No legal practice can market itself effectively nowadays without a website. But how do you get your legal website to do the business?
In the first of this series tackling the issues of marketing for lawyers, Mike O’Donnell looks at the importance of the website homepage.
We really do live in the age of the magpie mentality. Internet searching for legal services is the norm and, no matter how near the top of the search engine rankings your practice is, the back button is only one click away.
If your homepage doesn’t engage viewers instantly or is difficult to understand, they’re gone.
The basics are these:
The first question that goes through the minds of visitors is “Have I clicked the right link?” You should put them at ease by prominently answering that question. Tell them what you do and where you do it and keep it short. It sounds obvious but it is surprising how many legal websites lack this information on the homepage.
Place your telephone number and email address prominently. This is usually at the head of the page but should be visible when the page is first opened.
Any imagery used on your homepage should be:
Photos of a group of solicitors in suits may not be the most appropriate thing!
The call to action is a button or link that allows the prospect to contact you. Your contact page should be clean, simple and short. Remember: the back button is one click away.
Emphasize your CTA button:
What exactly does this mean? In simple terms, the website must work equally well on pc, laptop, tablet and mobile phones. Mobile devices are key, as we have just passed the point where 50% of all searches are carried out on them.
To assist in all of these basics, you can use a device called a sticky header. This is a simple part of the homepage design that means the top menu structure including the CTA is always visible. Try scrolling down this web page and you will notice that the upper section is constantly visible.
All these basic components should be standard issue from your web designers but it’s surprising how often they are not present on legal sites. To get the most out of your site, shop around for a good web design agency – preferably one which can offer search engine optimisation as well as design. I shall look at SEO in more detail in the next article in this series.
Mike O’Donnell is an experienced marketing professional who has spent much of his career working in and advising the legal profession. For further biographical details click this link.
© LawWare Limited 2016-2017
Our clients range from small start-up legal practices to multi-partner, multi-site firms.
As the first commercial user of LawWare back in 1998, we have had no hesitation in remaining with the product through its development. We thoroughly recommend it to any firm looking for a practice management system.
The helpdesk is exceptionally good. Whatever the query there is always a human being there to help. No leaving messages or being advised to go to a website. The best computer service for solicitors I have ever used!
The linking of documents and casefiles saves so much time! I have experience of several accounts packages and I like that LawWare is simple to use and easy to learn. Support is quick and effective and staff are helpful and courteous.
I have worked with a number of Case Management providers over the years but have not come across anything with the attention to detail and thoroughness of LawWare. My colleagues and I have not been disappointed.
I can’t imagine trying to be a law firm in the 21st Century without 21st Century IT systems. Having a ‘single system’ that underpins all the work, whether we are in the office or out, is an integral part of what we are building.
The level of support is the main benefit using this system. The system itself once you have had training is simple and easy to use. We have a great relationship with LawWare and the ongoing support is second to none.
Significant preparation was required to configure and import the data from our old firm. We had to get all clients onto the new system and then learn how to use it. We just find it very easy to use, much easier than our old system.
It’s a big help that you can speak to the boss directly. The support team takes a lot of the technological stress away and, as LawWare continues to build relationships and integrations with other suppliers, it makes our life much easier.
Being a busy litigator with a growing firm it is incredibly useful to be able to view my files from any location with some form of internet connection. I am a fan, and want to keep working with LawWare to make a good product great.
The switch to the new LawCloud system, which is still on-going, has gone very well. We found the LawWare team without exception to be very helpful and knowledgeable. All queries are followed up and dealt with promptly.