It seems like everyone has a website — from stay-at-home moms to your competitors in the legal field.
According to Siteefy, there are over 1.19 billion websites on the internet as of February 2021.
Whether you have a lawyer website or just learned you need one, you probably want to know how you can stand out.
The good news is there are countless ways for you to be unique, and bring in hundreds (or even thousands) of leads.
It all starts with one factor: user experience (UX).
In this blog post, you’ll learn:
- Why Your Law Firm Website is Crucial for Success
- What UX is and Why It Matters
- How to Build a Law Firm Website with Great UX
- 10 of the Best Law Firm Websites with Excellent UX
5 Reasons Why Your Lawyer Website is Crucial for Success
Before learning how to build a law firm website, you need to know why it matters.
Believe it or not, many business owners still don’t see the value in having an online presence — a survey by Clutch confirms this. According to the survey, 46% of small businesses in the U.S. don’t have a website.
You likely already know that being online is necessary in today’s digital world, but are you aware of the benefits of making your law firm’s website the best?
Let’s take a look at them now.
1. Improve SEO and PPC Results
A website is more than just a location for your potential clients to go — it’s a powerful marketing tool.
When done right, your website can bring you heaps of organic traffic, thanks to search engines like Google and Bing.
In internet marketing, traffic (or the views your web pages get) can either be paid for or earned organically.
Paid traffic comes from paid marketing campaigns, such as PPC advertising (pay per click). And search traffic comes by ranking for keywords on Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages).
Writing your content and designing your website to attract organic search traffic is referred to as search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a popular internet marketing technique, and its use is only increasing.
SEO and PPC both have their place for law firm marketing — and your website is crucial for both.
So having a well-designed website will help increase your organic leads from search and the conversion rates from your PPC campaign.
2. Stay Relevant
Times are changing, and so are the ways consumers shop for products and services.
Before the internet, businesses would reach their target audiences through marketing channels like TV commercials and radio ads. And consumers would look for brands the same way.
But now, 81% of people search for products or services online, according to the Global Web Index via Datareportal.
Profitworks reveals that 93% of business decisions start with search engine searches. So without a website, you’re only selling to 7% of your market.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the internet shapes the future of purchasing behavior and marketing tactics. And if you want to stay relevant in the years to come, putting effort into your firm’s website today is the way to go.
But having a website does more than helping you keep up with the times — it allows you to outperform your competitors.
The American Bar Association (ABA) found that the likeliness of a law firm having a website varies by its size, but the majority already do.
- According to their research, 77% of all firms have a website.
- Solo firms are the least likely to have a website, with only 55% having one.
- 100% of firms with over 50 lawyers have a website.
- 89% of firms with 2-9 lawyers have websites.
While your firm certainly needs a website, your law firm’s website quality directly impacts your digital marketing effectiveness.
3. Generate More Leads
Building out your law firm’s website will make it easier to generate more leads.
When adding a website into your current marketing tactics, the number of leads you can generate is limitless. There are multiple ways you can bring your target clients to your site, many of which ready to buy.
Your website lets you help your target audience through their buyer’s journey, no matter where they currently are.
The buyer’s journey has three primary stages:
- Awareness stage — this is when your users are first becoming aware of their problem. In this stage, they’re actively looking for information and ways to solve it.
- Consideration stage — after doing research, a potential buyer knows how to solve their problem. They’re making a list of businesses (or lawyers) to help them. Your goal is to be their ultimate choice.
- Decision stage — the buyer has decided to use your services. They’re ready to be converted into a client.
People in the awareness stage need different types of content and information than those in the consideration stage. Luckily, having a website lets you appeal to both phases of the cycle by creating various web pages, lead generation forms, CTAs (calls-to-action), and more.
Not only does a website make you discoverable to potential clients — it also allows you to collect valuable information about them.
Embedding forms and CTAs throughout your site is an effective way to generate leads and learn more about your target audience.
A website visitor becomes a lead when they hand over their information. However, don’t expect them to do this for free.
Leads typically exchange their information for content in return — free guides, a consultation call, subscribing to an email list, and the like.
