One of the best ways to improve your website is by looking at the competition, seeing what they have to offer, and then implementing those features on your website.
In this article, we will help you highlight those key features that make a helpful and easily accessible website.
Today, we’ll be featuring some top law firm websites and looking specifically at what they do well — so you can emulate those strategies and create your own well-optimized site.
- 4 Best Law Firm Websites to Learn From
- 9 Key Aspects of an Excellent Site
- Important Tip for Putting this Info into Action
4 Best Law Firm Websites to Learn From
One of the significant differences between a standard firm and an excellent firm — When it comes to service, the excellent firm matches the competition and then takes two more steps forward.
There are tons of websites we could look at when it comes to great designs, but there’s only so much time in a day.
So instead, we’ll look at our top four picks and highlight their most remarkable features for you to consider including on your site.
Website #1: SJG
SJG’s website is a prime example of all the things you should do on your law firm’s website. It looks great from a visual standpoint — it’s cohesive, well organized, simple, and professional.
In addition to that, we can discern a few excellent pieces of crucial information right off the bat — without even having to navigate off of the landing page.
The Site Directs Your Attention Towards a Consultation
The first critical rule is — have a straightforward contact method.
By that, I mean you shouldn’t make it hard for clients to contact you. You want there to be as little friction as possible on your lead’s journey from the first arrival on the home page to clicking that contact button.
Let’s take a closer look at how SJG’s site pulls clients in:
The first contact method is in the top right. In a bright, eye-catching orange box is their 800 number — I never said it had to be complicated; frequently, the simplest solution is the correct one.
The second available contact form is front and center on the landing page..
Notice how SJG’s homepage design captures any leads who are already ready to go by providing multiple means of contact?
But, let’s look at how they reel in someone who needs a bit more convincing.
See, if you scroll through the page, you’ll get a view of the testimonials (more on them later), the mission statement, a preview of the blog, and then another contact form at the bottom of the page.
You don’t even need to scroll back up to the top to get to a contact form.
SJG’s website design always leads the potential client to a contact form without needing to search for it.
A Live Chat
Another great feature of SJG’s website is a live chat.
While most leads probably won’t use it, a live chat is a great way to show your customer service level and immediate availability, front and center.
It’s just one more way to go above and beyond the competition.
Video content is a prime example of a company taking two more steps forwards when it comes to service.
Most firms won’t go as far as to include videos as SJG does, and because of this, they earn the leads that their competition doesn’t.
There’s Social Proof Front & Center
When it comes to marketing yourself — social proof is better than gold.
SJG knows this, which is why they include testimonials on both the home page and on a page of their own.
Testimonials are crucial because they allow potential clients to connect a previous client’s situation and theirs.
Website #2: Dolman Law
Dolman Law is a great website to evaluate because they get a tremendous amount of traffic.
One of the main reasons they get so much organic traffic is their SEO.
A Well-Built Blog
Blogs do more than you’d think for websites.
On a surface level, it provides loads of information for leads to look through while building up your perceived expertise with them.
But, behind the scenes, blogs rake in a massive amount of organic traffic through online search engines.
The more regular, high-quality information you put out, the more likely you are to rank for valuable keywords and get clicks without having to pay for them.
An FAQ Section
An FAQ section is excellent for the same reason that a blog is, only it’s more condensed.
Instead of being spread over multiple posts, you’re taking all of that information and putting it onto a hyper-valuable page for your potential clients.
Creating a Podcast
Here’s another case of “taking two steps further.”
Video content is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses in all sectors, law firms or not.
But take a moment to ask yourself: How many firms do you know that put out regular podcast episodes?
There aren’t many of them.
Podcasts are an excellent way to provide information that your leads can digest through another medium.
Some (likely most) people nowadays prefer getting their information in an easy-to-digest manner that doesn’t include reading through lengthy posts.
Podcasts let them do that through audio – giving them the freedom to go on with their day while learning about what they want to know.
Website #3: Levin Injury Firm
Levin Injury Firm is a practice that primarily deals with injuries and accidents, so if you fall into that category — take specific note of what they do.
A Page to Meet the Attorneys
Marketing your firm isn’t solely a matter of stating the facts to your prospective clients.
Nor is it solely about telling leads how great your services are.
The most essential part of all is connecting personally with your leads and clients.
People are emotional beings, and for them to pick your firm, they need to know, like, and trust you.
A great way to initiate this process is with an introduction page. (See the Rankings.io example here!)
An introduction page gives an impression of each attorney, their expertise and experience, and what they’re passionate about.
A Place to Highlight All of Their Practice Areas
Providing a list of all your services might seem like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised by how many firms fail to highlight their expertise.
