For a long time, many attorneys felt that the effort and expense of building and maintaining a website wasn’t worth the trouble. Either they got all of the clients they needed through referrals, or they felt a website was too expensive.
As the internet has continued to dominate more and more of our everyday lives, it’s become impossible to ignore the importance of having an online presence. The ubiquity of cell phones in modern life allows people to access the web all the time from anywhere to do any variety of things. Including finding an attorney.
So most attorneys now recognize the importance of having a law firm website. But too often attorneys treat their site as one item on their business to-do list (“Business Cards? Check. Website? Check.) and in so doing they fail to see their site for what it truly is: The face their firm is showing to the world.
When you build your site yourself or hire someone to build a cheap site for you, there are often many things overlooked and many mistakes made, mistakes that cost you money. Inexperienced designers can build fatal flaws directly into your site that give visitors the wrong impression at best, and at worst have them scrambling to get away.
At this point, we’ve all seen well-designed websites and we’ve all seen poorly designed sites. But as basic and integral as design is, it’s incredible how many really terribly designed websites there are online.
Here’s how your law firm’s website is losing you money:
It’s Not Visually Attractive or Pleasing to Look at
Look at the two websites below. The one on the left leaves you with eye fatigue. It’s visually overwhelming and hard to process. The website on the right is clean, uncluttered and pleasing to the eye. A fatiguing design creates a bad user experience and will have visitors hitting the back button and contacting someone else.
It’s Out of Date
Now that over 40% of the world’s population is online, more people than ever are familiar with what a modern, up-to-date website looks like. What used to be considered state of the art or cutting edge now looks hopelessly out of date. The site on the left below was a totally fine design not that long ago but can’t compete with the modern look of current websites, built like the one on the right.
It’s Cluttered, Confusing and Hard to Navigate Through
A cluttered site with too much text and unclear navigation is frustrating and a turn off for visitors. It can also obscure your central message. When people see your site, the message you want to communicate should be one of the first things they notice.
The site on the left sells things… I think… It’s hard to tell because there’s so much going on. The central message of the site on the right however, is clear: They “help real people solve real problems”. That’s a message worth communicating.
It Isn’t Personalized
Too often attorneys will use cookie cutter stock imagery for their websites, like the image on the left below. Generic images send a very concrete message to your visitors: “We’re a generic law firm”. Some studies have shown that visitors are 35% more likely to sign up for a consultation on websites that show pictures of the firm’s actual attorneys.
So much of what you do as an attorney when working with a client is based on a relationship rooted in trust. What better way to start off that relationship by introducing yourself right from the start, not introducing some faceless model that doesn’t even practice law?
It Makes it Difficult to Get in Touch With You
Unlike online retailers like Amazon, your potential customers can’t take care of all of their business directly through your website. They need a service, your service. And in order for you to help them, you need to talk to them directly so that you can determine what their legal problems are, and how you can help solve them. But far too often, attorneys put extra steps in the way of their visitors directly communicating with them. If your firm’s website doesn’t have a contact form that is easy to see on every page of the website (like the site on the left), you’re making it difficult for people to give you their business. And that’s just not good business.
First impressions are important. Your website is the first impression most people are going to get of your law firm. Make sure you’re leaving the impression you want them to have.
Change Your Website – Change Your Law Firm
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