4. Establish Thought Leadership and Industry Authority
A website is a perfect way to attract new clients, display your credibility, and establish industry expertise.
If you think only potential clients will be looking at your site, you’re wrong.
Other experts in the legal field will stumble upon your website sooner or later, and you’ll want them to leave with a good taste in their mouths.
Whether it’s your colleagues, employees, or a competitor, your website will tell someone a lot about you. It can also open up valuable opportunities.
In today’s day and age, networking is more crucial than ever. Knowing the right people can bring you consistent business. Using your website to educate others and connect with your peers will help you establish thought leadership — something any lawyer would want.
When you’re approached with the opportunity to be featured on someone else’s website, they’ll probably look at your social media and website. If your site looks scammy, inexperienced, or has poor user experience (UX), you can forget being mentioned online.
Plus, potential clients place lots of value on credibility and social proof when deciding who they’ll use for legal services.
Bright Local reports that 91% of people regularly read online reviews.
Interestingly, as many as 75% of consumers say they trust the reviews they read online just as much as personal recommendations.
68% of people decide after reading just one to six reviews.
Including client testimonials make you appear professional to other industry experts, and more trustworthy to potential clients.
You can also include social proof on your website. If you’ve been featured in a publication, an impressive list, or have received an award, you can include the logos of companies who gave you the acclaim.
5. Drive Sales and Improve Conversions
Last but not least, websites help you drive sales and improve conversion rates.
While lead generation forms help you collect your target audience’s information, other aspects of your website will convert them.
There are many ways websites can improve your conversion rates. For one, you can incorporate effective CTAs (calls-to-action).
A CTA tells your visitors what they need to do next. Examples of CTAs would be clickable buttons that say “book a consultation” or “view our won cases.
Writing persuasive CTAs and placing them strategically throughout your site prompts your audience into action. Without CTAs, no one would know how to purchase your services or get in touch with you.
Another way websites help you drive sales is through conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Your CTAs tell visitors what to do, and conversion rate optimization ensures more people do it.
Doing CRO will help you convert more of the traffic you’re already getting, which makes your website much more effective.
Websites allow you to experiment with many variables, improving the performance of certain features. For example, you can experiment with different web copy versions, designs, CTAs, lead generation forms, and much more
A superb way to test your site’s performance and do CRO is through A/B testing.
Also called “split testing,” A/B testing is the process of using two variations of the same web page and determining which one performs better.
In the case of CTAs, an example of A/B testing would be placing two versions of the same CTA on your site and analyzing which one generates more leads after a set period.
Once you’ve finished your analysis, you can rotate out the underperforming variant and use only the most effective one.
What is UX (User Experience) and Why Does It Matter?
When designing your lawyer website, you’ll want to prioritize UX (user experience). Ultimately, UX will be what affects your conversion rates, sales, and SEO performance the mos
But what constitutes “user experience?”
User experience (UX) is how consumers interact with your website, services/products, and content.
UX design’s goal is to increase customer satisfaction and engagement through the ease of use and pleasure provided by your website.
Having a good UX means your website visitors can easily navigate the site and are pleased with the layout and design.
Why is this so important?
For one, Google’s algorithm places a heavy emphasis on user experience. The pages of sites with poor user experience won’t rank highly. Even if they do, they’ll have meager conversion rates.
A study by Taylor & Francis Online found that it only takes 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your site. Depending on the first impression your site gives them, users will decide to stay or leave — and it doesn’t take them long.
SocPub reports that over half (57%) of consumers say they won’t recommend a brand that has a poorly designed website, particularly on mobile.
So not only does your website’s UX affect your conversion rates, but also potential referrals.
8 Steps to Building a Law Firm Website with Great UX (User Experience)
The benefits of a lawyer website and the value of user experience (UX) are undeniable. Now, it’s time to put it into practice.
Here are eight steps to building a law firm website with great UX. After implementing these tips, prepare to see higher conversion rates and more leads.
1. Optimize Site Speed
How fast your site loads directly impacts your website’s performance, both in user experience and SEO
While there are over 200 known factors Google uses to rank web pages, many remain unknown, even to Google’s founders.
