The design of your website helps attract business to your firm. Yes, you need compelling content and your contact information, but a good design is a website's foundation. Today, we'll focus on design tips.
According to Lawyerist.com and other design experts, here are the following points to consider when evaluating your website:
- Your brand, as reflected in your images, colors, fonts, layouts, and words, should be clearly communicated. For example, if you're a criminal defense fighter, think red, black, and white pages in a sans serif font (e.g. Arial). If your brand is that you're a good listener, include images of lawyers sitting with clients in comfortable settings painted in warm colors such as blue or green.
- Mobile Friendly—Google will continue to feature mobile-friendly websites. Your website must not be slow or difficult to maneuver on a phone or tablet, or visitors will leave. It will also not appear high in search results, as Google changes its algorithms to favor mobile-friendly sites.
- Images that get your readers' attention, convey your brand, and keep the consumer on the page long enough to read more, are essential. You can use stock images, landscapes, small illustrations, or whatever tells the consumer who you are and leaves a strong impression.
- Your home page layout should be simple, feature an image, your name, location, and contact information. The message should be clear—here's what we do, and this is how to contact us. Navigation buttons for other features of the website can be at the top of the page. Ask yourself: What action do you want the reader to take? What short message will inspire them to take that action?
- Use clear, simple design, such as an effective use of white space, bold headers in larger font, lists, and clean images. A clean design makes it easier for your visitors to understand the information, the action you want them to take, and decide if you are the right lawyer for them.
- Make it legible with a font that is readable on a screen and in print. Don't use quirky or cute fonts, select a conservative readable font. Browse Google's fonts or fonts.com for suggestions.
- Bold colors can make your website memorable. If your brand calls for blue or green, add a bright color on the buttons to make them stand out. This helps the consumer take the action you want.
- Contact information should be conveniently placed in the upper right-hand corner of each page of your website. You can use the "Book an Appointment" badge provided through the SBM Member Directory as a convenient link to contact you.
- Find a professional photographer to get a good picture of you for your website. People want to know what you look like, so your photo should be recent and large enough to be easily seen.
As we approach the end of the year, now is the time to look at your website, assess its effectiveness, and make the changes you determine are needed.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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