Attorney Web Design :: What do I need to Know Before I Get Started?
Having an operational and beautiful website for a law firm these days is more important than ever. Recently a survey by Nielson says that every three people out of four in USA search online for a lawyer. The total amount of internet users is increasing each day and it would have been a waste if you don't attempt to acquire them as your clients. This is the reason it is essential to truly have an exceptional attorney web design. The website must not only be informative and beautifully designed, it will also be visible for potential customers who are searching for consultation or help from attorneys.
One aspect of an attorney web design is often overlooked by an amateur web designer, but is a necessary component, is to assure the web design is compliant with the local bar regulations on legal firm advertising. While the onus of that compliance may lie with the attorney, it is important for the client and web designer to research these rules and ensure compliance within the website and other internet marketing services. For example. if you are an attorney in Florida, you may want to review this link and send it to your web developer to ensure that you are both aware of the regulations.
Reasons an Attorney needs a Custom Professional Web Design
Increasing brand awareness: When an attorney creates a website, it will help clients and prospective clients learn about his practice or law firm. Your website, when designed correctly, will enhance your brand or legal image.
Increasing credibility and trust: When an attorney is represented by a professional website and posts testimonials from past clients and legal assocations, this will inevitably convey a deeper level of credibility to potential clients and peers. Additionally, the information you provide through your blog shows how you are really an expert in your field.
Increasing client base: The goal of attorney websites is to boost their client base and display a professional brand for the firm. By designing an informative and professional website, prospective clients will request additional information and that lead can potentially become a fruitful client. It's what the attorney does in using this submitted information that will ultimately determine if they can turn the lead in to a client.
Client communication: Some legal websites allow secure access for current clients, and through this they could log on and check their case for status updates. Attorneys and clients might also communicate securely through this system. Forms might be downloaded, printed out, and completed by the client, then faxed, mailed, or uploaded right to the attorney's account.
Features of an Attorney Web Design
Develop a Practice Area section: Regardless of the sort of law that you practice, having a practice area section is an excellent idea. This may provide basic information regarding claims, laws, and what steps a person should take after an incident. Practice Areas also present your firm's expertise and knowledge in your areas.
Develop Attorney Profiles section: Whether you have one attorney or twenty attorneys, you will want to ensure that those lawyers are properly profiled on the website. A great photo can go a long way, so make sure you are using a professional photo that puts the attorney in the best light. Given the profession, it is important the photo not appear casual but also not so formidable that the potential client fears meeting with them.
Develop an Appointment Request Form: An appointment request form may be incorporated on every page of your respective website or only in your appointment page. This form allows clients to offer basic information regarding their situation, location, and convert to a client by providing that information to you and requesting an appointment. When contacting these potential clients your attorney firm will have a fundamental idea of what the client's situation is and can present the correct degree of information right away rather then creating multiple phone calls to accomplish the same task.
Develop a Blog Section: A Blog section or Newsletter feature could keep existing and potential clients updated continually about the firm and industry news. This permits everyone to feel connected and informed, and can also bring return clients after they're reminded of the caliber of your attorney firm and your legal expertise.
Create Interesting Design Elements: Having a fascinating design and elements is incredibly important in more or less any website. Interesting designs could make navigation and other features easier to find, keep clients on your website longer, and primarily will give your site a slick, professional, appearance. When discussing design elements you might want to take into consideration colors, custom photographs, making a new logo, along with the implementation of a slideshow.
Consider a Search Engine Optimization Campaign: Having expert SEO in your website will improve ranking, traffic, and numerous other marketing elements in your website. That's crucial for Attorney Firms because of the advanced degree of competition between legal offices on the web. The closer your website is to the top of popular search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) results in the more likely potential clients is to go to your site first. This will greatly boost the chances of your respective firm being selected from an internet search.
Bar Regulations on Attorney Web Design
In most of the states, websites of an attorney are considered to be an advertisement which are actually regulated by the state bar association. Some basic rules for to adhere to that are required my many states are:
Inappropriate or ambiguous proclamation on attorney website is not acceptable: Self declaring as ‘best’ or declaring someone’s services as ‘worst’ in an attorney website is not permissible. One cannot put statements comparing his services with another unless they have valid data.
Language restriction in Attorney Marketing Website: Attorney marketing websites or law firm must avoid using terms like ‘expert’ or ‘specialized’. One cannot proclaim himself or herself as ‘expert’ in their website, if they are not actually so or not certified by Board of Legal Specialization.
Attorney will be responsible for website contents: In general advertisement in attorney website should contain at least the name of the attorney who is responsible for the website contents or the ad specified in the website.
Disclaimer compulsory on Attorney marketing website: Attorney marketing websites in most of the jurisdiction must specify that the provided content is legal. Eventually an attorney website must have a disclaimer on every page specifying the contents as legal and should not be considered for legal service.
Office location or the address of the attorney must be specified on the website: On the attorney website, the address or the office location should be specified. Most of the jurisdiction have requirement of the geographical location of the attorney’s office.
The attorney website advertisement should not use a judge or an actor playing the role of judge to endorse as a spokesperson for the attorney or law firm.
While this is a good place to start, we encourage you to find the rules from your local bar to ensure compliance.
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Kim Young is Founder, CEO, and a developer at Foo - a web development company based in Wesley Chapel, Florida. She can also be found on Google+. With over 16 years of experience as a web developer, Kim is excited to share with you tidbits that she has picked up along the way. Kim prioritizes continuing education and out of box thinking in order to bring the most valuable solution to Fooweb's clients.