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The Periodical

Does Your Legal Practice Need a Website?

Does Your Legal Practice Need a Website?

The answer should be an obvious and resounding yes, but an astonishing 14% of law firms do not have websites. That stat is even more stark among smaller firms, with 43% of solo practitioners, 8% of firms with 2-9 members, and 2% of firms with 10-49 members going without (ABA Legal Technology Report). In the case of solo practitioners, this statistic is only going up. Maybe those firms with a shoestring budget are looking for a place to cut, but the website is the one place you absolutely cannot do that.

Simply having a website has been a requirement for any business for at least twenty years. Think of the last time you looked for a business, whether it was a car dealership, a plumber, or even a restaurant. You Googled something like “[business] near me” and looked through the websites on offer. If a business didn’t have a site, you’d never know they were there.

Having a high-quality website is even more important for a law firm. So much of your business depends on fostering trust, and a website is a necessity for establishing legitimacy. When potential clients start looking for your firm, you want them to find a site that exceeds all expectations and presents your firm in the best possible light. So the real question isn’t whether you need a site; it’s “what does a high-performance site optimized for lead generation look like?”

Designing Your Website

You’re a lawyer. Web design is probably not part of your skill set, and even if it is, do you really have the time? Your best solution to site design is to hire a firm who can handle your digital presence and let you concentrate on being a great attorney.

Your site’s primary purpose is the generation of leads. You should include an easy way for visitors to request a consultation, with a CTA (Call-To-Action) that is prominently displayed. Include your contact information on every page like a letterhead so that potential clients can get in touch.

You will also need a blog, fulfilling the dual purpose of helping your SEO and providing engaging content to attract clients and readers. Include a FAQ to help your clients with the most common issues you encounter. Lastly, you will want an attractive and sleek design.

Computer showing website

Lead Science websites are not only well-designed, but optimized for search engines and lead capture.

Images

If you decide to go it alone on website design, you’re going to need to keep a few things in mind. The first concerns images. Not only the kinds you use, but the quality, and most importantly, the size. Images are often the slowest thing to load. Why does this matter?

People don’t stick around forever waiting for sites to load. These days, if a site doesn’t load in 3 seconds, you lose most of your traffic. Google has compounded the price of a slow-loading page by factoring load times into search results. In other words, a slow-loading site hurts your SEO, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Mobile-First

The bulk of internet browsing is no longer done on computers. Most traffic now comes from phones in a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. So if you’re going to get the most out of your site, it needs to have a design that works for browsers on the go.

At Lead Science, we utilize a responsive platform that detects the screen size a visitor is using to browse your site and displays the version compatible with that screen size. That means no matter what type of device your site visitor uses, whether that is desktop, tablet, or mobile, they are seeing the optimal version of your website for their screen.

Web design on tablet and mobile phone
Lead Science utilizes a responsive platform with a mobile-first approach to web design, so your site engages clients regardless of the device they are using.

Accessibility

An accessible website is necessary if you’re going to connect with every possible client. Due to the wide variety of potential accessibility issues, it’s difficult to summarize everything you will need to do for your site in a short form.

You need to be aware of the requirements and speak with your provider to cover all bases. Some of the most common barriers to website accessibility can be mitigated or even solved by font choices and colors, but others will require extensive coding within the website platform.

At Lead Science, our website platform is built, monitored, and constantly updated with ADA compliance in mind, but we can’t speak for other providers.

SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the single most important factor in driving traffic to your site. Because algorithms are always changing, SEO isn’t something you can “win.” It’s a strategy that must remain adaptable and responsive.

In brief, it’s a good idea to keep in mind what a search engine would want. Google and its competitors want to match queries with the “best” sites they can, and so the modifications to their algorithms are in service to this goal.

Site Content

Search engines constantly monitor websites looking for new and updated content, so you need to be in the content creation business. Create a content release schedule and hold yourself to it.

Whatever you choose to create, be it a new section on your website, blog, videos, a podcast, or anything else, should be informative and high quality. Optimize your content with keywords, though don’t go overboard, as that can damage your efforts. Promoting your newly created content will bring eyes and ears.

Layers of a mobile web design
Your website content must be optimized for search engines so that clients searching for legal representation find you first.

Target Audience

When writing, whether it’s a blog or ad copy, it’s important to be writing to a specific audience. Build the profile of your ideal client. Get as specific as possible, filling out a bio and resume until your creation is three-dimensional.

Then ask yourself what this person is concerned about. What caused them to reach out to you. Most often, the need for a lawyer follows some form of trauma or upheaval. Understand their emotional needs and let that inform your writing.

While this person doesn’t exist, people like them most certainly do.

By communicating specifically with your potential clients, you are more precisely targeting your advertising. Everything you create needs to have a prominent and easy-to-understand CTA so that a reader can immediately engage and you can get your lead.

To Design or Not to Design

Designing a site is easy to do, but hard to do well. There are tons of factors, some obvious, some invisible, that determine how effective your site is. Hiring experts is the best use of time and energy, letting you concentrate on the hard work of being an attorney.

Schedule your Lead Science consultation and see what our web design experts can do for you. Our award-winning websites play the SEO game better than the competition, and we’re focused on building your business through a robust lead-generation program.

Justin Robinson-Prickett
Justin Robinson-Prickett
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