How fast does your site need to load?
It was found out that 53% of people leave pages if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
When users leave your web page without further interacting with the site, it’s called a “bounce.” Bounce rate is an essential metric to monitor, as it tells you what percentage of visitors exit the webpage without exploring more.
A high bounce rate signals to Google that your site is untrustworthy or provides a poor user experience. This is another reason why site speed directly impacts ranking performance.
2. Use Whitespace
Whitespace refers to the amount of empty (or “white”) space between text and images. Be sure to use it liberally in web copy, blog content, and even social media content.
While whitespace might look unprofessional to an inexperienced copywriter or web designer, its value is tremendous.
Readability is highly regarded in digital marketing, as it keeps users engaged and on your website longer.
While “readable” web copy consists of multiple factors, whitespace is one of them.
In 2021, no one wants to read an essay when visiting your site. Content marketers often avoid using more than two to three sentences per paragraph.
Breaking up large paragraphs is just one way to use whitespace on a website. Let’s take a look at a few more:
- Use bullet points
- Add engaging images to break up the text
- Make sure your margins and column widths aren’t too wide
- Include no more than 15 elements on a page (logo, menu, CTAs, etc.)
- Group similar elements together (i.e., group your office location, email address, and phone number and separate it from other features)
- Wireframe your website
Not only does whitespace improve the legibility of your content, but it also creates appealing organization and visual hierarchies.
For example, grouping similar elements together guides users seamlessly through your site, and they’re never confused during their search for specific information.
Additionally, whitespace allows you to draw users’ attention to elements you want them to notice most, such as a CTA.
3. Make Your Site Mobile-friendly
In 2016, Google announced that it would start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor — this was known as “mobile-first indexing.”
More people were starting to search on their mobile devices, but the previous ranking factors still focused primarily on the desktop versions of sites.
Since then, Google has continued to place an abundance of focus on the mobile responsiveness of websites. In fact, Google has expanded its “mobile-first indexing” initiative as recently as September 2020.
When designing your lawyer website, mobile-friendliness must be a high priority. And just like most other key performance indicators (KPIs), mobile-friendliness affects your other site metrics.
After analyzing millions of search queries, a study from Oberlo found that 52.6% of all the web traffic comes from mobile.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, up to 60% of your visitors will have poor user experiences, causing them to leave the web page.
More visitors exiting your page means a higher bounce rate, which hurts your rankings.
Fortunately, ensuring your site is optimized for mobile can be pretty straightforward. All it takes is entering your site’s URL into the Google Search Console’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
After entering the URL, the test will tell you whether or not the specific page is mobile-friendly and provides you with a screenshot of how it appears on mobile devices.
Not only does it give you results in plain English, but the test also links to other helpful resources.
4. Monitor Your 404s
Staying on top of your web pages’ performances is key to maintaining a site with a high-quality user experience.
Building optimized web pages is easy when you follow UX best practices (like those in this list) — but having non-existent or unresponsive pages on your site can cause damage.
We’re all familiar with the infamous “404 error” and “page not found” messages we get when clicking on links. The way pages end up like this is usually because it no longer exists but is still linked.
However, innocent mistakes can also be the cause of an error page.
For example, if the URL to a page was changed, but links to it aren’t updated, the old links will take users to an error page. Other times, error pages can occur simply because of a typo in the URL.
Regardless, sending users to non-existent pages is a no-no when it comes to UX. For this reason, it’s essential to create a 404 page.
If a user clicks on a link or searches for a URL that doesn’t work, they will see the infamous “page not found” screen.
However, if the site has a 404 page, the user will remain on the site despite being shown the error message.
Simply having a 404 page is beneficial because instead of seeing a white screen, users can use your site’s menu to navigate to a working page. In other words, they won’t have to exit your website.
You can monitor your 404 error pages with Google Analytics. Simply navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to see how many times users (and how many of them) have encountered error pages on your site.
5. Build Easy Site Navigation
Website navigation is exactly what it sounds like: how users get from one web page to another.
Your site’s organization heavily impacts user experience. Websites with poor navigation lead to frustrated visitors, whereas easy navigation encourages them to stay on the site longer.
