You’ve Got Questions About Website Design; We’ve Got Answers!
A good website design comes off as uncomplicated and simple to use. But creating a design as beautiful as it is useful isn’t as easy as it looks! Here we answer the most common website design questions we field.
We hope that you are able to answer your questions here. If not, pick up the phone and call 888-886-0939. Our team would love to help you better understand how we design killer, conversion-rich websites.
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Why isn’t my law firm's website getting me business?
There are lots of reasons why your law firm’s website might not be driving the leads, clients, and cases you want. We’ll get into some of those reasons below, but there’s an even better option if you’re looking for answers:
Request a website design consultation with the FWM team. You’ll get expert eyes on your current website, along with personalized guidance on how to make it better—no more searching for generic advice! Instead, you’ll know specifically where you are and what you need to do.
But even if you’re not ready for that, you still need answers. So, let’s talk about 5 of the biggest reasons we see law firm websites fall short of their goals.
1. Your Law Firm’s Website Doesn’t Work Right
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to use a website that doesn’t work right. Your potential clients will give up on trying to use your law firm’s website if:
- Pages take forever to load correctly
- Design elements get in the way
- Links don’t go anywhere
- It won’t work on a phone or tablet
- Buttons and menus are broken
- Contact forms don’t work as intended
Google pays major attention to these kinds of technical issues, too. If you’re not meeting the minimum stands for technical performance, security, privacy, speed, and “crawlability,” you’re probably not showing up in Google searches.
2. Your Website Content Doesn’t Hook Your “Perfect Clients”
High-quality, relevant content is what drives your perfect clients from your website to your doorstep. If your content is thin, irrelevant, sales-y, spammy, full of grammar mistakes, and over-stuffed with awkward keywords, it doesn’t help anyone. At best, you look like you don’t care. At worst, you look like you’re purposefully trying to be manipulative.
It's a bad look for a lawyer. And, ultimately, people just don’t want to stick around on a website that doesn’t help them or answer their questions!
So, think about what your perfect clients want to know and want to read. Use language they understand. Answer their questions with every blog post, article, or FAQ you write. Address the kinds of “micro-moments” that prompted them to land on your website. Develop a content strategy that keeps you on track.
And—this is a big one for turning visitors into leads—make sure you include customized calls to action that show readers how to take the next step.
Sometimes, too, it’s all a matter of how you present the content on your law firm’s website. Do you highlight your best content on your homepage? Do you link relevant articles together? Is your content organized and easy to navigate to?
Put it out there where people can see it and benefit from it!
3. Your Biggest “Goal” Pages Aren’t Focused on Conversion
Speaking of calls to action, your main “goal” pages—like offer landing pages, practice area pages, and contact pages—should be optimized to convince users to click or call. You have to send people to these core pages and ask them to take the next step!
This is honestly the problem that’s at the root of so many under-performing websites. Your website has to help people get from point A (“I need answers!”) to point B (“I need this attorney!”). It has to be focused on conversion. From top to bottom, it should create a logical path for your visitors that ends in the right kind of “ask.”
If you’ve built that path effectively, people will land on your website and automatically start funneling themselves toward those goal pages. And, if they land on those goal pages, you know that they’re interested in your services.
That’s why these types of core pages need to be clear about what people should do, what they should expect after they do it, and why it’s an important step. Then, ask them to take that next step with you!
Of course, it’s also critical that everything on these pages works exactly as intended. So, test them routinely—especially your contact forms. If something is broken, you’re probably missing out on a good chunk of your warmest leads!
4. Your Law Firm’s Website Gives Off Sketchy Vibes
As common as it is to do business online these days, people are still hesitant to reach out over the internet to an unfamiliar law firm. People tend to be sensitive about their legal issues. They don’t want to talk to “just anyone.” They want to talk to someone they feel like they can trust.
So, your website needs to do everything it can to show that you are a trustworthy attorney running a trustworthy law firm.
If your website looks abandoned, outdated, or otherwise off-putting, it’s going to give off the wrong kinds of vibes to your potential clients. Every element of your website should look professionally done. You should make it clear what you do and who you are. Your law firm’s branding should be subtly reinforced in colors, taglines, images, and other design elements. All your information should be current, and you should always have something fresh to offer. These signals matter to people that don’t know you yet.
And don’t forget to leverage what other people have said about their past experiences with you. This is a huge trust signal! Testimonials, reviews, and case results go a long way toward setting new visitors at ease. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your online reputation is positive and consistent not just on your website but across the board.
5. Your Website Lacks Those Little Extras That Make a Difference
Little touches on your website can be big converters, and little problems can be major roadblocks to the clients and cases you want. Along with all the big things we talked about above, you also have to stay on top of the less obvious things that can affect how people feel about you and the actions they’re willing to take on your website.
Almost every element of a website impacts the user experience. Sometimes, it’s the addition of a live chat service or an adjustment in the language or tone of your headlines that makes a difference. Sometimes, it’s adding video FAQs or setting up better lead alerts and tracking for your team.
