Choosing the right kind of site for your law firm

The UK legal sector is facing exceptional levels of competition and client expectation – but there are also unprecedented opportunities.

And you can maximise those opportunities if you make the right choices when it comes to your website.

For the majority of new clients, your website is their first impression of your firm, what you can offer and what you stand for. 

It immediately reflects who you are, reassures potential clients that you’re the right firm for them to choose and encourages them to get in touch.

So choosing the right kind of site for your legal practice should be an absolutely vital part of your business plan.

What makes a good website?

Great design and well-written content are essential parts of a good website, of course.

If you’re planning or updating your website, it’s easy to jump straight into thinking about visual design, or what you want to say about the firm.

Instead, first take a step back from the project. Think about your website as a whole, what it needs to include and how it should be organised.

Different law firms will have very different needs. 

A legal firm specialising in intellectual property can offer much more focused, specialist content than a practice that works across a wide range of private and commercial practice areas.

A personal injury specialist may want a site that sits at the centre of a focused campaign of search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

However an established local firm looking to build long-term relationships in their community will take an entirely different approach again.

Visual design

No matter who your clients are, the best law firm websites avoid clutter and lengthy text, favouring strong, professional, unique images and clear, concise messaging.

Sites aimed at commercial clients typically opt for clean, minimalist look and a serious feel, while private client practices usually benefit from a livelier design that offers a more approachable, welcoming image.

Practical issues

Poor technical performance can compromise all the hard work you’ve put into your website. As a matter of course all new websites should now be secure (with an https URL, not http) and use responsive design to ensure that they display perfectly on all devices and browsers.

Working with professional web designers should ensure that all your web pages follow best practice in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO), so more traffic can be driven to your site organically. 

An easy-to-use content management system that lets members of your practice add or edit content themselves is also crucial.

This means once the site is built and launched you’re not forced to turn to your website supplier for every change you want to make.

Know your audience and include the right features for your clients 

It’s so important to really know your audience and take into account the user journey from page to page through your site. 

Case studies, videos, blogs, chatbots and social media integrations can all provide informative and relevant content that users will engage with.

But you should be aware that clients tend to engage and interact in different ways. 

A potential family law client may respond better and create an emotional connection to a video case study of a previous case.

However, a corporate client might prefer a more direct, business-like and less ‘sensitive’ approach.

Getting users to contact you

No matter your legal specialism, encouraging potential and existing clients to contact you should always be a key objective of your site. 

You can make this easy for users with highly visible contact details on every page. 

Other calls to action – such as encouraging users to sign up for a seminar or to your mailing list – should be placed in prime positions. 

Your main landing pages – where visitors are likely to first arrive on your site – should reinforce key messages and offer easy links to related content.

An effective legal practice website should have:

  • Clear information on what your firm offers, and where.
  • Technical effectiveness and security, including responsive design that works well on all devices.
  • Authoritative, authentic content that shows your relevance and expertise.
  • Well-structured content written in plain English.
  • Engaging lawyer biographies demonstrating personality and capabilities.
  • Strong design and distinctive imagery that matches your firm’s branding.
  • Simple, intuitive navigation.
  • Easily visible and accessible contact information on every webpage.
  • Links to your social media channels and presence on other websites.

Choose your web partner carefully

Working with a digital agency can be a prudent choice, particularly if you are looking for a long-term partner who can work with you across your whole digital strategy.

Digital agencies can provide a full package of services, are better placed to keep up with evolving technology, and are in a better position to work efficiently on large or urgent projects. 

Ascensor are a full-service digital agency based in Leeds offering industry-leading web design and web development.

We’ve got a proven track record of helping legal practices get more from their digital assets.

Get in touch with the award-winning Ascensor team to discover how we can help your firm grow.