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A Few Law Firm Web Design Tips

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Here are a couple we design tips specific to law firms. Marketing a legal practice online is, in many ways, different from marketing other businesses. Always remember that your professional reputation is your most valuable asset and should be properly reflected through your website.

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A Few Law Firm Web Design Tips

  1. 1. Law Firm Web Design Basics What do I need to know about web design for my law firm? Gyi Tsakalakis @gyitsakalakis AttorneySync 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 1
  2. 2. Who Are You? Who Are You? No really. What makes you, you? What makes you different from other lawyers? Why should someone choose you over your competition? Before you even begin to design your website, you need to have a solid understanding of what messaging you want to communicate through your website. That has to start with understanding who you are. 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 2
  3. 3. You’re (Probably) Not Atticus Finch Don’t market yourself as the person you’d like to be! Market yourself as the person that you are. Focus on what you can realistically do better than your competitors. Can you provide better communication? Are you more knowledgeable about a specific practice area? 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 3
  4. 4. Who Are They? Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to attract to your website? What types of things are these people looking for online? What problems to do they have? What types of information are they looking for? Again, before you start designing your law firm website, you better know for whom you are designing it. Remember, you’re not designing for you! 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 4
  5. 5. What Are They Looking For? 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 5
  6. 6. Sweeeeeeet Emotion What emotions are you trying to evoke from your visitors? What colors and design elements are most effective in evoking these target emotional responses? 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 6
  7. 7. Fear Lawyers = Fear Solvers How do you solve fear? 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 7
  8. 8. Trust 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 8
  9. 9. Do These Build Trust? 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 9
  10. 10. What About This? 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 10
  11. 11. Fear + Solution + Expertise + Trust Good law firm websites identify prospective clients’ fears, communicate how the lawyers are uniquely equipped to help solve these fear issues and demonstrate trust. 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 11
  12. 12. Text Content Writing is a skill that takes time to develop. Writing for the web is different than writing in other media. Most people have very short attention spans online. They tend to skim text. Don’t forget about your audience and objectives when writing. The text on your web pages is important, don’t take it for granted. It’s likely to be the single most important factor as to whether someone finds you, calls you and becomes a new client. 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 12
  13. 13. No Stock Legal Web Images! 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 13
  14. 14. It’s Time for Some Action What sorts of actions do you want your visitors to take? Are you making it easy for them to take those actions? Think Verbs: • Download • Link to • Subscribe • Share • Comment • Call • Email 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 14
  15. 15. Technically Speaking 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 15
  16. 16. Domain Registration Choosing a domain for your law firm website should take into account the marketing objectives of your firm. Some of these include your brand messaging, as well as, performance in search. 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 16
  17. 17. Hosting Like domain registration, choosing a host should take into account your firms marketing goals and budget. While there are very affordable hosting options available, economy hosting plans can limit your access to certain functions and also your site’s performance with visitors. 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 17
  18. 18. Content Management Systems (CMS) We could debate the merits of various content management systems. But I’m going to do you a favor: just use Wordpress. By that I mean a self- hosted installation from wordpress.org (vs wordpress.com). Make sure your hosting account supports Wordpress installations. Even better, that they support 1-click Wordpress installation scripts (like fantastico). 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 18
  19. 19. Search Engines & The Design Process “If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.” - Google I see too many law firm websites that were designed & developed without keeping search engines in mind. Avoid costly fixes in the future by including a search engine optimization professional from the beginning of the design process. 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 19
  20. 20. Bottom Line: Consider Search Early In the Design Process. OR Get Someone Who Knows Search Involved Early! 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 20
  21. 21. Page Layout Where will “stuff” go? Plan the layout for all your pages in advance. Photo by: http://www.xstandard.com/en/support/edit-web-pages/ 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 21
  22. 22. Unique, Accurate Page Titles <title>This Is Your Page’s Title</title> “Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It's often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it's important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.” - Google Perform keyword research & page title mapping before designing your website (or at least during the design process). 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 22
  23. 23. Privacy, Permalinks, SEO 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 23
  24. 24. Putting It All Together Optimized title Optimized video w/ rich snippets Calls to action Optimized images Optimized informational text 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 24
  25. 25. Optimized title with geographic Putting It All Together modifiers Optimized meta descriptions for click-through and conversion • Photo of actual attorney • Publications • Press recognition • Third-Party site profile ratings • Excerpts from online publishing on other sites 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 25
  26. 26. Questions? I hope you found this helpful. Should you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments on this presentation. If you’d rather talk to me personally, don’t hesitate to connect. Thanks! Gyi Tsakalakis @gyitsakalakis AttorneySync 6/8/2012 AttorneySync 773-828-8878 26

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