How to Give Your Firm's Website a DIY Makeover in 10 Minutes or Less
A trustworthy website is the name of the game when it comes to building a relationship with your audience. A clean, easily navigable site instills trust in your prospective clients, showing them who you are and what you’re about before they even pick up the phone.
Simply stated, an unsecured, seriously outdated, or impersonal site will lose people. So let’s avoid these common website pitfalls and stand out among your competition.
That said, not everyone has the budget to hire a designer to curate a custom site – and while your competitors might, don’t fret: you don’t need one!
I built my business on a DIY website and quadrupled my revenue in just over one year – and yes, I did this with a site I designed myself: not a fancy, custom one. I say this to assure you that if you’re a solo or run a small firm, take peace in knowing you can start simple and, as one of my favorite marketing experts, Amy Porterfield, says, “you can always make it fancy later.”
Download the FREE guide: 29 questions your DIY law firm website MUST answer - bit.ly/2xNGYHn
No matter how you’ve built your site, you can make small improvements to make the words, images, and overall user experience much more effective. And yes, this is worth doing if you want to drive more traffic that actually converts into business.
So let’s talk about that.
THREE CATEGORIES YOU SHOULD NOT IGNORE IF YOU WANT TO BRING IN NEW CLIENTS ONLINE
To start, focus on these three categories:
- Functionality – Is the site EASY TO NAVIGATE? Is there a clean navigation bar? Is the site secure? Is it clean and easy to follow?
- Storytelling – Are you accurately representing your mission? Who you are and what you represent? Is your copy engaging?
- Social Proof – Do you ask your prospective audience to take your word for it when it comes to trusting you and your service offerings, or do you back it up with testimonials and reviews?
Let’s break these down a bit further.
First, let’s talk about functionality. If your site is hard to navigate, cluttered, or not secure, people wont stay. Remember, you have eight seconds to make an impression, so this first step is critical. Here are a few ways to tweak your home page to make sure your visitors stay, rather than clicking away to a competitor’s site.
Navigate to your home page. Is there a distracting sidebar full of miscellaneous icons, links, and tags? If so, delete them. A clean, simple site with few icons, sidebars, and widgets will capture attention much more effectively, as your visitors will focus on the content - not the distractions.
Do you provide a clear means of contact? That is, not just a WordPress contact form but your phone number, listed conspicuously on your homepage? If not, add it. If your visitors have to search for more than a second or two for your contact information, they will lose interest.
Are your security features up to date? Navigate to “Settings” and ensure that you’ve downloaded the most recent plugins to keep your site secure. A notification that a site may contain viruses or be unsecured will lose you substantial amounts of site clicks.
Next, let’s discuss storytelling. Give your site a quick audit, and honestly assess whether your copy is engaging. Does it make you want to read on, or does it sound like a boring recitation of your practice areas? Here are a few things to consider:
Does your website accurately tell the story of who you are and what your firm does? Make sure you do more than just list your practice areas. In your About page, make sure you explain a bit about who you are as a person and why you do what you do.
Do you include a blog or news tab where clients can learn about whats’ going on in your practice? If not consider adding one. Alternatively, link to your social media pages so they can follow your firm updates online.
Do you share your mission statement or tagline on your home page? Something that will help set you apart from the competition? For instance, rather than just saying “family law attorney in central Arizona,” you could say, “helping you get back on your feet” or “always your advocate in turbulent times.” Play with the phrasing to try to capture your audiences’ attention and to tell them something unique about your firm the minute they navigate to your home page.
Finally, let’s talk social proof. This essentially means providing your audience with some way to validate the claims you make on your site about your credentials, your character, and the quality of your services. Don’t just let your audience take your word for it!
Do you have any client testimonials you can share? If not, email your former and current clients and ask them to write up a 2-3 sentence testimonial about how they enjoyed working with you. Add these to your site.
If you are just starting out and don’t have a large client roster to generate testimonials, ask a colleague or even a law school professor to write up a short “Character reference” for you to include on your site.
Link to your AVVO page, LinkedIn profile, or other site where your colleagues have left you positive reviews so you can back up the claims you make about your competency and ability to help your clients.
Building a reliable, trustworthy site doesn’t have to require hours of effort or thousands of dollars. You can start simply by spending fifteen minutes (or less) scanning your site to make it more user-friendly and engaging.
For more concrete tips on how to give your law firm website a DIY makeover, I’ve created a free downloadable checklist of the top 29 items your website MUST include. It will walk you through the key elements you need on your site, so that you can make micro-changes that yield powerful results in the form of - you guessed it - more conversions!!
Grab the guide here!