Law firm websites

Law firm websites
3rd March 2016

11 Common mistakes found in websites for law firms

Websites for law firms can often fail to deliver great results. Law firm websites need to be more than a business card. At Kagool we deliver award-winning websites for lawyers and other professional services companies.

We regularly pick up digital projects from law firms that have missed the mark. Well-meaning legal marketers often make huge mistakes with websites for law firms.

The common mistakes websites for law firms make

1. Using an outdated Content Management System

Some content management system (CMS) platforms may buckle under the pressure of multiple system integrations or a heavy content load. Law firms tend to have a lot of data, across multiple systems and with different levels of security. Without a powerful data management system, you’ll struggle to keep track. And your law firm website’s performance could suffer.

2. Worrying too much about look and feel

Your first instinct might be to make a really attractive website. But a new design alone won’t keep users from bouncing back to Google. Start by creating engaging content and work up to the design. Make sure your content is highly shareable and search engine optimised too.

3. Making your law firm website design impossible to navigate

If users can’t navigate their way through the site, you’ve got no hope of achieving conversion. Navigation should be logical and feel natural to the user. Considering the site’s information architecture (IA) from the start is essential. Sitemaps and wireframes of your site help the website have a clear structure and effortless navigation.

4. Focusing on driving traffic instead of clients’ needs

You can spend every bit of your marketing budget on ads that will drive users to your site. But if you’re not providing the information your clients are after, they’ll head straight back to Google. Make sure the right information is displayed quickly and clearly. And consider ways to improve the user experience like responsive design and personalisation.

5. Using ineffective calls to action that bring the user journey to a halt

We often see websites for law firms with the same “Call Us!” call to action (CTA) on every page. While this may seem like a good idea, you’re limiting your users’ options. Aim for more personalised CTAs that are more likely to entice the individual user to click. And give them more than one option for contacting you.

6. The law firm website is a one-sided conversation

Your site shouldn’t read like a brochure. Websites for law firms are more effective when used as a tool for interacting with clients. Use a range of engaging and relevant content. Integrate your social media feeds and use your blog to offer thought leadership. Make sure it’s what your clients want to hear. Not just what you want to tell them.

7. Leaving website management to the ‘IT guy’

Traditionally law firms will leave an IT person in charge of their website. Sure, you may need technical help. But marketers should be at the head of things. Taking control of content creation, page editing and digital strategy helps marketers track the site’s progress.

8. Neglecting email and website queries

Treating email queries with impersonal, robot responses reflects badly on your brand. Same goes for website and social media queries. It’s important to show that you’re switched on and responsive. This feeds into providing great customer experiences, which is vital to reaching business goals.

9. Not thinking ‘mobile-first’

Too many law firm website designs fail to consider how the site will look across different devices. With the rise in mobile device browsing, mobile responsive design has become key to good customer experience. Mobile users won’t expect to see the same view of your site as the desktop version. If they have to excessively scroll or zoom in, they’re likely to get fed up and go elsewhere.

10. Ignoring the power of analytics to keep improving

How many sites do you see with broken links, typos and articles from three years ago? We often see websites for law firms feature content that doesn’t change. Just because your site is up and running doesn’t mean it’s doing the job. Use analytics to find out what users want, their journeys and what drives them to get in touch (or what stops them). Once you know, you can improve. And you should always be looking to keep your content updated.

11. Using irrelevant stock marketing images and clichés

Stock images of courtrooms, gavels, skylines and handshakes won’t get you anywhere with clients. Be personal and use your site to show off your human side. Websites for law firms should showcase your brand and give a true impression of the business. You’ll get a much better response from customers who feel like they’re interacting with real people.

How can websites for law firms avoid common mistakes?

Using a powerful website content management system can help websites for law firms avoid common pitfalls. Sitecore gives legal marketers the tools they need to reach business goals and achieve digital transformation.

Just some of the ways Sitecore enhances law firm websites:

  • Sitecore is a full and flexible platform that can manage loads of data and media content, system integrations and user traffic. And all this performance won’t affect your site’s page speed.
  • All of your assets are accessible from a single library, so everything is easy to find and deploy onto your site.
  • Sitecore’s content tree and object-oriented architecture make it easy to organise and structure your site. So page layouts are consistent and navigation is seamless.
  • Testing and personalisation are built right in. So you can discover what users want from your site and give it to them.
  • Seamless integration with other systems such as Experience Database for customer data management, translation software for multi-lingual sites and Email Experience Manager for email marketing campaigns.
  • Responsive layouts help you control how your site will look on any device and make sure users get a great experience. Best of all, Sitecore’s cross-channel automation means that users who switch between devices can pick up where they left off.
  • Sitecore Analytics is built right into the platform. You can use A/B and MV testing to make sure your site is always evolving.

Want to improve your law firm website?

We have plenty of experience working with professional services companies. With our Sitecore expertise, we build exceptional websites for law firms like Burges Salmon.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how Sitecore benefits websites for law firms. If you’re an existing Sitecore user and think you may be in need of an audit, we want to hear from you.

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