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Four Website Changes That Do More Harm Than Good

With 2021 underway, now is the perfect time to revamp your website. But not all changes are beneficial. Some seemingly innocent changes to your website can actually do more harm than good. Here are just a few to keep in mind when deciding to update your website:

1. Lack of Focus On Your Homepage

Despite wanting to give clients as much information as possible, you don’t want your homepage to lack focus. It is recommended that the information on your homepage convey the main practice areas of your firm without being too detailed that it deters potential clients from reading the information. Some basic information that should be included: the attorneys(s), contact information, practice areas, and examples of your experience/expertise (this may come in the form of client testimonials, awards or verdicts). For example, if you are a law firm that specializes in personal injury, you’ll want to briefly highlight the areas you cover and showcase testimonials, but you’d probably be better off saving specifics on past cases for a separate page of your website. It’s more beneficial to your website (and visitors) to create a single, detailed car accident page than include all of that information on your homepage. The more streamlined and simple your homepage is, the easier it will be for potential clients to find the information they’re looking for.

2. Avoid Abnormal Fonts and Ambitious Add-ons

The overall design of your firm’s website should be user-focused. One of the ways to make your site more appealing to users is to use a custom font. Every font has personality or purpose. So if you’re looking to create a professional website for your law firm, it’s probably not the best idea to use a super cartoony font that conveys whimsy or a script font that makes the wording hard to decipher. Overall, the type of font you choose will make the website more attractive (and more accessible to users) and may help convert visitors to leads for your firm.

Another aspect of your site that could hurt, rather than help, the user experience is over zealous chat providers that block navigation. While chat can be a great feature to help you engage visitors, some providers’ pop ups are overly intrusive which t can distract potential clients from your website. Using chat also adds coding to your site that will bulk up the size and make the site slower. People prefer a website that loads fast to one with a bunch of bells and whistles, so don’t bog it down with too many additional features.

3. Steer Clear of Lengthy Blocks of Text

Visitors on a website only spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content. While you should have a good amount of text on your homepage for SEO purposes, too much jargon may cause a visitor to lose patience and leave your site. No one wants to spend time reading long paragraphs of text on your website. Instead, keep your paragraphs short (about 2-3 sentences) or opt for bullet-points. Using both headings and subheadings will also help keep your site informative yet concise. A properly formatted page should be easily scannable and allow the user to quickly find sections of interest.

4. Relying Exclusively on Poorly Chosen Stock Photos

Many law firms think that freshening up the photos on their website is beneficial, and it is. While stock photos are a common go-to for new images, be wary of which ones you use. Certain stock photos can hurt your website because they don’t add meaning to your site and often look too generic. Whenever possible, use photos of the attorneys in your firm, the office and staff members. Original photos show potential clients who they will be working with and can help build connections. It is also crucial to include an attorney photo on each profile page.

We realize it can be difficult to get original photos with many employees still working remotely, but it may be worth tackling some of the logistical hurdles as these photos can really make an impact on your website visitors. If that is not a viable solution, then make sure to avoid cliche or triggering photos. This means photos featuring gavels, scales or any other stereotypical lawyer motifs and photos of car crashes, accidents, and other injury related images. You want to convey a message of aid and reassurance, not shock value or the quintessential “lawyer” webpage. Make sure the photos align with the messaging of the page and are a good representation of what you can offer to clients.

It is important for your website to accurately showcase the best your firm can offer. Make sure any changes to your practice’s site actually enhance your site rather than overload it with too much information or lessen its impact with generic stock photos. And don’t forget that with any changes, ensuring that the user experience is seamless is paramount to your success.