Website design is generally a matter of preference. The important question to ask is whose preference is being considered throughout the design process? During the development stages, it’s critical to keep the user as the primary focus of design efforts. Websites should always be built with conversion in mind, and users are at the heart of the conversion process. When it comes to attorney websites, it’s critical that the information on your website be easy to find, informative, and encourage the user to pick up the phone and call your office for assistance.
So, keeping that mind, the question is…
Q: Do I really need to spend money to redesign my website?
A: If your website is currently converting at a level that’s allowing your business to grow, you probably don’t need to redesign it. Remember, the important thing to always keep in mind is whether or not your law firm is profitable. If your website is making money – meaning that it’s likely outranking competitors and winning the comparison battle when held up against other attorney websites in your market – then you generally don’t have to spend money to update the look of your website.
However, if the competition in your market consists of law firms that all have more modern-looking websites, you might have to seriously consider a site refresh, at the very least.
Fortunately for some law firms, their reputation proceeds them. They’ve been incredibly successful in the past and their name is well-known, even to a casual audience. Sometimes this type of notoriety is brought about by a large case result. Typically, it’s achieved via external marketing tactics, such as television, radio, or billboards. Regardless of how people first heard about the firm, the important thing is people have heard of it. For law firms like this, a website redesign is more about uniting the overall look and feel of the external branding so that users find a consistent experience moving from non-web-based channels to the Internet.
But most law firms are not this fortunate. Most law firms do not have name recognition to the point where their audience automatically trusts their messaging. For these law firms, it’s actually much more critical that their website design effectively compete against the competition. So, how do you do this?
Think of the User
If anything on your site is difficult to find, you currently have a poor user experience that needs to be corrected. Visitors to your website should very clearly be able to navigate from one page to the next. They shouldn’t have to hunt for your phone number, or a contact form, or any specific topic on your website that isn’t already intuitive in its placement.
Think of the Competition
You always want to stand out from the crowd. Differentiating yourself from the competition is key to securing new clients, and the only way to do so is to utilize the elements that are truly unique to your law firm – your brand messaging, your case results, your client testimonials, and the personalities of everyone at your law firm who clients are potentially going to be dealing with. Remember, the more effectively you’re able to connect with users on a personal level, the more likely you are to have the opportunity to convert those users into clients.
Think of Google
If your website doesn’t rank well in search results, it’s going to have a hard time being found unless you’re running an external marketing campaign. Even then, you’re relying solely on being memorable via a television spot, a radio commercial, or a billboard. To help mitigate potential the odds of clients not being able to find you on the Internet, you need to implement best practices on your website to ensure that you have a fighting chance at showing up high enough in search results.
If your website is easy to use, offers great information about the areas of law you practice, and showcases your law firm’s personality, potential clients are probably going to respond well to it. If your website is well-optimized, properly coded out, displays correctly regardless of screen size, and offers a great user experience, search engines are likely to reward it with better rankings and high search placement.
So, if your website is performing the way it should for both users and search engines, you don’t have to redesign it. However, if it’s been a while and your marketing strategy hasn’t really changed over the years, your site likely needs a facelift, if not a complete overhaul.
If your website isn’t helping bring in new clients, it isn’t helping your law firm. For more information about how an effective website design can bring you more leads, contact the team at SLS Consulting, Inc. Our digital marketing team has been helping law firms nationwide achieve better rankings to improve ROI since 1999. Call (323) 254-1510 for more information about how SLS can help your law firm’s website.
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