Your legal website is the keystone of your firm’s marketing. It’s where you send people when they see your TV or outdoor advertising, and it’s the first place that they see you online. Unfortunately, we see too many legal sites that do more harm than good. Here are the five most common mistakes we see on legal websites:
Remember: your website is the first impression that potential clients will have of your firm. You need to have a portrait of yourself on your site that conveys the right image. You need to demonstrate that you’re:
If you just take an existing photo that a friend snapped or something that wasn’t professionally shot, it’s going to reflect poorly on you and your firm. Professional portraits might cost you a few hundred dollars, but the right image is worth it.
Out-of-Date or Unprofessional Design
“I have a cousin who said he’d build a site for me.” We’ve heard that way too many times. You wouldn’t hire a novice to be your accountant or lawyer, and you shouldn’t hire a novice to build the most important part of your marketing strategy!
A poorly designed site, or a site that hasn’t been updated in six years, is not the impression you need to make with potential clients.
Our value legal websites are very affordable, include a professional design, and provide great customer support to help you with content or marketing. Which is more important? Saving $20 a month or doing it right?
Making the Client Work Too Hard
The web has dramatically shortened attention spans, and your website has about two seconds to do the following:
- Provide an answer to the client’s problem. Did a client get to your website by searching for “auto injury attorney?” Well, you better make sure that that page on your site shows your clients how you can help them with their auto injury case.
- Make it easy for the client to contact you. Your phone number needs to be prominently displayed on every page of your site, and you also need to have a contact form on every page. That way, a client can call or email you right away.
- Show y0ur office location. A client may end up at your site, but if they can’t figure out where you’re located quickly, they’ll leave your site and go to the next search result.
Your website is there to convert visitors into new clients. Web traffic can be expensive to generate; some AdWords keywords cost more than $250 for each click. If your website doesn’t make it easy for people to call you or request more information, you’re throwing money away.
As much as 50% of your web traffic may be coming from mobile browsers (such as smart phones) or tablets. If you have an older site, it might not work on those devices, and those potential clients will leave your site and go elsewhere. Here are a few tips:
- Doesn’t use Flash. Flash was big a few years ago, but Apple refuses to allow it on its iOS devices. Because of the security flaws in Flash, other companies are abandoning it, as well. If your site is using Flash, your users aren’t going to have a good experience on your site.
- Make sure your site is responsive. Our N8 Site Builder generates a site that adapts automatically to the type of device your client is using, be it a PC browser or smart phone. That way, you have one site that works on every device.
Slow-Loading or Unreliable Site
You can get really cheap web hosting today, but it’s a bad idea to try to save money that way. A slow-loading website creates two problems for you:
- Clients will abandon it and go elsewhere.
- Google now uses site speed in determining how to rank sites.
At Waxwing, we manage our web server so that our team of IT experts can constantly monitor it and make sure that everything is fast and smooth.