Are you good at helping people who need assistance with legal issues—and even enjoy it? Do you either run your own law firm or are a part of one? If your answer was ‘yes’ one or all of these questions, then your practice need a website.

Yes, even if you hand out business cards and that’s your best lead, you still need a website. Why? Because nowadays, people have tons of choices in lawyers now compared to twenty plus years ago and they’re more likely than not wanting to investigate who you are and what part of the law you specialize in. Business cards are great, but there’s only so much space you can squeeze onto one about your practice.

If you want your law firm to succeed in the long term, having a website and a strong online presence is the way to go. Without further ado, this is what your law firm’s website will need whether you’re the one in charge or are part of a team.

1: Great Responsive Design

Like any website, your law firm’s website needs to load fast and be easy to use for both you and your clients’ sakes. As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, more and more people are using mobile and tablet devices to find exactly what they’re looking for online. Having responsive web design across several types of devices means your clients can receive on-the-go information about a specific law practice or attorney.

There should also be responsive features in the design, such as a clickable phone number that connects site visitors directly to the firm’s phone if their needs to call are urgent. This brings us to the next essential:

2: Clear & Easy-to-find Contact Info

We know you know that this is probably a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people still don’t make things easy for people to find out how they can contact them. That same way of thinking is not exempt from law firm websites either.

Having a clickable phone number is one of many things your website will need. The other things you will need in this regard are your street address, e-mail address, social media accounts, and a map of your street address on Google.

If you want your site visitors to reach you more by e-mail and not just by phone, make sure your website has contact forms that are easy to fill out and don’t require their life’s story in order to reach you. These forms should work well enough that you can receive them without a hitch.

These means of contacting people should all be considered even if the area of expertise (personal injury, real estate, etc.) varies. While each practice area may have a different preference in being contacted, the important thing is to give would-be clients options instead of just the one way. It’s also a great idea to install a search bar so that people can find a specific attorney or practice area where they need help.

3: Transparency

A transparent website basically means you’re not hiding anything. If you specialize in a specific practice of the law, your website as well as your brand and online reputation need to reflect that.

Building strong relationships is actually a crucial component to a law firm’s long-term success, and transparency is therefore not simply a handy aspect to feature on your website—it’s a necessity. This means you will have to be honest and trustworthy in all of the things you share online and say to your clients, thus creating a strong sense of trust and loyalty. You can be transparent by asking other clients for their opinions on social media as well as admit when there are parts of your law firm that require improvement. These will show you that you acknowledge your imperfections rather than saying via your brand that you’re perfect—the latter will create suspicion, not trust!

Transparency should also be evident in the following essential:

4: Jargon-free Content

Just because you are an expert in your knowledge of law does not mean your clients do—why else would they bother to contact you if they already did? With that being said, the content on your website should not be filled with law-specific terminology that only you and your firm understands. There are aspects of the law that are incredibly confusing to most people—don’t confuse them any further by only creating and featuring content that only you understand! Bringing us to the next essential:

5: A Blog

This should be an easy part for lawyers since most of the time they’re actually very good writers, they have information that people need, and they can reveal what they know about any recent legislation changes or updates to the law. Any posts on the blog should be tagged and categorized accordingly and clearly so that one topic does not blur into the next. Your blog needs to be designed so that it’s easy for people to find articles they’re looking for exactly. You can achieve this ease of access with a search bar installed for the blog as well as making the tags visible and using tags such as, for example, “real estate”, “injury lawsuit”, etc.

6: Profiles

Just like the rest of your content, your profile as well as the other attorneys in your team (if any) should all be transparent and easy to understand from a new and potential client’s point of view. Instead of posting a giant laundry list in the profile, focus only on what your clients need to know such as the most recent successful cases, specific areas of practice, any newsworthy and relevant legal issues, and education and experience.

If you prefer written profiles, get a professional headshot done. Do not use stock photos for this part of your website—get a professional photographer to help out if taking pictures is not a specialty of yours.

For something different and less static, consider making your lawyers’ profiles in video format. Videos are a unique way to really personalize your website as well as demonstrate to someone who you are in real life and how you can help out their case.

7: Testimonials

Almost all of a law firm’s success is based on word-of-mouth testimonials and referrals. Why not feature this kind of content on your website too? Positive client testimonials, whether they’re written or made into videos, are another good way to build trust in your services. If you have any clients who are especially pleased with your firm, ask them to leave you a review on both your website as well as on Google. This will give a good boost to your site’s local SEO and your firm’s online reputation.

Everyone needs a website if they want to run a successful business, whether it’s a law firm or a doctor’s office or a retail store. But there’s a big difference between throwing a lawyer or law firm website together willy-nilly and having a website you can be proud of when referring it to your clients. If you want a professional to set up a great website for you, give us a call at V3 Media. If your website exists but you’re not sure how best to update it or fix any issues, we offer consultation for just that very reason.