Within the legal profession, reputation is of critical importance for any lawyer or attorney. In order to build client trust and credibility, law firms must think about integral things such as lawyer and attorney website design. Additionally, for a legal practice to truly thrive by engaging and converting visitors into clients, you must consider components like reputation management services and local SEO. In this article, legal marketing experts discuss 14 things a great lawyer website should have.
A Blinking/Animated Wheelchair Icon Depicting That The Attorney’s Site is ADA Accessible
“Hands down the most important thing an excellent attorney’s website should have is a blinking/animated wheelchair icon depicting that the attorney’s site is ADA accessible!
Currently, only 18% of published websites are ADA compliant. Almost every time I bring this subject up people respond is that real? It’s as real as it gets. If a person living with a disability goes to your site and is unable to access the attorney’s site, they can be reported as non-compliant. Fines for being non-compliant start at $75K and go up from there. These fines are backed up by the USDOJ (yes the United States Department of Justice) and they take these issues very very seriously. And it is almost indefensible. How would a lawyer look stating he/she was unaware of the ADA compliance issues and even worse would you really want to sue a person living with a disability?
Most web developers do not even know about ADA website accessibility, sad but true. If your web developer doesn’t know about the ADA website accessibility act, they certainly cannot make your website ADA compliant. Here is a cold hard fact – there is no single line of code, plugin, or website template that will make your site ADA compliant. It takes hard coding on each and every page. Here is some good news. The IRS will compensate you handsomely to make your website ADA compliant and they will allow tax credits each and every year you have expenditures to maintain your ADA compliance.
Here is how that works. The IRS will give you a 50% tax credit after the first $500.00 you spend up to $10,000.00. Ok to be transparent here, is the math 10000 – 500 =9500. 50% of 9500 is 4750. So, if your company spends 10,000.00 on ADA compliance for any given year you can expect a $4750.00 tax credit.
Just because you are not a large corporation like the Home Depot, Dominos, Bed Bath and Beyond and even Hooters does not exempt you from an ADA Compliance lawsuit. Your website is considered an extension of your business and you could be sued for not providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. The entertainer Beyonce was sued for not being ADA Compliant.”
Practice Area Pages, Pages For The Areas You Serve, Contact Page, An About Page, FAQs, And A Live Chat Option
“Your two most important categories to build on your site will be your practice area pages and pages for the areas you serve. Even if you have national reach, you need to foster your local connections first… and let people know what you excel at! Thoroughly building these pages will also help you rank higher in search engines.
A clear contact page is important for any website, but lawyers also need easy contact buttons on every single page of their website. We’ve found that a one-click phone call button is most helpful for people browsing on mobile devices.
A great law firm website needs an about page. This is where you can uplift your team members and their accomplishments, but it’s also where you can share your personal philosophy. What makes you different from other lawyers? What makes you the right choice?
A great law firm website needs great resources. Create FAQ pages for different types of cases you commonly take on, plus maps, statistics, infographics, and blog posts about topical concerns or developments in the industry that your clients may find important. Remember that you are writing for an audience of clients, not fellow lawyers. People have doubts – they’re always afraid hiring a lawyer will be too expensive or too complicated. Alleviate these fears. Outline the steps people need to take to build their case, as well as what they can expect from the forthcoming legal process. Providing resources on our website is important because we don’t just want to protect your rights – we want you to know what they are. Knowledge is power, and we want to equip people with that power even if they don’t end up hiring us.
A great law firm website needs a live chat option, manned by real, live, empathetic intake specialists. You want your website visitors to know your team is ready and available to hear their story, 24/7. We don’t play phone tag – we get the ball rolling on our clients’ cases as soon as possible, usually during our very first conversation with them! It’s vital to stay on top of current technology and virtual consultation options right now, in case clients wish to maintain social distance and avoid meeting in person.”
An Engaging Story, Videos, New Content Constantly Being Published
“Great lawyer websites in 2020 must have these three things:
1) An engaging story that clearly and creatively explains your remarkable firm, your differentiated services, and how you actually make your clients’ lives better.
2) Videos. Videos. Videos. It’s 2020 and videos are one of the best media to tell your story quickly and with a high level of engagement. A 90-second overview video, testimonials videos from actual clients, case study videos, and even educational videos on various aspects of your services and expertise will fully engage your next potential client.
3) Lots and lots of new content constantly being published. A great lawyer website is not a set-it-and-forget-it project. It’s an ongoing marketing platform that is actively being used on a weekly – even daily basis – to engage with prospective clients. This means it easily facilitates publishing new content all the time – like expert articles, podcast episodes, video series, ebooks, self-assessment tools, email series, and whatever other resources you can dream of that a prospective client (and even a current client) will find helpful. If you want a website that not just shows the world your law firm exists but actually attracts new clients and wins new business, do these three things and you’ll find it’ll pay for itself several times over.”
“We believe the following are the most important components in a lawyer’s website:
1) Meet the needs of the users – Businesses and individuals often have documentation needs, yet may lack the resources to engage lawyers. The website should resonate with its users and help businesses and individuals create documents and legal contracts through the process with step-by-step instructions.
2) Extensive Documents Database – need to have a large online legal resources and templates database to allow users to find what they want.
3) Easy to Use – allow users to find what legal resources they want and customise documents with a few simple clicks through a simple step-by-step guide.
4) Trustworthy with Reliable Documents – All legal resources and templates should be drafted or reviewed by experienced lawyers. Users should have complete trust with the website.
5) Affordable – Most online legal resources are expensive since they are benchmarked against law firms. These legal resources should be made more affordable by benchmarking against other online businesses instead.
6) Different Versions – A good legal website should provide variations of document favoring different parties/situations instead of a one size fits all approach. For example, most online leases are in favor of a landlord, and a tenant would be at a disadvantage to use the form without legal advice.
7) Cross Border Transactions – most legal websites are jurisdiction-specific. A good legal website should provide a comparison between countries and allow people to create documents that cater for cross border transactions.
8) Feedback and Sharing – a good legal website would have a good feedback loop and open to legal or document requests from the users. It would also allow users to share legal issues and resources (subject to review by experienced lawyers).”
Having an excellent online presence is imperative for the success of any law professional. For any law firm to truly flourish, exceptional website design services must be utilized. Ultimately, this will attract, engage, and convert potential clients, thus, maximizing the growth of your law firm.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at IronMonk Solutions. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.