In our guide, we explore the essentials of creating a visually engaging, easily navigable, and performance-oriented website.
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As a law firm, your website is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. It’s your virtual storefront, your first impression, and your chance to make a lasting impact on potential clients.
We know designing a website that accurately represents your law firm and communicates your expertise can be a daunting task. That’s where this guide comes in.
In this comprehensive website design guide, we’ll cover what your firm needs to create an effective law firm website that not only looks great, but also drives traffic, generates leads, and converts visitors into clients.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to revamp your existing site, this guide has everything you need to ensure your website becomes your best source of new business.
Someone looking for legal services will typically do a search online for the type of lawyer they need in their area (e.g. ‘divorce lawyer in Liverpool’). The prospective customer will then be met with a number of law firm websites that are closely related to their search.
Not only do users have a higher expectations of what websites will look like and do for them nowadays, they are also spending less time on sites due to a much lower attention span. In fact, it takes just 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion of your website.
With 96% of people who need legal advice using a search engine and 74% of potential clients visiting a firm’s website before instructing, your law firm’s website is extremely important to your bottom line.
Your law firm web design will ultimately determine whether a new visitor stays on your site and hopefully makes an enquiry, or leaves and goes to a competitor’s site.
One of the most important things you can do when designing a law firm website is to understand your audience. Your target audience will have specific needs and preferences when it comes to the content, design, and functionality of your law firm’s website.
By taking the time to analyse your audience and determine what they are looking for, you can create a website that is tailored to their needs and will be more effective in attracting and converting clients.
For law firms, your target audience will be potential clients seeking legal advice and services. However, it’s important to narrow down your audience further to create a more targeted approach.
Key questions to ask when designing your law firm website include:
Are you targeting individuals or businesses?
What types of legal issues do they typically face?
What demographics are most likely to need your services?
By answering these three questions, you can start to create a more specific picture of your target audience.
Once you’ve established who you are targeting, it’s important to then consider how they are looking for this information. Are they searching on mobile or desktop?
Legal services is typically a distress purchase, meaning clients are looking for an answer there and then.
To ensure your website is user-friendly and attracts and converts as many users as possible, we recommend keeping your website simple and consistent, with considered navigation:
By incorporating simplicity into your law firm’s web design, you can create a site that is visually appealing and effective at communicating your message to potential clients.
A simple design will help you to convey your law firm’s message clearly while minimising the potential for confusion or clutter.
If your law firm website successfully communicates a consistent message, it will naturally assist in building trust with potential clients and position the law firm as experts in their field.
Your website should also reflect your firm’s values, giving visitors a clear idea of who you are.
Including the above in your web design can make the user feel at ease and will encourage them to move through the buying funnel and reach out to your firm.
Law firms should ensure that their website is easy to move around, with well-organised content. This may be achieved through drop-down menus or a clear menu structure to make it easy for visitors to navigate to the information they need.
For law firms, it’s especially important to provide clear contact information, such as office phone numbers and email addresses. Links and call to actions (CTAs) should always be prominent and positioned where they make sense to the user’s journey.
If visitors can’t find this information easily, chances are they’ll leave your site.
You may have heard of ‘mobile-first’ designs, but what does this actually mean?
Incorporating search engine optimisation (SEO) into your web design is a crucial step. SEO is an essential as part of your law firm’s marketing strategy, leveraging the power of search algorithms to enhance your visibility, traffic, and user experience.
The structure of your website, its usability, and even aesthetic elements can significantly impact your SEO performance. As part of your firm’s web design process, ensure your site is designed with SEO in mind.
This includes clear, intuitive site navigation and a well-structured sitemap, both of which allow search engines to crawl and index your site more effectively. This enhanced crawlability can improve your ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs), making you more visible to potential clients.
Implementing a responsive web design that adapts seamlessly to any screen size is another critical SEO-friendly design element. A responsive design ensures that your site looks and functions optimally on all devices, helping to boost your SEO and user experience.
