There are well over a billion websites on the world wide web.
One of them is your law firm’s website.
And now that internet wires can transmit more than two letters at a time, you have to worry about what it says. And how it looks
But don’t worry.
In this post, we’re diving deep into five ways your law firm’s website’s design lead conversion, plus how to design a site that consistently brings you clients. Finally, we’ll look at five law firms doing it right (and what you can learn from them).
- Successful Website Design Attracts Clients with Organic Search Traffic
- Outperform Your Competitors and Stay Relevant
- Generate Leads with Information Gathered Through Forms
- Build Trust with Your Audience
- Drive Conversions with Effective CTAs (Calls to Action)
5 Ways Your Law Firm Website Design Influences Lead Conversion
1. Successful Website Design Attracts Clients with Organic Search Traffic
If your site is poorly organized and hard to navigate, it won’t attract anything except tumbleweeds.
Just pretend for a second that your potential client is lying in the hospital recovering from surgery. They’re not going to have a desktop computer there so they can search online for a lawyer.
Your prospect is on a mobile device. And if you’ve designed your site well, it’ll look fantastic on his phone screen. He won’t have to stretch, pinch or pan to find your firm’s service offerings or contact information.
A well-organized, mobile-friendly site with straightforward navigation can help boost your rankings and lower your bounce rate. Because:
- Your site is more accessible for search engine bots to crawl and index. The more they know about your site’s purpose, the easier it is for them to match your content to relevant search queries.
- Your visitors will effortlessly find what they need. They might even spend more than three minutes reading a page.
- People with disabilities can find you, too. Make sure your site is easily read and understood by assistive technologies like screen readers.
Search engine bots attempt to mimic the human experience. And humans don’t like ugly things. Even when we’re grocery shopping, most of us don’t want the bell pepper with the tiny dent if there’s a smoother pepper next to it.
“38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive (Blue Corona).”
So if a bot determines that your site gives users a poor experience, it predicts that humans will, too.
It takes time to start ranking well and drawing organic traffic, but SEO is a worthwhile long-term strategy. After all, having lots of traffic means clients will be coming to you.
2. Outperform Your Competitors and Stay Relevant
Among other things, your best website lets you:
- Form a meaningful connection with your target audience
- Support your prospects through their sales journey
- Build industry authority through insightful content and social media
Later, we’ll take a look at five law firm websites that have nailed their designs.
(Here’s a hint about what makes them so great: These firms’ sites expertly serve multiple purposes, like providing a bank of resources for new visitors and portfolio sections of interest to other legal firms and organizations.)
3. Generate Leads with Information Gathered Through Forms
With a website, you can collect valuable information from your target audience using contact and email newsletter signup forms.
Place CTAs strategically (but sparingly) to remind them you’ll have insightful content to offer next week, next month, and next year.
You can sweeten the deal by offering them a free resource, like an ebook or whitepaper, in exchange for signing up
Under-promise and over-deliver. If you tell them you’ll send a short email linking to three new blog posts every week, occasionally throw in a freebie to say thanks to your readers.
When they’re ready for legal services you specialize in, they’ll call you.
If that sounds like a whole lot of work, keep in mind that email marketing WordPress plugins like Mailchimp and Convertkit make it simple to automate timed delivery and design email marketing campaigns.
4. Build Trust with Your Audience
Everyone uses the internet now to research, learn, and shop for products and services.
But they also use it to lie, cheat, steal, and defraud. So people still have plenty of reasons to hesitate before handing you their personal information or even believing one word you say.
Digital Information World reports that 52.2% of us expect our personal information to be compromised.
So you’ve got to reassure them that you’ll keep their information locked up tight. First, make sure your website has an SSL certificate. If your site’s URL starts with “HTTP://,” adding the security certificate will turn it to “HTTPS://” and put a lock icon beside it.
By establishing yourself as a trustworthy service provider, you make it okay for clients to work with you.
5. Drive Conversions with Effective CTAs (Calls to Action)
Prompt users to take action using CTAs.
If you want your target audience to book a free consultation, tell them! It’s not enough to have “Free Consultation” listed in your header navigation. You have to tell the visitor exactly what to do next if they’re not sure.
That doesn’t mean putting ten CTAs on your home page. Placing them where they matter most can prompt action without being obnoxious.
We’ll drill down into how to craft effective calls to action and where to place them later.
How to Design Your Law Firm Website to Generate Leads
Now that we’ve hyped up how important it is to design your website to bring you viable business opportunities, how do you do it?
Step 1: Optimize Every Page for Search Engines
But how exactly do you optimize a piece of content for Google’s algorithm?
