Most law firms spend significant time and resources creating visually attractive websites, but even the most glossy and beautiful online presence can fall short if it fails to accomplish one very important goal – providing visitors with the information they need tochooseyour firm for their legal needs.
Too many law firm websites miss the mark when it comes to converting a website visitor into a paying client and this post will explore some of the reasons why. Keep reading for seven common mistakes that law firms make with their websites and tips for correcting them.
Problem #1 Difficult Language
Law firm websites should prioritize clear communication. A website loaded in legalese and difficult language fails to communicate with the average individual. To effectively help visitors, your site must clearly communicate the benefits of your firm and why the prospect should choose you over your competitors.
Addressing this problem requires the use of succinct content that uses simple language to convey a clear message. When prospects visit a website, they expect to quickly and easily find what they need. That goal should be top of mind when creating law firm website content.
Problem #2 A Confusing Menu
The website menu is usually one of first destinations for visitors. They know exactly what they need, and if they cannot find it quickly on the menu, they will likely leave the site to search everywhere for legal representation. The law firm website menu must be crystal clear with easy-to-follow links to each major component of the site.
Problem #3 No Call to Action
Website visitors need clear instructions for initiating contact with the firm, whether that is completing a contact form or sending the firm a text message, the call to action must be strong and highly visible. One way to achieve this is to place the Call to Action “above the fold,” which is the point on the page where visitors will have to scroll down. If clients don’t immediately see the Call to Action, they may not take the time to search for contact info before leaving the site. It’s a simple fix that can make a world of difference with lead generation.
Problem #4 Poor Functionality
No one likes a broken website link. They are frustrating and take away from the website experience. Broken links can weaken a visitor’s confidence in your law firm, so it’s important to periodically check all links to ensure that they connect to the appropriate destination.
One additional point on functionality. When checking links, it’s helpful to also take note of how long it takes for pages to load. If it takes an unreasonably long time, firms face a higher risk that visitors will leave the site before making contact.
Problem #5 No Optimization
Before potential clients can choose a law firm, they must know that it exists and that is accomplished through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Optimization increases the probability that a law firm website will land high among internet search engine results. Search engines like Google and Bing review websites to collect information. That data is then used to place the pages into an index that ranks them using hundreds of factors.
To improve optimization, law firms can take the following steps:
- Publish relevant and valuable content that establishes the firm as an authority
- Regular updates of content
- Identify and implement specific keywords
- Use alternative text descriptions, or alt tags, to describe website images and videos
Problem #6 Ignoring Mobility
Viewing a law firm website on a computer screen and viewing it on a smart device can provide two very different experiences. What looks perfectly aligned on the computer may look confusing and misaligned on a smart phone. Why is this important? Because most people start their internet research through their smart devices. They pick up their phone or tablet to search for law firms on their lunch break or while watching television in the evening.
Remember that your firm operates within a mobile world where a desktop website is insufficient for the way that most potential clients find law firms. As such, your website should also be optimized for mobile devices and reviewed from one of these devices to ensure that all features appear and work properly.
Problem #7 No Analytics
Analytics offer the most effective method for analyzing website effectiveness. These tools measure, analyze, and report on data that helps you better understand the effectiveness of your law firm website. For instance, data related to page views and time spent on the website offers valuable insight into what works well and what needs to be revamped.
While website hit analytics are often top of mind for law firms, they give an insufficient representation of a site’s effectiveness. Other metrics should also be reviewed, such as:
- The total number of visits to the site within a specific period of time, including multiple visits from the same user.
- The number of returning visitors to the website, which offers a good indication of how effective the site is at meeting the expectations of prospects.
- Which pages visitors last viewed before leaving the website all together, which can alert the firm to specific pages that may have problems connecting with visitors.
- The number of times visitors typed the website URL directly into their browser window or accessed the site through a bookmark.
Simple Solutions for Law Firm Website Mistakes
Why spend time and money on a site that fails to effectively perform and turn visitors into viable leads? Maximize your law firm website by ensuring that it is not riddled with these common problems.