Improve the look of your website.
This is a subjective topic. So, how do we improve the look when it’s unlikely everyone will agree with you?
This is about creating aesthetically pleasing web pages that expresses your brand and present easy to access content.
Here are a few things you can do to help. Firstly it's going to help if you work with a customer centered approach - becoming customer centered will remove guess work, internal ego and opinion. This approach will deliver results based on empirical evidence.
Your primary concern is your law firm website should to satisfy the needs of your existing and potential clients. We use techniques like scenario planning, customer journey planning and testing to create the perfect webpages. Most important is to talk to them and understand what they need, I’ve talked a little about that in this article.
Remember it’s the content that will define how your website looks. The functional elements of your pages are different and typically includes; header, footer, online forms, navigation and sub menus. These elements on the web page should be intuitive and largely invisible. They are only there to guide your website visitors from A to B or help them with an action or task. 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
- Start with your brand guidelines but remember if brand colour is purple your website doesn’t need to be purple – not all your users will like the same colours and we know male v female have different colour preferences.
- Have a photography editorial policy – photography guidelines will help with a consistency look and feel.
- Take a similar approach to any graphics you may commission.
- Pick two colours and reserve one extra colour for an accent colour, this will be used for calls to action.
- Keep your web page design balanced and consistent on every page.
- Choose your website’s fonts carefully and make sure they fit in with your brand guidelines.
So what makes a website look good? Let’s get into a little more detail and look some other elements you can consider.
Interaction is about designing a website for people first. Understanding how humans interact with computers will help you shape your web pages specifically for them and the tasks they want to perform, which then helps with conversions. This is created with a goal oriented process and focused on satisfying the needs and desires of the clients who interact with your law firm website.
You can use techniques such as mouse over effects and animated touch feedback which confirms to your potential clients they have been heard and that the website is responding. It's important to remember how potential clients experience your brand across any number of devices and channels. It's one of our roles to make sure your brand appears consistently to them all.
I’m not going to apologise for dwelling on this because it’s so important. First you need to understand who your clients are and a good starting point is look at your current client database.
Your primary focus is your website needs to satisfy the goals of your potential clients. Whether that’s finding information, answers to their questions or anything else you care to think of. We use techniques like scenario planning and client journey planning to create the best possible law firm website. If you don’t already have your client profiles you can make things a little simpler for yourself by just understanding what tasks they want to perform and what questions are they likely to ask.
Good content design needs to follow information design principles and methodologies. Your pages should be structured so they are intuitive to your clients and makes sense to them based on what you know of them and the tasks they want to perform. This will make sure your clients find information on your website more easily and more likely to take an action.
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 the tasks they want to perform and their intent. If they are not ready to buy you need to provide links to information about your company, products and services and case studies.
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 the harder it will be to locate information, try to be as descriptive as possible in your navigation labelling and make sure it’s phrased in a language your potential clients would use.
Testing your website.
Testing your website will help confirm actions and questions asked in the initial client interviews. It’s a great way of discovering any barriers clients may have completing a task. Here are a few key questions to ask your team:
- Why do people visit your website?
- What do they want to achieve?
- What other websites did they visit?
- Was there anything that stopped them from completing a task?
- What nearly stopped them from completing a task?
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.
WEB would like to invite you to take the 2020 Law Firm Online Marketing Benchmark.
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.
Here is a sample of the stats we’d like to be able to provide for you:
- What method has been most effective in picking up new clients online.
- How many enquires a successful law firm websites produces.
- How your online marketing budget is spent.
Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 4543 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.