A dedicated page to each type of service will go a long way for two reasons:
- First, it’ll give leads a chance to take a deeper dive into information about their specific needs. Sure, a paragraph on your Bicycle Accident cases will help, but if you’ve got a whole page dedicated to just that type of case, it’ll go a long way in showing that you’re the right choice.
- Secondly, it will improve your chances at ranking for those terms on search engines like Google. Even if the specific page doesn’t rank, it’ll all add up for your website in general.
Website #4: Abels & Annes
Abels & Annes is a personal injury-based firm in Chicago and another excellent example of law firm website design; let’s look at why.
Multiple Language Options
While this might not be an option for every firm, if you’re employees have the capability— you’d better make use of it!
Law firms with multiple language options have the ultimate advantage over other firms for those whose employees are only fluent in English.
In Abels & Annes’ case, the languages are Polish and Spanish. This simple offering gives them an advantage over the competition.
If you’ve got attorneys who speak more than just English (at a level that will let them handle law cases without error), then make sure you showcase that front and center.
A Link to Their YouTube Channel
24/7 services can make a massive difference for potential clients.
Think about it, if you have a matter you need an attorney to deal with, you want it dealt with now.
Law firms who don’t offer 24/7 services mean that the lead will have to wait. Prospective clients who have to wait on a response are more likely to move on to an immediately available competitor.
If you’re able to, offering 24/7 services and displaying that front and center on your website can give you just the edge you need.
What Can We Take Away From All of This?
These well-designed law firm websites engage clients immediately, pulling them in and assessing their immediate needs.
They also provided us with a list of essential features to create our own optimized and client-friendly website.
But how do you apply these things to your website?
9 Key Aspects of a the Best Law Firm Websites
After looking at all those websites, I bet you have a few ideas of what you can include to improve yours.
But, before you do, make sure you look over the 9 key tenets of an excellent website.
- Rule #1: Simple is Best
- Rule #2: Innovation is Good, But Meeting Standard Expectations is Critical
- Rule #3: Responsiveness & Speed — The Underestimated Game Changer
- Rule #4: Mobile Optimization
- Rule #5: Blogs: They’re an Absolute Must-Include
- Rule #6: Value for the Lead is Your Main Priority
- Rule #7: Showcase Your Expertise
- Rule #8: (Gently) Nudge Leads Towards the Contact Page
- Rule #9: Branding Makes the Difference
Rule #1: Simple is Best
I get it; it’s tempting to include every little detail that you had thought of in your brainstorming sessions, but here’s the thing — Overly complicated designs confuse and frustrate leads.
The last thing you want is to turn away potential business because leads can’t find what they need.
Too many features can be overwhelming. When considering adding a new feature, ask yourself this question:
“Is this feature adding to the user experience or detracting from it?”
Rule #2: Innovation is Good, But Meeting Standard Expectations is Critical
In a point similar to the last, remember that sometimes the standard is there for a reason.
What do I mean by that?
Well, when you hover your cursor over a menu icon, what do you expect to happen?
Probably something like in the picture above.
Now, you could design your website so that merely hovering your cursor over an icon takes you to the next page, but chances are, it’d be more frustrating for leads than anything else.
The second thing you need to ask yourself when including new features is:
“Does this feature meet user expectations? And if not, is it a good option?”
Rule #3: Responsiveness & Speed — The Underestimated Game Changer
Page speed is one of the most significant determining factors there is when it comes to bounce rates. The chances of a user clicking away increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.
Bounce rate is a metric that determines how often users will leave a page or website near-immediately after landing on it or bouncing.
It’s so crucial that Google provides a free tool to check the speed on your site.
It’s as simple as plugging your domain link into a search box and clicking “go.”
If the tool shows that your website is optimized, you’re good to go — if not, then it’s time to do a deep dive on why that might be.
The tool will help you out some, but some problems might not show.
For instance, uncompressed images can take a heavy toll on the speed of a website.
So can some of the backend technical stuff going on with your settings and preferences if you’re using a CMS (which you probably should).
Without a high-speed website, there’s slim to no chance you’ll end up on the first page of Google, and there’s a massive amount of traffic you’ll miss out on, too — even for just a few seconds of difference.
Rule #4: Mobile Optimization
Desktop isn’t the only vital platform to optimize for — in fact, it’s the second priority, even with Google.
Over half of the traffic on the internet comes from mobile users, and Google itself has switched to a mobile-first system for determining page rankings.
If you intend on raking in organic traffic (or just keeping the majority of your leads interested), you’ll need to ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices too.
Google provides another free tool to help you check that as well.
