In the modern world, a website is the foundation of any successful business. However, creating a site that represents your services and attracts the right audience can be quite overwhelming. In 2020, most firms already have some sort of website, but whether it’s design is working for them or not is the real issue.
Let’s start from scratch! To find new prospects, increase referrals, and generate new work from existing clients through a website, a solid online marketing strategy is vital. No matter if you run the show by yourself or you need to represent a big firm, your visitors need to notice right away what you are all about and how you can help solve their problems.
A great website is easy to find with the speed and convenience of the internet, and must therefore be optimized for search engines like Google. Moreover, a great website provides an excellent user experience, an attractive design, a clear, responsive structure, professional pictures, educational content, and must be capable of converting visiting prospects into satisfied clients.
The fundamentals of website design apply to all kinds of companies and business projects, including consulting firms, banks, insurance companies, financial advisors, and much more. However, for the sake of this article, we’ll be discussing this topic in the context of website design for law firms.
Let’s start with basics.
The Firm Logo
Communicating your brand to your clients is at the foundation of your website. Developing a brand that sticks in your clients’ minds is crucial to retaining those clients and spreading your brand’s influence. At the crux of the issue is creating a logo that is memorable. The visual representation of your brand can often become your brand—think Nike, Apple, Starbucks, Lululemon, etc. Creating a killer logo doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult; in fact, the process can be relatively simple.
I created a logo with LOGOSHUFFLE in only 3 minutes. All it took was entering a brand, slogan, a keyword, selecting some icons, and a color palette. You can see my choices for “Law Experts: Justice for All” in the photo below—the “trust” color palette was the exact idea I was looking to communicate, and LOGOSHUFFLE produced some pretty solid options. Simple colors and shapes are often easiest to remember, and are the most distinct. Oftentimes, simple logos can become the most impactful.
LOGOSHUFFLE doesn’t only make great looking logos for law firms. You can use it to bring a creative flair to any firm or business you have in mind!
Choosing a Domain Name
The perfect domain name
is the next crucial step to increase your firm’s exposure. Did you know that you have a lot more options for your domain name extension than just .COM or .NET?
Since 2015, qualified legal institutions can register the trusted .LAW domain or its Spanish pendent .ABOGADO. The introduction of these new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) marked a major change in the domain name game. It helps your audience to tell the difference between a website for a lawyer, a teacher, and a cosmetic brand before they even enter a site.
The new domain extensions provide the chance to identify yourself as an attorney or law firm from your domain name extension alone. Another advantage is that they allow you to register a shorter domain name that looks professional and can be easily memorized. There are even more industry-specific gTLDs like .LEGAL, .LAWYER, or .ATTORNEY. The major difference is that anybody can register those gTLDs, while .LAW domains are restricted to lawyers and law firms, as well as legal institutions.
To register a domain name, you should use an established domain name registrar, preferably a company that also offers a reliable hosting service for your website and provides email service. Join.LAW
are both accredited .LAW registrars with many years of experience. You can also find a host of other top-level domains to suit your particular project.
The next step is planning the structure of your website to make it genuinely user-friendly and ensure that visitors are satisfied when browsing your content. You need to decide what purpose the site will serve and how you plan to generate new leads. Creating a sitemap for the structure before you or a web developer start designing the website itself will help you get a clear vision of what the navigation will look like in the end.
Put yourself in the shoes of your clients, maybe even ask them what they would expect from the perfect website if you can, and write it all down. The end goal is to simplify your notes and optimize the user experience. Think about how your visitors should navigate from the intro page to the other pages of your website and keep in mind that the fewer clicks they have to make to reach their goal, the better.
Once the decision for the site structure is made, you can finally concentrate on what content each page will contain. Producing quality content is essential for your website’s success and will, in the end, determine the audience you attract. When writing content, try to simplify the message, keep it short and simple, and avoid complicated technical jargon that might confuse your readers. Most people browse headlines and only read on if they catch their attention.
To engage with your visitors through your content, you can use stories or ask questions that can spark their interest to read more. For our example law firm, case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers can help you establish trust. Do not forget to include call-to-action (CTA) buttons to move the visitor to the next possible step in their journey. Including a blog adds another excellent opportunity to produce content as well as answer your visitor's questions. It can also help to gain traffic from search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The quality of your content has the power to improve your organic search engine results, and with that, the volume of traffic your page will get. Paying attention to search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for people to be able to find you when they perform an online search.
SEO works by showing search engines that your content is the best result for the search query that was performed. There are many, many ways to change your website to improve in the search rankings—you can check out articles like this one for more details—but using a new gTLD like .LAW isn’t one of them. Google announced that it is treating new gTLDs, like .LAW, the same as it treats other legacy domains (e.g. .COM), so you will not experience any differences in ranking no matter which extension you pick.
As a local business, you also want to keep an eye on local SEO, which can help you attract people in your area that are performing searches like “lawyer near me.” It is about increasing search visibility for businesses that serve their customers or clients in physical locations, like a law firm. Optimizing your online presence to attract more people from local searches means including relevant keywords, improved URLs, title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and, of course, the right content.
Do not forget about…
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to website design for a professional industry, you should consider a professional look over excessively bright colors or fonts that are too stylized to read.
Attention spans are short, and the typical online user does not like to wait long for a page to load. The secure web accelerator powered by Cloudflare is a budget-friendly option to keep your page safe and will speed up your page load times at the same time.
Chances are, potential clients are using their smartphones or tablets to discover your website. Having a responsive website design is extremely important for lead generation.
After having your site up and running, you have to make sure all the information you have published is accurate. Keeping everything up to date also shows that you pay attention to details and builds trust in your business.
About the Author: True Tamplin
Biography: True Tamplin
is a technology specialist, author, and public speaker. He writes on a broad range of technical topics including search engine optimization, cybersecurity, and technology relating to the internet.
True Tamplin, am 24. July 2020