What Makes a Law Firm Website Different From Other Business Websites?

Business man reading agreement paper before sign document with use pen.

Launching a website isn’t too difficult. But building a successful website that attracts and converts traffic? That’s not quite as simple. Aim to create your own law firm website and you’ll be faced with plenty of challenges that standard retail businesses don’t need to address.

Because a website is the modern day calling card, it should be executed with 100 times more thought than was put into your fancy business cards — and since your business model focuses on clients and cases instead of customers and products, you’ll need to tailor your web design accordingly. So before you give your law firm website your stamp of approval, keep these important differences in mind:

1. Traditional sales tactics don’t apply. As an attorney, you’re seeking clients instead of customers. Most other businesses can attract new people with sweepstakes or contests, giveaways or drawings, but that’s not an option for those who are marketing legal representation.

This doesn’t put you at a disadvantage — if anything, it presents you with an opportunity. The customer who’s looking to buy a new lamp doesn’t care what the CEO of the lamp company looks or sounds like. But someone looking for legal representation cares very much about these things because they can provide valuable insight into an attorney’s relatability, level of professionalism and presentation skills. To give your potential clients the sense of security they’re looking for, try adding video to your site.

Incorporate a brief video of your best self on your law firm website explaining who you are and what you do. Consider installing it on autoplay on your homepage so that visitors are immediately greeted by your face and voice upon arrival. When it come to attracting leads that convert, cheesy giveaways have nothing on the well-made video.

2. A different language needs to be spoken. The language needed to sell cars, candy and clothes is very different from the language needed to sell legal representation. Most material goods are meant to make the customer feel just that — good. But legal services are usually sought after attacks, accidents, human rights violations and other serious circumstances which require professional and toned-down language to address.

What kind of language should you use? This is where research like A/B testing comes into play. Sites like Optimizely, Unbounce and Wingify allow you to test two versions of the same page to see which one gets a better customer response. Use the results to draft language for your law firm website that garners trust and conversion from testers. If you’re looking for some inspiration on your language, visit the legal sites that give you the most feelings of trust and take cues from their tone. As the adage goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — just make sure your site is 100% unique.

3. States restrict the kind of speech you can use. Some states forbid attorneys from using words like “specialist” or “expert.” Before drafting content for your law firm website, check the restrictions on attorney speech in the state where you’ll be practicing. Ensure that anyone who writes content for your site, advertises your services or corresponds with your clients is also acutely aware of these restrictions.

These three key differences between law firm websites and other business websites require that informed planning be put toward your marketing tactics, web design and content creation. Preparation and research come with cost, but they’re worth it when your website outperforms your competitors’.

Could your website’s video, site content or blog benefit from professional direction by people who market law firms for a living? Market JD offers these online services in addition to traditional media like radio, television and print advertising. Contact us for a free consultation.

About the Author
Rafi Arbel
Rafi Arbel is the President and Founder of Market JD, Inc., a Chicago-based digital marketing agency for law firms nationwide. A former litigator who ran his own practice, Mr. Arbel uses his first-hand knowledge of the legal industry to help small and medium-sized law firms enhance their online presence and grow their client base. With more than 20 years of experience in law firm SEO, website building, pay-per-click (PPC) and more, Rafi has earned a reputation as a leader in law firm marketing, providing clients with the kind of personalized service attorneys rarely find with larger agencies.

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