As an attorney in the 21st century, the best way to stake your claim to a piece of digital real estate is with a custom, responsive, and attractive legal website design. However, just like your home, your law firm’s website needs cleaning, maintenance, and curb appeal to attract visitors and reinforce your firm’s authority, which converts ideal clients into legal matters.
One rule of thumb in marketing is your law firm website should be updated every 24 months. Without modifying or editing your site, you may be left behind the technology curve due to how often search engines perform regular updates. If you need website redesign or refresh to make your pages relevant and new, a little effort can go a long way. Below are five changes that’ll help you get positive results for your law firm website:
1. Make your website more user friendly for Google’s Page Experience Algorithm
Back in the day, law firms had to worry about the experience users have after landing on the website. Today, with Google’s Page Experience Signal, a poor page experience can negatively affect your site before your ideal clients even get there.
In 2021, user experience significantly impacts how your legal website ranks in Google, no matter whether you’re a brick-and-mortar law firm or a virtual law firm.
After discussing its intentions for changes in the past year, in June 2021, Google began rolling out its Page Experience Signal, a combination of performance metrics that determine where websites rank.
Google’s new algorithm was created to judge website pages based on how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Meaning, if Google thinks your website visitors will have a poor experience on your web pages, Google may not rank those pages high.
Since Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for law firm marketing, your website should adhere to these metrics and Core Web Vitals that help you deliver a good page search in Google:
- Safe browsing
- HTTPS security
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines, meaning the content is easily accessible by the user.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals is a real-world, user-centered metric that measures the load time, interactivity, and visual stability of content as the page loads. Core Web Vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
- First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
The page experience update will be ramping up to 100% by the end of August 2021. So, be sure to get your website optimized for top-level performance.
For example, if your site contains features that users believe are clickable and they click the feature, but it does nothing, this is an issue that will drive down your site ratings. An easy fix is to make those features clickable and direct users to an accompanying page that goes into detail about the feature you’re showcasing.
Also, don’t make it a laborious chore for visitors to understand how you can help them with their legal matter. Make your message clear and make it simple for them to take action in hiring you.
If you feel like all is lost, don’t give up. Google has confirmed that content is still king and reigns supreme over the page experience signals.
Google says, “While page experience is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar. Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content. However, in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”
2. Add videos to your law firm website
Adding videos can greatly enhance your website design and give you more authority in your respective practice area.
Videos help break up text on your website pages and present information in an interactive way that’s visually appealing. With videos you can do the following:
- Show your law firm brand personality
- Provide testimonials or reviews
- Build trust with potential clients
- Separate yourself from your competitors in the legal industry
Wondering how to amplify your user experience with videos? Ensure your videos do not play automatically, and that they are educational and substantive in nature. A simple video of you speaking directly to your target audience on your website home page will show you’re a real person helping real people with real problems. Authenticity is the key.
3. Create strategic calls to action
Earlier, we said to make it easy for people to take action. One way to do this is by strategic placement of calls to action or CTAs along with the phrasing used for them.
There are two types of CTAs – low-commitment and high-commitment. Keep in mind, the greater the commitment, the lower the reply rate. The lower the commitment, the higher the response rate.
This happens because many times, the user is not ready to commit to working with your law firm. Using the “call us now” or “buy now” messages may not be best as these are high commitment actions. Get creative with your call to actions with phrases that create a low-commitment action such as:
- View services
- Learn more
- Read latest blog posts
- Shop now
Plan out the CTAs you want to use. Always use more than one and then plan where to place them. Put your strongest CTA at the top of your webpage. As a result, you’ll improve the user experience we discussed above.
4. Refresh legal website content
Even Google admits that content is still king. If you have a long-standing website, you can increase your visibility by updating old content and adding new content.
Your content should be doing at least some of the following:
- Engaging clients
- Collecting client information such as names and email addresses
- Informing or educating
Additionally, your blog articles should include keywords and long-tail keywords that relate to your industry such as “criminal attorney in Florida” or “finalized divorce papers.”
At the end of the day, the goal of the content is to strike action and get your clients down the path to retaining your services.
5. Improve your law firm website design
Getting a new design is one of the best changes you can make to your law firm website in 2021. You want your site to load quickly, have great structure, and a top-notch SEO strategy for easy locating on search engines like Google and Bing. Most importantly, you want your site to provide answers to your customers’ questions.
The Legal Marketing Company (TLMC) loves building legal websites. Our team has helped many lawyers reach their ideal clients and generate more leads with custom-made websites in just 30 to 60 days. Schedule a free consultation with The Legal Marketing Company to learn more about our legal website design services and the changes you should be making for your current law firm website.