The Foundations to Design a Revenue-Generating Law Firm Website

Constructing a law firm website might sound daunting, yet it doesn’t have to be. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about creating a successful law firm website from start to finish in 2023.

In an easy-to-follow 6 step process, we’ll cover how to identify your website purpose and target audience, choose a domain name, hosting, platforms for building your website, and design and content guidelines.

Armed with the right information and resources, you can assemble a website that wows prospective clients and helps your Elder Law or Estate Planning practice reach its goals.

If this seems like too much for you to tackle on your own, we can help. Schedule a free website review call with us to learn more.

Step 1: Determine Your Law Firm Website Purpose

Why Does Your Law Firm Need a Website?

Identifying and defining the purpose of a law firm’s website is an important first step in the development process.

To begin, you should consider the primary function of your website:

    • Lead generation: increase your online visibility to potential clients, generate leads and new business.
    • Informative: provide information to current clients and establish the firm’s credibility and expertise.
    • Recruiting: attract talent to the practice by showcasing the firm’s culture, values, and career opportunities.

    Your website may touch on all of these areas. However, choosing one area as the core focus is important to avoid confusion for website visitors.

    Step 2: Identify Your Lawyer Website’s Target Audience

    Before getting too far into the process, you must identify your target audience.

    You’ll want to think about their needs, struggles, and interests. Also consider demographic information, such as:

      • Age: The target audience for Elder Law and Estate Planning is generally older adults. The website should use imagery that reflects this demographic.
      • Income level: Whether you are serving high-net-worth, middle-class, or less wealthy individuals, your website should be professional and represent the interests of that group.
      • Common concerns: Your elder law and estate planning clients often have concerns related to retirement, long-term care, taxes, and leaving a legacy. You should address these concerns and provide valuable information on these topics.

      Getting really clear on the demographic of your ideal client can help you develop content that speaks directly to them in terms they’ll understand and relate to. That makes them feel understood and valued when visiting your site.

      Who is their target audience and what are their concerns?

      At Bambiz, when we work with solo and small firms on a new website, we start with a web design questionnaire. 

      We dive into your ideal client, website goals, and things that set your law firm apart. That way, your website accurately reflects your law firm’s unique personality and style.

      Step 3: Choosing the Right Domain Name for your Law Firm

      A domain name is a crucial part of any website and it should be chosen carefully to ensure that your law firm stands out from the competition. 

      What is a Domain Name?

      A domain name is the address people type into their web browser to find a website on the internet. 

      You can think of a domain name like a street address, and the web host as the lot where the building (the website) is located. Just as a street address helps people find a physical location, a domain name helps people find a website on the internet.

      A domain name usually consists of two parts, the first part being the name of the website or business, and the second part being the extension that identifies the type of website, such as .com, .org, or .net.

      How do I Select a Domain Name?

      Your goal should be to create something memorable yet professional that accurately reflects what services you offer and conveys trustworthiness to potential clients who visit your website.

      It’s important to pick a domain name that reflects your brand, as well as one that is easy to remember and type in accurately. 

      Additionally, make sure you check if the desired domain is available before committing to it.

      Avoid using hyphens or numbers if possible; these often make names difficult to remember and can give off an unprofessional vibe. Aim for brevity in your business name; the shorter it is, the easier to remember.

      An example of an easy-to-remember domain name for an Elder Law firm

      How do I register a Domain Name?

      Once you have chosen your ideal domain name, it is time to register it with a reliable hosting provider like Google Domains, Ionos, GoDaddy or NameCheap.

      Once registered, take steps to protect yourself by ensuring privacy settings are enabled and automatic renewal is turned on so there is no chance of someone else snatching up “your” perfect web address.

      Step 4: Selecting a Hosting Provider for your Law Firm

      If your domain name is your street address, the web host is the lot where the building (website) is located.

      Just like a building needs a lot to be built on, a website needs a web host to store its files and make them accessible to internet users.

      When it comes to selecting a hosting provider for your Elder Law or Estate Planning Practice’s website, there are several important factors to consider.

