Suppose you are in charge of overseeing digital marketing efforts for your law firm. In that case, you should know quite well by now the importance of incorporating web copy and content that helps your website rank high on Google’s search engine results page. These efforts, collectively known as SEO, help increase your law firm’s visibility when users search for keywords and phrases relevant to your firm, your practice area, and other key areas that relate to your law firm’s brand. However, all your efforts to bring additional users to your law firm’s website will be in vain if the website they land on is unattractive, difficult to use, excessively slow, or error-filled.
How Does Web Design Help Your Law Firm?
Think about the last poorly designed website you encountered. Perhaps you were attempting to click on a piece of content, but the site features loaded so unevenly that the page shifted, forcing you to click on an irrelevant ad. Perhaps the website was not intuitively designed, and you had trouble finding important site elements, like the shopping cart, “about us” section, or the homepage. Or, maybe you clicked away from a site that took far too long to load or looked as if it had come straight out of 1995.
Whatever the case, a webpage’s design and functional elements can drastically affect the experience users have, especially if it’s a negative one. The last thing you want is for potential clients seeking legal information to click away to the competition because your law firm’s site is less than optimal.
Legal Website Non-Negotiables
In the digital age, your law firm’s website must appear fresh and professional. However, professionalism and quality web design address much more than the visual appeal of the site. As we’ve stated, your users’ experience on your law firm’s page can ultimately determine whether they choose to reach out and convert into clients. Before you address the visual elements of your law firm’s website, ensure you have a handle on these essentials:
- Mobile optimization. Google states that nearly 60% of searches on its search engine occur via a mobile device. Making mobile search simpler for these users comes with an SEO benefit as well—the web giant downgrades websites that do not feature a separate version optimized for mobile.
- Quick loading speeds. Most users will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load, and Google penalizes the slowest loading pages. As a result, addressing your page’s load speed is crucial to your law firm’s online success.
- Intuitive design. Your law firm’s official website is not the place for page layout experimentation. Placing crucial page elements in familiar places – such as the homepage link at the top left, critical service menus along the top bar, and an “about us” section at the top right – helps users navigate your website easily and avoid the frustration that can lead to abandonment.
- Quality content. Aside from the ability to function well for your users, the other must-have for your legal website is quality content developed to meet user needs. Written blog content, video content, infographics, and more should help answer the questions that brought users to your website and reassure them that your law firm can meet their legal needs.
Design Tips For Keeping Your Law Firm’s Website Fresh
Once your legal website loads quickly, functions well, and supplies quality content to keep your users engaged, it’s time to ensure its design features serve to enhance user experience and display your law firm’s professionalism and expertise. To do it, you’ll need a sleek, modern, polished website that effectively communicates your brand identity. Consider these design tips:
- Tell the story of your brand. While branding, including your firm’s logo, brand colors, font, and more, is a given on your official law firm website, telling your story shouldn’t stop there. Every design decision you make for your law firm’s website should speak to the brand you’ve built. For example, if you’re tough on delinquent child support payers, choose tough imaging, sturdy fonts, and the like to represent what is important to your law firm.
- Consider minimalism. Minimalism can help your firm look clean, professional, and business-focused. Use a limited color pallet, a simple font, and let the content you provide speak loud and clear. In addition, the generous use of white space around your most important elements can help draw attention to them in a way flashy graphics cannot.
- Incorporate video. While the content in your website’s blog section serves to inform users navigating there from an external search, your homepage, about page, practice area pages, and more can benefit from video as well. Video is visually pleasing, more engaging than text, and can communicate essential information quickly, particularly for visitors who aren’t willing to read lengthy descriptions.
- Utilize animations. While overly flashy animations can distract from your content—and even make your legal website seem less professional—well-placed, subtle animations can draw user attention. Micro animations (the small animations that occur when the user hovers over or clicks on a page item) can guide a user’s view around your page, focusing them on the page elements you value most.
- User-focused graphics. Your law firm’s brand identity should be one of the most important focuses of your website. However, a close second are your practice areas. Consider using whole-page graphics that feature images associated with your practice area, and guide user attention to your important page elements with bold, simplistic fonts.
Keep Your Website Fresh With Professional Design Services
You’re a busy, professional attorney with many day-to-day responsibilities involving your law firm’s operation. As a result, it can be tempting to simply plug a few of these design ideas into a generic web design template and hope for the best. However, true intuitive web design and web design for SEO is difficult to achieve on such templates.
Instead, consult with a professional website designer and web development team that can build a website with custom functionality for your law firm. The professionals at RizeUp Media will design a fresh-looking, professional website for your firm that helps you reach your SEO goals while keeping potential clients actively engaged on your page. For more information about web design for your legal website, contact RizeUp Media today.