To remain com­pet­i­tive in a high­ly dig­i­tal­ized mar­ket­place, law firms must be savvy in how they present them­selves online. Here are a few com­mon pit­falls to look out for in law firms’ web­site designs.

In today’s high­ly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, a well-designed web­site is absolute­ly vital for every busi­ness, includ­ing law firms. Your web­site sets the tone for how a client will expect your ser­vice to be. If you have a poor web­site, a client will instinc­tive­ly think that you will pro­vide poor legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion. With so much com­pe­ti­tion, you can­not afford to over­look the impor­tance of web­site design.

Here are sev­en com­mon web­site design mis­takes that law firms make.

1. Assuming That Any Old Website Is a Good Website!

Almost all poten­tial clients these days will have vis­it­ed your web­site before you are even aware of their inter­est. Whilst it is absolute­ly vital that your law firm has a web­site for poten­tial clients to vis­it, it is very impor­tant to under­stand that not just any old web­site will do. You can­not sim­ply list the name of your firm, a con­tact num­ber, and address and expect new clients to call you or turn up at your office. A good web­site will make an imme­di­ate good impres­sion, where­as a bad web­site will send poten­tial clients else­where.

2. Designing the Website Without Relevant Skills or Knowledge

Your web­site must be sim­ple, infor­ma­tive and user friend­ly. A clut­tered unpro­fes­sion­al web­site will sug­gest a dis­or­ga­nized unpro­fes­sion­al ser­vice. Your web­site is a reflec­tion of your firm and it is always worth invest­ing time and mon­ey into its design. Hir­ing expert web­site design­ers is the best way to make sure that your web­site is max­i­miz­ing your poten­tial to attract new clients. You will find that this ser­vice will prove ben­e­fi­cial in increas­ing traf­fic to your web­site. Once you have more vis­i­tors, it is vital that your web­site is a good adver­tise­ment for your firm in order to turn vis­i­tors into clients. A sol­id invest­ment in an effec­tive web­site is always worth the ini­tial out­lay and will pay div­i­dends in the long run.

Your web­site is a reflec­tion of your firm and it is always worth invest­ing time and mon­ey into its design.

3. Not Optimizing for Search Engine Results

The third mis­take that law firms make when design­ing their web­site is over­look­ing the impor­tance of Search Engine Opti­miza­tion. SEO employs strate­gi­cal­ly placed key­words with­in the con­tent of your web­site to lift it high­er in search engine rank­ings. An SEO strate­gist will deter­mine which key­words and how many of them you need in the con­tent of your web­site to make sure your firm is near the top when peo­ple are search­ing for the kinds of legal ser­vices you pro­vide. As there is like­ly so much com­pe­ti­tion that you must com­pete against in your area, this can give your firm a major advan­tage.

Not Optimizing for Search Engine Results

4. Not Clearly Showing Specialized Areas of Expertise

It is so impor­tant that a vis­i­tor to your site can imme­di­ate­ly see the type of legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion that your firm offers. If you are work injury lawyers that oper­ate in Hous­ton, Texas, make sure that is clear with­in the first few sec­onds of vis­it­ing your site. Put your­self in the shoes of a poten­tial client, vis­it­ing your site for the first time. If they imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nize that you pro­vide the ser­vice they need, they will con­tin­ue read­ing, but if that isn’t made abun­dant­ly clear, they will go some­where else.

5. Not Taking Advantage of Client Testimonials

Before any­thing else, most peo­ple who are seek­ing legal advice will ask peo­ple they know for rec­om­men­da­tions of lawyers that they have used in the past. Client tes­ti­mo­ni­als on your web­site work in the same way as word of mouth rec­om­men­da­tions and help show poten­tial clients that you have a suc­cess­ful track record and hap­py clients. Two to three well-high­light­ed tes­ti­mo­ni­als are a key fea­ture of every suc­cess­ful law firm’s web­site.

6. Not Offering Initial Quotes or Consultations

Because the major­i­ty of us are not used to legal mat­ters, the weight of upcom­ing legal pro­ce­dures can weigh heav­i­ly on our minds. You want to cre­ate an atmos­phere of safe­ty and trust from the very first moment a poten­tial client vis­its your web­site. One good way to do this is by offer­ing free ini­tial con­sul­ta­tions via mes­sage which will allow clients to learn about your rates and feel com­fort­able in deal­ing with your firm.

7. Not Checking out the Competition

If you don’t check out the competition’s web­sites, then you can­not know what you are up against. If you are aware that there is a suc­cess­ful law firm offer­ing the same ser­vices as you, do some research and try to deter­mine what is work­ing for them and how you could imple­ment it into your web­site design. There are many online lists where you can look at award-win­ning web­site designs and these are excel­lent resources for ideas and inspi­ra­tion to make your web­site as effec­tive as pos­si­ble.

A well-designed web­site is the most effec­tive way to attract new clients and to keep their inter­est piqued. The most impor­tant thing you can do is to look at your firm’s web­site sub­jec­tive­ly. Put your­self in the place of a per­son who needs legal coun­sel and is vis­it­ing your web­site for the very first time. Tai­lor your web­site to their needs and it will be a good sign that your ser­vices will be tai­lored to them also.

SOURCE: Lawyer Month­ly