      Note that most web design companies (including us) provide hosting as part of a monthly website maintenance program.

      How does Attorney Website Hosting Work?

      In the street address-lot analogy above, the hosting provider can be compared to the owner of the lot. The provider rents out space on their servers to website owners. 

      The hosting provider is responsible for maintaining the server hardware, ensuring that the website files are secure and accessible, and providing technical support if needed.

      For example, let’s say your law firm is ready to create a website so people can find your services online.

      To make your website accessible online, you would need to choose a website hosting provider that can store your website files on their servers. You must then upload your website files to the hosting provider’s server.

      When someone types in your website address (domain name), the browser sends a request to the hosting provider’s server, where your website files are stored.

      The server sends the files back to the user’s browser, which then displays your law firm’s website on their screen.

      How do I Choose a Hosting Provider?

      There are different types of website hosting plans available. The choice of hosting plan depends on the website’s needs and traffic volume.

      For a law firm website that gets around 1,000 visitors per month — which is pretty standard for a small law firm — a shared hosting plan is sufficient.

      Shared hosting plans are the most affordable option. With shared hosting, multiple websites share the same server resources, which helps keep the costs down.

      Always do your research and consider factors such as cost, scalability, uptime guarantees, customer service availability, and technical expertise when selecting a web host.

      Personally, we use SiteGround for all of our websites. We are impressed by their speed, reliability, ease of use, and readily available technical support.

      Step 5: Choose Your Website Builder or Platform

      Selecting the proper website platform for your requirements is an important step in developing your law firm’s website.

      What is a Website Builder / Platform?

      A website platform is essentially the foundation on which a website is built. It’s the software that powers the website and determines what features and functionality it can have.

      Back to our address-lot analogy, the website platform is like the structure of your house. It provides the framework for you to build your website.

      Just like a builder uses different materials and techniques to frame a house, website owners can choose different platforms depending on their needs and preferences.

      Once the framing is complete, the house can be further customized with additional features and finishes, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and interior design elements.

      How do I Choose a Website Platform for my Law Firm’s Website?

      When choosing, and subsequently using, a website platform, there are several factors to consider, such as:

        • Ease of use: Is the platform user-friendly and easy to navigate? If someone has limited experience with web development, will they be able to figure out the platform?

        • Customizability: Does the platform allow for customization and flexibility in design, layout, and features?

        • Scalability: Can the platform handle the website’s growth over time? Is it being continuously updated as technology evolves?

        • Support and resources: Does the platform offer technical support or help guides for troubleshooting issues?

        • Cost: What is the cost of using the platform, including maintenance or premium features?

        There are many website builders available. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on the specific needs and goals of the website.

        What Platform is Specifically for Law Firms?

        You have likely heard of different platforms to build a website, such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Drupal, and more.

        Personally, we love WordPress and use it for all of our websites. WordPress is used on millions of websites worldwide.

        WordPress is known for its user-friendly interface. That makes it easy for non-technical users to manage content and add new pages and posts. 

        It also includes a built-in blogging platform, which saves you time and makes it ideal for lawyer websites that publish content regularly.

        Why is WordPress a Good Choice for Law Firm Website?

        One of the main benefits of using WordPress is its flexibility and customizability. There are thousands of themes and plugins available. Many of them are available free of charge.

        Themes control the appearance and layout of the website. Plugins add additional functionality, such as contact forms, social media sharing, and search engine optimization.

        If you’re concerned about security, WordPress is constantly updated to address any vulnerabilities and provide improved protection against hacking attempts.

        That being said, it’s important for website owners to update their WordPress software and plugins regularly. That ensures that the website remains secure. If you’re paying for a website maintenance plan with a web designer, they generally include this as part of their agreement.

        Overall, WordPress is a versatile and user-friendly website platform. It’s also free, so bonus! It’s a popular choice for Elder Law or Estate Planning Attorneys that are looking to create a professional and customized online presence.

        What Should I Avoid When Choosing a Platform for my Law Firm Website?

