Visitors first judge a law firm by the design of its website. It needs to be impressive, engaging, and full of useful well written content.
Law firm web design needs to create a high-end image with high quality graphics, images, and content.
The firm’s image has only a few seconds to make enough of an impression for a visitor to want to get a consultation.
As a website is the only information someone has to go on you must make those first impressions count. An amateur law website with a clunky design will diminish a law firm’s credibility.
It’s vital to get this spot on otherwise you’ll miss out on leads.
So how can you achieve the best law firm website design on a budget?
1) You Can’t
Forget it if you can’t invest.
As you’ll be competing with many other law firm websites you’ll need to plough in a substantial amount for your lawyer website to stand out.
The best law firm websites use a good portion of a marketing budget.
Website design isn’t just about slapping a bit of text on some images. There’s a lot of deep strategy, background research, technical skill, and design experience that goes into producing top law firm websites. For this you need a team.
The design of your site will depend on the type of client you want and don’t want to attract.
The project will be futile and a waste of money if it is not properly targeted. There is no room for personal taste. If you want to achieve quality leads your website must be designed with your customers in mind.
This takes market knowledge, technical skill, and experience.
The aim is to produce a high-achieving website that outshines other legal website designs. You can realistically expect to pay between a minimum $5000 for a template based website and upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 for a customized site.
It may sound a lot but this level of investment will get your site where you need it.
We’re assuming you’ve already got your branding down such as logos and design guidelines to be incorporated into the look and feel of your site.
2) Delegate and Outsource Your Law Firm Website Design
Creating an outstanding law firm website doesn’t mean doing it yourself.
You may not want to be paying any high consultancy and design fees. But, this is probably the most crucial factor in lawyer website design.
It’s always best to pay professionals so you can get on with what you’re good at.
You may use the services of interns for content and website design but you run the risk of compromising the standard of your website. The best attorney websites don’t scrimp on presenting themselves in the best way.
It’s always best to outsource most tasks and leave it to the professionals to ensure you end up with a top lawyer website that generates leads.
3) Hire a Law Firm SEO Expert
Your biggest priority is a site that is correctly targeted to your desired clients. It’s like laying a solid foundation for a new building.
Hiring a law firm SEO agency or consultant who specializes in law will put your website head and shoulders above the rest before it’s even been created. If you’re bootstrapping, you should still use a digital marketing expert.
Hiring a person with this skillset will provide the best return on your investment because they:
- Know the market
- Understand your buyer’s persona
- Are adept at targeting specific customer segments
- Will formulate a strategy that drives your content and key messages
- Know how to position you against your competitors
This is a vital move to ensure a solid strategy. It will put your website on the best trajectory for success. Many law firms start by hiring interns who produce blog posts that aren’t properly targeted. This is a false economy as the content isn’t informed by detailed and thorough market research.
Digital Growth Experts charge around upwards of $200 an hour. If you hire an agency to manage the whole process it can cost between $5000 for a basic website and $13,000 for a more customized site.
If you’re on a budget you may just want to commission a digital growth expert for the initial research phase and hire them periodically at different stages of your design to check it’s on the right track.
Law firm SEO experts will typically have an established network of professionals for every step of the web design process including designers, web developers, content writers, and SEO professionals.
4) Get Your Branding Right
Your branding must be targeted to the buyer persona and be consistent across all platforms, both online and offline.
A website must reflect the company’s brand personality. If your branding is currently a little confused then it pays to get this nailed before proceeding with any website creation.
Your branding will include a logo, design guidelines, fonts, images, and a color scheme. These must all be informed by the buyer persona, a partially fictional representation of your ideal client.
Brand identity is vital for your firm to get noticed and appeal to the appropriate market. If you’re a personal injury lawyer your brand will have an entirely different brand concept to a family lawyer.
A brand should communicate your company’s personality. Are you friendly and approachable? Or are you a force to be reckoned with? The color scheme, images, logo and tone of voice should take your brand personality into account.
A strategist can help you to get this right.
5) Build Out Your Site With High Quality Content
A website is pointless without content. Google ranks websites according to the value they provide their visitors. The longer your visitors spend on your site, the higher your site will rank.
To keep people visiting your site you must continue to update it regularly with timely, relevant and engaging blog articles to encourage people to stay on your site.
You’ll need to build out your site with a solid foundation of articles. This will attract traffic to your site while leveraging your expertise. The more articles you have on your site, the more traffic you’ll generate.