Symptoms of a website with poor navigation include too many categories, unclickable links or buttons, excessive drop-down menus, and the like.
To know if your site is easy to navigate, check off the following characteristics:
- There are under 15 categories
- There are little to no drop-down menus
- There are seven or fewer menu items
- You have a planned or mapped-out version of your entire site
- The site uses pre-established symbols (such as the hamburger sign for a menu)
- All your links and buttons work
You can easily create a visual plan or map of your website structure with tools like GlooMaps.
GlooMaps lets you drag and drop site elements (like web pages) onto the screen. By the end, you can see your website’s exact layout without all of the copy and visuals, making it much easier to judge its organization.
I recommend using GlooMaps before you even start building your site, but you can also use it to redesign a site or determine whether or not it needs changes.
6. Craft Effective CTAs
Your CTAs are one of the most crucial elements of your site.
When done right, they generate leads that you can convert into clients. But when done wrong, they’ll send your visitors back to the search results page and lower your conversion rates.
How you craft CTAs will depend heavily on your target audience:
- What are their pain points?
- What’s motivating them to look for legal services?
- How close are they to being ready to buy?
For example, some CTAs act as simple lead generation forms. The goal here isn’t to prompt users to work with you yet, but rather to get to know you better.
These types of CTAs should be the first ones visitors come across.
Asking your target audience for their money right away will hinder your prospects. Hardly anyone is ready to buy when they first stumble across your website.
Instead, incorporate a CTA or two that encourages users to explore more of your site and become familiar with your offerings. For example, a simple “book a free consultation” or “view our successful cases” button in the hero section gives users a next step without reaching for their wallets.
Furthermore, your CTA needs to use clear and concise language that your audience uses and understands.
Avoid using industry jargon, abbreviations, or obscure vocabulary. Those words might make you appear smart in an academic setting, but on the internet, you’ll sound out of touch.
You should also beware of cliche language. Phrases like “book now!”, “don’t miss out,” and “once-in-a-lifetime” sound salesy and scammy.
7. Use Eye-catching Visuals
Website visuals are worthy of high priority for many reasons.
For one, they break up long sections of text, keeping visitors engaged and on track.
80% of readers skim content before reading it.
Therefore, you have a chance to capture their attention in the first seconds they look at the page. Also, visuals allow you to highlight the most important pieces of information.
When writing copy, remind yourself of your content’s main point and what you want users to take from it. Once you have a concise answer, make it into a visual.
Visuals don’t just improve your site’s legibility, though — they also make you look human and trustworthy.
Including professional photos of you and your team allows users to connect with your brand as they remember that there are real people behind the site.
Plus, incorporating clean and high-quality images helps your site maintain a theme, making it visually appealing and memorable.
8. Write in Concise Language
Using clear and easy-to-understand language doesn’t just apply to CTAs — it applies to all your web copy.
Your website should take no longer than 3 seconds to load. As a general rule, visitors should also tell who you are and what you do within those 3 seconds.
Being straightforward and concise keeps users on the site longer. If they have trouble finding relevant information, you can bet they’re already on the way out.
Words that aren’t necessary (but are still used) are referred to as “fluff.”
Limiting the amount of fluff in your copy not only keeps visitors on the page longer but also guides them through steps you want them to take faster.
To help you avoid using fluff, try grouping relevant information together.
For example, don’t talk about the awards you’ve won in a section that tells users what services you offer. Instead, place this information in the same areas where you discuss why they should work with you.
10 Best Law Firm Websites with Great UX
Here are 10 examples of law firm websites with great UX.
1. Price Law
This Indianapolis attorney group has an established brand color theme, professional images, and clear site navigation.
As soon as the site launches, you can instantly tell who they are (Price Law) and what they do (class action and trial law)
Finally, their CTA is simple and doesn’t immediately reach for their visitors’ wallets, reading: “meet our attorneys.”
C.A. Goldberg has a sleek and professional-looking site design, with gradient gold colors and a large, high-quality photo of their team.
As soon as you scroll down, you’re met with three sections: “who we are,” “what we handle,” and “what we do.”
