You already know that to appear credible, your law firm’s website should steer clear of certain design elements like starbursts that highlight toll free numbers, excessive copy with exclamation marks, and visuals of money and jail cells. As an attorney, you want your site to promote your best attributes. So, what are the things you should keep in mind? Here are some pointers.
Lead with your firm’s philosophy
If you’re hired for a case, tell prospective clients what they can expect from you. Personal attention? Thorough investigation? Creative litigation? Sensitivity to their budget? Honesty? Whatever your philosophy is, place it prominently on your home page.
Put your credentials on display
Encourage site visitors to get to know you by including an “About” section. It should be a brief resume, where you share your practice areas, education, military service, professional affiliations, and awards. If you are active in your community, whether as a town official or a volunteer, say so. Make sure you place the “About” section either on your home page, or one click away. It is often the first thing a prospective client wants to read, so make it easy to find.
The power of a polished head shot
Arrange for a professional photographer to take your headshot – one that visually communicates the image you wish to convey. If you smile, make it warm and inviting to impart trustworthiness. A more serious pose should say hardworking, not sulky. To come across as practical and successful, your hair should be well-groomed and your clothing classic. Crop your shot from the shoulders up because your hands may send mixed messages – crossed arms look standoffish or hands in pockets may imply you’re too passive. The reality is, site visitors will judge you by your appearance. So put your best face forward.
Does your business benefit from referrals from satisfied former clients? Ask those same clients to share their positive feedback in writing and get their permission to post it on your site. Clients need not be specific about their cases or settlements. Instead, the testimonials should reference your knowledgeable counsel, as well as your timely and cost-effective services.
Results speak volumes
If you successfully litigated a case, let prospective clients know. Create a “Results” tab on your site that allows visitors to see a listing of your firm’s recent transactions or select verdicts and settlements. Post an intriguing headline – for example, “Insider Trader Brought to Justice” – and have it link to a summary of the case, including if there was a substantial recovery involved.
Are you in the news?
If you are a fixture on the local legal scene, share your activity via a “News” feature on your site. Do you lecture about ethics at a local college? Are you a panelist at an annual business expo? Have you launched a Webcast series to share elder law information? No news is too small. Share your firm’s recent hires and participation in fundraising efforts, too. Post your press to showcase your commitment to the industry and community.
Your site visitors are impressed by your philosophy, credentials, headshot, testimonials, results, and news – now what? Make it easy for them to contact you. Your address, phone number, and email address should appear on every page of your site. Also include a contact form where prospective clients can submit their information to you, along with a message field so they can detail their inquiry. Then follow up with them within 24 hours.
Boost your business by incorporating these seven design elements into your law firm’s Web site today!
Rosetta Halbrook is a legal marketing researcher with extensive experience in website development. She enjoys sharing her SEO insights on various websites. For more information on lawyer websites from LexisNexis visit LexisNexis lawyer marketing.