Mobile optimization factors in speed, but the general design does too.
For instance, a website with UI sizes only intended for desktop would be highly frustrating to navigate on your phone or a tablet, and vice versa.
Instead of making only one version, most content management systems allow you to host multiple website versions from the same domain.
And If your CMS doesn’t allow for that, it’s time to switch.
Rule #5: Blogs: They’re an Absolute Must-Include
While we didn’t go in-depth for every one of them, each website in the earlier list included a blog, and there’s a good reason for that.
Blogs are the cornerstones of content marketing and SEO. They provide the perfect way for you to establish expertise and experience, build trust, rake in organic traffic, and give value all at once.
We’re not just killing two birds with one stone here; we’re using that stone to take out the whole damn flock.
Rule #6: Value for the Lead is Your Main Priority
A well-built website allows users to get all the value possible without hindrance, but none of these things matter if the value isn’t there in the first place.
Remember, providing value to clients and leads is the top priority; everything else is just more ways to do that.
Rule #7: Showcase Your Expertise
One of the most compelling reasons to revamp a website and make sure it’s in tip-top shape is that it shows your firm has a certain level of professionalism and expertise.
You don’t want to come off as a group of amateurs to potential clients. In fact, it’s probably the last thing you want.
And one of the best ways to separate yourself from the amateurs is by showcasing your expertise and experience.
You can do this with case studies, informational blog posts, testimonials, top-tier customer service, and more.
The more of these practices you can put into place, the more professional you’ll come off to leads, which means more of them will choose you over the competition.
Rule #8: (Gently) Nudge Leads Towards the Contact Page
Your contact page shouldn’t be “just another page.” It’s the ideal end goal for each visitor.
This means you can’t design it like it’s just another page; you’ve got to create your website with that end goal in mind.
Every page design should nudge visitors towards that contact page to begin the customer journey.
Keep in mind, if that nudge becomes more of a shove, it’ll likely come off as sales-y and push your prospects away.
Let’s look at the previous example from this article: SJG
Everything about this homepage helps guide users towards the contact section.
Whether it’s through the eye-catching orange box in the top right, the “free consultation” button front and center, or the contact form at the bottom of the page, it’s all gently guiding you towards a connection.
Your website should be designed in a similar way — because the “real” selling can only happen once you’ve established the all-important personal connection.
Your website can’t do that for you; it can only push them towards it.
Rule #9: Branding Makes the Difference
Let me ask you a question.
What separates you from your competition?
I don’t mean the competition that doesn’t have their businesses running optimally.
I mean, your equals who put many of these same steps into place and are competing for the same clients.
Let’s look at it this way — what separates Walmart from Target, 7/11 from Sunoco, or Apple from Google?
In large part, it’s not their services.
Much of what Target and Walmart offer is the same; the key differences are the brands.
Whichever one you prefer, there’s no denying that these stores have vastly different experiences and feels — which is why many prefer one over the other.
And this is true for businesses in all sectors.
One of the most important things for you to develop is a brand and a following. Look at how other law firms position themselves and emulate it for yours.
For instance, let’s look at the Levin Firm.
They’re not just any attorney; they’re the attorneys for personal injury cases in Philadelphia.
That means that if you’re a resident of Philadelphia looking for a PI attorney, they’re the perfect candidates for you.
Whatever niche your firm specializes in, focus on it, become the number one in that spot.
If you’re an injury firm, don’t focus on building your criminal case repertoire — put your effort into creating that solidifying your brand and reputation around your top-tier personal injury services.
An Important Tip for Putting This Info into Action
We’ve covered what features enhance a website, how you can differentiate yourself from the competition, and how you can start bringing in some extra business through means like organic traffic.
That’s all well and good, but we’ve still got one more matter to deal with:
How do you even start?
We see many law firms and marketers get to this step and then freeze. There are so many things to get done, and often it’s just one person doing this work.
It reminds me of a saying, “How do you eat an elephant?”
One bite at a time.
Take this process one bite at a time. You don’t need to transform your website overnight. It’s vastly better to take multiple small steps towards a top-tier webpage than it is to get overwhelmed and never take action at all.
Or, if you’d like to save time and resources (and make sure it gets done correctly for website optimization), you may want to consider outsourcing to someone who’s already worked with law firm websites in the past.
There you have it, a rundown on some of the top features that large experienced law firms put into place on their websites.
With that being said, this list isn’t comprehensive for every practice area or strategy out there.
So, after this, make sure to do some of your due diligence and study your direct competition.
What do they offer that you don’t?
Is there something you can add or feature easily that you hadn’t thought about?
So, get out there, and once you find what makes their sites great, use it to make yours great.