They make it clear that they’re a law firm in New York who fight for victims of abuse, and that they handle situations like blackmail, stalking, domestic violence, and much more.
The first CTA also appears in this section, which reads “get in touch.”
Trey Porter is a San Antonio Lawyer and a leading DWI attorney who promises to fight for a dismissal
Aside from those details, Trey Porter includes badges he’s earned as social proof. He also uses two CTAs to prompt visitors into action: “beat your DWI” and “request a free consultation.”
At the bottom of his hero section, Trey Porter also includes a roundup of his experiences, such as his five-star ratings on Google, years of experience, and number of cases and clients. He even mentions that he’s available 24/7 for support.
Perhaps the most impressive feat of this website is that the above information can all be found before visitors even scroll down the page.
4. O’Meara Law
A criminal defense and DUI attorney in Chicago, Michael O’Meara demonstrates the perfect example of a simple yet attractive website.
After loading his website, visitors are met with information about what he does, who he is, a professional headshot of O’Meara, and his phone number.
Unlike the previous lawyers, O’Meara doesn’t use a button as his CTA. Instead, he draws attention to his phone number in large font, encouraging visitors to give him a call.
In the hero section alone, Surrano Law Offices effectively tells visitors what their primary service is, how they can contact them, and two features that set them apart from their competitors.
After scrolling down, site visitors will find a short “about us” section that includes a video — one of the most effective types of visuals.
Finally, Surrano Law Offices incorporates CTAs throughout their site and tweaks them, so they’re relevant to the information visitors just learned. For example, when the site displays its social proof, a CTA reads “view more results.”
Davis Law Group uses a website tactic that none of the previous lawyers have. Once the site loads, a popup appears that asks, “do you have a case that our lawyers can help you with?”. Visitors can then answer with “no, I don’t” or “yes, I have a case.
If you choose to exit the popup, you still have the option of using a chatbot. The chatbot asks what kind of case the lawyers can help you with, to which you can select a type that they handle.
Chatbots and popups are great for gathering information about your audience and providing a way for them to get started on their problem immediately.
This group of attorneys has a carousel in their hero section. The slides presented by the carousel include professional photos of their lawyers and quotes that represent their mission and values.
Another attractive feature of their website is the menu. It only contains four elements, although three are drop-downs: “practices,” “about,” “contact,” and their phone number in red.
8. Solliday Law
Unlike the previous lawyers, Solliday Law uses a black and white color theme on their website. Their menu only includes six pages, each of which aren’t drop-downs.
Below their homepage title are large, clickable boxes that provide users with information about what they do.
If visitors want, they can click “read more” to find more information about the options that interest them most.
The four boxes include “business transactions,” “real estate transactions,” “commercial development,” and “business formation.”
In the same section, Solliday Law also clarifies what they specialize in: taxation, real property law, business law, and estate planning.
Jurewitz Law Group specializes in injury and accidents and is based in San Diego.
Their hero section consists of a professional photograph, a single sentence about what they do, a live chat, and a clickable button that reads “over $100 million recovered.”
A smart strategy Jurewitz Law Group uses is making their menu freeze, which allows users to see it no matter how far down the page they scroll.
Not only does this allow for easy site navigation, but it also includes the law group’s phone numbers and a CTA, which means users will always have easy access to them.
10. Staver Law Group
Last but not least is Staver Law Group. This lawyer website stands out from the rest because of its unique layout. Just a look on th website gives an impression that these people are working hard on marketing their personal injury practice.
These personal injury lawyers chose to display their contact information, social proof, two CTAs, and identity all in their hero section.
The way Staver Law Group separates all of that information is by grouping it into colors. For example, their social proof is on the far right side with a grey background, whereas their company title and CTAs are on the left in blue.
Good UX is the Key to a Successful Law Firm Website
If you want to generate leads with your website, then good UX is a must.
Your website and content should always be crafted with your audience in mind. If it doesn’t add value or is challenging to use, then the odds are your site visitors won’t be satisfied.
In the end, there are countless ways you can improve your site’s UX. But the best way to do so is to analyze how people interact with your content and optimize it according to their needs.