I’m so fed up with lawyers investing thousands and thousands of dollars in websites that simply suck.
So I decided to work with one of our Family Business Lawyers directly on the re-design and launch of his website.
The first step was to create a wireframe of the site. You can see the final wireframe right here.
If the design of your website does not begin with a wireframe, quickly find someone else to create your website.
When Michael and I got on the phone to discuss his wireframe, a few things came up that made me realize part of the reason lawyers end up with websites that suck. You probably haven’t been trained on the purpose of each piece of your website and how to make it all come together from a marketing perspective.
So you end up with a site that is pretty, but doesn’t build relationship with your prospects. Or a site that is horribly ugly and doesn’t build relationship with your prospects.
Listen in on the recording of the call I did with Michael so you can learn what to ask for when you are in the design process for your website.
Many lawyers use their websites to sell their services and that’s actually a big mistake.
The main purpose of your website is not to sell your services. The main purpose of your site is: 1) to build a relationship with your prospects by offering them free educational material in exchange for their contact information, AND 2) to inspire them to book a new client meeting with you.
Your initial client meeting sells your services. Your website just gets the relationship started.
I’ll say that again…
The only purpose of your site is to build relationships with prospects so they are educated and then will schedule an initial exploratory meeting with you. (This is where you learn how to handle this initial exploratory meeting the right way so you engage more clients and collect a check just about every time.)
When you’re designing your site, know that there will be two types of people visiting your site, those who have been referred to it (coming to check you out) & those who are actively seeking an attorney online (shopping around).
Keeping the true purpose of your site and the people who will be visiting it in mind, here’s what the basic layout of your site should look like:
- Logo & Contact Info
- Primary Lead Generator
- Welcome Text/Video
- Additional Lead Generating Items
First, at the very top you can put your Logo & Contact Info.
Place your logo and phone number right at the top of your page. You want people to remember your logo long after they leave your site – brand recognition. And having your phone number right at the top makes it easy for people to contact you.
The next thing people should see is your Primary Lead Generator.
In this section, you’ll want to include a picture or video with strong copy and a call to action for them to opt in to receive your free gift (email series, report, guide, case study, workbook, etc.). You’ll want something that’s going to capture the attention (and contact information) of your audience.
Everything needs to revolve around the opt in.
A huge mistake many lawyers make is to have their logo and some pretty pictures take up all the most valuable real estate at the top of their site. Do not do this.
If people “bounce” from your site (meaning they come to the site and leave without giving you their contact information or calling you) there’s no way to develop a relationship with them and chances are you are not going to be working with them in the future.
If you get an email address (and possibly full contact info), you’re able to build a relationship and you are going to be the lawyer who is at the top of their mind when they are ready for your services.
This is education-based information. You offer educational content that is exactly what the people coming to your website want in exchange for their contact information. Simple.
Next is your Welcome Text.
(Notice how this comes even after your opt in – keeping in line with the purpose of your website.) This should be a picture and some inviting copy or even better, a video of you.
After that, you’ll want to Showcase Testimonials. If you don’t have any client testimonials, start asking for them now. Rotate between 3-5 testimonials from your existing client base.
Following your testimonials, you’ll have your Other Lead Generating Items. The more educational pieces you can include, the better.
Finally, you’ll have a Recent Articles or Blog Posts Section.
This section will be a directory of recent articles (blogs, informative/related articles, guest articles, etc.) Always, always, always have your articles and/or blog posts be not just about boring legal topics, but also include relevant, timely additional topics that come from the general news and are of interest to your target market. (For estate planning attorneys, you may want to check out our estate planning digest where we cull articles of interest for you to refer to and link to on your blog and in your newsletters.)
I’ll post again when Michael’s site is complete so you can see the finished product. In the meantime …
Is there someone you follow who does this really well? Do you do this well? Or, are you having trouble working your website design to reflect the true purpose of your site? Share your thoughts about lawyer websites in the comments below.