10 Common Law Firm Website Design Mistakes That Hurt Lead Generation

Law Firm Website Design Mistakes

Your website is your main marketing tool and 24/7 salesperson to bring in more potential clients.

Law firm business owners want more phone calls from qualified leads.

A website achieves this by making it easy for people to call you.

It wasn’t easy convincing law firms. They had to put their firm into the 21st century and go online. So, the problem is that if a law firm’s website design is more than ten years old (or older than five years), it probably has issues that need addressing.

Because most websites today have an average lifespan of between two and five months, they’re not designed for long-term use.

The modern legal potential client’s expectations for your law firm’s website design change and evolve rapidly. Their expectations are shaped by their favorite digital experiences—regardless of whether that user experience was with Amazon, Apple, Uber, or any other multi-billion-dollar company with piles of cash to spare. Over 75% of people have admitted to judging a company’s credibility based on its website design, according to Standford.

You can no longer count on your brand, market share, or strictly word-of-mouth referrals to help you outgrow and outperform your top competitors. You’ve got to sell yourself through your website design.

Since specific web design best practices vary across the different legal fields, I thought it would be better for you to learn what NOT to do first. Below I’ll detail the top 10 common law firm website design mistakes you need to rectify immediately.

1. Your Law Firm Website Isn’t Secure.

A website that isn’t secure could be considered one of the biggest mistakes because they see a big red warning site before proceeding to your website.

Your Connection Is Not Private

Potential customers visiting your site are already uneasy because they’re afraid of legal issues, no matter what legal issue it is. It’s even scarier than that. Your personal information and your company’s sensitive information could be compromised.

Most consumers know about online security issues and are smart enough to recognize when a site has been secured using SSL encryption.

Getting more law firm leads from your website must be secure (HTTPS) rather than insecure (HTTP). To get an SSL certificate, you must set up hosting that enables HTTPS connections.

If you don’t have a secure site, you’re signaling to search engines and cautious web surfers that something isn’t right. Search Engi­neers consider website secu­rity a big part of their ranking algo­rithm, and 85% of peo­ple won’t brows­e an unsecured we­bsite. If your website isn’t secured, you must take action immediately, or potential customers will leave to go to another legal service. Not having a secure site is a big mistake. I recommend getting an SSL certificate from Network Solutions.

2. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

This is old news, but your website’s design needs to be mobile-friendly and use responsive design. According to Statista, about 52.2% of these occur on a mobile phone.

How can you tell if your website is mobile-friendly? Run your website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

3. Your site takes too long to load!

If you want to generate new leads for your law firm, your site needs to load fast.

People hate waiting. They hate long loading times so much that 53% of them will ditch your site for another if they use a mobile device.

Enter your website address into Google’s Page Speed Insights (PSI) to see if there are any issues with its performance. It will tell you if your site has any issues with loading time and provide some suggestions for fixing them.

Poor website design can cause a slow website. To improve page loading speeds, here are some general web development tips you should consider following:

  • Optimize and compress your images. Larger files take longer to load than smaller ones.
  • Make sure your content is optimized for speed. Fewer page components mean less time spent downloading them. Your files, including images, CSS, JavaScript, etc., should be combined, minified, optimized, and gzipped as much as possible.
  • Limit or delete any inactive plugins. There are plenty of plugins and apps out there that will help you improve your site’s appearance. Make sure to install plugins that are lightweight and load fast.
  • Don’t use too many redirects. Redirects are sometimes necessary, but you shouldn’t have more than one redirect from any particular URL to the final destination. According to Google, because redirects cause an additional HTTP request-response cycle and increase the time between requests, it’s important to minimize the frequency of redirects. 

4. Your website has No Trust Signals or Social Proof That Shows Your Worth.

People want the best law firm. Most people feel a sense of fear and uncertainty when they think about going through a legal case, and hiring an attorney you know you can trust makes the whole thing much easier. Unfortunately, consumers today are naturally impatient, so you have a limited opportunity to convince them that you’re the best law firm for their needs. To calm their fears and anxieties, you can have these things prominently displayed on your law firm’s site:

  • Awards
  • Cases won
  • Achievements
  • Associations
  • In the News
  • Accreditations

If you’re looking for some law firm web design ideas, look at Denmon Pearlman Law. They’re good at doing the authority thing. Here’s a list of all their trust signals and social proofs.

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5. Your font style and size are difficult for readers to read or mismatch with the audience.

Remember when Microsoft was using Comic Sans Back then, everyone used it because it was so popular. Recently, Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, used Comic Sans and Twitter had a field day.

Yes, the fonts and typography you use say a lot about you and your company. Look at these example websites for lawyers. Each site has its unique look and feels and has its distinct personality. Here are some of my favorite WordPress legal template designs.

