What Makes Attorney Web Design Different?
Websites designed for legal professionals need to prioritise a few factors: copy, brand trustworthiness simplicity, and SEO.
Writing Copy For An Attorney Website
Words drive sales, but they’re really tricky in law. On one hand, your website needs all the right disclaimers. But if your website is full of legalese, no one will hire you.
How do you write effective copy for an attorney website?
Check The Rules!
The state BAR will set forth several guidelines for what you can and cannot include on your website. California lists all of theirs on a single page, but every state is different.
In general, you will need a disclaimer that your website shouldn’t be used as legal advice. This is an obvious one, but too many websites leave it off. Most likely, you know what your website needs and what it doesn’t, but double check to be safe.
Your website isn’t for other lawyers. It’s for people who need a lawyer.
If your clients understand legalese, they wouldn’t be coming to you. Don’t force them to know it.
Instead, save the legalese for disclaimers on the bottom of the page (even those probably don’t need to be hard to read as long as they’re abundantly clear). The body copy throughout your website should be easy to understand and directed at your target audience.
If simple, flowery language isn’t your forte, you can always let a writing team cover the copy, but make sure you go over it and tweak it once it’s done to make sure all the legal checkboxes are ticked.
But wait! Copy is the first of many factors. Arguably more importantly, you need to establish trustworthiness right off the bat.
Brand Trustworthiness On Your Attorney Website
Every company needs to build trust with its customers. After all, no consumer wants to entrust money to an unreliable brand. But if your company provides legal services, brand trustworthiness is exponentially more important. Since legal advice is so expensive, risky, and sensitive, your clients will be extremely cautious. If they don’t trust you entirely, they won’t hire you.
Gaining someone’s trust is relatively easy in person. A warm smile and a firm handshake are usually enough to do the trick. However, when someone visits your website, you only have 50 ms to gain their trust. If your law firm website isn’t warm, friendly, and well-designed, no one will hire you.
That’s why most attorneys put a large photo of themselves on the homepage. Friendly faces immediately build trust. For instance, here’s the Grant Woods Law homepage.
SEO For Attorneys
We cannot stress this enough: SEO is more important for a lawyer’s website than for most other industries. In fact, so many people use Google to find legal advice that “Lawyer” is the fourth most expensive keyword on Google Ads. So to optimise your website, you need to get creative. Here’s a tip: instead of optimising for “lawyer,” find a niche and go all in.
For instance, Sonja Duckstein’s website doesn’t optimise for “lawyer.” Instead, the website optimises for criminal defence in Arizona. Right away, the home page hits you over the head with striking imagery, engaging questions, and criminal-focused copy. Even the domain name, “criminal attorney az,” establishes expertise in that niche.
However, simply declaring yourself an expert isn’t enough to rank high on search engines. To optimise for your niche, include high-quality content on your website. That way, if a potential client searches for information on a certain subject, they will find your website first. Duckstein’s website employs that exact strategy with several posts about misdemeanours, DUIs, marijuana, and felonies. This high-quality content keeps customers informed and boosts her SEO. If all those benefits aren’t enough, high-quality content will improve your credibility. To stand out as a legal professional, don’t optimise for “Lawyer.” Find what makes you unique and go all in.