What's in this article?
Lawyers know they need to look the part to instill confidence in their clients and their team.
So why don’t they follow the same advice with their own law firm website design?
I can’t tell you how many law firm websites still have tacky designs and pop-up ads that scare visitors away.
Unfortunately, most law firms lack the personnel necessary to build and maintain a website, which is why they’re still stuck with an outdated or broken website.
Some old school lawyers may still think that referrals are king and their website is secondary. Well, let’s lay that myth down to rest with some important stats regarding the lawyer’s website:
- 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine
- 74% of prospects beginning a search online end up contacting the office via phone
- 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action
If you’re reading this, you likely already understand the importance your law firm’s website can have in bringing in new case inquiries to fuel your business.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover why every firm needs a great website, the qualities of the best law firm websites, answer some FAQs, and give tips to optimize your site for maximal lead generation results.
Why a great law firm website is necessary to get more clients
There are three main ways lawyers find new clients:
- Lead generation through their website’s SEO
What is SEO, you ask?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a digital marketing strategy that aims to rank your website higher in a Google search than your competitors.
How do most people find lawyers these days anyway? Google! This includes:
- Searching Google Maps for local law firms
- Search Google for questions related to their legal issues
- Searching Google for specific types of lawyers (car accident lawyer, divorce lawyer, malpractice lawyer)
But if your website’s design and content are lacking, your website will never rank high in a Google search.
This will result in hundreds or possibly thousands of missed opportunities because your audience never even considered your law firm—because they couldn’t find it in a Google search!
Instead, let’s tackle this problem today and offer solutions on creating a website that generates leads.
Don’t get buried in the search results. Take action now to improve your law firm’s website design and legal marketing strategy.
Download our free Guide to Designing a Consume-Direct Law Firm Website that Generates Case Leads and watch your case inquiries increase.
Kaleidico is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in the mortgage and legal industry. If your legal website needs an SEO boost, set up an appointment to learn how we can help!
What makes a great law firm website?
A great law firm website design needs to provide an exceptional user experience for your visitors.
It should be able to anticipate users’ needs and provide thoughtful solutions to their problems within seconds.
Your website’s intuitiveness, branding, navigation, and content should quickly reassure your potential client that they’ve landed on the right website to fix their problems. They should be able to easily fill out a contact form to get in touch with your firm.
Functional law firm website design
Ultimately, every design choice comes down to figuring out how to get potential clients to your website. And then get them to fill out an inquiry form.
We don’t start from scratch designing a revolutionary website design, because that’s not what your audience is used to.
Instead, we research the online competitor space. We look for:
- Recurring patterns, such as the home navigation arrangement
- Where the contact forms are
- The colors they’re using
- What their calls-to-action are saying
Once we observe what the norm is, and what the average user is used to, we craft a clean website design that’s intuitive and easy to use.
In the end, you get a modern law firm website that makes it simple for potential clients to find the information they need and contact your firm.
17 essential law firm website design features to generate leads
Your firm’s website will be the central hub to which all of your online content will redirect visitors. But once people get to your website—keep them there.
Your website probably doesn’t need as many features as you might think.
You don’t need to bombard your web visitors with pop-up ads or scrolling banners, those don’t really work that well anyway.
Let’s look at some essential law firm web design features you’ll need to both impress your audience, and make Google index your website into its search results to improve your website’s SEO.
A clear mission statement
New web visitors will unconsciously seek out your mission statement, which should be upfront and centered at the top of your website.
Something like “Compassionate lawyers specializing in medical malpractice” or “Defense attorneys getting you the representation you deserve.”
The purpose of these clear mission statements is to confirm your reader is on the right website for their specific need.
If your website is too confusing, or it’s unclear what type of law you specialize in, your visitor will bounce off the website and search for a different law firm website.
At Kaleidico, we don’t believe in having a cluttered home page filled with rotating banner images and other unnecessary elements.
Your website should be clean and minimal, only showing the most important features, such as:
- A clear and direct positioning statement above the fold
- The company’s logo
- CTAs and contact forms above the fold
- Clear and simple navigation to practice areas
The symbols, colors, and styling of your company’s logo convey a powerful message to your audience.
When you look at your law firm’s logo, how does it make you feel about your company? Does the logo communicate authority, compassion, and professionalism?
If not, you may want to consider doing a quick logo revamp to modernize and stylize your logo.
Place it on the top left of your website to improve brand recognition and the user’s experience. Make sure to use a transparent background so your logo blends into the background seamlessly.
Also added your logo to the top left of your website’s footer and contact page.
