5 Website Mistakes That Impact Lawyers
Law firm websites are one of the internet’s great anomalies. Lawyers are considered to be the epitome of professionalism in western society. And yet, all too often their websites are astonishingly lack-lustre. We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes that impact law firm websites and provided some solutions.
Too Much Jargon
Legalese is fun for lawyers. They love dazzling their clients with big words and terms that have been created specifically for the legal system. That’s fine in the context of a consultation about a legal matter. But as a lawyer, you wouldn’t roll out those kinds of terms at the front desk of your office, so why do it on the front page of your website?
The goal of a law firm website landing page should not be to grandstand, but rather to ingratiate. Chances are, if they’re searching for legal advice, they’re undergoing a stressful time in their life. What they need is someone to talk straight to them. Precise and to the point language is the most effective way of addressing your potential clients.
You shouldn’t overwhelm visitors with too much legalese, but you should show them what your fields of expertise are. Visitors will generally be searching for a firm that specialises in whatever type of legal matter they are involved in. If the landing page of your website does not clearly identify what areas of the law you work in, visitors will keep searching until they find one that does.
Clearly outlining this information on your site also helps with SEO. When a person searches for a particular legal issue, your site will appear higher in their search results if it’s prominent in your website’s copy.
Failing To Address Audience
Further to that, whilst your copy should be clear about what areas of the law you operate in, it should also speak to the kind of clientele you are trying to attract. If you’re a Melbourne based law firm, you wouldn’t show television ads in Adelaide. So be specific in your website’s copy about where you are.
Also, use the kind of language that will appeal to your desired clients. If you work mainly with corporate clients, use clean professional language. If you work mostly with individuals on criminal matters, emotive and personal language will work better.
Neglecting Regular Content Updates
Does your firm have a staff member whose role includes the maintenance of information on your website? Are you employing a professional copywriting firm to update your website? If you answered no to both of those questions, that’s a problem. Nothing causes the slide of a website down the search ranking faster than idleness.
Further, if visitors to your site detect outdated content, they’ll simply move on. Internet validity in 2016 is closely associated with how recently the information was published. For the most part, that’s due to how quickly things can change in the world of online technology.
Keep your copy, images and contact information fresh. Weekly maintenance is necessary for a site that stands out. Blog at least once a fortnight to ensure your site is offering up fresh material to the Google god’s that they might select you above your competition.
Law firms are renowned for using static, aesthetically displeasing templates for their web design. After searching through Google recently for a law firm, I felt that if I saw one more stock photo of a gavel, I may just scream. Apart from the irony of law firms using the image of a tool they don’t even use (the judge does), this speaks to differentiation.
Any good marketer will tell you that to make your product or service stand out, you need show people why it’s different from the others.
Much could be said here about web design trends for 2016 and what’s needed to be on point. But at the end of the day, the most sensible way to approach this is by contracting a web design professional. Once you give them information about your audience and expertise, they can create a clean, fast-loading site with integrated SEO that will put you clear in front of the competition.
Speak to the team at WP Agency about creating a high performance law firm website today.