Sunday, December 12, 2010
Just like recipes, legal websites have ingredients that must be included for good results. Below you will find the basic building blocks of a successful law firm website:
A Professional Design – It sounds like a given, right? Right, but it’s astonishing how many attorney websites we come across each day which are quite simply a mess. The designs are outdated, misaligned or just plain ugly. If you want prospective clients and advisors to take you seriously, you need a professional graphic designer to help you. With your web presence serving as a cornerstone in your marketing campaign, a design by your neighbor’s nephew just won’t cut it.
Search Engine Optimization – This too should seem pretty obvious. Without SEO, your site won’t get noticed by the search engines or web users. Make sure your site has unique title tags, backlinks and fresh copy to keep it optimized. And again, you should consult an expert since they are up to date on current trends in SEO.
Intuitive Navigation – If your site looks nice but web visitors can’t figure out how to navigate around it, you’re in trouble. It’s important that your navigation menu is functional and intuitive to all users, regardless of how internet-savvy they are or what browser they’re using.
A Well-written Home Page – Many site visitors will enter through the home page so you have to make sure it’s good. This recent blog entry highlights the basics of drafting an effective home page.
Attorney Profiles with Personality – Every good legal website features attorney profiles. These “bios” should include the facts that prospective clients are interested in knowing: Where were you educated? How much experience do you have? Equally important, this copy should be infused with some personality. Don’t just give clients a bulleted list of your strengths. Instead, tell your story! Why are you an estate planning lawyer? What do you do outside of the office in your free time? You should include a PROFESSIONAL photo and even consider having a video to accompany each profile so the attorney’s voice can literally be heard by the visitor. The more web visitors can relate, the more likely they are to feel comfortable with you and reach out to your firm.
A User-friendly Contact Us Page – A contact page is really quite useless if it doesn’t encourage web visitors to contact your firm. Your “contact us” page should of course contain your address, phone number and fax number. It should also contain an online contact option; ideally, this should be a form which users can fill out with their information and inquiry and submit directly through the website. An interactive map which displays your office location(s) should also be available, allowing users to obtain directions and even get a satellite view of your building. This page can also include information on your office hours, whether you are available to meet clients at their homes or in hospitals and even types of payment accepted.
In addition to the “contact us” page, it’s also a good idea to include a contact form on every page to ensure that users can easily reach out to your firm regardless of where they travel throughout your site.
By including the six items listed above, you can be sure that you have a good foundation for a successful attorney website. To learn more about building your professional presence on the web, contact us today.