How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Works
Every time you publish a new piece of content, search engine bots crawl it. The bot is essentially “reading” the content, as it tries to assess the topic and purpose of the content. After the piece is crawled, the bot indexes it
You don’t want to rank for just any keyword, though. You want it to rank for meaningful keywords that your target audience searches for.
In summary, you’ll want to research what your clients are searching for and optimize pages around those keywords.
How to Optimize Your Content for SEO
Before writing content, determine the primary keyword you want that piece to rank for. For example, if you want your homepage to rank for the keyword “personal injury lawyer in New York,” that’s the keyword you should target.
Start by making a list of the topics you want to be known for. These could be things like: car accident lawyer, truck accident lawyer, medical malpractice lawyer, etc..
Next, use a keyword research tool to track their traffic patterns, ranking difficulty, and alternative keywords.
When researching the keyword “immigration lawyer” using a tool like Ahrefs, for example, this is what you’d see:
According to Ahrefs, the search volume for “immigration lawyer” is congested, with over 33,000 searches per month in the United States. And hard to rank for with a score of 57.
But consider the less competitive alternatives that are more specific to your firm — like naturalization lawyer.
You never want keywords to sound forced, unnatural, or repetitive. When you squeeze in too many keywords or one keyword too many times, you’re keyword stuffing.
That’s a blackhat SEO which is a no-no that will get you stripped of your ranking.
You may see statistics online about ideal keyword density. Although Google keeps almost all of its algorithm changes a secret — putting keywords in meta title, meta descriptions, headings, and naturally throughout text is the way to target keywords without coming off as spam.
Step 2: Craft Clear and Concise CTAs
When you do CTAs right, they can generate more leads than you’re comfortable with. They can spike your clientele and revenue. But if you get them wrong, they look spammy and make you seem untrustworthy.
When a user doesn’t trust your site or can’t find what they’re looking for, they go back to the search results page. This is called bounce rate. It’s the number of users who come to one of your pages and then leaves your site, never to return.
When your bounce rate is high, Google assumes this means your content isn’t satisfying to users. So why reward you with high page rankings?
This reason alone should be enough to motivate you to craft trustworthy and high-quality CTAs (and content in general).
But how do you write a CTA compelling enough to convert
How to Craft a Powerful CTA
A powerful CTA is:
- Expertly designed
- Properly placed
- Short and persuasive
Maybe it’s not fair that clients evaluate your trustworthiness by how good your site looks. But they do. And perhaps they should. Because if you don’t care what your site looks like to the public, it sends all kinds of negative signals about you. Maybe you won’t be professional in court. Maybe you’re not a good lawyer.
We’ll talk more about where to place your CTAs in the next section, but for now, let’s talk about the design and copy.
- Build your forms with reputable tools. If you use forms to collect a lead’s contact information in return for content, use an email plugin with a five-star rating and installations in the hundreds of thousands. The best ones let you use real features like automated message scheduling and audience segmentation.
- Design your CTA to seduce the eyes. Some page builders let you customize button styles with colorful but subtle animation effects. But don’t go crazy. Stick to a limited palette, like those that appear in your logo.
- Write copy that inspires action. Write clearly and concisely. Avoid cliches — they’re lazy and uncreative. Over-exuberance will make you sound insincere. And you won’t impress clients by using ridiculously formal language. Use your audience’s language. No one types into a search engine “which method should I employ in order to procure the expert services of a legal professional with an impeccable reputation and a … (this is horrible, isn’t it?) …” They type “how to get a great lawyer.”
- Be clear about the action you want users to take. Your CTA won’t get anyone to do anything if it’s not straightforward. If you want users to book a call with you, tell them to book a call. If you want their email address in exchange for a subscription to your newsletter, ask them to subscribe.
Where to Place CTAs on Your Website
As soon as the user loads your page, they should see three pieces of information:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What action they should take next
These key factors should indicate where you place your first CTA — in the hero section of your website.
Step 3: Work Hard on Your Content and Web Copy
Content simply refers to any element on your website. Graphics, videos, blog posts, and the pages. Each piece has its own SEO considerations.
Images, for instance, should have relevant file names. You can put a relevant keyword or two in the image’s alt text, description, and title.
But let’s talk about the written content and how to use language.
Keep Your Language Clear and Concise
People who read online are usually looking for answers. They don’t have time to read a 4,000-word wall of text, and they don’t want to. They scan headings to see what kind of information they’ll learn from each section.