        We caution our clients on using proprietary platforms specific to one company. Many large marketing agencies (such as Scorpion and FindLaw) use proprietary platforms.

        That means they limit your control and ownership of your own website. You also are restricted from being able to customize the website’s design or functionality beyond what the platform allows.

        These platforms often require the user to pay a monthly fee to use the platform. If you stop paying, your website is turned off.

        Proprietary platforms may make transferring the website to a different hosting provider difficult or impossible, effectively locking the user into using their services.

        Choosing a non-proprietary platform, such as open-source software like WordPress, allows you to have full control of your website. It also ensures that you own your website and can easily move it to a different hosting provider or platform if needed.

        Note that some agencies retain ownership of your website even if they build it on a non-proprietary platform. Always closely check your website services agreement to ensure you have ownership of your completed website, and it will not be removed should you transfer to another provider. 

        At Bambiz, we always give our clients 100% ownership of their completed website and we retain no rights to it.

        Step 6: Design Your Law Firm Website

        You’ve got the purpose, target audience, domain name, hosting, and platform done. Awesome! Now comes the fun part.

        A well-designed website will make a great impression on prospective clients and help them understand what type of legal services you provide. 

        But first, let’s talk about…

        The Only Thing Your Potential Client Cares About

        Your potential client cares about one thing and one thing only: 
        What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM)

        They want to know:

          • Can you help me solve my problem?
          • How do I purchase the solution?

          The good news is you’ll know what problems keep your potential clients up at night after completing step 2: target audience (if not, go back and revisit it now!)

          How Do I Make a Good First Impression?

          The key is to hook visitors in, fast. We have a little technique we use called The Grunt Test.

          If a caveman said, “what do you do?” could you grunt out an answer in such a simple way that he could understand you? That should be at the top of your home page.

          Here’s an exercise you can actually put into practice:

          Show your website to a stranger. In five seconds, they should be able to answer these 4 questions:

            1. What do you do?
            2. Why does it matter to me? (from the customer’s perspective)
            3. How does it make my life better?
            4. How do I buy it? (how does someone advance down the path to working with you, like scheduling a consultation)

            It’s a good idea to consider those things as you’re designing your home page. Keep the top of your page concise, to the point, and laser-focused on answering those four questions.

            A good example of a website that passes The Grunt Test

            Develop Quality Content and Copy for Your Law Firm’s Website

            When it comes to content writing, think about what questions or concerns potential clients might have when they come across your site.

            Are they looking for more information on wills and trusts? Do they need help paying for long-term care or a nursing home? Your goal should be to provide helpful answers that address their needs while also being informative and entertaining.

            An excellent way to build connections is by using storytelling techniques. This can be in the form of case studies, testimonials, or videos. It’s important to paint a vivid picture of what working with you would be like.

            Use simple language in your website content and avoid industry jargon. That way, readers can easily understand the message you’re trying to convey.

            An example of addressing potential client’s concerns using simple language and a call to action.

            Additionally, ensure each page has a clear call-to-action at the end so visitors know exactly how they can get in touch with you if they want more information or services from your firm.

            What Information Should I Include on My Law Firm Website?

            Your law firm’s website should include:

              • Services pages: Describe the different types of legal services the law firm provides and the specific areas of law in which you specialize.
              • About the firm: This can include the attorney bio, staff bios, any awards or recognition the firm has received, and information about the physical office location.
              • Contact information: This should include the firm’s phone number, email address, physical address, and a fillable contact form.
              • Client testimonials: Including testimonials from past clients that showcase the firm’s successes can help build credibility and trust with potential clients.
              • Blog or other resources: Providing helpful resources such as blog articles, downloadable lead magnets, and/or ebooks can provide value to potential clients and capture more leads.
              • Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Providing answers to common questions that potential clients may have can help them feel more comfortable about working with you.
              • Call to action: Should be placed throughout the website in various areas. Guides visitors towards a next step like scheduling a consultation or contacting you via phone. This should be placed prominently throughout the website!

