Because we’re in the digital marketing business we know that the quality of the site doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the firm. The problem is that the average potential client doesn’t know that.
- Too few images and dense, formal text that doesn’t make you want to talk to these people
- Drab, cold color schemes that make you wonder what it feels like to be in the physical office
- So-called “News” sections with nothing posted since three years ago that makes you wonder whether the place is even still open
If you’re a lawyer, take a look at your website and ask yourself, Is this a welcome mat or a blank, cracking concrete slab? Here are 5 vital components of a welcoming site:
- Easy to find basics.
If your eye doesn’t go almost immediately to your firm’s logo and physical location on your home page, you need a redesign. No question there. Visitors need immediate confirmation that they’re in the right place (your logo) and that you’re in the right place (location) to serve them.
- An interactive menu.
NEVER put everything about your firm on a single page. Having tabs across the top of the page for navigation (to Home, About, Contact, etc.) is a minimum requirement. It’s best to have more interactivity than that. For example, information about practice areas should not be all on a single page; that information should be collapsed until the visitor clicks on just the information they want.
- An attractive roster.
Don’t just list your attorneys; include high-quality photos and, again, make those photos interactive. There should be minimal information identifying each and what they do on the main roster page, but they should be clickable so visitors can see additional information about professional background, education, etc.
- Proof of life.
Keep on top of the “News” or “Blog” section of your website. Not keeping it updated is worse than not having it at all. It sends the unintended message that your firm is old, cold and ready to fold. Assign this task to a paralegal, PR manager or outsource it to a professional writer and post one story per month at a bare minimum. Weekly content is best.
- Digital comfort.
Step into the client’s shoes. When is it ever comfortable to reach out to a lawyer for the first time? The website is not to impress people who already know you personally. It is for people you haven’t convinced yet that you’re trustworthy people. Make it as easy as possible for them to reach out to you with an inviting contact form. Provide online payment capability, too. Put as much of the uncomfortable aspects of the lawyer-client relationship into the comfortable digital space as you can.
Looking for an example of what we’re talking about? Check out our portfolio and let us know what questions you have about transforming your drab website into a dynamic digital welcome mat.