Make your headings and subheadings specific (like the ones in this post) to make it easy for them. Include a clickable table of contents at the beginning of a long post, so they don’t have to scroll through the entire article to find that out. You appreciated that when you opened this post, didn’t you?
Industry jargon and obscure vocabulary make your copy difficult to read and cause your viewers to feel frustrated. Plain-spoken copy wins every time.
And stay on point. Never take your viewers down a rabbit hole.
Solve Your Target Audience’s Problems
Your content’s top priority is not to generate leads. It’s to educate and empower your readers to help themselves. They might need your expertise one day. Maybe they won’t. But if you write incredibly helpful content, the reader who never needs you will spread the word.
Be generous and help people. Guide them through their difficulties.
Plus, regularly updating a blog is one of many SEO best practices. Much of your traffic will come from your post’s long-tail keywords. Not just the keywords you target but also the ones that come naturally from writing in your audience’s language.
Write Headlines That Hook Your Readers
You have one chance to catch a searcher’s attention, and it’s your headline. If you get only one thing right, it has to be the headline.
Cliches, salesy language, and essay-writing techniques don’t work. Be diligent about this because online publishing is exploding.
Readers don’t like to open a web page and smack face-first into a wall of text. It feels like walking into a glass door. They’ll love you if you break it up and give them some “white space” to rest their eyes.
If you need a rule of thumb, try to break up text with headings about every 300 words.
Heading sizes range from H1 (top-level) to H6 (bottom level). Their purpose is to organize information about a topic into a hierarchy of importance. They tell search engines the same thing. But just because you have six sizes doesn’t mean you should use them all. It’s rare to ever need anything smaller than H3
If you need to break a topic down further than that, it should be the topic of another post.
Now, more about visuals.
Step 4: How to Use Images, Infographics, and Videos
Visuals, especially videos, keep visitors on your page longer and improve your content’s readability and rankings.
Graphics, like copy, should be tailored for your audience.
If your topic is complex, infographics are a beautiful way to organize a ton of information memorably.
Step 5: Make Navigation a Breeze
You know a lot more about which content is where on your site, and you might think it’s as apparent to your visitors. But it isn’t. They should have clear and immediate ways of getting around your site from every page, and now it has to be faster and more convenient than ever.
Megamenus, one-page navigation, and mobile slider menus are all designed to let the user navigate in fewer mouse clicks. They can even contain icons, image thumbnails, background images, and even video embeds.
According to Kinsta, a recent study revealed that only about half of us can figure out where a site’s relevant content is based on its navigation.
So, how do you build site navigation that’s easy to use?
Here are a few tips:
- Design your site structure before publishing pages. It’s called wireframing, and it’ll save you countless hours staring at your screen trying to figure out what to put where. Block out how you want your site to look and where users should find the content they need. If you need a little help, use a site map tool like GlooMaps.
- Don’t overdo uniqueness. You want to stand out from the crowd, but don’t try to reinvent any wheels. If people are already used to a familiar icon, like the three vertical dots we know now is a menu, don’t switch it out for something that might not translate.
- Create relevant tags and categories. Visitors can use categories and tags to find the content they’re interested in. Categories are for grouping your content by topic. Categories help structure your site in a logical manner for search engines. Tags let you get more specific. If the category is personal injury, for example, you’d add tags like car accident, construction accident, bus accident, and so on.
- Don’t flood your menus with links. Including too many links or dropdowns in a menu can make navigation hard for visitors.
Step 6: Create a Seamless Customer Journey Across Your Site
Before a prospect becomes a client, they go through a customer journey (also called a sales journey or buyer’s journey).
There are three main stages in this journey:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Decision stage
A visitor in the awareness stage has become aware of a problem they need to solve but aren’t sure how to handle it. This is when they turn to sources for answers.
After a prospect has been educated about their problem and how they might solve it, they enter the consideration stage and weigh their options.
When the visitor ends the decision stage by calling your office, you’ll know your site navigation did its job. Now you can start doing yours.
Step 7: Use Live Chats or Chatbots
Chatbots and live chat features have become a digital marketing sensation because they help site visitors right away. Even if your navigation is less than optimal, a chatbot or live chat can point them in the right direction.
A chatbot is a program that responds automatically to user questions by matching their search terms to support topics, FAQs, etc.
On the other hand, live chat features are human support agents that respond to you within a matter of seconds or minutes.
Live chats let visitors talk to real people instead of robots. If a user has a complex question, a human can answer it much better than a bot. But a chatbot can work 24/7, and you don’t have to offer it a 401k plan.
Step 8: Display Social Proof and Testimonials
Social proof comes in two flavors: positive and negative.