I won’t lie; it’s a lot to look at. But it’s critically important that you consider EVERYTHING that affects your potential clients when they use your website.
Of course, you don’t have to do all that analysis alone. Want to look at what’s going on with your website with award-winning experts by your side? Request a website design consultation with our team, or give us a call at 888.886.0939.
How important is loading time for law firm websites?
The “loading time” on your law firm’s website matters a lot more than you might think—and only a matter of seconds can make a HUGE difference. Research from Google as far back as 2016 shows that, as page load time increases from 1 second to 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 90%. And it gets worse as load times get slower:
- 106% probability of bounce as loading time increases to 6 seconds
- 123% probability of bounce as loading time increases to 10 seconds
Does that give you an idea of how important loading time is for your law firm’s website? We’ll get into this a little deeper below, but you should know that it’s not JUST potential clients bouncing away from your website that you have to worry about.
At the end of 2020, Google announced that its new page speed criteria would go into effect in May of 2021. While Google has been interested in loading time for a long time, this shift makes it even more important for your website to load quickly. Fast websites will be favored in the ranking mix, and you’ll need to get your loading time under 3 seconds to avoid problems.
What does all that mean? While loading used to impact your rankings a little, it will soon impact your rankings A LOT. So, in terms of importance, it’s now up there with other major factors like backlink health and relevant content.
Loading time isn’t the only measure of your website’s success. Check out the 5 most important metrics for your law firm website, or give us a call at 888.886.0938 for more answers about your website’s performance.
Why Do Visitors to My Law Firm’s Website Care About Loading Times and Page Speed?
Most of us perform at least a handful of Google searches each day. And most of us have clicked on a result only to be met with a blank or broken page that seems to be hung up while it loads.
In that moment, how often do you wait for the page to load? How often do you instead click back to the search results to try a different page? Are you more or less patient with a page’s speed when you’re using your phone to view a website?
If you’re like most people, you probably click away pretty quickly. And, even if you don’t, you start your interaction with that website already frustrated.
Your website is the first impression many of your potential clients will have of your law firm. If it loads so slowly that they get impatient, then they won’t see the experience you worked so hard to create. They won’t see your homepage or click through your compelling content. Instead, they won’t see anything but the “back” button as they click away to a faster competitor’s site.
This is why your website’s loading time has such a big impact on your traffic, leads, and conversions. Even speeding it up by a second or two could have a dramatic effect!
Why Does Google Care About Page Speed?
Your potential clients aren’t the only ones paying attention to how fast your law firm website loads. Google wants to provide a good user experience for its own users, so it favors websites that will make users happy and helpfully answer their search queries. Law firms that provide a thoroughly excellent website user experience rise in the rankings; law firms that don’t will fall.
While there are lots of facets to that “user experience” in Google’s eyes, page speed or loading time is a part of it. And, just like your potential clients, Google wants you to serve up website pages that quickly load and become interactive for the user. Google doesn’t want to send its users to slow sites that people get frustrated with and “bounce” away from—it’s not good for their own business!
While page speed has been a part of the ranking algorithm for a while, Google is putting much more weight on it in 2021. Starting in May, slow loading times will have a much bigger impact on your overall ranking than ever before. So, you need to take the speed of your website seriously!
Get Back to the Basics With Your Ranking Factors
Ultimately, Google rewards the things that make your website better for your perfect clients—and you can’t really go wrong with that. After all, Google has access to a huge amount of data about user behaviors online, and they set the pace for all things search-related. It’s up to you to use what they know to your advantage!
Nailing the new page speed criteria set by Google has everything to do with the foundation your website runs on and how you use and optimize the heftier elements on each page. And, since page speed isn’t the ONLY thing Google is looking at it, it’s also an excellent time to improve other core ranking factors, too. Remember, it’s not just fast sites that rise to the top of search; the real winners are fast sites that go the extra mile to give their “perfect clients” exactly what they want.
Ready to get back to the basics and build a speedy site that delivers for YOUR perfect clients? Schedule a website design consultation with our team, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 with your questions.
How to Make the Most of the Thank You Pages on Your Law Firm’s Website
It’s polite to thank your potential clients when they download your book or reach out to your law firm. But, if your thank-you page is too simple, it can leave your potential clients hanging at a very critical moment.
And no one wants to disappoint a curious potential client right after they’ve taken the first step!
Sure, it might seem like a small thing. However, the thank-you pages on your website can be so much more, and they can do so much more for your business. The trick is to apply some smart strategy to the small details, which we’ll get into below.
With this advice and a little effort, you can maximize what your website’s thank-you pages can do and put more of your fresh leads in a hiring mood.
Hey, by the way, your thank-you pages aren’t the only little details that matter on your website. Check out these 7 small details that really pack a punch in law firm website design.
Wait! What’s a Thank-You Page?
On most websites, visitors are directed to a thank-you page directly after completing a goal, like requesting a book, signing up for a consultation, subscribing to a newsletter, or otherwise filling out a contact form. The thank-you page typically thanks the visitor for reaching out and delivers the offer requested (or tells the visitor when and how it will be delivered).
