Does your family law firm’s website deliver on your prospective clients’ needs and your business objectives, or does it merely look good?
Do you know what your current and prospective clients expect to see on your website – and what will have them leave? Based on our experience of building and managing family lawyer websites – as well as building and managing our own websites, which enjoy five million visitors a year – we know what your prospective clients are looking for.
Website Best Practices for Family Lawyers
With today’s technology, it is relatively easy to build a flashy website. But does that website attract the right visitors and offer them a great experience, or is it “all sizzle without the steak”? Ask yourself:
- Did I get any consultations or business from my website?
- Does my website properly reflect the branding and marketing positioning of my practice?
- What is the traffic to my website and how do people find it?
- Does my website offer useful information and resources to help visitors make decisions concerning their disputes – including the decision to hire my firm?
Let’s start with the most important element that will help your website generate business: how visitors experience your website.
User Experience (UX)
User experience is the forgotten stepchild of most law firms’ websites – and a major reason for fleeing your website to a competitor with better UX.
Good UX starts with a deep understanding of your desired clients. Who are they? (Be specific: “high-net-worth divorcing individuals,” not “people who want a divorce.”) What age- group do they fall into? What do they need? What is most important to them? What information are they searching for? (Again, be specific.)
UX best practices focus on creating a positive experience for your users, including:
- How easy it is to find and consume the information they want.
- How useful and relevant the content is.
- How easy it is to navigate (e.g., via chatbots, text messaging, one-touch phone calls or emails; simple to schedule an appointment or pay for services online).
- Their impression of your firm and the services you provide.
The heart of UX is ensuring that users find value in your website, so the content must focus on how you can solve their problems. For example, a lawyer profile written to demonstrate how you have helped people with similar problems and the results you produced is a thousand times more powerful than a resume that lists where and when you graduated from law school and the jobs you have held. (You should still include resume information, but move it beneath the details about how you can help.)
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT)
Google uses EAT to evaluate a webpage’s quality. As an experienced lawyer, you may believe that your website already has this in spades – but it probably doesn’t. Let’s look at the three components.
- Expertise: It’s not enough to be knowledgeable: you need to be able to communicate your knowledge in a way that appeals to and engages your prospective Know what your visitors want, then deliver that information to them in a way that strikes a balance between being comprehensive and easily digestible. An excellent way to do this is to offer answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on issues that concern them.
- Authoritativeness: Posting FAQs is a good start, but there’s more to do to have Google consider your website Posting interviews you have with the media is invaluable. Links from – and being mentioned or quoted by – relevant, authoritative websites are crucial. Having other relevant, top-ranked social media pages share content from your website also helps.
- Trustworthiness: Do you have plenty of positive reviews – not only on your own website, but also on Google and websites like Avvo? The more, the Do you respond to positive as well as negative reviews? Thanking them for taking the time to write the review is both good manners and free advertising for your firm! Addressing negative reviews properly can turn things around. If your client is unhappy, start with an apology, then take responsibility and let them know how you plan to improve/ change. Even if you disagree with the review, always take the high road and be professional in your response.
Is Your Website Responsive and Fast?
With 75% of people viewing websites on mobile devices, you must have a mobile-friendly website that displays well on smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. Also, make sure to optimize the speed of your website. With increasing numbers of people visiting websites on mobile devices, the speed of delivery matters to them – and to Google.
A Few Words About SEO
Generating organic web traffic is much too big a topic to handle in this short article, but you should learn a little bit about SEO so you know the right questions to ask your developer.
- On-Page SEO: This includes many elements such as meta keywords, titles, and descriptions; URL structures; image optimization and alt-text; text formatting; headings and header tags; word-count; page speed; mobile responsiveness; internal links; content value; authority; and
- Off-Site SEO: Pay attention to your Google My Business page; sync it to your website and populate it as best you Create backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites to yours – create and post your videos and podcasts on your firm’s channels on YouTube, Podbean, and Facebook. Complete your listings on lawyer, article, and local directories; publish blog posts and articles on authoritative websites other than your own.
- Local SEO: With a precise focus on a local marketing approach, local SEO is a popular way to market a business to local clients in real-time when they actually need these It involves a wide variety of online marketing strategies, such as listings in business directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Bing Places for Business; content optimization by using local keywords; and local online reviews.
Does your website show up in Google searches? If not, it’s time for an SEO audit.
Is Your Content Easily Consumable and Accessible?
Providing proper web accessibility to those with disabilities is the law. To be ADA-compliant, your website must be free of barriers that would make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to make use of them. WCAG 2.0, Level AA is the technical standard to follow. Not only is web accessibility the right thing to do, but it could also bring you clients – and avoid fines and lawsuits for non-compliance.1
Videos and podcasts can really increase UX for all visitors, encouraging them to recommend them to other people by email or share them on social media. Always transcribe your audio and video to increase the SEO value of your website and improve accessibility.
Is It Time to Redesign Your Website?
Before you start the process of redesigning your website, make sure you hire a firm that understands family law as well as your practice, business objectives, desired prospective clients, positioning statement, and branding strategy. Be sure to discuss all of the above so you may end up with a website that generates business.
1 In 2019, there were 11,053 federal filings (an increase of 8.8% from 2018). New York, Florida, and California had the highest number of state ADA Title III lawsuits, with 4,794, 2,635, and 1,885 suits, respectively. The number of ADA Title III lawsuits dropped in 2020, but 2021 is predicted to break 2019’s record. See www.adatitleiii.com.
On Your Website, Content is (Still) King
Relevant, high-quality content has never been more important – and the lack of it will cost you clients. Here are easy ways to add effective attorney profiles and content to your website without taking much valuable time away from your practice.
WATCH: 7 Ways to Improve Your Family Law Firm Website
In this webinar, marketing experts McKay Allen and Dan Couvrette offer useful tips & advice on how you can improve your family law firm website right now.