Digital Marketing, Web Design

Woman disgruntled looking at old website design on laptop
By Postali

Your prospective clients are more web-savvy than ever. They are doing more research, reading reviews, and comparing you to all the other search results out there. So, the question is, how does your firm’s website stack up? Did you create a website in 2003 when you first opened your doors and are still resting on those laurels?

As your practice evolves, it’s critical to make changes that support growth. When you outgrow your office, you’ll likely look for a better space. Hopefully, your firm also reevaluates your legal technology as things get outdated fast. A year ago, highlighting your ability to conduct Zoom conferences might have seemed pointless. But COVID made virtual capabilities essential.

Regular maintenance is essential in any business, and this applies to your law firm’s website too. Many attorneys mistakenly think designing and developing a website is a one-time project, only to rue that decision. But an outdated website isn’t just a minor hiccup. It can make your law firm look unprofessional, unreliable, and quickly dismissed in favor of the competition.

To avoid the pitfalls of an outdated website, here are 10 signs that your law firm needs a refresh.

1. It’s not optimized for mobile.

Today, putting mobile-first is simply a requirement. The website you have was probably designed when people used desktops a lot, but nowadays most people use their phone as their primary search tool. Google even crawls your mobile site over the desktop version, so there is also a significant SEO impact.

Your firm’s site needs to have a layout and functionality that lends itself to a phone. This means clear menus, eliminating large walls of text, images that fit into the frame, and easy navigation.

If you’ve ever tried to use a website on your phone that wasn’t mobile-optimized, you know how frustrating it is. When it is hard to use or read your website on a phone, it’s time for a mobile-friendly update.

2. Your last blog post is years old.

Maintaining a legal blog is a crucial component of your firm’s SEO and content strategy. If you’re posting inconsistently or haven’t published a new post in years, you should rethink your approach.

Aside from blogs being your chance to showcase your legal expertise, if your last blog is from 2013, it makes your site look dated. It can even give the impression that you’re no longer in business.

On the other hand, a current blog section with engaging titles, images, and relevant topics presents you as an authority, capable of getting a client their desired result.

3. You have outdated information.

Laws change, and law firms change too. You may hire new attorneys or some may no longer be there. You may move offices or open a new location. Your practice areas could also expand. As these things change, your website information must be brought up-to-date.

If your website has outdated information, it’s time not only to refresh your content but to create a new process for ensuring your website stays current. You should re-evaluate your content regularly and make any needed updates promptly.

4. It’s slow to load.

People have short attention spans. In fact, 50 % of users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. If your firm’s website takes too long, especially on a phone, visitors will become frustrated. You may hemorrhage potential clients who leave your website in favor of your competitors’.

When designing a law firm website, aesthetics aren’t the only thing that matters. How quickly your pages load makes a significant difference in bringing in new cases. Page speed is actually becoming so important, a May 2021 Google algorithm update lists it as a significant ranking factor.

If your site currently loads slowly, you should work with a website developer to address the issues and speed up your site load time. You can test your site’s page speed here.

5. You can’t remember the last time anything was updated.

Many attorneys believe that designing their website as a one-time project is the most cost-effective method. But this leads to issues down the line as it becomes less effective at driving new business. Eventually, it will require more significant effort from a web designer when you do update the design.

Your website needs consistent maintenance, both in terms of design and copy. When new design trends or functionality start to arise, you can be an early adopter. Consistent maintenance can eliminate major redesigns in the future and ensures your website is always an effective marketing vehicle.

6. It doesn’t grab a visitor’s attention.

Pretend you are a prospective client. Open your website and give it 5 seconds. What was your first impression? Did you get a feel for your firm and what it’s like to be a client? When it comes to website design, you have a few seconds to grab a user’s attention and convince them to learn more.

If the first look at your homepage isn’t compelling or unique, you may want to reevaluate. Bio images and other visual elements should be welcoming and project the message you want to convey. A website designer will know how to use text, color, photography, and video to command your firm’s potential clients’ attention.

7. It doesn’t maximize conversions.

At its core, your website functions to attract new clients and compel them to call your firm. An effective design is orientated around this goal.

If your website was designed ten years ago, it was built when people occasionally browsed the internet to research a product or service. Now it’s the norm. So your site needs to be a lot more than a digital brochure. It’s a sales vehicle that also plays a crucial role in the intake process.

For most law firms, a conversion occurs when a visitor performs some action, like calling the number or filling out a contact form. Modern web design does this in a visually-appealing way. Visitors on a phone should be able to click to call your firm easily. Contact forms should be easy to access but not overbearing.

8. Your key web metrics are trending down.

One of the best ways to understand if your website needs updated is to let your visitors tell you. You should be reviewing key performance indicators for your legal website anyway. How is your web traffic trending? How many cases are being generated from your website? Are visitors able to find the information they need?

If you’re reviewing these metrics regularly, you’ll start to see areas where your website needs improvement. When web traffic has stalled out or started to decline, your SEO performance is likely falling. If your conversion rate is low, it probably signals the need to make some design improvements.

9. Your site doesn’t match your marketing efforts.

Merely having a modern website design isn’t enough to generate new business, as you still need to invest time and resources into your digital marketing efforts. But it’s a great start. If you’re engaging in tactics like SEO or PPC to drive traffic, you should be driving it to a visually-appealing website.

Having an outdated website can send a message to your potential clients. They may perceive your law firm to be old-fashioned and not tech-savvy. These things make a difference to people performing online research and forming an opinion about your law firm.

10 You’re not proud of it.

Your law firm’s website is often the first impression that potential clients get. It should be something you’re proud of and want everyone to see. You should feel confident that someone could browse your website and quickly understand what makes your firm unique.

If you’re not bragging about your website, it’s essential to find a web designer who can help. A talented website designer will know how to translate your firm’s unique story into a visually-appealing, modern website that you’re excited to show off.

Are you considering a refresh or a redesign of your legal website? We’d love to talk about how Postali can help.

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