Law firms, maybe more than other businesses, need to emphasize professionalism and dependability in their web designs and content writing. This is because that, unlike the choice between competing online pillow companies or online book stores, the stakes for choosing the right law firm can be very high. Because the consequences of choosing the wrong law firm can be so severe, people looking for a lawyer online may take more time exploring your website before they decide you are the right attorney to call.
Just as there are many ways to show a person that you are professional and dependable in person, there are various ways to do the same thing online. Here are a few tips that you can borrow from how we deal with new people we meet in everyday life and apply them to your web design and new content efforts:
In real life, when you go to meet a new client or a business associate, the first thing you do is dress professionally. Although some people say that superficial things like nice clothes are not important, the fact of the matter is that the first impression you make on people lasts. So you want to make sure that YOUR first impression is a good one. Dressing nice does this. Dressing nice also shows respect by showing someone else that you are willing to take a moment to clean-up yourself and be present on their behalf.
When it comes to websites, these same cues apply. Think about mood and tone appropriate colors. If you want to be soothing, be soothing by using colors like blues and greys. If you want to shout, use red. If you don’t want your “dress” to be distracting, avoid both a bow-tie and a hat. Use a simple, legible font and include just the navigation you need to send your message. Avoid photos or illustration that don’t have a specific purpose. All of these will make a good first impression on your viewer.
When you’re trying to communicate something to someone in real life, you need to be clear in your speech. Some people speak too fast and their listeners miss half of what they’re saying. Others don’t speak enough, which means that they leave out half the information someone might need to understand their point. In order to communicate well, you need to speak just the right amount and always give your listener a chance to ask a question.
Similarly, when it comes to websites, each page should quickly answer a very specific question – rather than telling the reader a little bit about everything. Being too wordy can be confusing or flat out cause a reader to lose interest in your content. At the same time, you shouldn’t leave out necessary details. For an article or blog post, most studies agree 300-500 words is usually enough to answer most questions while keeping readers interested. Finally, Law Father recommends that you have a contact form on EVERY page. That way if someone does have a question, they have an easy opportunity to have it answered while it’s still on their mind and while all of the information is still right in front of them.
Information, Anecdotes and Examples
In real life, if you’re trying to convey information, you need to make sure that you cover all the essential points. And you can also use examples to make sure that your viewer understands what you’re trying to say – like clothes, first impressions, and this blog post 🙂
This is also applicable to websites. If you’re trying to convey information, give your listener all the details they need to make a decision – not all the details that exist. Psychological studies show over and over again that the more information you give someone to make a decision, the harder it gets for them to make a choice. Use anecdotes so that the viewer is able to put himself/herself in your place and understand where you are coming from. And if you have a brief applicable example, relaying these can be a great way to reassure people that you understand their very specific legal issue. Remember that everyone loves a great story.
Contact us for more information about setting up a website for a law firm that truly conveys what is important to you and who you are as attorneys.