Designed to Sell: Websites That Invite New Clients to Call.
A good website design is not just a pretty picture. Effective website designs answer three questions within five seconds of a potential client reaching your website: (1) Who are you and can you help me? (2) How can I contact you? (3) Why should I choose your law firm?
Five seconds to make an impression! At every step of website design, from the beginning to your final approval, attention should be on how the design will look to potential clients.
Who Are You and How Can You Help?
People who come to your website want to know they have come to the right place — and they want to know fast. That means your name should be clear, and your practice areas should be obvious. This information is important, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be big. An experienced designer will make sure the branding information is balanced with other elements so that it is easy to find, but not overwhelming.
How Can I Contact You?
No one who visits your website should have to search for a way to contact you. That means your phone number and e-mail contact should be obvious on every page. At Red Falcon Web Marketing, we usually make that information very visible in the top right corner. It will be in other places, too, but we make sure it’s easy to find.
Why Should I Choose Your Law Firm?
Visual and verbal messages should work together to give potential clients a reason to call. Free consultation, we’ll come to you, weekend appointments, available 24/7, free parking — messages like these can establish your firm as approachable and easy to work with.
The messages you select, both visual and verbal, should reflect your firm’s personality while always remembering the goal of appealing to a potential client. It is tempting to make design decisions based on our personal preferences, but the best design decisions are based on what’s best for the business.
A Good, Usable Structure Is the Core of Good Design
A logical, clear structure makes it easy for the person who is looking for an attorney. That means having intuitive navigation, a logical flow to the website. Don’t make the user have to think about what link to click or what page to go to. It should be obvious. If the user is taken on a wild goose chase through pages that are not relevant to his or her search, that potential client is likely to become someone else’s potential client.
Long lists of website pages can be hard to see and hard to read. If your site has 15, 20 or more practice area pages, find a logical way to group the pages. Our designers try to keep lists of pages to eight or fewer. By grouping pages logically, the user does not have to comb through irrelevant information (in the user’s opinion) to get to the information he or she needs.
Pay Attention to the Visual Tone of Your Website
The images, type font and flash elements all contribute to an overall impression. Those elements and the copy should reflect the personality of your law firm.
For example, an aggressive law firm may use highly contrasting colors and a sense of urgency in the messages. An older, established law firm that emphasizes its values and history may show its personality (and appeal to its preferred clients) by using a monochromatic color palette. A business law firm may prefer a sleek, professional look with a small call to action.
The visual tone of your site should make perfect sense to the potential client.
On many sites, law firms add flash and video, both of which keep the prospect on the site longer and help make the experience more useful and relevant.
What Is the Competition Doing?
Yes, it is a good idea to see what your competitors’ websites look like, but it is not a good idea to look like your competitor. Do something different, something that sets you apart and gives the potential client a reason to call you. When everyone else looks alike, they all blend together.
Let’s Get Rid of the Myth of the Fold
The “fold” is a term related to newspapers in news racks. A newspaper would put the best stories “above the fold” in order to appeal to more readers. On a website, the fold refers to the area a reader can see without scrolling. That leads some law firms to want everything important packed into the top five inches of the home page. That creates clutter — and clutter is ineffective.
Studies show that 91 percent of web users scroll. There is another fact to consider, too. At one time, most people had the same size computer screen. Today, people do web searches on big screens on their desks, on laptop and netbook screens, and on mobile device screens. Yes, some information should be as close to the top as possible — answers to the three questions above. If the user has those answers, then the user is likely to scroll for more information.
Can Design Help Search Engine Optimization?
At Red Falcon Web Marketing, all the essential elements of a website are integrated. Search engine optimization (SEO), content and design work together to ensure a good experience for your potential clients and profitable business for you. Our designers, working with SEO experts, use subtle but effective techniques to enhance SEO results.
Be Ready to Talk to Your Designer
The more information you give your web designer, the better the results will be. Look at other sites. Tell your designer what you like and what you don’t like. Let the designer know the typesof images you think might work best for your firm and your client base. If you want photos of your office, attorneys and staff, we recommend hiring a professional photographer.