Good attorney website design is a lot of things. But above all, it is functional. A website is well designed if it produces results. Even the most website is breathtakingly beautiful website design will fail if it does not encourage action.
Having worked in the design industry for many years, I have experienced an evolution in thinking about what constitutes good design. For a brief period, when design students were still smitten with Flash, online design galleries were filled with sites that encouraged users to “explore.” Navigation was hidden in unusual places, only to be revealed by a clever move of the mouse. Links were named non-intuitively with phrases like “take off” or “explore the universe.” Admittedly, some of theses sites were, and still are, very clever. But in marketing, there is such a thing as being too clever for your own good.
You want your attorney website to work for you. Nonstop. Positively. And that means conversion. Here are some best practices to help boost leads from your website.
Offer contact options that are easy to find. The number one most frustrating thing to a prospect or client is not being able to reach you. Give them several ways to do so. Your phone number should always be prominently displayed in text (no graphics, please) at the top of your page. In addition, provide a quick contact form on every page. Repeat the phone number at the bottom of the page, again always in plain text.
Make forms obvious and easy to fill out. I will admit that as a designer, I don’t like forms. They are bulky and take space away from nicer design elements. (Although they have become much easier to style and can be works of art in and of themselves.) But forms on an attorney website are critical. They need to be placed in an obvious location, preferably before the scroll, on every page. And do not ask too much of your users. Collect only essential information – name, email, phone – or people will lose patience and give up.
Tell users what you want them to do. Do you want them to call you? Download a free report? Sign up for a newsletter? Decide what actions you want a user to take and tell them in plain English, and in a painfully obvious way, to do so. Do not leave prospects guessing about how to navigate through your site and find necessary information. Give them a path to your door.
End articles with a call to action. If you write a regular blog (and you should), end your posts with a call to action. Tell people to call your firm to learn more, to visit your site to read additional articles, or to sign up for a newsletter to receive updates. Give them something to do once you have piqued their interest.
Show off your firm with good design. A well-design site makes you look professional and trustworthy. It also makes you look modern and in the know, positioning you as an expert in your practice area. The right design helps make a critical emotional connection with potential clients. Good design also filters information for visitors so that they know immediately why they should call you. While website has to produce results to be truly remarkable, there is no reason it shouldn’t look good in the process.
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