While that’s the most basic idea of what a thank-you page is, the reality is that it’s not quite enough. Keep in mind that this is the first thing that someone will see after deciding to reach out to you! They’ve taken their “customer journey” to the next level, which means it’s a perfect opportunity to really show them what you and your law firm are about.
So, don’t just use your thank-you pages to say thanks! Below, we’re going to talk about five ways to really make the most of the thank-you pages on your law firm’s website.
Tip 1: Link to the Best Content on Your Law Firm’s Website
If someone is interested enough in your law firm to fill out your contact form, then they’re probably going to be interested in your website’s best content. A thank-you page is the perfect place to suggest some further reading that might answer questions, inform, or otherwise be relevant to the requester’s needs.
Think about your very best blog posts, FAQs, and articles. Choose a few that are relevant to the offer the thank-you page is linked to. Thank your potential client on the page and point them toward those resources. You’ll increase engagement, build a stronger connection, and provide an awesome user experience—and all you did was add a few extra links to your standard thank-you page content!
Tip 2: Tell Them About Your Other Relevant Offers
You don’t have to stop with blogs, FAQs, and articles. The thank-you pages on your law firm’s website are also a great place to point to your books, offers, law firm newsletter, webinars, local speaking engagements, and other “extras.” Make sure the offer is relevant enough to make sense on the page, and make it clear if you will be sending them newsletters or emails in the future.
Pointing freshly converted visitors to another relevant offer on your thank-you page is like a little “upsell” that comes at just the right moment. Your potential client gets the heads up about other offers that might be helpful to them, and you get a stronger and more informed lead.
Tip 3: Ask for Feedback
People like it when you ask their opinions, and feedback from potential clients that are actually using your website and interested in your law firm is like gold. So, make the most of your thank-you page by including a survey or an invitation to submit comments.
You can make this even more powerful if you ask questions in your thank-you page content that encourage people to answer. For example, you might ask, “how was your experience on the website?” Or you might ask, “how do you feel about video consultations?” It just depends on what kinds of feedback and information from your potential clients is most valuable to you. Be sure to also let them know where to click or call to leave their comments!
Tip 4: Ask Them to Refer a Friend or Family Member
Lots of law firms get their best clients and cases from word-of-mouth referrals, but not a lot of law firms actually ask for those referrals. In the moments after someone has requested something from you, it’s more likely that they’ll be willing to:
- Do something that helps you, like sending a friend your way
- Tell their friends that you are offering something that might help them, too
So, it’s the right time to ask! You don’t have to get complicated with it or sound like you’re begging for clients. Instead, it can be as simple as saying, “If you found this offer helpful, share it with any friends or family members that could use it.”
Doing something like this on your thank-page is a truly easy way to multiply the power of each lead you get through your offer forms. Plus, it makes your potential clients feel good when they can share the “insider knowledge” they learned from you with other people they care about!
Tip 5: Link to Your Social Media Pages
Follow up your gratitude with links and buttons that welcome people to get involved with your social media pages. Make it easy for people to share your offer with their friends and family on the most popular sites, and invite people to “like and subscribe” with your brand around the Web.
Whether it’s YouTube or Facebook or Twitter, most Americans spend a big portion of their time each day on social media sites. Adding social media signals to your website reinforces the idea that your law firm is real and ready to help. Plus, it gives your freshest leads an easy way to get to know you better and get involved with your brand!
Create Thank-You Pages for Your Law Firm Website That Put Your Leads in a Hiring Mood
Thank-you pages are simple but very powerful. They constantly work for you in the background, while consistently multiplying the power of your campaigns and putting your leads in a hiring mood.
But keep it simple! Don’t bowl people over with thank-you pages packed with ALL the options above. Instead, test out one or two ideas at a time. You can track and measure what works best for the types of potential clients you attract, and you won’t overwhelm visitors with all your enthusiasm at once.
Need to create a thank-you page that rocks? Schedule a website design consultation with our award-winning team, and let’s start talking about your ideas.
How do I know if my law firm website is successful?
What makes a law firm website a success? Some people will tell you to look deep into all kinds of analytics data for your answers—especially your traffic and engagement numbers.
And, while all that analytics data can be legitimately helpful, there is really only one number that matters. Why did you build a website in the first place? Was it to get more people on the internet to come look at your website? Was it to bump up your traffic or get people to spend more time on the page before they leave? Absolutely not!
You built your website to bring in more cases and clients. Period.
If your law firm website converts visitors into leads, then it’s successful. If it doesn’t, then it’s really just a “pretty face” that isn’t doing much for your business.
You can have the prettiest website in the world. You can have a ton of traffic that you’ve paid for with your time or your money. However, if your law firm website’s design isn’t consistently converting that traffic into real cases and clients, it’s failing in its primary duty—and you need to get to the root of the problem.
Conversion is absolutely the most important thing to look at, but other metrics matter, too. Find out more about all the law firm website metrics that matter the most.
Why Isn’t Your Law Firm Website Successful?
