You only get one chance to make a first impression — so make it a good one. What’s true in meeting someone new is also true for your law firm — so make your online presence a good one.
When a potential client is searching for a law firm, they’ll likely do a Google search for lawyers in their area. Your firm has only a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and hold it, so making a good first impression is key.
Your website should be clean and clear, with easy links to information a potential client is looking for. Designs can vary, but too many bells and whistles on the homepage creates noise in the message you’re trying to convey to a potential client. Simple is better.
Display your credentials prominently, including where you earned your JD. A few statistics about your practice can be mentioned, such as how many estate plans you’ve set up, or how many criminal cases you have won. Again, simple is better, and include a link to more detailed information.
You’ll likely have a photo of you and your associates on the homepage, so make sure it’s a quality professional photo, not something your secretary took with her smartphone. In your photo, stand up straight. Good posture displays confidence and competency. Looks matter.
The same holds true if you have a video introduction or information about your firm. Make sure the lighting is good and wear a microphone, so your voice is clear. Wear the same suit you wear in your photos. You want people to listen to your message, not be wondering about your sartorial choices. If you do include a video, look straight into the camera as if you’re just talking to someone. Don’t get bogged down in technical jargon; instead, keep the message conversational.
All this is especially true if you’re going to post a video to YouTube. It’s likely we’ve all seen YouTube videos where something is wrong, from the lighting to the sound to the camera angle. Don’t be that video.
Testimonials from a diverse group of top clients can be a feature you add. If your firm has more than one practice area, include specific testimonials for each area.
One feature that is paramount is making your website accessible and functional on smartphones. Nearly everyone, from tweens to great grandmothers, has a cellphone. Millennials, in particular, have phones instead of home computers, so if you want to reach them — and a broader audience in general — smartphone adaptability is crucial.
Create a favorable first impression with potential clients by having a website that’s clean, clear and logical. Your bottom line will thank you.