Some Quick Law Firm Web Design Tips

Gyi Tsakalakis
June 27, 2012

If you don't have the time to click-through 26 slides, here's the tl;dr version:

  • What makes you different from other lawyers?
  • Why should someone choose you over your competition?
  • Don’t market yourself as the person you’d like to be! Market yourself as the person that you are.
  • Who Are They?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Who are you trying to attract to your website?
  • What Are They Looking For?
  • What emotions are you trying to evoke from your visitors?
  • How do you solve fear?
  • How do you build trust?
  • Good law firm websites identify prospective clients’ fears, communicate how the lawyers are uniquely equipped to help solve these fear issues and inspire trust.
  • Writing is a skill that takes time to develop. Writing for the web is different than writing inother media.
  • No Stock Legal Web Images.
  • What sorts of actions do you want your visitors to take?
  • Choosing a domain for your law firm website should take into account the marketing objectives of your firm.
  • While there are very affordable hosting options available, economy hosting plans can limit your access to certain functions and also your site’s performance with visitors.
  • Consider search early in the design process.
  • Plan the layout for all your pages in advance.

Many lawyers have this "gut instinct" that they need to have a website (or they were told by a website designer that they need one). I'm not going to debate whether or not you "need" to have an online presence here. You can waste someone else's time waxing prophetically about whether this internet thing is a fad and whether it has any practical applications for your firm.

If you have decided to launch a new website, blog or any other online profile, you will be well-served spending some time brainstorming and planning.

From what I've seen, lawyers, or their in-house marketing folks, have a tendency to rush into chucking something against the internet wall to see what sticks.

I know, lawyers don't have time for lunch, let alone, to be intimately involved in the design and development of their firm's online marketing assets. And that is likely, at least in part, the reason that so many websites just don't do what they're supposed to do.

I also think that there are many do-it-yourself legal websites that look, well, like do-it-yourself websites (mine included). And that's not necessarily a bad thing, depending on who your audiences are and what messages you're trying to communicate.

Once you accept the premise that people are going to look you up online, and that what they see when they find you matters to some degree as to whether they decide to call you, it's worth spending a little more time actually thinking about what you're going to show them. And perhaps, even making some minimal investments in putting something forward that demonstrates that you might just be a good candidate to handle their legal matter.

Unless you have technical, marketing, design and writing skills, you probably ought to consider getting some assistance.

You simply can't count the number of potential clients that you lose that didn't contact you because of something they found (or didn't find) out about you online.

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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