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The legal field is a competitive market, with over 1.3 million lawyers doing business across the United States. This is one big reason why it is crucial to make a favorable first impression on potential clients who come browsing online. Since the majority of lawyer searches begin with a search engine, one of the key ways to introduce your law firm effectively is to design a stellar website. Unfortunately, some law firms do not give this task to an experienced professional and without knowing it, make law firm website design mistakes when it comes to creating their law firm website. Here are eleven mistakes that some law firms make when designing their websites, along with tips to avoid these law firm website design mistakes.
Too Much Clutter
Potential clients do not want to navigate through thick forests of text to find what they need, but some websites put the most essential information out of the way, or in an area that looks cluttered and disorganized. This practice will hinder the most motivated visitors and they may be tempted to exit quickly. Make sure your website has a clean, organized look and that it is easy to navigate. Elements that are designed to “trap” consumers into contacting a law firm, like excessive pop ups and sliders, often repel people and send them elsewhere.
Your website needs to offer easy navigation and every page should have the option to return to the home page. It is important to understand that because our eyes move faster than a mouse can click, we need to make sure that law firm websites are easy to navigate. Another obstacle that inhibits navigation is an excess of items attracting attention. When there are too many possible places to click a link, visitors can get overwhelmed. If you remove clutter, then the most important items will take center stage, and navigation will become more straightforward.
Your law firm’s office is compliant with ADA requirements, but is your website? Most companies do not take into consideration that their website is an extension of their business, and should follow ADA guidelines. A disability should not limit anyone’s opportunity to find the information they need, and this includes searching for answers to legal questions and finding a qualified attorney. Besides being the right thing to do, designing a website that is ADA compliant speaks compassion and fairness to your audience as well.
Some of your website visitors may be visually or hearing impaired, so it is essential to design a website that includes components such as:
- Ability to navigate by keyboard-only option
- Website should be fully functional when scaled up to 200%
- Text should have a minimum contrast ratio against the background
- Audio and video should be played only when a user clicks
- All relevant website images should include alt text
A website must be responsive if a law firm is going to rely on it as a tool to gather new leads and clients. Law firms of any size need to make sure that their website loads quickly and works well with both desktop and mobile devices. One of the biggest law firm website design mistakes is to have a slow website. This means that the website should ditch any slow-loading, large images. Another no-no is employing sites that use pre-fabricated, bulky themes and stock images.
Constructed with a Free Website Builder
Avoid skimping on costs by using a free website builder. Even though these may seem more budget-friendly, they often hold hidden costs and lack the support you need for the future. Besides this, they may not offer blog assistance, editing advice or SEO help. In the end, you might pay just as much or more with a free website builder as you would have by hiring an experienced, qualified website company in the first place.
No Call to Action
Even with a well-designed website and top-notch content, you may not meet your marketing goals without a compelling call to action. Include a call to action on every page of your website, because this is the end goal of any advertising plan. A call to action should:
- Be placed in a highly accessible and visible location on your website.
- Show up as a clickable button for mobile users.
- Include an action verb that motivates visitors to take the next step.
Failure to have a call to action is one of the biggest law firm website design mistakes a law firm can make. Tell your potential clients to call you and contact you, and make it simple for them!
Lacking an Experienced SEO Consultant To Find and Fix Law Firm Website Design Mistakes
SEO is a critical component of your website design process. This is why it is highly important to hire a company that has expertise in search engine optimization. When you search for an SEO company, evaluate it for the following criteria:
- Are they experienced in designing content for lawyers?
- Do they have knowledge of top keywords used by potential clients in your local area?
- Do they have the ability to install and manage Google Analytics?
Effective soon, Google will be rewarding websites that are inherently mobile-responsive with better rankings, and demoting websites that are not mobile-responsive. If you are thinking about revamping your website, now is the perfect time to confirm that your website is 100% mobile responsive. Since 53% of mobile users abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load, it is time to rethink website design. Most websites currently take around 22 seconds to load, losing visitors before you can say “marketing disaster.” Any modern website should be designed specifically with mobile users in mind.
Outdated Design or Content
An stale or outdated website is unreliable and unprofessional, and it could be one the worst flaws of all in the eyes of consumers. If your website has not been audited in a while (or ever) strongly consider a website content audit. This practice can replace broken links, refresh stale content, clear out expired material and can also update content and design to be more consistent with your brand.
Multi-Fonts and Colors
A great looking website only needs two or three colors, and too many colors subconsciously tax the brain and eyes. Color should be used sparingly on website pages, and text should be easy to read. Light backgrounds are more preferable than dark backgrounds, and pages should not be switching off between the two. In addition, choose a minimum of fonts, because a wide variety of fonts can be a distraction. Pick a few key fonts that gel with your brand and leave it at that.
Not Enough Whitespace
After deciding on your colors and fonts, do not forget that all that text and color should be alternated with ample doses of white space. Using white space generously makes your content more legible and makes the intake more pleasant. Large blocks of text are intimidating and consumers often feel too busy to read huge chunks of copy. You can also break up text with quality images and video.
Your website is an important business tool, and the first introduction between your law firm and potential clients. This is why it is vitally important to scrutinize your website for law firm website design mistakes and unnecessary visitor roadblocks. Consider using top quality, paid professional help to design your website, and do not be tempted to cut corners. Make sure you can call upon an experienced SEO consultant to promote your law firm in the most efficient and effective way possible. Avoid the traps of too much activity, clutter, color and fonts, and offer users readable, relevant content. Designing a website that is accessible and attractive for all users will make it more likely that this important tool will help you grow your business.
How Law Quill Can Help
Law Quill now provides on-site SEO audits! <– Click there to learn about everything you receive and pricing! An SEO audit can also help you understand where your law firm’s website design mistakes are and how to fix them!
A law firm website content audit may seem like an overwhelming chore, but it carries serious advantages for your business. In addition to using analyzer tools, do not be reluctant to hire an expert to help you navigate the process, examine your results and plan for the future. The benefits of a law firm website content audit include improved website performance, enhanced user engagement, and hearty approval from the search engines. In turn, this leads to attaining the ultimate goal of increased website traffic, more leads and future clients.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your website content! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at [email protected]