Beyond Brochureware: Creating a Law Firm Website That Really Clicks

What does your law firm website tell clients about you? More importantly, how does it make them feel? The fact is, we all want to work with people we like and trust. And that includes our attorney. With more clients than ever before beginning their search for a law firm online, your website can help land you on their short list—or remove you from consideration. So how do you create a website that really clicks with clients? Here are some dos and don’ts culled from the Content Pilot’s most recent research on foundational best practices for law firm websites: Make it about them—not you. Know your targets: their pain points, motivators, key issues. Demonstrate your understanding of their needs and challenges and explain how you can help them better address them; ensure your site’s content focuses on client benefits rather than just firm facts and figures. Keep it simple. From your site architecture to your navigation nomenclature, make it easy for visitors to quickly find the information they’re looking for—your attorneys, services, offices and latest news or blogs. Tell compelling stories. Use infographics and video to engage your prospects and build your brand; vary your language. Include relevant photos with captions (they get read). Offer something of value that is interesting and enriching. Let your personality (and thought leadership) shine. Attorney bios are typically the most-viewed pages on any law firm site; make the most of them. What sells you? Link to relevant articles, insights and awards. Personalize bios with client-centric content or a personal statement or quote; use first names or nicknames—Mr. or Ms. is cold and old-fashioned. Show them your smarts. Provide prominent links to blogs, news, events, articles and other publications on all relevant pages—home, bio, practice/industry—to further qualify you as an expert in a particular field. Make your own case. Prove you’re the firm for them. Don’t just tell them you have experience in a particular practice area or industry, show them. Incorporate relevant case studies. Answer the question: what have you done, for whom and what can you do for me? Less is always more. Chances are, your prospective client is visiting your site on a smartphone—and scanning your content, rather than reading it. Give them small bits of information (in order of their importance to them); use bold, benefits-focused subheads to communicate your key messages and easy-to-view bulleted lists. Remember, despite all the bells and whistles of today’s web technology, content is still king. Spend time focusing on your target’s needs—not just your firm’s strengths—and the clients are sure to follow.

Vice President, Communications Strategist

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