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In the article I’m going to take you through a process of how you can improve the look of your law firm website. This is a subjective topic, be prepared, not everyone is going to agree with you so let’s aim for two things;
Firstly it's going to help you if you take a client focused approach. This will removes guess work, internal opinion and ego and deliver relevant results based on what your clients need.
Your primary concern is your law firm website should assist with your existing and potential clients’ tasks. We do with methods like scenario planning to create the best possible webpages. To keep your website relevant the most important thing is to listen to what they need.
Firstly I’d like to separate the website into two main components – its content and its functional elements.
Remember it’s the content of your website that will define how it looks. The functional elements of your pages are different and typically include; header, footer, navigation, sub menus and online forms. These elements on the web page should just be intuitive to use.
The main navigation elements are only there to guide your website visitors from A to B. Adorn these elements with distracting colours or graphic elements at your peril.
Lets talk about the basics on how to improve the look of your website
This may come as a surprise but your clients don’t worry about how your website looks, they just need information and are more impressed by the experience of using your website.
I’d like to help you with a few key elements to make your website redesign a success, that’s;
Let’s talk about content design first.
Good content design needs to follow information design methods. That is your pages should be structured so they are intuitive to your all your users based on what you know of them and the tasks they want to perform. This will make sure your users find relevant information on your website more easily and more likely to take an action.
This delivers a law firm website that enables the users to do what they came to do in the best way possible. This could be how the website responds them with aesthetics like, motion and sound.
You can use techniques such as mouse over effects and animated touch feedback which is designed to confirm to users they have been heard and that the website is responding.
Understanding how humans interact with websites will help you shape your web pages specifically for them and the tasks they want to perform, which then helps with conversions.
Just a note on what to add to your navigation, firstly only add links that help your clients get to where they want to be – this is based on tasks and their intent. For example; if they are not ready to buy you need to provide links to information about your expertise, case studies and your story to nurture them.
Make sure they are clearly labelled so clients coming from other websites get the hang of your navigation straight away. The more items you add to your navigation the harder it will be to locate information. Try to be as descriptive as possible with your navigation labelling and make sure they are phrased in a language your potential clients would use.
Testing your website will help confirm actions and questions asked in the initial client interviews. It’s a great way of discovering any barriers potential clients may have completing a task. Here are two good questions to ask;
There are lots of other things to test on your website like the size and placement of buttons, the screen colour, the typography and other visual cues but these are a good starting point.
Everything you do on your website should be underpinned by what your users want. So you need to understand who they are - your primary focus is to them.
That could be finding relevant information, answers to their questions or anything else they tell you. If you don’t already have your client profiles, you can make things a little simpler for yourself by understanding what tasks they want to perform and what questions are they likely to ask based on each of your offerings.
This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.
This is not about you all as competitors but as a community who can learn from each other in an open and sharing way. Here is a sample of what we will provide for you:
The survey takes about 7 minutes to complete and as a thank you for taking part, you'll receive a copy of the full results.
Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.