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10 Law Firm Website Design Mistakes that Cost You Leads and New Clients
If you’ve read any of our other lawyer marketing blogs, you’ll recognize the phrase:
Your website is your #1 marketing asset and your 24/7 acquisition representative.
However, this isn’t 100% true—it would be more accurate to say your website can and should be your #1 marketing asset. Just having a website doesn’t mean it will automatically start producing massive amounts of leads and new clients.
Back in the 1990s, it was tough to convince law firms they even needed a website. Now, the trouble comes in hammering home the fact that if a law firm’s website design is more than 10 years old (and really, more than five years old), it needs to be overhauled.
That’s because the average website design now has a life expectancy of between two and five years.
The modern legal client’s expectations for your law firm’s website design change and evolve rapidly. Their expectations are shaped by their favorite digital experiences—regardless of whether that experience was with Amazon, Apple, Uber, or any other multi-billion-dollar company with piles of cash to spare. In fact, over 75% of people have admitted to judging a company’s credibility based on their website design.
No longer can you count on your brand, your market share, or strictly word-of-mouth referrals to help you outgrow and outperform your top competitors. You’ve got to sell yourself through your website design.
Since specific web design best practices vary across the different legal fields, I thought it would be better for you to learn what NOT to do first. Below I’ll detail the top 10 lead-killing law firm website design mistakes you need to rectify immediately.
10 Law Firm Website Design Mistakes That Hinder Lead Generation
1. Your Law Firm’s Website is not secure
You may not associate it with web design, but having a website that isn’t secure is a big design mistake. There are a few industries that require a higher level of trust and data protection than others—and the legal industry is one of them. Consumers who visit your website are already uneasy because, hey—legal stuff is scary, regardless of what it is.
Do you know what else is scary?
Getting your data and personal information phished, hacked, or stolen.
Consumers are well aware of online safety concerns, and most of us are smart enough to pick out the green padlock or the word “secure” in the URL bar. We are also smart enough to associate the words “Not Secure” with “DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER!”
If you want your website to generate more law firm leads, it needs to be secure (HTTPS instead of HTTP). You do this by getting an SSL certificate.
Not having a secure website is like waving a red flag for both search engines and cautious website visitors. Search engines include website security as a huge part of their ranking algorithm, and 82% of people wouldn’t browse an unsecured website. If for some reason your website isn’t secure, you’ve got a problem. Learn more about website security here »
2. Your website is not mobile-friendly
This is old news by now, but your website’s design needs to be mobile-friendly. There are more than 2.9 million online searches for lawyers each month, and about 58% of them happen on a mobile device. We see that translated to web visits for our attorney clients—on average, about 60% of their total website visits come from mobile.
How can you tell if your website is mobile? Test it here.
3. your website is slow
If you want to generate leads from your law firm’s website design, your web pages need to load fast.
People don’t like to wait. Not for justice, not for settlement distribution, and not for your website to load. They hate extended load times so much that 47% of them will ditch your website for a different one after two seconds of waiting. If they’re browsing on a mobile phone that percentage jumps up to 53%.
To test your own website speed enter your website’s URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This will give you a page speed score and give you page speed optimization tips specific for your website.
A slow website is often caused by poor website design. Here are some general design tips you should follow to speed up load times:
- Optimize your images – Optimize and compress your images. The larger an image file, the longer it takes to load.
- Limit plugins – There are plugins and apps galore that will add sparkle and jazz to your website. However, you don’t NEED sparkle and jazz to stand out, and the more plugins you have, the more time it will take to load them.
- Gzip it – A compression method call gzipping can reduce your site’s response size by 70%.
- Avoid landing page redirects – Sometimes redirects are necessary, but you should avoid having more than one redirect from a given URL to the final landing page. According to Google, “Because redirects trigger an additional HTTP request-response cycle and add extra round-trip-time latency, it’s important to minimize the number of redirects issued by your application.”
4. you don’t prove your worth—immediately
People want the best legal services. A lot of fear and uncertainty surround most legal cases, and having a lawyer you’re 100% confident in makes the process much less nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, the modern consumer is naturally impatient (and anxiety amplifies that impatience), so you have a limited amount of time to convince them that you are THE best law firm for their situation. You can soothe their fears and anxiety by having the following front-and-center on your law firm’s website:
- Notable achievements
- Links to research papers and studies
- Rankings in “Best of” publications
- Legal certifications and pedigree
- Any other authority builders unique to your specialization
If you need some law firm website design inspiration, check out Tobener Law, above. They do the authority thing extremely well. Not only do they have an impressive collection of awards and certifications further down the page, but they also included a snippet of authority-builders right under the home page banner image.
