We do quite a few law firm websites around here, and not just because I’m married to one. We’ve done websites for attorneys from New York to California, and there are a few things that we’ve learned that a website or a lawyer needs.
- Practice Areas: People need to know what kind of law you practice. Be specific, and use not only your legal terms, but layman’s terms as well. What kind of cases do you take? What kind do you want to take? Be clear so that people know if they’ve landed in the right spot.
- Your Photo. When it comes to lawyers, realtors, and insurance agents, photos are a must. People want to look at your face before they call or contact you. And don’t take it with your phone. Hire a professional to do it right. You’ll be surprised at how much value having a professional photo will add to your website.
- Testimonials or References. People want to know that other people have used you and been happy. They want to know you’ve won cases. They want to know that you represented people. Every state bar has different rules about how you can and cannot advertise using testimonials, so know what’s allowed for your firm and show your potential clients you mean business.
- Disclaimer. If someone contacts you via your contact form, is that considered client-attorney privilege? If they contact you, are they legally bound in anyway? That first attempt at contacting an attorney can be scary for most people. So make it clear in your disclaimer what kind of contact they are making. Assure people that it’s safe to contact you.
- Contact Information. Your number needs to be at the top of every page, and it needs to be clickable so that people on their phones can click to call. Also have a simple contact form, preferably on every page. Make it easy for people to contact you.
- SSL encryption. Your clients want to know that whatever information they submit on your contact form is secure. Not only that, Google uses encryption as a ranking factor and a lot of hosts include an SSL certificate with your plan. There’s no reason not to take advantage of this!
A few other thoughts….
When someone needs an attorney, it’s because they need help. They’ve been injured, victimized, or had a hard time for some reason or another. For most people, contacting an attorney is scary. Your website should not only make your potential clients see you as a competent professional, but it should also make them feel comfortable.
One of the best phrases you can use on a law firm website is this:
We can help you.
Listing your accolades and accomplishments is fine. People want to know that you’re good at what you do, but that won’t help if they’re too intimidated to call you. It can be difficult to try to find the right balance between powerful attorney and sympathetic confidant, but it can make the difference between whether someone takes the next step or moves on to the next attorney.
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