Solicitor Web Design
Are you looking for a website for a legal firm or solicitors practice?
Solicitor website design – why have one at all? Especially if you are already busy?
Some advice for solicitors to help determine why to upgrade your website…
Solicitors generally struggle with communicating effectively on the web. Potential clients just want to know 3 things:
1. Are you located near me?
2. Do you specialise in the legal problem I have
3. Can you sort out my problem?
We use a proven formula to create a web presence that answers these questions and converts visitors. We make you impossible to misunderstand, so that you can engage your chosen audience, so you can attract more of the right clients. And stand out as the best legal practice option in your area, for the services you want to offer.
For a Solicitor or Legal practice – why create a good website? Six common reasons include:
- To look professional when someone Googles you (and they all do). You would make a point of looking professional in court, so why not on the web?
- To answer commonly asked questions. It would save a lot of time for your practice team, saving on wages for your legal firm.
- To attract a certain type of client or business for your ‘preferred’ legal services. And to put off certain types of unwanted clients or work. Why waste time with tyre kickers?
- To allow potential clients send you an enquiry 24/7 through the website via their phone or pc, at any time, at night, on weekends etc.
- To avoid losing work from existing clients who Google your name and find someone else, a ‘specialist’ who seems to fit the bill and has a website that answers their questions and takes enquiries 24/7.
- Attract high quality legal staff who are searching for a suitable progressive professional legal practice. How do you look when these good people search for solicitors websites to research potential employers? How do you recruit at present? What does that cost? Save time and commission fees by advertising on your own website.
Which type of website platform is best for a Solicitors practice?
Your website is more than a tool, so do research how you will invest in a new website. You have to learn how to use it to good effect or have someone competent do it for you or with you, by outsourcing some of the work, so add that resource to your plan. Just like you do with your IT or client case management system.
There are various options and each one comes with challenges and opportunities, costs and returns on investment. And your web presence is a lot more than just your website.
Best Platform options for your website
Open Source such as WordPress where you own the site, can edit it and have control
NOT Wix, Weebly or Squarespace which are too basic and are proprietary platforms, not Open Source. No deeds for you!
NOT Drupal or Custom Development, as these are overkill and only serve to complicate the whole project for you, as you will never understand how to use it. You will be tied to your Developers.
NOT a basic html website as you will not be able to use it yourself, unless you are also a website developer.
NOT Joomla as it has no future and is too technical to use for most normal people
Guidelines – 10 Tips for planning and layout of a good Solicitors website
Start with ensuring that any plan conforms with guidelines in the Irish Statute Book S.I. No. 518/2002 – The Solicitors Acts, 1954 To 2002 Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations, 2002 or refer to Law Society
Click on the box or + sign below to see each full point in more detail.
1. Content Management System (CMS)
Get a website that is built on a CMS Content Management System, which makes it easy to edit. Content is king, it will decide your success on the net. So create or buy good content, add it, curate it on an ongoing basis and make yourself stand out as an authority on matters legal in your area of expertise and geography. You are the best person to produce good content, do not leave its creation to someone else, unless they are competent creators of content relating to the practice of law.
Get a website that is both Open Source and Modular, so that you can move elements around without needing a developer again. For example, drag and drop, add or move a scrolling ‘Testimonials module’ on the Home page yourself or move it to your ‘About’ page.
3. Open Source
Use a platform that is open source such as WordPress and allows you to move from one web partner to another. Avoid a one man band, someone who offers to be everything, planner, designer, developer, digital marketer. How many professional legal practices have just one person employed to do everything?
4. Design Theme
Get a solicitor website that is theme based, if you choose to use a low cost design theme rather than invest in custom graphic design, so that you can change the whole design theme without having to create a new website. Also, this makes it easier for you to move to a new web partner if you ever need to do so. Avoid any basic HTML developers who have to make every code change for you – at a cost, in time delay and money. This is such a distraction.
5. Custom Design
Highly Recommended. Plan your branding, colours, content and CTAs Calls To Action before or when talking to a professional web developer, if how you look online is important to you to build your brand. Think Goodbody, Cox or Mathewson, Frys, McCanns or Mason Hayes & Curran, who all use Custom Graphic Design rather than an out of the box design theme for about $99, which may be used by thousands of legal firms. Custom Graphic Design will add from €500 to maybe €1500, but is worth every cent. Those bigger firms may spend thousands on the design, to include every single page.
Make ‘Navigation’ including the Menu Bar simple, intuitive, stand out and logical. It should clearly show which legal services you specialise in. Services such as Family Law, Conveyancing or Litigation, specialist areas such as Medical Legal. Then show your experience and qualifications to support these service pages. Make it easy to find what you want to promote and less so for other lesser or less profitable legal services
Show off your knowledge, experience, and useful information from the industry of practising law, maybe create articles about Family Law or Tax Guidelines on property sales. Try Guest Blogging or answering legal questions in forums! Optimise these articles on law and share them, to get more engagement
8. Social Integration
Tie in all Blogging, Social Media including Linkedin and any advertising to your website content and draw people to your site, your space on the web. They might just connect with you by asking a question in relation to something you have published. It also helps you monitor all your web output, so you have more control over what gets seen. To some point you can dictate what people see when they search your name or the name of the legal practice. Try doing a search for your name or practice and see what people see now – how does it look?
Bear in mind a solicitor website, like a car, has to be maintained and updated. It needs constant attention, security updates & patches, cleaning, plugin updates, software updates, apps updates and useful add-ons. Most of all, curate and continually optimise any useful helpful content or legal advice to engage with visitors, to help promote your solicitors practice.
Tip: Test your Contact Form on a weekly basis.
Budget for a set investment in Year 1 to cover the planning, project management, design, branding, photography, Content Management System website, advertising, digital marketing etc.
And then do a new budget for year 2 for building on that platform. The higher the spend the higher and faster the return – GUARANTEED (if done well)!
If your new web presence was to generate an increase of €50k in fees in year 1, how much is that worth to you? This is NOT about spending money, it is about generating more fees or business for your practice.