It’s day 16 of the challenge and now finally we leave directory listings behind. We are going to focus on your website for the next few days.
Your website is the central hub for all of the different directory listings and social media profiles you have created and optimized so far. While a prospective client can get a lot of information directly from the Google My Business Knowledge Graph, many will still want to see a quality website to learn more about you and your firm
Today you have what could be a relatively easy task.
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective referral and ask yourself—does my website enhance my or my law firm’s brand, or diminish it?
Remember, we are just trying to “Protect Your Referrals” and to do that, you don’t need to go through a whole branding exercise, design process, and have a custom developed website.
Ok, to be fair, doing that is a good idea long-term, but at this point in the process, creating a website from a quality template you find online is just fine.
Two quick things you should think about when judging your website:
1. Make sure your website isn’t dated
Styles on the internet change quickly, so we usually recommend that if your website is 3 or more years old, you need to take a close look at refreshing it.
For example, below is a website that is not great. I don’t know this firm, and I am not picking on the quality of their legal counsel, but their website just looks dated. To be fair, the website has a lot of the elements we recommend for conversion purposes, it’s definitely not one of the worst legal websites we’ve seen. However, the general older appearance of the website may give someone pause. You can see that the colors don’t match (different shades of red and blue), it uses the old style, generic buttons, it also has a rotating banner that was popular 5 years ago, and it uses stock images of gavels, columns, and law books in the banner.
Compare this website to one that we designed. You can see that while some of the same types of information are displayed, it is done with a strong sense of design and provides more confidence and emotion to the referred prospect.
2. Your website must work well on a mobile device
Often times the first visit to your website from a prospective referral will be on their mobile device, probably right at the time someone recommends your name to them. If you have to pinch and zoom to be able to read anything on your website, you need a new one. On average, law firms we manage have over 40% of their website traffic come from mobile devices, with some practice areas reaching over 55%.
Looking at the same websites, you don’t want half of your website to disappear on a mobile device as this one does.
In fact, you want some design elements to change to make it easier to read and navigate on a mobile device, like this:
If your website is great, you can move on to the next challenge day tomorrow.
If you decide that you need a new website and just aren’t ready to go through the intensive branding and design process, it is ok if you use a template from any number of places. Just be careful, as sites like GoDaddy and HostGator typically have bad options for website templates.
At GNGF, we created a few legal website templates that are mobile responsive, modern looking, and have a lot of the conversion elements built into it. They are a compilation of what worked best for the firms that hire our agency. While we love doing full custom designs based on our branding process, we created the GNGF template websites to meet the needs of the many law firms who didn’t have the budget yet to go through the whole process.
Tomorrow and the next few days, we get into the content on your website where you should put your initial focus.