Lawyers and law firm website designers often get overly focused on the wrong stuff and end up designing law firm websites that fail. Why? There are lots of reasons, but it’s often because they fall prey to a bunch of common misconceptions, like the four I’ll talk about below.
Misconception #1: My law firm website should be designed to get to Page One.
Too many websites are designed, developed, and written for search engines. However, law firm websites that are created to get to the top of Google’s Page One often give a disappointing performance after launch. People are not search engines, and they use Google searches to find answers to their questions. They don’t care that your website is seeded with keywords, and they don’t care how much you spent on pay-per-click (PPC) for stuff like “Texas product liability lawyers.” They aren’t searching for those kinds of keywords, anyway!
Your law firm website should be designed for your perfect clients and referral sources—not for search engines. Buying your way to Page One with PPC might get you more traffic, but it probably won’t get you more clients, at least not on its own. And you can try to calculate the perfect set of keywords for organic search, but it’s going to fall flat if people don’t find what they actually need on your website when they get there.
Ultimately, if you design your law firm website solely for search engines, you’re choosing search traffic over actual, valuable conversions.
Misconception #2: My homepage is my most important page.
Lawyers often put too much focus on the homepage of their websites. They assume that everyone will come in through the homepage, so that’s where they need to put all their effort.
The problem is that this really asks the homepage to do too much on its own! You need those supporting pages on your law firm’s website to be just as great.
A lot of your best potential leads will never even see your homepage. Instead, they’ll land on a supporting page and call you. So, you really have to think about how consumers find an attorney and what steps they take to get there.
For example, most people facing a legal problem will first ask their friends and family if they know a good lawyer. If they get a recommendation, they’ll type the attorney’s name or the law firm’s brand name into search. These are the people that will come in through your homepage. It’s where you want to concentrate on capturing those kinds of referrals, orienting them to your brand and personality, and helping them navigate to the right place for their concerns. In short, homepages are all about referrals and brand-name searches.
However, if friends and family don’t know any lawyers, then most people will turn to Google with their questions. They might type in something like, “lawyers near me” or “estate planning law firm” and land on one of your practice area pages. Or, even more likely, they might type in questions or long-tail keywords that lead them to your blog and content pages, like “what is probate,” “rights in PA after truck accident,” or “why do I need an attorney after work injury.”
The point is that there are at least three different ways people might find you online, but only one of those ways involves your homepage. So, if you want to succeed, you have to look at your website holistically and really strategize how it all works together to bring in all kinds of leads.
Misconception #3: Content doesn’t matter.
If your website isn’t converting, it’s probably because you’re not feeding it content—and I mean actively, frequently, and in a disciplined manner.
I touched on this a bit above, but the content you stock your website with matters. Some folks get so distracted by sleek designs and flashy widgets that they forget to stock their websites with videos, articles, blog posts, images, and other compelling content. The law firm’s website design LOOKS amazing. But, as people visit it and try to dig in, they don’t find enough substance to match what the style seems to promise.
If you want your website to convert visitors into clients and leads, then you have to create relevant, original content that answers questions and educates.
Need some tips for feeding your website the content your perfect clients crave? Find out how to think about content and write like an expert.
Misconception #4: People will figure it out on their own.
Some people will visit your website, get what they came for, and then call you or fill out your contact form without any prompting. However, you’re going to get a much better rate of conversion if you design your law firm’s website to take people on a logical journey that periodically ASKS them to reach out.
The organization of the content on your website—and the design of your navigation—should help people get to the specific kinds of answers they’re looking for. It should take them from the general to the specific and give them options for pursuing the information that is most relevant. Along with that, your design should also incorporate relevant “calls to action” on every page that let visitors know how to take the next step as soon as they’re ready.
Grow Your Success With a Law Firm Website Design That Converts
If you aren’t sure if your website is doing what you want it to do for your business, test it out for yourself. Do some searches that are relevant to your practice and see where you show up. Try to get to different kinds of information on your website. While you do it, don’t think like an attorney. Instead, think like the consumer—a.k.a. your perfect client. With that mindset, it’ll be easy to identify the areas where your website could use some work.
Is your website design getting in the way of your success? Are you ready to invest in a conversion-focused website that resonates with your perfect clients? Start with a fresh foundation that focuses on the things that actually bring you new clients and cases.
Join us for a website design consultation, or talk to my team at 888.886.0939.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
While some web design strategies come and go, there are a handful that revolutionize the game and elevate the standards of greatness. Responsive web design is one of them. This is something that used to be the “next biggest trend,” but it has now become a staple of modern website builds.
If you’re not familiar with it, you’ll want to get familiar. A responsive design can improve the experience users have on your site by a TON, while modernizing the look, feel, and function of your “virtual office.”
What Makes a Website “Responsive”
When we talk about “responsive web design,” we’re talking about designing websites that recognize the device a site is being viewed on and deliver a compatible user experience. So, when potential clients view your website on a phone, they automatically see a mobile-friendly version of your site. If they pull up your site on a desktop or laptop, they will see the more traditional version of your site.
