A well-designed website is something that every small law firm needs in order to stand out among the considerable competition, considering that over one-third of people begin their search for a lawyer and law firm online. Building an optimized website that will draw organic search traffic and appeal to visitors once there is something to be methodical about if you want to do it right. With that in mind, below are 8 features your small law firm’s website must-have.
Law Firm’s Website Features – A CRM
CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a must-have for small law firm websites because they help you manage all of your client information in one place and are accessible by everyone else at the firm, whether they be paralegals, other lawyers, HR, sales or marketing people. This makes interoffice communication and therefore providing excellent customer care much easier while ensuring that redundant processes and workflows are automated for maximum efficiency.
Legal CRM is now an industry standard and there are many providers out there, at a variety of price points, offering solutions for firms of all sizes. When CRM is linked with good sales automation, what you get is a website that intimately understands who their visitors are the moment they arrive at the site and tailored marketing that speaks directly to their needs.
Responsiveness refers to how a website appears on different devices using different browsers, including mobile, tablet and desktop. Most websites are first designed with a desktop in mind, but desktop sites do not always display well on small screens. When screen size changes, it can affect layout, on-page elements, text size can change and the overall experience can be radically different from one device to the next.
While you certainly have some leeway when it comes to how a site will appear across different screens, your site should always be easy to navigate. People have very little patience for unpleasant browsing experiences, especially considering how much competition exists, and will leave a site very fast if using it is too onerous. The rate at which people leave your site is called your “bounce rate” and if it is high, Google will assume your site is low quality and penalize you in the search engine results pages. There are common mistakes that are easy to avoid.
Whether you have outsourced the design and creation of our site or are handling it in-house, you need to design it with responsivity in mind. Mobile web browsing has been dominant over all other kinds for several years now and current and prospective clients will undoubtedly be using their phones to search for your firm online and perusing your services, blog, and contact information.
Important Law Firm’s Website Feature – A Blog
If you want to stand out as a small law firm, you need to position yourself as an expert in your field. Potential clients are much more likely to want to work with you if they can see that you are specialists on the cutting edge with opinions on the major trends and issues. Additionally, your blog is also an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. Your blog articles not only help establish your credibility and authority but, when properly optimized with relevant keywords, draw organic traffic to your website as well.
If you are building a blog, it is important that you localize your keyword optimization for wherever you are. If you serve the Greater “X” area, make sure the keywords you are choosing to focus on reflect the kinds of localized searches people are performing in that area. You should also keep in mind some of the best practices for blog design.
An Email List
Email marketing is a great way for businesses in all industries to keep their customers and prospects up to date on important changes and additions to products and services, discounts, special offers and new website content. Clients can be asked to sign up for email lists when arriving at or exiting your site and they are great ways for small law firms to stay in touch with people who have used their services in the past as well as those who may have gotten cold feet but who are willing to receive information and updates in the future, potentially converting into a customer.
Having an email list prompt when people visit your website is also valuable because that list can be used to send out surveys after someone has used your services or, if you are on a fact-finding mission, to try and improve how you do business.
Essential Law Firm’s Website Feature – Site Analytics
You need to be able to see how your site is performing across a variety of metrics in order to score high in the search engine rankings. One of the most important, and it is part of good on-page SEO, is page load time, which lets you know how quickly a visitor to your site can begin navigating after clicking on a page. Again, this goes back to the patience of modern internet users and their unwillingness to stick around for sites that take more than a couple of seconds to load. If you make use of a lot of high-resolution images, audio or video on your site, all of this could be slowing your page-load time down and driving people away.
Your site analytics are also useful for finding out when and where people leave your website, helping you fix problem pages and areas that are preventing you from increasing your conversions.
Calls to Action
If you want people to do business with you you have to prompt them. The way this is done in web design is using what is referred to as CTAs or “calls to action.” These usually take the form of clickable buttons placed in strategic areas throughout your site asking visitors to follow the link contained therein. The link may take the person to a contact form and feature words like “contact us” or to a service page explaining something in more detail with the words “find out more.” Calls to action should create a sense of urgency and make it clear what they would like the visitor to do in order to be effective.
A website needs to have calls to action on its homepage, service pages, FAQ and about us pages and anywhere else. Visitors are given information or insight into your business that may prompt them to want to seek more information, contact you or pay for your services.
Law Firm’s Website Feature – Client Reviews
The overwhelming majority of people trust reviews from strangers online as much as they would one from a friend or family member and most people search out reviews when deciding on whether to buy a product or service. Knowing both of these things should make it unequivocally clear how necessary client reviews are to the success of a small law firm. And therefore, why they should be sought and then featured prominently throughout your website.
People will sometimes leave you a great review without prompting, but you can always ask your clients to leave you a comment or review if you are confident you have provided them with excellent service. Collect positive comments and reviews and display them as conspicuously as possible on your site to take full advantage of the power of social signals.
You can be the most competent lawyers in your field but if you haven’t invested time in your digital presence, you may end up losing business to the competition simply because they are easier to find online or their website is more pleasant to use. The above features are ones that a small law firm’s website needs to have and are well worth investing in.