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Make sure your design elements fit with your brand identity and the overall personality of your law practice. If you’re unsure what you’d like with your site design or don’t know what words you’d like to use for your text content, talk to someone who knows something about web design.

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If you are a DIYer, I recommend using Canva, a free-to-use online graphic design tool. Canva has a ton of templates that you can use to help create awesome designs for your website. You don’t need any photoshop skills to use it either.

There are many affordable website design builders, such as web.com. If you are looking for a custom website, we’re happy to help you turn your ideas into realities. My website design team has years of experience designing websites from scratch, so we know exactly what it takes to get there.

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6. You may not be aware of it, but your site probably doesn’t humanize it.

Law firms typically use stock photos instead of real lawyers for their web pages.

Don’t use bad photos. You want to showcase yourself and your legal team so that it is more personalized. Take a look at Denmon Pearlman’s hero image, for example:

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Denmon Pearlman Law features its managing partners of the law firm

7. Your website doesn’t contain any H1 headings or H2 subheaders.

Most people read the headline and then skip past the rest of the content to see if they want to click through. You want your site to have compelling content.

You probably noticed that sentence because it stands out from the rest of the text. If a website cannot be read quickly for interesting information, it is a poor user experience for its visitors.

You don’t just want one big blob of content; you want headings and subheadlines, so the content and topic are clear to the reader. Most importantly, to help search engine spiders find you. If you want to improve your site’s search engine rankings, one way to do so is by ensuring that your pages contain a content hierarchy that bots crawl. If a web crawler cannot determine what your page is all about, it will be placed somewhere in the middle of the 10s of thousands of results for your query. Therefore, content matters. See the image below on how to structure content using H1, H2, and H3… 

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Learn more about search engine optimization (SEO) best practices at SEMrush. 

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8. You don’t include videos on your pages.

Incorporating videos into your law firm’s website design is a necessity. Not only is a video 50 times more likely to rank organically in the search results than text pages, but people spend, on average, 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.

Adding videos to your website design can also increase conversions by up to 80%. To earn trust, differentiate your brand, explain complex topics, and get introduced by video on your website, social media profiles, and YouTube channels.

Here are some examples of video content for your lawyer website:

  • Attorney profile videos
  • Client testimonial videos
  • Legal processes overviews
  • Frequently asked questions videos
  • Informational videos

9. Your site doesn’t have contact information and conversion nudges up front and center.

On your law firm’s website, most people who visit want to see your company’s name, address, and phone number. And most people who visit will leave if they don’t see any of these things. Your ultimate goal for the UX of your website should be to convert someone into scheduling an appointment with you.

Your site should include your contact info, such as your email address, phone number, and any other relevant. Including lots of conversion nudging, like calls to action, contact forms, and chatboxes on your website, will help improve your conversion rates. For example, check out this Denmon Pearlman’s website:

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10. Your website doesn’t tell a user right away what kind of law you practice.

It’s probably the most problematic. Because after loading, people form an impression within 0.5 seconds which is all they need to know to decide whether to stay on your site or go back to a competitor. After evaluating your content, they’ll leave if they don’t feel like they’ve made a rational choice. You should have your service/product in clear view and confidence-boosting features like testimonials, endorsements, and affiliate programs. Avoid clutter, and keep your website design simple.

Lawyers love our law firm website design company because they know we help them stand out from the crowd and get noticed.

Our attorneys appreciate us because of all the positive feedback they’ve received from their clients. We want to help you get the best results from your investment, so we take your business as we’d take ours. Your company’s website depends on designing and implementing its web pages. You won’t get a good result if you don’t pick a good designer. A bad website design will not generate leads.

We like to keep up with design trends as design professionals. We use a color pallet that includes bold and bright color schemes that match the brand color overlays. However,  we’re not just focused on creating websites; we go the extra mile by offering everything needed to help our clients reach their goals. From custom website designs to copywriting, our team will take care of everything, so you get a turnkey solution and don’t need to think about running your business. When you hire Orbit Local Digital Marketing Company, you’ll get the following:

  • Domain and Hosting options
  • Ongoing site maintenance
  • Brand guidelines and development
  • Advanced analytics tracking
  • SEO services
  • Content creation strategy
  • Uploading existing content and import
  • Lead form and call tracking
  • Technical SEO
  • Digital Marketing 
  • And more!

You will own the site, unlike most local legal web design firms that hold it for ransom. You might be surprised how many web designers have hidden terms in their contracts.

Your site should be beautiful, well organized, have awesome content, and focus on lead generation. If you need help with your website, we can provide assistance with your design project. Contact us today for a free website design consultation!

About the author

Co-founder, head of web development and paid media advertising at Orbit Local, is a certified Google Partner with over a decade of digital marketing experience. He's earned a BS in Computing Information Science from the University of North Florida and an MBA at the Florida Institute of Technology.

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