And responsive design goes deeper than just how your website looks to users. Responsive designs take into account screen size, screen orientation, input methods (like clicks, taps, and swipes), screen resolution, privacy settings, and more. Each person that visits your website automatically gets an experience that’s customized to the type of mobile device they’re using.
How cool is that?
Before responsive web design was a “thing,” you’d have to essentially create a different copy of your website for every device on the market, and then you’d have to add new versions every time a new device came out. With the current prevalence of mobile devices, it would be impossible to keep up!
It was extra horrible for tablet users because tablets typically fall somewhere in between laptops and smartphones. Users accessing your site on a larger tablet usually want a more traditional website experience, while users on smaller tablets usually want a more mobile-optimized experience. It was a nightmare for tablet users to get a good experience when browsing! Now, responsive designs have resolved all that.
So, that should give you an idea of why responsive design has become the industry standard—and a mobile marketing must-have. Now, let’s talk about why it really matters to you.
What Makes a Responsive Website Matter to Lawyers and Doctors
Everything about your website should support your goal of bringing in new cases and clients or patients—so the user experience on your website is key. Trying to navigate a traditional website with a smartphone is very difficult. It usually involves a lot of zooming in, scrolling around, and frustration, which most modern web users aren’t going to put up with. If it’s tough to even minimally read and navigate your website, it doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in your ability to provide a great experience in person. It also makes it a lot easier to give up, click away, and visit your competitors’ websites, instead.
In a service-focused business, like doctoring or lawyering, this is HUGE.
And the truth is that even Google prefers responsive websites! A responsive design makes it easier for search engines to index and apply their algorithms to your website. Plus, the device-optimized experience is great for the search-engine users that Google wants to keep happy. The outcome is that, overall, responsive websites rank higher than sites using the old “separate mobile site” model, and they are crawled more efficiently by search engines.
In short, what we’re saying is that responsive web design can improve both your search rankings AND the user experience for your leads and contacts.
You can’t beat that benefit combo!
How to Get a Mobile-Responsive Website for Your Practice
It’s no longer a trend; it’s the standard. If your website isn’t seamlessly responsive to mobile devices, you’re probably already losing leads.
A responsive website design shows potential clients and referral sources that you’re sensitive to the needs of all the users who find you—and it builds confidence that they’ll have the same great experience when they call your office or meet with you about a legal matter.
Ready to embrace a mobile-responsive website design? Want to automatically give people what they want without having to think about it? Schedule a design consultation with our award-winning team, or call us at 888.886.0939. Let’s start building a website that works hard for your practice and your visitors.
What Makes a Great Client Testimonial?
While it isn't likely that a visit to your site will trigger a full-blown panic attack, people usually experience some level of anxiety when contacting an attorney or a doctor. They come to you because they need help or have sensitive questions, and they’re often worried that they won't make the right decisions.
If your website and marketing do nothing to soothe this anxiety, nervous visitors will quickly leave your site in search of someone who CAN assure them that they’re making a safe choice.
To calm clients’ fears, I suggest utilizing the best “anti-anxiety pill” for websites that I know of: testimonials. When incorporated into your design and used strategically, testimonials from your past clients and partners have the power to effectively soothe any anxiety clients, patients, and referral sources might feel when they visit you online.
However, while you might appreciate every positive testimonial you receive, not all testimonials are created equal. The truth of the matter is that some of your testimonials are more powerful “trust signals” than others. But how do you figure out what your best testimonials are?
7 Qualities to Look for in a Great Client Testimonial
When deciding which client testimonials to feature on your site, look for the ones that hit all the right notes:
- Specificity. Look for client testimonials that address the specific practice areas and services you offer. These kinds of testimonials can create a stronger connection with potential clients because they more clearly show that you have resolved specific problems for past clients—the kinds of specific problems that your potential clients are actively concerned about.
How to use it: Sort your testimonials into categories, just like you do with your blogs and other content. (This is super easy to do in DSS!) Once they’ve been sorted into the right categories, it’s quick and easy to apply them to the most relevant pages on your website.
- Length. Shorter testimonials aren’t necessarily “bad,” but the more details that are provided, the better. A few one-sentence statements won’t hurt you at all, but you may want to look for more in-depth testimonials to feature on your website. Look for the ones that tell a story and really get into the client’s experience with your practice.
How to use it: When most of the testimonials you feature on your site are short and generic, it looks a little fake. Use a mix of short and long testimonials, with a preference for the testimonials that tell the most compelling stories.
- Objections. Here’s a little advice from marketing master Dave Frees: get testimonials that address objections. Ask clients what they were worried about before they saw you, and what the main sources of their anxiety were about choosing you. These kinds of testimonials assure potential clients that they’re making a good choice—and that your services or goods are worth the cost.
How to use it: Use testimonials that address objections on the pages with your most important calls to action, where they’ll have the most relevant impact.
- Proximity. Look again at the advice above because it leads into something really smart and effective. Where you use your testimonials on your website can be as important as which testimonials you choose to feature. To adequately assuage anxiety, potential clients and visitors should see relevant testimonials at every stage of their “customer journey.”
