Did you know that, according to Dennis W Potts Law, there were over 1,000,000 licensed lawyers in the U.S. in 2020? In Texas, this number was over 90,000, in New York, over 100,000, and in California, over 100,000. With so many lawyers and law firms out there, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and get clients interested in working with you and your firm instead of competitors.
This is why the design and functionality of your firm's website is so important. If your law firm doesn't have a website that is current and up to date, then you’re potentially losing clients.
As overwhelming as it may be to think about the changes you have to make, such as having an aesthetically pleasing design, doing routine SEO audits, and ensuring it's mobile responsive, these changes and updates should be of the utmost importance. Your website is how you present yourself to the world and potential clients. It is where people come to learn more about you and firm. It's how you being to build trust within your community. The question you should always be asking yourself is what image are you conveying when a potential client lands on your law firm's homepage?
In this article, you’ll learn about the importance of having a modern and up-to-date website for your law firm—something that isn’t as challenging as it may seem.
There are many reasons why you need a website that is functional and engaging. The most important is that your website is often the first point of contact, good design shows that you care, and good design demonstrates that you are detail-oriented.
When potential clients are researching you and your law firm, your website is often the first point of contact. For this reason, your website design needs to be well designed and fully functional. Our phones and mobile devices are attached to us at the hip. If someone is in need of your services, more often than not, they will be browsing using a mobile device. They will expect a straightforward user expierence and one that is on par with the level of expertiese in your areas of practice. If it isn’t, they might be turned off and decide that they’d rather go with another law firm or attorney.
If you have a well-designed website, it can act as a signal to clients that you care. You made sure that when they visited your website, they would be reassured that they could trust you and your law firm. Immediately, clients will associate you with caring and that you will handle their case with the same care and compassion.
Additionally, good design demonstrates that you’re detail-oriented. If your law firm's website is well designed, planned out with user experience in mind, and has details about your rates, reviews, and industry information, it will show you’ve thought everything through.
Clients will pay attention to this. They’ll think to themselves, “If they’re so detail-oriented about their website layout and design, then they’ll be detail-oriented when I hire them to help me with my legal situation.”
Put yourself in their shoes. Suppose that you landed on a laywer's website that was outdated and didn't respond well when viewed on a mobile device. Would you trust this attorney with your case let alone sensitive information?
Another benefit of a modern website for your law firm is that it helps with your branding. When you design a website, it includes many elements of your brand, such as your logo, brand colors, and content written in your brand voice.
What your clients will experience when they visit your site is an opportunity to get to know you, your partners, and associates. This will make you even more memorable. Remember that your branding on your website should match up with your online presence in other places, such as on your social media profiles and any articles where you might be interviewed.
All businesses now put more effort into branding themselves because it makes them seem reliable and trustworthy to clients. A website is one of the best ways to showcase your brand, so it’s worth modernizing the one you already have.
In the past, having a website that could only be opened on a desktop computer was enough to get customers interested in your law firm. However, these days, many people spend a lot of time online on their phones or tablets instead of on desktop computers.
For this reason, you need a mobile-friendly website design that performs well on all mobile devices, regardless of screensize. This way, your users won’t have to zoom in on their phones to read the content or spend too long filling out a contact form that’s difficult to type information into on a small screen.
If your website visitors find that they have to spend time on a website that isn’t mobile-friendly, they won’t have the patience for it like they may had had in the past. They’ll simply leave and look elsewhere.
To get more clients and not lose them to competitors, you need a fully functional mobile responsive website.
One of the most important aspects of digital marketing that any business owner has to think about is SEO. SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is a strategy used to appear higher up in the Google search results when someone is looking for a service you offer.
(They might also be looking up something related to your service, for example, “How to get divorced in the state of California.”)
Because Google algorithms are constantly changing to provide searchers with the best search experience, they’ve now incorporated mobile performance into the factors used to rank your website in search results.
This is another reason why your law firm needs a website that prioritizes mobile performance. Otherwise, you’ll end up on the bottom of the Google search results—which means your clients might not even find your website in the first place.
If you work in a state where many law firms haven’t invested in having a well designed web presence, you’ll stand out from your competitors. When clients are visiting different websites, they’ll notice that yours is:
Additionally, if they access your website on a mobile device, it will be easier to navigate as they learn everything they need to know about your law firm. If the experience they have on another lawyer's website is negative, you’ll stand out and leave an impression embedded in their mind.
The websites that have the best design aren’t only beautiful to look at, they also have the entire customer journey in mind in the way that they are designed. This means that they are designed to interact with the customer during these steps:
For example, during the awareness stage, your client might be looking for answers to a question. Let’s say, they want to find out about benefits of registering their song with the Copyright Office. You could have content on your website regarding intellectual property rights and protections availible so that they could see the benefits of registering their original work of authorship.
During the consideration stage, they might come up with a plan for what to do, with one of the possibilities being retaining counsel. At this stage, you could have additional information available to them on your website on how to get started with this process.
When they are in their decision stage, they’ll be getting in touch with law firms about the possibility of using their services.If you want to be on the list they have, then your website will need to be designed in such a way that will make it simple and straightforward to contact you.
You'll want your website designed with great content, calls-to-action, and maybe even chatbots that can answer some of their questions. The more functional your website’s UI and UX design is, the more it will be designed to turn these leads into conversions.
When you have high-quality web design, visitors are more likely to stay on your page instead of leaving it, but this is only one of the benefits of having a well-designed website. When visitors only stay on your page for a short time before leaving, whether it’s because the colors are too flashy or the site doesn’t work on their mobile device, this means you have a high bounce rate.
A high bounce rate negatively impacts your SEO. This means that when clients are searching for your services, they are less likely to come across your website when they do an online search.
You can see how this can easily become a vicious cycle where short-term visitors turn into fewer visitors, after which you barely have any visitors at all.
But if your website has an engaging design that welcomes people to stay longer, this will make your bounce rate low. As a result, your website will be more likely to move up the ranks in Google search results.
Another factor that improves your SEO is link building. When this occurs, other websites are choosing to link back to your high-quality content. The more links that reference your website and its content, the better your website’s authority. This is a sign to Google's algorithm that your site should rank higher.
If you have a website that looks and feels out of date, other people in the industry aren’t going to link to your website. This is because it simply won’t appear to be a trustworthy website.
When it comes to getting potential clients to stay on your website, one of the most important factors is your website’s speed and load time. If they have to wait for every image, text, and feature to load, they’ll leave without even having read your headline.
If you aren’t sure about your website’s load time, you can check it now with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Chances are, it won’t load as fast as it should. This is especially common for older websites that have had additions made over time, instead of having someone audit how the website functions before making any changes.
If this is the case for you, you need to do an overhaul of your website. Otherwise, you’ll be losing potential clients who are used to websites loading fast and efficiently.
There is one more reason to have a functional website design and that is so that you can be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. If your website isn’t designed for people who might be visually or physically impaired, you could end up in a legal battle.
To prevent this from becomming an issue for you, having an ADA-compliant website will get you more clients, who might not have had access to other sites.
Now that you know all of the reasons why you should modernize your law firm's website, you still might be feeling a bit overwhelmed about the thought of updating your website. However, there is no need.
By having Channel Society build you a custom website with Webflow, the process of updating your site couldn’t be easier. We can build you a custom website that is guaranteed to meet all of the needs of your firm and clients.. To learn more about using our Webflow website design and development service, schedule a call with us.