              Other Design Considerations

              In addition to the items mentioned above, here are a few other things you should consider when designing your law firm’s website:

                • User-friendly structure: Considering the fact that the main users of your website are likely older adults, you should have an easy-to-follow structure. Practice area pages should be grouped together. Blogs should be categorized. Navigation should be easy to find and use.
                • Functionality & appearance: The website should, at a minimum, function correctly without broken images or links. It should also have an attractive design and convey a sense of professionalism and credibility to establish trust with potential clients.
                • Mobile & tablet friendly: The website should have a responsive design, meaning it adapts to different screen sizes. Make sure your website looks just as good on a tablet or mobile device as on a full-sized desktop. 
                • Clear calls-to-action: This answers the question: “How do I buy it?” Your website should have clear calls to action that guide visitors toward contacting the law firm, scheduling a consultation, or filling out a form. This is one of the most important parts of your website!
                • Imagery: Our brains process images about 60,000 times faster than text. Images inspire feelings. Your images should communicate the transformation your law firm offers – i.e., what great things they can expect after working with you.

                Visuals like videos and images should be used throughout the website. This will not only make it look more professional but gives visitors an idea of what working with you would be like before even reaching out.

                Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Important for Law Firm Websites

                It doesn’t matter if you have the best-designed website in the world if no one can find it.

                The Foundations to Design a Revenue

                Once the initial design of the new website has been created, then comes the optimization phase. (This is a separate services agreement for most web design companies)

                SEO helps more people find your website by displaying it in the search results when potential clients search for relevant keywords. Incorporating law firm SEO researched keywords throughout your website will increase its visibility on search engines.

                To start, research and run analytics on relevant keywords related to your practice areas. Use these words throughout the copy on each page of your site. This includes the titles, headlines, and meta descriptions. That helps correctly index your page and can lead to higher rankings. 

                Programs like Surfer SEOAhrefs, and Semrush can help optimize your content so it ranks higher and gets seen by your target audience.

                The “Secret Sauce” of Good Law Firm Website Design

                This is a top-secret final tip I’m going to share with you. We call it the “secret sauce.” 

                Except it’s not really top secret; it’s actually fairly obvious. And it’s something that the vast majority of websites miss completely.

                Make the potential client the hero of your website. Speak to them about their problems and how your law firm can help. 

                This means the website should be designed with the client’s needs and goals in mind, rather than showcasing the attorney’s accomplishments. Ensure your website addresses their specific concerns and questions.

                By putting the client’s needs first, you can create a website that truly speaks to them and helps to build a strong and lasting relationship.

                Conclusion

                You may think that all of the steps involved to create a professional website are intimidating. But it is an essential tool for you to thrive in today’s digital landscape.

                By following the right steps, you can craft a top-notch website that gets you seen. Remember to define the purpose, target audience, choose the right hosting provider and platform, and consider the design elements that will appeal to your target audience.

                With these fundamentals in place, you’ll be able to improve your website’s performance by monitoring your traffic, refining your SEO strategy, and staying up to date with the latest web design trends.

                Investing time and effort into your website will establish your law firm as a trusted authority in your local area and ultimately help you achieve your goals.

                Let Bambiz Improve Your Law Firm’s Website Design Using the Latest Technology and Industry Best Practices

                We can help you reach new quality clients with effective website design and other digital marketing solutions specifically for Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys. 

                If you’d a FREE website audit for your law firm, schedule a 15-minute call with us by clicking here. We’d love to find out more about you, your goals, and help your practice’s success.

                This is an example of our monthly YouTube content.

                Every month we will provide you the top 4 trending YouTube topics (keywords) related to Elder Law & Estate Planning. These are things that your potential clients are already searching for!

                Ready to get started? Click here to purchase

                These are examples of the e-newsletters that we create for our clients.

                With our email management service, we create and send a weekly e-newsletter to your contact list. We brand it with your colors and logo, and it looks like it comes straight from your firm.

                This is an example of the emails in our nurture sequence. 

                With our email management service, we create you both sales and nurture email campaigns that follow up with all new potential clients for 2 months.

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