How to use it: Like we said above, a “cost-justification” testimonial should be positioned on your contact page. Doing so says, "Don't worry about the cost, this attorney/doctor/service is worth every penny!" However, don’t forget to place similarly relevant and assuring testimonials on other pages, too. Visitors should see them on your homepage, on your landing pages, and even in your email campaigns and other marketing materials. You want to start building a relationship with the potential client by featuring the most relevant trust signals at every critical step of their “customer journey”—from visitor to client.
- Intensity. You need to decide just how intense anxiety about purchasing your services really is. If this is a high-stress decision for many of your clients or contacts, you need to take care that the intensity of the testimonial matches the intensity of the page.
How to use it: Are your testimonials powerful enough to over-correct for anxiety and address the substance and perception of potential clients’ fears? Does the tone of the testimonial match the tone of the page it's featured on? For example, a light-hearted testimonial might be totally appropriate on some pages, but it could be jarring on a serious page about brain injury or wrongful death. Likewise, a very serious or emotional testimonial might distract from the main point or message on a less intense page.
- Authority. Any testimonials you include should carry a certain amount of authority. While all well-written—or well-spoken—testimonials are good, a review from a recognizable name is even better.
How to use it: A testimonial from a local celebrity or government figure can carry a lot of weight, especially when it’s someone that your perfect clients would recognize. However, you don’t have to get a celebrity to sing your praises. You can increase the authority of your testimonials by using clients’ names or initials (with their permission, of course!) or adding a location. For example, your testimonial might look like this: “Smith Law Firm solved all my problems!”—Bob S., Atlanta, Georgia. This can humanize your testimonials and make them more convincing.
- Video. If your client or another testimonial source is comfortable doing so, a video testimonial can be extremely powerful. Video gives a personal feel and conveys emotions that a written testimonial cannot.
How to use it: Make sure your website supports video, and make sure that it’s easy to add and categorize them. Testimonial videos are a powerful feature on homepages and practice-area landing pages, and they’re compelling when you pepper them throughout your blog content and social media posts. These can be the highlight of your website design or just a little more supporting “oomph.”
Keep in mind, of course, that state bar associations have different rules and regulations regarding client testimonials on law firm websites, and websites for medical practices always need to be sensitive to patient privacy regulations. The good news is that most lawyers and doctors are allowed to use testimonials on their websites, as long as they are truthful. NEVER buy testimonials or reviews, and make sure you look into the requirements in your state to see if you need to add appropriate disclaimers or take another action to adhere to best practices.
We’re happy to work with you to identify limitations and incorporate testimonials ethically on your website. While we’re not experts in every state’s rules and regulations for every type of business, we do have a lot of experience with other law firms and medical practices around the nation. If you have a question, there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll either have the answer or know where to start looking.
Build More Trust Into Your Website Design
You may have a degree from Harvard and an impressive professional background, but those things don’t matter to most potential clients. Instead, people want to know that you’re good at what you do and that you can help them solve their problems. They also want to know that they’ll have a good experience working with you and your team.
So, let your testimonials from past clients and partners explain how great you are. It is far more powerful, and it shows potential clients that you’re someone they can trust. Even just a handful of sincere testimonials from satisfied clients will go a long toward putting the visitors to your website at ease.
Need to add more “trust” to your brand message and website design? Contact us at 888.886.0939, or start talking with our award-winning team about your ideas in a website design consultation.
- Specificity. Look for client testimonials that address the specific practice areas and services you offer. These kinds of testimonials can create a stronger connection with potential clients because they more clearly show that you have resolved specific problems for past clients—the kinds of specific problems that your potential clients are actively concerned about.
How many pages should I have on my website?
Gone are the days of single page “homepages,” and here are the days of multi-page, multimedia websites! But how many pages are enough to make your website a winner?
It’s a tough question! Unfortunately, there’s no magic number of pages on your website that will secure you the number-one spot on all the search engines or bring in all the clients and cases of your dreams. You’ve heard us say it before, and we’ll say it again: there are no “magic purple pills” or guaranteed Page One results in marketing!
While there’s no upper limit to how many pages you can have, there are some guidelines and formulas that we know work well as part of our award-winning web design services. If you’re in doubt, follow the guidelines below to build a website that has the right number of pages to best position you for getting new visitors, clients, and contacts.
The Core “Building Block” Pages of an Effective Website
Attorneys, doctors, and similar service-based professionals often have similar-looking websites because they need essentially the same things out of their websites. While you don’t want a cookie-cutter site that looks exactly like everyone else’s, you do want to follow a basic formula that’ll meet your users’ basic expectations for a “doctor website” or a “lawyer website.” Once you have those “building block” pages in place, you can inject your own personal flair or “break” the formula to better fit your perfect clients’ needs.
