Creating a brand and “personality” for your law firm is the first step in a strategy that rockets you past your competitors. But you need that branding to be consistent—ESPECIALLY online, where your perfect clients and referral sources often see you first and interact with you the most.
Do you want to stand out from your competitors? Do you want to build trust and recognition with potential clients and partner businesses? Do you want to show the world who you are, what you stand for, and what you do for clients?
Then check out the six tips below for creating a truly compelling consistency between your branding and your law firm’s website design.
And, by the way—if you want to dig deeper into this topic, don’t forget to check out these 21 tips for law firm website design in 2021, too!
1. Your Law Firm’s Logo Is the Online Avatar of Your Brand
Your logo is on your letterhead, in your emails, and on the sign that hangs outside your door. Is it on your website, too?
Your logo is one of the most recognizable pieces of branding for your law firm. People associate that image not only with your business as an entity but also with who you are and what you can do for them.
Every time your potential clients see your logo, it’s like a little reminder that they’re in good hands with someone they know and trust. That’s huge in a business that revolves around clients coming to you with their most sensitive legal issues. It’s a small thing, but it packs a powerful “bang.”
Of course, most law firms already have a logo. Like we said above, you probably already use it on your letterhead and in communications from your office. But getting the most out of your brand logo isn’t as easy as slapping it up on your website and calling it done. You really have to use your law firm’s logo consistently and thoughtfully to make it work.
That’s why the designer of your law firm’s website needs to put some thought into how your logo is used and how it looks on the page. Our web design team likes to sit down with each new client to talk through issues like:
- Does the logo on your website match the logo you use in other places? This might seem obvious, but a lot of law firms rethink their logos when they build a new website. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it can be a problem when they then end up using their old logos in print while using the new logo online. It’s confusing to potential clients, who are left wondering if both logos really come from the same business.
- Will your logo work on the web? Your logo image should be of high enough quality that it doesn’t appear pixelated or grainy. However, you also have to realize that not every font or color will look good online, and there are a lot of variances between browsers. It’s essential to work with your designer to develop a version of your logo that is still recognizable as YOUR logo but also plays nice when displayed on a screen.
- Where will your logo appear? Your logo should appear at the top of most pages of your website. This makes your website feel cohesive—from your homepage to your blog to your main practice area pages. The repetition of the image and consistent use throughout your online materials build recognition and association in people’s minds. They’ll be able to pick you out of the crowd of competitors when they’re ready to talk to an attorney!
Experienced web designers will typically create several versions of your logo that fit different uses. For example, having a “light” version that looks good on dark backgrounds is very important. The same goes for a “dark” version that looks good on—you guessed it—light backgrounds. It’s also critical to have both a horizontal version of your logo and a vertical or stacked version. You never know how your logo will be used in the future! So, it’s best to be prepared.
Your website designer should also create a “favicon” that matches your logo. This image appears in various places on visitors’ browsers, such as next to the address bar when they visit your site or next to your website address in their bookmarks.
With all that in place, your logo should be ready to rock! However, you also have to go beyond just your logo if you want your branding to stick with potential clients and referral sources.
So, let’s move on to our second tip.
2. The Colors You Use in Your Law Firm’s Website Design Matter Just as Much as Your Logo
People connect with color, and they often recognize brands as much by their color schemes as they do with their logos—if not more! So, if you want to create real brand consistency between “real life” and your website, you really need to consider color.
You want the color scheme you use for your website to match as closely as possible to the colors you use offline while still being “web safe.” You also want to use your main colors subtly throughout your website, so visitors get a comfortingly consistent experience no matter what page they land on or navigate to. The color scheme continually reminds them that they’re getting this information from YOUR law firm—not some faceless, nameless website that’s quickly forgotten.
Not sure how to pick the right colors and use them effectively for branding your website? Check out this guide on how to choose the right color scheme for your website.
3. Create Consistency With Fonts, Typefaces, and Graphic Design Elements
Color creates consistency and “flow” on your website, but so do the smaller visual elements of your design. So, you want each of those visual elements to look like they belong with the whole.
All the elements on your website should be cohesive and consistent in style. You want every page to fit in and look like it belongs on YOUR website!
