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Website design
Chapter 1

Introduction to Website Design

Website Design Guide to Grow Your Law Firm in 2024

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12 Mins

Last modified: June 7, 2024

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 2024, 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?

Search engine results page for a personal injury attorney

Web design is a valuable component of your website. Having a website is step one. Ensuring your law firm’s web design functions are at their 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.

Increased credibility

One of the biggest factors in lawyer website design is the way it connects with your potential clients who visit the site. In 2024, 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 topic or evaluate your firm’s credibility before contacting you. In some cases, they use lawyer websites 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 potential clients. You want to be sure that your first impression is a good one.

Brand awareness

Studies show that the number one Google-ranked websites account for about 27% of the number of Google search 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.
  • A well-designed website build for search engine optimization (SEO) is likely to rank in the search engine results.
  • People who need you can find you.
  • When they find you, they learn about your site and law firm practice. They encounter your brand for the first time.
  • Ranking well can directly impact the number of new clients you get. It can help even a small law firm to see an increase in the number of leads they get to their landing pages.

Increase leads

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 — have a 4.2% conversion rate.
  • Social media channels only has a 1.6% conversion rate. That includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter).

That means ranking for organic searches is one of the most efficient ways of converting leads to clients. An effectively designed website with high-quality content will:

  • Get people to your landing page who are interested in the content there
  • Allow visitors to get answers to their questions
  • Provide a good user experience
  • Create an impact for your brand
  • Convince users to request a consultation

Organic SEO is a very valuable component when it comes to building the value of a website. 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.

Array Digital specializes in organic SEO and custom web design for law firms.

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 different client than an injury lawyer. 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?

infographic on website speed conversion rates

Whether you have a new website or are updating an older site, you must provide valuable content and insightful resources to turn website visitors into new clients. A successful legal marketing strategy should incorporate all types of legal marketing to achieve your specific goals.

A website with basic information about your law practice and a phone number is not likely enough. To turn your website into a lead generator, focus on these areas.

Related article: Lawyer Website Template vs. a Custom Built Website

Ensure quick loading times

Website functionality matters just as much as the law firm marketing you are doing. If you invest significantly in a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and prospective clients come 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 site loading speeds have a higher conversion rate.

For sites that load in one second, the conversion rate is three times higher than a site that takes five seconds to load, and it is a whopping five times 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

Your law practice’s website should make it easy for users to request 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. Remember that you must respond to these submissions when they come in! 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 crucial. CTAs are short statements that 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.

Offer a live chat option

In today’s market, the best law firm websites include a live chat option. It enables people to get immediate help when they visit your site. That’s more than just offering your contact information, and it can dramatically increase the number of leads you receive through your site.

With live chat, users don’t have to try to find information. This simple-to-use tool allows your reader to ask a question, set up a consultation, and get practical information in an automated fashion.

Related article: Why Live Chat is a Game-Changer for Legal Websites

How to start your law firm’s website design

Law firm web design is unique to almost every other industry. There is much to consider here. Beyond anything else, you must ensure that your site is eye-catching and works well in the search engines. Yet, it must also avoid any ABA compliance risks or overpromising. You want your law offices to be highly desirable places to visit (in person) when users 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 suitable template that may be fitting, but you can also hire a web design company to carry out your vision and make something customized to your firm’s vision and needs. As with any component of your marketing strategy, it’s important to make your website your own.

Structuring your site

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 broader topic, such as a practice area.
  • The spoke pages go into further detail about topics related to the hub.
  • Those spokes contain links that point back to the hub pages.

If you are a personal injury law firm, you need a page on personal injury law. As a broad topic, this may be your home page. Then, you’ll have individual pages that cover specific areas of your work. For example:

  • Hub page on what personal injury is
  • Spoke page on car accidents
  • Spoke page on workers’ compensation claims
  • Spoke page on medical malpractice

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.

Here’s another example:

  • HUB page on what family law is
  • Spoke page on divorce
  • Spoke page on child custody
  • Spoke page on alimony

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

Website layout checklist

Let’s look at the ideal website structure. Remember that this will impact how people interact with your site and how the search engines rank it.

Home page

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
  • Clearly define the type of practice areas you serve, such as personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning, and so on
  • Offer a clear explanation of your brand

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.

About us

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 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.

Contact page

Your contact page provides the details your prospective clients need to contact you and get the services you offer. It should include the following:

  • Phone number
  • Business address
  • Email address
  • Social media links for your firm
  • Contact form

Testimonials

Another valuable page for your prospective clients is a testimonial page. This page allows people to read clients’ positive feedback about your law firm. Testimonials increase your trustworthiness both with your reader and with Google’s algorithm.

Blog

There are many reasons to have a blog attached to your website.

Answering your readers’ questions

One of the key reasons to incorporate a blog is because it allows you to answer your readers’ questions. Many people come to attorney websites looking for answers to their legal questions. You can research to learn these questions and then create FAQs and blog posts that provide the answers. Be clear, easy to understand, and factually accurate. This helps increase your authority as readers associate your firm with the topic they learn about. It also encourages users 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 backlinks and internal linking opportunities. When you write a blog post that targets specific keywords, you encourage click-through from Google. By writing clearly and engagingly and then linking to other relevant content on your site, your readers spend more time there. That helps to increase their likeliness of turning into a client.

Related article: How to Start a Legal Blog Now and Why You Need To

Does your website incorporate E-E-A-T?

Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) are part of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. E-E-A-T aids in determining the quality of the content. It’s important for several reasons:

  • It demonstrates to Google that you have experience in the legal practice you are talking about and have hands-on knowledge in the field.
  • It also shows you are an expert in the field, something most people are not.
  • This allows Google to see the value of your site.
  • As a reward, Google ranks your site higher.

Your digital marketing strategy and content marketing strategy should incorporate several methods to help you meet Google’s E-E-A-T expectations.

  • Videos: Most recently, Google has placed heavy emphasis on videos. Our team can help you create a custom website design outside of a standard template to incorporate videos meaningfully.
  • Case studies: Having a case study on your site can help establish and build your online presence and authoritativeness. Even the best lawyer can only say they are the best so many times. A case study shows that you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
  • Testimonials: This is an excellent way to demonstrate expertise and experience. Satisfied clients who leave glowing reviews help convince new clients of your trustworthiness.
  • Settlements: Include information on settlements you’ve earned for clients to demonstrate your experience and expertise. Update this information often.

Another interesting update that comes from Google’s Hidden Gems update focuses on finding valuable, original content that’s not always out in the present but may be on:

  • Forums
  • Social media pages
  • Blog posts

Adding your own legal insight, personal success stories, and thought leadership can be a significant factor in improving your site’s rankings and visibility.

How do I decide which law firm website design company to hire?

Lawyer going through their marketing budget

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 with 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 compliant 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 ABA regulations.

Portfolio

An experienced web design company will have a portfolio you can examine. Look at it. Peruse several of the websites the company has created. Be sure to look at these sites through both computers and mobile devices to see how they really function and perform. Does their body of work align with your firm’s goals and needs?

Pricing

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 best value is usually not the lowest price — or the highest price).

Testimonials

If you are considering a web design company, you should ask for reviews from previous or current clientele. Learn about their experience with the company and the services provided. Ask questions about the process, timeline, and end results. Does the company have a good working relationship with its clients?

Related article: How Reviews Affect Local SEO

Customer Service

Work with an agency that is responsive and personable. They must offer more than a simple WordPress template and basic marketing services. More than that, how 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.