Mobile-friendly law firm website design
Half of all internet traffic is on mobile phones.
How does your website’s design rack up when you view it on your phone?
If you have to zoom out or resize the screen, I pretty much guarantee all of your mobile traffic will leave immediately.
In the past, web designers had a difficult time creating a mobile-responsive site, but these days most website builders such as WordPress and Squarespace have it built in.
There’s no excuse for an un-mobile-friendly website in 2022!
Typefaces and colors
Color psychology plays an important part in communicating your firm’s mission and values. As do typefaces and font choices.
Traditionally, most law firms have used serif fonts. These are letters that have little “feet” attached to them. Think of the University of Michigan’s block “M.”
However, today sans serif fonts are more popular and have a modern edge to them.
Work with a graphic designer who can go through a branding exercise to learn what your values are, and then present logo and typeface ideas that will “wow” you and your audience.
It’s ideal to avoid stock photography and use professional photos of your office and staff instead.
Consider hiring a professional photographer to come into your office one day to photograph your building and headshots for all of your attorneys. These can then be added to the attorney bio pages.
Add “alt-tags” to your images when placing them on your website.
Alt-text means alternative text, and it’s the words that show up when an image doesn’t load. It’s also used to improve accessibility for visually impaired users.
Alt-tags are also an SEO trick to improve your website’s searchability. If there is a particular keyword you’re trying to rank for, then you can add these terms to your alt-tag so your article will appear in more Google searches.
Videos on your website can boost your traffic and improve your website’s conversion rate. Not only that, pages with videos often rank higher in Google’s SERP.
By video, I mean an embedded YouTube video and not a banner video that plays in the background. Those are unnecessary and can seriously slow down your website.
Videos are harder to produce, which means that other law firms may not have any. Even producing one high-quality video can make a big difference in attracting more traffic than your competitors.
Make sure your targeted keyword is in the title of your Youtube videos and be sure to add a detailed description.
To get your video shown as a video “snippet” on Google’s search results page, create timestamps for your video for better searchability.
Just remember: auto-playing YouTube videos on websites is super annoying, and will likely cause your viewers to leave your site.
Contact forms, lead paths, and calls-to-action (CTAs) for every page
Because everything we do is ultimately to get people to give you their contact information, it makes sense to use forms that are non-intimidating and quick to fill out.
Every page of your website needs to be optimized with contact forms and include persuasive calls-to-action (CTA).
Consider using some of the following CTAs to get your visitors to fill out forms:
- Book your no-cost consultation today
- Get financial compensation today
- Download our free legal guide eBook
- Download our case study
- Schedule an initial consultation
- Reach out
- Contact us
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Give us a phone call
- Get the compensation you deserve today!
It’s best to provide these different contact options to your visitors to increase conversion rates:
- Standard contact forms
- Click to call buttons
- Progressive forms, which are buttons that redirect visitors to a quick questionnaire
- Chat Boxes, just make sure you have a team member ready to answer questions or potentially risk annoying visitors by ignoring them
- Downloadable content, such as free eBooks, case studies, cheat sheets and guides that people must enter their email address to receive
Your potential clients want to learn more about your lawyers before reaching out to them.
It makes sense — lawyers must earn their clients’ trust, and showing your headshot and credentials will give your attorneys more authority.
Also, because you’ve created individual pages for each attorney, any time somebody Googles one of your team’s lawyers, your law firm’s website should be the first or second search result.
This is another law firm SEO tactic.
For a more engaging bio section, consider the following tips:
- Use the attorney’s name as the primary headline
- Include a high-quality headshot
- If possible, include a personal video
- Write what made you get into law. Perhaps it was a family member who was a lawyer, or a specific instance that made you passionate about law
- Talk about your successes, but don’t give out too many details about particular cases
- List your accomplishments, your school, background, and special certifications and awards
- Avoid legal talk and use plain language when writing your bio. You’re trying to effectively communicate with the reader, and don’t need to confuse or intimidate them. If anything, you should make yourself seem approachable, since you’re trying to work with new people.
- End with a call-to-action to set up a consultation
A contact page is one of the most essential features on law firm websites.
Even though your contact information will be all over the website, including the footer, it’s still good practice to create a specific page for contact information.
People have become accustomed to finding the contact page in the top navigation bar, so make sure it’s there to improve your odds of lead generation.
Google will also be able to pull your address and populate your office into the results of local queries for law firms, i.e, when people search “lawyers near me.”
Company “About Us” page
An About page is your chance to write a detailed description about your company, its history, any high-profile cases you’ve worked on, and to share your mission statement.