Your navigation buttons should look similar, whether you’re asking someone to “click here” or “contact us now.” The images and graphics you use on your website should stick to a similar format and style. How you use whitespace and set up elements on the page can also go a long way toward a consistent brand “feel.” All these things matter.
Of course, a lot of law firms want to jump straight to a unique font or typeface for branding their websites—but beware. Fonts are tricky because font readability is a lot different on the web than it is for print. Having a consistent "font style" is difficult because the same fonts won’t work across all media. That means that you have to choose your fonts and typefaces based on what works best, not necessarily what looks best. The only exception is your website tagline. Because your tagline is used differently than most of the text on your website, you can select a consistent font style for it. Your tagline is essentially like a second logo!
Altogether, these little touches establish your brand voice in a big way.
4. Your Website’s Domain Name Is Another Branding Opportunity
Your domain name (the part of your website URL that comes after “www.” and before “.com”) is another place that you can voice your law firm’s branding.
There are a lot of different methods for developing a great domain name. Some law firms incorporate their main keywords—something like “miamicaraccidentlawyer.com.” Some law firms use a version of their firm’s name to boost their branding—much like “fosterwebmarketing.com.” Some even combine their brand name with their main keywords to come up with something totally new!
Whatever way you choose to approach it, you DO want to come up with something simple, memorable, and easy to type into the search box. So, keep it short. Keep it simple. And don’t confuse people by coming up with a domain name that doesn’t really match your brand or what you do.
Still confused? Learn more about choosing a domain name for your law firm website.
5. Update Your Content to Match Your Brand's New Personality
Whether you’re creating a new brand or just rebranding your law firm, the content on your website will also need an update to match your new tone and message. However, it isn’t ALL about the text you write.
How your content works in your law firm’s website design is a big deal. What you choose to feature on main pages, how your content pages look, and how it all links together—it all plays a part in the “vibes” you give off to potential clients.
For example, if your homepage features a panel with links to in-depth articles explaining heavy legal topics, then you create a more formal tone. If you feature a panel full of links to fun blog posts or quick FAQs, you’ll give off more casual or friendly vibes.
And that’s just one example!
With a smart design, you can essentially tell your “brand story” through featured content. Some options for doing so might include:
- Using banners and panels to highlight your very best or most popular pieces of content, especially on your homepage and other core pages.
- Using your “About Us” page to explain your brand message and introduce your team.
- Putting your most compelling testimonials and case stories in front of visitors, especially on pages where they are likely to convert.
- Adding high-quality photos of your office, your team, and other people or places that are relevant to your practice.
- Featuring videos of your happy clients, your team in action, and your team explaining important concepts or offering helpful tips.
And, of course, like most of the other pages of your website, your content pages should also repeat your logo and colors for a consistent experience.
That’s the fifth tip in the bag! But, before we send you on your well-branded way, there’s one more thing we need to talk about.
6. Take Your Law Firm’s Branding Beyond Your Website
It doesn’t hurt to think beyond your website, even in the design phase. Most successful digital marketing strategies include a whole machine of different avenues for bringing in clients and cases. And getting all those digital tactics to harmonize into one big strategy is a lot easier if your branding is consistent across the board, right from the get-go.
Will you need to update social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) with your new logo? Will you need a banner image to use in your profiles? Do you have your logo, colors, and other branding signals ready to go for your videos and YouTube? You probably need ALL the above, and maybe even more.
So, let your law firm’s web design team know that you plan to use banners, logos, and brand images beyond your website. We can build those elements for you, so they work on social media, in email, or wherever else you need to use them. We can even point you in the right direction for maintaining your branded look and feel in print or—for example—on your little-league sponsorship t-shirts. If you can think through these things with expert designers at your side, you can create a cohesive brand that works on your website, on other websites, and in the real world.
While these kinds of things might not have a lot to do with the individual design of your website, they DO have a lot to do with how well you can carry your branding to every segment of your audience.
It’s really worth strategizing for!
Now, with all those things in place and a great design foundation to work from, you know your branding game is on target and ready to rock.
Design a Brand That Attracts the Right Kind of Attention
A brand isn’t really born overnight. While you might have the ideas in your mind and color choices written down, you have to be intentional and consistent over time to get your branding to stick in the minds of your perfect clients.
Need a hand getting your website to harmonize with your branding? Contact our award-winning design team at 888.886.0939 or sign up for a law firm website design consultation now.