5. Your font style and size are difficult to read or mismatched to the audience
Remember Comic Sans? It was everybody’s go-to font back in, oh, i don’t know…1999?
I recently received an email from a senior attorney at the EPA who had a…wait for it…comic sans email signature.
I had a nice little chuckle.
Yes, the font and typography you choose say a lot about you, your business, and how you conduct your business. Take a look at these law firm website examples below. Each one has a clearly distinctive typographical style, and each website has a different “feel” to it:
Make sure your typography and stylistic elements fit in the bigger picture of who you are and who your law firm is. If you aren’t sure what you want to say with your website design, talk to a website designer. The best ones (shameless plug for our website design services) will walk you through the visualization process and help you make your visions a reality.
If they can’t, or they don’t, they’re probably not the ones you want to trust your image to.
6. YOUR WEBSITE Doesn’t humanize your lawyers
Consumers commonly perceive lawyers as robots in suits. You know that, I know that, we all know that. It just sort of comes with the territory.
If you don’t counter this assumption from the get-go, you’re going to pay the price in legal leads. Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Zeiher Co. takes care of this immediately by featuring their lawyers in their home page banner:
7. YOUR WEBSITE DOES NOT HAVE H1 HEADINGS OR H2 SUBHEADS.
Most people skim headlines and emphasized text to decide if they’re interested in a webpage.
Heck, I bet your attention was drawn to that sentence just because it stood out. When a website can’t be skimmed easily for interesting content, it’s a user experience killer.
Another reason you need headings and subheadings? So search engines can find you. There are more than 6,586,013,574 searches a day worldwide. One of the factors for ranking higher in search engines is by having helpful markup for bots to read and decipher what a page is about. If a bot can’t determine what your page is about, it will be hidden somewhere in the no-mans-land of the double-digit search result pages.
8. You don’t Include Videos on your website pages
Incorporating videos into your law firm’s website design is a necessity. Not only is a video 50 times more likely to rank organically in the search results than text pages, but people also spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.
Including video in your website design can also increase conversion rates by 80%. Earn trust, differentiate your brand, explain complicated topics, and introduce yourself via videos both on your website and on your YouTube channel.
Here are a few types of videos your attorney website needs:
- Website welcome videos
- Lawyer profile videos
- Testimonial videos
- Legal processes over overviews
- Educational videos on commonly asked questions
9. YOUR WEBSITE DOESn’T HAVE CONTACT INFORMATION and conversion nudges up front and center.
Once on your law firm’s homepage, 64% of visitors want to see your contact information, and 44% of visitors will leave if there’s no contact information or phone number available. The end goal of the user experience on your website should be to create a conversion by having a user contact you and schedule a consultation.
You can’t stop at JUST your contact information, however. Incorporating plenty of conversion “nudges” like calls-to-action, contact forms, and chat boxes on your website will help increase your conversion rate. For example, check out this Ohio law firm’s website:
The user has four different opportunities to contact this law firm, without ever scrolling down the page. THAT is what you want to go for.
10. YOUR WEBSITE DOES NOT TELL A USER WHAT KIND OF LAW YOU PRACTICE RIGHT AWAY
This is probably the biggest offender. Why? Because once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds. You can get everything else right, but if a user can’t make a justified decision on your website, they’re going to hit the back button, especially if they’re in the B2B legal sector. Approximately 46% of B2B buyers will immediately leave a website if it’s not clear what the company does. At the least, you should have your services/products in clear view as well as confidence-building elements like testimonials, awards, and industry affiliates.
Why Attorneys Love Our Law Firm Website Design Company
We love our attorney clients and based on what they’ve said and all our 5-star reviews, they think we’re the bee’s knees. There’s a reason for that—we treat your business like we would treat our business, and that extends to our website designers. The strength of your firm’s website depends on the designer and launch execution. If you choose a subpar designer, you’re going to have a subpar website.
Since 2007, Blue Corona has specialized in custom, sales-driving website designs for lawyers. Our work ranges from highly customized, enterprise-level web portals down to affordable web design services for small law firms. From design to content, our team will handle it all to give you a turnkey website:
- Hosting and coding
- Graphic design
- Advanced analytics tracking
- Optimization for SEO
- Existing content import
- New content creation
- Lead form creation and tracking
- Website compatibility across all browsers and devices
- Integration with social media pages
- XML sitemap creation and submission
- And more!
What’s more, you will 100% OWN your website—unlike a lot of other local legal website design companies that hold it hostage. You’d be surprised how many web design companies have hidden clauses in their contracts.
To put it simply, your website should be beautiful, thoughtfully laid out, and lead-focused. A professional web design and lawyer marketing company, like Blue Corona, can help with this.
Contact us for a free consultation—I promise, you won’t regret it!
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.