It’s also another good area for search engine optimization. Use this page to add relevant keywords to your site to increase its visibility in Google searches.
SEO and content (blogging)
Law firm websites absolutely need to blog regularly.
Some people think they can build a website and it will automatically generate traffic. That’s not really how law firm sites, or any websites, work.
If you’re not producing new blogs regularly, then Google will bury your website farther down their search results.
Why? Because they’ll think your company is no longer active because it’s not producing new content.
Google favors new content because it’s deemed “more relevant.”
There are many considerations Google looks for to determine the relevancy of a law firm website for legal-related searches, and some of the most important factors are:
- Updated content
Blogs are also the main traffic referral source bringing people to your website.
How do people find your website anyway? Usually, through Google searches, either searching for “lawyers” or searching for specific legal advice.
The more content your website has, the more essential keywords it also has, which makes it even easier to find in Google searches.
To start blog writing, find your key practice areas, and then start writing explanatory blogs related to those practice areas.
Examples of a relevant legal blog posts include:
- “How to file bankruptcy”
- “What you should know before filing for divorce.”
- “How long does the statute of limitations last for X”
- “What to do if you’re being sued for discrimination”
Practice areas landing pages
A good law firm website will need to consist of more than just a homepage, about, contact, and blog — you need individual pages (landing pages) for each of your legal services offered.
For example, add specific landing pages related to:
- Surgical malpractice
- Delayed birth injuries
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
Adding individual landing pages for each of your practice areas will add more important keywords to your site. So when people search for “malpractice lawyers,” Google will find your medical malpractice page and say, “This is a relevant match, we’ll list it on the search results page.”
Besides SEO, your readers need quick access to this information so they can learn more about their predicament, and gain trust in your company to help offer them a solution.
Your website’s footer is sort of like the last chance to capture more engagement from your readers, just in case they haven’t already filled out a form or clicked on any pages or blog posts.
Your footer should have the following information:
- Company logo in top left corner
- A dated copyright notice. Make sure the year is updated, or else your website will look inactive.
- A contact button
- Link to blog
- Phone number
- Office address
- Email address
An attorney’s website copy needs to appropriately match the audience’s mood and situation.
For example, divorce lawyers may be able to tap into resentment or even a bit of anger to provoke a response from their readers to fill out a form.
While medical malpractice or sexual abuse lawyers need to offer calmer, compassionate language to soothe and reassure their audience to take the next steps.
Make sure to avoid objectionable or insensitive language that can be considered tone-deaf and drive your readers away. Don’t be tacky!
Testimonials, reviews, and social proof
Sorry to state the obvious here, but a lot of people are intrinsically scared or distrustful of lawyers. I blame too many John Grishman movies for causing this.
If your potential client had to compare two similar law firm websites — one with social proof and the other with none, which do you think they’ll pick?
Testimonials and reviews add social proof and trustworthiness to your website, encouraging your audience to reach out for additional help and information.
Examples of social proof can include:
- Badges and certificates
- Video or written testimonials from former clients
- News snippets on high-profile cases
- Displaying reviews for your law firm
A word of warning to lawyers, you cannot pay or bribe people to recommend your services or leave positive reviews. This breaks the AMA’s rule on advertising legal services.
If getting more reviews if part of your strategy, which it should be, start with former clients who had a positive experience, and simply ask them to leave a review.
Technically, this isn’t a website element, but it is a very important part of marketing your website and starting the customer journey for more prospective clients to stumble upon your website.
If you’re looking to get your firm’s website on Google’s first SERP page, and you don’t want to wait days, weeks, or months, then use Google Ads to promote your website above your competition.
Using Google and Facebook ads, you can create online ad campaigns to show ads when people actively search for law firms related to your practice areas, e.g. divorce lawyers, probate lawyers, criminal lawyers, etc.
Examples of the best law firm website designs in 2022
Popular website design styles change every year to keep up with Google’s best SEO practices.
Astute marketers and designers are constantly looking out for Google’s algorithm update to make sure their website is always one step ahead of the competition.
If you’re just starting out looking for design ideas to revamp your firm’s website, don’t worry about the Google algorithm yet.
What’s important is that your website conveys a sense of authority and trust to your reader, and provides them with valuable and free content.
If you can impress your audience with your website, they’ll fill out a form and generate another legal lead for your company.
Let’s look at some of the best law firm websites of 2022 for your inspiration.
Grover Lewis Johnson
Grover Lewis Johnson is a law firm specializing in two fields — medical malpractice litigation and insurance, corporate, and commercial defense.