In your first web design meeting with the FWM team, we’ll start discussing what types of core pages we will create for you and how many. These pages become the foundational “skeleton” of your website, and usually consist of:
- A homepage
- Several practice area pages
- An “About Us” page
- A “Contact Us” page
- A testimonials page
- A video page
- A blog page
- Several library article pages
There can be a little variance in the core pages we create for your website, depending on your needs and desires. We also work with clients to add custom pages—like referral pages or community involvement pages—that might make sense for their businesses.
While this foundation of pages is designed to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and be compelling to your perfect clients, we also give our clients the tools to add as many additional pages as they please through our Dynamic Self-Syndication (DSS) web content management system.
During the process of creating your website, we will teach you how to use DSS to quickly and easily add your own pages to your website. Whether you’re adding blog entries and articles or uploading videos, testimonials, and recent case results, this supporting content is going to be the key to your website’s long-term success, as we’ll explain below.
Supporting Pages Flesh Out Your Website and Build Up the User Experience
When we launch your new website, it will have all your core pages in place. Now, it’s up to you (or our friendly internet marketing services team) to flesh out what you’ve started with. There is no limit to the number of pages you can have on your website, so don’t be afraid to really stock it up with excellent content and relevant pages.
Put yourself in your perfect clients’ shoes, and think about what you would want to see on a doctor’s or attorney’s website—or why you might be Googling for those services in your area. Then, add pages to your website that meet those needs and answer those questions.
Not sure where to get started? Here are some examples of what we recommend:
- FAQs. Articles that answer frequently asked questions are always popular—it’s the most obvious place to look if you have a question! Think about the real questions clients ask you in person or through email and answer those questions thoroughly on your website. Having those answers right there improves the user experience, and it can save you time in the long run!
- Library articles. Library articles typically focus on presenting more in-depth topics in a digestible way. Potential clients in the “research phase” will love these kinds of articles, and they’re often the pages that bring in a sizeable amount of your new traffic from search. Think about what motivates your perfect clients to seek your help and what kinds of questions they ask before they’re ready to come see you about a problem—these will be your best topics!
- Blog posts. Your FWM website is designed to include an on-site blog, so make use of it! Blog posts are generally more casual than library articles, but they should still answer questions or offer some tidbits of value for your potential clients. This is a great place to show your personality, whether you’re explaining a change in the law or talking about a local charity drive.
- Case stories. The stories of your cases and clients show your website’s visitors exactly how you have solved problems that are similar to their own. Case stories also create an emotional connection that can stick with potential clients, even long after they log out. Find out more about how to write compelling case stories.
Google loves authoritative sites that are chock-full of relevant information. However, don’t try to add so many pages that your quality takes a dip. Always make certain that each page you add is relevant to your practice, contains accurate information, and offers your readers something new and thoughtful. Repeating the same information on multiple pages, using duplicate content, or resorting to keyword stuffing WILL end up harming your search rankings and online reputation.
Add More Pages as You Go to Keep Up the Momentum
You should never be “done” adding pages to your website. Over time, your website should sustainably grow into a rich, compelling, and relevant resource for the people your business serves.
Never let your website go stale!
Develop an ongoing content strategy that works for you and that you can keep up with over time. At the barest minimum, that strategy should include at least four blog posts per month, which is one per week. Or, if you can manage it, do more!
Don’t stop there, though. Along with your blog posts, keep adding library articles, FAQs, case stories, and testimonials. Shoot new videos. Add new landing pages and practice areas as your practice grows over time. Talk about current events and topical issues that matter to your clients.
These kinds of ongoing additions to your website have a huge impact on your success. When you keep your website fresh and well-stocked, it lets potential clients—and search engines—know that you care about what you do and are passionate about sharing it with others. You’re always putting out fresh “bait” for the kinds of clients you want to see!
Work With an Award-Winning Design Team to Build a Website That Works on Every Level
At Foster Web Marketing, we love working with attorneys and doctors around the country to develop new, effective websites. We also love partnering with our clients to support them as they learn how to improve and update those websites—and grow their practices—in the months and years to come.
Ready to partner with an award-winning team to build the website of your dreams? Schedule a design consultation with FWM, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 today.
How often should I redesign my medical practice's website?
Websites for doctors and medical practices need to evolve as patients’ tastes and expectations change. While most practices find that they’re ready for an update or overhaul of their websites every few years, there isn’t a set-in-stone schedule. Instead, it is a decision that depends on your practice, your patients, and how well your current website is working for you.
Are you having trouble deciding how often is often enough to redesign the website for your medical practice? Here are four major signs that the time is right.
Your Medical Practice’s Website Looks Outdated
Take a good look at your website. Now, compare it to websites for similar practices in your area. Does it measure up? Does it look as modern as the other websites you visit every day? Do you like the current design and how it showcases your practice and your doctors? If not, then a redesign could do a lot for your practice.
Ultimately, looks matter online. Patients notice when you’re behind the times, and they are often suspicious of medical websites that look and feel a little abandoned.
Updating your design, adding high-quality photos and video, and adjusting for modern aesthetic expectations gives your website that healthy glow that lets patients know you’re still there for them. It is also an excellent chance to highlight new staff, new services, new locations, and other changes since you last gave your website a major facelift.
