One can’t imagine running a law firm without a website today. Even individual lawyers need a sophisticated, attractive, and responsive website to help generate new leads, create brand awareness, and engage with prospects.
In this digital era, your website is going to be the first impression you create on your prospects. That’s why it needs to have a great appearance, better readability, excellent performance, easy navigation, and rich content.
However, designing such a website is no cakewalk. While you can find plenty of advice about what your law firm web design should have, here, we will discuss the things it shouldn’t.
Here are five things that should NOT be a part of your lawyer’s web design.
1. Auto-Play Videos
While auto-play videos make for a great addition to social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, they are a strict no-no for professional law firm websites. Imagine visiting a lawyer’s website, and a video starts playing loudly out of nowhere. It is extremely annoying.
Does this mean you shouldn’t use videos at all?
Of course not! You must remember that there are a right place and time for every element on your site. So, use videos wherever they make the most sense. Also, turn off the auto-play feature. If the users want, they can play the video. Make sure to clearly display the Mute or Turn Off Sound button as well.
2. Font-Crazy Content
With so many options to choose from, it is difficult to decide which is the font that best compliments your brand or content. As a result, most lawyer web designs end up having multiple fonts.
However, using too many fonts on your website not only makes it look unprofessional but also confuses readers. Although there is no hard-and-fast rule, using more than three-to-four fonts in web design is often discouraged.
Instead, you can choose a family of fonts for the content body, and use different sizes, bold, or italics form of the font for headings, sub-headings, and highlight important words or sentences. You can also use pull-quotes for content that needs extra user attention.
3. Horizontal Page Scrolling
Horizontal scrolling has been a much-debated topic in the web designing industry. While it makes a portfolio website more attractive, it is not a trending design factor for other types of websites, including law firm web designs.
Furthermore, the increased use of smartphones and social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter is making people more accustomed to vertical scrolling. With more than 50% website traffic coming from mobile phones, not using a horizontal scroll seems like a good idea.
Fortunately, when creating a responsive law firm web design, you can disable or remove horizontal scroll in the mobile view. You can also remove the horizontal view altogether, for both desktop and mobile view. If you are building a new website or redesigning the old one, make sure to ask your developer about removing the horizontal scroll option.
Pop-ups often make content less accessible and interfere with user interaction, especially on mobile screens. You don’t want to put your prospects off by displaying pop-ups when they are engrossed in reading a blog post. Apart from poor user experience, pop-ups can have a far-reaching impact on your lawyer SEO.
For example, poor user experience can often translate into a higher bounce rate. This, in turn, may result in people spending less time on your website, and might even prevent them from coming back to your site. As a result, your website will lose its search engine discoverability in local search results.
However, you can continue using pop-ups for good reasons. Pop-ups for notifying users about cookies or confirming their age for legal reasons or asking for an email address before the users leave is a good idea.
Such pop-ups don’t necessarily result in poor user experience. In fact, they can help you increase your conversions. But you must, at all costs, avoid using pop-up advertisements or pop-ups offering discounts as soon as users arrive on your site.
5. Fake Reviews and Blog Comments
The last and perhaps the most important factor is that your website shouldn’t have fake reviews or comments. From your credentials and achievements to your content and client portfolio, everything on your law firm website needs to be genuine.
If you have a blog, make sure to monitor the incoming comments. You should use a spam filter to prevent spam and fake comments from showing up on your blog.
Also, check for abusive or offensive comments. Moderate each comment before it goes live, and takedown offensive ones immediately. You should also remove any suspicious links mentioned in the comments as they affect your SEO.
Most lawyer web designs also include customer reviews. While authentic customer reviews can help you generate more leads, fake or spammy ones can land you in hot water. You must always add genuine customer reviews on your website.
In this increasingly digitized world, having an attractive, agile, and professional looking website can help grow your practice substantially. If you avoid including these five things in your law firm web design, creating a smashing website will become a lot easier. The best way to create a user-friendly website is to hire a professional and experienced web design and marketing firm like Gorilla Webtactics. Call us today at (612) 470-9877 or contact us online to find out how we can help your law firm.