Website design for law firms
First of all, why do law firms have websites?
Statistics show that in 2017, 90% of UK households had access to the internet*. Of these, over three quarters of adults were using the internet to buy goods or services. That’s 3 out of every 4 people looking online to research and make a purchase.
Does this apply to law firms? The answer is a resounding yes – there are hundreds of people searching for law firms online in the UK every single day.
*2017’s Office for National Statistics’ ‘Internet access – households and individuals’ bulletin.
Why do people search for law firms online?
The main reason that people search for law firms online is to find a solicitor for a specific service. They might look at a couple of firms’ websites or request quotes from a few different ones, but they aren’t simply window shopping.
Below are some search terms currently being used in the UK, to reinforce this point.
UK-wide search figures (March 2018)
The following data demonstrates a monthly average number of searches made by people in the UK, using Google as a search engine:
- Solicitors near me – 18100
- Property solicitors – 2900
- Conveyancing solicitors – 9900
- Employment law solicitors – 2400
- Family law solicitors – 5400
There are many, many more examples which can even be broken down by how many searches are made (on average) by location.
The strategy behind designing a website for a law firm
We have already established that if a user has landed on your website, there’s a good chance that they’re looking for a service which you provide. To use family law as an example – they’re not researching a divorce to decide whether they want one; they’ve already decided that this is what they’re looking for. They want to find out whether you’re the right law firm to help.
This leads on to the important strategic factors that will make a difference between you receiving more enquiries or not and receiving the enquiries that you actually want.
Questions to ask yourself before starting a new website design:
1. Who do you want as clients?
If it’s corporate clients, then your website will need to reflect this; if it’s conveyancing only then the tone will be slightly different and if it’s personal injury, then the tone will be completely different.
2. What do your prospective clients want? Yes – legal services. But what kind? And can they find that you are the right firm to contact about this, quickly and easily?
3. Is what you’ve said about what someone is looking for useful?
Listing the services that you provide might seem like an obvious strategy, but will someone know that they need a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ before they understand what it is? Or a Trust? Or even a conveyancer for that matter.
4. Will people on your website trust you? Do you have any testimonials, case studies or even video interviews from clients? Or anything at all to say that you’re great, without just saying it yourself?
5. Will people on your website like you? Can you position the firm and its people to reflect what you’re truly like? Considered words, diagrams and photos can really speak to your target clients on their level.
6. Will your target clients contact you? Have you made it easy for them to find the details of the most relevant person to contact? Do they even know which office to get in touch with?
How will your prospective clients be looking for a solicitor or lawyer?
Your website should no longer be made to be solely viewed on a desktop computer, as this is not the only way that people access the internet. In the same statistics bulletin from the ONS, it found that in 2017, 73% of adults used the internet on a mobile device.
Why a mobile-friendly website is important for law firms
If you’re looking to be found in peoples’ search results, when they’re looking for a solicitor nearby who can deal with their specific situation, then it’s important to have a website that’s viewable on a mobile device from Google’s point of view, too. This is because Google places a lot of importance on whether a website can be viewed on multiple platforms (desktop, mobile, laptop, tablet etc.) as it only wants to recommend websites to click on which are going to offer their users the best experience.
If Google didn’t point its users in the direction of the best websites for their search, then their users would use another search engine.
Other important considerations when choosing an expert to design your law firm’s website
A content management system
It might seem like a good idea to have a content management system (CMS) for updating the website, which is completely bespoke to your firm. However, this can be difficult to futureproof. The person who knows how to use the CMS might leave, or you might want to start using a different company to make technical changes to the website.
Having a more generic CMS will mean that your website is easy to use by lots of people, which in turn makes it easier to update, refresh and ultimately be continuously scalable.
Hosting and technical support
When your clients could be researching your services at any time of the day or night, it’s really important to have a website that operates 24/7. At the same time, it’s crucial that your website is safe, secure and compliant when it comes to the data it stores.
Ideally, your website hosting will include extra built-in security, automatic checks, behind the scenes checks and regular updates to ensure that itis always properly protected and looking its best.
Measuring your website’s success
It’s all very well having what looks to be a great website, but other than enquiries, how will you measure its success?
Perhaps there’s a website page that is extremely popular, but which has no information about contacting you – if you don’t have the data to tell you this, you can’t find and fix the problem.
Get an expert review of your law firm’s website for free
If you think that your law firm’s website could be updated, refreshed or given a complete overhaul, our legal marketing experts will be very happy to help. Whether we can optimise your existing website to encourage a better user experience that leads to more enquiries, or whether we create a new website for you, we will always deliver a website that gets your firm results.
To register for your free website review, or to enquire a new website or website strategy, call Jess on
01858 445543 or email [email protected]
Imagine being able to employ a team of marketing professionals – each with their own specialist skills. Well now you can. With legal sector experience and enthusiasm to help you tackle your marketing challenges, we have the team to support you.