You can outsource content writers and get your staff involved to write entertaining articles that solve your customers’ problems.
6) Use A Professional Photographer For Your Site’s Photos
Photos also heavily influence user decisions. All top lawyer websites include high-quality, high-resolution photographs.
The best law firm website design will never use stock photos.
Clear, high-resolution photographs of your team using professional lighting techniques and backgrounds can make a mediocre website look astonishing.
Use a professional photographer to capture your team and office premises to present them in their best light. Ask them to consider the color scheme of your branding so that they will complement the look and feel of your website.
This will create extra impact and improve the credibility of your image.
7) Hire An SEO Specialist
You will definitely need an SEO specialist to ensure that your law firm website is visible to potential clients.
SEO (which stands for Search Engine Optimization) uses tools to search for keywords and long-tail keyword phrases that people are using to search for services like yours.
This is a highly specialized role that requires a lot of experience and knowledge. You would be best off hiring an SEO specialist that focuses on attorney websites. A specialist in the law niche will have insider tricks to bump your site up Google rankings.
An SEO specialist can also develop backlinks from other sites to increase your site’s rankings. Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. The more authoritative the backlink, the higher Google will push you up the rankings.
The SEO industry is constantly moving, so you’ll need a specialist who keeps abreast of developments in the industry.
8) Customer Testimonials
The best attorney websites always include testimonials.
Testimonials build trust and credibility, and assure visitors that they will get a quality service.
You could include testimonials from clients directly and provide links to any Trustpilot reviews made about your business.
This doesn’t have to cost much, but it pays to have someone to monitor your online reputation. Some firms employ marketing companies to leave poor reviews on sites like Trustpilot.
9) Use An Agency That Specializes In Law Firm Website Design
The best law firm websites design companies will not reuse the same template for every business.
A good law firm website design agency will develop a long-term relationship with you and formulate a strategy to get your attorney website to rank high in the search engines.
Design agencies are teams of professionals who lead the way in their own field. Together they can take your online visibility forward while overcoming obstacles thrown in your path.
An agency that specializes in law firm websites designs complete solutions that solve your customers’ problems and create a distinct and original online identity.
10) Integrate Your Website With Social Media
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are vital to getting your website seen.
The best attorney websites are aware that their potential clients spend a large amount of time using social media.
To ensure a consistent flow of potential clients you’ll need a solid social media presence to complement your website.
Once your social media profiles are completed professionally you’ll have a powerful resource of multiple channels to direct users to your website. Once on your site you’ll have the opportunity to convert visitors to clients.
11) Convert Your Web Traffic Into Sales
It may be great to have high volumes of traffic to your site, but it’s pointless if it doesn’t convert visits into clients.
Every high quality law website includes plenty of calls to action in the form of contact forms, contact details, and incentives such as newsletter sign-ups.
It is becoming the industry norm to incorporate live chat apps in law firm website design. Live chat apps mean visitors can chat live with a human to answer any questions. This is a powerful way to convert visits into clients.
Including a live chat app into your online strategy may mean additional costs to run your site, but you can increase sales by 20% just by adding this feature.
A digital growth strategist can advise on the best live chat app for your website when you sit down and confirm the law firm websites design specifications for your needs.
12) Maintain Your Law Firm Website Regularly
The best legal websites are the ones that are regularly maintained with up to date blog posts and news items.
As the internet moves at lightning speed you should aim to update the site with at least two articles a week. The posts should be timely and provide answers to your customers’ problems.
You should also be aware of your online presence other than your website. Remain aware of what your competitors are doing online and keep revising your strategy.
A Digital Growth Expert and SEO specialist can work with you over the long term to keep abreast of your main competition with regular campaigns.
What If You Try To Build Your Law Firm Website Yourself?
You may already have some creative and web development skills. But, if you try to take on this project yourself you’ll struggle to convert visitors into prospects, generate web traffic, effectively optimize your site, and present the firm in the most professional way possible.
Hiring a professional agency with specific law experience not only ensures a higher chance of online success, it allows you to continue with the important aspects of your business.
Professionals have made their mistakes and know the pitfalls of their profession. Attempting to create your attorney website as an amateur is most certain to fail.
The strongest advice we can offer you is to invest with an experienced team who know the industry inside out. It will save time and money as well as make the process smooth and stress-free.