also with mobile devices to see how they really function and perform. Does it fit your firm’s goals and needs?
Figure out what your budget is. You will need to allocate some funds to your website design. Then, compare the pricing of different design companies to decide which offers you the best value and quality for your investment (the lowest price nor the highest price is usually best).
If you are considering a web design company, you should ask for reviews from previous or current clientele. Learn what their experience was. Ask questions about the process, timeline, and end results. Does the company have a good working relationship with its clients?
Work with an agency that is responsive and personable. They need to offer more than a simple WordPress template to follow and basic marketing services. Yet, the way they talk to and interact with you as their client also matters.
Choose a responsive company that answers your questions thoroughly. They should be engaging with you and willing to listen to your needs.
Array Digital prides itself on going the extra mile. We not only create the ideal website to showcase our client’s legal services, but we also teach our clients how to create and manage their success. That includes learning to read performance statistics so they can see how well their website is performing. We are fully transparent with each client and actively offer suggestions for improvement or ways to tweak their strategies.
We genuinely care about our clients’ success. Our strategists take the time to meet with our clients regularly. We actively check in — not just wait for you to contact us with a problem. We’re here for you.
Create a Site to Behold
The perfect marketing message, your brand’s stand-out logo, a font and palette that draws them in, and exceptional content that helps your prospective clients move step by step from being website visitors to paying clients is our goal.