In today's digital age, a website is seen as a necessity for law firms and solicitors interested in maximising their client base and spreading the word about the services they have to offer.
According to rough statistics provided by Google's Keyword tool, there are over 2.2 million searches for the term 'solicitors', more than 1.8 million searches for 'lawyers' and some 300,000 searches for 'law firms' every month in the UK alone. That's a lot of potential business.
However, to make sure a legal firm makes the most of having a website, the company needs to make sure their online portal is well designed. Branding, imagery, layout, search engine optimisation, target audience, and so on, all has to be considered when designing any website, and misjudging any of these essential aspects could harm your prospects.
With first impressions obviously being extremely important in business, the aesthetics and layout of a website can be the difference between a prospective client contacting the firm or immediately clicking the ‘back’ button.
So how do the web design experts at I-COM ensure they get all this spot on for our legal clients?
How we approach the design process
Some important aspects our web designers consider when designing a legal website:
- Client requirements - It's paramount we know exactly what the client wants to achieve from their site. What's more, we need to be aware of things like the services it offers, its brand guidelines, target markets, existing marketing materials, and so on. This will all shape the work we do from the outset, so a lot of early research goes in to delivering exactly what the client wants.
- Unique selling point - For legal sites, this is extremely important, as this is what differentiates the firm from its competitors. We need to think about how the design can effectively communicate to the firm’s unique selling point to visitors.
- Brand guidelines - If they don't already exist, we can create them for the client. This can include everything from logos and typography to brand personality and needs to reflect your brand's core values and unique selling points.
- Target audience - We need to make sure that the design is appropriate for the firm's target audience. For example, the website of a company specialising in corporate recovery needs to be relatively sober; it should not be covered in bright pinks and yellows or gratuitous curved fonts and feature areas.
- Information architecture: navigation/layout - With so much information and so many services to mention on legal websites, it's extremely important to structure the site effectively. In the early stages of the design process, we create basic information architecture that displays how the information is laid out and broken up - usually with key points, hooks and graphics that make it all easier to digest - and how visitors will navigate to the various sections of the site.
- Imagery & photography - This again is to do with brand personality and unique selling points. What imagery can be used to convey the character of the firm? Does it want to be seen as professional? Friendly? Comforting? What's more, we know how important it is for law firms to be trusted by visitors. Our designers take this into account and draw up consistent imagery that fits that brief.
- Ease of Contact - Once your visitors feel like you are the firm to help them with their enquiry, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. This can be achieved by making your phone number prominent on all pages, and often including quick enquiry forms.
Consider these factors and your target market when you're looking at a re-design and you'll end up with a more effective, better converting website.