The copy is client-focused, compassionate, authoritative, and features an intuitive case consultation form that’s more accessible and friendly than the standard form.
Here is another example of a quick, simple, intuitive case consultation intake form to generate legal leads.
Compelling attorney profile bio pages with easy-to-access contact information humanizes this company and improves its SEO.
Grover Lewis Johnson’s legal blog content help clients better understand their situation and possibilities. It also builds confidence in scheduling a case consultation.
Odjaghian Law Group
The Odjaghian Law Group specializes in traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries litigation.
Readers will notice immediately what kinds of results are possible for their specific case. While some law firm websites might shy away from giving exact monetary figures, the Odjaghian Law Group highlights it as a key feature on their homepage.
Check out the powerful testimonials farther down on the homepage. Social proof is necessary to build trust with your audience, and video testimonials are more impactful than words alone.
Aharoni Business Law, PC
Aharoni Business Law offers general business legal services to small businesses, including business law, employment law, and intellectual property.
The website begins with a strong mission and positioning statement using the keyword “business” in its text. This reassures the reader that they are on the right website and that they are understood by the law firm.
Aharoni has invested time and energy to produce educational, informational videos that help clients understand their need for legal counsel and support.
In another smart design move, they have created a FAQ page that asks qualifying questions to ensure their incoming leads are high-quality and usable.
Counsel for Creators
Counsel for Creators provides legal resources and coaching for creative people and their businesses.
Again, another great example of a strong mission statement and nice positioning for their target market. This page is basically conveying “we get you” to its target audience. One necessary step for retaining website visitors on the page.
The website’s design and content are extremely easy to understand. Services and processes are easily found, letting the audience think “They can advise me on what I don’t fully understand and it seems simple — no more work on me to figure this out.”
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Davis Wright Tremaine is a major law firm specializing in business and litigation law. They are notable for their work getting compensation for landowners, fishermen, and businesses affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Being a major law firm, its homepage cleverly and intuitively offers navigation to help its audience find exactly the right practice areas and services for their legal scenarios.
If your law firm specializes in multiple key practice areas, take a design approach from DWT’s website.
Andreozzi + Foote
Andreozzi + Foote are civil attorneys focusing on sexual assault cases. If you look at their domain name — victim civil attorneys dot com, you’ll notice they picked very important keywords to improve their SEO. This is a tactic some law firms take — rather than using their business name, they opt for high-value keywords to improve their searchability.
Immediately, you’ll notice strong and empathetic copy and humanizing images of the team.
Compassionate language is an essential value that must be conveyed for sexual abuse cases, over the more aggressive language used by other law firms, such as car accident litigation, or divorce litigation.
Listing key practice areas on the website allows prospective clients to quickly find and better understand their situation, so they can confidently schedule a case consultation.
The three kinds of law firm websites: the outdated, tacky, and professional
During my research as a legal content marketing writer, I’ve come across tons of lawyer’s websites.
In my opinion, there are three kinds of lawyer websites:
- Outdated websites that look like they were designed in 1995 when Netscape was still popular
- Tacky, modern websites filled with millions of notifications, pop-ups, chats, and annoying dings/whistles
- Clean, modern websites with high-quality copy, a simple homepage, easy navigation, and a thoughtful user experience
Let’s aim for number 3 for your next law firm web design!
5 Law firm website optimization tips for improved results
If you’re thinking referrals are enough to fuel your business and consider your website an afterthought, don’t!
Many times, people will search for a lawyer, perhaps on Google Maps, find the firm’s website, and then click on it.
But if they click on a website that says “Copyright 2013” at the bottom of the page, they’re going to think you’re out of business and will look for another law firm that’s more “current.”
Let’s examine a few more ways to optimize your website for more traffic, improved SEO, and lead generation:
Audit your firm’s website
There are many kinds of audits you can run on your website — technical audits, content audits, SEO audits, etc.
A website audit essentially scans all of your website’s pages, content, and site structure to make sure your website is optimized for optimal search engine visibility.
Keep in mind that your website needs to satisfy both humans and Google’s crawler bots.
If a robot is having difficulty making sense of your website and its structure, then you can assume that your human readers will too.
An audit tool will help you identify important issues such as:
- Broken links
- Load speed times
- Conversion rates
- Poor SEO ratings
- Spam or hacked content
- Traffic behavior
- Number of backlinks
Optimize your local SEO for local searches
The largest and most competitive law firms want to dominate Google search results nationwide because they want to take on the most high-profile cases they can.
But most law firms simply want greater visibility in their city, county, or home state. This is where local SEO comes in.
