Is your website doing the business?
No legal practice can market itself effectively nowadays without a website. The question is, how do you get your law firm websites to do the business?
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 just one click away. If your website doesn’t engage viewers instantly or is difficult to understand, they’re gone. So, consider the following:
Make it easy to contact you.
It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised by how many legal websites don’t do this. The basic rule is to place your telephone number and email address prominently – preferably at the top of all pages on the site.
The call to action or contact form should also be prominent. You can do this easily with a contact button which leads to a short form. Short is of the essence – long forms deter visitors from completing them.
Ensure your site is mobile friendly.
Well over 50% of all visitors to your site will be using a mobile device. That means it has to work just as well on a phone as it does on a desktop PC. That can be achieved relatively easily with modern web design software and templates. It’s also well worth the effort as non-mobile friendly sites deter visitors and do not rank highly in Google’s search engine.
Your first consideration for content is your home page. The better ones tell visitors they are in the right place and provide clear information on the legal services you deliver in down to earth language rather than “legalspeak”.
Always try to write your content from the point of view of a client. So, it might be better to use descriptions for your services like dispute resolution or property rather than litigation or conveyancing. That done, don’t forget the LSOS price transparency guidance to publish your prices on your site.
Look and feel.
I’ve lost count of the number of law firm websites I’ve seen that look tired and uninspiring. Images of gavels and bookshelves filled with tomes of case law may be relevant to you, but are they to your clients? If you use imagery, make it relevant.
Too much imagery can slow your site down. How quickly the pages of your site load is really important for two reasons. Firstly, a slow site will put off visitors. Secondly, Google penalises slow loading sites and that will dramatically affect your search ranking.
Google tests the speed of your site using a simulation of an old 3G mobile device as its benchmark. Test your site using Google’s own “PageSpeed Insights”. If it scores less than 90% for mobile load speed, you are less likely to appear on page 1 of a search.
Search Engine Optimisation is the technical bit. In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for your services in Google and other search engines. It involves key phrases, titles, slugs, meta descriptions and much, much more.
If this terminology means little to you, you need help from a specialist. A good SEO developer will be able to manage your site efficiently, tailor it to your audience and speed it up to ensure you remain visible.
Having recently rebuilt the LawWare website to accommodate Google’s latest SEO changes, it is now starting to rank higher and load much faster. So, if you’d like an honest appraisal of your website’s performance, please give me a call.