A website is an essential component of successful marketing in today’s world. While word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals can bring in some new business, that isn’t likely enough business to fill your days and keep your associates busy.
Potential clients will often begin their search for a law firm online. If your website isn’t functioning optimally or your firm can’t be found on Google, their business will go to those firms that do have a strong online presence. Therefore, it’s essential that you improve your law firm website and continuously update it to keep your business relevant.
This can seem at times like an overwhelming task. After all, you excel at being a great lawyer and representative for your clients, not digital marketing. Thankfully, there are simple website updates you can make today that have a big impact on your online visibility and outreach to potential new client pools. Let’s take a look at eight different easy updates that improve your firm’s reach and your marketing ROI.
1. Clear and Simple Navigation
One quick fix to improve your law firm website is to clean up your navigation. You want to avoid having a website that has a confusing navigation layout, unclear pages, and overcomplicated dropdowns. Alternatively, some firms will have little to no navigation, which also makes it difficult for potential clients to find what they are looking for quickly.
Your navigation should be easy to browse through and clearly direct visitors around the site. Think back on your own web browsing experience. It’s incredibly frustrating when you’re attempting to navigate through a website but aren’t directed to where you want to go or can’t find the pages you want. By keeping your navigation clean and simple, you can help visitors find the right areas of your site.
Navigation also serves as a funneling tool for online marketing. The first few links in your navigation should help provide context and information about your firm’s areas of focus. The next few links should help potential clients dive deeper into your businesses with links to case studies or your blog. And finally, your end tab should be your “contact us” or “schedule a consultation” button. This helps move your leads from visitors to clients.
2. Easy to Crawl
One of the most important factors when it comes to your website rankings is the crawlability of your site. Crawling, sometimes called indexing, refers to the bots in search engine algorithms that scan through your website to gather information about your business and categorize and rank that information in a methodical, automated manner.
Website crawlers are responsible for the ways in which Google and other search engines understand your business and your website. If your site isn’t easy to crawl, you risk losing page authority, reliability, and rank position in search engine result pages. You can also have some serious damage dealt to your SEO by not having an easily crawlable site, since the search algorithms will then find you distrustful despite your other digital marketing efforts.
When your site is built to make it easy to crawl, you can be ranked accordingly and see the results of your efforts. Proper URL structuring is one of the best ways to keep your site clean and organized for algorithms and bots. Here are some quick tips:
- Keep URLs short and simple
- Don’t add unnecessary chains
- Use hyphens to separate different words
- Use keywords in your URLs
- Build a URL structure hierarchy
- Hide www prefixes
- Use proper HTTPS techniques
3. Built for Mobile Devices
Contrary to what you might believe, many people search on their phones rather than their desktops. Phones are with us everywhere we go, while our desktops and laptops tend to be more rooted. When people are looking for information on the go, phones are the primary device, meaning that your website needs to be built to display on a mobile device.
A mobile-responsive design means that your website page layouts will automatically reformat themselves to fit the size of the screen they appear on. Mobile responsiveness also goes beyond shrinking a screen: oftentimes your entire page layout will be reformed to fit a small, scrolling screen rather than a wide one. Your links will need to be touch-responsive, and your images and photos will need to resize.
You also want to ensure your site can format to the size of tablets too. Many website building platforms will have certain tools to help you with your mobile responsiveness, but doing testing and quality assurance on your mobile device will help you get a customer’s perspective.
4. Optimized for Speed
Think back to the last time you were searching for a website, clicked on a helpful looking link, and sat there waiting and watching the loading icon spin while nothing happened. It’s a frustrating experience that we all dislike dealing with. Most likely you just exited the site that didn’t load and found a different option rather than sit around waiting for it.
Your website needs to load fast. If it takes too long for your site to load all modules, images, and links, then you will quickly lose out on potential business. Fast loading pages, instantly loading links, videos that load without buffering, and being able to scroll continuously without waiting for the bottom of the page to finish are all signs of speed-optimized websites.
Many different online tools will help you determine page speed. You can also look for common speed issues like images that are too large or graphics that need to be compressed. When your pages load quickly, the search engine algorithm will also notice and rank your website higher on search engine results pages.
Your firm works in a specific area. Therefore, it’s important that the people in your specific market are able to find you and not people who live in a different city or state. Your website needs to have the necessary local schema and structured data that lets the search algorithms know exactly where you work.
Local schema refers to a specific set of data that helps search engines identify your business, areas of service, areas of operation, and other key information. You can implement these markups in your Google My Business accounts or use other Google tools to help you improve your hyperlocal search data.
6. Relevant Content
Another key factor to improve your law firm website is the relevancy and quality of your content. Your website content needs to refer specifically to the areas you work in, the types of services you provide, and the industries you work in. By having relevant content that is well-written and full of useful information, search algorithms will have a better understanding of your business and rank you higher.
Helpful website pages for each area of service, FAQ pages, and blogs or news articles on your site all help prove that your content is relevant and useful to website visitors. These content areas will also help your visitors understand more about your business and see you as a voice of authority.
7. Impactful Messaging
Having relevant content goes beyond what you say. It’s also important to consider how you say it. Messaging is key to your website improvement efforts, as it’s what helps guide your website visitors to become customers and advocates for your firm.
Knowing the message that will resonate with your customers depends on knowing where they are in their process. A visitor who is just casually looking at firms doesn’t want all the messaging they see to be directed at contacting the firm now. Likewise, someone who needs representation immediately doesn’t want their messaging to encourage them to read or learn more.
Changing your messaging for each step in a buyer’s journey is essential to making sure that your visitors make the journey to customers seamlessly.
8. Consistent Branding
Just as the content on your website needs to reflect the services you provide and the area you work in, your visual aspects also need to be consistent with your brand. Your website needs to have consistent image styles, fonts, colors, and graphics. Without that level of consistency throughout your website and print materials, your firm could lose its brand identity. Consistency needs to be kept throughout:
- Online materials
- Print materials
- Social media
- Official documents
- Office decor
- Local sponsorships
Improve Your Law Firm Website with Surefire Local
Taking steps to improve your law firm website is important for the success of your business and your online relevance. Without improving your law firm’s local reach, you won’t be able to get back ROI for your marketing efforts and you risk losing important business to your competitors.
Finding the right tool to help manage your digital marketing strategies is key. With Surefire Local, you can optimize your website and online presence using the leading all-in-one marketing intelligence platform for law firms. Contact Surefire Local today to get started.