Your local SEO can target the largest pool of new clients — people who are physically close to your office.
Start by creating a Google Business Profile for your law firm. When you do this, you’ll put your law firm on the map, literally — Google Maps.
Now that your Google Business Profile has been set up, you can add information to your company’s “Knowledge Graph,” which is a box that appears on the right side of Google when people search for your law firm.
In your Knowledge Graph, you can enter your address, phone number, website, social media profile links, questions, and answers, and also show your reviews.
Keep in mind the more positive reviews you have, the higher up on the list you’ll be!
Don’t settle for just a Google Business Account, either. Add your law firm to local directories for more visibility, such as:
Don’t overwhelm already anxious web visitors with too much junk on the page
Want to scare your website visitors away? Then add as many pop-ups, take-overs, and aggressive chat invitations to your website.
In my mind, this is equivalent to going to a used car lot and having multiple salespeople swarming toward you. You’re going to want to get out of there quickly! “I’m just browsing!”
It’s likely your prospective client is already overwhelmed — it’s why they’re seeking legal help. Don’t add to their anxiety by over-stimulating them with unnecessary junk, like animations, pointless sliding images, loud chat boxes, etc.
Instead, you should provide an empathetic, informative, and safe on-ramp for your exceptional legal counsel.
Keep your homepage and navigation simple
Most people who visit your website are doing so for the first time — because they’ve just been injured/sued/divorced and need timely information and help.
Additionally, many of these people likely have not worked with a lawyer in their life and are scared to reach out for help.
It’s your job to create an easy-to-navigate website so your readers can quickly find answers to their problems, and hopefully contact you for additional help.
Since you’re trying to generate a lead, keep your navigation and homepage very simple to limit your visitors’ options.
Most visitors will have a few objectives when visiting your website:
- Finding out if they have a valid case
- Determining if your law firm is qualified to help them with their legal issue
- Finding a specific attorney they’ve been referred to (and Google searched)
- Learning how much money they can possibly make from their case
Therefore, you should keep your homepage and navigation simple so they can quickly find these answers, or else they’ll leave your website and never visit again.
Try these tips to simplify your homepage and navigation:
- Provide a clear mission statement on what kind of law firm you are
- Offer an easy-to-fill-out contact form to generate a new case lead inquiry (forms, click to call the phone number)
- Easy access to your firm’s practice area landing pages (either in the drop-down menu or on the homepage)
- Easy access to attorney bio profiles in a drop-down menu called “Attorney Bios”
Understand most web visitors don’t start on the homepage
You’d think the homepage would be the top-visited page for any website — it usually isn’t.
Nope, this is because many of your visitors will discover your website through a Google search, either related to a specific question “How do successfully sue for DUI” or a more specific legal search “car accident lawyer near me.”
This is why we place such an emphasis on practice area landing pages (car accidents), blog posts (what to do after getting hit by a car), and attorney bio pages (James H. Smith lawyer).
Most people will find lawyers and law firms in these two ways:
- Searching for an attorney in their area to handle their legal issue – 62% of legal searches are non-branded (i.e., generic: “Phoenix divorce attorney,” etc.)
- Searching for an attorney’s name that they were referred to
How can lawyers set up their own website?
At Kaleidico, all of our websites are built using WordPress, which is the world’s most popular website building software.
You’ll also find that Squarespace is another good option to build a well-designed website.
Both options provide many widgets, or plugins, that offer additional features to your website, such as:
- Contact forms
- Built-in SEO tools
- Call buttons
- Social media icons
- Content sidebars
- And much, much more
WordPress and Squarespace also provide many free templates and paid templates that can be customized to your liking.
I will say, however, that these “drag and drop” style website builders may seem simple at first, but are more laborious when you try to create custom designs.
If you’re feeling intimidated or don’t have the time to set up a website yourself, consider hiring a full-scale marketing agency that can develop and design the website for you.
How long does it take to set up a law firm website?
It all depends on the size of your law firm and the type of site.
Of course, larger custom websites will take longer depending on their complexity and content needs.
As a general rule, we say that most law firm websites can be created in 1 to 3 months, or around 90 days.
Kaleidico — a law firm web design agency
Kaleidico is a full-scale marketing strategy agency specializing in the legal industry.
We’ve created a proven framework that implements web design and development, content marketing, SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media marketing, and other strategies to generate high-quality and consistent case inquiry leads for law firms and attorney offices.
Are you a lawyer who’s been considering revamping your law firm’s online presence? If so, we want to work with you!
Do you have any questions? Contact us to schedule a discovery session.