When people visit your website, you have 7-15 seconds to capture their attention before they click away – that’s how important it is to make a great first impression. Your homepage is the gateway to the rest of your website and the first step to attracting new clients, showcasing your legal expertise and providing key information.
However, it is just as important to keep it free of clutter and make it easy to navigate. Too much information and distracting options will lower engagement and reduce the likelihood that people will stay on the site. Below are the elements that need to be included to convert a visitor into a client.
What you do
This is usually summed up in a clear headline followed by a sub-heading giving a bit more detail. A following paragraph can explain who you are, what you offer and who your clients are, giving a brief overview of your law firm or barristers chambers. Try and briefly explain why the reader should use you and not someone else by referring to any particular strengths that you have. You can include some information about each of your services but bear in mind that you are aiming for a sleek feel to the page.
A great image
A good website must be visually attractive, with a clean, uncluttered design and at least one great quality image. The majority of decisions about whether a site is credible are made on the basis of its appearance and design, so it is worth getting this right. Try and tie it in with your branding and services, such as family, property or business images to help the reader feel that they are in the right place.
Visitors to the site need to be able to find exactly what they want quickly and easily. A menu icon or a bar across the top of the site are the most common places to navigate from. Anything else risks potential clients having to hunt around and simply giving up. It is also important to ensure that your site is responsive and easy to use on mobile and other devices, as clients are increasingly searching in this way.
Testimonials are incredibly persuasive. People like to hear that you have successfully solved a problem similar to theirs and a client’s own words are the best way of showing that. Don’t overwhelm the homepage with too many; one or two glowing references should be enough, with a clear link to your testimonials page.
Blog or news highlights
Again, be careful not to swamp the page with too much information, but a row of maybe three links to your recent or top posts, together with enticing images, helps show your expertise and reassures the visitor that your site is being kept up to date.
A way to contact you
Potential clients should be able to see easily where to contact you, with an obvious ‘Contact Us’ button displayed in a prominent colour such as red. Make any contact form as easy as possible to complete by asking for minimum information – ideally, visitors should only need to add their name, email and a line of text asking you to call or giving brief details of their problem.
Awards, memberships of associations and certifications
Including the logos of the awards or achievements you have obtained is good for building credibility. It isn’t necessary to include any text beyond the basics of what it is and the year of any award.
A clear Call to Action
The whole homepage should build towards what you want the client to do next, such as fill in a contact form or sign up for a newsletter. Make sure they reach this point on the homepage by displaying it obviously and leading them to it, then ask them clearly to take the action you want.
Social media links
Finally, include links to your active social media pages. These are usually found at the bottom of the page or at the top-right, depending on your design. For a professional legal business, this is usually LinkedIn and can also be Facebook and Twitter and even Instagram.
When you have completed your homepage, try and look at it with fresh eyes and ask yourself if it answers all the obvious questions. If it clearly shows what you do, is attractive and well-designed and steers the client towards their next step with you then you have the best possible chance of engagement from this initial contact.
A practising solicitor for 15 years, Rachel Tombs now runs Orion Legal Marketing and has worked with over 500 law firms, companies and individuals, showing them how they can use their websites and online tools to compete, evolve, stand out and succeed. T: 0118 380 5980 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
At Orion Legal Marketing, we are experts in writing and designing web pages that connect with people and demonstrate lawyers’ proficiency. If you would like to request bespoke content, tailored to your audience and written by experts in both law and marketing, ring us on 0118 380 5980, email us at email@example.com or fill in our CONTACT FORM. We’ll be happy to offer you an initial free consultation to discuss your needs and the strategy that would best suit your law firm or barristers chambers.