Positive Social Proof
Showcasing your media mentions and glowing testimonials is one of the most powerful marketing techniques at your disposal. It’s called social “proof” because people readily accept others’ opinions as mental shortcuts in decision-making. Even people they don’t know.
When I looked at some statistics from TrustPilot, I noticed a pattern:
- 83% believe any kind of reviews before they believe ads.
- 90% judge a company based on nine or fewer reviews.
- 94% who shop online say they’ve avoided a business because of a bad review.
Then I saw this:
91% of millennials put equal stock in endorsements from friends and reviews written by strangers.
Make of it what you will, but those are your prospects now. If you’ve won awards, been featured in a media story, have an astronomical win/loss ratio, or any other scrap of evidence that you rock, make sure people can see it. It’ll assure potential clients that you’re a professional person and excel in your life’s work.
Negative Social Proof
What is negative social proof?
Remember that people want to do things they think other people are doing. Even when it’s something they’d normally think is wrong. The Arizona Petrified Forest anti-theft signs that tripled the theft of petrified wood is one of the most famous illustrations of that.
The sign said: “Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, destroying the natural state of the Petrified Forest.”
We want to think we would see a sign like that, be horrified, and not take the petrified wood. But when we see that, the baser parts of us think, “Everyone’s stealing the forest? I want some, too!”
5 Examples of Killer Law Firm Website Designs
Here are five successful law firms who have mastered these design principles.
They’re consistent with their color scheme. The headline tells visitors immediately who they are and what they do. Using two CTAs in the same spot is tricky because it could confuse the reader about what you want them to do next.
But highlighting the left one in red probably encourages more people to click there.
And here are the lawyers who are going to help you, standing in front of their office building.
2. Bighorn Law
Bighorn Law does most of the same things. But instead of showing you their faces, they’ve slapped a big ol’ $150M+ to put a concrete dollar amount on the settlements they’ve won for their clients.
Notice they don’t say how many clients. They probably don’t want people getting distracted trying to work through the math. The math would greatly diminish the number they get to use now.
Scroll down the page — their navigation menu and free consultation button are “sticky,” keeping them visible at all times.
Plus, the firm includes an accessibility adjustment feature in the bottom left corner, allowing users with disabilities to adjust their display settings.
Gomez Trial Attorneys is all about user experience. The first thing you notice when the home page opens is the video playing above the fold. The motion draws your attention to the people who look like they’re in a meeting and taking their work seriously.
There’s social proof everywhere — they even sneak it in above the huge headline that tells you they’re “REAL TRIAL LAWYERS.” The implication being that their competitors are no better than ambulance chasers whose ads appear on buses and benches.
There’s a live chat feature to handle any question at any time.
Trey Porter not only tells website visitors who he is and what services he offers, but he also makes a bold promise: “I will fight for a dismissal.” What will he do? Fight. What’s his goal? To get your case dismissed.
Like Oykhman Criminal Defence, Trey Porter includes two CTAs in his hero section. One’s a free consultation CTA, but it’s secondary. If you’re facing a DWI and scared of going to jail or losing your license, “beating” the charge is more urgent for you than seeking a free consultation.
When you click “BEAT YOUR DWI,” a page opens with an introduction about Texas’ severe DWI penalties, followed by an FAQ of specific questions. Then it breaks penalties down by how many offenses you’re facing. It instills fear about what could happen to you and makes you wonder how you can ever get out of this predicament.
The section at the end introduces Trey Porter, the guy who will fight for dismissal on your behalf. It lists his achievements, showing you that he’s known to win.
Knutson and Casey’s site meets all the standards for high-quality web design. Their unusual color scheme raises curiosity. Why this departure from more conservative colors like blue?
And they’re smiling. No one else is smiling. Everyone else looks deadly serious.
But these guys are different — they’re hometown attorneys. They’re using every signal to tell you that, from the smiles to the warm yellow to the curvy serif secondary font. You don’t think of them pushing their way through New York crowds like storm troopers with cell phones.
Instead, you picture them exchanging pleasantries with the mail carrier, inviting their neighbors over for backyard barbecues, and spending Sunday afternoons in jeans working on home improvement projects. Who wouldn’t talk to those guys?
Wrapping it Up — Key Takeaways
Your website can confuse and frustrate people so much they never come back. Or it can make them feel safe and cared for, so they learn to trust you and seek you out.
Users have a great experience interacting with your site if it’s:
- Easy to navigate
- Full of outstanding content
This is a lot to take in. But if you get up from your chair and forget everything except one thing, let it be that if you prioritize user experience, everything else will follow.