Suggested reading: The ultimate guide to SEO for law firms.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s not enough to simply create a well-designed website and let it run on autopilot. It’s essential to regularly evaluate and monitor your website’s performance to ensure that it’s meeting your business goals and attracting potential clients.
There are many tools to facilitate site evaluation, including: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Hotjar Heatmaps, and SEMRush.
(Hotjar heatmap example 2023)
Some useful metrics that your law firm can track are:
Users – unique visitors over a selected period
Pages per session – average number of pages a user visits when they arrive on your site
Bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who leave after only viewing one page
Visitor behaviour – total number of new vs returning visitors
Goals completed – these are your CTAs, such as an enquiry form filled out, download, newsletter sign up etc.
Conversion rate – the percentage of visitors who complete a CTA (call to action) goal on your website
(Google Analytics dashboard example 2023)
By regularly reviewing your site’s metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, optimise for search engines, improve user experience, increase traffic, and ultimately convert more website visitors into new clients.
Keeping up to date with website trends is essential for businesses to stay competitive in the digital landscape. Web design trends evolve rapidly as technology advances, user behaviours change, and design aesthetics shift. By staying informed about the latest trends, businesses can ensure that their websites reflect current best practices and meet user expectations.
Since legal services often involve sensitive and personal matters, trust is crucial to convey in your law firm website design. If you can display your own expertise and gain credibility (through testimonials, ‘trust icons,’ or industry membership logos), you will have a higher chance of converting visitors into paying clients.
This is your chance to differentiate your law firm against competitors and make your website unique. Custom illustrations can help to reinforce your law firm’s branding, emphasising your brand identity and colour. They can also add a level of visual interest for your user and make your law firm feel more approachable.
Minimalistic design, with simple and clean layouts, is becoming increasingly popular. This style looks at reducing clutter, using whitespace, and focusing on the number one essential element of any website – helping users find the information they’re looking for.
Having a smooth, effective website design can engage users and encourage them to convert. This can be achieved through providing digestible content and easy to navigate interfaces. CTAs should be clear to spark action.
Websites can naturally feel very 1D and static. Layering text, images, colours, and shapes can give your website a level of depth and provide the user with a visually compelling experience. One thing to watch is you don’t make the website feel overly busy. A layering technique should be used strategically in places with little text and increased white spaces, to ensure the website remains readable.
Web design mistakes can significantly impact the effectiveness and success of a website. A poorly designed website can leave visitors confused and frustrated, which ultimately leads to high bounce rates and lost opportunities.
Below we outline 3 common mistakes and our top techniques to combat them. It is crucial to avoid common web design mistakes to ensure a positive user experience and achieve the desired goals.
Cluttered designs can overwhelm visitors, potentially leading to them bouncing off your site.
If your site's components are inconsistent and not created with your ICP in mind, you may not convert traffic on your site, resulting in a lower number of qualified leads.
Failure to use clear call to actions (CTAs) in the right places can result in low conversion rate, opt-in, and percentage of leads.
Users who can’t find what they’re looking for after three clicks will typically bounce from your site. They should be able to get what they came for in the least amount of time.
This is tried and tested to ensure your CTA is effective.
Make your brand identity clear and relatable, whilst encouraging the user to convert.
Mobile-first prevents you from forgetting about optimising for mobile users and making your site dynamic.
A busy website is not good for the user’s journey and can distract from the purpose of the site – to find out how you can help them and to get in touch.
You must regularly assess your site to prevent slow loading times, broken links and elements, glitches, and bugs. This will affect the credibility of your site and may put users off from returning.
By understanding and avoiding these pitfalls, businesses can create visually appealing, user-friendly websites that engage visitors and drive conversions.
We hope you enjoyed this website design guide for law firms and found it helpful. If you are looking to revamp your existing law firm website or want to speak with our team about what we can do to improve your online law firm marketing efforts, get in touch for a free consultation.