Your Website Is Built on a Crumbling Foundation
Redesigning a website is about more than just looks. The technology behind the Web can change as quickly as design trends. Redesigning and updating your website every few years—or when there is a major change in best practices—means that you are always on top of the game.
If your current website is hard to use, hard to update, or limited by old technology, it is definitely time for a redesign. Even if you choose to keep a very similar design, this is the kind of thing that can affect every part of the user experience, from how fast your website loads and the kinds of media you can feature to how your offer forms work and how visitors navigate through your site.
You Are Concerned About HIPAA and Online Security
If you haven’t updated your medical practice’s site in a while, then it probably isn’t as secure as it should be. Digital security and privacy are big issues right now, especially for medical websites, and patients are increasingly savvy about protecting themselves online.
Because of this, Foster Web Marketing has taken steps to ensure that all protected health information (PHI) communicated through our clients’ websites is safe and secure, but a redesign may be in order if you have an older site. Find out more about HIPAA-compliant enhancements on FWM websites.
Your Website Is Not Ready for Mobile Visitors
How does your practice’s website look when you pull it up on your phone or tablet? Is it easy to use? Is it easy for patients to find the information they need? Mobile search accounts for a huge number of visitors to most modern websites, and all indications are that it is here to stay.
Older websites force mobile users to zoom in, zoom out, and tap through tiny links and menus to get what they need. A redesign will help you build a responsive, mobile-friendly website that looks and works great on all kinds of devices.
Freshen Up Your Online Image With Our Award-Winning Website Design Team
So how often should you redesign your medical practice's website? If it's been a few years since your site launched, or you've gone through this list and decided that your practice’s website is ready for a change, we can help put your plans into action. Reach out to us for a free website design consultation, and let’s talk about how to update your website so it can better attract, convert, and retain your perfect patients.
How often should I redesign my law firm's website?
The short answer is that there is no set schedule for updating your attorney website design. However, don’t let that fool you into believing that design updates are unnecessary. Time moves fast on the Web, and a site that was beautiful two or three years ago could already look outdated and shoddy today. It’s sad, but true!
Pull up your website right now on your phone or desktop. How does it compare to other sites you’ve visited today? How does it fit with your current brand image and services? If you’ve taken a good look and still aren’t sure if your law firm is ready for a website redesign, here are our best tips for deciding when the time is right.
6 Signs Your Law Firm’s Website Is Ready for a Redesign
Websites don’t come with expiration dates, and the right time to redesign is unique to each website and law firm. If your law firm has maintained the same website for a while, watch out for these signs that you’re ready for a change:
- Your website looks outdated. Tastes and design trends change over time, and users expect websites to keep up with the times. Does your website look modern, or does it stick out like a sore thumb next to more current sites? Look at your competitors’ websites to see how yours compares to others in your industry. Think about the other websites you visit every day. The comparison makes it much easier to decide if the look and feel of your own site are in line with your visitors’ modern expectations.
- Your website is built on outdated technology. The look of your website aside, users also have evolving preferences for how they access, navigate, and use your site. Backend technology and online possibilities evolve along with those preferences. A redesign can offer better security, better navigation, HIPAA compliance, and a device-responsive mobile site. Lots of small changes to website best practices add up over time, and even a simple redesign can make a big difference in how your website works and what it can offer to potential clients.
- Your law office moved, or your areas of practice changed. You don’t necessarily have to redesign your website every time something changes, but it’s worth considering if your law firm makes a major change in location or offerings. A redesigned website can help to inform your potential clients about your new services, attorneys, or offices, and it also gives you a fresh canvas for changes to your overall digital marketing strategy.
- You’re starting a fresh digital marketing push or rebranding effort. Your website is the hub and funnel of everything you do to market your law firm online. If you make any kind of major change to your digital marketing strategy or online image, then it is critical that your website seamlessly reflect your new focus. Sometimes, you can effectively work within the bounds of your old design. Other times, it just makes good sense to start fresh.
- Your website offers a bad user experience. Your website will make a bad impression on potential clients if it is slow, hard to use, or does not work as intended. If an outdated website is getting in the way of the user experience, then it should be a giant red flag that you’re ready for a design update.
- Your content is difficult to update, find, or promote. Older websites are not always prepared for the modern, interconnected internet. If you can’t do much with your content other than publish it to your website, then a redesign can be a real game-changer. Modern designs can include social media sharing, improved navigation to important content, and ways to highlight what is most relevant. If you already have a ton of content on your old site, a redesign is also a good time to perform a complete content audit.
If you are still looking for answers about when to redesign your law firm’s website, we can say that we generally recommend that our clients shoot for a site-wide redesign every few years. This keeps you on top of all the current trends and best practices, and you can be sure that your website continues to deliver a great user experience and convert your perfect clients. A redesign can consist of small updates, or it can be a complete overhaul, depending on what is most appropriate for your law firm.
If you aren’t sure how your website measures up to current design trends and technology, contact us for a free website design consultation. We would be happy to show you how your website stacks up, what is working well, and what can be improved with a fresh design.
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