Your law firm’s website is an important part of your practice’s legal marketing plan. After all, in 2019, your website essentially serves as the front door to your law firm. It’s the first place potential clients go to learn more about your law firm. But, if it’s not client-friendly, then it may be doing more harm than good.
If you’re not sure how potential clients perceive your website, or aren’t sure whether it makes a good impression, never fear! Effective legal marketing isn’t easy, but that’s where the experts come in. And lucky for you, this very topic was covered by two legal marketing pros in February at the ABA Techshow in Chicago. During this presentation – “Is Your Web Presence Customer Friendly?” – Gyi Tsakalakis and Julie Tolek offered lots of great insight and advice on how to create an effective – and future-proof -law firm website.
Below you’ll find the visual notes from that session along with some of our favorite tips:
Create a consistent online presence for your law firm
According to the presenters, one of the keys to a successful website and law firm online presence is to ensure consistency across platforms. This means that you your firm’s branding, including your logo, should be the same on your website and across all social media sites. You should carefully choose your firm’s social media usernames, and use the same ones on all platforms, if possible. Make sure to check for availability across all sites prior to settling on a name.
It’s also important to ensure that your website URL and email domain match. And speaking of email, the presenters recommend that you avoid generic email domains (ie. @yahoo or @gmail) in favor of a one that matches your firm’s branding. One reason for doing so is that doing so helps your firm project a more professional image.
Create a welcoming “front door”
The presenters also stressed the importance of ensuring that your law firm’s website creates a welcoming “front door” to your firm. They suggest putting yourself in your potential clients’ shoes so that you provide information that they’d actually like to see – not information that you’d like them to see. To that end, you should include a biography page with a photo. And your biography should include both personal information and professional accomplishments.
Also include client testimonials on your website so that potential clients can read what your clients have to say about your firm and how their cases were handled. Clients want to know who you are and what motivates you. So share a few of your interests, public service projects you’ve been involved in, and events that your firm has sponsored. According to the presenters, eliciting an emotional response from potential clients is key, and sharing a bit about what sets you and your firm apart from the rest is a great way to accomplish that goal.
Create a user-friendly website
And last, but not least, the presenters hammered home the importance of creating a law firm website that is easy to navigate and user-friendly. One suggestion offered was to consider using a chatbot so that visitors can immediately obtain information – but make sure the chatbot is responsive. If potential clients don’t find it to be helpful it will reflect poorly on your firm.
Because so many people search the web using their mobile devices, it’s imperative that your firm’s website is mobile-friendly. Doing so will ensure a pleasant mobile experience for visitors and will also allow your firm to appear higher in search engine results, since mobile-friendly websites are favored by search engines. Also of import is that your website be ADA accessible for web visitors with disabilities. Take special care choosing screen readers, color settings, font settings, and captioning.
Those are just a few tips to help your law firm create a client-friendly website. For even more law firm marketing advice, check out this post from one of the presenters, Gyi Tsakalakis, on lead tracking: Lead Tracking – Everything Law Firms Need to Know. You can also download this FREE ebook: “The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers.”