A good lawyer website has many things in balance. Relevant content, search-friendly graphics and headlines, responsive interactive elements, intuitive navigation, and an overall look and feel that is both distinct and able to connect with potential clients. Much of what is relevant to both search engines and people in need of legal services is the words on the page. Content is still king.
Since attorney websites must often utilize large amounts of copy for online marketing purposes, the way in which that text is displayed is an important part of a website’s overall look and feel. Just as everything your law firm does is a part of your brand, everything you put on your firm’s website is a part of the design. Text included.
Text is one of the most important graphic elements of a lawyer website and, too often, one of the most neglected. Designers may spend copious amounts of time creating an interesting, attention-grabbing header and then ignore the rest of the page altogether. The result is that a big chunk of what visitors see is just an unstyled standard font. This is in some part due to outdated thinking about fonts – there was a time only a few fonts were guaranteed to be accessible to all users. But with the advent of Google Web Fonts, designers now have hundreds of non-standard fonts from which to choose. The perfect font that makes the right statement about your firm is out there, waiting to be put to use.
Failure to put time in to font choices and text formatting makes the bulk of the website seem predictable and formulaic. Attorney website templates and template based services tend to use the same fonts repeatedly. Because of this, visitors have more than likely seen a lot of lawyer websites that look very similar, and you do not want your firm’s website to blend in with the rest.
Ignoring a website’s fonts and styling can also negatively affect readability. Fonts need to be sized and spaced in a way that is easy on the eye. A good rule of thumb is that text should be spaced at about one and a half times the size of the text. No more than two fonts should be used in any layout, and fancy or display fonts do not generally work well online. Text should also be broken up with list elements and headers. These are all design elements that contribute to a site’s professional look and help your firm stand above the competition.